Read The Cactus Killer (The Inglewood Chronicles) Online

Authors: Jeremy Croston

Tags: #horror, #dark fiction, #supernatural romance, #young adult adventure, #mystery suspense, #paranormal thriller, #werewolf and vampire, #vampire mystery, #supernatural crime, #occult crime

The Cactus Killer (The Inglewood Chronicles)

BOOK: The Cactus Killer (The Inglewood Chronicles)
5.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

The Cactus Killer

By Jeremy Croston

Second Edition

© 2014 Jeremy

Two Dudes, Brews, &

Please do not re-distribute
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This book is a work of

All of the names,

and events that occur are

the author’s

Any resemblance to an

person, alive or dead,

historical event, or
business establishment

is purely


Cover image by


Edited by Caroline “Cookie”

Table of Contents
Chapter 1

If you happen to be driving
through New Mexico and get lost, you might run into the town of
Full Moon. About an hour south of Truth or Consequences, Full Moon
is a quiet town that isn’t on the list of places to see. We still
have a general store run, for generations, by the same family.
There are no skyscrapers, or busy intersections that take four
turns to get through. That’s not to say we don’t have some modern
conveniences and a pretty good bar scene. Add in the fact that most
folks live in the subdivisions surrounding the town, and I’d say we
were doing just fine. We are friendly people here, don’t get me
wrong, but most folks wouldn’t fit in. See, our town is one of the
largest werewolf settlements in New Mexico.

Yep, werewolves, and there
are a lot of them. All three of the major Northern American packs
have folks who live here. Furthermore, each pack has somebody who
is in an important position. The Silver wolves are the oldest pack.
The mayor, Archibald Argent, is their pack Alpha. The Black wolves
are the most populated pack and the District Attorney Charles
‘Chaz’ Freely leads them. Finally, we have the Red wolves. The pack
is almost as old as the Silvers, but much less populated than
either pack. It might be a good time to introduce myself, I’m
Sheriff Victor Inglewood but you can just call me Vic.

Unlike Chaz and Archibald,
I am not the Reds pack Alpha (far from it actually), that would be
my dad, Callum. He was the sheriff for many years, but last year he
retired and I got the appointment. Granted, I had been deputy since
my twenty-first birthday, and I have a criminal justice degree from
New Mexico State, so I am qualified. Plus, due to my unique
condition amongst werewolves, the town trusts my

I’ve lived in Full Moon
most of my life, well with the exception of my three years of
college. Taking care of this town has always been my calling and
even though, at thirty-two, I am its youngest sheriff in
generations. Crime has never been lower. My gun is my trademark, an
Adams Percussion .50 caliber that the locals named Roscoe for some
reason. If it keeps them all law abiding, than they can call it
Sweet Willy for all I care.

I’m unique amongst
werewolves. Most of us answer the call of the moon and transform
for the first time on our thirteenth birthday. I did not because
something no one can explain happened the night of my thirteenth
birthday. Instead of transforming into a full wolf, my senses went
crazy. My hearing, sight, taste, and touch are always that of the
wolf; it never turns off. I also got a little boost in speed and
strength, but nothing that would ever let me confront a fully
transformed wolf.

For awhile, I couldn’t
control the overwhelming feeling that comes when your senses are
turned up one hundred percent twenty-four hours a day. It took
plenty of training and seeking help from others, but I managed to
control myself and my gift. That is why I am the sheriff of this
town, now-a-days nothing can get by me. I can track a person across
this country, if needed, and everyone knows it.

Driving down the main
stretch of road to the station is always nice, especially on a
Saturday morning. With little traffic and a breakfast sandwich in
my hand, I switched the radio on to get caught up on the latest
news around the country. It must have been a slow night as the only
thing that really seemed odd was a bar in a small town in the
northeast getting busted up by some lunatic. Fortunately, no one
was injured but there were two people missing. Seems the incident
was turned over to the FBI which I thought was a bit strange, but
oh well.

I pulled into the station
not too long afterwards and saw my deputy was already there.
William Westchester was a good guy and did a lot for me, however he
was a bit eccentric. First, he called himself Billy the Kid, after
the outlaw, and second, he was scared to death of guns. The town
didn’t budget me a whole lot and since he was the only one who
wanted the job after my promotion, I took what I could get. I
parked my sixty-seven charcoal blue Mustang in the dusty side lot
and headed towards another fun day.

Morning Vic! Thought I’d
pop in early and see what calls came in last night.” God bless
Billy’s enthusiasm. Billy was a Black wolf and his appointment to
deputy turned out to be a popular decision in the

What’d we got? I swear if
our first call this morning is from Lee Wilson complaining about
the new cubs howling too late last night, I will go down to his
house and shoot his phone off his wall.” The older wolves sometimes
were out of hand with their complaints. They forget what it was
like to be young.

Not this morning boss, but
we did get an all points bulletin for a Hector Alvarez. He is a
Silver on the run from Howling Canyon for killing two Reds up there
as well as a civilian while running in Albuquerque. Sounds like a
dangerous dude.”

Nothing was more frowned
upon in the community than killing a ‘normal’ person. People left
us alone because they didn’t know we were here. Killing civilians,
as we called them, brought unwanted attention to the community.
This Alvarez was a danger to our way of life. “Alright Billy, make
sure all the nearby communities know to be on the outlook. Relay to
Sheriff Munoz in Howling Canyon that we got the APB and will
coordinate everything through him. We can’t let that guy

What should we do sir,
capture or put down?”

I hated this situation.
Everyone deserves a fair trial, but when you go against the pack
orders and kill a civilian, the rules are in place. “He broke pack
law; he has to be put down. But Billy, if we are the ones to find
him, we will try to capture first.”

The young man smiled and
went about his tasks. Billy was the only pacifist deputy I ever
came in contact with and he kept the department on its toes. Just
as I was about to walk into my office, Detective Talia Jacobs
entered the station. Another Black wolf, Talia was as serious as a
heart attack. Murder was her turf as detective, so I motioned her
to come into my office.

I sat down and Talia came
in and shut the door. She, as always, was dressed to kill. Whereas
Billy and I were the blue jeans and buttoned down shirt kind of
guys, Talia was in dress pants, a white blouse, and a blazer. Even
though it was February, it still gets hot in New Mexico. The heat
didn’t matter to her, not a strand of her blonde hair was out of

Morning sir, you have a
new case for me?”

Yeah, but it ain’t good. A
renegade wolf killed a few Reds in Howling Canyon and then a
civilian in Albuquerque. We got the APB this morning, so we need to
keep an eye out. Dig up what you can around town; see if anyone
knows this Hector Alvarez and can point us in the right

I handed her the paperwork
and she gave me a curt nod and left. I felt for any guy that tried
to unwind that one and wished them all the best. After Talia left,
the rest of the morning went by pretty smoothly. No big issues from
the night before and Billy got all the local communities up to
speed on Alvarez. I figured it was time to go grab lunch when I got
a knock on my door. I looked up and for the first time in forever,
I had a visitor I didn’t recognize.

Door’s open, come on

The door opened and a woman
entered. She had black as night hair, incredibly white skin, and
the sharpest blue eyes I’ve ever seen. She appeared to be in her
mid twenties, if even that. I sniffed the air; there was no scent
at all. Taking a deep breath, I was able to calm myself. Much like
Talia, she was dressed in a business suit herself, but I knew no
amount of heat would ever bother this one.

Sheriff Victor Inglewood,
it is a pleasure to meet you.” She had an accent too. I couldn’t
place it, but the chills I got told me this one was old.

Ma’am, always a pleasure
to be introduced to someone as lovely as yourself. What can I do
for you today?”

She smiled at my charm. I’m
not sure if it’s the badge, the five o’clock shadow, or the shaggy
hair under my beat-up old cowboy hat, but I definitely used
whatever it was to my advantage.

I know it is unusual to
see someone like myself out here, but I am in need of help. I was
told you were the best in the business in certain fields. I came
here to solicit a request from you.”

For starters, you can call
me Vic. And yes, it is unusual to see a vampire in werewolf
country, but I don’t hold any prejudices. I’ll listen to your
request if you answer two questions for me. Is that a fair

Of course, Vic.” She
smiled at me and I caught a glimpse of her fangs. It reminded me to
be careful with how I worded my questions.

First, might you do me the
pleasure of introducing yourself? It always helps to know how to
address someone.”

Forgive my rudeness, my
name is Elizabeth Swansea. Much like you, I shortened my name, so
you may call me Beth if you would prefer.”

Okay, a name to look into
later, perfect. “My second question, Miss Swansea, might cross a
line and if it does, I will not be upset if you choose to decline.”
She looked at me with those blue eyes, no malice, just curiosity.
“How is it possible you are up and about with the sun blazing down
on us? I know a bit about your kind and you aren’t tan for a

Your way with words is
quite amusing!” She was laughing, which was a good sign; I hadn’t
offended her or stepped over my lines. “As a measure of good faith
I will answer that. Once my kind reaches a certain age, we become
immune to the effects of the sun. Most of us, for different
reasons, either do not make it to that point, or if we do, we keep
it to ourselves.”

Oh I see, sorry for my
ignorance in the situation. It was just professional

No sheriff, I have no
problem. In fact I am quite proud of my achievement. In the new
world, most of us never make it well past one thousand years old
like I have.”

Chapter 2

Elizabeth (for some reason
Beth didn’t suit her) and I were walking down the street from the
station to the local bar and grill, The Fox and Hound. From an
outsider’s point of view, the historic downtown section of Full
Moon must look like a place straight out of an old western movie.
On our walk, we passed the General Store, the Harvest Moon Saloon,
and the Post Office. All were lined up side by side, the same as
our ancestors built it a long time ago. The only difference now was
the subdivisions that littered the surrounding area. Even we wolves
got suckered into the home association movement that plagued the

As we walked down the
sidewalk, it gave me time to put my thoughts together. Granted, I
didn’t know much when it came to vampires, but to be in the
presence of one that old was quite intimidating. She could break my
neck with the flick of her finger had she wanted.

Put your fears aside
sheriff, I have no intention of killing you. I can tell you are an
honorable man and, in my experience, those are rather hard to come

Did she just read my
thoughts? “Ma’am, how on God’s green earth did you know what I was

You are not the first or
last in my long life to question my intentions. No, I did not read
your thoughts, but rather observed your body language. Now, let us
get you something to eat so I can make my proposal to

BOOK: The Cactus Killer (The Inglewood Chronicles)
5.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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