Read The Body Hunters Online

Authors: Raven Newcastle

The Body Hunters

The Body Hunters

By

Raven Newcastle

 

 

Von’s
Acknowledgement
s

Thanks go to Elizabeth
Spix, for all the encouragement. Regina Alvarado for her love of editing and taking on this challenge.  Abir Naja for putting up with all the laughing and foolishness, we can't promise we're going to stop it!  My hubby Raymond, the light of my life. And definitely not least, JoielleSherman no words can express my gratitude for taking this on with me. I can't wait for many more
.

 

 

Joi’s
Acknowledgment
s

First I want to thank God for blessing me with this talent and sending me the perfect writing buddy.
  I appreciate you Von!  We’re Thelma and Louise just riding off the cliff!  Thanks to Mom for all the support and words of encouragement and if you happen to read something you don’t like: Just remember Raven did it!  Thanks Abir for putting up with our girlish giggles and nonsense.  And thank you so much Reggie for your skillful editing and enthusiasm.  We both appreciate you!
 

Chapter On
e

 
   The hunger for crystal meth was all she knew or cared about.  Sherry scratched absently at the crank bugs creeping under her skin until her ragged fingernails drew blood. Her formerly flawless facial complexion, once the envy of all the girls in her tenth grade class, was now a mass of scabbed over red blotches. Her skin hung loosely off her sinewy frame, her addiction overriding her appetite for food. The smile her parents had spent a fortune on correcting with braces and teeth whitening treatments was now full of corroded yellow splinters. Scantily clad in a dingy tank top, dirty denim cutoffs, and flip flops, the teenager walked the ghettos of Dallas, Texas. The rundown neighborhood was the exact opposite of the luxurious gated community of her pampered upbringing
.

 
               Seventeen-year-old Sherry Cavender had grown up an overly privileged only child. Her parents raised her in the best neighborhoods of Dallas.  She had gone to the most prestigious private schools, and her parents assured that her every whim was granted. She was the stereotypical teenage girl; into boys, clothes, and hanging out with her clique. Soccer, volleyball, and the debate club were the after-school activities of which she partook. The precocious teen was a role model amongst her peers who strove to mimic her.  Her parents had prophesied that she was destined for greatness, perhaps a doctor or the next great American novelist.  However, life would take her down another road entirely.

 
                   What was supposed to be studying with her best friend turned into a wild party that led her down the dark highway of drug addiction.  Ecstasy, marijuana, and meth were all sampled to the tune of extremely loud techno music that thumped in her ears. Not wanting to be characterized as the buzz kill in the group, Sherry took her BFF up on her dare and indulged in the meth. The drug transported her to a paradise she never thought possible. Her reality was altered, and she was opened up to another plane of existence. Soon after, nothing else mattered except the next high. Dumbfounded, her parents wondered why their usually studious daughter's grades were in free fall and why increasingly small items of value were disappearing from their home
.

 
                   Horror dawned on Senator and Mrs. Cavender when they came to the painful realization that their beloved daughter was a junkie. Their prescription for her recovery included tough love and routine therapy sessions. Their efforts were fruitless as Sherry continued on her downward spiral. They eventually admitted her to a lavish rehab facility for drug abuse. If the facility had successfully cured Hollywood starlets, surely it could cure their daughter. After six months the teen was in remission and on the straight and narrow, but three months later she was back in the grips of the powerful drug that now completely consumed her.

 
              As her former classmates looked forward to their senior year of high school and applying to college, the Cavender's were again placing their daughter in rehab. Through the kicking, screaming and shouting that she hated them, her parents were adamant and remained steadfast about the rehab facility. Her recovery was the only thing on their mind. Two months later the girl had escaped the treatment center without a trace. Dipping into their fortune, the Cavender's hired a couple of private detectives to locate their runaway daughter
.

 
           Two months after her escape from the facility, Sherry walked the inner city, her young body the only thing of value left to barter. Often with drug addiction, the first things to vanish are pride and shame. She had given up the comforts of her parents' lavish home, her nights and days spent in crack houses, alleyways, or homeless shelters. She aimlessly wandered the streets searching for her next high.

 
    Tonight, along with several other prostitutes, Sherry advertised her wares outside the neon lights of an all-night party store. Rap music pounded from nearby car speakers, narcotics openly being sold in the nearby parking lot. Passersby strolled past her, either shaking their heads or giving her and the other hookers’ frigid stares.

 
   "Hey, beautiful!"A bland, nondescript dark sedan pulled to the curb, its driver addressing Sherry. "You wanna take a ride with me?
"

 
                 The teen approached the vehicle, her addiction overriding her fear of danger and disgust of prostituting. Sherry slid across the torn, duct taped seats of the car prepared to do whatever he wanted so she could secure her next dose of the dark demon.

 
              "So how do you like to party?" she asked, batting her lashes and suggestively putting her hand on his thigh. "You ain't a cop, are ya?" she asked as was her routine
.

 
                 "Nah, I ain't a cop, and you and I are going to party all right and get to know each other real well." he returned, shifting the sedan into gear. Instead of the motel with hourly rates around the corner that prostitutes and johns in the area tended to frequent, the man swiftly drove out of the immediate area. In a few moments he was on the highway headed east
.

 
"Um, hey man, where are we going? You got your own place?" The girl finally spoke up, trying not to let the panic that was rising in her voice be noticed as her dulled senses were resurfacing, with the realization that she may be in trouble. The signs of urban blight had given way to trees and wooded areas
.

 
                 "Don't you worry your pretty little head sweetheart. I just want to be alone with you that’sall.
"

 
           Sherry finally noticed the man's facial features. His reddish hair was too shaggy beneath a battered New York Yankees cap. An unattractive goatee and mustache surrounded his mouth, and eyeglasses that were in fashion twenty-five years ago covered his face. His eyes were devoid of warmth
.

 
  Drug addict or not Sherry now knew she was in serious trouble. "This isn't cool dude. You can drop me off here. Let me out NOW!" Her demands were met with the man grabbing her hair and yelling.

 
                  "Shut up bitch!"

 
                 Sherry let out a yelp as he pulled her head back and then slammed it into the dashboard leaving a growing welt on her forehead. She fumbled with the door lock, but the knob had been removed. Her efforts to push the passenger door open were also fruitless. The damn thing wouldn't budge. The man had let go of her hair. "You can stop fighting with the door. I made sure you wouldn't be getting out of here.
"

 
 Sherry fell into hysterics, clawing at the man with her fingers, doing anything to get him to stop the car. She shrieked at him, fighting for control of the steering wheel. The car swerved momentarily on the barren highway, but he quickly regained control. He retaliated with a fierce backhand across her face. Shocked, she held the stinging welt under her eye, salty tears starting to rain down
.

 
                "You can stop struggling. You're not getting away from me." His tone was icy. "You keep fighting and you're just gonna make things worse for yourself.
"

 
                 "Why are you doing this?" she managed, her voice cracking. "Please, don't do this! I'll get you money. My dad's rich." She pleaded for her life.

 
  He didn't answer. Instead, he pulled into a wooded clearing. It was the type of place that was perfect for discarding dead bodies. The car's headlights fell on a human-sized hole that had been dug.
 

 
                  "Oh my God!Please!" She was praying as she sobbed; now feeling her imminent doom. "I'll be good God! Please God, please! I'll give up the drugs I swear
!

 
     Crying uncontrollably, she now begged the man, "Just let me go please! Oh God! Oh God please!" Her voice was breaking through the tears   

 
                 The man got out and rounded the vehicle to the passenger side. Like a cornered animal she slid to the driver's side, kicking her legs and screaming at the top of her lungs. Grabbing her by the ankles, he yanked her out of the car as she thrashed wildly. Her backside hit the ground, and she scrambled to right herself and try to flee to safety.

 
              His hand shot out and snatched a handful of greasy, dirty blonde hair. She tried to kick, her flip flops no longer on her feet now, the soft landing of the kicks barely putting a misstep in the man's stride. She tried punching, to no avail, as he kept dragging her by her hair. Her limbs flew wildly as she scrambled for her life. Her attacker, now pulling her flailing body up to a standing position, pointed her to face the hole he had dug just for her. Standing behind her the man yanked back violently on her hair one more time exposing her pasty white neck
.

 
                  A glint of silver struck by the moonlight caught Sherry's eye. Before she could react the blade slid into the soft flesh of her neck. She tried to scream, but the gurgle of blood flowing from her throat drowned the noise. Immediately she stopped fighting, the bitter cold making her limbs heavy. Like a leaden mass, her body hit the bottom of the grave. She lay there in the dirt, her blood soaking into the soil.  Slumber overcame her as dirt was being tossed onto her motionless body.   For the first time in a long time, Sherry felt at peace. "I'm sorry Mom. I'm sorry Dad." Were her final thoughts before her life dimmed permanently
.

 

 

 
 

 

Chapter Tw
o

 
           Danielle navigated her way through the human traffic jam in New York's lower east side. It was mid-March, and with the warmer temperatures came the discarding of New Yorkers' winter coats, hats, and scarves. After the treacherous ice storms and Nor'easters, New York was grateful for a reprieve from Old Man winter's clutches, though some Yankees got a little too enthusiastic about stripping off the winter wear. Cellulite, tattoos, and too much skin were all on display.

 
  At the moment, even with the sun smiling bright in the sky, Manhattan was experiencing a sun shower, or what Danielle's Creole grandmother, or grand mere as she called her, used to say was "Le Diable bat safemme" or "the Devil is beating his wife"
.

A smile crawled to her face at the thought of the petite, fire-willed woman, Marie Labouleaux. She had the same flawless caramel complexion as Danielle and the same fiery temper.
 She remembered grand mere’s mane of silver curls and eyes that glowed like fire-polished amber. She had taken a young Danielle under her wing and taught her more about herself and life than she had ever known. Danielle, like her grandmother before her, was psychic. 
 

 
Grand’Mere hailed from N'awlins, or New Orleans as the tourists called it. Their lineage could be traced all the way from the small island of Haiti to the voodoo priestesses of old. Some possessed the power to speak to those that have passed on. Some were gifted with premonitions and precognitive sight. The gifts were as unique as a person's fingerprints. The abilities that they shared were rare, and in Danielle's family it was passed through the generations.

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