I walked through the dark woods near my hometown of Danforth, Maine. The leaves crunched loudly underneath my shoes, as I used my wooden staff like a walking stick.

My name is Anton Blackstar. I'm a wizard, (the cool kind of wizard, not one of those conservative, long-bearded, wizards that speak only in unhelpful rhymes). Two weeks ago, I had sent the Aztec god of death, Mictlantecuhtli, into eternal imprisonment in Limbo. I had also disposed of his servant, the magic-devouring Tattooed Man. I had been helped in this by long-time friend and ally Jiayi Chen. Jiayi is a jiang shi, (a Chinese vampire that feeds on qi instead of blood).

The past two weeks following that incident had been relatively quiet. I had continued to maintain my store, which specializes in selling all kinds of magical, occult, and generally "weird" merchandise to anybody willing to pay for it. My business was doing surprisingly well, all things considered. I even had enough money to dine at a steak restaurant one night. (Alone, of course. Jiayi can't eat normal food, being a vampire and all).

However, yesterday I had gotten reports of a monster that had taken up residence around Maine. At first, I had suspected it of being a manticore or a nagual, but Jiayi had informed me I was incorrect. The creature was in fact a werebear.

There are other creatures besides werewolves that are affected by the same curse. A werebear is one such example. Werebears are human bitten by another such victim affected by the curse. On the night of the full moon, the unfortunate human will undergo a violent transformation into a half-human, half-bear beast that hungers for violence and flesh. Unlike werewolves, werebears do not change back into human form after the full moon sets and remain in their beastial form for the rest of their lives.

It was unusual to see a werebeast in the United States. Oh, it's happened before, but it's very rare. The last case I remember was a werewolf in the wilds of Nebraska sometime in the 1800's. (I've lived for a very long time. When you become a wizard, you also become immortal). Werebeasts usually hung out in the untamed wilds of Europe. It's even more rare to see a werebear here. And for one to show up in Maine is nigh impossible.

This worried me. Before he had been sucked away into Limbo, Mictlantecuhtli had informed me that barriers were weakening and creatures long imprisoned were starting to get loose. It was very likely this werebear was one such escapee.

Anyway, Jiayi had informed me the werebear had already killed two campers and a member of the police. I had decided to track this one down on my own. Jiayi didn't think that was very smart, but I had assured him I would be fine.

Now here I was, creeping toward the werebear's location. Loaded in my pocket was a silver stake. All werebeasts can only be slain by stabbing them through the heart with a piece of silver. Silver bullets would work best, but I didn't have any of those. That meant I'd have to get up close and personal with the werebear. I had to admit this wasn't one of my smartest plans. (And with me, that's saying A LOT).

I suddenly heard a loud growl in the clearing before me. Halting, I silently crept behind a nearby tree. I stayed still for a few moments, before poking my head out and gazing at the clearing in front of me.

The monster was there. It was pretty daunting to look upon. The werebear was standing upright, on two legs, just like a man. It was at least twice as big as a regular bear and was covered in thick, black fur. It had big muscular arms, with long claws on its fingers. It had a long snout, with a mouth full of big sharp teeth. Its eyes were glowing bright red, casting a bit of light around the beast. I noticed a few rags of clothing stuck to its fur. Probably leftover from its transformation from man to monster.

It was standing over the corpse of a deer. The werebear leaned down and sank its teeth into the deer's corpse. There was a loud wet noise as the werebear ripped off a hunk of meat from its fallen prey and began to devour it messily. The sound made me a big sick, but I wasn't about to let a nasty sight deter me from my present task.

I held up my wooden staff. This was my focal point, an object from which I channeled my magical abilities. All wizards are required to choose one when they become what they are. If I were to loose it, I could never perform magic again.

I pointed the end of the staff at the werebear. It hadn't sensed or smelled me yet, so I still had the element of surprise on my side. I planned to make it mad first by hitting it with some nasty spells and lure it close. Then, I'd stab it in the heart and the monster would die. Hopefully, I wouldn't get my face ripped off during this plan.

I clutched the staff tightly, aiming for the werebear's head. I then muttered, "Desumo offensus".

A blast of electricity fired from the end of my staff. It shot through the air and then struck the werebear on the side of its head. The monster gave a loud roar, sounding more angry then hurt, and twisted around. A hunk of deer flesh dropped out from its mouth and landed on the forest floor with a loud splat.

The werebear looked around for a moment for its attacker, before its red eyes focused on me in the trees. I stepped out in the open, and said, "Hey there. Nice night, huh?"

The werebear's mouth opened and it gave a loud bellow. Its cry echoed in the forest surroundings and a number of night animals fled from their hiding places. The werebear then began to run forward, its legs smashing against the ground, crushing twigs and leaves in its path. It raised its massive arms, its claws flexing, ready to slash me into tiny ribbons.

I tried to be calm, not showing any fear as the nightmarish monster ran at me, its footsteps carrying it across the forest floor at a very fast pace. I reached into my pocket, holding out the silver stake and watched the werebear approach.

Soon, the werebear was looming over him. It snarled, its lips curling back, and it raised its left arm. It swiped downwards, its claws aimed at my head. It that arm hit me right now, I'd be dead in a second. I did the smart thing and ducked downwards. The monster's arm swung over my head, the breeze created by the powerful swipe ruffling my hair.

I then lunged upwards, the silver stake in my hand aimed at the werebear's heart. However, the monster twisted and I missed. Instead, the silver stake cut through air.

I gulped, as the werebear raised its right arm, its growls sounding a bit like laughter. But before it could swipe at me again, I raised my staff, closed my eyes, and shouted, "Caecus lux lucis!"

Instantly, a huge flash of blinding light lit up my surroundings. I prevented from the brunt of the flash since I closed my eyes. The werebear wasn't so lucky and its resulting howl made my ears ring.

I opened my eyes, and saw the werebear stumbling blindly around. It swiped at me again, but its aim was way off and I easily dodged the blow. I lifted up the silver stake, ducking under a second clumsy blow from the blinded werebear and charged forward. I stabbed forward, impaling the silver stake through the beast's heart.

The werebear gave a loud bellow of pain and the red glow faded from around its eyes. It grunted, before blood began to trickle out of its mouth. I watched as the werebear fell forward, smashing against the ground and died.

I leaned down, digging underneath the werebear's corpse and pulled out my silver stake from its body. I rubbed the blood from the stake off on the ground and nodded to the dead monster.

"Cheerio," I said, turning my back on the werebear's dead body and heading for the exit of the woods. "I'm glad we had this little chat."