Friday, February 8, 2013

Retro Diary: The Chupacabra Desert Mystery Part II

Demon Chronicles Retro Diary Chupacabra Desert Mystery

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Ay resemblance to actual events, locales, agencies or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.  Any governments, nations, government officials or government agencies are fictional constructs built by the author and they bear no relationship to the real thing.

Copyright ©2013 by Edith R Allen
All rights reserved

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Chapters 4 to The End

Chapter 4

Marcia Landon loved New Mexico. She loved her sprawling house that mixed into the rocks and vast views. She liked her neighbors because she only dealt with the ones who did not drive her crazy. There was something about living in isolation or living in the desert that made some people forget about getting along.

“Maybe they never got along, and that is why they move all the way out here,” she muttered aloud. She was carrying a huge basket out to her SUV. Daniel was two steps ahead of her.

“What was that?” Daniel asked as he took the basket Marcia was carrying. He loaded the basket into the SUV and said, “You had another call about tomorrow’s meeting, didn’t you?”

“Yes. It’s Barbara Lemon. You know her. She’s the actor... one of Diana’s friends. She has a ranch over there,” Marcia pointed at a large pile of red rocks, indicating that Barbara Lemon’s ranch was somewhere on the other side of the hill. “She is coming to the meeting, but I don’t want her reporting to Diana. Barbara thinks I’m here to help a friend and doesn’t know I own this place. Diana doesn’t know I own this place. If someone mouths off to her, it gets back to Diana and I will have to put up with both their demands to come here.”

“Well that is just a mess,” Daniel opened the SUV door for Marcia and waited for her to settle in before he closed the door. He walked around to the driver’s seat and settled in before he said, “Then what if I emcee the meeting and you stay invisible until she leaves with the others. You were smart to build the lodge for these events. People cannot manipulate their way into your house. I like that.”

“Well, I plan to have this place for the rest of my life, Daniel. It is best to keep it a secret from Diana and her crazy friends. I keep having a feeling that it is more than best... I can’t put words to it.”

Marcia Landon would have those feelings many times over the years. It would not be many years before she would know why she was right to hide her properties from Diana Martin, but she was determined to keep the ranch to herself, Kevin and her friends.

“Well! This is going to be a great day, Daniel! I want to go to the gourmet grocery first. I need to fill this basket out before we go to the fossil factory. Before we go there, I want to stop in at the luxury RV camp and storage. I really want to buy a motor home and the owner keeps inviting me for a tour.”

“That sounds like a good day, Ms. Landon.”
“Ms Marcia, it is, ma’am.”

They bickered over the differences between British propriety and Wild West equality between people until they pulled into the parking lot at the gourmet grocery. Marcia let herself out of the car and entered the large, beautifully appointed store. She took a cart, waved at a regular shopper and went to the ethnic aisle. The Fossil Factory was the sprawling masterpiece of a Basque archeologist. He always had something for Marcia and she always considered visiting him a mandatory part of any stay in Las Cruces. She liked to bring Basque foods that she brought from San Francisco and supplemented at the gourmet grocery store.

“Ahhh! Cider! The real stuff! He will love that. And here are some other things,” she told Daniel when he caught up to her.

“But Dass ist differing crumbs!” She heard a man’s voice say. “I have never used these for schnitzel before.”

“Oh, they are better than anything else. They are Pankow crumbs. Everyone is using them now. Give them a try and I promise and you will not be disappointed.” This was an older woman, a smoker judging by the huskiness in her voice.

“Well thank you!” The man replied. Marcia recognized his accent as Austrian from her time in Lichtenstein and Switzerland. She was never a fan of Austria or Austrians as they were not too friendly to her, but she was glad to know the subtle differences in language that distinguished natives of such small nations.  She thought no more of it, finished her shopping and was soon back on the road with Daniel driving. Ten minutes later, they pulled into the luxury RV Park called “Mansion Away From Mansion”.

“The cheapest motor home in this place goes for half a million. Look at that one! That is upward of a million dollars and it has all the bells and whistles,” she said. She had her video camera running, but was discreet about filming people and their property. “That woman looks like a real earth mother!”

A woman was sitting on an overstuffed outdoor chair. She was working with some kind of fleece item. Marcia noticed her unusual looks, two-toned blond and black hair, lots of odd jewelry, and a long, flowing dress of unidentified ethnic origins. She and Daniel made their way to the RV park office and spent an hour touring the place, which was quite a marvel. Marcia continued with her discreet filming, knowing that the park owners would tell her to stop. She did not know that her rudely obtained record would hold the key to the Chupacabra Desert Mystery.

On the way out of the park, Marcia filmed the expensive trailer and odd woman again. This time, she smelled something so offensive that it made her gag and reach for the Febreeze.

“Let’s move, Daniel! I can’t stand that smell!”
“You mean the mutton?”
“Yes! It made us all sick when I was a kid and, to this day, I can’t even stand to eat Lamb.”

Daniel closed the air vents and left the RV Park. About half an hour later, he and Marcia were at the Fossil Factory. He was astounded at the place. He assumed it would be something like a combination of amusement park, tourist trap and curio store, but this place looked more like a fortress.

Marcia led the way as Daniel carried the basket. It was quite heavy after her shopping spree. His confusion continued as they entered a Spartan office with a desk, chairs and little else. A rear door flew open and a surprising little man flew through it to grab Marcia and give her a passionate hug!

“Marcia! Here you are, as beautiful as ever! Look at those green eyes! They are just the right color to keep people from judging you to be a witching woman!”

“Egun! You are as handsome as ever! If I had not found the last man I shall ever love, you would be the one! I would love you from a distance, of course, because your wife makes my beauty dim in comparison!”

“Why is she using such formal language,” Daniel wondered. Is that man a Basque? Perhaps she’s think in Basque and translating for my benefit. What is this place?”

“Meet Daniel, my good friend and security consultant!” Daniel shook hands with Egun. The man was strong as an Ox.

“Egun is a world class archeologist who settled here to search for dinosaurs and ancient Indian civilizations,” Marcia explained. He has a wonderland of fossils and exquisite finds.

“Yes. Allow me,” Egun led Marcia and Daniel through the rear door. Daniel noticed that the door was solid steel and that the security apparatus was the best. His eyes widened and he turned into a little boy as he gaped at the scene.

“My God,” he yelled. “This is amazing!” They were in a vast warehouse. A partially assembled T-Rex and two other dinosaurs were the centerpieces of the vast space, but the rest of Egun’s collection dwarfed them. He excised mountainsides, filled vast shelves and crates with fossils and geological specimens that were as small as molecules and as large as cars.

Daniel was lost in the visual field. Egun must have installed twenty large skylights to create shafts of light that illustrated one amazing tableau after another. He could not gauge the size of the space because he could not find a clear space in a wall.

“Welcome to the real desert, Daniel!” Marcia was like a little girl, herself. “After we see these things, you just walk around and get oriented. This place goes on forever. Egun has a helper to guide you.”

She hugged the helper, a teenaged girl who was one of Egun’s many sons and daughters. She whispered to the girl, “If Daniel gets excited about something, and then pack it. I find that’s the best way to give someone a gift they will really like.” The girl giggled.

 Egun led the group to a large table where he had her latest orders laid out. The table held a sliced, polished slab of agate the size of a coffee table. He had a dozen geodes, Ten square feet of fossilized mahogany from Tanzania and several meteorites. The most stunning object was a huge, fully assembled,

“Fish?” Daniel whispered.

“A small pachycormid, my friend,” Egun was beaming with pride. “Marcia will donate this to the University of New Mexico!”

“Marcia will get a huge tax deduction, too!” Marcia yelled. She was snapping pictures from all angles. “I want a private photo session with this monster when they get it into place and I do not want this stuffed into a storage room somewhere.”

“Oh, this is a major discovery, so I made the loan contingent upon it being displayed for the public to see. Dr. Plantagen is arranging a traveling exhibit.”

“Very good.” After two hours of poking around and sharing a meal with Egun and his family, Marcia said, “We will take these things with us so you won’t have to deliver it all. Marcia asked Daniel to find something for Kevin and he had finally settled on a small, fully assembled rodent skeleton.

“Ahhh! From the Pleistocene! A mouse!” Egun exclaimed. “Your friend gets much personal meaning from a mouse. It is a symbol of affection, no?”

“Exactly!” Daniel was very pleased with himself. The distraction allowed Marcia to hide the item that Daniel had admired the most. Egun passed the signal to one of his helpers who quickly whisked the item away.

Later, as the ranch staff was groaning and bickering over how to unload her latest haul, Marcia snagged the little rodent and presented Daniel’s gift. “This is for you, Daniel. I saw you admiring it,”

“Oh! This is too much!” He grasped the display case in both hands, lost in the arrangement of dinosaur bones that were filled with agate in a process that took hundreds of thousands of years. His eyes filled with tears and he abruptly excused himself.

“That was good of you Miss Marcia,” Mauricio, her ranch manager approved of all her gifts to her staff.

“You are all well worth it,” She said. “You are all worth everything I can do to thank you.”

Her shopping spree at the Fossil Factory cost her $12,308,397.84, most of which was for the donation to the University of New Mexico.

Her clothes still reeked faintly of mutton.

Chapter 5

I am going, Dr. Yap! Look at that weather out there. It is beautiful and I will take a private jet. She has a spread there and we will all have bunks to sleep in.” Kevin Ap-Rhys was in his moment. He had a mystery to solve, a desert to experience and a woman to love. Nothing was going to stop him from making the journey to Las Cruces.

“Actually, I approve of this trip, Kevin. You have been mooning around here, as lovesick as you can be. You need to go on a trip to an isolated ranch where you will be under her management. She is a lovely woman and is probably in as pitiful a state as you are.”

“You are telling me yes?”
“Yes, but I am going with you, as is Georges and Brendan. I sense that she will need extra security to keep you out of trouble.” Kevin reached for his phone and made a call. “Marcia! I love you so much and Dr. Yap ordered us both to have some therapy immediately. I am coming to stay with you until this mystery is solved!”

“What? Kevin? Yes! You come! I have plenty of therapy for you. I have ancient Karman Sutro therapies...”

“Ummm. Wait... Don’t you mean...”

“No. These are special. You come here! We have food for you and I have a bunk and a hot plate...”

“I will sleep on the ground to get at you, girl.” Two hours later, Kevin was in the air, his computer was full of screens and he had no idea what he was doing. This puzzle drew him in as a light draws a moth to its glow. The skies were crystal blue, a stroke of luck since a terrible storm had passed through a few days earlier.

It was Thanksgiving week and Kevin was glad to escape the invitations to dine in other homes. As a Black man living in America, he knew that Thanksgiving had to be a part of his life, but this new world holiday, with its excess of food and American football, did not yet appeal to him.

“Perhaps now that I have Marcia, she will be my little family. She will teach me about this holiday. She will make it real to me.”

The plane landed at 11 AM and Las Cruces immediately stole the hearts of everyone aboard. The air was warm and the smell of mesquite, sage and desert dust gave a healing spirit to the air. “This is a strange and wonderful land, Kevin,” Dr. Yap whispered, “I feel the mystery and the healing here. It must be the sage, a very medicinal plant.”

“I think it’s the pot, also a very medicinal plant!” Kevin glared over at some teenagers who were standing and sitting in cars, watching the planes come and go.

Georges said, “We do not need to go through customs, do we?”

“No. This is still the United States,”

“Our nation has a million worlds inside of it. I would understand if you expect to show passports or change languages!” This was Kevin’s veterinarian, Dr. Art Banner. He came along to help Marcia with her very expensive guests and was a gift from Kevin. His horse, Kefilte was in good hands back in California and approved of Kevin taking the trip.

Marcia and Daniel rolled up in her bus, a monster that could carry up to twenty people out into the desert on special excursions. She jumped from the vehicle and took Kevin into her immediate custody... or he took her into his custody. No one could tell.

After the newcomers and their luggage settled into the bus, she announced that they would take a brief tour of Las Cruces and the desert before heading out to her ranch. After a forty-minute tour, they arrived at the ranch, its architecture so cunning that the visible structure looked like a small pueblo. Someone asked, “Is there room for all of us here?”

Marcia laughed before spending the next half hour giving her guests a tour of the house alone. The ranch tour would take a lot longer. She took Kevin’s hand and led him to her suite of rooms. It was a thousand square feet large, with a different view from every window. She led him through her private living room and library and into a brightly lit, secret bedroom that she had built into the rocks.

Kevin gasped. “Marcia! Did you design this?”

“I had help. Now let me pay it forward and help you out of those clothes. Are you good for this?”

“Let me show you how good I am,” he placed her hand on himself. She reached for his belt as they stumbled onto the bed.

After three trips to Nirvana, they talked quietly. “Do you love Franklin, Marcia? Have you done Franklin?”

“No! Yes! I love Franklin as a friend. I have not done Franklin. He has his back east woman. He does her. You are for me. What about your other woman?”

“I... I... love her in a way, but she does not understand me,” He whined dramatically, putting his mouth where it did not belong.

“Well you put a ring on it right now, then,” she said, her green eyes boring right into his gray eyes. He reached for his pants and pulled them onto his lap. He fished through his pockets and pulled out a paper wrapped item. He removed the paper and brandished a diamond ring.

“Give me your hand. I want it and I’ll put this ring on it.” His deep rich voice was heavy with the spirit and accent of Cornwall. “Are you mine?”

“Yes. I am yours.” He put the ring on her finger and his mouth on another place where it did not belong. They reached Nirvana again. Marcia took him into her incredible environmental shower and washed his hair.

“Your hair is beautiful, but you need to start going to a hairdresser.”

“Why?” Kevin was dismayed.

“Barbers cut hair and take care of whiskers. Hairdressers know how to treat long hafro-napfro hair so it does not split and look frizzy. I’ll give you my hairdresser’s card.”

“Your hair is so soft, like puppy fur. It smells so good, too. You are not going to have me smelling like lavender and mango, are you?”

“No, I bought something else for you. It has a bit of Bergamot. You will be a manly man smelling like Earl Grey tea. Now I could add a little of this Axe cologne I bought,” She reached for a bottle of Axe cologne, causing Kevin to break down into laughter.

He had been touchy about his scarring, but he believed that it healed enough for her to see. When she saw it, she did not recoil or go into a dramatic episode and he loved her even more for that.

“Your scar is very fine, Kevin. Someone did beautiful work You will keloid a bit, but it is a very neat, large star on your back. The grafts are taking well. You are doing so well, so please take at least a year before you get all crazy again, old man.”

“Old man? I’m barely 29 years old! So are you!”

“But we are old souls, Kevin. Oh! I have something for you! Daniel helped me pick it out! We went to my favorite place yesterday and he thought you would like this.”

She helped Kevin out of the shower and padded, naked, into her personal library while he dressed in soft cottons. She retrieved the display box and returned to the bedroom. She put it on her console table. She turned it around with a flourish and held her breath. He squinted at it, took in a long, deep breath, and roared with laughter.

“A prehistoric mouse, Marcia? That is genius! What is this place?” They talked and laughed until they fell into the first relaxing sleep they had enjoyed in days.

They dreamed of desert mysteries and floated for miles through mystical canyons of red rock, passing dinosaurs and ancient beasts. Many Indians and animals sent incomprehensible messages and taught lessons they could not learn.

Chapter 6

“Marcia, what is this video?” Kevin asked shortly before he solved the Desert Chupacabra mystery. They were still in bed and Marcia was playing the video she took the day before. She wanted Kevin to see the motor homes and the Fossil Factory in case he wanted to visit those places.

“This is the luxury RV Park “Mansion Away From Mansion”, where I will keep my monster motor home one day, Oh holy shit!” She yelled it so suddenly that Kevin jumped, causing a twinge in his damaged scapula that made him wince.

“Oh! I’m sorry! Are you all right? You are? Ok. Ok. Here it is. That man is cooking mutton! I remember that the smell came into the SUV and it makes me sick. We had mutton smell in our clothes! He was at the gourmet store an hour or so earlier, and I know he could not have bought the mutton there.”

“Why not?”

“The gourmet store does not sell mutton! It sells lamb, but not mutton! Adult sheep is not a popular taste around here. Besides, most of these expensive sheep are valued for their breeding stock, wool and milk more than their meat!”

“So you think he is the ‘Chupacabra’?”

“Well, there is something else. Do you see the woman? She is sitting out in the open, working on a costume. See the fleece costume?”


“Let me do this frame-by-frame. See those bags on the hands of the costume? Oh my Gahhh... she’s removing the bags with exquisite care and she’s wearing...”

“Gloves? Are those gloves?”

“Yes! Those are metal mesh gloves, Kevin! Here they come! She’s removing the bags and...” She squealed, “If those aren’t razor-sharp titanium claws, I am a mutton head.”

“How do you know they are titanium, girl?” Kevin was eyeing her as if she was a bad used car.

“I have those knives and the gloves. They are for butchering meat. I took a class in butchering and I buy my meat by the animal. I go to the meat storage and work with the butchers. Titanium knives cut through flesh like butter. If you make a wrong move with one of those knives, you will lose some meat of your own. There are a lot of short fingered cooks and butchers out there, I will tell you that!”

“Strange lady. She is Wicca... no she’s something else. Definitely not Wicca... she is demonic. Can you zoom in on her neck? See that medallion?” He asked for his computer, booted it up and did a quick search. “That is a minor demon called Kigatilik. She is a vicious, violent demon who kills shamans, among other things.”

“Do you study this stuff, Kevin?”

He hesitated before speaking, reluctant to give any FBI secrets away. He decided that he did not care about FBI secrets. “My little Marcia has the solution to this mystery and she deserves to know. I love calling her my little Marcia. She’s a tiny thing, so powerful in my mind.” He coughed politely, and then spoke aloud,

 “Not as a regular thing, Marcia. I gained an interest since I was shot. I have found signs of increasingly organized and international activity involving people who are into demonic cults. It’s a lot more widespread than I thought it would be, so I started to research the minor and major demons in myth and religions. I never studied the American Indian myths, though.”

“The man has a tattooing. Would you zoom in on his arm, please? Yes. That is the symbol of another, European demonic myth. These people are cultists and they should be looked into by the Sheriff of your county.” Kevin did not realize how quickly that would happen. He mistakenly thought that days would pass before the proper law enforcement mechanisms would be in place.

“Go Sherlock”

“Go Irene! Oh my. I have my Irene Adler. Come here and let me study you...”

Two hours later, Kevin, the county Sheriff and a state investigator met in Marcia’s large library. They were organizing an investigation into the RV camp, the woman and Austrian man and several others who had assembled there.

“We need to move in on them now. They’re goin’ on a run tonight, I just know it,” The state investigator said. “I put a couple of undercover officers in the park, but the subjects packed up and took everything inside their motor home. Here are some photos, Sheriff. Let’s see if you recognize anyone.” He put up a dozen photos of very high quality. The Sheriff examined them closely.

“I know four of these people.” He pointed at two photos. These fellows work on that actresses ranch... what’s her name? Myna. Myna Lemon.

“Didn’t she win an Oscar?”

“Yes, her. She has a big spread over the hill. She leases the land to locals and uses it as a vacation retreat.”

“Anyone else?” Kevin was leaning forward. His silvery eyes glittered, but he kept his thoughts to himself.

“Yes. This one,” He pointed to a tall, black haired teenager. “He’s one of those Goth kids from town. He was a smart, talented kid, but he changed. You know how teenagers change overnight into something you don’t understand. He’s been getting into trouble at school. Maybe this is why. Anyway,”

He pointed to a brown haired, clean cut man, “He’s a professor at the University. He teaches comparative religions. He is quite controversial with the wing nuts who don’t want anyone’s kids learning about demons and monsters. The religious nuts accused him of practicing an odd religion, but he proved to be doing the opposite. He was teaching more about how to stay out of cults and deviant religions.”

Kevin interrupted “He focuses on one of the worst of them, but he is a Christian. He is an immigrant from Italy and he is one of the top poisons and deviant religion experts in the world. Your university is lucky to have a man of his caliber.”

“Do you know him?” The other occupants of the room were stunned that Kevin would have such a broad circle of acquaintances at his age. “How old are you, son?”

“Twenty nine and four months.”

“You’re so young; I should count your age in months!  Where on earth did you get connected to so many people?”

“I’m on medical leave from the FBI. I am a reserve agent now, but I have made some good connections in my travels. I know nothing about the southwest, though, and this is a good time to learn about this region.  My primary concern is that we get that professor out of there. He is in over his head.”

“How do you know?”

“I profile and I solve cases, so let me do this one now. This is a demonic cult of some type. They are well prepared, well connected in very high places. They have no shortage of money as that motor home is worth well over a million dollars. They have political connections, good lawyers and all the equipment they need for a very sophisticated operation.

The woman is Lady Lenoire Bartholomew, as in Lord Bartholomew of England. She is the youngest daughter, a real rebel against tradition. We are lucky she has lost her diplomatic immunity since her husband, a consular official, divorced her. He is assigned to the consulate in San Francisco and is a fine man.” Kevin went on in his deep, heavily accented tone, “Lady Lenoire is worth about fifteen million on her own. Her family is worth ten times that.”

The large man is an Austrian who works as a security guard and VIP chauffeur. He works throughout the European theater. He is highly sought after as a discreet and very dangerous asset to many extremely wealthy individuals. His name is Lukas Miko and he is internationally untouchable. He is actually a very well controlled, polite man who may be on a mission of his own. He could even be working with Il Pastore.

I believe they are all planning to go out into the open desert, where they have fitted out some of the lost sheep and horses with Global Positioning beacons. They will dress in costumes and don titanium teeth, claws and other cutting elements to kill and butcher the animals. Someone will dress up as the Chupacabra of myth and do ritual butchering. I estimate it will be Herr Miko.

I understand that the carcasses so far are missing the choicest parts, heart, liver, gallbladder, loin and sirloin. That is all they will take, leaving the rest for desert predators to destroy any evidence of human activity.

They will leave in less than two hours and will travel for about an hour. Then they will settle in near their quarry, using the GPS system. When it gets dark enough and the area is free of any other human traffic, they will strike, then flee to a second gathering point, where they will hold rituals and a feast.

You will have a terrible time tailing them, as there are long stretches of land and road where any other vehicles are impossible to conceal. They will not act if they know that others are around.

The first task is to get Il Pastore out of there. I cannot allow him to be part of his own undercover or academic operation. He is a priceless resource. Can you snag him now? I will meet with him somewhere and we will work it out from there.

“Can’t you call him?”

“No. If he has any sense, he is carrying a throw away phone for emergencies, not his own phone.”

“Let’s go get him. You stay here, Sir Kevin. Your grannies would kill me if they knew I took you out on a mission like this. Don Padre would skin me alive.” It was the state inspector’s turn to give Kevin a shock.

“Oh no! Do they have a finger in every pie?”

“Yes, Sir Kevin. Yes they do when it comes to you.”

Three hours later, a SWAT team intercepted the group as it left the freeway and entered the open desert.  The Sheriff’s deputies arrested fourteen people, including Kevin’s friend, Il Pastore, the college professor.

After a brief, fierce argument, he and Lukas Miko were whisked away in a special SUV that went in a different direction than the other police vehicles. Investigators found a mountain of evidence in the motor home, which turned out to be a 1.5 million dollar custom-built palace on wheels.

The District Attorney realized that there was not nearly enough evidence to prosecute the accused. He released the motor home owner, Lady Lenoire Bartholomew. She quickly left New Mexico and disappeared shortly after she arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her remains were never found and her whereabouts are unknown.

The others were charged with malicious vandalism, animal cruelty and enough other charges to keep them in jail for years. No one would talk or make plea bargains until several high priced lawyers appeared and negotiated lesser charges.

Kevin and Marcia hosted their first ranch feast and celebration as a couple. It was one of many celebrations that would be held in Las Cruces. Through terrible times and through wonderful times, Marcia’s ranch would always be a haven and a place of healing.

The Chupacabra costume and the titanium claws went missing. Those items were never found.

Chapter 7

Kevin and Marcia hosted their great feast and celebration that night. While the revelers were dancing and eating, the Chupacabra was raising its ugly, elongated snout and howling at the absent moon. He knew it was up there in the air. He could feel invisible gravity, pulling at him and tormenting the skin under his silky fur.

The air was freezing and there was a light dusting of frost on the ground. The frost gave a delicate crisping sound as his paws compressed the plants and ground. He raised his hands to the sky and let the light of a million stars caress and wash over the silvery faces of his titanium claws. He let the starlight into his mind. He used the dim sheen as the only guide to his quarry.

He could hear and smell them, a horse and two sheep. They were sixty feet off the valley floor. They were hidden in a cliff side chimney that was inaccessible to humans, but not to determined animals. He found his favorite well-hidden pathway and started to climb, stopping frequently to rest and to listen for sounds of alarm from the animals.

Hearing nothing but the faint, distant sounds of the ranch party, he climbed until he came to a blind corner. He knew that he would find the animals soon. He knew that they were trapped in the tiny, invisible chimney. The chimney was just big enough to hold all of them, animals and beast, and this was where the greatest danger presented itself.

The Chupacabra knew that he could easily be trampled by the panicked horse or pushed out and over the cliff by the heavy bodied sheep. He pulled his weapon, a silenced Sig Sauer semiautomatic. He spun around the corner and shot the animals several times, disabling but not killing them.

Then he went to work. The titanium claws made short work of sinew, bone and flesh. There was little blood as he was an expert butcher who cut meats for the great tables of European royalty and wealthy commoner alike. The animals would lie in their final resting place until they were nothing but wool, hair and bones.

His culinary skills and perceptive investments made him wealthy. He was worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but no themed vacation was more satisfying than the Chupacabra vacation. It was too bad that he would not be able to enjoy this vacation again for another five years.

He rappelled to the valley floor, shed and bagged his costume and found his off road vehicle. He buried the little vehicle and covered it with brush after he arrived at his pickup point.

Ten minutes later, the only human alive who knew the Desert Chupacabra boarded a black helicopter and flew away. He carried fifty pounds of fresh meat and organs, still warm from the bodies of the animals who contributed them.

The End

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