The Sheriff leaned back in his chair, his pistol scratching his chin, his eyes as always obscured by his wide brimmed hat. Stood before him were two of the brightest minds to currently reside in New Fairbank and they were arguing like children. Despite the matter at hand, the Sheriff's attention was else where.
It had not taken long for Isaac's body to be found and it had taken even less for rumours and aspersions to spread. Some argued that it was the work of monsters from the Crypts while others suggested that Isaac had been subject to a mugging gone wrong, all turned to the Sheriff for guidance.
"You should not have gone through my patient's notes!" Shouted Doctor Loxley, waving a strange mechanical stick around with each gesture "it is a clear invasion of Doctor-Patient confidentiality!"
"Nonsense" replied Doctor Colt, his manner much more relaxed than his opposition "I am the medical doctor here and I have been brought in by the Sheriff no less, to tend to the medical needs of this town. If I am to do that I need access to your records".
Loxley turned to the Sheriff "is this true?" He asked "did you personally ask for this... fraud to replace me?"
The Sheriff righted his balance on his chair, laid his pistol on his desk and stood up straight patting down his waist coat as he did.
"You know that to be true Doctor" The Sheriff responded "Doctor Colt here has been brought in to attend to the medical needs, in order to allow you to focus on the technological and archeological". The Sheriff paused for a moment for dramatic effect.
"You have seen for yourself Doctor the volume of Artifacts bring brought back has increased substantially in recent months" continued the Sheriff "I need you where you can be of most use to this town".
The day rolled on and life in New Fairbank continued as it always did. Posses entered and returned from the Crypts, the shop owners peddled their wares and Doctor Loxley conspired against his newly arrived rival.
"Where is it?" Loxley yelled, tossing all manner of Artifacts across his workshop table "I left it right here!" It soon became apparent that whatever he was searching for, Doctor Loxley would not find it and so with exhaustion he slumped into his favourite barely upholstered chair.
As if on command a silver tabby cat jumped onto the Doctor's lap and started pummelling at his leg.
"Not now Archie" the Doctor grumped "I must remember where I put that Artifact".
The cat padded in a circle before rubbing it's cheek on the Doctor's hand. "Ok then silly, let's find you some food" and with that Loxley gripped his friend tightly before carrying the cat over to his makeshift kitchen to prepare what little food the cat required.
Night rolled in, and as always the Last Light Tavern was packed with people eager to spend their day's earnings on whatever Frank had on offer that day, elsewhere down the winding back alleys of New Fairbank the East family were busy locking doors and windows in their home for the night.
Earl East was a carpenter by trade, he operated out of his workshop, a small one room site attached to the side of his home. It was there he lived with his wife Mary and daughter Anna.
"But daddy! I don't want to go to bed yet" cried Anna East, "Joey said that there was a killing last night and that there'll be another tonight!" Anna was of course referring to Joey Turner the son of the merchant who lived only four doors down from the Easts.
"Nonsense child" reassured Earl East, "now the Sheriff is involved, there is no way that mean killer would strike again" and he kissed his daughter on the forehead before turning and leaving her room, but not before checking to make sure her window latch was firmly secure.
That night Anna East dreamed like she usually did, like all children dreamed in New Fairbank, of blood and terror, of living shadows and baying wolves, of monsters and of 'him' the man who called to her every night, as he did to every child in New Fairbank. But it was not these dreams that forced Anna East awake, after living in the town for four years she was more than accustomed to these dreams. No, what awoke her was very much real and in her room, not on the land of dreams and fairy tales.
Wiping her eyes Anna could make out a form at the end of her bed, roughly as big as her father, it appeared to almost perch at the end, the shadows of her room providing it with a cloak obscuring it from vision.
"Who are you?" Asked Anna, knowing full well not to show any sign of fear "are you a friend of the bad man in my dreams?"
"No girl" replied the shadowed form "I have had many names, and many friends, but none of them have been the man in your dreams"
Anna began to look worried, she glanced around to look for an escape, her window was still closed and latched and her bedroom door had never seemed so far away before, she had only one choice...
"So who are you Mr..." Anna encouraged the shadowed figure.
"Some call me demon" replied the figure "others Springheel" the figure paused "but last night I was given a new name..." The figure reached out with his hand, a bony, leathery claw with long jagged fingernails that glinted like knives in the dark "Jabberwock".
Anna was fast to react, reaching under her pillow she grasped her carving knife that she kept and brought it to bear on the shadowed figures hand. Thick warm blood splashed across Anna's arm and she darted for her door, just as she was about to grapple with the handle, the door swung open and standing in an aiming stance behind was her father gripping his shotgun tightly.
Quickly and efficiently he surveyed the room, but to his daughter's astonishment no shadowed figure could be found, checking Anna's window Earl found it to be closed and latched from the inside, and despite the apparent lack of disturbance, no one could miss the bright red splash of blood that streaked across Anna's bed and the bloody knife she clung to with white knuckled hands.
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley