Horror and Thriller Fiction posted April 7, 2024 Chapters:  ...9 10 -11- 12... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Another victim.

A chapter in the book Lair Of The Seductress

What Lies Beneath Satin Boxers

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 dislikes 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. When Greg went after Lenny to finish him, Sheriff Watson convinced him to take the felon back into custody. Batty Betty Benslow was taken into custody for assisting with Lenny's escape.

Greg thought he was in for a rest, but another Lilith victim has been found . . . 

New Chapter:

Officer Kelsey and Greg headed out to the Pierre Lake Campground in the Colville National Forest where the latest Lilith victim had been discovered. Greg had his Charger humming along at a smooth seventy miles-an-hour when he felt Katie’s eyes on him. 

“What’s the matter?”

“I was just thinking.” He could see her break into a smile. 


“That night in my apartment when you were all over me.” Now he could see her bite her lip out of his peripheral view. I don’t really want to have this conversation. Ever.

“We were under the spell of the hag.” He frowned. 

“Oh, stop the pouty face, Greg. Witch or no witch, you wanted me as badly as I wanted you.” Her eyes never left him. 

“Katie, you’re a young beautiful woman. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit you’re super attractive. Having said that, not only am I married, but I’m very much in love with my wife. Not to mention my children. I’d never cheat on Jenny. Never. What happened was caused by the witch. As far as I’m concerned what happened between us was unintentional and didn’t mean anything.”

“Well, that’s the problem, Greg. Your dedication and moral compass is what makes you so damn attractive.”

“I think it’s best if we just drop the subject, Katie. Besides, aren’t you still dating Agent Kenneth Lee? Seems like you two have been together for a bit now.” Greg shrugged.

“Kenny? Yeah, we’re dating.” The young woman slumped in her seat. “We just don’t seem to be a good match. He doesn’t give me what I need.”

Okay, this is getting way too personal. “Any good relationship takes work. But now we're here, so put on your Officer Kelsey ‘hat’ and let’s get focused.” Greg pulled into the campsite and parked. The ground was wet. It looked like it had rained sometime during the night. Well, speak of the devil.

Greg rolled down his window as Agent Lee approached them. “Hey babe. Chief. Why don’t you two hop out and I’ll take you back to the crime scene. 

The trio passed through several onlookers, some press, and a few cops milling about, before reaching the yellow tape. Beyond that, they reached a blue and yellow four-man tent that had a pair of booted feet sticking out of the flapped entryway.  

“How’s Jenny?” Harkins extended his hand to Greg and then Katie. 

Greg shook the man’s hand. “She’s doing great. Thanks to everyone’s help. I appreciate what you guys did.”

“Of course, Chief. We’re a team.”

“Regardless, I really wanted to say thanks. Officer Anderson is getting out of the hospital tomorrow, or maybe the next day. He’ll be fine. How’s your guy?” Greg had heard the agent was already out of the hospital. 

“Stevens is great. No permanent damage and now he has a wonderful battle scar to brag about.” Harkins smiled. “Also, Barry Winston is still in the ICU over in Spokane, but he’s expected to recover completely.”

“Good news.” We were fortunate not to have lost anyone in the escapees’ ambush. Very fortunate. “So what do we have here, Dave?”

The lead FBI Agent leaned over and pulled back the tent flap, revealing Lilith’s handywork. The tent had all of the common camping accouterments, to include a backpack, fishing poles, tackle box, and other various field items. The body lay on a green sleeping bag. Everything was covered in blood. 

The man appeared to be in his mid-forties, slightly overweight, and was nearly naked, except for his socks and boots. He had a pair of satin red boxers pulled down around his ankles. The man’s chest was torn asunder like all of the previous victims, and there was a neat little pile of ash next to his head. His lifeless eyes stared at the roof of the tent, while his blood-speckled face appeared to have a slight smile on it.  

“Looks like he died happy.” Greg frowned.  

“Well, I wanted every task force member to see the scene before I let the forensic techs in.” Harkins shook his head.  

Smart move. Not only shows everyone what happens the longer we fail to nab Lilith but also generates various perspectives on the murder. “How long do you think the body’s been here?”

“No more than a day would be my guess. He was most likely killed last night, but the coroner will verify that. A couple of hikers found him this morning. They said they were about ten feet away when they saw the legs sticking out and called the police. That’s where it gets weird.”

“How so?” Like it’s not already weird. 

Harkins reached into the manilla envelope he was holding and pulled out several high-resolution polaroids, handing them to Greg. “What are these missing?”

Greg studied all six, seeing they were close-up shots of the ground surrounding the tent. “Strange. That doesn’t make sense.” 

“Do you see what’s missing?” Greg handed the pictures to Officer Kelsey. 

He watched her study them until realization flooded her face. “Footprints.”

“Rain?” Greg turned his attention back to Harkins. 

“No way. Barely drizzled. As you can see, the EMT’s, as well as several of us, have left fresh prints all over this mud. There should be prints. Now look at this. The man leaned down and pointed at the satin boxers.”

Greg stared, but wasn’t sure what he was supposed to be seeing. 

“Aside from the oddity that the man is camping in satin underwear, do you see it?” Harkins pointed closer. 

“To each his own.” Nothing surprises me anymore. Greg had once worked a case in Chicago where a dead transvestite hooker was discovered to have been wearing an eight-inch dildo. People are strange creatures. Then he saw it. 

On the edge of the boxers was a muddy heel print. It obviously belonged to the murderer. The angle made it look like she had been exiting the tent when she stepped on the boxers. Whatever carnal acts the two had been engaged in, both of them had kept their footwear on. 

“You aren’t gonna get much out of that.” Katie frowned. “There's not even a pattern.”

“Wait a minute.” Greg remembered a case they had in a hospital where a nurse had been killed. The suspect stepped on a sheet he had placed over the blood, so as not to leave any evidence. The drying sticky blood under the sheet had left a perfect imprint of the man’s foot. The size narrowed it down to two patients, one of which later confessed to the murder. “May I?”

“Johnny, get the Chief some gloves please.” Harkins shouted over to a technician waiting patiently nearby as Greg squatted down over the victim’s feet.  

“Grab a camera as well,” Greg added, in case they got lucky. 

Once Greg had the gloves on, he slowly raised the satin underwear off the ground. Underneath, in a wet muddy patch, was a perfect footprint of a woman’s boot. The technician quickly snapped several photos.  

Greg noted the fairly clear imprint bore a distinct wavy tiger-stripe pattern and could barely make out the outline of the word Xena in the heel. Xena was a commonly known brand that produced various women's boots for work, hiking, and fashion. Great find. Good luck favors the hard workers. 

Greg very carefully returned the boxers to the exact same position they had been in and turned to look at technician Johnny. “Let it dry for a bit, and I bet you get a perfect imprinted picture of the boot on the backside of the underwear.”

“Fantastic work, Chief.” Harkins beamed. “That looked like a ladies’ size six. 

Katie was staring at her chief with a curious look. Greg guessed it was admiration. It wasn’t anything spectacular. With time and experience, she too would learn how to read crime scenes. There’s good reason they keep us old law dogs around. 

Kelsey let out several yawns on the way back, then drifted off to sleep. Good. Greg did not feel much like talking. He'd rather spend his time thinking about the scene he just saw. I can’t help but feel like I’m missing something.

I took an intermission for the 30/30 Novella contest. Welcome back to Wolf Bend!
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