Fields of Ashmere
By Ronald Brandenburg
Published by Ronald Brandenburg at Shakespir
Copyright 2016 Ronald Brandenburg
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Ashmere is a small farming community located hours away from a major city. It wasn’t near any major roads either. Only a seldom used railway and back country roads connected this hamlet to civilization. To say that the people who lived there were strange would be an understatement. Anybody who accidentally passed through reported that the folk watched them with blank stares until they left. A perpetual fog always seemed to hang over the place, leaving everything permanently damp. This did not seem to disturb the citizens of Ashmere.
The town had its own administrators. Anybody sent from the outside government seemed to resign shortly thereafter or go missing. As a result, Ashmere handled its own business in a methodical way. In some ways, it was a beacon of efficiency in a time when the government was caught up in scandal after scandal. Ashmere never made the news in surrounding counties. Shipments of grain and beef left Ashmere, bound for larger markets while farm machinery and petrol products flowed in.
This arrangement followed its course for years before anybody noticed anything odd about Ashmere. It wasn’t until the government appointed a new beef inspector to Ashmere and hadn’t reported in for weeks that a query was sent to Ashmere, and no answer came back. With no answer from Ashmere, an investigation was opened into the absence of the inspector and detective Derrick Cowley was dispatched to find the wayward man. After some initial research into Ashmere from the comfort of his home office, Derrick found a series of missing persons that were linked to Ashmere. Understandably, he didn’t want to go there alone, so he enlisted the assistance of another officer, Chin Po, and Chin’s K9 Leonard.
Derrick and Chin had known each other for years and were friends. Derrick felt much better about having both Chin and Leonard backing him up as he went to Ashmere to investigate the missing persons case. With nothing else to hold him up, Detective Derrick picked up Chin and Leonard in his unmarked police vehicle and began the three hour drive to Ashmere.
The day was sunny as they made their way southwest towards the remote hamlet, but about halfway there the sky turned cloudy and darker. Leonard had slept on the back seat for the whole trip up to this point was now awake and looking out the passenger window. The miles rolled by as Derrick turned onto a small country road that led to Ashmere. Immediately after making the turn, Leonard started whining and turning, looking out one window and turning to the other.
“What is wrong with Leonard?”
“I don’t know; he is usually pretty good in a car. Maybe he needs to get out and stretch his legs.”
“I don’t want to stop until we are in Ashmere; it looks like it could rain any minute now. It is less than an hour until we arrive, do you think he can wait?”
“Yeah, he can wait.”
The ride continued in silence, the radio station they had been listening to began to break up. Chin started switching stations but found that they were in some sort of dead zone, so instead of listening to static they shut the car’s radio off. The ride continued in silence as each man listened to their own thoughts. Leonard’s whining was the only noise in the car as they continued down a well-kept but deserted road to Ashmere, no cars in either lane for as far as they could see. About half an hour before their arrival, they entered an evergreen forest. The forest, coupled with the ominous dark grey clouds overhead, made the drive seem as if it were nearly dark, when according to Derrick’s watch, the time was just after two.
In the gathering darkness, Derrick’s thoughts grew depressing. He began to feel as if he was being watch, but his speedometer was reading forty five miles an hour. There were no other cars around; nothing could keep up with him. Derrick shook the feeling off, thinking that it must be a result of the fading light. He couldn’t wait to find the inspector, file a report and get the hell out of there.
They drove through the forest and came in sight of the town. Immediately, the gloominess lifted and Leonard stopped whining, for which Derrick was extremely thankful. The radio came on too, as if they had been listening to it the whole time. Odd, thought Derrick, but at least it was some kind of noise to combat the silence that had pervaded the car for almost an hour.
The unmarked police car rolled into town. To Chin’s eye, there were no vehicles parked anywhere in the town. Derrick pulled up to the local police station. The three of them exited the car. Derrick looked about himself and had the feeling that he was being watched again. The sun was not visible in the sky either. He shrugged it off and walked into the station. The Ashmere police station was tiny, just a lobby, small office room, two interrogation rooms and two holding cells. The first person that Derrick saw was the receptionist, a dour faced woman who looked to be in her late fifties.
“Hello, I am here to investigate the absence of Inspector Drumwell. He came to Ashmere over a week ago and nobody has heard from him since.”
The lady had her eyes locked on Derrick but did not say anything. The detective waited a few minutes before turning back to Chin.
“This place is quite odd. I don’t understand the people here.”
Chin simply shrugged and Derrick turned back to the receptionist.
“Is the sheriff here?”
Again, no answer.
“I’m just going to go look for him.”
Derrick pushed open the door that led from the lobby to the office, looking for anybody that could tell him where the sheriff could be found. The office was completely deserted. Sticking his head through every door in the place, Derrick came to the realization that the receptionist was the only person in the building, and she wasn’t being helpful.
“Come on Chin, we are wasting time here.”
The three of them left the police station and got back in the car. Chin switched the radio over from the music station to the local police station. Derrick didn’t expect anyone to be talking over the airwaves, and he wasn’t disappointed.
“We need to figure out where to stay while we’re here. Since we couldn’t contact anybody in Ashmere, I couldn’t book a room.”
After driving around for a few minutes, Derrick and Chin came to the realization that Ashmere did not have a hotel. However, Chin spotted a hand painted sign advertising a bed and breakfast a few minutes out of town. Seeing no other options, Derrick pointed the car out of town and headed towards the bed and breakfast.
Just outside the city limits, the police scanner emitted a shriek that startled everybody in the car. With hair standing on end, Derrick pulled over and waited for the signal to repeat itself, but it never did. With his breath light and fast, he put the car back on the road and made their way to the bed and breakfast. The light was fading fast but Derrick did manage to see the house that they would be staying at. It really was a charming place, with white wooden walls. The two story house had oak trees planted around it and a tire swing hanging off of one of the branches in the front yard. The bed and breakfast had a simple country charm to it that Derrick was immensely relieved to see, especially compared to the chilling, damp, unfriendly brick and mortar feeling of town.
Derrick pulled up to the front of the house in a neat round about driveway. By the time he stopped the car, a grandmotherly woman with stark white hair was standing on the wide front porch. Derrick was glad to see somebody who looked like they just might talk to them.
“Good afternoon ma’am, I’m Detective Cowley. We’re investigating the disappearance of Inspector Drumwell and need a place to stay while we conduct the search. Do you have a couple of rooms available?”
“Oh yes, nobody here except me.”
“Is it alright if we bring the dog in too?”
“Of course, I love dogs. He is trained isn’t he, won’t mess on the rug?”
“He won’t make a mess. Leonard is very well trained.”
“Well, by all means, bring your bags in and I will show you to your rooms.”
The little old lady hurried inside to ready their rooms while Chin and Derrick grabbed their bags out of the back of the car.
“I guess I can just leave the car here, she said there are no other guests.”
The two of them entered the house with Leonard on Chin’s heals. The first thing they saw was a gigantic wooden cross that stood taller than Derrick. Neither of them were religious, but clearly this lady was. The old woman leaned over the railing and called them both to come upstairs. Again, with Derrick in the lead, they made their way upstairs.
“This first room is yours. I figured closer to the stairs so that you can take sweet Leonard out if he needs to go. What was your name?”
“I am officer Chin Po, and this is Leonard.”
“I love German Shepherds, I used to have one, but Tilly got old and feeble and I had to have her put down. Anyways, this room is yours. Now, Detective Cowley, if you will follow me, your room is next door. ”
Derrick was shown a room that looked like it came out of a Country Living magazine. The bed was barely big enough for him and had a hand stitched quilt draped across it. The room had a small writing desk in a corner and two sitting chairs. A dresser was on the wall with the light switch, there was no closet. Again, Derrick noticed a large cross over the window. He put his bag on the floor and turned to the woman.
“And what is your name ma’am?”
“Oh me, I am Widow Waters, but you can call me Terri.”
“Well, thank you for putting us up. We couldn’t find a hotel in town.”
“Ashmere doesn’t get many visitors. There has never been a need for a hotel.”
“Did Inspector Drumwell come here looking for a room?”
“I’m afraid not, nobody has stayed here for over three months. There might be a little dust on the furniture in here as a result.”
“Oh, don’t worry about that. The room looks great.”
“Well, I know that the sign says Bed & Breakfast, but I also cook dinner and have cold lunches available. I’m afraid that Ashmere doesn’t really have any restaurant.”
“That sounds fantastic. Anything else I should know about?”
“The windows don’t open. The last time I had the house painted the painters simply painted over the window sills and latches, so I don’t open the windows so that I don’t put cracks in the paint.”
“I understand, I will tell Chin not to open the windows. Widow Waters, is there a phone here?”
“It is only local dear. I’ve been told that there is a fault in the line going out of town, but nobody seems in a hurry to fix it.”
“I see, thank you.”
Terri left the room and Derrick took another look around before he went back out. Chin was busy pouring some food for Leonard into his bowl.
“The widow said that there is a break in the phone line leaving Ashmere and nobody is bothered enough to fix it.”
“Sounds about right; this whole place is off. I’ve felt eyes on my since we got into the forest.”
The two men spent the next hour bringing a larger tabletop police scanner from the truck into the house and setting it up. Leonard was quite happy sniffing around the outside of the house. Besides being damp and overcast, the bed and breakfast on the hill had a country charm effect. Dinner was almost ready by the time they set up the radio, Derrick turned it on and tried to contact his local office.
“Hello dispatch, this is Detective Cowley. Can you hear me?”
“The forest around here must have grown over lodestones. I can’t get anything from the outside.”
“Is there anything from the local net?”
“I haven’t checked, that blip from earlier rattled me, but I think it’s just because my nerves were already tight. It was just static.”
“Well, check the local net then.”
Derrick hesitated before flipping the channel to the local station, still static.
“Oh, well, just leave it in the hopper mode. If somebody tries to contact us, the hopper will pick up the active feed and auto tune to it. I think the widow Waters has dinner ready.”
The two men set the radio to the auto tune function and went to go eat. The sun was going down as they tucked into their meals. The conversation grew lively, it was clear that Terri loved having company.
“So, Ms. Waters, why does Ashmere seem so empty?”
“Well the people here are farmers you know; they spend their days on their farms. They are probably just now putting their tractors away and starting to prepare their meals.”
“But there is no restaurant or hotel. This is the first small town I’ve seen that doesn’t have a church.”
“We had a church, but it burnt down years ago. The people here are not very religious and there was no support to rebuild the church.”
“But you seem to be.”
“The lord protects”, Terri said with a shrug.
The exact moment the sun dipped below the horizon, the same shriek as before came across the radio.
“What on earth is that?”
“That is our police scanner. I don’t know what the scream was.”
Chin and Derrick ran to the police scanner and tried to see what channel the shriek came from, but the hopper had moved on. They looked at each other, then the radio came to life again.
“Arise Ashmere, outsiders have come. Free us from their corruption.”
The blood drained from both of the men’s faces. The radio had put together a sentence while hopping from channel to channel.
“I think you should stay indoors tonight.”
“And why do you say that Widow Waters?”
“We don’t get visitors often, but when we do some people are threatened by them. That voice is urging the residents to find you.”
“There is something that you aren’t telling us Terri. What is going on here?”
The widow put her hands to her face and started crying, “This is what happened to my husband. He had to leave one day for business outside of Ashmere and came back just before dusk. He was mistaken for an outsider and dragged from his car. I never saw him again.”
“The people of Ashmere kill every outsider that stays the night? What about us here?”
“You are safe here.”
“How can you say that?”
“The lord protects, the crosses keep those things out.”
“The people of Ashmere are controlled by something once the moon rises and the sun is down, they become blood raving lunatics. I haven’t been affected by it because I have always had crosses throughout the house and barn. The reason that nobody would talk to you in town was because that force wouldn’t let them, out of fear that you would be warned and leave.”
“Is that why Inspector Drumwell is missing? Was he taken by these lunatics and this force?”
“Most likely, I doubt you will ever see him again. And tomorrow, you should leave here and never come back. Tell your government to never come back here, Ashmere is cursed.”
“Widow Waters, I don’t believe in curses.”
“By tomorrow morning you will.” Terri got up from the table that she had stayed at and began clearing the plates away. She was acting as if this happened every night. Derrick realized that this did probably happen every night.
“Well Chin, I’m sorry to have gotten you involved in this. I don’t know about you, but I doubt I am going to sleep tonight.”
“Yeah, I don’t picture myself snoozing very much either.”
Terri came back with a double barreled shotgun.
“The reason that the population of Ashmere is so low is that a few people don’t fall under the sway of the dark force. They are targeted by the lunatics and forced to defend themselves. The constant battle has had casualties from each side. In the morning though, nobody remembers anything. The people have a fog over their minds that keep them from missing folks that were once important to them. They go about their day, farming or whatever their occupation is, but when the sun goes down and the moon rises they become lunatics again, that is if there is prey. Without an outsider or a resistant person in Ashmere, they don’t become lunatics.”
“Why do they not come after you then?”
“I keep telling you, it’s the crosses. The lord protects.”
“But they know you’re here, right?”
“Of course, I’ve been here for years.”
“So if we stay here, we will be safe?”
“Yes, but don’t open a door, or a window. And for god’s sake don’t go outside, even to the front porch. Don’t let Leonard out either, those bastards got my Tilly and I will never forgive them.”
“Why did they take your dog?”
“I think it was an attempt to lure me out of the house. That was an awful night, hearing them torture my lovely Tilly. They were trying to bait me to come outside and save her. But I heard them on the porch, waiting for me. There aren’t any dogs in Ashmere either, I don’t think whoever controls the dark force likes dogs.”
“Why don’t you leave?”
“I have nowhere else to go. I’m safe in this house with the memories of my husband.”
Chin and Derrick glanced at each other, not sure if this was a very elaborate prank or the real deal. Nobody at the home office talked about the sleepy hamlet of Ashmere, nothing supposedly happened here. But apparently, nothing got out of here.
“Well, let’s make sure the windows and doors are locked I don’t want anything to get in.”
The night was horrible and agonizing and Derrick was on the second floor, he couldn’t imagine the widow sleeping in her room on the ground floor. He dare not look out the window, but he did hear several pairs of feet dashing around outside. He also had to turn the police scanner off; the thing was blasting some kind of eerie music even as it continued to hop from station to station. The music was only interrupted by shrieks. To top it all off, Leonard had his hackles up all night and would not stop growling.
Chin and Derrick sat on the landing overlooking the front porch, just listening to the sounds outside. The widow didn’t leave a light on the porch on; she said that it attracted the lunatics. But apparently the fog broke and the moon shone down very brightly. Derrick could see shadows pass through the windows and onto the light curtains. The widow was not joking about the curse of Ashmere.
The night passed slowly, neither man getting any sleep. Leonard fidgeted all night as well, occasionally growling at one sound or another. Dawn came eventually and with it the fog again. Both men were ragged, extremely tired, and ready to get out of there.
Terri came out of her room and saw the two men packing up.
“So you survived the night huh?”
“Yes ma’am, but we are getting out of here.”
“What about your Inspector?”
“He must have been taken by those lunatics. If he didn’t come here, then there is nowhere else for him to have gone, especially for this long.”
“I see, well, you boys take care of Leonard now.”
“We will thank you.”
Chin and Derrick finally got the car loaded and left the Widow Waters’ house and headed back into town on their way back to the home office. Derrick didn’t want to go through Ashmere, but the only road out of the hamlet left from there.
Once they enter the city limits, Derrick noticed more activity than the previous day. People were out and about, doing business as if everything were normal. Derrick decided that the local sheriff might be in his office today, so they took a small detour to the station.
There were a couple of police vehicles parked outside the station when Derrick pulled up. He gave Chin a quick glance and they all exited the vehicle and made their way inside. This time, the receptionist, who was the same woman as the day before, greeted them as if she had never seen them before.
“Good morning, and welcome to Ashmere. How can I help you?”
Taken aback, Derrick took a moment before answering.
“We were in here yesterday. I am Detective Cowley, this is K9 Officer Chin Po and K9 Leonard. We are investigating the disappearance of Inspector Drumwell.”
“I don’t remember seeing you yesterday, maybe you came at lunch. Drumwell doesn’t ring a bell either. Do you want to talk to the Sheriff? He knows more than I do.”
While the receptionist buzzed for the Sheriff, Derrick and Chin gave each other another unknowing glance, something was very off here. Before they could ponder the situation further, the sheriff showed up.
“How may I help you?”
“We’re looking for Inspector Drumwell. He came to Ashmere about a month ago to inspect the beef that you’ve been sending out of here.”
“Drumwell, Drumwell, doesn’t sound familiar. Let me call a couple ranchers and see if they know your friend.”
The sheriff left the two men and dog in the lobby and made a couple of calls. Within five minutes he was back.
“The ranchers haven’t heard of him.”
“Thank you sheriff. I’ve got another question; do you or anybody on your staff remember missing time?”
“Like taking a nap, maybe, this is a quiet town.”
“No, like an entire day goes by and nobody remembers it.”
“Not that I know of, that would be out of the ordinary.”
“Yes it would. Thank you sheriff.”
The men exited the building and got back in their car. Derrick started the car and they drove out of town. It wasn’t long until they were in the forest again and Derrick pulled over.
“What are you doing? We need to get out of here.”
“What are we going to tell the chief? Ashmere is full of lunatics that come out at night and try to eat us. Nobody has seen Drumwell in a month, he must have gotten eaten. He will send us to the psych ward faster than you can spit. We will never be able to work again for being the laughing stock.”
“What do you want to do, go back and look in every house and barn for the remains of Drumwell?”
“I don’t know, lets drive out to the next town and see if Drumwell stopped there. If we can be sure that he went into Ashmere, then we will go back.”
The two continued on, until they came to the next town. They stopped at the first gas station and inquired about Drumwell. As luck would have it, the clerk worked every day and remembered seeing Drumwell stop to refuel his car and grab a snack. So it was confirmed that the inspector had made it this far. Derrick borrowed the phone at the service station and called his home office to check in and give a report. He left out the bit about the lunatics, but told them that he had not found Drumwell, or anybody who remembered the inspector in Ashmere, but he had made it to the nearest town outside.
Derrick fueled up his car and bought snacks in a futile effort to delay the drive back into the accursed hamlet. But eventually, all preparations had been made and they could not procrastinate any further.
Finding nothing else to distract them, they steeled their nerves and drove back into the forest towards Ashmere. Once again, the fog descended rapidly. They ate their snacks in an effort to keep the eerie feeling of being watched out of their mind. Then, the now familiar shriek came in over the radio, that didn’t make the occupants of the car any more immune to it than the first time. They drove along in silence until they got back to the town. This time, it was like the first time they came to town. The streets were vacant. Derrick drove back to the sheriff’s office and went in alone. The receptionist gave him the same blank stare as the previous day, he didn’t even bother trying to communicate with her, he just left and got back in the car.
“We need to get back to the Widow, and ask her more questions. The receptionist has gone blank again.”
“Maybe it’s a time of day thing, like the closer it gets to sundown, the more they fall under the effect.”
“I don’t know, but the Widow isn’t affected by it.”
They drove back to the widow’s house. She was standing on the porch by the time they came to a stop.
“You boys came back quickly; I didn’t realize the country charm that my bed and breakfast had.”
“We can’t go back until we have some concrete evidence.”
The men went inside the house and explained to Widow Waters what had happened at the sheriff’s station.
“I think you had better unpack your car again, it sounds like you’re going to be here for a while.”
Chin and Derrick once more, unloaded the car and took their belongings up to the rooms that they had previously occupied. By the time they were done, dinner had been prepared and set out.
The three of them set down to the table and went about the meal. Derrick nor Chin had much of an appetite and as a result, didn’t eat much. Once again, as the sun was going down, the police scanner shrieked, signaling the end of the day and the beginning of another horrible night. The two bade the widow goodnight and went upstairs to resume their watch on the landing. This time though, they were less edgy. Perhaps it was because they knew what was ahead, but they weren’t as paranoid as the previous night.
As a result, they were braver. Derrick had the curtains pulled back on the upstairs window and kept an eye out it, to look for the lunatics. Once the fog broke up and the moon rose, Derrick saw a sight that he really wasn’t expecting. A dozen of robed figures were walking up the hill surrounded by scores of nearly naked people that were scampering this way and that. All this was being done without a single torch or any speaking. Derrick motioned to Chin to come look out the window and was rewarded with Chin’s eyes bulging as soon as he comprehended what was happening.
“Sweet mother of Mary” Chin whispered as he saw the oncoming dark figures.
Derrick waited for them to start entering the house to come get them, but as he watched, the robed ones walked to the side of the house and down into a previously unnoticed cellar. The naked horde shambled around the house, making no noise except their quiet footfalls. They did not care what was in front of them, Derrick watched as a few walked over the car. They just kept moving in a counter-clockwise motion around the house in a continuous stream of human flesh.
Derrick recognized the receptionist from the sheriff’s office and a few other faces from this morning. For hours the lunatics kept this up, Chin and Crowley felt their hair rise on end. Finally, all the tension left the air in a flash. This was followed by the robed figures leaving the cellar and walking back down the hill, surrounded by the nearly naked lunatics. An hour later the sun rose.
“We have to see what is in that cellar. I don’t think the Widow Waters is telling us everything.”
Minutes after the sun had risen, and the fog was already settling down, they made their way outside to the cellar. A heavy pad lock barred their way. Fortunately, Chin knew how to pick it and soon they had opened the door. The stone steps were well worn and obviously recently used. The smell of burnt flesh wafted out of the cellar.
“Do you want to take Leonard down there and investigate, while I stay up here and make sure that nobody closes the doors on us?”
“No, how about we take the hinges off the door and keep the padlock with us. Then we both go down.”
It took the men five minutes and a ratchet from Derrick’s car to take the hinges off. With no threat of being locked in the cellar, the two men let Leonard go first and descended into the darkness. They both carried flashlights and had their service pistols out. When they reached the bottom of the stairs, they looked out across the cellar, amazed at the sight before them.
The center of the room had a pentagram painted on the floor, with a small pile of ash in the middle. The walls had heavy curtains adorning them, but when Derrick drew one back, he was greeted an iron cage. This immediately set Derrick and Chin around the room, pulling back curtain after curtain. One contained a man that was drugged and completely unresponsive.
“This is inspector Drumwell, we have to get him out of here and arrest the widow.”
“What do we do first?”
“I think we need to arrest the widow before she realizes we are down here and alerts others. My guess is that they can only force the others to behave like animals when the moon is up. Still, I don’t want to be trapped here. Besides, the cage is locked and I don’t have a key, can you pick it?”
“Not that one, it looks like a really old fashioned lock. Let’s get out of here. I really wished our radio worked so we could call in back up and an ambulance.”
The men scrambled back up the stairs and ran inside. The widow was just coming out of her room saw the officers and started to wish them a bright morning.
“You’re under arrest Widow Waters, for the kidnapping of Inspector Drumwell.”
“What on earth are you talking about?”
“We’ve found the inspector underneath your house and witnessed a dozen robed figures go down in your cellar last night.”
The smile never left the widow’s face, “So you boys have solved it, too bad.”
Then she shrieked, the same shriek that had been coming over the radio. Both men felt their bones freeze and could not move a muscle. The widow approached, pulling a needle out of a pocket.
“This is going to put you to sleep, then we will have enough to feed on for a long time.”
Neither Derrick nor Chin could move to defend themselves, but Leonard had no problems. Seeing this strange person threatening his master, Leonard lunged for the widow catching her unawares. With the widow’s attention turned towards the dog, then men thawed and were able to move again. Chin grabbed his service pistol and shot the widow thrice, two in her left shoulder and one in her head.
Once the widow hit the ground, a shriek started coming from outside. The two men hurried out to find the source and followed it back into the cellar. The pentagram was glowing red. Without another thought, Derrick shot the lock on Drumwell’s cage and burst it open. They grabbed the unconscious man and hauled him upstairs while the pentagram continued to scream. They basically threw the inspector into the back of the car, and then Leonard got in. The two men jumped inside and Derrick floored the accelerator. They had to drive through Ashmere to get out of town.
There were people out again, just like they had been the previous morning, but this time all their attention was focused on the police car. Everybody had an unfathomable look of rage on their face. Without any notice, the pedestrians all dropped whatever they had been holding and started running into the path of the car. Derrick swerved to miss the first few, but realized that they were being controlled by some force. Then Derrick realized that this was a tactic, if he crashed the car trying to miss the people, then they were finished. So he just kept his foot on the gas, and started driving through the gathering crowd.
After he hit several people, the lunatics backed off. Before he could breathe a sigh of relief though, Derrick caught sight of a local sheriff car. Not liking where this was going, he turned onto the main street out of town. The local sheriff’s car followed them, picking up speed. Without warning, the deputies started shooting at them. Then he realized that they had blocked the road ahead of them with another deputy car. Knowing that to stop was to be caught; Derrick picked up speed and hit the rear end of the car, spinning it around. He never looked back as he raced out of town and into the woods.
The radio, which had previously been off, came on and started screaming at them. The voice was in agony, demanding that they bring back Drumwell. Chin tried to turn it back off to no avail, then grabbed the radio and yanked it out of the dashboard. Derrick’s car was much newer than the sheriff’s car, and even damaged as it was, it was the faster and they made their way out of the forest with the sheriff’s car falling further and further behind. At the edge of the forest, Derrick saw the sheriff’s car stop and turn around.
Once they were out of the forest, the fog lifted and the sun shone brightly. Derrick and Chin drove the three hours back to the big city and took the inspector to a hospital before checking in with the police station. They had retrieved the man presumed dead, broken up a sorcerous cabal, and lived to tell the tale.
Thank you so much for reading this short story, I really hope that you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it. This is simply a one-off kind of story that has been rattling around in my brain for a while. Even though this story takes place on earth and not in the Other Worlds universe that I have created you can still find my Facebook page for all the books and short stories that I write called Other Worlds, so just search for it and “Like” it to keep a tab on my newest stuff.
About the Author
Ronald Brandenburg III was born in the United States in Alabama and grew up on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Growing up on a small farm meant having few neighbors and thus delved into the worlds of fantasy and science fiction. Major influences include Harold Coyle, J. R. R. Tolkien, Edgar Rice Burroughs, J. K. Rowling and many others.
Ronald studied mechanical engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville where he graduated with honors. Since finishing school, he is a Systems Engineer for a Fortune 500 company. Alongside table top strategy games and computer games, writing is a favorite hobby.
Something is amiss in Ashmere, a small hamlet isolated in the country. Investigators Derrick Cowley and Chin Po, along with K9 Leonard, have been sent to find Inspector Drumwell after a month without contact from him. What they discover is a grisly secret that has horrible ramifications. Derrick and Chin are put into a deadly situation, but must persevere and rescue the Inspector. This story takes place before the age of cell phones and computers, so the men must rely on themselves and keep their wits about them.