Once Upon a Time – Chap. 17.1

Well, I think I can safely say no more polls (but thanks to those who voted). We continue our adventure with the winning second option, though the third may still make it’s way onto to the blog since one of the few voters liked this one as well.  It will probably take a few posts to for everything mentioned to happen since I am a firm believer in chapter snippets as opposed to a 10,000 word blog entry.  Now that we know the path we’re taking, let’s continue!

A casual observer’s first impression of the artifact room was that it must be some sort of indoor swimming area, as the middle of the floor housed what seemed to be a circular pool large enough to fit twenty people standing shoulder-to-shoulder comfortably. There was even a rectangular portion of the stone floor jutting into the water as if it were a built-in surface for diving. But the slightly tea-colored water gave little invitation for anyone to dangle their feet; indistinguishable objects floated along the top, the more familiar items appearing to be clothing or possibly someone who once wore the clothing.

However, the wall on the opposite side of the group’s entryway was what gained immediate attention from Sylvia’s two vampire friends.

The flasks!” Deigen spoke in a whisper while pointing at the items resting from their straps on metal hooks embedded into the wall. Despite using a hushed tone, his voice still echoed off the walls and gathered attention from the handful of guards standing about in random spots.

V leaned in toward his shoulder, scanning the room and speaking in a lower whisper, “Since we’re dressed to play the part, let’s try to act a little more natural for now.” He attempted to give a friendly nod from under his hood to everyone staring at them; so far the fact he, Deigen,and Seth were bundled up in the typical cloaks of the other guards standing before them seemed to be working in their favor. Deigen holding Arthur by the arm and Sylvia pretending to be led by V helped as well. “Megan’s standing near the flasks over there on the left, let’s see if we can just get closer.” As casually as they could, the vampires led the rest of the group toward their flasks.

Why is everyone just standing around watching us?” asked Sylvia.

I dunno.” V shrugged. “But no one’s stopping us or yelling so I guess that means we’re taking you in the right direction.”

Once reaching their destination, however, the next question was what should everyone be doing assuming they were who they pretended to be and Sylvia was actually captured. Deigen dropped Arthur off to stand next to Megan, both children no longer attempting to run off now that they were in the room they’d been trying to get to in the first place. Seth leaned against the wall and tried to keep as still as possible as he was the one gaining the most attention with every jerky, zombie-esque movement he couldn’t help but make. Since no one in the group had a clue what should be happening, setting Megan next to the children seemed a good option as well. And since both vampires were starving and their magical flasks were now within reach, Deigen and V snatched them off the wall and began guzzling down the contents. It wasn’t until one of the guards approached them with a horrified look on his face that this last action seemed to have been an unwise decision.

Aren’t those the flasks we took from the vampires?” The voice sounded familiar and it only took a moment for the monsters hiding under cloaked hoods to realize this was the same guard who had ran away from an impending fight with them earlier.

Mmm-hmm.” V lowered his arm, hoping his own voice wasn’t as recognizable and tried to keep his face hidden.

But, but-” the guard pointed at the flask still being drained by Deigen, “-they didn’t keep water in them did they? Isn’t that blood?”

V took another large swallow and shook his head. “Nope. It’s, eh, milk.” He strolled away to stand on the other side of the children, leaving the poor guard to stare back at him.

The guard turned to Deigen. Milk?”

Deigen gave the lad a hearty slap on the shoulder. “Oh course, the flasks keep our, eh-” he laughed at his blunder while giving the guard another chummy slap, “-their, I mean their, milk fresh! Why else would they be magical?” And with that he retreated over to V’s side.

The confused guard eyed his cloaked comrades fearfully while strolling closer to Seth. “I’m glad you guys survived fighting those monsters downstairs but they’re acting really weird.”

Given everyone’s success rate in blending in so far, Seth kept his mouth shut.

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