The Lone Werewolf II

by Tim Forder

What would you do if you were given the skin-walker gift, the ability to change into any animal you can think of? Would you use it for great good or great evil?

A friend’s sister and a complete village is being terrorized by a castle full of vampires, zombies, hell hounds and a thing too feared to name. What can one Lone Werewolf possibly do to end this reign of terror?


Chapter One

~ Somewhere in Texas, 1869 ~

Walking into this Texas town saloon...

To Sheriff Cody O’Conner it looked like any saloon at 1 p.m.—almost dead with customers. That wouldn’t be all that strange except that it was 10 p.m. and, instead of being at least a little busy, the only ones in the saloon were Jack, the bartender, and one big, ugly Mexican.

“Hi, Jack. Business is kind of dead, isn’t it?” I made a point of looking around and found the saloon truly empty of all but two. For what I had in mind, one more customer would be one too many.

Looking nervously between me and the big, ugly Mexican, Jack answered, “You can say that, Sheriff!”

“I understand that some ugly Mex has been picking fights so he can squeeze your customers to near death. I hear tell this big, ugly Mex is keeping Doc a bit busy this night.”

On cue, the big, ugly Mex turned around. “They call me El Oso. You policia? You maybe here to take El Oso go to hoosegow, yes?”

“I’m Sheriff Cody O’Conner. I don’t suppose you will come to my jail peaceable like?” It was not likely, but it had to be asked, only the polite thing and all.

El Oso just laughed with true feeling.

“Jack, you look like you could use a break,” Sheriff Cody O’ Conner suggested.

“You could say that!” A very nervous bartender answered.

“Why don’t you go count some inventory or something?”

“Don’t have to tell me twice,” Jack answered, already heading out from behind the bar and quickly disappearing through a back door.

As I made my way to an empty chair, I continued, “Now, El Oso, just give me a minute, and I will be right with you.”

I sat down at the nearest unused table, removed my holster and side arm, and toed off my boots.

El Oso watched on and said with a taunting laugh. “Mr. Policia, afraid I will hurt his boots, yes?”

Ignoring the taunting, I got up from the chair and walked over to the big, ugly Mex. I did not have to walk far, as in El Oso’s eagerness, the big bear of a man walked toward me, meeting me in the middle of the room. “No. I just don’t want to hurt my feet. Now, you want to give me one of your deadly bear hugs I have heard so much about?”

“Thought Mr. Policia would never ask.” With that, he ran up to me with his massive arms, eager to lock them around me. I will never forget the look on Mr. Big and Ugly’s face as I changed into my grizzly bear form right there within his arms.

Before he could react, I had my massive grizzly bear arms locked around him as he had done to so many of Jack’s customers throughout the day. I squeezed until I could hear rib bones cracking. With a yell, Mr. El Oso passed out from the pain, as well as from lack of air getting to his crushed lungs, I reckon. Job done, I quickly changed back into my human physique, as Jack the bartender came running in with a shotgun in hand. He found the evening’s torturer of customers out cold in my arms. Letting him drop to the floor, I turned to my personal possessions while ordering Jack, “I’d suggest you go tell Doc he has another patient. Also, get about six men to haul this lug to the jailhouse. The doctor can treat his newest patient there, behind bars.”

“Gladly, Sheriff O’Conner! Gladly!” With that, Jack rushed out of his bar with such haste as if off to the races, and left the bat-wing doors flapping.

As I sat at the table to put my boots back on, I suddenly got to reminiscing about some trouble that happened right at this table just a week ago...

It was late one night; I was relaxing in my office, waiting for Mrs. Turnscoff to arrive with a buckboard to pick up her drunken husband again. Every now and then Farmer Turnscoff would come to town and go on a bender at the saloon, and had to be carried across the street and bedded down in one of my cells. Sometime the next day, after sunup, Mrs. Turnscoff would come to pick him up. By now, Mrs. Turnscoff didn’t even have to be notified to come get her husband. She just knew that when her husband went to town, it was her loving duty to follow the next day and haul his drunken self back home. As luck would have it, Farmer Turnscoff is just a little guy and his wife is pert near as tall as I am at six feet even. Nowadays, I don’t even bother offering to put farmer Turnscoff in the back of the backboard for Mrs. Turnscoff; she could take care of it herself. Quite the woman, Mrs. Turnscoff—glad she’s not mine! Though, as a way of saying “thanks” she does make a habit of bringing in some nice, freshly baked sweet something with her, be it fresh, warm cookies, a pie, corn muffins or some of her Bear Claws!

The quiet evening in my office was shot as I heard three rounds fired off. It sounded as though they came from across the street, from the saloon. I grabbed for my greener off the gun rack and rushed across the street, through the bat wing doors and into the well-lit saloon. There in front of me was a scene as still as any picture on a wall. Everyone had been and still was shocked into a still life at the evening’s violent entertainment. While we commonly get our fair number of bar fights, bar shootings were a bit of rarity in these here parts.

There before me was a tall dude—a gambler man standing at the gambling table, nearly facing me with smoking gun in hand. He was quite the striking figure in his fancy black outfit with white frilly shirt, and black suede vest. He was toting a double rig that included some silver bullets (so I’d later heard). The rig included two pearl handled six-shooters; one in his hand was still smoking to announce its recent use. I took notice that his end of the gambling table was heavily laden with winnings, while the other end of the table had nearly nothing on it. I further observed in between were two small stacks of chips belonging to two other gamblers. This made it clear that the gambler was winning big—only the gambler. The middle of the table had quite a pile of winnings waiting for someone to claim it.

On the floor opposite the gambler was a real goner by the look of the bloody pulp that was once the man’s chest, but then two rounds of .44’s at such close range will make a mess. The goner was a local cowhand who fancied himself a real gambler, and something of a fast draw. Unfortunately, everyone but the goner knew he was a lousy card player. Over the months, he often came a callin’ on me, complaining that someone had cheated him. Always, a quick investigation would prove they had not. This was the first time I’d known him to draw on someone, let alone someone who was faster than him.

My attention was forced back to the gambler because of a stink that was coming off him that made me want to shoot him ‘till my gun emptied. He had such a stench of death on him, that I leveled the greener on him. Fighting temptation to pull both triggers, I ordered, “Now just lay that piece slowly on the table!”

Looking my way he did as ordered. I was relieved to see that he did not have a skeletal face, as I had sort of expected to see on this stinking fancy dressed dude.

“Now slowly with your left hand, remove your holstered piece from that right holster and with two fingers slowly ease it on the table next to your other fancy piece.”

Staring right at me, he did as ordered. I noticed he never blinked once the whole time he was staring at me. This seemed queer somehow; that unblinking stare showed off his dead eyes.

That’s when the rest of the room came back to life, and Jack the bartender spoke out. “Sheriff, Todd challenged the gambler. He called him out and gave him no choice...”

One of the other gamblers, another local cowhand, I guessed from his location, added, “Todd even drew and fired first. He’d been losing badly all night. When he lost that last hand to this stranger, he jumped to his feet and called the stranger a cheat and went for his piece.”

Another local added his two cent’s worth. “That’s how it happened, Sheriff. Look over to this here far side of the bar, you can see where Todd fired wide and put his round in the side of the bar, there!” True enough, a fresh looking hole in the distant side of the bar was very visible.

My attention turned back on the gambling man; I had a strong, sudden impulse to shoot this staring stranger. Never smelled a man who wreaked so much of death. “You got a name?”

“Edward,” was all he spoke.

I wanted to go back to my office and find some paper on him, hopefully one saying “Wanted: Dead or alive,” so I asked, “What’s your full name?”

“People just call me Edward.”

"The Lone Werewolf II" by Tim Forder


Amazon Kindle

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.



? Heat Level: 3