Of the Wallace Fields (fall 1967)
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley hired Detective Hans Gunderson, a friend of Douglas Sexton, of Fayetteville, to uncover this mystery death of Cindy Codden, who had slept on their porch and was mulled by a pack of wolves, or so it seemed, perhaps one great wolf could have done her in. Mrs. Stanley, couldn’t figure why the dogs or the horses, or any of the animals didn’t make noise that night when the wolf came and mauled Cindy to death, last summer, to her understanding the wolves had been long gone, so long she couldn’t remember. The gray wolf was known years ago to have lived in the woods nearby, by the railroad tracks, the timber wolves, but this one was possessed, so it would appear, and the coroner, had said it would have been one great wolf, and Hans believed it to be so.
Hans was known in Fayetteville, and the surrounding plantations, as being of German stock, born in Munich, fought in the Korean War, which thereafter was then given American citizenship, and he was a deadly shot with a pistol and rifle, a bold man, a man of grit, who understood the wilds of the country, he himself a roughneck, a tall man—very tall and robust, perhaps six foot nine inches tall, some have said, and broad, and so in haste to find the secrets behind the soul of this killer wolf, man eating would, he camped out in the open fields, and the woods beyond the fields, near the railroad tracks, where old man Henry Pike worked for so many years and died that summer of a heart attack.
It was now November of 1967, fall was cold, and a frost was everywhere. He was given a month to finish the job, and he started on November 15, he was paid $100 per day, and if he brought back the head of the so called gray wolf, the one that had been seen running through the woods, and fields, with the hounds, and other stray dogs, and animals, he’d be given a bonus of $500-dollars—a nice sum for his work in those days.
Hans knew what he was looking for, a gray wolf, perhaps with rabies, or a dead wolf that had rabies, and infected other wolves, a mad wolf in essence, a large wolf, perhaps three to four feet, the largest of them, he saw its footprint, it had six digits, not five, it was all of 180-pounds, with great stamina, for it ran the length of the woods like a bird, many folks had seen one, but no one saw it close up, not even the dead who died by its bone breaking teeth. Such wolves were ancient, their history dated back 300,000-years, with the scent glands on their toes, they could out maneuver its enemy at will, and they were highly adaptable, thrived in unbalanced weather. (The Canis Etruscus, a link to the Canis Ambrusteri which is a link to the ancestor Lupus—saber-tooth species emerged in North America during the Pleistocene Epoch perhaps from Europe; conceivably between 100,000 BC to 8000 BC. They migrated to South America thereafter, and can be found in deserts, on mountains, forests, grasslands. This was the great gray wolf’s ancestors I do believe)
If he was infected with rabies, then perhaps it went mad, and was the cause for its attack, and they were close to the dog family, thus to run with them was not uncommon, it would although transmit its disease to humans, and other livestock, or could, and that was perhaps half of Mrs. Stanley’s reasoning for Hans to capture or kill the beast. On the other hand, maybe she needed him to find the dog pack and see if the wolf was among it, and get rid of the threat of his returning to its criminal scene, and eating her.
He deliberated on many options, and working them out in his head, he then started exploring the woods by the railroad tracks, it was the second week now, drifting rapidly from one section to the next, and back to the Stanley Plantation. He had built a fire, mumbled a prayer, climbed in a circle he made, fires all around him, put his rifle on his lap. The evening came, and it all seemed so unholy—but it came. Then one evening he pulled out his notebook and started writing a diary, with a despairing gesture, turning his eyes everywhichway as the night got darker; he was in a scattered fringe of the woods, in case he needed to run out of it, he wouldn’t get lost. It struck him that it was considerable colder than what he anticipated, and put a blanket around him, the one he was to use as a pillow, if indeed he dare sleep. In the morning he’d resume his journey and task, but it was looking like he was not going to get his $500-dollars—so it appeared.
The brightness of the moon was helpful, and he began to think, write more notes, in addition to this, he noticed, heard a far away rushing sound, it came in intervals, with a mysterious cry, yelping, one that come from none other than a wolf, and so he wrote this down into his notes also. He was somewhat shut in by the hills, more so than the woods, he’d have to run a ways, up a hill, down it, and be out of the woods and beyond the hills he’d end up in open fields of the Stanley plantation again. A mile or so, that is all. He shifted his eyes about, checking out the trees and foliage beyond them—for it was very little for his time of year, winding around them as much as he could; he was in the least dense part of the woods, all seemingly in clumps.
Frost began to fall on him, and the cold shiver in the air penetrated his bones, and it got darker, as shadows of clouds slowly crept across the moon, giving off a misty vagueness of light.
The trees and fires, three around him, kept him company, the crackling of the fires, was his only disturbance in the otherwise silent evening, by and by, the sound of the wolf passed in echo form, passed his ears, as if in blasts, puffs, weird was the sound of the wolf.
“Perhaps I should go find some better shelter,” he wrote in his diary. “The shadows that are crossing the moon look like corpses,” he wrote in his diary, “There’s a sudden stillness now, I seem to be in the middle of a storm at sea, my heart is beating fast, now the moon’s light has broken through the gray clouds, and the fires around me give off a marble like tone, which seeps into the air, perhaps I am noticing too much, and that means I’m falling to sleep, yet I’m sure something is approaching me, I sense it, feel it, almost can taste it.
“I feel a little weird, faint almost, I think the devil is around, evil smells, it soaks the air with the scent of blood,” and then as he looked up he dropped his pen and paper…
(terror unutterable, he beheld the great gray wolf to which the flickering fires clung to like a hellish corona, moving and illuminating mutedly the three-hundred pound abomination of head and forelegs that were—could have only been, a creature from hell. The wolf stood erect, rising to a height as tall as a pony, and it swayed like a great dragon, eyes glowing like lit coals, polished teeth, a radiant flaring tongue, venomous green tongue; and there Hans sat, nigh dead with fear to stand up, reaching for his gun)
this perfect tempest leaped upon him—in this moonless night—the ground shook, it was like a bolt of lightening, a roar of thunder, icy-like fangs over his head, he rolled over to get away from the beast, grabbed a stick of lit wood, almost pitilessly jumped into one of the three fires; he was being dominated, the wolf was all of three-hundred pounds, and four feet, if not more in height, and it had iron cold teeth, he rose as a dead man would, limp as a fish, bitter screaming in pain, the wolf leaped at him, mingling a dreadful sound, a giant-grip he had on Hans, and dragged him around the fires, like a rag doll while he dropped him now and then, and beat on him with its giant paws, knocking the air out of him, there were several wolves in the nearby bushes, looking, vaguely looking, as phantoms might prepare for the dead feast to be. He was soaked from flesh to bone in pain, his body numb, yet in torment, he fought, but the wolf was too powerful, he took a hunk, a pound of flesh out of his leg, as if to say, how delicious—flesh for victory—he wanted the big German to know the truth before he died, and the truth was—who could devour who? (what he didn’t know was: night by night, like a comet burring out all its evil mist into the universe, his blood was on fire for this German hunter, this so called fearsome and mysterious seeker; depredation is all the wolf wanted and got) it was heavy weight, and then his chest, a vast stillness came to the gawking eyes of Hans, he could feel the warm breath of the wolf at his throat now—terror had vanished, he knew the deed was done—he was done to death by the wolf, that was the awful truth of it, Hans was hoping to lose consciousness, and just die, the wolf dropped him then, licked his throat, his eyelashes, this gigantic wolf acted as if he was possessed with a legion of demon, a regiment of hell’s henchman, as if there were voices controlling this beast from beyond the physical world. The wolf then yelped, as loud as a bear, louder than a bear, and then disappeared, vanished, leaving the live corpse amongst the fires, and the other dogs and wolves half hidden in the bushes, drew nearer, and nearer and nearer, slithering foulness reeked in the air… and they drew nearer!...
((Kill of the Great Gray Wolf) (winter of 1967))
(December, 1967) Who could kill such a beast as the huge great gray wolf of Wallace Fields, the same fields that were haunted by the ghosts, the dead who walked aimlessly, until Death won its victory back, and took them from their helm, but someone was left behind, someone with an ugly spirit, that was when the wolves came back, as if the demonic world got vengeance over Death for wiping clean the fields, the plantation fields outside of Fayetteville, North Carolina, it was the Winter of 1967 and it went into the Spring of 1968, the year young Langdon Abernathy would join the Army. But already this Gray Wolf, had acquired a deadly reputation, he had killed Cindy Codden, while on the Stanley Plantation and ran free across the fields of the old Wallace plantation, and into the woods, over the back hills that extended the length of all three plantations, the Abernathy’s, Stanley’s and Wallace’s. It ran none stop, across 1200- acres. Folks said that the wolf, was a giant gray demon, of over three-hundred pounds, four plus feet to an average man’s shoulders; deadly eyes, of yellow rustic marble, he stood still and stared like a machine they said, as it readied to attack its prey, like a soldier, at attention, then battle ready it would attack mercilessly; fangs as thick as a man’s thumb—perhaps thicker and as long as his index finger, and as sharp as razor’s blade, pure evil incarnate. He had killed the German Deceive Hans Gunderson, a well trained hunter, and it had killed—at will, bums and tramps, and railroad trackmen, over the hill, where old man Pike, had his heart attach a while back.
Langdon Abernathy, still in his teens, and ready to go into the Army, taking his training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, not far from his Plantation, had a dream, he wasn’t sure if it was a gift, or a sentence, a gift to test his courage, or an early on death sentence. But he saw the beast, the huge gray wolf, he saw him in his domicile, it was in the woods, under a great tree, under the tree’s roots, the hole was as big as their stove, in it he slept, around him, human bones and rabbit, squirrel, and every other kind of mammal bone you could think of, or find in the woods; every kind one could find in a living and breathing mammalian forest, everything of that nature was among his collection. He was a loner; no other beast dare keep him company. Langdon saw all this, wrote it in his diary, one he put under his mattress, for future reference (that is why this story can be told).
He sat up, 2:00 a.m., up on his bed, sat looking out his window, waited, an hour passed, he heard a noise that indicated he had company, he prayed, “Oh, Lord give me strength to rid the fields here of this killer beast, this wolf that comes to devour his victims (and he knew he was coming)” Langdon was a person of strong faith, sometimes reckless faith, and I suppose his guardian angel had a enduring journey with him, and he then stopped praying, walked to the window, he heard footsteps, alongside of the house, then on the wooden porch, up its steps, back and forth on its porch, like it was for Cindy Codden, who fell to sleep on the Stanley porch one evening, and got torn to shreds by this lone beast. Now muddy and chilled, it was hungry; it needed flesh, protein, and blood. Langdon asked himself, if he was afraid, and he was, but wasn’t aware of how much he was, something a man never knows until the very moment of action; for he got up, walked silently towards the sounds that reverberated through the wooden frame of the house, to and through its floorboards of the house, the wood, it was all in the wood, that went through the feet, and made him tremble.
An animal knows when you fear him, and the wolf has its scent in it toes, he now could smell the flesh nearing him, he could actually hear Langdon’s heartbeat, and Langdon could hear the beast’s difficulty in breathing, it was hungry, weakened from the cold and hunger, perhaps weakness took possession of him—made him more vulnerable, and perhaps more vicious—and in such situations, over confident. And for Langdon, he would have to grab an opportunity if it showed itself…
(He, Langdon had noticed the beast through the window before he had entered the house, it closed its eyes for a second, as if to refocus, perhaps perplexed in that his prey had turned into a hunter, he knew that now, and perhaps the beast was sincerely happy about this, unspeakably glad I might say, they were thinking equal now: one by necessity and instinct, born with the killer in him, the other by, a notion he was a born to be a soldier, a soldier of war, or at least so his brain told him this, and this was indeed a war, if not a battle in the makings, and one thing Langdon knew, had known, the wolf was born with thirst for blood.)
Langdon picked up a lamp, heavy lamp, dropped it, the animal didn’t move, but he heard noise upstairs (in Langdon’s father’s room), perhaps he was waking up. Consequently, Langdon knew he had to kill the beast quick, or surprise would no longer be on his side, and the beast would fight out of necessity, not out of anger, and angry he was not at the moment, necessity was better, he was hungry needed flesh. Langdon started to think, a huge thought came to mind, “I don’t have a weapon, am I still somewhat in a sleeping mode!”
The father was upstairs, unable to think straight, he put on his slippers automatically to see what that noise was, half in a daze, asleep. His mother, Caroline, has pulled her husband by his pajamas, “Get back in bed,” she says, “Langdon’s taking care of it,” she didn’t identify, couldn’t identify why she said what she said, nor did she know the half of it, had she known, she never would have said what she said, but it perhaps saved a life, for had he gone down those steps, the beast would have charged through that big bay window he was staring through, saw the helpless man, and window or not, he would have charged through wood and glass and over furniture, to get an arm or more, anything moving like a limb to pull and eat.
Langdon drew his arm quickly back, touched the heavy metal standup ashtray feeling its iron heavy glass in the middle of it, with his fingers, nine pounds of iron, with a dragon at the top end of it, extended out like a wolf’s face, long and slender, he put his fingers around it, tightened them, and was ready to do battle with the wolf, but he got surprised, the wolf sensed something, not fear not defeat, but something, perhaps some kind of unsolved danger that makes a man, or beast stop whatever his evil intentions might be, sometimes even God puts a giant in front of you so you do not do, what evil tells you to do, and the beast ran off, off into the woods, across the fields and into the wooded domain he so cherished.
And although conscious effort was made to figure this out, Langdon dumfounded for an explanation, mumbled aloud: ‘I got to be more prepared next time, the creature will return, he has my scent, and knows the hunt better than all of us, and perhaps she saw my face.’
Blood Death of the Wild
It was a week later when Langdon had another dream, he was in the arctic circle deep near Barrow, Alaska, it was a hundred years ago, maybe more, Eskimos were all about, living in the wild and he was with a group of nomads, and they killed wolves, and seals for food, and polar bears, and he got thinking, and thinking, and woke up: ‘blood’ he said, ‘excessive blood’ he mumbled, ‘it is the blood that the wolf craves, like a man craves alcohol, or the fat man food, or the drug addict, dope, or the gambler, the compulsion to chase his loss, and the man-whore, women; therefore, it is the wolf who craves blood. And he remembered his dream, it was a bloody dream.
He looked out his window, there was the lone wolf again, as huge as ever, he looked a the clock, it was 2:15 am., he knew, or was compelled to think so, business with him would not be over until one—he or the wolf were dead. And so he devised his plan:
He went out that morning, 8:00 a.m., and with his 22-caliber rifle, shot him a rabbit, it was a cold, cold day, for North Carolina, it was abnormally cold, it was five above, with two inches of snow. For Langdon, it was near perfect weather for his plan. He went into the kitchen, got out a slim butcher’s knife, cut the rabbit open, drained his blood, put it in the freezer to chill it, poured blood over the blade of the knife, took the handle off, broke that part of the stainless steel knife, and let the blood freeze on the knife, then, in another hour, he dipped the razor sharp blade into blood again, and froze it, it froze in a matter of minutes now, and he dip it again and again, and again, until it looked like a popsicle with a stick in it, but it really was a bloodsickle with a thin knife in its center, and the smell of blood reeked from there to kingdomcome. There were perhaps fifty layers of blood over that knife, and it took all morning to freeze it, into the afternoon, but the blade was hidden well within the bloodsicle.
That night, Langdon hid the bloodsicle out near a tree under an inch of snow by the house. The wolf came that night, Langdon never went to sleep, he waited for the wolf, and he came at 2:10 a.m., but his sense of smell took his mind away from Langdon, and found the bloodsicle, and licking it, he found it so profoundly appealing, that the taste of blood was more powerful than the taste for the game of the hunt; Langdon noticed he enjoyed every second, every lick of the bloodsicle, he couldn’t get enough, and the weather was numbing to his tongue, he couldn’t really feel his tongue after a while, because it was exposed for such a long time in the process of licking.
In consequence, the frozen bloodsicle was slow in melting on his tongue, and then the knife became exposed, but he kept licking, unknowing the sharpness that penetrated his numb tongue, and he started bleeding from his own tongue, and tasting his own warm blood upon the cold blood—all being blended into one, and it all was so enticing the brain did not decipher what was happening, he was getting an endorphin rush, better than morphine; consequently, it cut and cut and cut into his tongue, until blood flowed freely, yet the wolf did not move, thrilled he had found such a magical unending pleasure, natural sense of well being; now the knife was fully exposed, but it was too late, the beast collapsed on top of the knife. And there he would lay for all to see in the morning, and no one lost anymore sleep in the fields of the three plantations, and Langdon, went into the Army, to find his war, and that is another story.