Witiku – The Shape Shifter

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Tribal Cop Ely Stone is back in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  He is fishing the Yellow Dog River when he finally catches the cutthroat trout he’s been after. That’s when something… catches him.  It’s only a moment, then… it’s gone, but the knowing…. lingers on in Stone’s heart and mind.  It was there, he had seen it… felt its hot, canine breath on his neck… hadn’t he?  Yet, later, in his contemplative moments, he wonders if he was mistaken.  He could not have seen what he thinks he saw… could he?

Then, an old team mate from Stone’s military past asks for his help.  The special agent of the Pukaskwa Nation drops everything to lend a hand. Someone has taken his former commander’s daughter; Stone must find her, and soon.  As he delves into the case, Ely reunites with his old childhood sweetheart. Then, danger stalks her, too. He finds that the kidnapper may be playing the game of urban legends.  As ridiculous as it seems, the abductor is maneuvering upon the fears of man, and, to Stone’s astonishment… it’s actually working. Ely is sure that the real monster here is a two-legged – a homo-sapien – not some scary apparition from a long-ago fable. Whoever it is has taken his friend’s daughter, and he means to get her back.

Then… the clouds darken, and the river shifts its current. Stone finds, much to his discomfort, that the culprit may not, indeed… be a mortal man.  Could this kidnapper actually be… a primordial thing – a frightening manifestation of old – something from the long past? Is it an ever-present, albeit hidden, entity – a being of evil witchery?

It’s preposterous, but, really… Ely has no idea, because the tribal elders… they only speak of it in the tight security of private council. And the People… well… they will only whisper of it in fearful, hushed tones.  The White culture has written songs about it, and sightings of the thing are made to this very day.  It supposedly bears the history of many thousands of moons, and, some say, the evil of consuming… human… flesh.  And now… now… it’s made an acquaintance with Stone.

That’s where it begins – a quest of unparalleled danger, mystery, romance and death – a case of Native American mysticism mixed with White legend – the Michigan Dogmen.  But, Ely Stone is no dog catcher, and, unlike the ordinary stray mongrel, this animal is a meat-only eater – the two-legged kind.  Stone may be the one getting caught here because… he doesn’t think he has a net big or strong enough to nab…

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