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NINE

After the boy had explained what had happened over at the ranch that night Blackcrow scratched his chin. “Strange story. Glory has been through a lot of stress. That might have taken its toll.”

“The way that coyote disappeared and suddenly the nighthawk appeared has made me think,” the boy said. “What if the coyote changed into the nighthawk?”

“You mean to say you think the coyote was the skinwalker?”

“Exactly.”

“That could well be the case. I should have thought about that!”

“And if that was the case it might be that indeed someone looking like me tried to hurt Glory. Someone looking like me but not being me.”

“What? You think the skinwalker impersonated you?”

The boy shrugged. “Didn’t you say earlier that your dad suspected the skinwalker in the past replaced people, impersonating them after killing them?”

“Yeah. You might be right. But if so, Glory might be in danger right now. That nighthawk flew off in the direction of the ranch.”

“No time to waste then, let’s head over to the ranch!”

Glory couldn’t sleep. She sat in the kitchen, drinking a glass of water. Her dad entered the kitchen.

“Hey, girl. Can’t sleep?” Caleb asked her.

“No. Something weird happened. I had to throw the boy out.”

“What? Why?”

Glory thought about keeping quiet for a moment. She was mad at what the boy had tried to do to her but she didn’t want her dad to hurt him either. She figured the boy was gone far enough now though. So she told her dad what had gone on that night.

“That little shit. Good thing you ran him off. I would have killed him,” Caleb bristled.

“That’s what I figured. Oh, dad… Will I ever be able to trust any man?”

Caleb sat at the table next to her, put a hand on her shoulder. “You will forever be able to trust me.”

Glory caressed his hand. “I know dad. There was something strange though, I scratched the boy’s cheek. But when I confronted him with his deeds in his room they were gone.”

Caleb hugged her, pulling her close. She could feel his nose against her hair. Did he smell it? That was weird. Her dad had never been a hugger.

“What the hell?” Caleb’s voice sounded. It didn’t come from near her though. Instead it sounded like it came from the doorway.

Glory pushed the man hugging her away from her. She saw Caleb come into the room. She looked at the man who’d been hugging her. He looked like Caleb as well. What was going on there?

“Who the fuck is that?” the man hugging her yelled, pointing at the other Caleb.

“No, who the fuck are you?” the Caleb in the doorway asked.

“Oh my god, I’m going crazy!” Glory screamed.

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Jochem Vandersteen

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