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just go to my Smashwords author page and download EPUBs from there.
Smashwords provides samples of my books also.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Dogged by the Curse 23

A continuation of last week's scene.
It contains a good example of how something
unexpected can become fodder for your poem.
A few years back History Channel did a show
about the Beast of Gévaudan, a "werewolf" that
killed a number of people in France roughly
250 years ago. The show concluded that the werewolf
was actually an Asian hyena that was trained as
an attack animal. In this post, Constable Garrett
uses just such a scenario as an implausible
explanation for the deaths he's investigating.

Benedict laid a hand on his shoulder.
“Aiden, my friend, I’ve never seen you thus.
Your faith has always been strong. Tell me, please:
What could make a man like you so unsettled?”

“You know about the murders, I presume?”

Benedict nodded. “How could I not know?
Vaxen is a small town, and fear is fleet
Of foot. Many pray daily at the church
For protection. A pack of wolves, correct?”

Constable Garrett sighed and gazed upward.
“If only it were, Father… if only…”
He turned and saw the Father’s confused look.
“Dr. Fenn says no wolf hunts like these do.
He suspects something worse is behind this…”

Benedict smiled. “Elias Fenn suspects
A conspiracy behind everything.
I suppose the Cardinal has arrived
To supervise the killers in their quest?”

Garrett’s violent reaction caused him
To jerk away. “This is no laughing matter,
Father! A dozen victims fill the morgue
And more may join them soon unless I find
The murderer or murderers… and quickly!”

“Please forgive me, Aiden. I never meant
To make light of the victims or of you.
It’s just that Elias doesn’t inspire
A rational man’s confidence.  As I
Recall, you have questioned his sanity
More than once. What makes you believe him now?”

Garrett bowed his head. “Father, you needn’t
Ask my forgiveness. It’s just… so many
Have died and I have seen wolf bites before.
Fenn is right; no normal wolf kills like this.”

Benedict frowned. “No ‘normal’ wolf? Aiden,
What kind of wolf do you believe did this?”

He closed his eyes and sighed again. “A werewolf.”

Benedict asked softly, “What of the moon?”

“You’re mocking me. You think I’ve gone crazy.”

“No, Aiden. You are as sensible a man
As I have ever known. But the logic
Of your suspicions must be tested, no?
And there is no full moon this time of month.”

“And you know these woods as well as I do,”
Garrett replied. “There are no large animals
Capable of such violence. Besides,
Wolves kill for food but the victim’s bodies
Show no signs of feeding. This is murder,
Pure and simple. There is a mind behind
This madness; all of the victims are known
Criminals, though their guilt cannot be proven.
No women, no children are ever harmed.
A pack of ravenous wolves are not so
Choosy. Am I to believe this is luck?
Oh no, Father. There is a mind behind
This madness, and the murderer’s blades
Are the sharp fangs of a large animal.”

“But Aiden, why must it be a werewolf?”
Benedict asked. “Could it not be a man
Who has trained some giant, exotic beast
To attack and murder on his command?

“So I thought,” Garrett said. “The victims are
Violent men. Perhaps someone sought revenge
For an evil done to him – an evil
Of such depth that it would consume a man,
Drive him to train a dangerous beast, track
Those men down, and avenge himself on them.
But that man, like his beast, must leave footprints
Or broken branches or some such evidence;
There are none. Logic demands that the man
Be nearby, if only to watch as the
Judgment he has decreed is dealt out.
No, Father; the truth defies all logic.
This is a beast, an intelligent beast,
With human motives. Such an unnatural
Beast goes against the laws of God, and if
Our God allows such a one to exist,
Then my faith fails me when I need it most.”

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