“This doesn’t change anything and only makes the stakes higher. We’ve been living with monsters and never knew it!” cried Teddy. He attached the crossbow to the upper limb of the oak tree, while Thomas and Dr. Thurston climbed over the rocks to the other side of the canyon. A twenty foot gap in the mountainside led into the valley near the ceremony.

“Dr. Thurston, I need to borrow your crossbow. Do you still have the rope with you?”

“It’s at your disposal,” offered the resourceful physician. He pulled it from his saddlebag and secured it to the bolt. Thomas aimed the weapon at the nearest oak tree and pulled the trigger. The arrow left the bow in a blink of an eye, lodging on the other side of the canyon.

“Let’s hope it holds.” The doctor gave a nod and tried not to shake as he held onto it. They soared through the air for only seconds, abruptly making impact.

“We made it.” Suddenly the entire cliff disintegrated. Rocks slid out from under them, along with the oak tree. Its root system dislodged as they toppled off the cliff.  Explosives fell from their leather satchels…

BOOM…CRASH….CRACK…VOOM.

The explosion shattered evergreen trees into tiny splinters and demolished granite boulders into gravel. The werewolves were immediately alerted to their presence. Bane stopped his speech in mid sentence, barking orders to his followers.

“Grey Stripe and White Snout, bring the trespassers to me immediately.” They obliged, racing along the shallow creek toward the avalanche.

Teddy saw their mistake. He swiveled the crossbow toward the clan of werewolves, pointing the needle at Bane’s heart. The bolt left the tree violently.

Bane sidestepped the projectile, lodging in a nearby cottonwood tree, killing it instantly. Sap oozed from every tendril, root, and limb as life left its dying core. The giant werewolf glared at the mountainside, furtively searching for the hunter who tried to slay him.

“Capture that bastard!” Bane commanded.

The werewolves raced toward Teddy as he loaded his crossbow. He steadied his nerves by coaching himself. “I have the high ground and they cannot climb. I can pick them off one by one.” But then the unthinkable happened, they changed back into human form.

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