J. L. Lambert II
8 min readNov 6, 2023

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By Jerry L. Lambert II

EXT. FOREST — MORNING

SUPER: “Superior National Forest. Minnesota. Winter. 6:00 AM. 2022”

We see a group of three men and one woman. They are in hunting gear but are geared with more than just rifles. Large hunting knives with runes etched on the blade and hilt sit on their waists. Bandages with more runes scribbled on in pouches. Healing Aid, just in case something goes wrong.

They are tough, and their spirit sharp. They are wearing layers on layers of clothes to battle the freezing winter of Minnesota. This isn’t a hunting trip. This is a war, and they are more than prepared to win.

NAMID(44), with a lush beard but keen eyes, steps forward. He’s a mountain lion, and his hands grip the hunting knife on his belt, just above his groin. He looks around at the hoarfrost trees and the crisp air. It tingles his nose hairs.

He doesn’t hear anything. He signals to his pack to keep their guard up.

EXT. DEEPER IN THE FOREST — EVENING

The crunching of the snow is dull, just as dull as the forest. It’s quiet, too quiet. The hunters know something is wrong. The forest is dead, but the trees still breathe.

Namid burns his focus ahead. They’ll need a place to stay.

EXT. CAMP — NIGHT

The campfire burns at a quick tempo, not too fierce but bright enough to cast the forest into a deep shadow. It’s cold. Colder than it was in the morning, and Namid and his men know this. They don’t feel it. Their leathers and coats are lined with a heating rune. It warms them just as if they breathe. Cold isn’t even a factor in this war.

SHESHEBENS(36) pulls back the bolt of her hunting rifle with a brisk click. She repeats this movement a couple of times before looking into the magazine. It’s been scooped out of springs and locks and replaced with a black box. She pushes the bottom of the magazine, and it opens, letting the black box slide out of the rifle. She holds the box in her hand before the rune on it begins to glow. Air gathers above the box before compressing into a ball. Whatever focus Sheshebens has, she lets go, and the ball disperses.

She slots the box back into the magazine and clicks the blot shut.

She looks over to Namid.

SHESHEBENS: The rifles are all good. Same with the knives, revolvers, and traps.

NAMID: Thank you Shesheben.

Namid says.

SHESHEBENS: Do you want me to check your guns?

NAMID: I’m good.

MIGISI: He’s good Sheshebens. Just relax.

MIGISI(47) says. He looks into the flickering fire. He’s a rusty switchblade, and he looks the part. Unfriendly and dangerous.

BAGWUNAGIJIK: Relax. Relax, he says.

Bagwunagijik says sarcastically.

MIGISI: Just spit it out already.

BAGWUNAGIJIK: The forest feels cursed. Not even a single animal in sight or even tracks. Listen…

He holds a finger to his ear. The four of them sit in silence, with only the fire cackling on.

BAGWUNAGIJIK: Not even a single owl.

MIGISI: What do you think, Namid? Is it the Wendigos?

Migisi asks. Namid rubs his fingers through his leather gloves.

NAMID: Could be? They are usually pretty restrained to that small village of theirs.

He says.

MIGISI: Restrained? These are evil spirits, Namid. Unable to control their insatiable greed and hunger. This is a bad job.

SHESHEBENS: We need the money, Migisi.

Sheshebens reminds him.

MIGISI: We can get the money for our people somewhere else, duckling.

SHESHEBENS: Don’t call me that.

MIGISI: It’s what your name means.

NAMID: Enough.

Namid says.

BAGWUNAGIJIK: The Kings don’t deal with this.

Bagwunagijik mentions.

NAMID: We are not the Kings.

MIGISI: We could have been.

Migisi says, snapping his hand into a fist. It trembles as he tense his arm.

NAMID: We are not warriors, nor are we scholars. We are hunters, and the Kings do not hunt anymore.

BAGWUNAGIJIK: Neither should we, but here we are.

Bagwunagijik says.

The four nod. Everything about this job was against their morals and their culture. A corporation wanted to renovate the land into a forest resort. Somehow, they had gotten a contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to do that. There were some restrictions, but the opportunity was gold.

The only issue was the Wendigos. The corporation didn’t think it was a problem initially, but after workers went missing and construction companies began refusing to work in the area, something had to be done.

For Namid and his group, they sold their Ojibwe pride for money.

A crunch in the snow grabs their attention, rifles and shotguns ready.

They peer into the dark. None are scared, just focused. They know death comes quickly, but they will fight like hell.

MAN: Sorry. Sorry.

A man says, entering the campsite. From a glance, the four know this man is just like them. A hunter.

MAN: Blunt.

NAMID: Excuse me?

Namid asks.

MAN: Blunt. That’s my name.

The man says. There’s an Irish rhythm to his voice. An accent he barely even has anymore. BLUNT(33) slowly points at an open spot across from Namid.

The four shake their head, no, but Blunt sits down anyway.

BLUNT: I really must say, I am happy to finally see some civilization. I mean, have you been around the forest?

Migisi turns to Namid, and their leader rolls his eyes. Migisi crosses his arms.

BLUNT: You haven’t?

BAGWUNAGIJIK: No, we have. It’s pretty dead out there. Blunt, what brings you out here?

Bagwunagijik asks.

BLUNT: Same as you all, I guess. Wendigo hunting.

Migisi unhooks his knife pouch.

BLUNT: But I gotta tell ya. It’s bare out there. You guys corp hires?

NAMID: Uh-huh.

Namid says.

BLUNT: Same, same. A construction company up here lost a lot of good men and women. It wasn’t pretty, so they hired me to figure out what was going on. Of course, I knew right away it was Wendigos. I mean, you can’t miss the way they kill, you know. It’s like a kid tearing up a Christmas present.

Bagwunagijik chokes on his water.

BAGWUNAGIJIK: S-sorry. I didn’t expect that.

He says, wiping his mouth.

BLUNT: You guys arrive today?

NAMID: Uh-huh.

Namid says.

BLUNT: Right, right. That makes sense. I’ve been here maybe two days.

MIGISI: What’s your game, Blunt?

Migisi asks.

BLUNT: Game?

MIGISI: What the hell do you want?

BLUNT: I can’t just sit next to a fire and shoot the shits with some hunters.

MIGISI: No.

BLUNT: You all Chippewa or Ojibwe?

SHESHEBENS: Both.

Sheshebens says.

BLUNT: Both?

NAMID: They’re the same.

Namid says, adjusting himself.

BLUNT: Oh, right. That’s fantastic.

MIGISI: So, you find any?

Migisi asks as he draws his knife. It sounds sharp. He grabs a whetstone from a pouch on his side. It’s no bigger than five inches. He sharpens the knife. Each scrap is slow at first and then quick on the way out.

BLUNT: Find what?

Scrap.

SHESHEBENS(irritated): Wendigo.

Sheshebens says.

Shing.

BLUNT: Yeah, and no. You know these bastards can be quite tricky when they’re huntin’.

Blunt says.

NAMID: Hunting?

Namid asks.

BLUNT: Yeah. Even deviants get scared.

Scrap.

MIGISI: Call them what they are…monsters.

Migisi says.

Shing.

BLUNT: I don’t think so. Monsters…well, they’re…different. You ever heard of the Flesh Collector?

Blunt asks.

Scrap.

SHESHEBENS: That sounds disgusting.

NAMID: Uh-huh.

Sheshebens glances over to Namid.

Shing.

NAMID: There were rumours of something eating deviants. Hunting them down and carving them up. It’s—

BAGWUNAGIJIK: Ridiculous.

Bagwunagijik says. He can’t believe the nonsense he’s hearing. He’s had more than one argument about this with fellow hunters.

Scrap.

BAGWUNAGIJIK: We all know that once you taste a deviant’s black blood, you become the same. Vampire to Vampire. Werewolf to Werewolf. Wendigo to Wendigo.

BLUNT: That’s right.

Blunt says.

Shing.

BAGWUNAGIJIK: I know I’m right. And as such, a deviant isn’t allowed to cannibalize because by doing that, mixing the DNA in the blood causes an ill reaction that leads to the cannibalistic deviant’s death.

Scrap.

BLUNT: Aren’t you the wise scholar? I knew a guy like you once.

BAGWUNAGIJIK: What’s that supposed to mean?

Shing.

NAMID: Why did you bring up the Flesh Collector? It’s nonsense.

Namid says, focusing on the conversation.

BLUNT: Absolutely not nonsense. That’s another reason why I’m up in the middle of a forest in the winter.

SHESHEBENS: It’s here.

Sheshebens says, there’s a hint of wonderment in her voice.

MIGISI: It’s nonsense, duckling.

Migisi says, observing his knife.

SHESHEBENS: I told you not to call me that.

She pouts.

BLUNT: Yeah. It’s here.

Blunt continues.

BLUNT: It’s a fascinating thing. It’s able to eat the flesh of a deviant and not die. It keeps on collecting.

SHESHEBENS: Collecting what?

BLUNT: The flesh, the DNA, the identity? Who knows, but the interesting thing is it’s able to keep a human form. I think that’s what keeps it alive. The clinging to that identity.

MIGISI: You sound crazy.

Migisi says.

BLUNT: I know. That’s how obsessed I am with this phenomenon.

NAMID: Uh-huh.

Namid says.

BLUNT: The thing about Wendigos is their…hunger. They can’t seem to control it. Some do, and they are the very rare minority. The ones that can’t are uncivil. There’s a village I found on the border. A Wendigo village.

MIGISI: We know that.

Migisi says, sharpening again. It’s a type of mediation to him. Scrap.

BLUNT: Oh, good. I found it strange that everyone there was in control of their hunger. It’s bewildering. I almost didn’t even recognize them. There have a village chief called the Ice Prince.

Namid peers up.

NAMID: Did you meet the Ice Prince?

He asks. Shing.

BLUNT: I don’t know if ‘met’ is the right word. The thing is, the Ice Prince ended up fighting the Flesh Collector. It was a horrid sight. The Collector was unable to keep a form shifting like a wave between all the things it ate.

Scrap.

BLUNT: Have you ever seen a Wendigo afraid? It’s unnerving, the large bulk of a deviant just crying, unable to control the situation.

Blunt says, staring into the fire in a daze, his memory replaying the scene.

INT. LOG CABIN — DAY

We see the shadow of the flesh collector. Deforming itself as two Wendigo children watch from behind some baskets. Tears pour from their eyes.

BLUNT (V.O): In a way, it was more human than the Collector.

Blunt continues.

SHESHEBENS (V.O): Did it eat him?

Sheshebens asks.

Scrap.

BLUNT (V.O): Yeah. That tough flesh when down smooth.

The shadow leaps onto a begging shadow. The sounds of crunching bones and snapping antlers. The children flinch.

Shing.

NAMID (V.O): Uh-huh.

EXT. CAMP — NIGHT

Namid says. He looks over to Migisi and then to Bagwunagijik. The men shift in their seats.

Migisi puts away the whetstone and grips his knife handle.

BLUNT: They hold grudges, you know. A Wendigo grudge is a Wendigo hunt. That’s the reason there aren’t any animals in the forest. They need to be as monstrous as the thing…

Blunt looks up to Namid, meeting him eye to eye.

BLUNT: …that ate their leader.

A shiver runs through the group as Blunt lowers his hand and the fire dye down.

BLUNT: There are four of you and one of me.

He says, his voice shifting to a serious tone. A little tired from his tale.

Sheshebens grabs her rife.

NAMID: Uh-huh.

Namid says.

BLUNT: I’m truly sorry about all of this. I really am…but I needed a messenger to head down the mountain. Someone needs to tell everyone…that the deviants have a new king.

Blunt chuckles. They never trusted from the start. Smart hunters, never trust someone that joins you at night.

NAMID: Uh-huh.

BLUNT: I only need one. I guess I’ll figure out who after the fight.

Blunt says before flicking his hand upward, and the campfire explodes, revealing…

…Wendigos all around them. The fire reflects in their yellow eyes. A burning grudge in their hearts. Massive they are. Massive and horned. Blood drips from the skin and fur.

All rationality is gone from their minds. Only beasts.

BLUNT: Happy hunting.

Blunt says and slams his hand into the snow and the fire…

…goes out.

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J. L. Lambert II

Are you looking for stories? Something unique and different. Then drop by this library and take a gander. You might find something you like.