A story of heartache and love, a love so drastically snatched away and of maternal sacrifice, of revenge and of an expected war between creatures believed mythical who had been living among the populace slowly building their empress and living off humanity Only the death of one individual brought about retribution on a scale of an angelic war and lives and communities were to change
It was a cold day with five-foot snow drifts on the ground, and only four days before Christmas, our cabin was warm and secure and had a scent of natural pine as we used it dried for making tea. Susan my wife and soul mate was heavily pregnant with our second child, she looked at me and I could sense a craving overtaking her, and as she looked and gave a wicked smile which by the way, she just knew I could never resist. “I can just smell it on the air and its taste is tantalising me,” she said.
Oh, by the way my name is Ford, Ford Joshua Shem, and yes, I knew my wife well and I sensed she had another of those strange hormonal cravings which pregnant women sometimes get.
She looked at me smiling and spoke, “I crave a Moose and porcupine stew.” And even now I can remember that I smiled and had looked at my wife with much love, and knowing that she was also carrying our second child. So, I had replied. “I will take John and we will see what we can find, and would madam like it raw or roasted”? I had jokingly been teasing her, and she had picked up a pillow and threw it at me.
We hugged and kissed and then I took my son John Kirkland with me and we departed with an aim of bringing home at least a moose, as we still had stacks of dried porcupine in storage, but it was cold outside and the air was dry, yet the wind was mild having calmed from a recent storm.
The snow was deep in places, and the wind chill had dropped the temperature even further to at least minus 35, however, the one advantage of my kind, in being a Were-Shifters, as that is how society now looked upon us, was our tolerance too cold weather. In fact, it was for this reason my family originally settled here because of the terrain, along the isolation and the cold.
It was not that shifters of my kind could not cope with warm to hot weather and although it was uncomfortable, it was entirely possible for Were-creatures to exist in such an environment, we just preferred the isolation, and living in such a cold environment kind of came hand in hand, as it usually gave us the seclusion and privacy we needed and desired.
Sue my wife, was born from a family of what in the distant past, many would inaccurately call white witches, and she was also unknown to them, a Non-terrestrial to our world, using her knowledge and skills for humanities good, and never once even considering doing something to another human which could be described as black or evil, and her parental line was one of scientists, who became like Midwifes to early uneducated humanity, and with the use of herbal medications for those who were sick.
Her family had lived in the heart of the community and were constantly called upon by those who were poor and in need of medical help. Her true heritage stemmed from a group of wise settlers, visitors to these lands and who held an ancient knowledge which her family used for the benefit of human kind, and had originated from an ancient civilisation human in appearance, and not as I said, of this world.
Only in those days the Church started arresting so called witches, and her parents were burnt at the stake, and their land was confiscated by the then church, land which had been in her family’s blood line and legal ownership for centuries and was of considerable financial worth.
Sue had been with a friend at the time and that family smuggled her out and placed her into the care of my father, knowing that she would be safe.
Years later we fell in love and realised that we were soul mates, and incredibly as time went by we had a child, and John my son inherited not only my families blood gift, but that also of Sue’s family, and he had somehow also inherited family memories within his blood, and although at the time we never realised it, our son John was born with the inherent memories of many generations of what we still to this day term exterrestrial life forms, but who were really human type visitors from a distant planet, scientists of their kind sent here to guide and assist humanity in our early development.
On that fatal day, which remains etched into my memory, Sue had been in the yard collecting fire logs for the wood burner, and as you know she was heavily pregnant. She had seen a group of people, seemingly trappers supporting an apparently injured colleague, and her immediate reaction was to offer help. Only it was a ruse, and the trappers had come across the homestead and sought to rob and pillage and take what they wanted.
Incredibly these intruders had been in for a shock, as the later evidence had shown, that even frail and heavily pregnant, Sue my wife, had fought and badly injured most of the intruders, as when John and I had arrived back at the homestead we found twelve bodies, and all had died with an expression of utter fear on their faces, and on their skin, was a yellow slime mould which was not natural to my world.
My wife had left us a message which was tailored to our shifter genetic DNA encoding, and John my son and I fell to our knees crying and swearing vengeance.
We had shot a moose, skinned and cut the meat into manageable sections, and were carrying what we could in huge back packs, but wearing snow shoes and carrying also our weapons had made the going slow.
Incredibly it was my son John who had known there was a problem. He just stopped walking and I saw his expression change, and as he looked at me; I then knew something was wrong. “Dad something is wrong, it’s mum she is in trouble and calling for help.”
That was the first I knew something had happened, John my son had picked up on her panicked cries for help. As we dropped our load of raw meat and weapons, we shifted in full, and sheading our clothing and made haste towards our homestead.
Some five miles away the smell of my wife’s blood reached my nostrils and I ran faster than ever before, only now as I approached our home, I could smell death all around me and there were human bodies scattered almost everywhere, and on their skin, was a luminescing slime type mould.
John stopped before his mother’s body and then looked at me, and as he transformed back into human form he spoke. “Mother fought, she fought and cursed these individuals, only there were to many of them. This mould is created and will have infected all who were here, so any survivors will not realise it, but they will light up like a beacon to our eyes, and we can enact revenge and start searching for and killing them.”
As I shifted back into human form, John paused, breathed in deeply and wiped his eyes, as he used his gifts to view into his mother’s body. “My sister, she is still alive, but you will need to extract her, mother chose to enwrap her in an energy barrier, keeping her safe.”
He looked at me and shuddered at the emotional shock. I searched the home and found one of my hunting knife’s and looked at John my son, “This will not be pleasant, but it needs to be done, and your mother understands we need to desecrate her body to bring life to another.”
Later after removing my daughter, I wrapped her in a blanket and then we dressed and buried my wife, and as the bodies of the intruders had almost decomposed by the strange mould, we left them where they were, and by morning there were no signs of their ever having existed.
I sent John to retrieve our weapons, and then I took John and Maggie my new daughter and we travel to my sisters homestead some fifty miles away. Fortunately, when I arrived Ruth my sister was with Moses Kirtland my brother, a Calldonian mounted police officer. We talked and it was then that I learnt several homesteads had been pillaged and many deaths had been reported. Moses my brother made a report and agreed it would be wise for Ruth to take charge of my son John and his sister Maggie freeing me to track the murders.
He also agreed to inform the rest of the family and tell them what happened and that I was dealing with it, yet if help was needed, then I was assured that it would unreservedly be offered.
My brother legally deputised me, and I said my goodbyes and returned to my land. Where I hunted while building my reserves of strength, and took one last look at my home, knowing I would not return intentionally unless the trail brought me back here. I intended to search out those responsible and to make them pay for their brutal act of murder.
Six weeks later I stepped foot off a train and made my way to a diner and purchased breakfast. Moses my brother had used his position to swear me in as a Deputy Marshal and consultant advisor to our county.
The murders had been reported and Moses was known by the various National Intelligence Agencies, our family held positions in the National Security, also within the courts and media, and two sisters were aids to important judge senators of our nation.
So, as a family we held power and influence, and I reported in to the local police showing my identification under the pretence of following a line of investigations with regards a series of murders rape and pillage.
It was here I met Rebecca Langston and introduced myself. Rebecca was the Marshal in charge of this small town and incredibly she was hostile at first, extremely hostile, and accusing me of thinking she could not do her job and that I had no right to give inference she was harbouring criminals in her town.
It was only after several heated phone calls that Rebecca slammed the phone down on her desk, her eyes were flaring in rage and she looked upon me with hatred. “It would appear you have some very impressive friends, and I have been ordered.” She paused, as the words ‘ordered’, hurt her deeply. “I have been ordered to aid you in your investigations.”
I smiled and lifted my hands, “What can I say…, I came here making no inference to your ability as an officer of the law, nor am I intending to state such. I am here simply to ask for your help in tracking down a group of individuals who brutally killed women and children, destroying families, including raping and murdering my wife while she was eight months pregnant.”
Those last words hit her like a brick, and it had brought about a reaction.
I had not known but in Rebecca’s teenage years she had herself been raped and lost a child. Her attitude changed and a look of sympathy flowed across her face. “I apologise Mr…, it has been a bad week.” I smiled. “Tell me about it…, would you be interested in a coffee and something to eat?” I asked her.
Rebecca laughed, “That sounds like heaven… but no sorry… it is just impossible, simply as much as I would like to say yes, I am so short of staff, and I have lost to deputies who were murdered in cold blood and the locals here have no spine, and are too scared to work for me,” she paused and breathed in deeply calmed herself and exhaled. “You see we have a collection of families who kind of rule this land and they are a law unto themselves.”
I could see the strain in her eyes, yet she was a good person, but over worked and persecuted by powers which were beyond her control.
“I might be able to help you there,” I replied, and she looked at me confused, so I elaborated. “My kin have siblings needing work, I can act as your deputy, as I have the credentials and my family has certain gifts which would benefit you, and I can make a phone call and have people here by morning.”
Rebecca blinked and sat down. “I can offer you a coffee and the diner will deliver a takeaway, would that do?” she said, and I smiled. “Perfectly when can I start?” “You’re here so why not immediately,” and at that she swore me in as a deputy. I later used her phone and spoke to Moses my brother and explained where the blood trail had led me.
He knew of one of the families and agreed his son Donald and his daughter Shelly could be there by morning, also he contacted Ruth and her nineteen-year-old son, he had a family of his own, however, he had not yet secured a homestead of his own and the offer of a guaranteed deputyship and family backing and finance to acquire land and a home was tempting, so he accepted after consulting with his wife, and after four days they also arrived to take up a new position of employment.
Rebecca Langston the Marshal had some influence in the town, and with my family’s financial backing we had secured land and had temporary mobile units erected ready for immediate habitation, that was until we could build our own homes.
I acquired just over five hundred acres from buying out an old cattle farm. There were also distant relatives living nearby, well, within fifteen to forty miles, and agreeably not in force, and only small units who had acquired land in desolate locations and owning parcels of land which when combined, formed a sizable area.
Yet on the face of it these families were not related, and separately they appeared no threat and had managed to lay quietly ignored and allowed to get on with their lives.
We also had a habit of acquiring land next to mountain ranges and whose soil was built upon bedrock, land to others which was of little value, and I must admit had I the time and a choice, then I would have followed suit, and acquired similar land, but for that time, I needed something immediately and this was all there was available to meet the immediate need.
Quietly we established ourselves into the community and kept a low profile, and slowly built intelligence about the collective families. Incredibly we were to learn that these families owned millions of acres of land across Canada, and whose power and influence dug deeply into congress and communities from across the nation.
On the face, they were respectable and employed thousands, but under the surface they were evil and corrupt, and acquiring land in dubious ways.
It was then I realised that teams of off the books employees were sourcing out land and eliminating homesteads, and for their employers to later, months later, and acquire the land with reduced resistance from the surviving relatives who were weakened, downhearted or struggling to exist.
However, eventually we settled and had become accepted into the community, we had also used the passing months to acquire further land of our choice, mountainous regions and areas which offered us privacy and security.
Mining was the main income from the various families, and careful research had revealed they were all inter married and under the directorship of one Elaine Roberts, a wealthy heiress whose husband had mysteriously died leaving his wife to inherit his families fortune, some nicknamed her the Black Widow as her latest deceased husband was number eleven.
That was seven years ago, and now her family had grown, and she had remarried and extended her influence, and was recorded as the seventh wealthiest woman in the world, with one family who specialised in technology, another in construction, and two in strip mining, one in mining gold and silver and another in Diamonds in Africa.
Incredibly Elaine Roberts had survived numerous assassination attempts and their power had simply grown. This gave me reason to make a phone call to Great Grandfather Lewis.
“Gramps are you well?” and he knew immediately by that question that I was in trouble as it was common knowledge among our family that we were always well. Kind of son, the old joints do not work that well these days, I received your letter requesting I visited one last time before I die, that sounds wonderful, how about within the next three days?” he replied.
I breathed a sigh of relief, Gramps was on the same wavelength and my brother Moses had kept the family informed, we also were aware that technology was been used to monitor all communications coming in and out of the town since the new deputies had arrived.
Information was power and if manipulated it could be used to acquire knowledge on others, and I was acutely aware of this and with Rebecca’s blessings we laid a covering of false information, and hiding our true intentions and building our own powerbase.
Great Grampa Kirland Shem arrived by train and was picked up by one of the deputies, as for Gramps, he looked like any old timer who was in his eighties, only Grampa Shem was over nine hundred years old, and his grandfather was still alive, and living quietly in his old age, it was a genetic gift and something only gifted to that of our blood line.
Our family had acquired wealth from our lands and years upon years of wise investments had enabled us to have our own powerbase, and with a good few Judge Senators in our pockets, and unknown to Elaine Roberts a wealth of companies also to our names, as such we were a force to be reckoned with.
In the privacy of one of our newly acquired and built mountain homes, Gramps sat drinking a quality home brew, Moonshine which our family was famous for brewing and I sat talking with Gramps expressing my concerns.
My home was shielded from technological intrusion and we knew we were safe for the time being, and as such we had two relatives patrolling the boundaries. Gramps had not come alone, as three of his sons had ventured into the town as drifters looking for work, and we knew unless it was something air bound like a missile attack, then we were relatively safe.
Gramps handed me a folder, I took it and viewed the contents, placing the folder down I looked at grandpa Shem. “Are you certain…, she is a vampire…, well that would explain her powerbase?”
“Not just her” replied Gramps. “their family is powerful and has grown taking roots in various locations and building their powerbase on fear and intimidation.”
I looked and acknowledged his comments, “I am certain that Elaine Roberts is behind the attack on our family and although her employees had not realised at the time, they had attacked a powerful Were-family and they had unknowingly declared war, and I in turn, had sought revenge in accepting their invitation.