The witch’s haunted house
came into view. She was flying in circles high above, cackling and
screeching. They only had another hundred yards to go when they heard a
noise in the forest. “Hide. Conri, put your paw over Mr. Death’s mouth so
he can’t say anything.” Poe crouched and the others followed his example.
Mr. Death’s muffled moans could still be heard.
The forest turned darker
as hundreds of black cats came crawling out. They encircled the group,
surrounding them with meows, hisses and snarls. None seemed afraid of the
werewolves. “Not again!” Prysm let out a deep sigh. “These cats are
getting to be a pain. I’m tired of their glowing eyes and long whiskers.”
“When Drake and I came
last year they followed us around. I still have scars from the scratches.”
Shayde looked at his arm.
Only seconds passed before
the cats leaped at Poe and his friends. Their claws attacked, sharp and
knife-like, tearing at any exposed flesh. Conri was forced to put Mr.
Death down in order to defend himself. Leeloo hit the cats away, thankful
she’d left Candi behind. Blood dripped from Poe’s face as he fought for
his life. Conri stood on his hind paws and roared. The sound echoed
through the forest, shaking branches and knocking many of the half dead
trees to the ground. The cats stopped their attack. When Leeloo joined her
mate in another roar, the felines fled, tails between their legs.
“That was interesting,”
“It was loud,” Prysm
“It also attracted Witch
Lilith. Look! She’s flying this way. Everybody down on the ground, flat.”
Shayde pulled Leeloo down.
“Where’s Mr. Death?” Poe
raised his head. The others searched with their gaze. “He’s gone. That
lilly-livered creepy guy took off on us again. Great, here’s the witch.”
Witch Lilith soared above
them, swooping among the trees. Poe, Prysm, Shayde and Drake snuggled
against the two werewolves so they wouldn’t be seen. The witch raised her
finger and shot a stream of flames. They landed on a nearby tree, catching
it on fire. Like a blazing candle, the tree exploded into a raging flare,
shooting fire into the night sky. It lit up the area around the tree. When
the witch couldn’t see any movement, she did the same to another tree.
Soon the whole area was alight with lemon yellow and tangerine flames.
“She’s going to burn the
entire forest down. All the trees are dead so they’re going to catch on
fire easily. We’ve got to stop her.” Prysm sobbed into Leeloo’s chest.
Conri jumped up, pushing
Drake and Shayde under a bush. He roared, catching the witch’s attention.
She flew closer to him and he roared again. In order to protect the
others, Leeloo joined him. They faced the witch. “Werewolves? What’s all
the noise about? Why don’t you go back to your caves?” Witch Lilith
screamed a wretched howl and flew away, furious that she’d wasted her
“That was close,” Poe
said. “I ache all over. I’m covered with scratches.” Leeloo pulled him
closer and licked his wounds, which healed immediately. She then did the
same for Prysm, Drake and Shayde. “I get it,” Poe said with a smile.
“Only girl werewolves can heal. Cool!”
“What about Mr. Death?
We’ve got to find him.” Prysm tucked in the end of her shirt.
“Everyone split up. Go
straight out for a hundred yards and then turn and come back to this spot.
If you see him, shout.” Poe nodded and they all marched into the forest,
careful to avoid the now smoldering trees. Embers popped, shooting tiny
pieces of burning wood at Poe. He stomped on them to put them out.
“I’ve got him. Help me.
He’s up in the tree.” Shayde called to the others, who ran toward his
“Oh, there you are, Mr.
Death. Come on down, like a good old codger, Jack O.” Poe mocked.
“I will not. Leave me
alone. I’m not going to apologize to that hag. I demand that you take me
back to Misty Valley Old Folks Home immediately!”
“No way, Mr. Death. You’ve
seen what happened. First we were attacked by cats and then the witch
nearly burns down the whole mountain. I’m surprised that the candy corn
hasn’t begun to melt causing a mud slide; I mean a candy slide. The only
way to stop all this nonsense is if you apologize to her.” Prysm petted
Leeloo’s paw and smiled at her.
“No! I’m not coming down.
You can’t make me!”
“Oh yes we can,” Drake
said. “Conri, shake the tree.”
“Great idea, Drake. If
Conri shakes it, Mr. Death will fall. Leeloo, you’ll have to be ready to
catch him.” Shayde tapped his friend on the back.
Conri stood next to the
tree, leaning his shoulder against it. He pushed the trunk and the tree
shuddered. “Stop that! Stop shaking the tree!” Mr. Death shouted down at
the werewolf. “If I fall, I will sue you.”
“Right, Mr. Death,” Poe
smirked. “Sue a werewolf? I’d like to see you try.”
Conri shook the tree
again. Some of the upper branches snapped and fell to the ground. Poe
pulled Prysm out of the way. After three more shakes, Mr. Death tumbled
from the top limbs. Leeloo caught him before he hit the ground.
“You got him. Thanks,” Poe
said, shaking Conri’s paw. “Now, Mr. Death, Leeloo is going to carry you
to the witch’s haunted house and you will apologize.”
“No I won’t.”
“Yes, you will. Perhaps
Mr. Death needs some time to think about this. Let’s stop by the pit. Have
you ever been to the pit, Shayde?” Poe turned to Prysm’s brother.
“No. What pit?”
“It’s so cool, Shayde.
It’s full of spiders; big, black, hairy ones that crawl all over you.
There are also ghosts and they think nothing of swishing through your
soul.” Prysm pretended to shake with fear.
“Don’t forget the
Frankenstein monster. He might still be in the pit. If he is, he’ll be
furious and probably tear the next thing he sees into a million pieces.”
Poe added a few things for drama.
“You’re not frightening me
at all. I don’t care how long you put me in your pit, or how many ghosts
tear my soul apart. I am not apologizing to that witch.” Mr. Death crossed
his arms and let out an indignant sigh.
“There is one more way to
get him to change his mind,” Poe whispered to Conri. “Do you remember the
cage you rescued me from? If we can sneak back inside without the vampire
catching us, we could put him in the cage and pull it up to the roof. Do
you think that might work?” Conri shrugged his shoulders. “Probably not.
We’ll force him to do apologize when we get there.” Poe stood in front of
the others. “We’re going to the haunted house. Mr. Death will apologize
whether he wants to or not. In the meantime, watch out for those black
cats and keep your eyes open for the Frankenstein monster. I think he
lives around here. The vampire might be around too, so everyone be on
guard.” He led the ground through the woods, stopping every time they
heard a twig snap. After another hour of walking and listening to Mr.
Death complain, they arrived at the bottom of the wooden staircase. Each
tipped their head back and looked up at the haunted house. “We’re here,”
The exhausted group fell
on the brittle foliage. Unable to stay awake, they fell asleep. Conri kept
a tight hold on Mr. Death, who lay awake counting the stars and mumbling
curses on Poe and his friends. “This isn’t the end of it. Oh no, it’s not
the end yet.”