Yesterday, I reached out to the Abnormal community for verification on the Wendigo in Paris. Today, I was fortunate enough to receive a response from an old family acquaintance: Lukas Jäger. Although we have never worked together, Lukas is an expert hunter, and I trust his confirmation.
Please find our correspondence below.
Not sure if you remember me, but I’ve got a quick story about a Wendigo that I ran into up in Canada. From what I saw, the thing you got the other night was definitely one of the old bastards. Not sure how the hell it got to France, though.
Anyways, I wrote this story about my dad’s death a few years ago. I like to call it “Elegy for a Neo-Nazi.” Might sound kind of extreme, but he was a mean old shit. And he didn’t always treat the Abnormals right.
Hope it helps you find what you’re after.
Elegy for a Neo-Nazi: Death of a Son-of-a-Bitch
“Get up!” My drunk father rasped in my ear, though I was already awake.
Even from where he stood in the doorway, I could tell he’d been drinking. Hell, he was always drinking.
“We got it! Police band got a report of an animal attack. Bite marks all over. Big ‘uns. This is it. We’ve finally got the son-a-bitch.”
He took a deep breath through his nose and held it in, like he was savoring some good smell. He always got that way when a kill was close. Almost like he could breathe in the soul of the world, and he wouldn’t let that feeling go for nothin’. Although, I wasn’t really sure how he could smell anything over the whisky.
I slid my feet off of the green army surplus cot and sat up. My combat boots were positioned just underneath, just like the old man had trained me (with some difficulty) when I was a kid. I slid them on, and barely a minute later, we were in his shitty pickup truck (complete with a confederate flag in the back window) and flying up a dark country road to Bumfuck, Canada.
How the hell Dad ever made it past the border is beyond me, but I sat tight, holding my duffle bag between my legs while Dad played pinball with the lines on the road.
Pack light, but pack everything. I remembered him saying it when he first threw that duffle at me. He always had shitticisms like that. Stupid ass shit that sounded all deep, but was really just a way of trying to maintain his power. Like, he thought if he sounded all wise, I’d respect him more. But it was hard to respect him when he’d just turn around and start in with “fourth Reich” this and “superior race” that. Yeah, after that, there wasn’t a Georgia sunrise’s chance in hell that I was going to respect any of the shit that came outta his mouth.
Fact is, it was something that always confused me about my old man. I mean, when you got down to the brass tacks–and my father was a man not short on tacks, humanity is “where it’s at.” That’s it. I mean, I’m no hippie, but I could never quite grasp how he could spew so much hatred when it was pretty clear that we had bigger things to worry about … like as a species … you know?
Anyway, that night, the biggest thing to worry about was a Wendigo. Big, scary bastards. Look like Gollum from those Lord of the Rings movies fucked a reindeer and shot it all up with crack and steroids. And at the end of a night like that, he’d always be right back to “vermin” and “alien race among humanity.”
Hell, I think that’s probably why things played out that way they did.
So, we ripped up to this campsite where the cops, or mounties, or whatever they call them up there, were waiting. And we both hopped out of the truck. I slung my duffle over my shoulder, but Dad was already under the yellow tape. He didn’t care that they had the cabin all cordoned off, so professional-like. He’d handled this kind of thing before. And he had a way of talking to people, especially when it came to Abnormal stuff.
“Yep,” he drawled. “Something like a big bear of a wolf, right?”
He didn’t wait for a response. He was already too lost in the bloodlust of it all.
“Well, me and my boy here specialize in big game,” he turned to me, “Don’t we boy. I’ve been tracking since before I learned how to read, and the boy knows how to point and shoot. We’ll take care of that piece o’ shit, and how’s about, in return, you gents just forget that we didn’t have a huntin’ permit. After all, it’s late … ‘sure you boys are itchin’ to get home. I know you’ve gotta call into the dispatch or whatever. Why don’t you just tell ’em that the situation is under control.”
He shot a mouthful of chew spit a little to close to one of the cops feet as he walked straight past ’em, with that custom shotgun resting casually over his shoulder. He liked to strut like that. Like the big dog in the yard, proud of all the shit he’d just taken and not buried.
I always followed a step or two behind, just waiting until he got the trace on whatever we were after.
Didn’t take long with a Wendigo, though. Can’t really give him too much credit for that. Wendigo’s are easy. They don’t really have a sense for stealth, since they’ve got the stopping power of a few grizzly bears. So it wasn’t even a mile before we found its den.
Midnight frost was already creeping on the forest floor, but Dad was bent on running in, guns blazin’. He didn’t care that the crunch of leaves and ice under his feet would have alerted even the stupidest Wendigo on the planet. And without the element of surprise on our side, it was all run ‘n gun. In those cases, a steady hand and a powerful flashlight were pretty much your best friend.
Those Wendigo’s aren’t used to bright lights. Gollum, remember? So, you blast them in the face with a few thousand lumens, then follow that up with some specially-packed incendiary shells.
And, voila! Wendigo problem solved.
Thing is, if you get caught off-guard, those fuckers are fast. Fast as they are ugly, so that’s sayin’ something’. And the way my drunk old mane went parading into that cave, he might as well have been wearin’ a dinner bell.
Before I had time to debate, he was already throwing a concussion grenade into the cave, making the whole damn thing was shaking.
“Hey, you son of a bitch! Papa Jäger’s here, and it’s bedtime!” He let a flaming round fly out of his wildly-flailing shotgun.
The cave shook again.
I waited, cautiously keeping the lookout, waiting for any movement from within.
Then, everything happened all at once. Couldn’t have lasted more than a few seconds, but it basically went down like this: he shot that first shot, and the whole tiny cave lit up, but Dad didn’t see anything.
“Ha! Must have scared him off already, huh, boy?”
I was too far back to have seen what was or wasn’t in the cave myself, but even so, I had my suspicious.
Maybe it’s ’cause I was raised in this life from a younger age, but I think I always had better instincts than him. And even without instinct, some stuff is just day one shit. For instance: never turn your back on a Wendigo cave.
I was just getting my flashlight turned on, and Dad’s feet got whipped out from under him. I mean, he went straight from vertical to horizontal, just like that. My light cut up the outside of the cave’s mouth, and I saw the claws, more like talons, latch into his left leg.
“Son of a bitch!” The grip on his shotgun was infallible, but his raging drunken aim wasn’t. He let another flaming shell loose into the roof of the isolated cave.
The foundation, whatever there was of it, had already been seriously damaged by his grenade, and after the shot, huge, rocky debris went flying all over. Dad slid further into the cave, against his will, and he managed to fire off another two, quick, deafening salvos.
I didn’t have time to react before the entryway collapsed, shooting plumes of dust and foliage from the forest floor in all directions.
Right then and there, I knew it was over.
Either he was dead, or they both were. Whatever way it ended, I had to get out of there, but my feet wouldn’t move. It was like being frozen in panic, only it wasn’t panic. I mean, I was used to panic. Running through abandoned buildings away from all sorts of Abnormal shit, you get used to the elevated heart rate that comes with having your like on the line.
This was different.
This wave over took my whole body, and while guilt might have made sense, after all, I had just watched my father die. But I could tell it wasn’t that either.
No, this feeling …
it was relief.
Finally, I could make my own decisions. I could approach each situation in a manner befitting an agent of the species–the human species–not necsarily the superior species, as he had wanted to believe, but our species, at the very least.
Without him around, I haven’t been on the same track. I don’t hunt Abnormals just for the kill. I only hunt ’em when they seek me out first … or if they go hurtin’ people. But if anyone happens to be up in Bumfuck, Canada and sees that Wendigo. You tell ‘im, Lukas Jäger says, “Thanks.”