In order for me not to turn back on this unusually warm October night, I had to go over every detail of the group plan in my head. Otherwise, I would be wrapped up in my silk orchid quilted comforter shaking in sheer panic and the shame of not joining my compatriots.

Luther, Wyla, George, John, and Paul were all issued tranquilizer guns, non-lethal air gun equipped with a .50 caliber ballistic syringe. Each gun’s hypodermic syringe was filled with a solution of ground mandrake root and bull semen to incapacitate Amora when fully transformed. I, on the other hand, was not holding a small plastic tube of the tranquilizing solution in my right pocket. I was the pawn to take on the decoy position as “lone victim.”

I parked my car at the entrance off of Cross Street, where most of the fishing boats launched from. I got out of the car. Looking up at the full moon, I took in the subtle beauty resembling a giant blue and white marble in the sky. I stared into a wall of thick-leaved trees. Paralyzing fear gripped me as I could see complete darkness in between the clusters of yellow, green, and orange leaves.

I shook my head, telling myself to stay with the program. I called Luther, “I’m here at the Cross Street entrance. I’m beginning on foot now.” I put my iPhone in my back pocket, swallowed, feeling a lump in my throat and sudden craving for a diet Dr. Pepper.

The winding trail became more dense and narrow, as I knew from past experience; on my left was a slight incline down to the embankment of the lake, and to my right was the winding White River. I noticed something odd: the twelve-foot black-painted street lamps placed every 60 feet were out. A streak of panic ran through me.

Every other step, I opened my phone to illuminate going forward. Coming to a small blue-painted steel bridge, I heard ticking overhead. My mouth became dry and my heart beat fast and hard. I looked above, only seeing parts of the dark navy-purple sky from the dense groupings of tree branches overlapping.

The ticking became almost deafening. In the next few moments, I felt extreme sharpness on both of my shoulders. I was being lifted into the sky in seconds; reflections of the full moon gave me a view of the large black bone-structure of what was revealed to be giant bat wings.

I don’t know what made me to do this, maybe fear and instinct of some kind. I screamed up to my captor, “I knew you would come for me. If there is any humanity left in you, I saw what you did to your father!”

Luther and Wyla were leaning up against Althea’s smaller car, Kia Soul. They heard a sound that at first could be identified as a small plane. In a few minutes, they heard a screeching sound with a combination of ticking so loud they thought their eardrums would burst. To their horror, they saw a winged creature fly over them at the red covered bridge site. Wyla pulled up her binoculars to view this creature that had me held in its sharp talons.

Luther called John, who was high in one of the sycamore trees that was to be defined as the place of contact. “The creature has Glenda and is on its way to you and Paul.”

Blood began flowing with constant drips into my eyes; I assumed it was from my shoulders. We reached the area where the giant sycamore tree had been broken in several places. Strangely, the creature landed on the ground in front of the network of broken branches. It was as if she read my mind that this was the precise location I wanted her to be. I found myself on the warm ground held down by the creature’s clawed hands. Its talons smelled musty, like a damp basement covered in cobwebs and dirt.

I glanced up to see John high in one of the neighboring trees to the left of the central place of the broken tree, where a jagged edge of a thick branch was sticking up higher than the others. I was hoping Paul was on the other side. My vision was impaired as the creature got close to my face.

An eerie voice came out of the mouth full of sharp fangs. Not only did I have to take in the frightening sight of a grotesque creature who towered over me, but the voice brought my fear to a whole new level of terror. From a combination of ticking and the sound of a slow rattle much like a rattlesnake before it strikes, the creature spoke. “I decided to become Amado to pursue you time and time again. I could feel your vulnerability for a beautiful man. I wanted you to torture yourself inside because you wanted to love him, but you knew you would not dare. I’m going to tear your flesh slowly now because you angered me. You interrupted my feeding season.”

With that said, the red tongue coiled out, touching my nose, cheeks, and lips. The odor from the thick liquid off of the tongue surface possessed a horrid stench. I had smelled it before when Wyla and I secretly entered the room in the Rathbone Tower where there was only a soiled mattress. I braced myself for thinking the creature was getting ready to begin tearing my face open.

The head and face raised up, then with one swoop of movement, the left clawed hand sliced my left side from my rib cage down to my knee. The movement was swift. My brain did not register any pain yet. My eyes were too busy watching John and Paul simultaneously pulling down their guns and shooting the creature in the center, where the wings intersected.

I saw the creature’s reptilian yellowish-red eyes looking stunned. Its head turned around as another shot hit the creature in the throat. That shot came from George facing the creature. The creature tried to get upright, stumbling backwards into the very part of the broken branch that was calculated to help in incapacitating it temporarily. I laid there in shock and awe. Broken, curved branches of all shapes and sizes moved slightly to form a natural cage to keep the creature held. I got a comforting thought; nature was fighting against the evil it held captive.

George bent down and asked me, “Glenda, can you move at all?”

“Yes, I think, but I’m a bloody mess. Help me up.”

John and Paul climbed down. George and I moved towards the immovable creature held captive by the gnarled network of broken branches.

John turned around to announce, “Here’s Luther and Wyla. Their timing is perfect.”

George went rattling on as he took several photos from his iPhone, “Let me get as many as I can before we string it up. Not sure images of this thing hanging from a tree branch getting beaten with a bat will go over well with the FBI or the APD.”

Luther got out of Althea’s car, holding heavy black cable and traditional rough-surface rope. Wyla came out of the passenger side with a blanket and an aluminum bat.

John, Paul, and George bound up the creature’s wings, arms, and legs with the rope. John climbed back up one of the larger trees, while Luther, George, and Paul maneuvered the bulky grayish-green body to connect its bound up legs to the heavy cable.

I maneuvered my broken body over to a natural-formed bench from four broken branches. I was beginning to feel stabbing pains around my rib cage and down my left side. I held it together and concentrated on what was to happen next. I was very close to where the creature’s head hung down from the overhead, jutted-out tree branch. I had a ringside seat to the defrocking of a monster.

Wyla passed me with a trance-like stare. She held the bat as if it was a precious possession. “Let me do the honors. After all, this is payback for my ancestors being killed by these savage things.”

Wyla used all her rage and strength to swing once, striking the upside-down creature in between where the wings intersected, high in its back. The second blow caused the creature to let out a strange squealing sound, much like a wounded beast. With the third blow stronger than the last, I could see much pain in the face of the creature. More pathetic cries ensued, filling up our wooded surroundings with such sounds I was sure nearby residents could hear.

The creature’s mouth opened and gagging commenced. I thought the cries were intolerable; its retching was worse. I was getting ready to command Wyla to stop. Then it happened: an object with a fluttering movement spewed out onto the paved trail.

All of us formed a circle. Luther helped me up to get a better view. The object looked like a newly hatched duck, totally black and hairless. Studying the structure of the hairless duckling, there were indications of webbing in between its feet, like a tiny dragon. Its mouth opened, as if it needed air or food. I felt sick looking at this delicate, grotesque thing. Before anyone knew what to say or do next, Wyla set the small thing on fire with her pocket lighter.

George yelled, “Oh, guys, look what is happening to the creature!”

We moved swiftly from the burned up the duckling and watched the creature turn from the monster we had captured to the face of Amado Rathbone, then to the face of Amora Rathbone. Was she fully human? Time would give us the answer.

George cut her down while John and Paul lowered her slowly to the trail as Luther covered her naked body with a blanket. Wyla was putting the ashes and bones of the duckling into a plastic bag. Then Wyla came up to me with another plastic bag and a pocketknife. “Glenda, hold still. I’m going to get some torn flesh from your shoulder for testing. We need all the evidence we can get. There are going to be some skeptics coming out of the woodwork to crucify all of us.”

I cannot deny the small amount of skin she took from my exposed skin hurt like nothing I had ever experienced before. Still, it was for the case. Afterwards, I reeled to the point of landing on the ground once again. Wyla showed no concern, her face mesmerized by gathering the evidence of her brutality to the creature.

George and Luther saw my body weaving. They were getting worried at my deteriorating appearance. They grilled me about if I would be better off being taken to the hospital only three miles up from where we were. I insisted, with the intensity of stubbornness, “I’m not going to miss the fun of her being taken in. I will meet you guys there. Leave me be!”

I drove to the Detective Division struck with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I should have been relieved that we achieved our goal. I talked out loud to myself, “Well, I’m not dead. She didn’t get her way in tearing me limb from limb. Why do I feel like my world is about to cave in?”

Amora Rathbone was escorted to the front desk of the division by Luther and Wyla. The navy suit officer stood there in total alarm of this petite, closed-mouthed, dark-haired, brown-skinned woman wrapped in a burgundy blanket held in handcuffs. He stood there with his mouth opened.

“Officer Faraday, this is Amora Rathbone, who has been apprehended this evening from Shadyside Park. She happens to be the suspect of the many attacks and murders plaguing Anderson, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee. We are taking her to the closest interrogation room. Which one is available, my good man?” Luther said.

“Oh, right, Detective Charles. Room 8 is available.” Officer Faraday answered.

Wyla spoke up, “Officer, she will need some clothes, probably a size six in women’s. Let Mitch Gable know where we are.”

I came in right after Faraday had called the sergeant. Breathless, I came up to the front desk. He spoke before I did, “Glenda, they took the suspect to Room 8. Don’t you think you need an ambulance? You’re all torn up!”

I waved him off, “Oh, I’ll be good.” I smiled at him. Before I knew it, I had tumbled down to the floor like a rag doll.


For all installments from The Islands Tell of It, click here.

Previous installments:

  1. Chapter 1: The First Victim
  2. Chapter 2: Four Months Before October
  3. Chapter 3: Bobber’s Café
  4. Chapter 4: Heat Wave
  5. Chapter 5: Deep-End Dining
  6. Chapter 6: Rathbone Estate
  7. Chapter 7: Althea’s Run
  8. Chapter 8: Emergency Interrupts
  9. Chapter 9: Girls Talk Turkey
  10. Chapter 10: There Came a Lull
  11. Chapter 11: Dangerous Mind
  12. Chapter 12: Luana Barba
  13. Chapter 13: Trip to Milwaukee
  14. Chapter 14: Enough Killing
  15. Chapter 15: A Parking Lot Visitation
  16. Chapter 16: The Restaurant
  17. Chapter 17: Late-Night Work
  18. Chapter 18: Grandpa Pete
  19. Chapter 19: A Group is Formed