Once Upon a Time – Chap. 19.4

Seth's_hand_colored

What’s that young magician’s name? ‘S’ something – Sara, Sylvia?” Serena drummed her gloved fingers against the pitcher’s side. “She not only did you a great disservice but us as well. You, she changed from being a monster worth any merit into a worthless bag of bones and rotting meat. From us, she stole a valuable artifact that we’ve been piecing together for quite some time. I believe we can help you recover what you’ve lost if, in return, you assist us with our little problem.”

“Help me recover what I’ve lost?” Seth echoed the words back to Serena, shaking his head in confusion. “You want to make me able to eat people like other zombies?” He shook the head again. “Thanks but I’m fine just eating fish.”

“Oh no, Seth, I’m mean recovering much more than your piddly means of attack.” Serena stepped closer with her pitcher. “I mean to make you no longer a zombie at all.”

Seth didn’t know what she meant by this nonsense nor what form of liquid horribleness could possibly reside in the pitcher; he was fairly certain it would not be in his best interest to learn. He tried fighting his way out of the guards’ hold but found this to be a rather futile effort. Zombies were not renowned for having supernatural strength or any strength at all for that matter. While the guards themselves were not muscle houses by any stretch of the imagination, they at least still had muscles that weren’t slowly decomposing, which gave them an unfair advantage. Seth stomped down on one of their boots in attempt to break free but only ended up howling in agony as a feeling akin to being struck by lightening coursed through his body. Not experiencing pain when trying to attack someone was also a considerable advantage the guards held in their favor.

“Now, now, Seth. Why must you be so disagreeable?” asked Serena, taking his hand in hers. “As I said, there’s no harm intended. Our only petition is for a mutual partnership.”

“Mutual partnership with a pack of crazy magicians bent on ruling the world? Again, thanks for the consideration but I regret I shall have to decline.” Seth began trying to jerk his hand away; while Serena’s grip was unyielding, a tearing sound from somewhere on his shoulder served as a reminder that his was not. Submitting to the fact there was no escape, he clenched both eyes shut as Serena tilted the pitcher over his hand.

What Seth expected to pour from the pitcher was some form of magically derived goo that would cause additional pain or otherwise incapacitate him even further. While the substance running over his hand was certainly wet, it felt like water. Felt like water. Not just the vague sensation of “something liquid is touching me” that came with being an undead creature and unable to perceive any real sense of anything. Seth felt his skin tickle where the flowing stream made contact with his hand, sensed goosebumps rising from the coldness. Alarm and elation raced through the zombie at this impossibility. His eyes shot open to find it was, in fact, simply water (but obviously not simply since something magical was occurring) running over his hand. His normal, living, flesh-colored hand. Not the entire hand; only where the water touched.

Seth brought the hand closer once Serena released her hold. He flexed the fingers, marveling at the fact he could actually feel each one. He touched the hand to his face and gasped at both the vague sensation of something warm touching his zombie cheek while the living hand writhed at the clammy, cold dead skin it was forced to stroke. “How did you do this?” he practically shouted the words out to his captor and healer.

Serena shrugged as though it were quite a simple occurrence which just happened and an even simpler question asked. She nodded to the guards, giving them permission to release their hold on him. “Our magic is stronger than your little magician’s. And this is just a little taste of what I could do if the pendant that vixen stole is returned to us. You see, Seth-” She reached over to bring the hand he still clung to his cheek to hers, “-when I said I could help you recover what you lost, I meant your life. Fully. I can make this gruesome current state of yours a dismal memory to be quickly forgotten.”

“At what price?” he asked

Serena gave a quick kiss to his hand as though she were a chivalrous gentleman greeting a lady. “That mischievous little magician’s life.”

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Once Upon a Time – Chap. 19.4

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