posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 01:43 PM
Jack pine flowed endlessly, spotted with lakes and rivers, as the old float plane flew south. The two men in the cockpit of the old Beaver sat
silently, listening to the engine as it purred monotonously, watching the wilderness below them. The first snows of the year had already made the
trees stand out starkly on the thin white blanket and they could easily see where moose and deer had left their tracks to feeding grounds.
Dan Meekis and Orland Jones were cops. Their base at Deer Lake was a small community of about 1,000 people and there really wasn't a whole lot to
discuss. Dan, a big Cree of 42, was born at Poplar Hill, a reservation of even less people about 60 kilometers further south of where they were
headed. He knew this country very well and noted every river and lake that passed under their wings with memories of past hunts.
Their destination was an island in Old Shoes Lake where the Van Dolder family had a cabin. Sytse, his wife Toos, and their three children Tonnie, Riek
and Maart lived there every summer, from spring to fall, fishing, hunting and gathering what the wilderness had to offer them. Usually, they made a
call into Balmertown for supplies once a month, to be flown in to their isolated camp, but it had been almost 2 months since anyone had heard from
them. Furthermore, it was the middle of October and Sytse always closed camp for the winter with the first snowfall. When the lakes start to freeze,
it would be impossible to leave until the ice could support a landing and that could take weeks. The Dutchman had never stayed this long in 20
And that's why Dan and Orland were visiting. They had tried to reach them by radio, but there had been nothing but static.
Old Shoe Lake, as they appoached it, looked a little choppy and grey, but was large enough for an easy landing. Dan circled the island first,
searching for signs of the family, but it seemed deserted down there; the only life was a moose in the shallows feeding near the north shore.
Gingerly bleeding airspeed, he set the floats to the water, whacking the tops of the chop and sending up spray. The old DeHaviland shuddered a bit,
settling deeper, and, before long was noisily coasting to the dock where the aluminum fishing boat was tied, still full of fishing gear, oars and life
"Looks quiet", Orland said as he stepped out of the plane and onto the floats, rope in hand. For an 'old man' of 60 years, he was spry, jumping
the space to the dock and manhandling the plane into position. Tying the floats securely, he rose and scanned the camp one side to the other. "Too
Dan, now beside him, frowned. There should be someone that had heard them fly in, but the silence remained total.
"There's no tracks", Orland spoke softly. He looked into the boat, seeing all the gear, and frowned. "Somethings not right here", and started to
Dan, following close behind, was searching the scrub pines where he knew the paths around the little island were, hoping to see someone appear. He
also noticed the lack of footsteps to those dark spaces where the paths started.
The log cabin had been built by trappers a hundred years ago, on bare stone at the highest elevation. It had a view of the whole lake from the small
windows set in its four walls. The only door stood slightly ajar and Orland pushed it open.
"Oh, Christ...", he muttered, "oh, God, whats happened here?" Just in the entrance lay a ragged bundle of what had once been a man. The throat had
been ripped apart. Clothing, shredded, held what was left of the old man. "Something's been at him, Dan...look at his arms and legs".
"Yea, looks like a bear got to him", Dan replied,but he was already peering farther into the cabin. "There's Mrs. Van Dolder, Orland, "he said,
pointing at the bloody pile behind the overturned table, "her, too...there's not much left. Wonder where those kids are at?"
The answers lay behind the curtains that seperated their sleeping quarters.
Tonnie and Maart, the two youngest at 18 and 22, lay like broken piles of
rubbish, lit by the wan sun coming through the window.
Dan felt his gorge rise and went back outside. It wasn't the smell so much...the corpses were failry well frozen. It was the violence of the
killings. There was no fighting what had killed them. Whatever had done it was simply too strong and fast. It had butchered them where they stood,
like a whirlwind of death, and they had no time to flee or try to defend themselves. Breathing deeply to restore his calm, Dan turned to see Orland
come out. The old man looked scared and that was something Dan had never seen before.
"The girl...where's the girl?, he asked, in a quaking voice.
"Haven't seen her yet, Orland."
Dan remebered the feisty 30 year old, a big girl used to the woods and friendly to the Cree at the Rez. He'd always figured she'd make a good bride
for him, but she'd never shown interest. The big blonde enjoyed the rough northern life and had canoed every river for 100 miles around, sometimes
being gone months at a time. 'Only around here', he thought,' could a woman get that capable'.
"The Dutchman died quick, Dan, he was dead by the time he saw what was gonna kill him. It took out his throat and was on the wife before she could
turn to the door and her head is almost ripped off her body. The two boys never heard much at all, either. By the look of the blood, they both had
their throats cut too. Then, whatever it was, took its time to snack on them. We gotta find that girl."
Dan saw the look in his partners eye and shivered a little. Orland never looked so pale.
"What are you thinking?", Dan asked.
"it was no bear, Dan...too fast for a black bear and the guts weren't touched. No cougar either, cuz there's no claw marks on the bodies." Orland
paused, and in a voive that quivered, said, "Windigo, Dan. It's happened before."
"You gotta be kidding me...", Dan exploded, "that's just a bunch of crap, those stories. Old tales for kids around campfires..."
"Not just stories, Dan, I remember that case on the Berens River camp", Orlands long gray hair hung over his eyes as he spoke, "a woman there got
taken by the spirit back in the fifties, and she was on a killing spree for months."
Dan was speechless as Orland went on;
"I think Riek turned into a Windigo and killed her family. It's the only sign I see. That's what they do first, killing anyone around them. Then
they go on from there, murdering and eating the flesh of every living thing they can find. Their hunger for flesh is never over. They'll eat their
own lips and fingers if they can't find enough and nothing stops them except fire. Dan, if she's Windigo, she'll head downwind, they always do"
Dan studied the lake, the stormy waters chopped with rows of building whitecaps. The cold north wind blew steadily and he knew it would not stop for
days. Lots of time for the Windigo to reach Poplar Hill and all his relatives.
[edit on 14-10-2005 by masqua]