Little Dog Lost
This is a work of fiction and is copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead is coincidental and not intended by the author.
OK, this is a riff on a story by Chris Nutall – "Be Careful What you wish for" – but the idea struck me, and I had to write this down…I do not know if I will ever go any further with this story or not, but the characters are SCREAMING at me right now to write this story….
This is a continuation of "Love you Long Time" – the further adventures of Joe Laub and his wife Meredith. In this case, the ZOMG agents must deal with gangsters, meth-heads, a lost child who happens to be a werewolf , some angry werewolves and vampires…oh, and the worst vile bane of civilized existence…reporters!
Chapter 01 Out in the Country
The little town of Wilson, New York is located on the shores of Lake Ontario, about thirty miles north of Buffalo. It is a peaceful, bucolic place of orchards, vineyards and farms. Despite it's northern latitude, the Ontario Plain is nestled between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, whose great depths provide a massive heat sink, moderating the temperature.
It never gets terribly warm – the record high was 97 degrees Fahrenheit in 2005, nor does it get terribly cold – the lowest temperature recorded was -15 Fahrenheit in 1996. The average High temperature for July is 81 degrees; the average Low temperature in January is 16 degrees.
All of which combines to make this a wonderful place for growing apples and wine grapes.
But, this story is not about agriculture. No, it is more about growing families. It is a quiet place – many would call it "boring". It isn't as isolated as it once was – up until the 1930's or so, it was easier and faster to travel by boat to, say, Rochester or Lewiston, than it was to drive. As late as 1970, over 700 miles of Niagara County's roads were still gravel.
It is still a quiet and thinly populated place…and it is readily apparent after dark, when the predators come out.
Normally, when people say "New York", they think of "New York CITY", and have this image of endless miles of steel and concrete. There ARE predators in New York City – but, all of those predators walk on Two Legs.
No, in Niagara County, there is rarely reason to fear your fellow humans. However, out here, 438 miles away from New York CITY, there are other things to fear…more ancient things, that civilized man has forgotten.
It was a warm April Night, and Bob and Doug Mackenzie were sitting around a fire in their backyard. They had spent a long day tying the grape vines to the wires in their vineyard, carefully trimming and pruning as they went.
No, they weren't THAT Bob and Doug – it was purely a matter of coincidence that their family name was "Mackenzie" and that their parents had named them "Robert" and "Douglas". However, when you live on the shores of Lake Ontario, and the Canadian Radio and TV stations have a stronger signal (not to mention better quality programming) than the US stations, well, it is hard to ignore.
There was a long drawn out howl in the darkness.
"Damn coyotes, Eh." Said Bob, as he threw another chunk of firewood on the fire.
"I dunno, Bob," said Doug, "that's awful deep for a coyote. Almost sounds like a wolf."
"Take off, hoser." Laughed Bob. "there hasn't been a wolf sighting in Niagara County in over a century."
"I dunno, bro." said Doug. "Some of them coyotes are getting awful big."
"Breeding with wild dogs." Opined his brother. "probably denning in that old barn of the Yost place" he spat in the fire. "Fooking DEC needs to come out and clean'em out again."
Suddenly, there was a commotion in the Alpaca pen. The brothers bred and raised the South American Camelids for their soft, luxuriant fur, which brought a good price. The herd began making high pitched warbling noises, and several began making the "wark" noise of severe distress.
"Must be a dog or something in among the herd, dammit." Said Bob. He grabbed for his .40 Smith and Wesson. He heard the Alpha Male, Benjy, making his angry warbling battle cry, and heard an answering yelp of pain as, presumably, the razor sharp hooves nailed the intruder.
"Good on you, Benjy!" shouted Doug. "We're coming, boy." Doug had his Beretta 92 in his hand, and was looking for a target.
When they got to the paddock fence, they found the herd gathered at the corner of the fence, the females and youg huddled together, and Benjy fighting a large dog – a VERY large dog – for a cria – a young alpaca – struggling on the ground.
Bob settled his pistol on the fence in the "over-barricade" position that he had learned in the Army, and waited for a clear shot. Beside him, his brother was shining a five cell maglite on the two fighting animals, to give his brother a better shot.
After an interminable wait – probably two seconds – Benjy drew back, and Bob had a clear shot. He double tapped the beast with two hollowpoints in the center of mass. It yelped and fell backwards, to lie still on the trampled ground.
The injured cria struggled to its feet, and retreated to the huddle of the flock. Benjy carefully walked backward, keeping his eyes on the carcass of the beast.
"Son of a Bee-yotch!" cursed Bob, as he shone the light on the carcass. "That is no darn coyote, it is too fooking big!"
Doug wiped the sweat from his forehead and popped open the cylinder on his revolver. Reloading immediately was an old habit of his.
"Two rounds of .40, center of mass, did for it, bro." he said. "I wonder if its worth making a rug out of it."
The two men went to the gate and let themselves into the pen. They made soothing sounds to the badly frightened animals, but did not try to approach them yet. They knew darned well that Alpacas take awhile to calm down.
They walked over to the carcass. "Son-of-a-gun" swore Doug. "That beast is at least a hundred pounds, bro."
Bob whistled in appreciation. "You're right. You are well-and-truly-right, bro, that is no damned coyote. It is a freaking wolf, and a pretty big one at that." He scratched his head. "Could it have escaped from a Zoo or a private collection?"
He picked up a stick to look at the teeth.
Suddenly, the beast's eyes snapped open.
"Shit!" exclaimed Bob, jumping back. "It's still alive!"
The Wolf jumped to it's feet and snarled at the two men. They jumped back and aimed their pistols at the snarling, bristling, red-eyed monster.
Just as suddenly, it whirled and ran across the paddock, bounding over the five foot fence in one graceful leap and racing through the moon-lit vineyard.
"Crap" said Doug, sinking to his knees as the post-adrenaline let-down surged through his body.
"Yeah Bro." agreed his brother. "Crap."