[Someone mentioned they were having a hard time reading along due to the background color and font. I can’t do much about the background and WordPress seems to be doing something odd when I try to cut/paste other fonts. So, with the only alternative seeming to be re-typing every single entry, we’re going with a lovely “sea green” color for this round. Please let me know if there’s still any eye acrobatics being required. Being able to actually read the words of the story is definitely important. 🙂 ]
“What’s the point?” Sylvia stared down at her feet. “Every time I try magic, it never works right. I couldn’t even use it to escape the dungeon, I just ended up transporting myself into a closet.”
“That’s quite impressive,” argued Deigen. “I wouldn’t be able to magically send myself off anywhere, let alone a room for coats and shoes.” He tapped one of the bars. “Even if you could make these easier for us to bend that would be a tremendous help.”
Sylvia wasn’t sure how thrilled she was to now have a second cheerleader but the comment at least gave her an idea. What if she made the cages easier for the vampires to wiggle out of? She raised her arms and closed her eyes. “Metal bars become fragile as ice stricken by the light of day, give way your strength in the hands of the dead so they may flee away.”
When she opened her eyes again, Sylvia expected to see her friends easily breaking out of the cages now. Instead, the occupants were tugging and pulling on their bars with little success other than making the cages shake about.
“I’m not certain I understand what should be happening,” said Deigen, grunting while trying to push his way through the bars.
“The bars should no stronger than wet clay when you touch them.” Sylvia pouted at yet another complete failure. “I pictured a giant candle melting away to tiny bits of wax while I spoke. That was supposed to help the spell work but looks like I botched it again. Sorry.”
V gave up trying to free himself and looked down at her. “Didn’t you mention something about the hands of the dead?”
Sylvia shrugged. “Well, you’re vampires so aren’t you?”
“Maybe not dead enough,” he mused, studying the bars. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned about your spells, they’re rather specific.” V cocked his head while glancing down at the zombie below him. “Seth, can you reach up high enough to touch the cages?”
“Um, I think so, hold on.”
He hobbled over to grab one of the chairs in front of the fireplace and made his way to stand just below the cages. Sylvia, meanwhile, now found herself the child wrangler as she raced to shut the door and fend them off from escaping. Megan released a loud “humph!” as she and Arthur turned back on their heels to watch the zombie’s success or likely lack thereof.
Seth patted the bottom of both cages like they were upside down bongo drums; the discordant music he made appeared to be the only result. “Okay. And now what?”
“Touch the bars, Seth, not the bottom!” V half-groaned, half-whined at him. “The spell only mentioned the bars.”
“Fine, fine.” Seth reached his arms up toward a bar on either cage. “At the rate we’re going, those guards are going to march in here, see me standing on this chair like a fool and, ahhhh-” he flailed his arms wildly and fell over backwards as the two bars he touched began melting down from the top. More odd than seeing the copper drip down from his touch was that all of the bars now followed suit. Everyone in the room stared at this strange metal-to-liquid transition with a sense of awe except for Sylvia.
“That’s not what was supposed to happen,” she muttered while scowling at her haphazard success. “I didn’t want the bars to actually melt!”
Seth rolled further away from the pool of metal water until landing against the back of the couch. This was partly due to fear in seeing the spell actually work to any degree since he was hardly an admirer of magic at all; it was mostly due to foresight of the inevitable consequence about to happen. While the cage bars previously held the bottoms rather securely in place, the absence of the former now gave the latter nothing for support. As a result, the floor upon which the cage occupants stood now fell to the actual floor below.
V seemed to reach the same conclusion for he rather gracefully landed next to the cage bottom crashing down with him. Deigen also fell with his cage bottom but far less gracefully as he plummeted onto the chair and smashed it to pieces.
Seth, still safely leaning against the couch now, eyed the scattered splinters of his former pedestal. “Well, I’m certainly glad I wasn’t still standing on that when you decided to crash into it.”
Deigen stood, brushing himself off. “No really, Seth, I’m fine thanks.”
“Oh come on, you’d be fine either way.” The zombie eased himself up. “But I don’t exactly heal anymore and I’m pretty sure I would be the one having a bad day if it started raining vampires.”