At the end of "Lilly Saves the Day," I promised you guys another Lilly story. So here it is! This one's going to be a little darker than my last one - but hopefully not too much. I want it to be as much fun as that one was so I'll try to keep up the humor despite the more serious plot. Enjoy and review!
The legal stuff: Alpha and Omega is copyright of Lionsgate and Crest Animation Studios. I only own my own characters and not Lilly, Garth or any of the characters from the original film. But you already knew all that.
And now that that's out of the way, the world of Alpha and Omega is the scene for a good, old-fashioned ghost story.
Jasper Park, Canada on a clear summer's day. A beautiful blue sky crowns a scene of greens and oranges. The sun shines through the trees, its rays playing with each and every leaf. The snow-peaked mountains rising gloriously in the distance. Everything seems as perfect as earthly possible.
"Another day in paradise," Lilly said as she watched it all from the den she shared with Garth. Garth himself walked up beside her and nuzzled her neck.
"What do you want to do today?" Garth asked with a smile. "It's Kate's turn to hunt so I'm free all day just to spend time with you."
Lilly thought about it. "I don't know. It's such a perfect day, we could just go for a walk through the valley."
"Sounds good to me," Garth answered.
But just then, Garth and Lilly saw someone coming up toward them. It was a wolf, somewhat smaller than Garth, with fur that was a blend of brown and rust. They recognized him immediately as Edgar, Garth's new Beta. Though he was Garth's age, he looked much older – probably because he never seemed to relax. Edgar was a no-nonsense sort of wolf who always seemed to be on some errand for the Eastern Pack. His harsh attitude made even duty-obsessed Alphas like Kate and Garth look like fun-loving Omegas. He was also very traditional and completely loyal to Tony, which was probably why Tony assigned him as Garth's Beta in the first place.
"Garth!" Edgar said. "There's an emergency in the Eastern Pack!"
"An emergency?" Garth said, alarmed. "What is it?"
He walked over to discuss it. Lilly followed him.
Edgar was about to speak but then he noticed Lilly for the first time. "Um, hello, Miss Lilly," he said in as respectful a tone as he could manage. He had never agreed with Garth marrying an Omega, even after Tony gave his consent. He had to fight those feelings every time he had to be polite to Lilly.
"What is it?" Garth said again, this time ordering instead of asking.
Edgar looked suspiciously at Lilly and then whispered to Garth. "I really don't think we should discuss Eastern Pack business in front of members of the Western Pack. They shouldn't know about our pack's actions."
Edgar had also never liked the idea of uniting the packs. He had been the biggest supporter, after Tony himself, of starting a war for the valley. In fact, he was the only wolf Garth knew who didn't feel the least bit sad after the stampede when everyone thought Kate was dead. Garth sometimes still heard Edgar mumbling that "We should just have eliminated all those Western runts when we had the chance."
Garth normally was able to deal with Edgar, but this time he was insulted. He didn't like that Edgar was acting as though Lilly was a threat to the pack she had married into.
"You can say anything to Lilly that you'd say to me," Garth said sternly.
Edgar hesitated but at last began to speak. "Okay, sir. Some of our younger wolves have slipped away – apparently on a dare – to the Haunted Caves."
"I didn't know we had Haunted Caves in Jasper!" Lilly said.
"It's an Eastern Pack secret," Edgar said disdainfully. "The type of thing the Western Pack shouldn't know."
Edgar caught Garth glaring at him. "Sorry, sir," he said. "And, uh, sorry, Miss Lilly."
After a few awkward moments of silence, the Beta continued. "Tony wants you to go and bring them back. It's not like the caves are really haunted – that's just an old wolf's tale – but they can still be very dangerous for an untrained young wolf. Since you don't have hunting duty today, Tony thought you and I should take care of it."
Garth nodded and began to follow Edgar. But then he looked back toward Lilly. He head was lowered and she was clearly depressed. He realized she was disappointed that they wouldn't get to spend time together.
"Hey, honey, why don't you come along?" Garth said.
"What?" Lilly and Edgar said in mutual surprise.
"If you're going to be a pack leader, you'll have to know how to handle these things. This might be good practice! Besides, it'll give us a chance to take a stroll around the valley."
While Edgar looked sick at this suggestion, Lilly immediately perked up. With a large smile, she said, "Oh, okay then!" and ran to Garth's side. The two mates nuzzled each other as Edgar shook his head in disgust.
The Haunted Caves were at the very southern limit of the Eastern Pack's territory. They were so far from the hunting grounds and living spaces that nobody ever had reason to come down there. They were also considered very dangerous, both because of the ghost stories and the many jagged rocks which were all around. An evil wind blew across the whole area, hissing as it crawled between the many rocks. It was enough to make any wolf believe in tales of spirits.
"So what type of ghosts do they have here?" Lilly asked. She was genuinely curious even though she did not like ghost stories.
"I don't really know," Garth answered. "Dad always thought they were nonsense so he never told any to me. Edgar, do you know any?"
Edgar growled, annoyed at being asked such a question. "I've heard that some wolves say they've heard voices coming from one of the caves. I don't know what else. It's not like I pay attention to stories like that!"
Lilly nodded. It wasn't a very scary idea and she didn't really believe it. So she just smiled and kept walking close to Garth. But then, Garth noticed something near one of the caves. Three wolves, young in age, were trying to get each other to go on. But none of the three wanted to be the first one to go in.
"Hey, you three," Garth called out, "you're not supposed to be here! You need to come back with us to the pack. We don't want you to get hurt out here."
Though Garth's words were kind, the three wolves did not seem to like them very much. Fearing that they were in trouble, they ran off up one of the paths leading to more caves.
Garth sighed. "They always have to make it hard for us, don't they?"
"If I had my way, we'd just leave them to get themselves killed," Edgar responded.
"Tempting as that sounds," Garth said, "we have a duty to protect all members of the pack. Come on, we should be able to catch up to them before they seriously hurt themselves."
Garth now turned toward his mate. "Lilly, you should stay down here. Those paths can get very dangerous the higher up you go."
Lilly nodded. She did not like the idea of being left alone but knew that Garth was only thinking of her safety.
Garth continued. "I'll be right back. I promise." And then he ran up the path with Edgar following close behind.
Lilly shivered as she looked around at the dark caves. She realized for the first time how scary the place actually was. It had been fun to talk about ghosts and pretend like the caves were haunted when she had her big, strong mate beside her. But now that she was all on her own, she was becoming very afraid.
"It's alright, Lilly," she said to herself, "ghosts aren't real." She hoped that she could convince herself that there was nothing to be afraid of. It didn't work.
Suddenly, she heard a voice. "Want to bet on that?"
Lilly's head jolted around. "Wh-who said that?"
But there was no one there.
Lilly's lavender eyes searched the entire landscape. Nothing.
"Must of just imagined it, he he," Lilly said nervously as she turned back toward the path.
"Not quite," the voice said again.
Lilly jumped. She now ran in a circle, looking for anybody who could have possibly spoken. Again, no one was there.
Lilly laughed nervously. "I… I really got myself frightened by all those ghost stories. Yeah, that's it. I'm such a silly Omega!"
"I won't disagree with that," the voice said.
Lilly knew she heard it this time. And she now knew where it was coming from. There was a large cave, darker than the rest, right at the beginning of the path. She knew the voice was coming from in there. She walked over and stared into the cave.
"If this is a joke by one of you Eastern wolves, it's not funny!" Lilly said. "Garth's going to be very mad at you for scaring me!"
"Like I care," the voice said.
Lilly could not see anything. Her heart was racing. She was beginning to believe that this was a real ghost. She wanted nothing more than to run up the path to the safety of Garth. But she knew that, if she ran away, it would be admitting to herself that there was a real ghost.
And there couldn't be a real ghost! Could there?
'Maybe if I just take a peek inside,' Lilly thought. So she slowly, cautiously, began to walk in.
When she entered, her eyes began to adjust. She could now see the inside of the cavern, illuminated with small rays of light coming in from cracks in the roof. There was nobody there.
But, at the far end of the cavern, Lilly could barely make something out. She walked over toward it, her curiosity making her forget the strange voice for a moment. When she reached it, she saw that it was some kind of tablet on top of a rock. On this tablet were a number of words which Lilly could not make out in the darkness. They certainly did not seem to be any writing she had ever seen before.
She could only make out the first few words. "Illam Tabulam Frange Non Tu Stulte."
The inscription was Latin, though Lilly had no way of knowing that. All that she knew was that the tablet was mysterious, its meaning lost in the mists of time.
"You're impressed, I take it." The voice again. Lilly could now make it out clearly. It was a deep, feminine voice. Almost an evil voice. And it was coming from the tablet itself.
"Wh-wh-who are you?" Lilly said. "How are you doing this?"
"You'll know soon enough, girlie," the voice said. "You're going to be very useful to me. In more ways than one."
"Wh-what do you mean?" Lilly said, shaking all over with fear. "I d- I do- I don't like this! Please stop!"
"It's already too late for that," the voice said. "But first, I've got something to tell you…"
Lilly was confused. "Wh-what?"
"Lean in really close."
Lilly's heart pounded. She knew she shouldn't do it. She knew she should just run away as fast as she could. But she was afraid. She was afraid of what the mysterious voice could do to her if she didn't obey its commands.
"Don't make me angry now," the voice said.
Now it seemed as though Lilly had no choice. This thing had her at its command. Who could know what it would do if she refused to obey?
So she leaned in really close, to the point where her ear was touching the tablet.
"BOO!" the voice thundered.
Lilly was so frightened and surprised that she jumped as far back as she could. But by doing so, she also knocked the tablet off its rock. It fell to the ground and broke into countless pieces.
"Oops," the voice taunted. "If you hadn't of done that, I wouldn't have been able to do anything. Nothing at all. But now that I'm free, well…"
"F-f-f-free?" Lilly stammered.
And then, before she could recover, Lilly saw something which frightened her more than anything so far. Above the tablet a dark shadow was forming. It looked vaguely canine, but it was bigger than a dog, fiercer than a wolf. All Lilly could see was the evil, mist-like shape slowly becoming something. And in the middle of this mass were two blood-red eyes, staring right at her.
Lilly tried to run away, back to the cave entrance. But, just like that, the darkness spread all around her and cut off her escape. And then it closed in on her completely. The last thing Lilly heard was a fiendish, evil cackling.
What is this mysterious creature and what is it doing to Lilly? Is she going to be alright? One thing's for sure, an ancient evil has been unleashed on Jasper and things are about to get really weird - to say the least! What's going to happen to our favorite wolves now?