The next morning Poe went
to pick Prysm up for school. Shayde met him at the door. “I want to come
with you. Prysm told me all about your plans. Drake and I want to be in on
Poe glared at Prysm. “He
made me tell him. He threatened to tell my mom and dad if I didn’t.”
With a sigh, Poe agreed.
“Meet us at the cemetery at six tonight. If you’re late, we go without
you. Does Drake have to come?”
“He’s my friend. I’m
bringing him. We’ll be there.” Shayde pushed Prysm out of the way and ran
towards the school.
“He’s a big jerk. I’m
sorry, Poe. Maybe we can put them to good use tonight; you know, give them
a special task to get them out of the way.” Prysm smiled and the two left.
At ten minutes to six,
Poe pushed his supper dishes away. “Mom, I’m going over to Prysm’s house
to study for a test. Not a test, I mean we have to do a report.”
“A report? On what
subject?” His mother eyed him suspiciously.
“On, on, on, umm, the life
cycle of a frog. Yeah, that’s it. Frogs. Prysm’s big brother, Shayde, has
some frogs in his bedroom and we thought we’d watch them for a while and
see what they did. I’ll call you later okay.” Before his parents could
answer, Poe threw on his backpack and rushed out the door. When he knocked
on Prysm’s door, she answered. Poe noticed the two older boys in the
background, filling their backpacks with crackers and bottled water.
“We’re ready.” Shayde pushed past Prysm.
“Watch it, Shayde. Quit pushing me.” Prysm growled at
“Sorry. I’m just excited about tonight. Come on,
Drake. You ready, Poe?”
Poe nodded and tightened the straps on his pack. “You
guys know that any minute now the ghosts and zombies and all that will be
out. We’ve got to get Conri and Leeloo and get away from the cemetery
“Let’s get a move on then,” Shayde said and ran ahead.
“Hurry up, you guys.”
Standing behind a bush near the gate to the cemetery
Conri and Leeloo hid in waiting. Poe reached them first. “Where’s Candi?”
He stared at Leeloo. “You left her with some of the other werewolves
because you don’t want her to get hurt again. Don’t blame you. Are you
“I looked up Mr. Death’s address. You won’t believe
this. He lives at Misty Valley Old Folks Home. Hey, do you remember that
one guy in the cave who was nasty, Mr. Jack O. Lantern? What if he’s Mr.
Death?” Prysm snickered. “That would figure and explain a lot.”
“Lead the way, little sister. Where is the Old Folks
Poe answered. “Shayde, don’t you know anything? It’s
on Cornstalk Road, next to the Post Office, where my father works. I’ve
been there a lot of times, or at least next to it. I know exactly where to
go.” Poe took Leeloo by the paw. “Stay close. I don’t think you’ll have
any problems because there are all sorts of creepy things out here
tonight. Nobody will pay attention to two werewolves.” She nodded and
“There it is,” Prysm said. “I hope all those people
are settled back in their rooms and had baths. What’s the plan? We just
can’t walk in there with two werewolves and walk out with Mr. Death
fighting us and slung over Conri’s shoulder.”
“We’ll go in the back way. Shayde, why don’t you and
Drake go in the front door and casually ask what room Mr. Death is in.
Tell them you’re his grandsons visiting from El Paso, Texas.” Poe folded
his arms across his chest.
“What? Where in the world is El Paso? I’ve never
heard of it.”
“You don’t need to know where it is. Just tell them
you’re from there and get Mr. Death’s room number. After they give it to
you say you’ve decided to come tomorrow since he’s probably sleeping and
then come around back.” Poe sighed.
“Okay. We won’t be long. Don’t do anything without us.
Come on, Drake.” The two boys went through the main entrance doors.
“We’re going around back. I know the layout of this
place pretty well. Once we get the room number we can figure out which
window is Mr. Death’s room.”
“Poe, this is getting complicated. What if he refuses
to apologize to Witch Lilith? What if she decides to kill us all and
“Stop being so negative, Prysm. We’ve got Conri and
Leeloo on our side. Don’t forget that.”
Ten minutes later Drake and Shayde came around the
corner to the back of the Old Folks Home. “That was simple, except, the
woman at the desk was born in El Paso, Texas and started asking us all
sorts of questions about it. We played dumb and said we didn’t get out
“Okay, Shayde, that’s interesting, but what room is he
in?” Prysm wanted to get this over with as soon as they could.
“He’s in room 101. It’s on the bottom floor at the
right side of the building.” Drake pointed to a window. “That is his room
They snuck up to the window. The curtains had been
pulled shut, but there was an opening just big enough for them to see into
the room. “It is him! I knew it. It’s that Jack, the angry guy who ran off
without so much as a thank you. This just keeps getting better.” Prysm
sank to the ground.
“Try the window.” Poe nodded at Conri, the strongest
of the group. The werewolf tugged at the frame. “It’s locked? Great. I
guess we break the glass. Listen, as soon as we break the window, Conri,
you jump inside and get him. Throw him over your shoulder, or do whatever
you need to do. Get out as soon as possible. The rest of us will hide
behind that wall over there. You got it under control?” Poe’s weak smile
didn’t encourage the others. Conri grunted. “Good luck. Remember, he’s
The rest of them ran behind the wall and hid, peeking
out to watch. Conri hit the window with his paw. The glass shattered into
a thousand pieces and fell to the ground. The drapes parted and Mr. Death
looked outside. Before he could let out a scream, Conri grabbed him and
tossed him over his left shoulder. The old man kicked and punched the
werewolf, screaming as loud as he could. “Let me go! Help! I’m being
kidnapped by a werewolf! Help me! Security! Security!” Once Conri was
safely behind the wall, he dropped the man on the ground near the other’s
feet. “You! What do you think you’re doing? I’ll have you all arrested and
thrown in jail. I know powerful people in this community.”
“It’s Mr. Jack O. Lantern. Right. How could we forget
you? Ha! At least you’ve brushed your teeth! You don’t scare us,” Poe
said. “We know powerful people too.” The others laughed. “Let’s go. Can
you handle him, Conri? Okay. Stick together. We’re headed for the haunted
The entire way there Mr. Death fought them. He shouted
and pulled Conri’s hair and bit him on the shoulder. Conri ignored the man
and kept running.
“Would you please shut up, Mr. Jack O. Lantern; I mean
Mr. Death. You’re starting to annoy me. Do you want us to take you back to
the vampire?” Prysm put her hands over her ears. “If you don’t keep quiet,
he’ll hear us. I imagine he’ll be pretty angry with all of those who
escaped. Don’t you think so, Mr. Death?”
For just a moment the
irritating man kept quiet. He thought about Prysm’s words. “All right,
but don’t think my silence is acceptance.”
“Way to go, Sis!” Shayde
couldn’t believe it was his little sister talking.
“I’m serious. The vampire
was pretty angry when Poe escaped from the hanging cage, thanks to Conri.
Not only is the vampire looking for us, but Witch Lilith is too.” Prysm
took a few deep breaths.
“What’s this all about
anyway?” Mr. Death spoke with a softened voice.
“Do you want to tell him,
Prysm, or should I?”
“Go ahead, Poe. I’m fed up
“A thousand years ago, one
of your ancestors, who must have had the same personality as yours, said
something rude to Witch Lilith’s ancestor.”
“My family rude? How
insulting.” Mr. Death tapped the werewolf on the shoulder. “Do you think
you could put me down? I’m quite able to walk.”
“No! Don’t listen to him,
Conri. Stay where you are. I’m not finished with the story. You, Mr.
Death, are going to apologize to Witch Lilith for what your ancestor did
and you’re going to do it nicely and with sincerity. If you don’t, I’ll
let Conri and Leeloo take you back to their pack. I’m sure they’re all
very hungry werewolves.” Poe made eye contact with Shayde.
“I’ve read a lot of
werewolf stories,” Prysm said, winking at Leeloo and Conri so they would
understand she was making it all up.
“Me too,” Shayde
interrupted. “First they light a huge fire and then they impale their meal
on a big stick and set it over the fire, like a roasted pig. They fight
over who gets the legs and who gets the head.” For added effect, Conri
licked his lips and Leeloo rubbed her stomach. Prysm, Poe and Drake had to
hide their grins.
“What? I will not be
dinner for a werewolf. Now, tell me again, what do you want me to do? Who
is this Witch Lilith?” Mr. Death felt sweat drip from his brow and wiped
it off. He sniffed Conri’s fur. “You smell like a wet dog.” He plugged his
nose in disgust.