Once Upon a Time – Chap. 15.2

Sylvia, come play hopscotch with us!” cheered Megan as she and Arthur traced a play area onto the floor with their fingers. “It will help pass time until the Keepers come to get us!”

No thanks.” Sylvia remained squatted on the box. “I think I’ll pass the time by working on a way to get out of here.”

Arthur tossed a pebble across the crude squares and numbers, giving her a puzzled look before hopping across to his mark. “But then the Keepers won’t be able to find you.”

That’s the idea.” Sylvia gave Obmuj a scratch behind the ear while trying to concentrate on all the spells she’d managed to vaguely memorize over the years. Surely she could conjure some way for her and the children to escape if she spoke the right one. Closing her eyes, she confidently began chanting. “Out of this room and into another space, out of this room I journey to a different place.”

Sylvia was shocked to find it still dark when she opened her eyes. She stretched her hands out and quickly rubbed against stone and a wooden plank in front of her. The wooden plank had what felt like a door handle near the left edge. She swallowed hard, cautiously turning the handle it to see what lay on the other side of the door. Aggravation quickly replaced amazement as she found herself looking out into the room she’d been in before, with the children still playing hopscotch and Obmuj looking back at her curiously. Sylvia groaned and slammed the wooden door behind her, sulking back to the box. The only thing her botched spell managed to do was help her locate a closet she hadn’t noticed before.

As she sat feeling insignificant and sorry for herself, Sylvia also stared down at floor. This turned out to be fortuitous as it helped her to quickly become aware that the middle square of the hopscotch game was moving. Or rather, the square itself wasn’t moving but the packed down dirt it laid on top of certainly was.

Megan, Authur, get away from there!” Sylvia ran over and scooted the children away from their game. Obmuj hopped up and down on the box, screeching as the floor gave way to becoming a hole that grew larger in harmony with strange scratching sounds underneath. Sylvia’s eyes shifted from wide-eyed fear to confused recognition; was that a shovel scrapping against the ground? Her suspicions were confirmed when the tale-tale flat metal plane tossed a mound of dirt out of the hole, now large enough for a man to poke their head through. And one did – a very over-dead one Sylvia knew.

Seth?” She stared at the zombie easing himself out of the hole.

Seth, for his part, seemed equally perplexed as he surveyed his new surroundings. “Great, just great. This isn’t the room I thought I’d end up in at all!” Finally clearing the hole and taking stock of the room’s inhabitants, he waved at the small huddle. “Oh hello, Sylvia! I may have overshot my mark but looks like I found you anyway!”

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