Excerpts for Unknown Scent



 Gina Marie Long

From Chapter 10


We parked across the street from the old building. Josiah stepped out from the darkness and under a streetlight, giving us a single wave to approach him. Without speaking, we walked around to the back of the building and spotted a door.

Josiah spoke in our minds, The witches are here. Can everyone sense them?

Zac looked frustrated. He was the only one that didn’t have some form of psychic ability. The werewolves didn’t have much, but could sense that something wasn’t right, something evil permeated this area. Not only that, but with their heightened senses, they could pick up distant sounds and scents indicating the ritual was being performed.

I grabbed Zac’s hands. Josiah immediately understood what I was doing and placed one hand on Zac’s arm. By doing this we created a powerful mind link with Zac and fully shared with him what we were feeling and hearing from inside the building. Everyone needed to be on the same page, to work as a team.

The door was locked. Dominic gave it one quick look and used his telekinetic ability to slide the deadbolt open. Josiah held up one hand in a warning gesture to prevent us from charging inside and touched a finger to his lips reminding us to stay quiet and use telepathy to speak.

Daniel questioned him, Is there a boundary spell? Will we trigger an alarm?

I think there is one but it’s weak, Josiah relayed…

…Josiah gave one nod that signaled we were clear to go. He sensed a positive change in the atmosphere surrounding the door. Dom and I brought up the rear, making sure to stay several paces behind the rest of the team and to remain in the shadows while they confronted the witches and whatever else we walked in on.

With incredible stealth, we crept through a stock room and an office like professional burglars. The next area revealed the huge, wide-open space where groceries would have been found when the store was in operation.

The chanting reverberated in my ears and sent chills down my spine. I smelled herbs and burning candles and a revolting odor of decay. We stayed hidden in the darkness for another moment, gathering our bearings as we observed the witches. Dom and I wouldn’t leave that spot when the others decided to raid the scene. The only electrical source of lighting came from one fluorescent fixture hanging on the far left side of the store. The front windows had been covered with sheets of brown paper. Many, many shelving and display units were shoved to the front of the store to create plenty of floor space for the ritual and to add another layer of concealment from the outside world. There must have been fifty candles lit around them.

The witches were totally oblivious to our presence while they recited the incantation. They stood within a large circle that had been traced on the floor along with other painted symbols and letters. We were looking at the right side of their bodies. That was an advantage as opposed to trying to rush them face on.

A cold wind whipped through the building. The candles flickered; a few went out. The air sizzled and a section of the floor cracked. The chanting never stopped; instead it grew in volume and intensity. My pounding heart and rapid breathing seemed compelled to match the rhythm of the chant. Josiah shook my arm when he noticed the signs that I was slipping into a trance.

Daniel and Isaac stripped off their clothes and tossed them to me. Silently they transformed into the true werewolf shape of the beast and were ready for action.

Blood dripped from several of the witches’ hands. All wore black, hooded robes that covered the length of their bodies and brushed the tops of their feet, making it impossible to identify who was who. Then one witch stepped forth from the rest, but did not leave the protection of the painted circle. This particular witch seemed to be the leader, as the others followed any commands given by this person. Suddenly, all the hoods were pulled back, revealing each individual.

We were shocked with the identity of the leader. Josiah held back gasping.

Josiah, Daniel and Isaac swooped in at super-human speed. Dom and I didn’t move a muscle in the dark. No worry about exposing ourselves as we were too terrified to budge. We desperately tried to access the witches’ minds with no luck besides sensing their confusion and fear. The witches had freaked out when two werewolves and a vampire appeared out of nowhere, interrupting their ritual.

My eyes shifted to Daniel who wielded a long, wicked sword. Isaac brought along a similar weapon. Daniel didn’t hesitate as he charged the creature, swinging his razor-sharp blade with perfect accuracy aimed at the neck. At the same moment, Isaac approached the creature from behind and ripped his sword horizontally through the back and spine. Between the two of them, that thing was going down with the sweet sound of blades singing through the air.

…or not.

From Chapter 11
He reared his head back, as if stretching his neck, but stayed in an odd crouched position on all fours. I did not recognize him anymore. His head magically enlarged and supported a huge, grizzly, sinewy muzzle with a black nose and whiskers that poked out in all directions. And the teeth…sharp, deadly, “rip your throat out” weapons…which could so easily pass on the werewolf curse with just the teeniest little scratch. The pain of the conversion was evident as his lips curled back from his muzzle and a gooey drip of saliva hung from the corner of his mouth, not quite able to swallow yet.
A high-pitched whine, a desperate cry, surfaced from his throat. I absently took one step forward and Dom jerked my arm to stop my motion. Daniel looked at me for a split second and mouthed, “No.” As long as he wasn’t attacking anyone or totally destroying the house, we knew it was best to not interfere with this painstaking transformation. But did someone hit a slow motion button? The punishing torture to his body and mind was a nightmare to watch as it just lingered on and on.
His ears were tall, rigid and alert like a wolf or a German Shepherd. They twitched trying to capture any sounds of predators…or perhaps prey…I hoped we wouldn’t be targeted as such.
His eyes dropped to what used to be his hands, but now were lethal claws. He glanced down at the rest of his body, inspecting it, and growled again shaking his head in disbelief. 
He garbled and coughed out one word, “Angry.”
We waited in silence to see what he would do next. It was hard to tell if he was going to cry or punch the living daylights out of someone.
Another word tumbled from his mouth, “Eat.”
He looked at Dom and me as he said that. He took only one stride in my direction when Daniel burst through his clothes while shape shifting into the beast. Isaac ripped through his clothes, too, following Daniel’s lead. Daniel, Isaac and Josiah created a blockade to prevent him from attacking us.

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