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Chapter One Varda

Chapter One Varda


A monster from the netherworld is unleashed on unsuspecting humans in present day Los Angeles



Monsters of the Anasazi


Valormore De Plume


Chapter One



    How little we know of the planet we inhabit. Perception is shallow when limited to that which can be touched. Arrogant ignorance prevails as the evidence of such folly. Life abounds on this planet in places untouched by humans. Oceans thrive with undiscovered ecosystems at differing depths containing impossible lifeforms, by our standard definition. Far beneath the Earth’s skin, in the deep darkness, subterranean caves and caverns extend beyond the limits of our imagining. Multitudes of unique species cycle through countless generations unknown to us. Each distinctive variety, struggles to maintain a spot on an exclusive food chain. Competition for space and resources separate the stayers from the vanished. Sealed from the time of the great fire, this underworld realm is a separate reality forgotten by our kind. When internal pressure causes the continents to shake, new fissures spread as old ones close that may open a temporary entryway to the surface, allowing alternate realities to intermingle.

    Insatiable appetite drives one of the predacious monstrosities from noxious earthen cavities into the dominion of men.

    This stunted carnivorous denizen from the darkness loathes pray with congregating natures such as humans. However, its instinctive stealth yields an adept proficiency for surprise attack. One scratch from her venomous claws produces a state of paralyzing catatonia. With slow deliberate actions, she tears each handful of tender flesh from the victims, who though screaming in agony in their mind are unable to move or produce an audible sound.

    This thirty-eight inch tall female predator consumes the bits of skin with slow persistent relish, sighing with delight at each additional mouthful. Genetic memory, embedded in her DNA, ignite recollection from a thousand generations past when gateways to the surface were common. After completing her feast, she draws near the gaping hole where the ear had been and whispers from between her satisfied lips “Varda has loved you.”

    Varda will then suck out each eyeball to keep for a trophy. Returning to the safety of her subterranean home, she places the new trophies with the other putrefying ocular orbs that cover the walls and ceiling.


    Caroline excuses herself from the guests attending her and Michael’s second anniversary party. She exits into the garden looking for Mike, who has been rude enough to leave her to tend to the party alone.


    Her loud whisper reveals ample displeasure, causing Michael to cringe.

    “I saw you come out here. Are you smoking that doobie by yourself? Couldn’t you wait until our guests leave?”

With no exit through the walls surrounding the large courtyard, Caroline suspects he is hiding in the garden’s tangle of exotic specimens. She knows her way through the tall plants and finds him crouching in his favorite spot near the East wall.

    “What are you doing?”

    Michael pulls her down to where he is squatting putting his index finger to his lips, he whispers in her ear.

    “I heard some strange sounds on the other side of the garden. I think some of our guests are…Well you know.”

    Caroline diverts her attention from Michael’s sophomoric behavior to hear the sound of satisfied moans.

    She muffles her giggles as they continue to whisper.

    “Who is it?”

    “Geoffrey came out alone a while back. He must be having a rendezvous with someone, because it sounds as though a female is enjoying his company.”

    “His girlfriend Mila is still inside,” says Caroline. “Why is he out here with someone else? I can’t imagine any of our other guests having sex with Geoffrey.”

    “Someone seems to be enjoying his company,” says Mike.

    Several intoxicated guests come out to enjoy the garden at that moment. Among them is Mila, Geoffrey’s date.

    On her third glass of Chardonnay, Mila is in a playful mood and looks forward to hunting through the tall plants to locate her heart’s desire in a secluded spot where she can steal a kiss in private.  

    “Geoffrey where are you?”

    Michael and Caroline emerge from the cover of colorful plants in a response to Mila’s inquiry, attempting to distract her for a moment and offer Geoffrey time to become uninvolved with what they presume to be a wild fling.  

    “We’re over here Mila.”

    “Is Geoffrey out here with you?”

    Caroline says, “He’s out here somewhere in the maze.”

    The others, who came out with Mila, begin to disperse into the maze of manicured plants, calling to Geoffrey.

    A loud rustling, from the tall rattan against the West wall of the courtyard, draws everyone’s attention.

    A dark figure, obscured by the high foliage, scampers over the wall.

Mila pushes herself through the plants as she rushes to the spot. What she discovers causes her high-pitched shrieks to summon everyone from the house into the garden.

    Michael and Caroline dash across the courtyard through the arrangement of plants to where Mila is sobbing. She screams in uncontrollable bursts each time she opens her eyes.

    Michael grasps Caroline as she shudders at the horrible scene of a body without one square inch of skin on it. The torn, blood soaked clothing leave little doubt as to the identity of the victim.

    Caroline manages to restrain her own shock, enough to pull Mila away from the ghastly sight.  

    Mike moves closer to check for signs of life. He kneels while looking at the empty sockets where the eyes once were. Mike wonders if he should feel the skinless neck for a pulse. He hesitates as he reaches to feel the spot. Geoffrey gasps, taking in a breath, startling Michael to his feet.

    “Call 911, he isn’t dead.”

    Mila struggles against Caroline’s nurturing embrace, her instincts tell her to run, as she cascades into complete hysteria at this sudden unexpected announcement.   

    Some of the guests move closer to see firsthand. They are mortified at the spectacle and begin a slow retreat in disbelief. Others push forward to see for themselves. The horror of the scene leaves them speechless as they stare at the bloody remains. One man turns toward the hedges, his stomach contents escape into the bushes with great force. The gruesome details of the scene pass from whispering lips to eager ears throughout the remainder of the terrified crowd.

    Soon the shrill siren announces an ambulance and the arrival of the paramedics. Pushing their way through the crowd of traumatized onlookers, they are also stunned to see someone in this condition and are amazed that he could still be breathing. That didn’t last long as Geoffrey expires despite their attempts to stabilize him.

    The police rush in a few moments behind the ambulance. They ask everyone to give statements of everything they have seen or heard and to stay until the detective clears them to leave.

    When detective Harley Haidon arrives, his gruff demeanor does nothing to alleviate the tension of the assembled group. He eyes each of them with suspicion and cold detachment as he passes among them to the area of the murder.

    Detective Haidon views the hideous remains and reads the witnesses statements with care. With an expression of dismay, he turns his attention to the police sergeant.

    “Get them out of here.”

    “Aren’t you going to question them,” asks the Sergeant?

    “We have their information. If we need to, we will contact them later. Tell them they can go. Tell your men to go outside to make sure the media doesn’t get in here,” said Haidon. “You got that Sergeant?”

    “Yes sir.”   

    Harley swaggers to where Michael and Caroline are sitting. Michael is wringing his hands while leaning forward then back several times.  Caroline hunches over, with her elbows on the large oval table, cradling her face in her hands. Haidon knows the circumstances of this evening would devastate anyone. He holds back his questions until the medical technicians pass by them as they remove the body. The sergeant is herding the other guests out through the house. Haidon motions for his men to go outside. He is alone with the homeowners and appears troubled over what to say to them.  

    He takes a seat at the glass garden table with the young couple. Michael continues to stare at the blood on his pants and shoes through the glass tabletop as he continues to rock forward. Caroline lifts her face to look at the detective.

    He asks, “Do you mind if we talk?”

    Mike says, “We told the police everything we saw.”

    “Talk?” Caroline asks, “What do you want to say to us?”

    Noticing a home rolled butt in the ashtray, suspecting it to be marijuana; Harley picks it up and puts it to his nose. Mike begins to make a denial but Caroline puts her hand on his as she tells the detective, help yourself, while handing him the expensive lighter from the table.

Haidon positions the roach to his lips and lights it taking a big toke. He coughs most of it out then takes two smaller tokes.

    Caroline catches an inkling of an idea from his unprofessional behavior.

    “This isn’t the first time you have seen this kind of thing, is it?”

    Harley lets out the smoke still in his lungs.

    Michael puts his arm around Caroline’s waist. He studies the detective for the first time as he waits for Harley’s reply.

    “I’m afraid not. We had three of these types of murders last week and three the week before. Most of those were committed in secluded, random, areas. It’s the second time this week we have seen it inside this gated community. Three days ago, six blocks from here, we discovered the remains of an elderly couple. Family members who could not reach them by phone, and feared they may have fallen ill or worse, alerted us. They were in the same condition as your friend tonight.”

    “That is awful,” says Mike.

    Caroline asks, “Do you have any idea who would do something so insane?”

    “Except a child sized, bare footprint we have nothing to go on. You two are the only ones to see anything. Although it doesn’t appear to amount to much, you did notice it sounded like a woman. Who or whatever is doing this is stepping up the pace each week, I think we need to keep some men around your house for a while if that’s OK with you.”

    The young couple agrees with the detective and thanks him.

Detective Harley Haidon positions three officers outside the house to keep the couple safe from the return of this unknown perpetrator. He then heads back to his office to stare at the crime scene photographs in hope of reaching that eureka moment soon. Perhaps he missed some detail that will produce a lead.

    Caroline and Michael go to bed where they do little more than toss and turn for the remainder of the night.

    Caroline jolts to wakefulness, before first light, to the thunderous explosive sound of gunshots coming from inside the house. Rushing headlong down the dark stairs, she sees Michael standing at the open doors that lead to the garden. He is trembling, while fixated on the darkness of the garden beyond, as he continues to pull the trigger of the empty gun.

    “Honey, look around in the living room to see if you can find one of the other cop’s guns. I don’t want to take my eyes off this doorway.”

    Caroline spins around to stumble over the bodies of the three police officers from outside that are now sprawled on her living-room floor among torn uniforms on the blood-soaked carpet. The above-average composure she has maintained throughout this evening’s unprecedented sequence of tragic drama is melting into an uncontrollable dread of some terror yet to appear. She pushes herself through her urge to run screaming into the darkness. Caroline manages to find two more guns by groping around in the shadows.

    She hands one gun to her fixated husband.

    “What did you see?”

    Mike keeps his eyes and the gun pointed at the opening to the courtyard as he relays the events to his wife.

    “I couldn’t sleep; coming downstairs for a snack, I could hear something. The same female voice I heard earlier in the garden. I crept down to see what it was. At the bottom of the stairs, my foot landed on a gun. I picked it up. The moaning was loud and close. I couldn’t see anything in the dim light, though I heard a female voice whispering.”

     The voice said, “Varda has loved you.”

     “I felt something running towards me. I shot towards the voice and kept shooting as it ran past me into the garden. Soon it will be light. We’ll call the detective then we’re getting out of here.”


    Kalan finishes pushing the last button through the hole at the bottom of the uniform. She can feel the eyes of her male counterparts staring in silent longing. She tucks the shirt into the tight fitting pants, taking care to prevent it from bunching in awkward looking bulges below the belt. When she gets it smooth, she zips the front closed and buckles the heavy belt, cluttered with the attachments of standard police equipment. Though her back is to the other officers in the locker room, she is able to feel the tension release as they exhale in unison.

    The whole idea of being the one female rookie sharing a locker room with the men seems to be more stressful for them, although it raises Kalan’s level of feeling she is under the magnifying glass. Now this package has its wrapping. When she turns around to exit, the men pretend to be too busy to have noticed her change into her uniform.

Kalan takes her time walking to the briefing room, while the male officers rush to finish dressing and make it there by four AM. At four-thirty, the usual rhetoric of the meeting is cut short by a request for a SWAT team to go out on an emergency call. The chief assigns the officers he wants to make up the team and includes Kalan. The team files out of the room to the waiting van. The chief stops Kalan.

    “It is time to get your feet wet. Be careful and let the seasoned men take the lead. Watch and learn from them, but most of all, don’t get in the way.”

    “Yes sir.”

    Kalan is full of adrenaline as she enters the van. She takes the last seat available and the door slams shut behind her. The sergeant informs the team they are in route to a multiple homicide. We have an unknown perpetrator that has already killed several people in the last few weeks. Three officers stationed at the residence failed to report in. Detective Haidon is in route to the scene. Be prepared for anything.


    Something crashes through the front door.

    Caroline is not experienced with guns but shoots into the darkness by automatic reflex; she hears the thump of a body hitting the floor. When she moves in closer, she discovers it is Harley Haidon, dead from a shot through the heart.

    “It’s the detective, I shot him.”

    Caroline begins to cry, losing what is left of her composure.

    Mike joins his wife to help her get out of the house.

    “Oh crap. That’s not good. We should get out of here fast.”

    They both feel something scratch the back of their necks.

    Falling to the floor, unable to move or utter a sound they hear a female voice.

     “Come now my babies, gather around, I have two more for you to enjoy. You will love the way they taste.”

    Varda gets down close to Caroline and Michael and whispers the last words the couple will ever hear, “Varda’s children will love you.”

    Three miniature female copies of Varda draw close to the terrified young couple, smiling and drooling through their razor-sharp teeth.

In their minds, Caroline and Michael are screaming in fear. The realization they will be alive with no way to escape or even close their eyes, while it happens, compounds the terror.

    Shouts ring out from the direction of the smashed in front door. The children of Varda scatter out through the garden at the sight of the flood of police officers pouring into the living room. Varda stands her ground snarling and hissing at the intruders.

    The police hesitate, unable to believe what they are seeing. With three skinless fellow officers on the floor, the chief of detectives shot dead, the young couple appearing to be deceased, and there in front of them is this waist high creature defying them to enter.

    Varda attacks them instead of running away. Scrambling around so quick and spry, she is astonishing, running past them scratching several at a time. She turns left then right, and jumping over the furniture inflicting more wounds with every twist.

    Fourteen cops came into that room. Kalan Moore is a first-year cadet. She is the first female to make it through the police academy in three seasons. Kalan squeezes the trigger and kills Varda with two shots to the head.

    Kalan looks around to be sure the evil rug rats from hell are gone.

Cadet Moore begins to check the bodies for signs of life. Detective Haidon is dead. The three without skin are beyond help. All thirteen of the other cops are catatonic as are the homeowners.

    Soon after Kalan radios headquarters, armies of police, medical EMTs, firefighters, reporters, neighbors and a helicopter arrive. The crowded scene deteriorates into chaos. Officer Moore pushes her way through the reporters to speak with Michael and Caroline before they go to the hospital. 

    “You two will be all right now,” Kalan says as she wipes the long hair from Caroline’s face while she is loaded into one of the ambulances.

The children of Varda could not be found or tracked. They seemed to disappear.

    Michael and Caroline recover from the venom with medical treatment in a few days but refuse to stay another night in that house. They hire a moving company to pack everything and move to an undisclosed location.

    The thirteen police officers recover in much the same way.

    Cadet Kalan Moore receives several commendations for the way she handled the situation. Later she will become a local celebrity of sorts after achieving the rank of sergeant in record time.

    The gruesome murders stop. As time ticks forward, it becomes a distant memory to all but Kalan who knows that someday they will start again. 







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A Great story! When will we see a completed book? Keep up the wonderful writing. HERE'S TO VICIOUS VARDA!

Posted 4 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


4 Years Ago

Thank you Elisakay, for your encouraging comment....Working on several books. At the present time it.. read more

4 Years Ago

You have improved and you get better and better all the time, the uniqueness in you is unstoppable
It's very cool. I love the writing font but it does read a little clustered (not your fault I know the site does that.) Well presented and very dark.

Posted 4 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


4 Years Ago

Thank you Kevin for reading this and leaving an encouraging comment.
I thought I developed a new monster. Then I ran across a Native American website. There was a link to Native American folklore. I was amazed to discover the oral tradition speaks of cannibal dwarfs. Nimerigar is a creature in their mythology. I incorporated the myth into the story. The Anasazi are a mysterious race, only known to be different than us. That begs for a storyteller's interpretation. Who knows?

Posted 5 Years Ago

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4 Reviews
Added on August 22, 2013
Last Updated on February 16, 2018



Picture Rocks, AZ

Welcome to, "The Mindscapes of Valormore" I hope my stories produce pictures in your mind. That is what a mindscape is. A place you can go repe.. more..