This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The full moon reflected off the glasslike surface of the lake’s still waters. The clear night sky was dotted with countless white specs, light from stars far, far away. Out here, the stargazing was the best. You can see forever. A slight breeze kissed her soft skin giving her goosebumps. The young very attractive woman strode gracefully along the quiet shoreline. Her tight white t-shirt hugged her body and exposed her flat, pierced midriff. Around her slender waste was wrapped a rainbow beach towel. Her firm, slender frame was carried along by long toned legs. With each step her bare feet plunged into the soft sand of the lake shore. She gleefully squeezed the warm sand between her toes, as she made her way down the beach.
Here and there along the shoreline, the young woman would venture a bit closer to the water’s edge, each time dipping a toe or two into the warm, calm waters. This ritual repeated itself several times before the woman; hands on her hips and with a mischievous smile had decided she found the right spot. With long, nimble fingers she opened the towel and tossed it nonchalantly to the sand. She adjusted her baby blue G-string as she once again dipped a toe into the waters of the lake. She looked over her right shoulder, then her left, and then she pulled her tight half-shirt off and tossed to the sand next to the towel. Her bare, ample breast bounced and swayed as if relieved to be free from their constricted confinement. A small wooden figurine hung snug between her breast from a leather string that was tied around her long neck. Slowly, she pulled her G-string down and stepped out of it and dropped it next to her other garments.
The killer’s breath and heartbeat quickened. Not with any kind of carnal desire, but from the anticipation of a predator stalking its prey. From his unseen vantage point in the shadows of the trees that lined the lake’s shore he watched her. The pupils of his dark, almost black eyes dilated. There was something familiar about this one, but then again, there was something familiar about all the sheep. The killer watched as the attractive naked woman waded into the shallows of the water and then dove beneath its rippling surface.
For several minutes, the woman swam back and forth in graceful circles. She moved through the calm waters with the ease of a creature that belonged there. She would dive deep into the black waters and curl around to pop out of the surface with a glee and freedom few ever experience. She began to float on her back, a trick her father had taught her when she was a child. If she could find the right center of balance, she found she was able to float like this for dozens of minutes. Much longer than anyone else she knew.
For a long while she floated there a few dozen yards off the shore and stared up at the stars in the night sky, her round breast buoyed in the water. The moon was as full as she had ever seen. The forest surrounding the lake was still. Only the typical sounds of chirping crickets and night fauna echoed here and there throughout the darkness. Then there was another sound, an unnatural sound.
She started and sank beneath the surface of the water for a moment as she gathered herself. Treading water, the woman gazed along the shoreline and the dark shadows of the tree line beyond. Tilting her head to the right and left trying to pinpoint the sound. Her mouth went suddenly dry and a chill ran up her spine when she realized that all the other sounds of the forest had ceased. The night was deathly silent, unnaturally calm. It was unnerving.
Then the sound came again.
It was faint, and to pinpoint from where it came was impossible. It would seemingly be coming from the right, then the left, then echoing from a great distance, then suddenly right off the shore itself. Her eyes darted from right to left, desperately trying to catch a glimpse of who or what could possibly be making that god-awful sound. She had heard that sound once before. If she had to describe it, it sounded like a lamb, or goat mixed with the crying of an infant. It was unsettling.
Even more unsettling was when the sound stopped. The night was quiet, still. The only motion at all was her treading water. Then a breeze picked up. For a moment she could have sworn she saw movement in the shadows of the trees along the shore, or was it just her imagination fueled by her heighten state of perception and the suddenly eerie setting of her surroundings. She began to swim for shore.
The rapid dart took longer than she had anticipated. She must have floated out further than she realized. When she finally reached the shore she crossed her hands over her breasts as the breeze was far colder than it had been before. She was relieved to feel that her little wooden totem was still there. She looked for her towel, but it was not there. She assumed she must have come ashore further down the beach than where she entered the water. Holding her breasts protectively, she trotted up the shoreline, looking for her garments. She arrived at the spot where she was sure she had left them but they were not there. She looked down the beach in both directions, the clear night sky and bright full moon illuminated the beach and she could tell her belongings were nowhere to be seen. Could they have been carried into the water by the current? That thought quickly left her as she stared at the calm, still waters of the lake. A sudden feeling of dread washed over her.
Once again a cool breeze enveloped her. As the wind rippled through the trees, she thought, again, she heard movement through the brush. Spinning to investigate the tree line, she was startled to see her baby blue G-String, swaying in the breeze as it hug suspended from a low-hanging branch. This was very unnerving, and she could almost feel eyes upon her.
“Whoever you are, this isn’t funny!” She called out to the darkness.
With all the modesty she could muster while standing totally exposed and naked, she strode over and retrieved her bottoms. As she pulled them on, her blood ran cold as suddenly the awful sound once again began resounding from the dark. Again the sound was impossible to pinpoint for it would echo in the distance to the right, then suddenly closer to the left, and even almost seemingly right next to her. It was a terrible noise that would haunt her dreams.
As she looked here and there something caught her eye. In the distance, surrounded by shadows and darkness, she could make out the faint almost glow of her white T-shirt hanging off another low branch. Swallowing hard, she ventured into the dark woods to retrieve it. With each step, she winced as her bare feet navigated the rough, poking and cutting floor of the forest. The closer she got to her shirt, the darker her surroundings became. The leaves and branches high above blocked out the light of the moon and stars. When she was mere feet from her prize, her mouth went dry and her heart began to pound as that awful sound resonated once again, but this time it was lower, almost guttural, and it was literally right on top of her. Without seeing it, she could feel the presence of another standing directly behind her. She could hear his heavy breathing and feel his hot breath on her bare back. For a moment, she could not even breathe.
On pure instinct, she fell to the side narrowly ducking out of the way of the large hunting knife as it slashed down, splitting her white T-shirt in half. Rolling onto her back, the rough ground cutting and scratching her tender bare skin in several spots, she looked up to see her attacker. He was an extremely large man, a giant man, bare-chested, and wearing worn, dirty grey pants held up by fraying suspenders. He stood over her like a mountain, his broad chest heaving. He looked down at her through the hallow sockets of an animal skull, a skull adorned with a shaggy mane of matted hair that he wore as a mask over his face.
She screamed in terror. He reached for her. In a crazed-frenzy, she fought back with all her terror-fueled might. Somehow she avoided his attempts to grab her and just barely rolled out of the way of his knife which plunged hilt-deep into the exposed root of a tree. She scrambled to her feet and ran screaming into the forest. As she ran through the forest, jutting branches and rough brush tearing at her delicate skin, she could hear her attacker pursuing. She dared not look back for fear of dying of fright, but she could hear his heavy plodding and boots snapping the brush under his feet. She could feel the near misses as his giant frying pan-sized hands reached out for her. She could feel his heavy, hot breath on her neck. She ran as fast as she could.
She came sprinting and screaming into a small clearing deep in the woods. Her bare feet bleeding, her naked body bruised and bleeding from dozens of cuts and scratches gained from her mad dash through the woods. Inexplicably, she trips on her own accord and stumbles to the ground, the sheer force of her terror seemingly making it impossible for her to go on. The killer entered the clearing behind her.
“No…No!” She pleaded as she rolled over onto her back and back crawled desperately away from her attacker. “No, God, please!”
The killer slowly, methodically stalked toward her. As he did, he unsheathed a second large hunting knife from one of three sheaths strapped to his leg. His prey pleading, her back now braced against the trunk of the tree, had nowhere left to run. Saliva dripped from his cracked lips. Only another two steps and she was his. He raised the large knife high above his head, ready for the kill.
Suddenly, a light, brighter than the sun, engulfed the clearing. Several industrial-sized spotlights blazed to life and washed the killer in a light so blinding that he became disorientated. His balance was compromised. He brought his giant hand up to cover the sockets of his mask in an attempt to shield his eyes from the light but his vision was already full of spots, and he was dizzy. Blindly, he lashed out with the knife, swinging it in wide arcs trying to slash and kill an assailant he had yet to lay eyes on. For the very first time in his life, the killer was vulnerable. That’s when the first round of Tasers hit him.
Two small darts pierced his chest sending 50,000 volts of electricity surging through his body. Staggered by the attack, the killer instinctively tore the electrodes from his chest only to be hit by four more darts. The electrifying surge caused his muscles to involuntarily seize, causing him to drop his weapon. The vulnerable moment passed. He once again blindly tore the electrodes from his chest. And, once again, he was hit with another round of Tasers. This time it was six darts sending excruciating amounts of current through his body. The killer slumped to one knee. It took him a moment to recover as he, one-by-one, plucked the electrodes from his skin. He spit a tooth out that he had cracked off during his last seizure, along with some blood.
The brilliance of the spotlights still blanketed the clearing. Standing on unsure legs, his vision was still blurry. The killer could barely make out shadowy figures surrounding him on the perimeter of the clearing. He reached for his third knife, but as he unsheathed it, a large tranquilizer dart thudded hard into his chest. The impact set him back a step. With an animal grunt, the killer swatted the dart away breaking the needle off in his chest. Then the thud of another tranquilizer dart hit him in the chest, then another…and another...and, another one after that.
With a thunderous sound, the killer collapsed hard onto the unforgiving ground.
On the verge of consciousness, the killer looked up through the hallow sockets of his animal skull-mask. He could not make out the details of the blurred figures standing over him. He recognized the first voice he heard as the voice of his elusive prey from earlier.
“Do we kill him now?” She asked.
“No,” another female voice, a voice also vaguely familiar to the killer, answered. “No, we finally got him and he’s going to get what’s coming to him. You hear that?” She asked, following her question up with a swift kick to the killer’s ribs. “Your day of reckoning is at hand, you son of a bitch.”
The killer’s world began to spin out of control. He could barely make out the motion of his assailant raising some kind of weapon above her head. She brought the blunt instrument down on his head with all of her might, and the killer’s world went black.
Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...
Barbara Zavela: Do you know the song, 'Imagine' by John Lennon?If you had a chance for a world like the one described in that song, would you grab it with both hands or turn away and reject it.This story pulls you in from the beginning with well-written scenarios. The author offers you the opportunity to bring y...
matrixmark: I thought that the introduction to this was relly well written and structurally sound in its presentation.The introduction to the cabin in the woods was good too. To me, it felt like a Blair Witch of yesteryear, but the things which you added in about the mutilated boys were certainly something n...
nikole carr: After starting and stopping several books tonight, this book caught my attention from the very beginning and i stayed up until 6 a.m. to finish reading. The plot has many twists and the sexual scenes keep it interesting, too. im a florida native so the Caribbean location is fun to read about. th...
BFIrving: A first rate story and well crafted, the blend of horror and action worked very well indeed and had me turning page after page. When not actually reading it, I found myself thinking about it which is always a good sign.There are quite a few grammatical and spell-checker errors but nothing anothe...