The Cascade Snowman – Chapter 1 (The Inglewood Chronicles)

Morning everyone.  I miss the days of sharing the books I write with you guys, so I’m going back to it.  Not that long ago I released a novella on Amazon that dealt with a background character from The Cactus Killer, Gregory.  This books takes place 35 years before the start of The Inglewood Chronicles  and gives a lot of insight into some of my favorite characters.  I’ll be posting a chapter or two a week until the completion, so I hope you enjoy The Cascade Snowman!

thecasecadesnowman

Chapter 1

I was reading the memo coming from the national coven, requesting my assistance. “A Yeti spotting, seriously?”

My assistant/chief inspector, Dru, glared at me. “Yes, Bigfoot, Yeti, Abominable Snowman, whatever you want to call it was spotted near Three Fingered Jack in the Cascades.”

“But Dru, Yetis don’t exist. It’s just a myth, an urban legend.”

“Then how do you explain this Gregory?” She slammed a picture down on my desk.

I picked it up and began looking it over. The creature in the picture had to be at least fifteen feet tall and maybe it was the quality of the camera, but seemed to have a blue tint to its skin. The photograph was so clear that I doubted it could have been printed off on one of those new fangled computer things.

“I take it from your lack of a rebuttal, that you see the gravity of the situation.”

I hated it when Dru was right. I really did. “Yeah, I see it alright. It does not mean I like it.” Taking a moment to think clearly, “Get Elizabeth on the phone. I need a second opinion.”

Giving me a short nod, Dru left. Left alone, I really began hating my job again. Between the Wendigos in Alaska and Cristof nearly burning San Diego to the ground a few years back, this was way more than I bargained for.

I took this assignment at the behest of Elizabeth, one of my best friends, thirty years ago in 1954. My job became infinitely harder a few years later when Alaska became part of my territory. The Canadian vampire who kept tabs on it sure was happy to hand it off to me.

My phone broke me out of my thoughts. “Hello?”

“Gregory, it is Elizabeth! How wonderful to talk to you again!”

“And you as well Elizabeth. I wish I could say I had Dru call you for social reasons, I am afraid I am in need of some help.”

I picked up snickering in the background, probably from Reno. “What may I assist you with old friend?”

“This morning Dru brought in a pretty legitimate photograph with a Yeti in it. As far as I was concerned, they were a myth, no?”

“Stop pulling my leg…”

“I swear to you I am not. The creature is at least fifteen feet tall and I would say has a bluish tint to its skin. Call me paranoid, but I think this might be some sort of Fae creature.”

Nothing but silence came from the other end of the phone. Finally, “There is nothing of real note going on in the southwest. I can come up there and help you investigate if you feel this is not a hoax.”

“I cannot say one way or another, but I would not have called if I was sure of a hoax.”

“Very well, I will be on the next flight to Seattle. I will meet you at you office.”

“Thank you Elizabeth. Have a safe flight.”

I hate flying. I once flew from Shanghai to New York and thought I was going to die the entire time. As I closed in on my one thousandth birthday, I still got agitated over the fact something like flying scared me.   Trying my best to get that awful experience out of my mind, I went back to the photograph.

Dru came back into my office. She sat on the edge of my desk, smirking like a cat who knows it has captured the mouse. Her green eyes matched the blouse she was wearing and her brown hair had been cut short recently, just above the shoulders. She was a few inches taller than me, but most people were. “When should we expect Elizabeth to arrive?”

“Quickly I suspect. She has the amazing ability to get places quicker than anyone else. While we are waiting, I guess we should put together a file on the area.”

She produced a manila folder and slapped it down on my desk. “Five steps ahead of you. Where would you be without me?”

I leaned over and grabbed it. “I don’t even want to think about such a thing.”

She got up and walked over behind me, rubbing my shoulders while I began to read her research. Before you ask, she is also my wife. We have been married quite a long time and I could not imagine doing any of this without her. In fact when I said Elizabeth convinced me to take this post thirty years ago, it was more Dru telling me I needed to do my part as an elder.

I combed over some newspaper clippings that seemed relevant. Over the past six months climbers and skiers had been going missing in the Cascades. The local police chalked it up to inexperience and bad weather. After seeing the picture of the Yeti, I wondered if something a bit more supernatural was not behind this.

Next were a few statements from locals complaining about missing livestock. One man claimed three cattle and a horse were all slaughtered in just one night. Again, the humans wrote this off as either wolves or other predatory animals getting an easy meal. They may have been right about a large predator getting a few free hamburgers, just doubtful it was a wolf or even a pack.

“Dru, what wolf packs are in the area?”

She dug her thumbs in deep, releasing a good amount of tension in my left shoulder. “Three Fingered Jack is Red territory. The Alpha listed on our records is Samuel Greenfoot.”

I did not really have many dealings with any of the werewolf clans in my territory, at least social dealings. “We would be fools not to seek him out and get the wolves take on this situation. I am sure the pack knows the lay of the land better than anyone.”

“Is there anything else we need to prepare for?”

“No, I doubt we will know what to expect until we get there. Let us prepare the usual stuff – a collection of silver knives, maybe some iron edged weapons too, if we are dealing with a Fae.”

Dru wrote down everything and ripped out the sheet of paper. “I will attempt to make contact with Vincente Divas.” I tried to protest that, but she cut me off. “Yes, I know he is slime ball, but he also has access to weapons and more importantly, information. He may know something that will be of use.”

I crossed my arms. “I doubt it. And if he does, it will cost us too much.”

“Gregory,” her eyes peered over her glasses, “trust me. I will set everything up so you will not have to see him.”

“Yeah, because you going in alone is such a better option!”

She came up to me and gave me a kiss. With a small grin, “Vincente Divas is scared to death of me. It should be him you fear for, not me.”

Never tell her I said this, but sometimes she scared the crap out of me too.

-Jeremy

You can find all my published work at http://www.amazon.com/author/jeremycroston

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About Jeremy Croston

I'm a comic loving, soccer playing, devoted husband who has a writing addiction. I can be found at Orlando Solar Bear hockey games, at the local sports bar cheering on my teams from Philly (go Flyers!), and being led astray by my schnauzer, JJ. Check out my Amazon page at www.amazon.com/author/jeremycroston to see my collections. Feel free to friend me on Facebook too at www.facebook.com/jcroston2 (there is another one of me out there apparently). Outside of writing, I work in business development and am considered an expert in all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Thanks for stopping by and looking forward to talking to you soon!
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