The Monsoon Killed the Tiger

The wind moaned. Conifers swayed above quaking aspen. Tree branches rasped in a guttural symphony. As Kannon watched the thickening clouds color the jungle-green landscape to charcoal, his desire to photograph faded. He turned toward the motorcycle, started to mount—and froze.

Not five yards away, a bear the size of a battle tank blocked his escape. She chucked her head from side to side. The hair on her massive shoulders bristled, the silver-tipped fur barely distinguishable from the sharp-needled fir trees.

She rose on her hind legs, opened her great mouth, and roared from the abyss of hell, her lacerating teeth lining its portal. Her foul breath, smelling like decayed garbage, blew past as an angry wind.