by Scott Burtness
When Dallas, the self-proclaimed Hero of Trappersville, is recruited by an ancient order of monster hunters, he’s more than happy to sign up. The group’s leader, Colton, is solid as an oak. Randall ain’t half bad, despite his tendency to whine. The whip-smart, beautiful, and totally badass Aletia is whip-smart, beautiful, and totally badass. Under their guidance, Dallas learns everything there is to know about hunting monsters (or close enough) and pledges to keep his friends safe.
Now there’s a werewolf in town, and Dallas and Stanley are on the case. As far as Dallas is concerned, monsters are monsters, and they have no place in Wisconsin.
Or do they? When an unexpected discovery and an unlikely reunion turn his world upside down, Dallas realizes he may not get to choose which side he’s on.
Even though it was faint, he recognized the smell. Taking a few tentative steps, he caught it again. Fixing it in his mind, he continued forward, slipping through the underbrush, stepping over fallen logs, and crouching under low-hanging branches. As he moved, the scent became incrementally more pronounced. He was passing by an old, crooked ash tree when his nose pulled him to an abrupt stop. Leaning in, he smelled a handful of leaves sprouting from a low branch. Beneath their leafiness, he smelled sweat, deodorant, maybe even cheap aftershave?
“Randall? It’s Randall. Son of a bitch, that’s gotta be him.”
Dallas swung around in a slow circle as he searched for traces of the scent. It didn’t take long to find it on another branch further into the trees. Soon, it was like a neon trail had been lit up just for Dallas. Every branch and leaf Randall had brushed against was emblazoned with his scent. Unquestioning, Dallas followed his nose.
Fixated on following the smelly trail, he almost forgot his original intent. Fortunately, a voice coming from just past the next rise brought him to his senses.
“… not much. I cast around for a bit, but I don’t think we gotta worry about a wendigo. And that ‘squatch scat was a least a week old. No fresh tracks, so it’s probably up in the Michigan U.P., maybe even Canada by now. Damn things got territories bigger than John Wayne’s balls.”
This was a treat, a somewhat bloody one, but a treat none the less. Fans of S.G. Browne and Andrew Buckley will have found the perfect medium in Scott Burtness. A decidedly twisted take on the kids go in the woods not to be heard from again trope, their is much mystery and horror to be had on this journey through the Northwoods. A blend of humor and gore, laughter and cringe worthy attacks on some jaded youths traipsing through unknown territories, Northwoods Wolfman keeps you entertained throughout. Not recommended for those with an aversion to stinky, hairy beasts and their eating of humans.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Scott lives in the Midwest with his wife and their boxer-pitt mix, Frank. He’s a horror, urban fantasy, and dark comedy fan, and also enjoys beer, bowling, karaoke, and rooting for the underdog. After not nearly enough consideration, he decided to write about the things he enjoys. The result was the Monsters in the Midwest series.