By Lies D.
Couple mauled by animals, found dead
Paul Commisso, Staff Writer
Police are investigating the deaths of a local man (35) and woman (34) found dead in their home Saturday morning.
Neighbors had noticed that the front door of the Dalton Rd home had been left open. Upon investigation, they discovered the mangled bodies of the couple inside and called police.
Initial observation indicated that the couple might have been attacked by one or several large animals. Says Laura Bowman, one of the neighbors who discovered the pair, "There was blood everywhere. The bodies were torn apart. . .we didn't recognize who they were."
The county medical examiner made a statement indicating that the couple died Thursday night, and that the tooth marks and missing tissue from the bodies were consistent with an animal attack. He could not say what kind of animal. Expert Raymond Bruck says both the tooth marks and tracks found on the scene were "wolf-like, but bigger than any known wolf species."
Police are not ruling out human involvement, as footprints belonging to neither victim were also found on the scene.
Local park authorities are coordinating with the police in this ongoing investigation.
It was the last night of the full moon. The van was miles away, parked on the shoulder of a gravel road. Oz had walked across a field to be here, away from everyone and everything. He had some meditating to do, and he wanted to be alone. Surprisingly, he found that he wasn't. Two young men had arrived a few minutes ago and lingered now across a patch of field, near their car.
They were hunters. Oz had encountered a few here and there. The hunter smell reminded him of Buffy, in a way that he could never quite explain. They smelled of. . .power, and purpose, only never usually so strongly.
They never usually played their car radio so loudly, either. It was good to know that they weren't hunting at this particular moment, and that they weren't hunting him in particular. In their defense, he supposed, they probably never could have suspected him of being there.
There he was nonetheless, leaning against a tree in the moonlight. He tapped his index finger against an imaginary string to the tune of 'Another One Bites the Dust.' He watched, and waited.
"Another one bites the dust!" Dean drummed his hands against the trunk after slamming it shut. "Or hopefully, more than one with this batch." After wiping his hands against his jeans, he suddenly realized how much dirt he'd smeared on the impala. Quickly, he wiped it off with the bottom of his shirt.
Sam rose from his crouch by the side of the road, near the patch of Aconite they'd just collected. He looked out at the hilly field in front of them.
"I still say there's something weird going on. This strain of Aconite doesn't just grow this abundantly. I mean, look at the orderly way it's been growing. . .it looks like it's been planted."
"So?" asked Dean.
"So. . .," replied Sam, with a good answer to question, before the hairs on both of their necks started to stand up on end.
The wind had shifted. They could feel it on their bare forearms. There was something new in the air, a kind of animal musk. Their keen hunter instincts told them something was wrong, although they didn't know exactly what.
They looked up, they looked around. Dean took out the gun from his belt.
There. Across a dip in the field, on the brow of a short hill. Someone was standing beside a lone tree, watching. It looked human enough, but instincts told them both that it must be otherwise. There was just something about the way he stood, the way he. . .was. The sharpness in his eyes. Just looking at him, they knew.
A series of gruesome murders in a town nearby had led them to believe there might be werewolves involved. It seemed they were right.
Dean's breath quickened. His mind made an automatic calculation of the distance between them. It was far enough that he could empty his gun at the creature if it charged, but if he missed, it would be just close enough to maul them before they could both get into the Impala at make tracks.
Dean stepped forward and threw his keys towards Sam. If one of them had to stay and fight the thing, it would be him. He just hoped Sam had the balls to shoot him if he was bitten.
But the wolf. . .the creature, the man-shaped thing, whatever it was. . .just stood there. Stock still. The breeze barely ruffled his blonde hair as he stared at them.
Sam and Dean realized at the same time where they were. Nighttime. Full moon. In the middle of a field of very strong Wolfsbane. It should have been impossible for that thing standing there to be a werewolf.
Should've been. The adrenaline which ran through their veins begged to differ.
It looked 'human' enough, or at least it wasn't a wolf for the moment, and it wasn't charging them. Dean had no idea what to think. They stood listening to Queenuntil Sam cleared his throat.
"Hey," said Sam, lamely.
The. . .person stared at them.
"Hey," he finally replied. His features from this distance were pretty unreadable, although Dean got the impression they wouldn't be much more readable from up close.
"Are you a werewolf?" Dean asked clumsily, just to settle this whole business.
He smiled, just a little. It was hard to tell, as it didn't look like any of his features had changed much. He just looked more amused, for a second or two.
"Yes. I am."
He tilted his head up slightly. They could see the moon glint off of his eyes. Bright, animal eyes. It was true.
Dean drew in a quick breath, trying not to panic. It was hard with so much fight-or-flight in your veins, being unable to either fight or flee.
"If you're a werewolf, how can you stand all of this Wolfsbane?" asked Sam.
The wolf shrugged. "I'm used to it. It helps to be around Wolfsbane when you're trying not to transform."
"Oh. And that would be why you're not transformed. . .with the full moon out and all," commented Dean.
"That among other things. It's a little complicated, actually," replied the blonde wolf. "Are those silver bullets in that gun?"
Dean looked at the gun. He'd raised it to point at the wolf without even realizing it. He shook his head, trying to get his brain working. "Uh, yeah," he said.
"Okay. Could you. . .not shoot me please? I couldn't dodge the bullets without transforming, and I don't really want to do that."
"Well, if you don't transform, then I won't shoot, so I guess we've got ourselves a deal," said Dean flippantly.
That almost-smile played across the werewolf's features again.
"So I guess we'll just get in our car and be on our way, and you'll just. . .stay here and not transform?" suggested Sam.
"Sure. Good music, by the way."
"Glad you like it," said Dean, already backing up around towards the driver's side. Despite his word, his hand still clutched the gun so hard that he was surprised, later, when he noticed, that he hadn't accidentally fired and blown a toe off.
They jumped in and drove, their back tires digging tracks in the dirt as they sped off.
Oz was left by himself, still amused, but barely showing it.
The hotel they took was a fleabag, as usual, but at least there weren't bedbugs. The surly guy at the front desk took their credit card no questions asked. It was nice to know that, even if they never paid a cent on the damn things, it was the card company that would be out the money, not the people they did business with.
Dean lay awake most of the night, and it had nothing to do with the mattress springs pressing into his back. He couldn't stop thinking about the young man they saw. The werewolf, or rather, the not-wolf.
He and Sam had encountered werewolves before, while hunting with their father. They were nasty creatures - utterly fierce and violent, and he was sure that their fear of them wasn't simply amplified because of the fact that they'd been kids at the time. Dean himself had witnessed one of the werewolves tear a man's throat out. And eat it.
The one they saw on the hill, he was different. Dean truly believed that he was a werewolf, but unlike any werewolf they'd ever encountered.
Most werewolves traveled in packs, for instance. This one was alone. Calm in his solitude, even. Calm, period. That fact alone was a total shocker. Werewolves were universally aggressive, especially when threatened. Dean had pointed a silver-loaded gun at him, and the guy had just. . .politely asked him not to use it. He even liked their music. Dean couldn't get over it.
Drifting in and out of sleep, Dean dreamed of moonlight, and sharp glowing eyes, and a smile that didn't show itself, that he was sure was there nonetheless.
The next afternoon, when they got around to the local watering hole, Dean was shocked to see their 'friend' at the bar, wiping glasses and serving beer to the early drinkers.
Sam and Dean were both too alarmed to react. Usually they grabbed a couple of coffees and went to chat up the locals. There they stood in the doorway, practically gaping, until the blonde young man looked up and met their eyes. He nodded at them, but otherwise didn't seem inclined to talk.
Sam got over the shock first. Seeing him go over to the bar and sit down, Dean followed. For Dean it was more than surprise that had frozen him. It wasn't fear, either, at this point. It was just. . .a strange tight feeling in the pit of his belly. It got easier as he got closer, although he couldn't stop himself from staring at their new acquaintance.
There was something about him that caught the eye. The way he moved, just the way he looked. Even his clothes were understatedly remarkable, for a town like this. They looked handmade, sewn from some kind of rough cotton, but close enough in cut and style that they could pass for local gear.
Sam cleared his throat. "Um. . .," he said, looking over at the chalkboard menu on the wall. "I'll take the special number two, poached."
"Yeah. . .I'll have the same," said Dean, embarrassed by the inability of either of them to come up with anything better.
The blonde said nothing even as they gave their order, only giving a brief nod before leaving to take said order to the back.
Sam raised an eyebrow at Dean. "You hate poached eggs, Dean."
Realizing this was true, Dean mentally kicked himself. Outwardly he practiced his most nonchalant shrug. "Feel like having something different."
Both of Sam's eyebrows crept upwards. "Okay, then."
There seemed to be some hidden meaning in Sam's words, which Dean didn't quite get. His attention was jerked away when the blonde young man arrived with their coffee. After pouring, he wiped a few spilled drops from the bar. Didn't say a word.
"Don't talk much, do you?" remarked Dean.
"So I've heard people say," replied the young man.
Dean suddenly wished this weren't the case. He liked his voice. Wanted to hear more of it, in fact. He had an impulse to make the young man talk as much as possible.
"I'm Dean, this is my brother Sam," he said, reaching over to offer a handshake. "What's your name?"
The young man looked at them both. His expression wasn't quite unreadable, but Dean imagined that he saw something resembling a smirk.
"Oz," he replied, shaking Dean's hand.
Sam smiled at him and shook his hand as well. "Nice to meet you, Oz."
End of Chapter 1