The Bakeneko: A Lawson Vampire Short Story by Jon F. Merz – Part Thirteen

The Bakeneko: A Lawson Vampire Short Story
By Jon F. Merz

Part Thirteen

And then, just as quickly, it was gone. 

The wind blew again and the rains pelted the trees above me.  The danger – if there had been any – was gone.

But I wanted to get out of the woods and come back when I was better equipped.

I retraced my steps and found my way back to where I’d entered the forest.  Out from under the canopy, I was shocked at how much rain fell.  I was soaked through in seconds as I dashed back down the street to where I’d parked.

As I grabbed the door handle, I had a sudden feeling of being watched and turned to see Kiyoko eyeing me intently through a window.  I waved, but she turned away and I thought nothing more of it.  I slid into the car and cranked the engine.  I needed a change of clothes and a weapon.

Back at the ryokan, I finally dried off and contacted Niles.  He sent me back coordinates and wished me good luck on my hunt.

While on the computer, I did a quick search for mountain cats in Japan.  I was surprised to learn that there weren’t any to speak of, aside from something called the leopard cat that was only slightly bigger than a regular house cat.  It wasn’t even supposed to exist on the main island of Honshu.  But the article also stated that fossils recovered in the past suggested a wider distribution that what had been found currently – and other fossils reportedly showed that Japan had once been home to an even larger mountain cat.

I switched off the computer and sighed.  Was it possible that someone had introduced a new species without anyone realizing it?  Or was this just a case of mistaken identity?  Maybe I’d been too eager to give Kiyoko’s theory credence when I should have just assumed someone had killed the two people and drained their blood.

One thing was for sure, I wanted a weapon from the cache Niles had directed me to.  I got back into my car and took my time driving slowly to that destination, taking care to double-back on myself a few times.  It was probably unnecessary, but instincts drilled into me a long time ago had a habit of keeping me alive, so I followed them.

Click here to go to Part Fourteen!

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