Once Upon a Time – Chap. 9.2

Half the group took V’s cue to draw weapons themselves; Bastiick with a similar sword of his own and Deigen with his two knives. Sylvia glanced at Seth and found him only wobbling closer to get a better view. Understandably, unknown peril that may cause bodily harm or death did not pose great concern for zombies.

The front door opened with a suspenseful creak that placed everyone, aside from Seth, more on edge. Sylvia stepped back as a hand on the other side grabbed the door’s edge and finished pushing it open. She took a relieved step forward upon realizing the hand belonged to Uncle Albert.

I really do need to oil these hinges one day,” he muttered to himself while inspecting the corners of the door. The unexpected company seemed to cause less distress than the groaning door for Uncle Albert. He greeted his niece as though the other individuals didn’t exist. “Sylvia, certainly a surprise to see you! What brings you this way?”

Mother told me to come because she felt I would be safer.” She took another step forward despite V shaking his head in disapproval. “Something happened to everyone in the village and they’ve all disappeared. It was deserted when I came back from the marketplace and I found a letter she’d left saying to come here.”

Everyone disappeared, eh?” Uncle Albert gave a haughty snort. “No doubt due to some fool playing around with magic I bet.”

Uncle Albert, not all magic is bad,” argued Sylvia.

I beg to differ.” He seemed to finally take notice of her traveling companions and nodded to himself. “Case in point, why do I have two vampires and a zombie on my porch?” He cocked his head over V’s shoulder to get a better look at Bastiick. “What are you?”

Bastiick placed his sword back in its scabbard and crossed his arms. “I’m just a regular, living human.”

That appears to be the minority in this group.” Uncle Albert eyed the two knives and sword still pointed toward him. “And I see you and my niece have better manners than some of your less living friends.”

We drew weapons because of the blood on the porch and doorway,” explained V, keeping his sword at chest level. “And I’m keeping mine ready until you can explain why you appear to be less living yourself.”

V, he’s my uncle, I promise!” Sylvia put both hands on her hips. “What are you talking about?”

Sylvia, dear, take a look behind you-” Deigen swung one of his armed hands over his shoulder to point at Seth and back to aiming the knife toward her uncle, “-and then give a closer one to the person in front.”

Bastiick took his many times great grandfather’s advice and quickly drew his sword again. Sylvia was about to yell at everyone for acting so silly until she realized upon closer inspection Uncle Albert did not look himself. Normally a pasty-white fellow in general, his skin held a greenish-gray tinge that wasn’t at all natural for someone still breathing. His blue eyes were much paler than usual from seeming to have lost the iris in both. Putting everything together, she came to the conclusion that Uncle Albert’s smell was not the result of having missed a few baths as she first presumed.


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