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The Misty Valley
by Margo Fallis
Volume 3 Chapter 1


     One by one they made their way up the stairs, stopping only to catch their breath. Witch Lilith, who saw them coming from the first step, had parked her broom and sat waiting patiently in an old rocking chair on the front porch. The rotting boards creaked with each movement. When she spotted the werewolves and realized they’d fooled her to protect the children, she began plotting potions to destroy them as well as the reviling children.

     Poe was the first to reach to top step. He didn’t miss the fact that the witch was waiting for them. While the others caught up, Poe sauntered over to Witch Lilith.  She sprang from her chair and moved like lightning towards him. “What brings you to my haunted house up here on top of this candy corn mountain?” She hid her snarls and snaps. The warts on her nose jiggled as she spoke.

     “My friends and I came to make a deal with you.” Poe’s lip quivered. He couldn’t pull his gaze away from her hairy warts.

     “A deal? Most interesting. What are you staring at?”

     The witch’s voice irritated Poe with its high pitched edge. “I’m not staring and yes, I’ve come to talk about a deal.” By now the others reached the top and stood back, waiting to see what would happen.

     “You’ve got some interesting friends there, boy.” She eyed the others. “Werewolves, eh?”

     “Never mind the werewolves. Mr. Death, the elderly man,” Poe said, turning to point at the man in Conri’s arms, “is a descendant of the person who insulted your ancestor centuries ago. The witch, she…she put a curse on Misty Valley because of what he said. Mr. Death wants to apologize to you on behalf of his ancestor in hopes that we can stop all this October nonsense.”

     “Nonsense? You don’t like October? Halloween?” The witch tugged at the hairs growing from one of the warts. “And what exactly did his ancestor say to mine?”

     “I’m not sure. I’ve never heard anyone talk about what was said. I do like October and Halloween, but Halloween should only be celebrated one night of the year, not for a whole month. We brought Mr. Death here to apologize to you.” Poe coughed, clearing his throat.

     The witch stepped back into the darkness. “That so? I’d like to hear this apology.”

     “Conri, bring Mr. Death over here.” Poe waved his hand trying to speed things up.

     Unable to see the witch, Mr. Death started arguing with Poe. “Put me down. I will not apologize to that hag. If her ancestor was as hideous as she is, then it’s no wonder there was name calling and insults. Witches belong in the same category as toads and salamanders, or even snakes. They’re no good, slimy and have warts.” Mr. Death grabbed handfuls of Conri’s hair and tugged it. The angry werewolf dropped the man to the ground.

     “Slimy? Warts? A toad? That doesn’t sound like an apology to me, neither does hideous. I’ll show you who’s hideous.” Witch Lilith pulled out her wand. As soon as Shayde saw it, he grabbed Drake and ran into the bushes.

Prysm rushed forward to grab her friend. “This is not good, Poe. Let’s get out of here.”

Before she could move another inch, a zap of light hit Prysm, Poe and Mr. Death, turning the three of them into fleas. “As for you werewolves, I curse you with a case of fleas and they will bite you to insanity.” Another beam of light hit the creatures and they immediately began to itch. When she waved her wand the third time, the three new fleas landed on Conri and immediately were ordered to start biting him. “Let’s see who is hideous now.” With that said, the witch grabbed her broom and flew high into the sky, floating lazily in front of the moon. Her cackles could be heard for miles.

“Whoa! Did you see that? The old hag turned my sister into a flea!” Shayde took hold of Drake’s sleeve and pulled him towards the itching werewolves. “Conri, Leeloo, she cursed you both to have fleas? Oh man! You guys are scratching as much as my cat, Bella. Speaking of Bella, I wonder where she went.”

Conri and Leeloo roared in anger, scratching themselves on every part of their bodies. “Don’t claw at yourselves too hard,” Drake said. “You might squish Prysm, Poe and that troublemaker, Mr. Death.” Conri heard and understood. He fought the urge to dig his claws deeper into his skin.

“Flea powder and flea shampoo. That’s what they need. My mom has some at home, but we’ll need more than that to wash these two. Maybe we could stop by the grocers or drug store and borrow some. None of the stores are open at night, but maybe we could find a way in.” Shayde nudged Drake.

“You mean break in? That’s against the law. We’ll go to jail.” Drake’s jaw dropped as he listened to his friend.

“We will be heroes if we make it so there is no cursed October any longer. The police won’t care if we borrow some shampoo. We can pay them back tomorrow. I think we’ll probably have to go to the pet store. Conri, Leeloo, come with us and bring those fleas. Drake and I have an idea, but we’ll need your help.” The werewolves nodded and before they followed, they rubbed their backs against a tree to relieve the itch.

The four of them hurried into town, avoiding the zombies, monsters and ghosts that walked up and down the town’s streets. “There it is, All Soul’s Pet Store. I wonder if there is an alarm system.” Shayde peeked in the front window. They could hear the inside animals; birds chirped, kittens meowed, puppies barked and parrots squawked. His gaze wandered to the door. “I can’t see an alarm.”

“Maybe they’ve got one of those laser systems, the kind where red beams of light swoop back and forth across the room, disinigrating everything that they come in contact with.” Drake pressed his face against the glass. “I can’t see any beams, but I think they’re invisible unless you blow flour on them. Hmm.”

“Drake, don’t over-react. We live in Misty Valley, not New York City. I doubt if they have any protection at all. There are no bars on the windows or doors. Anyway, who steals things in our town? We’ve got the lowest crime rate in the whole country. Let’s go around to the back and see if there’s a door. Come on, Conri and Leeloo. Stop scratching yourselves. Pick the fleas off each other, like monkeys do.” Shayde snickered and once again elbowed Drake.

At the back of the store was a solid brick wall with one steel door in the center. Drake turned the knob. “It’s locked. There’s probably a deadbolt too.”

“Conri! We need a strong arm. We’ll go and hide by the garbage dumpster in case there is an alarm. You open the door.” Shayde waited until the werewolf was at the door. “Twist it hard.” He ran off with the others. Seconds later Conri stood with the door wide open. No alarms went off. No red lasers swung across the room. Drake and Shayde rushed inside. “This is cool! Look at all the animals.”

Leeloo stood in front of the kittens and grinned. Conri watched two German shepherd puppies wrestling with each other. Drake tapped his friend on the shoulder. “Shayde, we’re here for shampoo, remember?”

“Go find it. I want to see if this parrot talks.”

Drake went up and down the aisles looking for flea shampoo and powder. When he found the shelves, he glanced at the werewolves. “Hmm. I think we’ll need at least ten bottles to wash their fur.” He found a brown bag behind the counter and shoved the bottles of shampoo inside. Now for the flea powder; let’s see, how about five bottles of that.” When he’d filled the bag he trotted over to Shayde. “Got it.” He patted the bag. “Where do we go to give them a bath or a shower?”

Shayde thought for a moment. “We could go to the swimming pool at the high school. Drake, listen to this parrot. He says hello. Hello, parrot. Hello.”

“SQUAWK! HELLO!”

“That’s great. Now, can we go?”

“Hang on.” Shayde tickled the parrot and fed it a sunflower seed. “Should we go to the pool?”

“That will make a big mess. Think of all the hair that will come off them and the dead fleas.” Drake made a face in disgust.

“I know! We can go to Lake Misty and they can sit under Misty Waterfalls. It’s not that far, maybe an hour or two and if the werewolves give us a ride on their backs it wouldn’t take that long.” Shayde’s eyes twinkled at the thought.

“We’ll get fleas if we sit on them.”

“Drake, if we have to, we can shower with the flea shampoo too. That’s not a big deal. We’ve got to save Prysm and the others.”

“Won’t they drown in the water?”

“I hadn’t thought of that. I once read that water stops witch’s spells. Remember on the Wizard of Oz how Dorothy killed the wicked witch when she threw a bucket of water on her? Well, I’ll bet that water will make Witch Lilith’s spell stop working.” Shayde scratched the top of his head. “I think I already have a flea.”

“That’s a movie, Shayde, not real life.” Drake scratched his head too. “I’ve got fleas too.”

After explaining their idea to Leeloo and Conri, the two boys climbed on the werewolves’ backs. They grabbed onto the coarse, matted hair, feeling the fleas climb onto their legs and arms. “Let’s go. Hurry. We’re heading for Misty Waterfalls.” The werewolves barreled down the street and headed for the mountains in the distance.


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