White Fangs

White Fangs by Tim Lebbon, Christopher Golden

Book: White Fangs by Tim Lebbon, Christopher Golden Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tim Lebbon, Christopher Golden
her pack again. "Polar bears, huh? Could be, I suppose."
    "What?" Jack asked, incredulous. He'd begun to believe she really had some kind of knowledge of the supernatural — at least of monsters — but if she thought they'd been attacked by polar bears, maybe he had simply let her bizarre ramblings persuade him of something that wasn't there.
    "Well, they'd want to be somethin' powerful. And them bears are the strongest there is." Callie was moving even faster, hurrying to catch up to Sabine and the pack. She dropped one hand to the hilt of her silver knife, and that made Jack nervous. If she did know his companions were werewolves, what would her next move be?
    "I don't understand," Jack said. Did she mean they were bears the same way Louis and the other pirates were wolves? Were-bears ? Was such a thing possible? After he'd killed the Wendigo he had been forced to open his mind to a great many things he would never have dreamed could exist.
    Callie frowned at him. "You talk real nice, Jack. Smart. You read books, I bet."
    "Of course."
    She snickered. "'Course,' he says, as if everyone reads 'em. They don't. But I'm wonderin' if you read one in particular, by a fella named Stoker."
    Realization flooded Jack's thoughts. He had indeed read the book, published just a few years earlier, a novel by Bram Stoker about a bloodthirsty creature who preyed on the innocent, a thing from the darkest folk tales of the Old World.
    "You think the things that came after us last night were vampires ?" Jack asked. "That doesn't make any sense. They were in the water. And strong or not, whatever was down there was much bigger than a man."
    Callie had one hand on the butt of a pistol and her other on the knife. She cast nervous glances right and left, her muscles tensing as the dusk deepened from gray to indigo and the first stars began to appear.
    "I figured you fer a reader," she said, satisfied with her judgment. "But, see, Stoker took most of his ideas from old European legends. In them stories, vampires could turn into animals. A wolf or a bat or a rat. Some say spiders, too. I've run across 'em more than once and I can tell you, that ain't just a story. Seen it with my own eyes."
    Jack tried to take all of that in.
    "What is it?" the Reverend called back to him. Vukovich and Maurilio watched Jack and Callie approaching with wary expressions, standing slightly crouched, ready for violence if it became necessary.
    The pack had sensed something in him, or seen the alarm in his face, but Sabine did not look at him; she hung her head as though the weakness she'd felt away from the water had returned. She had a hand on Louis's arm, and Jack worried that something had happened to her.
    "You came up here looking for them," Jack said to Callie.
    "Got a friend in Dawson — Len Truman — started up a mercantile last year. He got a message to me about people turnin' up missing and his suspicions in that regard. I did hear mention of polar bears."
    "Vampire polar bears!" Jack said, shaking his head. "That's insane. It doesn't make any sense."
    "You're thinkin' about it all wrong," Callie replied. "If them vampires in Europe turn into wolves, maybe that's just cuz they got plenty of wolves about. But let's say these bloodsuckin' demons can turn themselves into all kinds of animals? Now, let's say you got some vampires who were part of one of the local Indian tribes. Tiklit. Tigrit. Whatever they are. Don't ya suppose they'd be likely to turn into the kinds of animals they knew best? Up in these parts, what's stronger or more ferocious than a bear?"
    Jack's head was spinning, but he couldn't deny that the rough-hewn woman had a certain logic to her argument. Truthfully, how could he debate the point when he was traveling with werewolves?
    "I hope your friends are as wild as I think they are," Callie went on, drawing one of her guns. "We're gonna need all the help we can get."
    They were about ten feet from Sabine and the wolves now.
    Jack glanced at

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