Status: Active

Judas Is the Demon I Cling To

Hunting Alone

I sat in the middle of my motel’s single four-poster bed. Newspaper clippings from the past four weeks lay spread out in front of me, along with well marked maps of the town and its surrounding areas. Placing a hand on each knee, I leaned forward, staring intently at the headlines, the obituaries, the maps, looking once more for some key; some small clue that linked these victims together. Four weeks was a long time to still be on a hunt. A particularly long time to be on a hunt and still have no idea as to the identity of the being committing these murders.

I sighed in frustration and sat back, reaching to my right to retrieve my laptop from its place beside me. I pulled it onto my lap and opened it, clicking up my browser and scrolling to the first site on my “Recent history” list. Holmes County Records Department. I brought up my victims’ records and briefly looked over all the information I already knew. Then clicked the “clerk login” tab and settled in for another round of “crack the password”.

Even though I had read the county coroner’s reports with my own eyes, both in person and on-line, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something missing from the public files; something detrimental to this case. Thus, I had been trying to hack into the county database for two and a half weeks. But even with my adequate hacking skills, I had had no luck getting into the county’s system.

As I entered yet another password and the system kicked me out once more, I felt a pang of loneliness and homesickness wash over me. If Syd were here, he’d have this cracked in an hour or so. I smiled to myself as I imagined my brother’s fourteen year old stature hunched over my laptop, his brown eyes focused behind his black rimmed glasses, his fingers typing furiously, his shaggy, blonde hair tousling with every movement of his head. Sydney was the best hacker in our family, and I could just see him looking over my shoulder and laughing good-naturedly at the frustrated face I made each time the system kicked me out. I wish he was here. I wish all of them were here...

I shook my head, dispelling the loneliness and bringing my attention back to my work.

“It has to be something simple... So simple that I’ve been over-looking it.” My dark green eyes narrowed as I squinted at the screen. “But what?” I ran a hand through my close-cropped black hair and tried a different combination of letters and numbers. I held my breath and hit the enter key.


I blew out a breath and furrowed my brow, defeated. I closed my laptop, returned it to its place beside me, and stared at the wall opposite the foot of the bed.

When I had rented the room weeks ago, the wall had been empty; no windows, doors, paintings, or access panels. Not even a vent. Just a high-backed dresser with a lamp atop it. With the dresser pushed into the corner, it had been the perfect place to make into a case board.

Weeks later, the wall was filled with information, on my victims, on the happenings in the town going back several decades, and pieces of lore with all the probable being that fit the bill for these killings.

I stared at this wall now, looking at all the dead-end leads; all the beings that were probable suspects... And instantly felt a headache start to form in the back of my skull.

Part of the problem with this case was the fact that each victim seemed to have been killed by a different being. And except for vampyres, demons, witches, and few ghosts, supernatural things don’t enjoy working together. A water spirit, a succubus (and possible incubus), a werewolf, and a ghost would never work together. Not for one goal. And even if they were inhabiting the same town, they would be looking to get rid of each other as well.

The only good part was that it wasn’t a shape-shifter committing the crimes. I had already searched through the bowels of the city and set up silver lined traps, which had come up empty. A shape-shifter wouldn’t be able to mimic the spirits anyway. I reminded myself.

I rubbed my forehead, trying to corral my thoughts. I REALLY wish everyone else was here.

When we had hunted as a family, it had never taken this long to find the creature responsible for the deaths of innocents. It would take us a week. Maximum. We were some of the best at what we did. But with the upswing of supernaturally caused deaths, we were forced to split up and go on separate missions; work our own cases and then meet up again once the cases were completed. Not that any of us kids minded. We enjoyed the chance to prove our hunting skills individually. And my father enjoyed knowing that his training and preparation would keep us and others safe when he couldn’t any longer.

But now I wished my family was here; that I could brainstorm with them; have their fresh eyes view my evidence. But you can’t. Ruben is on an important shape-shifter case in D.C.; Jared is in Florida looking into a colony of ghouls; Syd’s looking into a wendigo at the Mexican border; Tabitha is busting a group of witches in Delaware; and mom, dad, and the cousins are God-knows-where. I didn’t let myself think of Anna, my oldest sister who had fallen victim to the Judas curse and been estranged from the family because of it.

I flopped onto my back in frustration and exhaustion. The old bed frame shuddered even under my slight weight.

Maybe sleep is all I need. I considered this with my eyes half closed. I’d slept maybe four hours a night for the past few weeks. And even that sleep hadn’t been restful.

I let my eyes fall shut, focusing on my breathing to prevent the visions of the victims who had died on my watch from flashing before my eyes. I’m trying my best...

Suddenly, the room’s phone rang out from its place on the bed-side table. I opened my eyes, turning my head to stare at the phone in disbelief. That’s impossible! I cut that phone line when I got here! I sat up slowly and swung my legs over the side of the bed, leaning over the table to examine the phone.

Sure enough, the red call light was flashing and after every three beats, the phone let out a loud peal. I stood and moved to the wall, checking the phone’s cord. It was severed. Just as I had left it after cutting it with my boot knife.

I stood for a moment, staring at the phone, wondering what I should do. Pick it up! It could be a clue. A link.

“Or it could be a trap.” I muttered under my breath. After all, whatever’s committing these murders is smart. Incredibly smart. It knew how to throw me off its real trail.

As I deliberated, the phone continued to ring relentlessly. Whoever had rented the room behind me pounded the wall with a fist.

“Answer that damn phone!” A gruff male voice yelled through the wall.

I placed my hand on the receiver, my heart beating faster. I had seen far stranger things than a phantom telephone call, but my adrenaline raged all the same. I lifted the phone off its base mid-ring. I placed it to my ear, but said nothing. Obviously whatever was doing this knew I was here. But what do they want?

A moment later, a male voice spoke through the line, silvery and smooth, yet businesslike and authoritative, with an odd, almost hostile cadence underneath. I shuddered as his words entered my ear.

“Hello, Roswell. We need to have a little chat, you and I.”