I'm thoughtful this morning as I dive into the third installment of The Wild Magick Series. For me, that scene in The Wolf Man, where Lon Chaney Jr. offers up such a tortured expression, conveys such anguish across the movie screen, as the authorities are about to descend on him and kill him, has stuck with me for many years. So much so, the depth of Chaney's character influenced the writing of The Lycan Moon, Book One of The Wild Magick Series, and Calen Meer himself.
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He watched from the dark as the whistling bastard exited the brothel. The smell of filthy sweat and semen rose off the man like an invisible mist. The smell of blood; some was the man’s own from an earlier altercation, but he also recognized Mary’s blood on the man’s knuckles and shirt. The bastard had struck her and bloodied her nose most likely. His keen ears heard her screams after all and the mewling sobs that followed. He seethed now as he imagined the fucker taking poor helpless Mary against her will.
The man stopped whistling and smiled at himself, revealing wretched teeth as he moved along the cobbles in a drunken saunter.
“Putrid swine,” Konrad hissed under his breath as he silently prowled after the man. The blood scent quietly drawing the beast within him to the surface. The lust filled every cell of his body; white hot rage coalesced inside of him, and the hunger for flesh burned brightly in his belly. He imagined tasting the man’s flesh and then...ripping that flesh to shreds. The hunger built as the doomed man approached the outskirts of town.
Konrad barely heard his own low growl as he leapt, so great was his temporary madness. The cry that would have escaped the drunkard’s mouth was muted as strong white teeth crushed his trachea and ripped out his throat.
An anguished howl tore through the night...
Calen bolted upright in bed. His body sweat slicked. Heart thudding in his chest, he lurched out of bed on legs feeling like rubber. He staggered a few steps and opened the back door to his deck.
The ocean’s distant but reliable roar offered him a sense of steadiness as he looked out over the inky bay. Dreams—dreams of past horrors. It can’t be happening again, he thought as an icy dread tickled his spine and told him otherwise.