BLACKMANE Chapter Twelve

“This animal was killed by something with hands,” Judith said. “Something that kills the way a man would kill.”

“The hybrid,” Maribelle said.

“He wrung its neck,” Hamm said. “Then he tore into it.”

“See the claw marks?” Judith pointed. “The way the skin is torn? Five even lines, like a human hand.”

“With a bigass claw on each finger,” Hamm said. “Got his scent on the kill, too. Other animals won’t come near it. They don’t like his smell at all.”

Maribelle started snapping pictures. “Poor zebra.”

“He has to eat,” Judith said.

“Take your pictures, and then we must burn this.” All the while the Warumbi had stood distant, talking amongst themselves, staring at the carcass, at Hamm and Judith and Maribelle. Now one of them came forward. He jabbed the cadaver with a stick.

“Burn it?” Maribelle asked. “Why?”

“If we do not, it may draw other demons.”

“Oh.” She nodded. “Demons. Right.”

“Maribelle, dear.” Judith had been circling the dead zebra. “Take a photograph of this.”

Maribelle came around to where she stood. “What?”

“Footprint.” She pointed it out with her toe. “See?”

“Yeah.” Maribelle snapped a picture.

“Ain’t no lion track,” Hamm said, coming closer.

“Even I could see that,” Maribelle said. “Looks like a man’s foot, only with four toes. A big foot.”

“That’s our boy, alright,” Judith said.

One of the Warumbi came over and looked at the print. He spat on the ground, said something in the tribal language and walked away.

“He ought’a be happy,” Hamm said.

“Why is that, Mr. Hamm?” Judith asked.

“This here’s a fresh kill,” Hamm said. “An’ if your monster’s belly is full a’ zebra meat, the less prone he is to eat one of us!”

By The Evil Cheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (,, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at


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