Some of you have already read Stalking Hazel, a novella of Pine Haven. The Pine Haven series launches soon with Finding Fiona, which will be available for preorder later this month! I’m super excited to get this novel out to you, not only because it launches my first series, and one that I’m passionate about, but because I simply love Fiona and my other characters. And I’m positive you will too!
To tide you over until then, and to introduce you to the rogue paranormal the PBI comes to Hanson Mills to neutralize, I have a flash fiction I wrote for the Ladies of Horror Flash Fiction Project. I hope you enjoy the flash as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Beware the Weregon
Mac scanned the horizon from his vantage point high atop the cliff. Before him stretched the glassy expanse of Big Bear Lake, lit by the full moon. The Blue Moon, second full moon of the month, was incredibly bright, illuminating the rocky beach below. The lake was calm, the surface so still it resembled a mirror, reflecting the trees and the moon. Behind him, Samuel stumbled from the forest, trudging towards him across the clearing. He was breathing heavily; he had about seventy five pounds on Mack though he stood two inches shorter.
“You going to make it, bud?” Mac clapped him on the shoulder.
“Yeah,” Sam wheezed, bending forward, placing his hands on his thighs and panting audibly. After a few minutes, he straightened. “I think I heard something in the woods.”
Mac chuckled. His younger brother was not a fan of either nature or physical activity; he was still amazed he’d gotten him to come camping. But after their father’s passing, Mac was determined they spend more time together, even if he had to force Sam to for his own good. The kid needed to get out of the house more, do something with his life besides play video games and watch horror movies while eating pizza.
“It’s probably a deer, moose, or any other number of forest creatures.”
“Um, no. This sounded big.” Sam’s voice was tinged with fear.
“A bear is rather unlikely. Whatever it is, no doubt it’s just as scared of you. We can head back to the campsite as soon as you fully enjoy this view.”
Sam rolled his eyes, turning to face the ocean. He appeared impressed, even though he continued to throw fearful glances over his shoulder. “It really is beautiful, man. Thanks for bringing me.”
Mac smiled. “You’re welcome. I knew you’d love it.”
“Yeah, now just get me out of here before something eats me.”
Mac shook his head, and they started back the way they’d come. Ten minutes in, Mac stopped. Sam ran into the back of him.
“Shh!” Mac warned with a finger to his lips. He held very still, turning his head from side to side. A loud crash sounded behind them, and thudding footsteps pounded the path, headed in their direction.
Sam took off, moving faster than Mac had ever seen him move, towards the campsite. Mac whirled around and crouched, shotgun at the ready, nerves steady. He took aim in the direction of the sounds, and waited for a visual. The blood froze in his veins. He managed to get off a shot, pumped fast, and fired again. The large blue monster jumped, rolled, and was on top of him before he could do more. The thing stunk of blood, sweat, and an odd rotten smell Mac couldn’t identify.
He grappled with the creature trying like hell to sink teeth into his throat. It was strong; stronger than he, and bigger too, impossible as that seemed. Mac was six foot three of pure muscle, but he was losing this battle. Three tours in the sandbox and I’m going to die at the hands of Cookie Monster’s evil twin, he thought morosely.
Suddenly, light blazed and the thing sprung off him, howling in pain. It hunched a few yards ahead, and Mac took advantage of his unexpected freedom to spring up and grab his gun. The thing growled, but came no closer, furiously patting at a smoking spot on its arm. He risked a glance behind him. Sam stood a few yards away, holding the flare gun in his hands. The expression on his face spoke volumes about his level of terror, but his hand held steady.
“Back up, Mac. Slowly.”
Mac did as told and stopped beside Sam. “What’s going on here?”
“It’s a Weregon. They only come out at the Blue Moon. Most aren’t vicious, but occasionally you get a rogue. Battled them in Merlin’s Saga II on PlayStation 4. We don’t have the resources to kill it, but I’ll report to the Guild.”
“First, who are you, and what have you done with my brother? Second, a where a what? Third, what guild?” Mac kept a wary eye on the monster.
“A Where-a-gon, half blue fairy, half werewolf. Very rare. I’m still Sam, and I’m scared shitless, but I guess playing first person video games isn’t all useless. The fantasy gamer’s guild. They keep track of strange things people actually see in the real world. Get ready to run.”
Sam fired two more flares at the monster, shouted, “Run,” and they both hauled ass. They blew past the campsite, straight to Mac’s jeep without stopping. As they sped away, down the mountain, Mac peeked at Sam. His brother was white faced, wide eyed, and clutching his chest.
Mac patted him on the back. “You did good, bro. Saved my life. I’ll never knock your gaming again.”
Sam let out a shaky breath and tried to smile. “Thanks, Mac. No more camping, like ever.”