by Elizabeth Einspanier
Wolf Cowrie is back in his second adventure! In the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory in 1865, tensions run high between white settlers looking for gold and the Sioux people who consider this region their holy ground. When Wolf is hired to find out what happened to the workers of a mining outpost in the area, the general theory in Goldwater is that they were slaughtered by the Sioux. Wolf discovers something far more sinister lurking in the Black Hills, an ancient evil whose unending hunger drives sane men to ghoulish extremes.
An emaciated figure lay curled in the corner of a cell to Wolf’s left, facing away from them. It was all skin and bones, and deathly pale, half-naked but for the rags of what might have been trousers at one time. Its bone-thin arms were bound behind it so tightly that its elbows almost touched, and a leather strap bit into the back of its scalp.
“That him?” Wolf whispered. The thing stirred sluggishly.
Stark nodded, running a nervous tongue across his lips.
“That…” Ferris croaked. “That looks a lot like Peters did when he…” He trailed off.
Wolf nodded slowly. “Watch yarself,” he whispered. “We don’t know what it can do yet.”
He edged forward, one cautious step at a time, his nerves wound tighter than fiddlestrings while his instincts screamed at him to run run run get away from that thing—but he had to know. He was a step away from the cell door when the thing within exploded into savage life, catapulting onto its feet and leaping at Wolf, slamming face-first into the bars with its teeth gnashing around the wooden dowel that had been bound between them. Wolf leapt back from the thing with an exclamation, his back hitting the opposite wall. He stayed there for a few seconds, his heart in his throat and his lips peeled back from his teeth. His fangs and nails had lengthened in sheer instinct, getting ready to defend himself, and he forced them to retreat as he studied the thing that still strained to bite him.
Elizabeth Einspanier is the self-published author of the Weird Western novella Sheep’s Clothing and the upcoming sci-fi romance novel Heart of Steel. Her short stories have been published in Down in the Dirt and Dark Fire Fiction. She is a member of the St. Louis Writer’s Guild and an associate member of the Horror Writers of America. She lives in St. Louis, but frequently spends extended periods in worlds of her own creation.
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/elizabetheinspanier
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