The rope dug painfully into Will Yazzie’s wrists as he tried to release his bindings. It was no use. The woman—the Skinwalker—had slipped a sedative into the tracker’s drink. It had relieved the intense pain from the snakebite, but had rendered him unconscious and vulnerable. 

His head still groggy from the sleeping potion, the man tried hard to focus on what must be done. The woman’s bracelet was the source of her power. She wouldn’t be able to shape-shift without it. He would have to take it from her by whatever means necessary. It would be no easy task, especially for an old man like Yazzie, but he was determined. 

Will Yazzie knew the danger of letting a Yee Naaldlooshii go free, even a female one. Skinwalkers were dangerous and feared among his people. When children or animals went missing, skinwalkers were the ones blamed. The bodies were rarely found, but when they were discovered, all evidence pointed towards the Yee Naaldlooshii. 

Yazzie first considered bribery. He had enough retirement money saved up to offer the woman. It would be a long shot, but his options were limited. 
The coolness of the night caused Will to shiver. "I’m too old for this", he muttered to the night. A noise above him caught his attention. Lifting his head, he saw the darkened silhouette of wings overhead. A great horned owl was hunting for prey. 

“If I were you, I’d be snake hunting tonight, brother,” he whispered.

Watching the owl swoop overhead, the man felt his bonds loosen. His hands now free, Yazzie reached to untie the rope from around his ankles. His hands went numb as he stared, breathless, at his feet. They were gone. Rough, keeled scales enveloped him silently as the owl called from above. 

The End

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