The Casecade Snowman – Chapter 3 (The Inglewood Chronicles)

Gather round children, it’s story time yet again.  We are up to chapter 3 of the story which takes us to the Pacific Northwest.  So without anymore chit chat, let’s pick back up with Gregory and Dru…

thecasecadesnowman

Chapter 3

It was one o’clock in the morning when the town car pulled up to our complex. The driver opened the back door and Elizabeth Swansea exited the car. She looked up and gave Dru and I a warm smile. “Gregory, are you going to help me with my bags, or should I expect to carry them myself?”

“Reno called right after you got to the airport. He warned me that your entire wardrobe was on that plane.”

Dru pushed me down the stairs. “You go be a gentleman or else!”

“Fine, fine…” I walked down and the driver popped open the trunk. He gave me that ‘I’m sorry’ look and got out of the way for me to see my latest task. I counted five pieces of leather bound luggage and sighed to myself. Elizabeth grabbed one of the smaller bags, leaving me to do the rest of the heavy work.

By the time I made it up the stairs with all her junk, the girls were already chatting away. Dru was just telling Elizabeth about her little back alley meeting with Vincente Divas. “If that bastard is scared, this witch must be one awful piece of work.”

Elizabeth took a sip of coffee. When did she brew that? “It is most concerning we have to rely on that scum for information, but he tends to be accurate.”

I dropped her bags by the kitchen. “No sense in unpacking tonight, we’ll be leaving tomorrow.”

“I see you two having been moving quite quickly since we last spoke.”

Not sure what kind of reaction I would get from Elizabeth, I went straight in, head first. “Remy is going to help us out once we reach Oregon.”

She did not say anything, just looked at me blankly. She turned to Dru, “Did he just say Remy?”

Remy, a very long time ago, was Elizabeth’s lover. Things turned sour after about a decade and they had not spoken since. “Can you be an adult about this? He knows the lay of the land better than anyone else. He has been based in Portland for awhile now.”

“Gregory is right my dear, Remy is a good choice to help us out in this investigation.”

Even with Dru taking my side, the old vampire kept on pouting. Sometimes her actions resembled her early twenties features much more than her actual age. “Get over yourself Elizabeth. In all the years Remy has been stationed out here, he has not once mentioned your name.”

My short tone broke her out of her silent protest. “Very well, but do not expect me to be more than cordial with him.”

“That is all I am asking! Just do not make the situation more difficult than dealing with a witch.”

A slight twitch of her lips told me she was already moving on. “I apologize. I still have been a bit on edge; we still have no leads into strange deaths of the vampires around Mesa. Hopefully breaking free from that situation for a little will give me new perspective.”

That was an odd situation. Over the last six to ten years, a random vampire would show up dead in a strange location. Cristof does not think it is anything to worry about, but I know in the back of Elizabeth’s mind she still wants to get to the bottom of it. I could not blame her, if it was happening in the northwest, I would at least look into it too, just to be safe.

“Between a witch, a Yeti, and a wolf pack that is probably on high alert, you will have a lot to distract you for a few days.” Dru said it with a smile, like all of these things were a positive.

I looked down at my watch; we had been speaking for close to an hour. “Ladies, if we are not planning on getting any rest, I suggest we go ahead and pack the vehicle and start making the drive down.”

Dru seemed rather comfortable on the couch. “How long is the car ride there?”

“And why don’t we schedule a flight? I am sure we can find a local airfield to gain passage.”

Oh my goodness. “Number one, it is a six hour ride, give or take so it would be nice to get there early and get ourselves set up.” Dru rolled her eyes are me. “Number two, we are in my territory and if I want to drive, we are going to drive.”

Both girls were trying their best not to laugh at me after my little outburst. “I can see why you have stuck with him so long Dru; he is very cute when he gets all riled up.”

“This is nothing. You should see him when he gets all sanctimonious about a topic. His cheeks bunch up and his eyes get all squished.”

I had lost control. The inmates were officially running the asylum. “I am going to start getting ready. The two of you, please feel free to join me at your luxury. I would hate for our jobs to inconvenience either of you two, your highnesses.”

They watched me for twenty, maybe thirty minutes lug stuff out to the car before they got up and offered any help. As much as I loved Elizabeth, when she was around Dru, the two of them turned into teenagers. Even as we got the car loaded up, moments of giggling and whispering made it go that much longer.

By the time we were all packed and ready to go, it was three-thirty in the morning. The three of us loaded up in my seventy-five Volkswagen Bus. I was proud of my ‘hippy-mobile’ as my wife called it. As I grabbed the steering wheel, I would take a long journey in this over a quick flight any day of the week.

With little traffic on the road, the car ride went rather well leaving Seattle. With us on the move towards the cause of our troubles, the girls left their juvenile personalities behind and Dru was showing Elizabeth the newspaper clippings and the eye witness reports that I had seen earlier.

Picking up a rather small article that had been clipped out, “This one is strange to me. The article says a Miss Ameena Snokberg, a Polish immigrant, was kidnapped from the residence she was staying at. The family she was staying with said they spotted a large shadow covering the front yard as they ran outside to try and help.”

I vaguely remember the article; I thought it was just a human problem. “What strikes you as remarkable? I assumed it was a family that probably killed her and tried to cover it up.”

Her eyes were focused, like she could see something that wasn’t there. “The name Snokberg; you may not remember but it was a coven of Jewish witches back in the late seventeen hundreds. It may be a coincidence, but it is such a strange family name that it should be looked into.”

Snokberg meant nothing to me and my wife looked to be in the same boat. “Sorry Elizabeth, Gregory and I spent most of our time during the seventeen hundreds on the Emerald Isle. We will leave you in charge with this angle on the case.”

She folded the small article up and put it in her coat jacket. The only witch clan I was really familiar with was the O’Byrne clan, because of their Irish heritage. They’re a nasty group of witches who specialize is magical seals and dark enchantments. “At least we have two paths to walk. If you two watch to check the witch connection, I can take Remy and we can go look into the Reds. Hopefully we can meet up with their Alpha.”

The sun began to rise off to the east. “Let us hope I was wrong about the Snokberg connection. The atrocities they committed make my own seem so insignificant.”

I gave an involuntary shudder. This was coming from the woman who in a past life was known as ‘Bloody’ Elizabeth Bathory.

-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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