Uncle Albert lurched forward. “Sylvia, get in the ship now!”
“I’m not leaving!” she took a few steps back as half a dozen former guards rose and began shuffling toward her.
Deigen and V both hopped out of the ship, one vampire chopping off heads in the small group while the latter raced in her direction.
“Sylvia-” V stretched his hand out toward her, “-there are times when it is more foolhardy than wise to pursue engagements, even if the cause is worthy. Come, we must leave.” Once again, V had proven himself the master of melodramatic truth.
Sylvia ignored the hand and turned on her heel to make a run for the entrance they’d came through earlier. This section, however, was now also littered with zombies; she had weave through them just to make it halfway there. Uncle Albert and everyone else that wasn’t presently trying to eat her yelled Sylvia’s name, making it sound as though she’d had gained support from a panic-stricken cheerleading squad. She reached the first step leading out of the room when someone grabbed her firmly by the shoulders. As she continued being lifted up, Sylvia knew it was not one of the zombies that latched onto her.
“I said it’s time to leave,” said V, rushing toward the ship while dodging groping zombie hands.
“Put me down!” Sylvia kicked more furiously at him than she had the last time the vampire slung her over his shoulder like a sack of flour. “Stop rescuing me if all you’re going to do is keep me from rescuing my family!”
“You can’t very well rescue anyone if you end up becoming one of these things.” V kicked another zombie out his way before tossing his charge into the ship and jumping in himself.
“No, no, let me out!” Sylvia tried to fight her way out, despite zombies crowding around the ship and V pulling her back in. She turned to the back of the ship where Deigen reentered, now standing on the seat and chopping heads off as fast as he could. “You and V can take these on and then we’ll find everyone. We don’t need to leave!”
“Yes, dear,” Uncle Albert pressed a lever to raise the ship up higher now that everyone aside from Seth was safely inside. “We certainly do.”
“Sylvia, we are not giving up but we can not stay,” said V, tightening his hold as though he expected her to try jumping out now that the ship was several feet in the air.
Sylvia gave a final elbow jab in response. A familiar screech bellowing over the groans and grunts of zombie guards caused her to briefly consider the fall. “Obmuj!” She pointed at the frighted monkey, clasping a burnt out sconce on the wall for dear life. “Uncle Albert, we have to go get him! We can leave him here to be eaten!”
“Sylvia-” Uncle Albert began to argue but then let out a sigh and took the ship over to him. “Fine, pull him in, quickly please.”
Rather than accept any of the outstretched hands, Obmuj leaped into the ship and scurried over to rest on the pilot’s lap.
“Why does this fleabag have to sit with me?” asked Uncle Albert, flying his ship toward the gaping hole of a window that he’d created.
Deigen raised a brow. “Better question, where has that thing been for the past two and a half chapters?” No one answered the vampire’s reasonable question of where the author had been keeping the monkey but another item quickly gained interest.
“Sylvia, it looks like your mangy beast fits in well with the Keepers and their minions, he’s a thief as well.” Uncle Albert pulled the black stone medallion from the monkey’s clutches and attempted to toss it out. V freed Sylvia so he could catch it but she quickly snatched the prize herself.
“Serena must have dropped this when she fled with that other Keeper!” She traced the jagged contours of the puzzle, looking mesmerized.
“And you should drop it yourself,” argued Uncle Albert. “Those magical stones are nothing but trouble and we have plenty of that already.”
“But this particular one is the puzzle we, that our queen-” V grabbed the medallion back from Sylvia, “-has been searching for. We must take it to her.”
Uncle Albert sighed. “Of course, why not? I swear this has absolutely not been a good month so far. I was murdered and turned into a zombie. My stubborn niece keeps trying to become one by plunging headfirst into danger with no true fighting skills to speak of. My sister is missing, no clue whether she’s even still alive. And I keep trying to distance myself from magic while everyone around me covets these blasted magical rocks!” He threw his hands up for a brief moment, which also caused a brief moment of panic for his passengers until they landed on the steering wheel again. “Did I miss anything?”
“There’s a monkey wrapping itself around your arm,” offered his latest would-have-been assassin.
“Yes, thank you, Trevor.” Uncle Albert spoke through clenched teeth while slinging Obmuj off him and back onto the seat.