Chernovsky and Tomanica had experimented on pumpkins back home. They found that if they pressed the opening of the suppressor firmly against the pumpkin just before pulling the trigger that the sound was that of the bolt slapping back and forth was slightly louder than the shuffling of cards.
By Chernovsky’s count, he had more than 1500 rounds of Federal ammo that his Marlin 60 seemed to prefer. He rather hoped he would not go through all of it.
As the crew started dragging the bodies off the porches and arranging them the way Chernovsky told them to, Chernovsky found Collin and Brandon. He had them tell him the story again. He really did not like the part about the groups walking past the first honey-pot houses.
Afterward, he connected with Gladys and asked her to contact the hunters in the community. Surely some of them had electronic predator calls. Pushing the button on a remote would be stealthier than shooting.
Gladys called back and told Chernovsky she had one in hand with fresh batteries installed. Chernovsky dispatched Buddy on a bike to go pick it up.
Buddy showed up with the call at first light.
Buddy was not the most reliable person in the world. He had been riding with one of his cousins when he was twelve when his cousins convinced him to go “hood surfing”. The cousins had been drinking. They hit the brakes. Buddy went tumbling and suffered a closed-head injury.
It is possible that aggressive intervention and therapy afterward could have negated most of the damage but Buddy’s parents did not find out about it for two days. Even if they had learned about it they had neither the financial resources or knowledge of the medical system to have been a good advocate for Buddy.
Buddy was doomed to spend the rest of his life functioning at the level of a nine year old.
Chernovsky told Brandon to keep an over-watch with the spotting scope. He wanted to know if ANYBODY was coming down the road.
Then he coached Buddy on what he wanted him to to with the corpses that neatly lined the road, face down.
While Buddy was doing what Chernovsky was instructing him to do, Quinn set the predator call to Coyote Howl and placed it in the brush where there was a clear line of sight to the primary observation post but where the call was screened from the road.
“What the hell are they doing down there?” Collin asked. He had been trained to not ‘scope’ friendlies.
Brandon was watching through the spotting scope. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” Brandon said.
Brandon moved over so Collin could watch. While Collin was watching, Brandon had his rifle at low ready, just in case.
“Son of a bitch! Buddy is hitting them in the back of the head with a pick-axe.” Collin marveled.
Buddy lined up on each corpse and hit them in the back of the head and nape of their neck with the broad bladed end of a mattock. Then he moved to the other side of them and smucked the other side of their head.
Chernovsky had to work with Buddy to ensure that the two cuts lined up so they looked like a bite mark.
After Buddy had desecrated all of the corpses, Chernovsky and Buddy walked back to the hide.
Chernovsky asked, “Do you have some place we can store this?” pointing to the mattock.
The wide blade of the mattock had a couple of 3/4” bolts welded to each side and it had “teeth” ground into the blade.
Seeing the boy’s quizical expressions, Chernovsky said “Buddy. Take a walk. I need to talk to these men privately.”
Buddy very biddably walked out of sight.
“I don’t get it.” Collin said.
“Ever hear of were-wolves?” Chernovsky asked.
“Yeah. But they ain’t real.” Brandon said.
“You know that and I know that. But I have yet to meet a teenager who will go out after dark after watching a were-wolf movie.” Chernovsky said. “Hell, my little brother still won’t walk around the back end of the truck when it is in the garage and it is after dark. And Jimmi is twenty.”
Peppermint Candy hinted very darkly during her next broadcast about Len Stuttman’s recent demise.
According to Peppermint, "The late Leonard Stuttman had been intimately involved in resurrecting extinct carnivores using DNA found on Siberian islands and from corpses found as glaciers retreated due to global warming."
"Authorities claim that Mr Stuttman had been breeding for size and intelligence. In the margins of his notes, Mr Stuttman wondered if some human DNA might have polluted the DNA of American Lions, Siberian Sabre-toothed Tigers, Neolithic Cave Bears and Alaskan Dire Wolves as they were far, far smarter than expected."
"Sadly, Mr Stuttman’s mangled corpse was found outside the high-fence compound on West Windsor Highway just south of Dimondale three days ago. The gate was open and no animals were recovered. The most notable thing about Mr Stuttman’s corpse was that the entire back of his skull had been cleanly sheared away."
"Since then there have been multiple reports of neighborhood horses and cattle disappearing. They were not killed and eaten. Nope. They were CARRIED OFF."
"I advise you in the strongest possible terms, people of Dimondale and Eaton Rapids never go outside alone and to never, NEVER go outside after dark." Peppermint said. "Evil that has been extinct for ten-thousand years now roams the earth."
Chernovsky had written the piece and asked Dysen to carry it back to her sister, Peppermint Patty to read on air. Dmitri got wind of the project and thought it warranted a boost in the signal.
The transmissions were pumped up to thirty Watts and repeated on the hour.
You damned betchya the yutes looked when the coyote howler lit up.
And Leonard Stuttman? Everybody in Dimondale and Eaton Rapids knew he died in 2012. And to repeat the tag-line he ended every Michigan Out-of-Doors TV show with: Khudā Hāfiz