AP Productions: Winghaven #11

Creed’s office was in a non-descript two story red brick building. The first floor was the office itself with the front window simply reading “Private Investigator” with the business’ phone number underneath. The second floor contained Creed’s one room apartment. His motorcycle was normally parked in the back lot with a tarp over it alongside his pickup truck. Alysa crossed the street to the small building to talk to Creed; it was one of the very few times she had ever been to the office and was certainly the first time she came under her own volition. Her mother had linked their fates together before she died. She trusted Creed and Alysa to work together to protect Winghaven; even if Creed was unaware of this fact, she was prepared to go forward with the mission. They had to stay in contact. If nothing else, Farrell Creed was the only source of stability and respect she had received of late: a fact that let her know just how odd her life had gotten in a short amount of time. She came in through the front door, the little bell jangling above her head as she did so. On the radio, she could also hear Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man. Once she came in, she found Creed sitting at his desk and briefly caught a glimpse of a jar with a white substance and something buried inside just before he swiped it off the desktop and into the large drawer below him.

“Hey, Alysa,” Creed looked tired as if he hadn’t slept, “Didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Thought I should stop by,” Alysa ignored the sleepiness and the strange object hidden inside the desk and plunked down in the chair across from him, “I went back to school today and guess who showed up to talk to me `bout you?”

“Chief of Police?,” Creed gave a knowing smile as he got up and moved over to a table with a small coffee maker.

“How’d you know that?”

“I told you he’d make trouble sooner or later,” he poured some coffee into a mug, “What’d he have to say?”

Alysa shrugged, “I dunno.”

“See, I know he said someth’n, otherwise, you wouldn’t have come down here,” he took a sip of coffee, “You can tell me. Hell, some of it might be true.”

“Um,…” Alysa thought about it for a moment, “Promise you won’t get mad?”

“I was the one who asked, so why would I get mad? Go ahead.”

“He said…,” she gulped a bit, “… That your dad was Nelson Creed.”

Creed sat down, “That would be correct, not that I ever met the sonuvabitch,” he took a sip, “You heard how he died, right?”

Alysa nodded, “Like, literally the entire town got together and followed him to his truck, then someone shot him.” She was nervous bringing up a subject she knew would be touchy but she was relieved to see that Creed took it in stride.

“Shot `im twice. Once through the back window and another time in the head at point-blank range,” Creed corrected her, “Technically, I was there… but in the womb, so I ain’t the best witness. Don’t worry, you ain’t the first person who reminded me. A lot of people `round here won’t let me forget.”

She sucked air between her teeth, “People in this town like to talk shit anyway.”

He chuckled and nodded enthusiacticly, “Yes, they do. Yes, they do.”

“And I don’t really give a shit who your dad was, know what I’m say’n? Not everybody turns out like their daddies,” she looked out the window, “I never really met mine either if it makes you feel better. I mean, I know he’s not like yours, but … yeah.”

“So what else did Meyer say?”

“He said you were in juvenile hall when you were a kid.”

Creed jolted in his seat and clenched his eyes as if in pain. The sudden movement knocked the coffee over, spilling it across the desk. “Goddammit,” Creed sat back from the desk to avoid the hot coffee running toward him. “You okay?,” Alysa asked worryingly. Creed grabbed a roll of paper towels, ripped off a square and began cleaning up, “Yeah, yeah. Just spilled my coffee.” She could tell by the hurried way he was sloshing the towel around something was on his mind. His sudden, erratic movements, the tired eyes and the strange object he obviously hid from her all conveyed something wasn’t right. The bell jangled again.

A couple of young adults came through the door. Alysa wouldn’t have been able to put it to words but there was always a way to tell if someone was from out of town. Aside from the young man and woman wearing fashion that was more common in a larger city, there was always something obvious about people who weren’t originally from Winghaven. If anyone came from out of town, there was a good bet they were ghost hunters or otherwise interested in the paranormal. Creed dumped the damp paper towels in a nearby waste basket and took notice of the couple, “Can I help ya?”.

“Yeah, on the internet, they said this place gives paranormal tours?,” the young man thumbed toward the window, “I mean, it says private investigator.”

“Nah, you came to the right place,” Creed sat on the edge of his desk with Alysa watching him closely, “There’s a lot of weird stuff in this town and I give tours sometimes. What are ya’ll interested in? Hauntings? Bigfoot? We got an old asylum people like to explore.”

“Well, my name’s Ashley and this is Dan,” the girl happily informed him, “We’re monster hunters and we heard there were Skinwalkers here.”

Alysa noticed Creed wince again; his eyes closed shut for a second and he gripped the edge of his desk tightly but he tried his best to control it. The couple didn’t seem to notice as much as Alysa did. “Heinrich Mason is a big name around here, of course,” Creed continued nonchalantly, “Lots of folks wanna see Heinrich Mason’s old mansion or the cave where all the shit went down,” he acted as if he didn’t hear Ashley, “I can give ya a tour of one site for fifty bucks a person or I can give the whole package, including all the sites and a tour of the Winghaven museum for a hundred.”

“Uh, no thanks,” Dan appeared a little baffled, “We wanna see the Skinwalker sites.”

Creed clenched his jaw and his head dropped.

“I’ve been reading about them online,” Ashkey became giddy, “They scare the shit out of me but I also kinda wanna learn more about them, y’know?”

Creed sat silently, looking at the floor as the couple continued.

“She thinks she saw footage of one on youtube,” Dab rolled his eyes.

“It was real,” she playfully slapped his shoulder, “They ate a bunch of cows and their guts were -“

“Lots of stuff to see at the museum,” Creed looked up, “There’s Heinrich Mason’s statue of himself he made outta copper. Looks like a robot. Real weird. Then there’s the replica of the Locomotive Man armor he wore when -“.

“Dude, are you listening to us at all?,” Dan scoffed.

Alysa knew Creed well enough to know that he wouldn’t take too kindly to a scrawny hipster running his mouth. Especially in his office. But then, he was acting strange already. Creed didn’t seem angry or annoyed but rather, he seemed sad and tired. “I heard what you said,” he said softly, “I know where you want to go and what you want to see. I know that when I tell you not to go out that way or even talk about it, you won’t listen.”

“I get it,” a sure smile spread across Dan’s face, “You’re playing it up to spook us. It’s all hype. If we said we wanted to see the bigfoot, you’d tell us the same thing.”

Creed looked him in the eye with complete sincerity, “If you wanted to go out to the swamp, I would take you in my truck right now because I know it mostly comes out at night. It’s safe. There’s a lot of weird shit in this town and I know how to give tours and keep people alive while doing it. The thing you’re talking about -“

“The Skinwalkers?”

“DAMMIT, STOP SAYING THE NAME!,” Creed slammed his fist on the desk which was so jarring, it might as well have shaken the entire building.

The couple jumped back and Alysa froze. Creed regained his composure as the couple slowly backed away toward the door, “Sorry, didn’t mean to scare ya’ll.” They quickly turned and left the building with Creed chasing after them, “Just don’t go out there, okay? I’m serious!” They quickly got into their VW Beetle and drove away. Creed muttered to himself and closed the door, then sat at his desk.

Alysa was aware of Skinwalkers but mostly by rumors. She was, however, aware of curses that can affect those who talk about them or are otherwise touched by them. Creed was obviously unwilling to talk or let people mention Skinwalkers for a reason but there were always ways of gleaming information concerning things one wasn’t meant to speak of. Creed stood defeated in the doorway and Alysa slowly aproached.

“Creed, I know whatever this is, you’re not supposed to talk about it. That right?,” she asked.

Creed nodded.

“`Cause if me or other people start saying that name or getting too involved, we might be in danger?”

Again, he nodded.

“But you’re already involved, so it’s kinda too late for you, huh?”

“Yeah,” he said softly.

“Those people are probably gonna go off looking for… whatever it is you’re worried about `cause they don’t know what they’re getting into.”

“I’ll make sure they’re safe,” Creed motioned for her to step outside and when she did, he began locking up.

“I can come with you,” Alysa told him, “Just like you and Mom used to do.”

Creed paused for a moment before making an admission, “I never actually let your mom in on this one. Didn’t want to do that to her,” he looked her in the eyes, “And I’m sure as shit not gonna do that to you,” with that, he disappeared around the back to pick up his motorcycle. Alysa knew better than to follow him but wanted to get to the bottom of this. Whatever it was that was out there was dangerous enough to keep Creed on edge, which made it terrifying. He had faith in her abilities when even she didn’t. She couldn’t leave him to face this threat on his own, especially if the lives of others were at stake. Creed would not be giving her any more information so she had to talk to people who had the answers.

It was five o’clock and Stagger Lee’s was open but it was too early for the nighttime rush. Cassandra was tending bar with only a few patrons in the building when Alysa ran inside, “Cassandra, I gotta talk to you.” Brett the bouncer quickly followed after her, “Hey!,” he cut Alysa off and stood in front of her, turning back to Cassandra slightly, “Sorry, Cassie. She ran right past me.”

“It’s all right, Brett,” Cassandra moved from around the bar, “Alysa is always welcome to come in here for a chat if she needs to. She won’t be drinking anything stronger than a coke. Mind watching the bar while we talk in the office?”

Moments later, they were sitting in her office. Alysa was mildly surprised when Cassandra began the conversation by saying, “Farrell’s been a little strange, huh?”

“Yeah. He seemed okay until I talked about Juvenile Hall. Pete’s wife told me one time I shouldn’t talk about it with him but the Chief of Police showed up at my school and he said some stuff about it. Thought Creed might like to know.”

Cassandra nodded, looking a bit perturbed, “Officer Meyer, yeah. He never liked Creed much even though Creed’s done his job for him more n’ once. Did he say anything about Nelson?”

“Nelson Creed? Yeah, I know he was his daddy.”

“So you know that name’s been following Creed all his life and that’s part of how he ended up in juvie. Farrell’s mom always taught him that he was his own man and didn’t need to worry `bout it but that’s hard to do when people won’t let that shit go. Happened in school a lot. See, he was never good in school and the teachers always made life hell. There was one guy named Mr. Wilkins, think he taught science, who really hated Farrell. One day, Farrell was drawing in class and Mr. Wilkins comes around and yanks the paper away. Farrell didn’t care and just grabbed the paper back and kept drawing, so that’s when Mr. Wilkins says someth’n like ‘You’re going to end up just like your dad one day’. Farrell, of course was pissed but let it slide but some dumbass kid in the back of the class asked what Mr. Wilkins meant by that. Wilkins goes off talk’n about Nelson Creed over in Widow Springs who used to steal cattle from farms and cigarettes from stores and just beat the shit out of anyone who tried to stop him. Nelson used to pull his gun on people for shits and giggles too, I mean he was real white trash.”

“And his wife was a teenage girl?”

“Mary is a sweet old woman,” Cassandra said with clarity, “But when she was little, Nelson got to her. He groomed her or whatever they call it. Her family couldn’t do much because Nelson killed their dog and tried to burn down their house when her dad tried to stop him.”


“Nelson was a dangerous man and the world’s better off that he’s dead. Back to Farrell, Mr. Wilkins was telling the whole dman class about his daddy and Farrell was trying to just ignore it all and keep it together. Then, some other dipshit asked the teacher who his mom was,” Cassandra bit her lip angrily, “That son of a bitch had the nerve to say ‘some underage prostitute’.”

Alysa sat forward angrily, “The hell?”

Cassandra nodded, “Now, Farrell will tell you that even he knows he was a wild kid and had a chip on his shoulder. Farrell wasn’t right for what he did but if you’re a teacher and you know the big troubled kid has anger issues, you don’t say that kinda shit. Of course, you don’t say that shit to any kid at all but you know what I mean. So Farrell went off after Wilkins. By the time two football players and the teacher next door dragged Farrell away, Mr. Wilkins was a mess. He was in the hospital for a while with a concussion and some broken bones.”

“That’s when Creed was sent to juvie?”

“Yeah,” Cassandra sat back, “Now, what happened there is what’s troubling him now. He don’t talk about it much but I know he saw something when he was there. I know Pete Bone Splitter was there too. I also know that one of those things came to Winghaven a few years ago and killed some cattle. Farrell was hired to investigate and everyone thought it was a coyote or something.”

“It was a Skinwalker.”

“They say it’s not a good idea to say the name out loud. I don’t even know what the Native Americans called it but they won’t say the word at all. If you come across one, you’ll start having… nightmares when one is in the area again. Flashbacks, really. It’s more than PTSD, too because it’s like, … they know there’s a monster out there and that it’ll find its way to them eventually.”


“Before he took that case, he was having dreams like he was back at juvie. He knew it was out there and it screwed with him. When he investigated the dead cows, he saw another one and had to fight it. Later that night, he came right back to this bar. I never seen him like that before,” Cassandra got a distant look in her eyes, “He kept drinking and drinking, carrying on about death and his dad and how he was never meant to go to juvie.”

“Did he cause trouble?”

She nodded, “Brett came over and tried to calm him down because he sure as hell wasn’t listening to me. It spooked him. Did you notice that Brett’s nose is a little crooked?”


“Farrell broke Brett’s nose with a punch. I told him that if he didn’t go home and sleep it off that I would break up with him `cause I ain’t gonna be with no violent man. He went home and apologized to everyone when he sobered up. He felt like shit for days. I know he’s been having those dreams again recently and he promised he wouldn’t drink until it was all over.”

“When will it be over?”

She looked at her with sad eyes, “I have no idea.”

One thought on “AP Productions: Winghaven #11

  1. By the way, Nelson Creed’s backstory was based on a real crime case involving a guy named Ken McElroy in Skidmore, MO.


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