“You know that Witch Lilith is going to be looking for us every night this
month, don’t you?” Poe turned and looked behind them. “I don’t think
she’ll stop until she finds us.”
“I’m sure she has more than one broom. I don’t know about you, Poe, but
I’m not ever going out again at night. Even though we’ve gone through all
of this horrible stuff, I still am going home without Bella. I have no
idea where she is and I’m too tired to care right now.” Prysm yawned.
“It’s about 4 AM isn’t it? Two hours. We’ve got two hours to get home
before the sun comes up. I’m not sure what will happen to Candi, so we
need to hurry.”
can’t hurry any faster. We’re not that far from the cemetery. If we cut
through it, we can be home in fifteen minutes. If we go around it, we’ll
be home in an hour. It’s surrounded by this river and lots of thick,
thorny bushes and trees.”
Prysm rolled her eyes. “Duh, Poe. Do you really think I’m going to go into
the cemetery? I would rather take the long way, thank you.”
“But it’s so much faster.” Poe stopped and handed Candi to Prysm. “Your
turn.” He pulled out his candy corn and nibbled on it. “Come on. Let’s
just get home. We’ll be careful.”
“All right, but let’s hurry and stay on the paved path.” Prysm gave in.
They came to the cemetery gates. Poe peered through the iron bars. “Looks
kind of spooky, doesn’t it?”
“Yes it does. Where do all these monsters come from? When it’s not
October, where do all these creatures live? I guess some of them come from
these graves. Maybe there are some caves in the mountains and they all
“Another one of those questions we may never know the answer to. Are you
ready? Let’s get this over with. Have you got a good grip on Candi, just
in case we have to make a run for it?” Poe noticed the sky was getting a
little lighter in the eastern sky.
“I’m fine. Open the gate please.”
Poe lifted the latch and pushed the gate open. As they walked down the
path he noticed that many of the headstones were either broken or tipped
to the side and most of the graves had been dug up, leaving empty coffins.
“What was that?” Prysm nodded in the direction of the opposite gate.
“What was what? I didn’t see anything.”
“Something moved; something big and dark and I’m sure scary.”
“It might be a zombie coming back to its coffin.”
“Poe, look to your left. Is that an arm crawling across the grass?” Prysm
“Ew. It is an arm, or part of one. Look at the guts and bones hanging out
of the end. There’s a foot right next to it; a foot with an ankle attacked
and it’s moving by using its toes to pull it along.” Poe cringed at the
They saw heads rolling across the black grass by themselves, torsos
thumping up and down and all sorts and shapes of thighs and shoulders. If
that wasn’t bad enough, the rats came out and started attacking the body
parts, ripping chunks off with their sharp teeth. “I hate rats,” Prysm
sobbed. “I hate rats! I hate body parts that move by themselves and I hate
cemeteries!” Candi whimpered now and then, letting Prysm know she too was
“There’s a zombie. It’s behind that huge headstone.” Poe whispered,
fighting back tears. “Duck!”
The dead man’s arms were out in front of him as he plodded through the
cemetery in search of his coffin.
“They’re coming back to the cemetery. The sun will be up in about ten or
fifteen minutes.” Poe wiped his forehead. “Let’s cut through the grassy
part. It’s faster.”
“Okay. Whatever you say. Just get me out of here.” Prysm stayed close to
Poe, nearly stepping on the back of his heels. They were watching for
zombies and turning at this headstone and that to avoid being seen. Poe
tripped and fell into an open coffin. “Ew. There are maggots and worms in
here. They’re all over me.” He jumped out of the old wooden casket and
brushed them out of his hair.
Prysm sighed with relief that she hadn’t fallen in the coffin. “There’s
the gate. Hurry, Poe.”
They reached the gate and just as they went through a dark figure stepped
out in front of them. “Oh no!” It was more a sigh of weariness than fear
when they were confronted by the vampire. His black cloak draped over his
shoulders. Dark greasy hair came to a point in the center of his forehead.
He smiled, exposing his long fangs. Poe noticed blood dripping from the
pointed teeth. He gulped and gagged and then took a deep breath. “That’s
it. I’ve had enough!” Poe ran to the street and picked up the nearest
jack-o-lantern. “Ick. It’s mushy.” He held it high above his head and
tossed it at the vampire. It splattered into a mushy goo, covering the
blood-sucking creature with orange slime. Not waiting to see what happened
next, Poe shouted, “Run, Prysm.”
She pushed her way past the angry vampire, nearly knocking him to the
ground and didn’t stop running until she was at Poe’s front door. He threw
it open and pulled her and Candi inside.
“We made it! We made it! Wait! What about my Bella? What if she’s dead?”
Prysm fell to the soft carpet and cried. Her body shook with each sob.
light came on in the kitchen. “Poe! You’re safe. Prysm? What is that
thing? It looks like a baby werewolf.”
“Mom, you scared me! Please don’t be mad. I can explain everything.” Poe
ran to her and wrapped his arms around her waist.
“Poe! Your father and I have been up all night worrying sick about you and
so have Prysm’s parents. I just sent your father up to his bed. He’s got
to go to work. You just disappeared and didn’t come to school this
morning. I was upset all day. You’d better have a good explanation.” Mrs.
Merlin sat on the couch. “Go on then. Explain.”
Prysm wiped her eyes and scooted closer to Candi. “This is a baby
werewolf. We named her Candi because she’s so sweet. We found her locked
in Witch Lilith’s basement in a cage.”
“What? You two went inside the haunted house?”
“We saw Bella run inside. You see, Mrs. Merlin, Bella got away when Poe
came to pick me up for school. We thought we could catch her and bring her
home and get to school a little late, but we ended up on an adventure.
Look at Candi’s paw. It’s broken. Witch Lilith did it. Can you fix it?”
Mrs. Merlin sat on the carpet next to Candi. “Let me look at your paw
little one.” Ever so gently she took the paw in her hands. “It is broken.
I’ve got a splint we can use on her. Don’t move, any of you.”
Poe’s mother came back down and bandaged up Candi’s paw. She stroked her
fur with a brush that she used on Bruja, who was hiding upstairs, away
from the werewolf. “Poe, I’d like you to finish the story.” Mrs. Merlin
sat and listened to a detailed description of every moment of their
adventure, including Candi’s ability to heal them simply by licking. He
even pulled out his piece of the candy corn mountain. “I see. That was
very brave of you both. The first thing we’re going to do is call Prysm’s
parents and let them know she’s safe and then I’m going to feed you and
you too, Candi. When you’ve all eaten, we’ll have a talk with your father
and decide what to do.”
Mrs. Merlin made the phone call while Poe and Prysm feasted on pancakes
and eggs and whole wheat toast smothered in apricot jam. They both
devoured bowls of fresh, sliced peaches and pears and drank three glasses
of orange juice. Candi ate six cans of Bruja’s cat food and a huge bowl of
water. Mrs. Merlin put a soft blanket on the floor and the werewolf curled
up in a ball and fell asleep.
The sun burst over the horizon, warming Misty Valley. All of the creatures
had gone back to their secret hiding places. For a while, their town would
be safe.” She hasn’t turned into a human. Candi must be a werewolf all of
the time. I didn’t know they had that type of werewolf, but what do I
know.” When Prysm went home, she found Bella waiting for her on the front
porch. She picked up the cat and took her to bed with her, both sleeping
for the next three hours.
That late afternoon there was a strange scratching on the Merlin’s front
room window. Poe ran to see what it was. There stood two werewolves. Both
had dared to come out in the dusky daylight to find their baby. Poe ran
into the kitchen, picked Candi up and took her outside. “You smelled her,
didn’t you.” He smiled at the creatures. They stared at him for a few
minutes then the werewolf parents took their baby and disappeared, leaving
Poe on the porch, feeling sad and abandoned. He didn’t dare admit to
anyone that he would miss Candi.
That night, after the sun set, the beasts came out. Poe looked out the
window and watched the bats flying by and the zombies heading into town.
He wasn’t afraid when a Frankenstein monster stopped to look in his
bedroom window. The loud angry cackles of Witch Lilith in the distance
brought a smile to Poe’s lips. He knew she would fly around all night
looking for him and Prysm.
Someone knocked on the door. Poe’s parents were watching television so he
answered it. There was a package with his name written with red berries on
a square tag made of tree bark. Poe opened it and found a stuffed werewolf
inside. He hugged the little animal and took it in the house to show his
parents. “I’m naming her Candi, after the real werewolf.” His mother
smiled at the sweet gesture.
From that night on, Poe never hid under the bed again. Candi lay on his
pillow night and day and when Poe went to bed, he held the stuffed
werewolf close to him. Both he and Prysm made sure their cats never got
out again during the month of October and never, ever again was Poe afraid