Transformed

Tati gave a feral growl as the full moon broke over the horizon. Her mouth and nose stretched to the form of a muzzle and canine fangs erupted from her jaw. As her back elongated she dropped to all fours. The excruciating pain of the transformation shuddered through her and whatever human consciousness remained faded before the all-consuming wolf awareness. She gave a violent tail-to-snout shake, sat back on her haunches and howled at the silver moon.

Policework

“Tatiana Lang is somehow connected to at least four fatal wolf attacks against low-level gang bangers and meth-heads, folks no one is going to miss.”
“Boss, you think she trained these animals? There’s been no sign of them after the attacks, like they just disappeared. And what’s her motive? She doesn’t have any history of drug use, gang activity, or involvement with anyone who has.”
Pope shook his head. “I got no clue. The only thing we have for sure is that she and her sister were attacked by a wolf five years ago. The sister died. Get with the state wildlife office. Find out what it takes to train a wolf.”

Coincidence

“Guess how many fatal wolf attacks there are every year.”
“One or two?”
“Until about three years ago the annual average was close to zero. Since then, there have been four. Tatiana Lang was within two hours of each attack.”
“That’s a stretch, Eddie. I’m sure there were others. What’s she doing? Training wolves to attack meth heads and serial abusers?”

Death of an Angel

Detective Eddie Pope has seen his share of corpses, but he wondered if he’d ever seen quite so much blood. The body lay twisted at an odd angle against the convenience store dumpster. He leaned over the body to get a look at what was left of the face.

“Nuts,” he said to his partner. “This might be been Angel Velazquez. I’m fairly sure, but the body’s torn up pretty bad. He was a meth head, but he gave us the dirt that helped put away those Sinaloa hitters.”

Deputy Detective Sheryl Rosas leaned in to get a look. “You think the cartel got some payback?”

Pope shook his head. He pointed to the bloody paw prints leading down the alley. “I think our confidential informant was eaten by a wolf.”

The Search

Gallard took in the apartment. The reek of urine and frying fish permeated the graffiti-stained hallways of the building, but the girl’s apartment was clean and trim. High quality bio-locks secured the door and windows. No one could come in that she didn’t want in. A neat stack of books lay on the table: molecular biology, genetics, and…European folktales and legends. He opened the last to a bookmarked page, knowing what he’d find–the story of the werewolf.

Detecting

“Ms. Lang, I’m Detective Pope. I have some questions about your sister.” He held up a Denver PD badge.
“My sister? She’s dead. That was five years ago. Anything else?” She moved to shut the door.
The cop’s expression didn’t change. He put a foot in the door to keep it open. “We’d like to know what happened the night she was killed.”
Tati opened the door but didn’t let the cop into her apartment. “Look, Detective, like I said, that was five years ago. In Romania. We were camping and a dog or wolf or something attacked our tent. We tried to fight it off, but it just kept coming. I went through all of this with the local cops.” She closed her eyes and thought for a moment. “There was a Romanian detective. His name was Moranu or Morsanu or something. I probably still have his card somewhere.”
“Detective Inspector Muresanu. We have his report.”
Tati straightened. “If you have his report why are you talking to me? What’s going on? Why do you have a five-year old police report from Romania? Did you track down the wolf?”
“That’s funny, Ms. Lang.” He wasn’t smiling.

Interpol

“When Tatiana Lang was in Romania five years ago she and her sister were attacked at a campground. The sister died. Local police said it was a dog or maybe a wolf. Ms. Lang was torn up pretty bad, but left the hospital a day later. Get with INTERPOL and see who released her. And see if there were other attacks.”

Slacker

“Do you think this life is something I chose? Some moron in Romania didn’t quite rip my throat out. If he had, I’d be dead and the eighty-some other people I’ve killed would be alive. He left me alive because he couldn’t finish the job. And because of him, every full moon I become the beast.”
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Sanctuary

“The police are on your tail, Ms Lang. You need to disappear and I’m offering you sanctuary. Broken Bow Ranch sits on half a million acres of wilderness in the Flathead Range of Montana. The full moon is coming and you can hunt without fear.”
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