This week’s Wicked Wednesday brings you another installment of my urban fantasy involving a twist to the werewolf mythology, battles with vampires and a struggle for control in a werewolf pack. I hope you like this next free chapter that I’m offering you.
In the prior chapter, Catalina’s father goes to visit her before she goes out to hunt vampires. Because of her unusual state, Catalina is stronger than the other wolves in her pack in human form, but cannot control herself when she shapeshifts into the wolf. Because of that, she hunts throughout the month, except for the days in around the full moon when she loses control. In this chapter, Catalina is out on the hunt.
For those of you who may have missed the first chapters, you can read them here:
She barely got her sword up to block the downward swing of the nail-studded bat. Reaching behind her, dazed from an earlier shot to her head by the vamp she had just dusted, she couldn’t quite get her hand on the grip of the crossbow.
The vampire raised the bat again, but she knew better than to continue kneeling there. Her awkward position made it difficult to effectively ward off another swing. Feinting to the left, she drew the vampire’s attention and he shifted the direction of his attack.
The bat impacted against the concrete of the street as she rapidly rolled to the right and came to her feet. Dropping her sword, she reached up behind her shoulder and this time, got a solid grip on the crossbow. Whipping it over her head, she fired as the vampire came at her.
He froze in place a few feet away, a stunned look on his face before he glanced down at the arrow protruding from his heart. The bat slipped from his hand and he scrabbled for a solid grip on the shaft of the arrow with his long, nearly skeletal fingers.
For good measure, Catalina notched another and fired again. Her aim true as the first. With a satisfying thud, the second arrow buried itself deep in the vamp’s heart. He finally crumpled to his knees, and then fell face forward toward her.
Catalina took a deep breath, tossed the crossbow back over her shoulder and picked up her sword. Glancing around, just to make sure there wasn’t another vampire beyond the two that had already attacked her, she approached the body. Turning him over, she realized he still wasn’t dead. He must be one of the old ones to be able to withstand two direct hits to the heart and the arrows driven deeper into his body by his fall.
He snarled at her, long fangs crimson with the blood of an earlier kill, and feebly reached for the arrows once more.
She didn’t hesitate a second longer. Raising her sword, she finished him off, severing his head from his shoulders. The surprising thing was, his hands continued to pluck at the arrows for long moments after. He definitely had been one of the old ones, which made her wonder why an elder was out hunting. Vampire elders usually forced the younger ones to bring them food, so one being out tonight hunting was unusual. As was having one attack her outright.
She walked over to the vampire she had killed earlier in the fight. What was left of him sat up against the edge of the building. Or at least part of him did. The lower half of him sprawled flat on the ground, legs splayed at an awkward angle.
Kneeling beside the upper half of his torso, she glanced into his sightless eyes and held her hand up over the middle of his chest. Nothing left of his power. He had clearly been a young vamp. Maybe even younger than the one who had attacked her a few nights ago. So beyond newly turned.
But even with that lack of age, he had managed to get in a good shot, she thought, rubbing at the knot on the back of her head where he had connected with the quarterstaff he had carried. As she bowed there, a prickling sensation sprang up between her shoulder blades.
Another one of the undead. Nearby.