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Return to Part IV
The werewolf—in Bozeman to retrieve its mate—has torn up the local morgue. After a brief debate, you decide to try to bring down the creature with a tranquilizer dart. Read on and see what happens in the latest installment of the Beast of Bozeman.
You and retired agent Earl set up shop on the roof of the Federal Trust, a three-story brick building across the street from the morgue. A couple of local cops cordon off the area to keep people and traffic away. Luckily, it's late at night, so you don't expect any intrusions.
You take your position against the rooftop wall and watch the morgue. It's a tense few minutes. Across the street, an occasional dull crash is heard from inside the morgue. You heart rate jumps with each noise.
Finally, a crash of glass is heard from a window on the alley side of the morgue. You and Earl peer into the darkness as another crash follows; and another, after which you see what appears to be a chair smashing through said window.
All is quiet and still, until you witness a sight you'll never forget: the werewolf poking its massive head out the shattered window and glancing up and down the alley, its narrow snout twitching. It ducks back inside for a moment, and then you see the carcass of the dead werewolf being pushed out through the opening, head first. Slowly, the slack body emerges until it falls heavily to the ground, where it rests like a moldering carpet.
Moments later, the live werewolf emerges, squeezing its powerful shoulders through the window, oblivious to the shards of glass still hanging on its frame. It then pounces to the ground and rises up on its hind legs, drawing air into its barrel-like chest.
"Jesus Christ in heaven," Earl mutters while you gaze in awe. It's a towering creature, all torso and shoulder musculature, with a dark coat—not silvery, like you had envisioned.
Satisfied that the coast is clear, the werewolf gently picks up the carcass of its mate and starts down the alley, away from you, its head tilted slightly to the side. You regrip the rifle, raise it and peer into the sight at the end of the barrel.
Alleyway next to the morgue
There is the sharp report of the rifle, the fading whisper of the dart. You look past the sight just in time to see the werewolf flinch and drop its mate.
"Didja get it?" Earl asks, whereupon the beast goes absolutely ballistic, slashing the air with its front claws and thrashing its head about. It then lunges onto a chain link fence, shaking it violently as it throws its head back and unleashes an unearthly howl. You see lights go on in houses down the street as the beast leaps off the fence and contorts its body, trying to remove the dart from its back.
For some reason, Earl lets out a loud "whoop!" The werewolf stops, looks up and spots you. It curls its muzzle into a terrifying sneer.
In just a few bounds it crosses the street. You roll over and try to load another dart into the rifle, but your movements are spastic and you drop it; you're choking under the pressure.
"Hurry," Earl pleads.
You hear claws scraping metal at the back of the building as the werewolf bounds up the steps of the fire escape.
You wheel around just as it hops onto the roof, with only about 50 feet separating you. It stands slowly, like a growing tree, before throwing its head back and howling once more. It then drops its front claws to the rooftop floor and rakes the tiling like a bull ready to charge.
This is it—the end. If you're lucky, it will kill you quickly.
However, you get a reprieve: the werewolf's movements slow. It takes a couple of wobbly steps in defiance, and finally collapses under its own weight.
You and Earl look at each other and let out a conjoined sigh of relief.
You cautiously approach the limp creature, which is breathing in a labored manner. It's the size of a large grizzly, but much leaner and with long, narrow feet.
"We got about five minutes," Earl warns, looking at his watch. "Let's wrap him up."
The two of you work quickly to tie up the front and rear paws and roll out a large canvas mat. With great effort, you manage to flip the massive body onto the tarp, which you then wrap around the sedated beast.
"Don't forget this," Earl adds, handing you a large leather muzzle. He then walks off to check on the crane brought to retrieve the wolfman from the roof.
You position the muzzle at the end of the werewolf's drooling jaws. Gaping suddenly, they snap shut on your left hand, in one final act of vengeance. In one swift motion you yank the limb away and leap back as the beast lapses back into the void.
You shake your hand, cursing under your breath. You check the palm, and the wrist. Nothing.
You then look at the back of your hand, and notice a drop of blood.
Frantic, you suck the blood out and spit it away—again and again—until you feel Earl's hand on your shoulder.
"You okay?" he asks, oblivious to your mistake.