Copyright © 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 owned by K.L. Nappier
All rights reserved under United States, International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without the written permission of the author.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Readers who like Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s “The Strain” Trilogy will want to sink their teeth into this thought-provoking thriller in werewolf’s clothing.
Tulenar Japanese Internment Camp, 1942
In the wake of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, no one believes a greater evil stalks Japanese nationals and their American born children than what they are already suffering.
Forced from their homes along the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada, placed into internment camps for the duration of the war, no one believes a werewolf is behind the grisly deaths plaguing the residents of the camp. Not Capt. Max Pierce, nor politico Doris Tebbe. Only Navajo healer David Alma Curar believes. And he has his own reasons for following the beast’s bloody trail to Tulenar.
“K.L. Nappier will be one of those authors where readers eagerly await to purchase her next book. I rate this as Highly Recommended.” ~ Lea Schizas, the Muse Book Reveiws
First Night. Full Moon.
The night was so sharp against Doris’s senses, it was as if it would draw blood. She stood on the small front porch of her house, her terry robe cinched around her like a tourniquet, watching the search beams of the towers lance into Tulenar’s lanes. The buildings dotted with light as internees roused to the commotion. At the far western perimeters, the rays of military torches pierced the dark.
She looked at the full moon as relief from the blanched beams in the camp, but its hoary, mottled face was no easier on her eyes. Had it really only been ten minutes since the sergeant had notified her? And now Arthur was there, too, at her side, but not as a comfort. He was angry, and saying, “You can’t get deny this one, Doris. Mrs. Tamura was abducted!”
The sergeant was clearly shocked by Arthur’s familiarity. “See here, mister, you can’t talk to the Center Administrator that way!”
Arthur ignored the sergeant, Doris ignored Arthur. She was too numb, staring out at the chaos.
“Look at me, Doris!”
“That’s it,” the sergeant said, and took a step closer to him. “I want you out of here now!”
Doris heard Arthur take in a breath, as if to calm himself. He was so close, she could feel the warmth on her neck when he let it out.
“I’m sorry. Doris…call off your bulldog and, please, look at me.”
“For the last time,” the sergeant warned, “she’s Mrs. Tebbe to you.”
But Doris could hear the uncertainty in the sergeant’s voice. Three times Arthur had taken outrageous liberty and she had done nothing to correct the situation. Through the numbness, she began to worry about how this must seem to the soldier.
“You want him arrested, Mrs. Tebbe?”
Doris couldn’t make herself reply. The sergeant’s expression hardened with resolve of duty. Arthur’s, with the understanding of betrayal.
He left. God, the look on his face. And she just watched him go. I should say something, she thought belatedly.
She looked back toward the camp, toward the pandemonium, and was almost overwhelmed with the numbness again. A young Nisei mother, her twin sons no more than five. The boys had fled their dormitory shrieking, still in their pajamas. They had been spying from their beds, peering through the window at Mrs. Tamura. It had been her turn to give the Block Six vegetable garden its nightly watering.
A monster, they had said. A monster had swallowed their mother’s head and dragged her through the fence.
What am I doing, just standing here? The numbing shock suddenly dropped away. Doris turned to the sergeant. “Get over to my office. I’ll meet you there as soon as I dress.”
Had Pierce been contacted yet? As the sergeant hustled away Doris headed for her door, but a voice called to her from the night’s pale gloom.
She hesitated, turning toward the voice as a man stepped around from the house’s north. In the ghostly light of the moon, the silvercraft at Alma Curar’s wrists and throat almost glowed.
Gruffly, she asked, “What are you doing here?”
“We need to talk.”
Doris began toward her door again. “Whatever it is, Mr. Alma Curar, I have another matter much more urgent.”
“I know. Mrs. Tamura. That’s why I’m here.”
She stopped, full of interest now, as he came up the steps. “You saw something? Give me a moment and we’ll meet the sergeant at my office…”
Mr. Alma Curar shook his head, his expression stony. “It won’t do any good to meet the sergeant, Mrs. Tebbe. What I have to say is for you only.”
“But why? There’s no need to mistrust–”
“Mrs. Tebbe, Mrs. Tamura is dead.”
Doris said nothing, her stomach in knots, her heart thumping.
“Her body can be found in the same general area where Mr. Ataki’s remains were discovered. It wouldn’t have buried her very close to him. It’s too clever to have done that. But it does keep a pattern.”
“How can you possibly–”
“I know its habits.” The healer didn’t seem to want to go on. But then he said, “I know them very well.”