next case

Julian found what might be a case on Facebook this morning. Apparently kids keep going missing in the corn fields in a state where there are lots and lots of corn fields.

“That’s out by Louie’s,” Neal said, but Julian had already started calling someone.

“Hey Louie,” Julian said. I heard whoever was on the other end make an exuberant greeting. Julian smiled. “Yeah, we’re heading out your way.” He laughed. “We saw that! Well why didn’t you call us?” Julian laughed again. “We’ll be there by tomorrow, we can run backup. Uh huh. Yeah I’ll tell him. See you soon.” He hung up.

“Corn wolves,” Julian said to us. “Jasper’s already on it, but the more the merrier according to Louie.”

“Jasper’s home?” Neal asked.

“That’s what he said.”

“Who’s Louie?” I asked.

“Hunter,” Julian explained. “Took us under his wing when we were kids.”

When they were kids huh? They don’t talk about the past much (as evidenced by the entire brother they just never mentioned to me and have not to my knowledge spoken of even one single time in the MONTHS that we’ve been sitting in this car together for) and I can’t imagine what their childhood looked like. Have they always been hunters? Were they raised like this? ….do they have parents?

“And Jasper?” I asked.

Julian glanced at Neal, who answered. “Louie’s son,” Neal said. “Well, adopted son, I guess.” There was a long quiet after that, a quiet in which I suspected there was a lot more story. I noticed that we were driving awfully fast.

“What’s a corn wolf?” I asked.

“They’re a sort of monster,” Neal said shortly and I rolled my eyes.

“They’re… sort of cat-like,” Julian said. “Or maybe more like weasels. They’re pack hunters. Where ever they come from we believe they must live in grassy habitats with very tall grass because they’re drawn to corn and wheat fields. Especially corn.”

“They’re mean sons of bitches,” Neal said. “I’m surprised Lou’s letting Jasper handle it himself.”

“Jasper’s an adult,” Julian said mildly, but I felt the car’s gas engage again just a little bit.

So we’re off to corn country. Going to meet yet another of the Hawthorne’s old family friends.I swear I’m getting the crash course in everyone the Hawthorne’s have ever met these last couple weeks.

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