Safety in Numbers Is Not Always Guaranteed


“What do you mean we were being stalked?”

I remember my HR officer smiling as she asked the question.

“We never walk alone. Always in groups. We walk up after dark, yes. We keep to the road, though. Never the hiking trail,” she continued.

Our guest wildlife expert nodded. “You were being followed every time.”

“Really? None of us ever saw anything.”

“You wouldn’t have. Not until it decided if it wanted to kill you or not.”

The HR officer stopped smiling.

Her face is what I remember most about that orientation. I had never seen a smile disappear so fast. Our HR officer had never realized how close, and how often, she came to being a cougar’s dinner.

As a new recruit, I hadn’t known then that the meeting was because of recent cougar attacks in the area. Looking back, I can’t help but wonder what else lurked in those woods—going completely unnoticed until it decided to kill.

As I prepared to say farewell to the Rose siblings, I remembered that moment.

It seemed like the perfect way to send them off with a bang: a secluded town under siege by unknown forces that lurked in the woods.

What better playground for some demons and their minions?

I hope you enjoy their final journey as much as I loved writing it.

And remember, being in a group doesn’t guarantee that you’re safe.

Always check the shadows.

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