A stand alone short story, featuring the cast of Uncommon Animals.
His frown grew. “I thought you said Bob didn’t kill her.”
“He…” Chelsea sighed. “It’s not his fault that the nix fucked with his head, but he might be wrong, and I can’t leave until I know.”
As Chelsea parked her car in front of the weathered dock, a sense of deja vu washed over her. This was how the whole mess started. Heading out to fight a river monster without Bentley.
Her emotions didn’t settle so much as subside. She could feel the anxiety attack building, but she could hold it off for now. She hoped.
She pulled out the map Andy had printed for her. It listed potential attacks and areas the nix was mostly likely hiding.
There was an obvious bend to the river where she could sit and wait. “But how do I get out there, Bent?”
The big mutt whined from his bed as his tail thumped.
He paused and put hands to his face in mock shock, accentuating his fabulous eyeliner. “Is this the nun?”
Irritation burned her face. “I was not a nun. I attended a religious art conservatory.”
“Wait?” A huge smile bloomed on Andy’s face. “There were actual nuns? I just thought my boy was having delusions of Julie d’Aubigny.”
“I’m looking into Bob.”
Chelsea licked at dry lips. “Because it doesn’t make sense. Kipsies aren’t real, but he thought one was coming. He really believed it. There’s something weird here.”
“Well, there’s no credible sightings of a Kipsey in the local waters. It’s all obvious animals and hoaxes. And Bob has no known history of violence, not even in passing. Like I couldn’t find any unexplained injuries or attacks near his home/business, no missing pets or people either. And he’s lived here all his life, so it would be pretty easy to find this stuff.”
“Good start. Have you talked to any of his friends?”
“No, mostly because it hadn’t occurred to me to do so. This i
He took a deep breath. “Don’t take this personally, but you’re taking this personally.”
“Jack…” A shiver ran down her back. “I–”
“I’m worried about you, okay? You almost got killed, and you seem worried more about why the guy did it.”
She settled on the bed next to Bentley. “Something about this feels weird. And I want to know what. There might still be a monster here.”
The faintest hint of purple stained the night sky as Chelsea tied the boat to the dock.
Her prisoner stared up at her from the floor. “Are you just going to leave me here?”
She spotted at old T-shirt wedged into a seat. Her hop back into the boat set it to rocking gently. She ripped the shirt and mushed the smaller piece into Bob’s mouth before tying it in place. “You stay here.”
It’s been an insane few weeks since my husband randomly applied to a job because it sounded too good to be true. But now, we’re here in Oregon, waiting for our stuff to show up. It was fun, but what next? See, the road trip, while a symbol of a new life and much needed […]