You can stop waiting and wondering - I have indeed found the time to post the next chapter. And this time, things really get serious for all of our heroes. Nothing else really needs to be said, so - enjoy!
Humphrey and Garth stood by the log, neither sure of what to do. Lilly continued to stand in front of them, staring blankly.
"Oookay," Humphrey said. "If nobody minds, I'm going to go check on Kate. I don't like leaving her out there with just Zack for protection."
But, as he began to leave, Lilly started to snap randomly and bite at him. Humphrey scurried back to the log. But it did not seem to dissuade Lilly, who now advanced on Humphrey and Garth as she snapped and bit. Things were looking bad.
Kate still refused to ask about the curse.
"You should want to know, girlie," Lilith said, "since you're now under my curse. So, I'll tell you. See, it starts with that black mark. And then you start to see illusions, illusions of me. Or maybe they're not illusions… But, you see me everywhere. There's nowhere you can run, nowhere you can hide, because I'm right there beside you. It gets to the point where you can't even tell what's real and what's not anymore. And, at that point, you go mad – if you haven't gone mad already, that is. And then, from that combination of fear and insanity, guess what? You die! Hahaha! You die a completely painful and horrific – umphf!"
Lilith had gotten so involved in describing her curse that she did not notice Kate's attack until it was too late. Kate had recognized that it might be the only opportunity to catch the fiend off-guard and so had bit Lilith's neck and forced her to the ground. Kate intended to hold down Lilith until help – any form of help – arrived.
But Lilith didn't take kindly to the plan. With a growl, she flung Kate off of her, sending the golden-brown wolf crashing into a nearby dead-tree.
Lilith got up, her eyes burning with anger. Literally, since they now burst into flame, a dark red flame. Smoke flew from Lilith's mouth and nostrils as she approached Kate and said, "Fine, forget the curse. Just for that, I'm going to kill you right now!"
Lilly had almost reached Humphrey and Garth and was showing no signs of stopping.
"Can't you do something?" Humphrey asked, terrified.
"I'm not going to attack my mate, Humphrey!" Garth shouted, though he was equally terrified.
"No, I was thinking of, you know, trying to snap her out of it," Humphrey said. "She's your mate, after all, so I think she'll listen to you!"
Garth considered this but before he could respond, Lilly was suddenly sent flying by a rust-colored blur. Garth and Humphrey recognized Edgar standing over her.
Edgar held Lilly's neck in his paws and was banging her head against the ground. She was trying to fight back, growling and hissing, and waving all four of her legs, but Edgar was too big and burly for it to have much of an effect.
"Die, evil scum, die!" Edgar shouted.
Just as Lilith was about to reach Kate, she suddenly stopped and turned her head in the direction of the woods.
"That's not possible," Lilith whispered to herself. And then she was knocked back as Kate launched herself from the trunk of the tree and delivered a dropkick to the black wolf's jaw.
'I gotta be careful,' Kate thought. 'She may have Lilly's body, but she's got ten times her strength. But maybe if I can keep weaving I can stay ahead of her.'
Lilith was quick to get up and charge, but Kate managed to flip out of the way. When the black wolf charged again, Kate managed to dodge and meet Lilith with a right hook. This time, however, Lilith did not seem hurt in the slightest.
"Oh, guess what?" Lilith said evilly. "I can only be hurt when I'm distracted! And I won't get distracted again!"
"Die, die, die!" Edgar shouted as he continued to pound Lilly's head against the ground.
Garth ran up and began to pull him off her. "Edgar, stop!"
Edgar obeyed the command. He looked at Garth and then back down at his prey. "Miss Lilly!" he shouted in surprise. "What do I do, sir?"
"How about you start by not choking her?" Garth said.
Edgar pulled back his paws. But as he did so, Lilly bit both.
"She bit me!" Edgar yelled.
"Yeah, join the club," Humphrey said.
Garth now pushed himself between Edgar and Lilly. He looked Lilly deeply in the eyes. "Lilly, honey?" he said. "It's me, Garth. You know, your mate. Now, I know that since we love each other so much, you'd never do anything to – my nose!"
Garth pulled away and held his nose in pain.
"I knew it, she's gone crazy!" Edgar yelled as he launched himself at Lilly. "I always knew that it was just a matter of time!"
"Oh, no you don't!" Garth yelled, holding Edgar back. At which point, Lilly bit Garth's leg.
This gave Edgar the opportunity to charge Lilly, who responded by biting his elbow. But before Edgar could do anything, Garth put his foreleg between them.
"You are not killing my mate!" Garth said as Lilly bit his foreleg.
"She's a danger to us all, sir!" Edgar responded as he tried to get around Garth, only to get bit in the nose by Lilly. "It's the only way!"
After Lilly bit Garth again, Edgar had an opening and pounced on Lilly. He bit her neck and she bit his leg. But before either one could do more, Garth again pulled Edgar off Lilly. He was thanked for his troubles by being bit in shoulder by his mate.
Humphrey just watched. "This is better than the Three Stooges!" he said.
Kate had now given her opponent a perfect opening and Lilith sliced at her with her claws. While Kate successfully flipped out of the way, she felt like her shoulder was burning. She looked down to see the fur along her shoulder singed black. Lilith's claws had blackened the fur even if they had not reached the skin.
As Kate examined the burn, Lilith smiled. "I know, I'm pretty hot," she said.
Kate made another dive for Lilith, but this time the black wolf was expecting her. Lilith managed to grab Kate in mid-air with her paws. As Kate began to feel the paws burn into her, Lilith threw her back into the tree. This time, however, the force was so great that Kate went straight through the tree. As pieces of shattered wood landed all around, Kate came down hard on a pile of jagged rocks.
As Kate felt herself begin to lose consciousness, she saw Lilith stand over her, her silver teeth ready for the kill. Lilith leaned down, ready to end Kate's life. Kate wanted to fight back but all of her strength was gone. Even she had to admit that there didn't appear to be any way out.
And then, suddenly, a voice came from nearby. "Stop!"
Who said this?