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The Misty Valley
by Margo Fallis
Volume 1 Chapter 4

     “I think we should name her,” Prysm said, glancing at the werewolf. “She’s awful young. I wonder where her mom is. Do werewolves have moms and dads?”

     “How would I know? Put Bella down. She’ll follow us, won’t you girl?” The cat let out a meow in response to Poe’s question. “You can help me by taking a turn carrying this one.” Poe’s voice had an angry edge to it. “I guess we should name her. What do you think about Howler?”

     “That’s a boy werewolf’s name. She’s a girl and she’s sweet. I want to call her Candi.”

     “Whatever. I wonder if she turns into a real girl when the sun rises or if she’s a permanent werewolf. If she was captured by Witch Lilith anything is possible.” Poe looked into the golden eyes. Do you like the name Candi?”

     The werewolf licked his face. “See. She likes it.” Prysm grinned. Twigs snapped in the trees behind them. Prysm searched for Bella, hoping it was her walking about. The noise echoed through the quiet night. Three black cats came out of the forest, heading for Poe and Prysm. “Uh oh.”

     The cats snarled and hissed. Poe felt Candi curl up tight against him. “Chase them away! They’re only cats.” Prysm did as Poe said. The cats didn’t move. “Uh oh. Run!” They dashed through the trees, Candi bouncing up and down as Poe held her with both arms. It was too dark to see where they were going so neither noticed the deep hole in the ground until they fell into it, both landing with a plop and thud at the bottom. Poe looked up to see the black cats staring over the edge. “Prysm, are you okay? How about you, Candi?”

     Prysm leaned her back against the dirt wall. “I’m fine. I’ll have a hundred bruises in the morning, but no broken bones. How’s Candi?”

     Poe laid the werewolf next to him and checked her bones. “Aside from her broken paw, she’s okay. She landed on top of me. This looks like an abandoned well. It’s round and about twenty feet deep. How will we get out of here?”

     “At least the witch won’t find us in here. What time is it anyway? It feels like we’ve been gone all night. I am so hungry.” Prysm cried. “I want to go home.”

     “It’s 2 AM. That’s all? This is the longest night of my life. We’ve got four hours until dawn begins. Don’t cry anymore, Prysm. You watch Candi and I’ll try to climb out.” Poe put one foot against the side and then the other. Bracing himself with his hands, he scooted up the cylindrical hole. “It’s working. I’m almost there.” Above him the three cats hissed and spat. Poe lost his balance and fell.

     “You were almost to the top, Poe. Try again, please?”

     “Those stupid cats; they scared me.” Poe tried again, inching his way toward the top. He expected to hear the cats this time and ignored them when they hissed. When he put his hands over the edge, the cats scratched his fingers; Poe fell. “I’ve got a million scratches and they bit me.”

     “Poe, you made it to the top! You can do it this time. I know it will hurt, but ignore them when they scratch you and pull yourself up onto the dirt.”

     Poe sighed. “That’s easy for you to say. You aren’t the one with bloody hands.”

     Just then, Candi leaned over and licked Poe’s wounds. Immediately they healed. Prysm gasped. “Poe! Your hand. Candi must be a magic werewolf or something. At least her tongue is.”

     Poe held up his hand. “There are no more scratches. Cool. Thanks, Candi. What did that witch do to you, girl?” Candi licked Poe’s face.

     “I’ll bet Witch Lilith did expiriments on Candi; her broken leg, patches of fur missing, and look at her claws; they’re all cracked and broken. It might have something to do with that green slimey stuff in the cauldron. Maybe the witch doesn’t realize that instead of hurting Candi, it gave her the power to heal. Maybe we’ll never know.”  

“Let’s not worry about it right now. Here I go.” Up the sides he went. At the top the cats attacked again, but he pulled himself over, knowing Candi would heal him later. He picked up a stick and swung at the black cats, chasing them back into the forest. He could still see their glowing green eyes watching him, but for now they were no threat. “I’m going to look for something to pull you both out. I’ll be right back.” Poe wandered off, keeping his eyes open for an extra long stick or some vines.

     Back in the pit Prysm and Candi closed their eyes and tried to sleep.

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