Hidden Danger (Budsworth prequel story #1)

Due to my sensational love of writing, and in the absence of anything better to do, I decided to write a short story surrounding my OC, David Budsworth. Originally, David is based on the main character of a book series in the making called Foxvalley, this series of short stories tell of the mysteries taking place between the end of the book series and his time at Evermore.

March 21, 14:45

Davis's Cafe, Colorado Springs.

"Did you hear about that couple that disappeared on Gabriel Drive last night, " David Budsworth stained his ears listening to the men siting in the booth behind him. His eyes stared down at the caramel colored sheets covering his table. Light shined in through the window beside his booth. The light reflecting off the table cover gleamed into his eyes.

"Yeah, Jodie and Gray Dayton, I knew them. Gray and I used to god fishing every other weekend," Another man of the group added.

"You speak about them like they're dead. Didn't you hear Kyle, he said disappeared, not dead," A third man raised his voice. Budsworth could tell from his tone that he was getting agitated. Before the disappearances he must've been close friends with the couple, closer than than the others. "I mean Jodie was my sister for gods sake, and to hell I'm going to just let her go that easy."

Budsworth twisted around in his booth, revealing himself to the others. Their talking stopped dead, their eyes staring as the suit he wore. "Well damn, he's in a fancy get-up," smirked the man who he guessed to be Kyle. The other two men of the group chuckled. They made it very apparent that men in fancy suit never came by very often. He supposed it was the poorer part of town, but ever since loosing his job as an FBI agent he only made money from doing favors.

"Well, I got a reason," Budsworth told him, he pulled out an FBI badge, showing it to them. Sure he stole is after his boss fired him and died in an accident returning to the bureau. Ironic, well not when it comes to the small town of Foxvalley. When he first got there the town had a population of over 1500, when he left only a little more than 1000 remained, either they moved away or were killed.

The men at the table widened their eyed, glancing at each other. Their smirks turned serious. "Okay, now what can you tell me about these disappearances?" Budsworth asked. One of the men reached across the table and picked up a newspaper. he handed it to Budsworth. Budsworth read the heading, "Man and Girlfriend Found Vanished From Their Car Two Days Ago." Budsworth glanced back up to the men, grinning.

"Do you mind if I keep this?" Budsworth asked. None of the men said anything, only the one who handed him the paper shook  his head. Budsworth nodded with a, "Thanks." He began scooting out of his booth when the waitress approached him.

"Could I get you anything sir," she asked in a British accent. The waitress was staring down at him, a wide lipsticked small stretching across her face. A sandy blond ponytail stretched down behind her head. Budsworth paused, indeed he hadn't even ordered anything yet, but he felt like solving this new mystery was more important. The smile on waitress's face wore away as Budsworth lifted himself off the booth. He continued staring into her eyes. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet.

He took out a couple dollar bills and laid them on his table. "Nah, I'm not hungry. Have a tip," He said, turning to walk away. The waitress grabbed the two dollars bill and shoved them into her breast pocket. One of the men Budsworth had spoke to watched her with hungry eyes.

"Man, I'd pay any tip to see the dough behind that breast pocket," he man joked. Kyle sitting beside his cracked a laugh. The waitress glance at them once then proceeded to another table, ignoring their words. Budsworth smirked, shaking his head before stepping through the cafe door into the busy street.

Cars flew by, blowing around Budsworth's suit. His brown hair blew across his forehead. be popped open the front door of his black Buick and slid inside. His heart skipped a beat at the sight of a small envelope resting atop the armrest beside him. He opened it, and pulled out a letter. He unfolded it, it read in neat cursive,

Kitsune,

As you should already know the world is a dangerous kind, and until you reach Evermore City you don't know what problems you may come around. The closer you get to the city the stranger things will happen. be careful, or you'll never make to Evermore.

Your friend

Budsworth cocked an eyebrow. he glanced outside his car at the people walking alongside the road. Someone knew who and what he was, but how. He stared down at the red crystal fox hanging from a necklace laced around his neck. He got it during his last case in Foxvalley. Where he learned who and what he truly was. He knew before that he wasn't normal, because he still transformed, but he didn't know what he was. He hid it for years, and it still remained very hidden to this day.

He cleared his mind and tossed the letter into the glove box, and slammed it closed. He had to find Gabriel Drive before more disappeared.

Gabriel Drive stretched a several miles out of Colorado City, leading back into the mountains. Budsworth rolled his eyes as they past a road sign which read, "Guffey... 7 miles." Guffey wasn't far from where it all started. Foxvalley sat in a valley only a few miles off. Known his luck he'll see some familiar faces along the way. The road entered into Guffey, then turned off, dead ending at an unfinished bridge. Budsworth picked the newspaper up off the midnight colored passenger seat. A photograph in the corner showed the couples car, the bride standing behind it. This was the right place. Budsworth popped open the front door, and stood out of the car, slamming the door behind him. Birds twittered in the surrounding trees before escaping into the depths of the darkening woods. He grabbed his flashing from a compartment under the armrest.

The sun would descend behind the mountains in no more than another hour. Tall shadows loomed out from the trees, devouring the visible world. Budsworth stepped up to where the car would've been before the police took it. A pair of tire tracks on the road beneath him looked to be the only thing to signify a car had been there. The sound of leaves crushed caught his attention. He flicked out his flashlight, shining into the dense forest. The trees shrouding in darkness around him. A strange sent wafted into his nose. It came from ahead of him on the road. shined in flashlight at it, the beam of light reflected off a stain of blood glued to the road ahead of him. He'd smelled blood before, something about this one was different.

He stepped towards it, shining his light back into the pitch darkness of the woods. The sent got stronger, he stopped in front of it, and knelt down. He sniffed it again, lycanthrope blood. Did it attack the couple, drag them into the woods for later? Budsworth continued towards the forest. The hooting of a hold startled him. He flung out his pistol, aiming at the bird in the tree. His eyes wide. The owl hooted again, flying out of the tree. Budsworth breathed, a laugh occupied with it. Maybe the letter was right. maybe he should forget it. he should just get to Evermore City as quick as possible. Another crunch of leaves made him flinch, he shined his flashlight in the direction of the sound, still nothing.

He lowed his flashlight along the ground. Two lined stretched along the forest floor, devoid of any leaves. Drag marks? The lycan knocked the couple out ad dragged them into the forest. Budsworth follows along the two trails. They continued on into the forest for at a mile. David Budsworth followed over hills, creeks, and around old growth trees with a trunk the size of his car. The trail finally ended at a small log cabin. A flowed through the forest behind it.

A light shined out from one of the windows. Budsworth knocked on the wooden door. A welcome sign hanging from a nail in the door. He heard someone stepping up to the door from inside. Budsworth reached into his pocket and pulled out his FBI badge, ready to lie his way in and get answers. An older women of maybe 60 opened the door a crack. Her blue eye peeked out at him. He flipped open his badge, " hello ma'am, my name's David Budsworth from the FBI. I'm here to investigate the disappearances of Jodie and Gray Dayton. I know you're only a mile away, so I have a few questions.

A powerful wind blew, almost pushed Budsworth out of the way. Pushed his hair off his forehead. "Okay," The older women rasped. She closed the door, unlocking it the rest of the way. Then she pulled the door open for him. Budsworth smiled weakly at her as he stepped inside. The lighting inside appeared dim, many lamps shrouded in orange lamp shrouds. "Do you which me to get you anything?" The women asked.

"Just a cup of water will be fine," Budsworth answered. A smell of a familiar scent made him sneeze. The women's soft smile vanished. "My apologies,"

"God bless you," the women said, her face expressionless. She rushed into the kitchen. Budsworth sat in a couch in the living room, but not before sneezing again, this time harder. he covered his nose with his sleeve and sneezed again. His head beat with a headache. he lowered his sleeve from his nose. Blood stained along it. His ears started ringing. A stinging smell filled his sinuses, it came from a dark brown wooden shelf above the stone fireplace in front of him. Blood rolled out from his nose down his lip. He stared up at the vase of flowers on the shelf. A collage of purple flowers bloomed, sticking out of a green vine lowering into a clear glass vase filled with brown dirt-infested water. Wolfsbane.

Budsworth twisted up off the couch, jerking out his pistol. He grabbed the vase and tossed it into the burning fireplace. The glass shattered. He turned to the kitchen. The women stood in the doorway, a shotgun in her hands. "I knew it the minute you sneezed,"

"I'm allergic to wolfsbane,"

"Yeah, I bet,"

"If you kill me the FBI will come after you."

"You're not even a real FBI agent anymore, Budsworth, or should I call you Sunukkahka?"

"How do you know about that?"

"Oh, I know everything Sunuk. You killed my parents,"

"I'm not him anymore, this is the new me. Now, put down the rifle. I don't want to hurt you."

"Oh really, Budsie. Well, it's only a matter of time, I hope you know that. The temptation's too great,"

"You don't know what you're talking about. Now please, but the rifle down. I'm not going to hurt you, I want you to cooperate."

"Oh, like you did when you killed Mother and Father. Tell me Budsie, how much did they scream, tell you to let them go. How did they taste, sweet?" She asked, Budsworth continued to aim his pistol at her. Yeah, he did remember, and he regretted it. Everything about it disappointed him. the thing he hated the most about it was how he felt when he did it, to Budsworth today that feeling made him sick. yes, Sunukkahka did enjoy it, every second of it felt exhilarating. He still had problems with the man he used to be, but he learned to live with it.

"Listen, there's something a friend told me once. Somewhere is mountain a man stood on a hundred years ago, but that's doesn't matter. What does matter is what you do about it now. It means what happened in the past does matter, it only matters what happens in the present.”

“Yeah, well that man who stood on the mountain killed my mother and father. I am doing something about it now,” the women snatched a jar of light purple powder off a counter. She twisted the cap off and tossed it at his suit. Budsworth sneezed. A headache struck his head. His eyesight grew fuzzy. “Wolfsbane powder. The best wolfsbane mashed up to a powder by yours truly.” the women set the empty jar down on the counter. Budsworth tumbled to the ground. Pain surged through his eyes.

The women grabbed an aluminum bat hidden between the counter and a couch and whacked it against the back of Budsworth's head. The blow knocked him unconscious. Blood spotted the top of his head between the brown hairs on his head.

Budsworth awoke to darkness. A cold draft rolled over his bare arm skin. Pain surged through the back of his head. He lifted his hand up and laid it on the back of his scabbed head. He lowered his hand. Blood painted his fingertips. Whispered filled the air. Budsworth adjusted his eyes to the darkness. His pupils thinned. He stood up off the floor. Thick bars lined up along the front of his cell. Sharp rivets encircled the bars. He stepped up to the bars and rested his hand on one.

Pain surged through his hand. He flicked his hand off the bar and looked at it. A rash stretched across the palm if his hand. Blood leaked from a slit from his finger. Budsworth glanced back at the bars. Silver. He glanced around the room. An opening allowed the night light into the cell. The same silver bars guarded any chance of escaping through the small opening.

He glared up at the rising moon. Full. His eyes widened. Budsworth never knew the specific time he transformed, but he knew it'd be soon. He could feel it coming. His eyes glowed a luminescent orange. Blood surged through his veins. Anger encompassed him. He heard a heavy door creak open. Footsteps echoed down the hall, each step got closer. The women he met earlier stepped up to his cage. He heard an excessive growl from the cell beside him.

She must've kidnapped the couple he heard about earlier. Even more shocking they sounded like lycanthropes. She knew if he were to hear about the disappearance of a couple it'd attract him. "Why...why are you doing this?" Budsworth asked, a hand covered over his gut.

Budsworth could feel the change getting ever closer. The women still stood outside watching him. "Isn't it obvious? What better time to kill you when you can transform into the thing that killed my parents. Make it easier for me. Reminds myself they aren't human beings I'm killing, just monsters." The women answered.

Budsworth nodded and let out a sigh. "Well if you don't mind could you get me a bowl of water or something? Even a reformed shape shifting fox needs to drink. Just as the last thing before you kill me." The women glared at him for a few minutes. A blue his formed around him in the moonlight. An annoyed sigh escaped her lips. She rolled her eyes and turned to a large metal sink standing in a far corner. “Fine,” she glared back at him and headed for the sink.

Budsworth could feel it coming. His eyes glowed of hatred. He pulled off his overcoat and let it drift to the floor. It'd burst out of his him at any moment he knew it, and he already devised a plan. He unbuttoned his white dress shirt and black dress pants. The tap of the sink spewed water. If filled in a yellow stained bowl. Budsworth ducked under the bed. Pain erupted through his body. It was happening. He held back all he could to prevent himself from screaming his he skin began ripping and contorting. The faucet quit dispensing water. The women made her way back to Budsworth's cell. She passed the two growling wolves of the cell beside his. Her eyes widened when he peaked inside. The only thing she could see left of Budsworth was clothes scattered across the floor.

“Oh no… you've gotta be joking me,” the women grumbled. She flicked out her wad of keys and unlocked the door. Budsworth hid under the bed in the corner in his fox form. His orange eyes glowed as they stalked the woman’s legs stepped into the cell with him. The women stepped up to his overcoat lying on the ground. A fox covered in brilliant white fur darted out from under the bed. Fur the color of a starless night covered the back of it's ears, legs, paws, and the tips of its five tails.

He slammed one of his tails into the woman’s legs. She tripped forward. The cement scrapped his knee, blood leaked out onto the flood. Budsworth fled out the cell. He slammed his body against the door. The women stood and spun around to face him. The barred door slammed shut. She tumbled towards the door, her arms shot out and grasped ahold of the bars coated in silver. “Cunning vulpine,” She mumbled.

Budsworth ignored her and the wolves howling at him from from the next cell over. The hatred in Budsworth's eyes faded.

The sun rose late the next morning. Budsworth, still in his fox form, proceeded up a staircase. The fox winced in pain upon reaching the top of the stairs. His pupils widened. The orange glow in his eyes dimmed, turning to green. The fox tumbled to the ground. It's fur shrank into it's skin. Pain erupted through him as his body twisted and contorted. He lifted himself up off the floor. His body naked. A last strain of white fur sunk into the skin on his arm.

Budsworth opened the door into the kitchen upstairs. The cool breeze touched his naked body. He hustled into a hallway through an open doorway. Boxes filled a corner of the room. A dresser stood in the opposite corner. Budsworth pulled the drawers open in search for clothes to wear. He found an old flannel shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and a pair of underwear. After getting dressed he returned to the basement door.

The door still hung open. He entered down the staircase. The women laid his head against the bars. She glared up at him. The werewolves from the cell beside her already changed back into humans. Budsworth snatched his pistol from a stand in the corner of the hallway. The women must've left it there when she put him in the cell. He aimed the pistol at the lock to the lycanthropes cell. “Stand back,” he warned. He pulled the trigger. The pistol blasted the door open. They werewolves stepped out in front of him. They stared at him with large eyes. “Get upstairs and put some clothes on. I'm not letting you leave here without them,” Budsworth ordered. The female nodded and passed him headed upstairs. The male glared from Budsworth, to the women, to Budsworth's pistol.

“What do you plan to do with her?” he asked. Budsworth glanced back at the women, who continued to watch him.

“I don't know yet. She's bent on revenge. I don't want to kill her, yet again life is filled with difficult choices. If I killed her it'd prove her right. We're all monsters.”

“Sunukkahka giving up a good kill. That's a rarity...” The male werewolf added. Budsworth's eyes widened.

“How the hell do you know about that?”

“Everyone knows who Budsworth is and who he once was. I was one with your pack before the amnesia. When your name was Sunukkahka,”

“I'm not that type of fox anymore,”

“I can see that. My only question is,” He took a step forward, putting at least an inch from Budsworth. “Are you better than him. That remains to be seen,” his gaze drifted towards the women. “You know what must be done. If she's hellbent on revenge she won't stop till you're dead.”

“On most cases I wouldn't agree, but she was an orphan because of what I did.”

“What Sunukakkahka did,” The male corrected. He stepped by him, leaving him alone with the women.

“Those are my husband's clothes,” the women stared. Her eyes filled with hate. Budsworth looked down at the blue flannel shirt he wore. “My deceased husband's clothes. Look just kill me already, maybe you should've made it more glorious. You should've ripped by throat out while you were in fox form,” Budsworth felt a pang of guilt. He lowered his head and stepped closer to the cell gate. The women stared down at the cement floor.

“Look at me,” Budsworth ordered. The women sighed and lifted her head up to look at him. He held his pistol out for her to see. He could see her gulp with fear. She projected a scent of terror. Budsworth lowered the pistol and placed it into his holster. “No...” he said, “I'm not a monster, we're not monsters. I'm not interested in killing anyone, but if I need to I will. We may change our shape, but we can be just as human. Sunukukkuhka is who I was, but not who I am anymore. I don't even remember being him, but from what I do remember I'm ashamed. I'm truly sorry about your husband. What happened?”

“We was killed by a vampire. After we had a verbal fight I found him an hour later. He had puncture wounds in his neck. His skin was pale white. I hardly recognized him.” She answered. A tear rolled down her cheek as she spoke. Budsworth nodded, understanding.

“My wife died ten years ago. She was human. I came home after a change and found her ripped to shreds. That's a sight I can never get out of my head. I knew from the scent it was another kitsune. After that I joined the FBI, worked with them for six years. I got a new partner, but it only lasted four years. He died due to a serial killer who was human. Tell me, would I be wrong to assume that a normal human being who kidnaps women, ties them up, kills them is a monster.” The women lowered her head and exhaled. Budsworth stepped closer to the gate. “Would I be wrong to assume that whether one is a monster depends on what's inside, not what we can do.” More tears streaked down her cheeks. She shook her head.

“You're right,” she said, “I'm sorry for assuming you were a monster. That people could never change.” She turned and picked up the stack of clothes on her bed. She pushed it through the bars for him. Budsworth smiled and grabbed them. He grabbed the keys off the floor and tossed them inside. “Thank you for helping me to see who you really are. You could've just killed me, but you're letting me go. Maybe you're right, maybe you guys really are just humans on the inside. I'll keep an open mind out for next time.” Budsworth nodded and turned to the door out. “Budsworth wait!” He stopped. “I'm not the only looking for you. The ASA is looking to destroy Evermore City.” He turned to her. His eyes met hers.

“What is the ASA?”

“The Anti-Supernatual Association. I'm a member. Well, was. They'd plot on ways to destroy Evermore City, Colorado. They currently have a plan to plant bombs in the most dense parts of the cities. If those go off everyone, human and supernatural, will die. You must stop them before it's too late.” She explained. Determination flared through Budsworth. He glared at her.

“I won't let you down, or Evermore. First, you must continue associating with the ASA. I need someone from the inside. It'll help me know when they'll strike next. He pulled out a card from his pocket and handed it to her. “Give me a call when you learn of any new developments.” She nodded, taking the card from his hand. Budsworth turned and stepped upstairs. He met the two werewolves outside the house.

“So, is she dead?” the male asked. Budsworth shook his head. The male started to pass him, but Budsworth shot out his hand and shoved him back. “Sunuk, you really have grown soft. The one I knew would've just ripped her neck open while in his fox form.”

“She's fine. I need her,” Budsworth said, “she's going to be my inside women for the ASA.” The male's eyes widened in horror.


“The Anti-Supernatural Association? She in the ASA? Oh, she needs to die,” He said. Budsworth shoved him back again.

“Don't, just drop it. Turn around and leave.” Budsworth ordered. The male looked from him into the house, then back to him. He growled and spun around, running his hand through his black hair. He huffed and stomped away. His figure vanished into the woods leaving behind his mate. She stepped up to him.

“I think what you did was noble,” she whispered in his ear. She pecked him on the cheek before she turned and ran into the forest behind his mate. Budsworth sighed and headed towards the road. His black Buick sat on the side of the road. He opened the door and sat on the driver's seat inside. Another letter sat on the armrest beside him. Budsworth opened it and read,

Kitsune,

Evermore is in danger, as you already know. You're going to need friends on this case, you'll have enemies, you'll have to know who and when to trust. Until then trust no one. The ASA has fifty-five bombs, you must find them and foil their plans. Otherwise our kind will never get to show it's true colors to humanity. Go and be successful. Destroy the ASA before hundreds of thousands of innocent people are hurt.

Your friend

The letter fell out of Budsworth's hand. The pressure hit him. A vehicle approached from behind. The front door of the car swung open. A tall shadowed man stood up out of the car. He slammed the door closed and stepped up to the car. Budsworth rolled down his window after he heard the three hard knocks on the window. “Hello fox,” A voice said. Budsworth's eyes widened. He stared up at the man.

“Queens?”

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