I honestly can’t believe it took me this long to finish this story. Even when I had it finished in my head I met difficulty putting it down in words. Part of that I blame to the transition from doing university work and getting back to creative writing. It wore me out a little, I admit, but the story is finally finished. I took the liberty of extending it a bit, since it fell out of the flash category. Enjoy the conclusion of last weeks Friday Flash “Alpha”
Teeth and claws part 2
Mr. Jacobson sat, waiting for Charles Emmett to continue his story. His hand rested on his gun fed with silvers and his eyes never left those of Emmett. He knew what lycans were capable of; he had studied their speed and attack behavior, practicing to match it and use it at his advantage. But in a small room with dim light he had little space no maneuver if a sudden attack occurred. He was ready to shoot and injure severely enough to be able to restrain the other man and load him onto a horse that would ride him to New York.
Charles Emmett, cross-legged and bathed in half-light, the oil lamp projecting his large shadow upon the wall, was smiling at him. Jacobson studied his expression; it showed no concern of the weapon pointed at him and remained perfectly calm just as when he was telling the early years of his life.
But in that calmness hid a beast. Jacobson frowned.
Charles Emmett had been an outlaw for three years now. Every county north of Louisiana had issued a warrant for his arrest and offered a reward which grew by the year. From an unknown fisherman Emmett had become one of the most wanted criminals for the murder of a young trader up in Baton Rouge. It was described as a conflict of money which ended in a massacre. How certain were the witnesses, claiming they saw a man matching the description of Emmett running from the scene covered in blood? How acquainted where they with him to name him by his birth name? These questions had thrown suspicion over Emmett’s guilt long ago, when Jacobson was first addressed with his case and ordered to track him down. One other suspicion had formed soon after that and proven right when Emmett started leaving bodies behind him.
“Do you know what fascinates me, Mr. Jacobson? How people learn to stumble in this world blindly. They manage to see and comprehend things only one-sided; parallels to them are impossible to understand. They take for truth only which is to them the ultimate reality reflected by their lives, and often limited knowledge of the world surrounding them. I believe we were created in one of these parallels, always existing in the corner of the mind, but never really crossing beyond simple imagination originating from old tales.
I long walked in life disregarding these differences, imagining myself no different from my neighbors. My encounter with others of my kind was brief and I didn’t gain a good perspective of our place in society.
As my life took an unexpected turn I was frightened once more to be exposed as the beast I truly was and therefore lose my hard-earned place. I was afraid to be trapped in an invisible parallel. There were but two options: imminent death or cowardly flee. I was to either accept punishment for a fabricated crime or run like I had truly committed one. I chose the latter.
I took my chances traveling up the Mississippi River. Many outlaws escaped the watchful eyes of the law in the waters of the river. On occasions I took refuge on the boat of some passing trader. Even if I was recognized, I met no accusations. I believe they feared I might slay them too, if they speak.
Ever so careful, I visited small towns, searching to steal provisions and hoping to hear any news from the town’s folks regarding my case. My fame had apparently grown and the mystery surrounding my sudden disappearance from Houma was the topic everywhere I went. They spoke of me as of a “colossal man with unhuman strength and axe skills.” I was feared.
“I spent every waking minute wondering who and why had put the mark of Cain on me. Then I began to understand.
One year had passed since my departure from Houma when I started noticing things on my shadowy visits to towns. Let me tell you first; people carry two odors – one that identifies with their profession and another one they can’t detect themselves, layered underneath it. It is their unique perfume. In my perspective it qualifies them as human beings. When a different, stronger odor appeared, differing from that which I commonly sensed, I knew it could only belong to those of my kind.”
They came in a dust storm mounted on steeds, looking no different from the next man. I spotted small groups at each town. Hidden, I watched them sniff the air, than aroused by my presence scanned the faces of the people, searching for me. It was then when I realized what the game was and who had ordered for me to be brought dead or alive. Whereas I didn’t know his name I knew his nature – he was no doubt a lycan. My face nailed on every message board, my name written in thick black letters- he had made me known to every American, making this chase my torment and his amusement. I had nowhere to hide.
I somehow believe you share my assumption on the matter Mr. Jacobson. I took a guessing that it was a creature of my kind standing behind the accusation and the murder- you as well. Correct me if wrong.”
Jacobson bit his lip. “It has crossed my mind.”
“Very good. We share an opinion after all. But the story is not satisfactory yet is it?” Emmett’s voice growled low.
“You killed many of your kind in the past two years. Why?
Charles Emmett nodded. “If I wasn’t a murderer to start with, I became one soon after. I was no longer hiding, but hunting. I slayed them one after another, not only practicing my anger upon them, but allowing my beast to overtake me and cloud my judgment. I killed all but the last of the pack hunting me. Even after enduring severe pain he refused to give me information. My only consolation was that by these murders I was sending a message. “
Jacobson tightened the grip on his gun.
Emmett’s eyes were emerald in the light.
“You see, by the time you Pinks were hired to find me, I had found someone to squawk. He knew little for he was still a young pup, just recently joined with his pack. But his information was sufficient. “
Jacobson was puzzled. Before he could speak, shouts from outside came calling for him.
“Jacobson get out here! We’re…” there was commotion and wild screams which died as sudden as they had appeared. All fell silent.
“Get up!” Getting out the back door of the bar, Charles followed by Jacobson walked onto the street. A ripped corpse lay upon the staircase. It was another of the Pinkerton’s sent to accompany Jacobson.
“Up!” Emmett pulled away from Jacobson as a shadow flung itself from the roof of the building. Jacobson’s fires slowed it down, and Emmett grabbed the body tossing it back onto the pavement. The lycan stood up. While most of his visage was human and his torso as well, his eyes glowed yellow, his mouth offered a sharp bite, and his arms, enlarged ended in massive black furred paws supplied with long claws.
“Now we run.” Emmett charged ahead butchering the lycan with ease. Jacobson followed. He looked at the man before him, now sharing the same transformation as their persecutors but steadied his gun. He needed to trust Emmett right now.
Three more lycans howled at the night and attacked them. Jacobson shot two in the head, feeding more silvers in the barrel as they ran for the end of the street where two horses awaited. Before they reached the middle of the street, the two were surrounded by four of the beasts. Dressed as common workers, but growling at their prey, they circled them, preparing to kill.
“You take the younger ones. Leave the bigger boys to me.”
Jacobson nodded. Slowly he reached for his inner pocket and pulled a dipped in silver long knife. He cut open the throat of one and emptied his gun at the belly of the other one. Emmett ripped their heads off.
“More will be coming.” Emmett was back in his more human form, though his face was sprayed with their dark blood.
“I know. Emmett listen… the man who hired us to bring you to New York doesn’t want you dead. It’s captain Martell. When he found out about your false accusation, he sent out his men to find you and bring you back to him and his pack in London. But when he failed he called us, hoping we can trace you. He never chased you away Emmett. He was looking forward to you joining his pack.”
“I figured as much.”
“You said you know the name of the man who sent these after you.”
“Indeed I do. The young lycan told me he goes by the name of Jonathan Rays. His business was at first with the East India Company, but later on he established a trading fleet of his own, guarding a private canal from Southampton to New York. It developed into a larger business, a company by the name of “Remus Victoris“. It’s biggest ship “Emerald Star” led the way. What they shipped no one really knew. They docked at night and sailed before dawn. Though one thing was certain – this was not Jonathan Rays’ only trade. The underground organizations which operate from New York to Chicago owe their creation to him. Only that none of his goons know him by that name. To them he is called Nicholas Emmett, the All-Father of the English Lycans and godfather of their American cousins. From the bottom they climb to the top, Mr. Jacobson.”
Jacobson stared speechless. This information exceeded his. And it explained it all.
“He is the Alpha of your kind. And you are his…”
“Son, yes. By law of our kind I can claim his place. That means kill him and dethrone him, becoming an Alpha myself. A leader. But my wants go beyond that.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Now that I have satisfied you with an unusual story, I will join with captain Martell’s pack and ask for his help to clean America of her parasites. I will require the help of experts in the supernatural sphere. Will the Pinkerton agency offer their assistance, Mr. Jacobson?”
“I will make sure we do, Mr. Emmett.”
They walked to the corner of the street where to mounts waited.
“Let us ride to New York then, where our forces will be multiplied and our plan formed.”
Jacobson tipped his hat and mounted his steed.
The two rode in the night.