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The Misty Valley
by Margo Fallis
Volume 1 Chapter 3


     They moved a pile of bones to the side and hid behind them. The cackling grew louder and louder and then they both heard the witch touch down on the roof above them. They sat in terror as the footsteps moved from one side to the other. When they heard a door open and the creak of her walking down some steps, they sat petrified, not moving a muscle. All they could hear was her cackling as she went down to her cauldron.

     MMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

     MMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

     MMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

     “It knows she’s back,” Poe whispered as softly as he could.

     The cackles continued for an hour. “Poe, my legs hurt from being all scrunched up like this. I want to go home.”

     “Mine ache too.” When Poe moved to stretch his leg, he knocked over a skeleton, sending the bones rolling across the floor. One skull bumped into the door.

     Prysm bit her lip when the cackling stopped. She heard Witch Lilith coming up the stairs to the top floor. When the door knob turned both Prysm and Poe hugged each other. A beam of pale green light shot from the end of the witches’ pointer finger. She aimed it around the room. Poe and Prysm ducked as the light passed near them. A loud hiss and a screech came from the hallway. Prysm lifted her head enough to see Bella run past the witch, who slammed the door shut and ran after the cat.

     “She’s going to boil Bella in her cauldron. We’ve got to save her.”

     “We need a plan. We’ll go downstairs and I’ll throw this skull into the other room. When Witch Lilith goes to find out what made the noise, you grab Bella and we’ll make a run for it.” Poe didn’t believe the words he was speaking.

     “That’s your plan? Oh well. It’s better than the one I had.” Prysm stood and rubbed her sore legs. She picked up the biggest bone she could see.

Poe grabbed the skull. “Isn’t it freaky that we’re holding a dead person’s bones?”

“I’m trying not to think about it.”

Poe opened the door and they stepped into the dark hall. Light from the moon shot through a back window, giving them a beam of light to find their way to the top of the stairs. The witch’s broom leaned against the wall. Down they crept, one step at a time. The witch was so busy cackling that she didn’t hear the stairs creak.

MMMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

MMMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

“Ignore it,” Poe said. When they reached the bottom of the stairs he peeked around the corner. “She’s got Bella. Ew! Her fingers are long and ugly and boney.”

“She’d better not hurt my cat.” Prysm gripped the thigh bone tighter.

“Here I go.” Poe held the skull up above his head and threw it as far as he could. It hit a wall and rolled across the filthy wooden floor. The witch put the cat down and marched off to investigate. “Grab the cat!” Poe wasn’t worried about being quiet any longer. He just wanted to get out of there.

Prysm darted and grabbed Bella, who clawed at her in anger. They tried to open the back door, but it was locked. The witch came back in the room. “Well, well, well. What have we here? Children. You’ve come to take my cat.”

They gaped at the ugly hag. Her nose was six inches long with big gray hairy warts growing from the end. Her chin was pointed and covered with more warts. Her hair was green and stuck out from her black witches’ hat, poking here and there in thick matted strands. Her eyes glowed a golden shade with flecks of red and purple and her teeth were pointed, like fangs, with brown holes and puffy purple gums.

“Leave my cat alone. She’s not your cat. She’s mine. I won’t let you boil her in your green slime-filled cauldron.” Prysm held Bella, who squirmed in her arms.

“Well, if you won’t let me have your cat, then I’ll have to take this boy.” The witch grabbed Poe.

“Run, Prysm. Take Bella and get out of here.” Poe tried to wriggle free from the sinewy fingers.

“Yes, run, Prysm. Go ahead and take your cat. The boy will do just fine.” CACKLE! CACKLE! CACKLE!

Prysm stood in thought. She put Bella down. “Go girl. Go and hide.” The cat dashed into the darkness of the other room. “I’m not afraid of you anymore and I won’t let you hurt my friend.”

Witch Lilith laughed. Prysm walked towards her with the bone in her hand, ready to use it. The witch found pleasure in watching the girl moving her direction. Seeing that both females were preoccupied, Poe ran towards Witch Lilith, pushed her as hard as he could, grabbed Prysm and ran outside. Neither waited around to see the witch fly into her cauldron and knock it over, spilling the contents all over the floor.

“Run, Prysm. She’s going to be really angry with us.” Poe took his friend’s hand and pulled her into the woods. They ran as fast as they could, not stopping, even when their sides ached. “I think we’re safe now. She’s an old hag and can’t run as fast as us.”

“Don’t look now,” Prysm said, pointing to the sky. “She’s on her broom and searching for us.”

They watched as the furious witch sped back and forth above them, keeping her gaze on the trees below. “Let’s go back towards the haunted house. She’ll never expect us to do that. We can go back inside and grab Bella and then go down the stairs. It’s dark and she’s flying off to the next candy corn mountain. You know, I’ve almost forgotten about the vampires and ghosts and all the things going on in Misty Valley. Our moms and dads must be worried sick about us. Come on.”

The two ran back to the haunted house and called for Bella. A few minutes later the cat came running towards them. Prysm picked her up and held her tight. “I’m so glad to see you, Bella. You’ve been a naughty cat and have gotten us into a lot of trouble.”

Poe’s eyebrows sank towards the center of his nose. “I’ve been thinking; you take Bella and head for home. I’m going to find out what that moaning sound is. Witch Lilith probably has some poor guy locked up in her basement.”

“But we’re free now and I’ve got Bella. Let’s just both go home, Poe.”

“I’m staying. I’m too curious. I think I’ve gotten a bit braver since this morning. I’m actually having fun.” Poe grinned at the horrified girl. “Go home, Prysm.”

“If you’re staying; I’m staying too. Bella, you might as well go exploring. When you’ve had enough, please go home.” She stroked the cat behind the ears and put her down. “Do you think Witch Lilith will come back soon?”

“Nope. I think she’ll stay out there all night. She wants to find us bad.” Poe opened a door that led downstairs. “Are you sure you want to come?”

“Yes. I’ll follow you. Maybe we should get our candle. Hang on. I’ll go and get it.” Prysm ran up the stairs into the room full of skeletons and grabbed the candle. There was just enough light coming through the window to find it. She pulled the matches from her pocket and lit the waxy taper.

“Good. At least we have light now.” Poe took the first stair down, his feet hesitant to move. A few gulps escaped his lips. Prysm stayed right behind him until they hit the bottom step. Poe held up the candle. “It stinks down here like rotten fish.” Prysm sniffed. Poe moved to the left. “Let’s check here first.

They walked around the room and nothing was there; not a crate, a piece of wood or a spider web. When they went into the next room both of them stopped in their tracks and stared at the cage in front of them. “It’s…it’s…it’s a baby werewolf.” Prysm pushed Poe’s arm so he’d move the candle closer. “It’s wounded. What has that witch been doing to it? Is it a boy werewolf or a girl?”

Poe stepped closer to the cage. Huddled in the corner was a small, furry creature, with a wolf face, paws and tail and sharp teeth poking from its lips. One of its paws was bent. “Oh look, Poe. It has a broken back paw. No wonder it moans all the time.”

“Don’t go too close. It is a werewolf after all.” Poe kept Prysm back.

The werewolf scooted closer to the bars of the cage. Prysm noticed it had tears puddling in its eyes. The creature stuck his front paw out, wanting Prysm to take it. She reached through the bar.

“Be careful. This might be a trick.”

Prysm stroked the wolf-like paw and the werewolf moved closer and nuzzled against her leg. “It’s not scary at all. It’s just a baby werewolf and she’s scared and hurt. Can you open the cage? Let’s get her out of here before the witch comes back.”

Poe checked the barred door. There was a lock on it, holding it shut. Without saying a word he ran up the stairs and came back down with the leg bone that Prysm had tried to hit the witch with. “Stand back.”

Prysm urged the creature to move over to the side of the cage. “Don’t be afraid. Poe’s going to break the lock.”

“It’s old and rusty. Here goes.” He hit the lock three times with the bone and it broke apart, falling to the ground. “That was easy enough.” He opened the door to the cage. The werewolf limped towards him.

“She wants you to carry her, Poe.”

“What? Me carry a werewolf? I spent last night hiding under my bed because I saw the Frankenstein monster and now you want me to carry a werewolf from Witch Lilith’s haunted house? Okay.” Poe gently picked her up. “Whew! She weighs more than Mr. Kali’s dog. He huffed and puffed as he made his way up the stairs.

“I’ll get Bella. Come on, Bella. It’s time to go home.” The blue-gray cat came running towards Prysm, stopping when it spotted the bundle in Poe’s arms. “It’s all right, Bella. She’s a baby girl werewolf and she’s got a sore paw. She won’t hurt us.” Bella trusted her owner and leapt into Prysm’s arms.

“All right. We’re set. Let’s get out of here. The witch is going to be angrier when she finds the cage empty.”

Poe led them down the stairs. They could see the witch flying around Misty Valley. When they reached the bottom of the candy corn mountain, they stopped for a breath. “Which way? I’m as lost as can be.” Poe looked to the right and then to the left. “Let’s go right. Witch Lilith is over that way, so we’ll go the opposite direction. Keep your eyes open for vampires and zombies.”


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