Horror and Thriller Fiction posted March 3, 2024 Chapters:  ...7 8 -9- 10... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Greg confronts Lenny.

A chapter in the book Lair Of The Seductress

Haunted Men

by Douglas Goff

Previous Chapters:

A truck driver had an unfortunate encounter with the mysterious Lilith. She killed three men the year before while Greg was dealing with the hag. Now she is back with a vengeance and Wolf Bend Chief Greg Harsen is called to the scene by FBI Agent David Harkins, a man who really like him. What Greg finds awakens him to the realization that more bad things are coming for him and his little town. Further, Harkins managed to wrangle him into Task Force Ash, which was created to capture the killer.

A county wide callout for a jail riot interrupted the hunt for Lilith. At the riot, Greg finds out that Jenny's violent ex-husband, Lenny Benslow, has escaped from the jail. They race to his cabin, but Greg's beloved wife had been taken. Through good investigation techniques, they may have found the badguys hideout. A shootout ensues, with Jesse getting shot while they rescue Jenny. Now, Greg goes after Lenny to finish him. 

New Chapter:

He moved with great caution, feeling the hillside with his hands as he made his way up, being careful not to step on any sticks in the low brush. Every thirty seconds or so, Greg would see a light flicker for a moment. He couldn’t be certain, but it appeared that Lenny was using a lighter to make his way up the hill. 

There was no reason to push it. Fast in this type of situation often leads to dead. Greg took about an hour to climb the small hill, traversing maybe two-hundred yards in total. Down below he could see a lot of flashing police lights, as well as flashlights that were just reaching the bottom of the hill. 

He was concentrating so hard on not making any noise as he took each small step that reaching the cave caught him by surprise. It was at the crest, with what would be its ceiling looking like it was the top of the hill. What was more surprising was the yellow glow coming from within. 

Greg eased his way to the side of the entrance and slipped his M-4 off safe. Only one of us is coming down this hill, and it's going to be me. The hole into the mountain was about eight-by-eight. 

His eyes caught sight of small blue shimering lights lining the mouth of the cave. When he got closer, he could see they were native symbols etched into the rock. When they moonlight caught them, they gave off a slight blue glow.

Each symbol had two half circles, with the curved parts facing each other and the flat edges pointing up and down. For a second, Greg thought that maybe he shouldn't go in, but his desire to end Lenny pushed the notion aside. 

The focused cop cautiously took a step forward. Then another. Greg swept the M-4 back and forth. With another step, he was in a large cavern, about the size of the downstairs of his own cabin. What he saw was unexpected. 

A lantern was in the center of the cave, lighting up the room. A Remington rifle lay on the floor next to it. Lenny stood at the far wall, with his back to Greg, facing what looked like smoke-stained native symbols. The large man appeared to be frozen. 

None of that bothered Greg as much as the fact that his bear spirit tattoo had started to burn with growing intensity. It usually meant a supernatural evil was close. The evil is that filthy Lenny. 

Greg aimed his M-4 dead center at the six-foot-three, three hundred pound man’s back and put his finger on the trigger. I’m going to drop him before he even knows I’m here. But the sound of Lenny’s voice proved Greg wrong. 

“There’s something very bad here. Very bad. Even being half-native, my blood still screams out in terror.”

“I don’t know what you’ve been smoking, but I’m ending this Lenny, here and now.” Greg didn’t believe his own words. He, too, could feel it. This cave is  . . . evil.

Lenny ignored the cop. “Even in my own great terror, I still offered myself to it. The power is so intense. So strong. So . . . evil. I want it. But it won’t take me.”

“Did you hear me? I said I’m here to finish you, Lenny.”

“You don’t understand, Greg Harsen. It won’t take me because it wants you.” 

A dark shadow, what Greg had initially assumed were smoke-stains, rushed from the wall straight for him. The darkness struck him full on, but the now scalding bear tattoo on the back of Greg’s shoulder emitted a blue aura that surrounded the man. The dark entity struck at Greg again and again, knocking him to his knees, but was repelled by his spirit tattoo. 

“Foul Xelas’ magic,” a deep creepy voice hissed in the air around Greg. 

Then, with a ‘whooshing’ sound, it flew straight back towards the wall and was gone. Lenny Benslow fell onto the ground, unconscious, while Greg slowly rose to his feet, shaken. 

Holy shit, what just happened? This native magic is nothing to screw with. Greg had felt the thing’s immense power. The dark entity had been pure evil. What was that thing? It wasn’t Lilith. It was masculine. Thankfully the tattoo, gifted him by his powerful Native American friends, had saved him. Still, I have business to attend to. 

Greg walked over to the unmoving Lenny and pointed the M-4 at the unconcious man’s head. He was half a trigger pull away from killing the man when he heard a new voice, “You could do that, Greg. You have every right to.” 

He looked over his shoulder at Sheriff Watson. “You’re damn right I do, Bill. He took my wife. He deserves to die.”

“Sure he does, Chief. For that, and a lot of other things he’s done. But the route you’re about to take, this path, has a price. You have to live with yourself afterwards. You have to carry it every day. It’ll follow you the rest of your life.” Watson frowned, a haunted look in his eyes.

“I’m willing to pay that price.” Greg’s face twisted in anger. He’s had to many free passes. I’m willing to pay the price.”

“Are you? I thought that was the kind of man you were when Morgan disappeared. After working with you, I learned quickly that you weren’t. Not even close. So, I’ll tell you what. You just say the word and I’ll turn around and walk out of this cave. Lenny died in the shoot-out and that’ll be the end of it. I’ll take that story to the grave. But I’m betting you’re better than that. So, just say the word, and I’m gone.”

He took my Jenny and did God knows what to her. I want to kill him. I really want to kill him. Greg hesitated, before lowering his rifle. “Damn it, Bill. Cuff him before I change my mind.”

“That’s what I thought, Chief."

So, Sundays are going to be busy with this 30 day contest. Thank goodness this book is already finishing. Final editing may suffer though! Giddy-up!
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