Wonderful readers, this will unfortunately be the last post for a while, as my husband and I prepare to move 400 miles south in the next couple months (a separate post about that later). Not THE last, no no, the story will absolutely continue, but life beckons a short sabbatical is needed as life is wont to do. Still, I would never have that dreadfully unexpected news be the only thing greeting you this Sunday. So, for now, let’s continue on with one more snippet before the break. In a way, I guess you could say this is the season finale (dang, should have done this last Sunday when The Walking Dead had theirs…ah well).
“I told you,” groaned Sylvia, “he’s not crazy, he’s just afraid of us. It’s not his fault he’s here and you guys are all yelling and chasing him with weapons. How do you expect him to act?”
“Well then, let’s provide the fellow with less cause for alarm.” V stretched both arms out to the side and gave a huge, friendly smile. “Welcome, strange traveler!”
The strange traveler seemed little relieved by the fact two large, pointy canines predominated the top half of V’s friendly smile. He yelped, throwing down his frying pan sword and cutting board shield to make an odd gesture using the forefinger of both hands. The only thing Sylvia’s seamstress eyes could compare it to was a single cross stitch with one end longer than the others.
Deigen leaned in toward V. “What do you suppose that means?” he whispered.
“This is how his people say ‘hello’ I think,” suggested V, doing his best to emulate the man’s sideways ‘X’. Deigen and the other vampires followed suit. Sylvia sighed, rolling her eyes.
Their guest elicited another yelp at seeing his ‘hello’ simply copied by every monster in front of him. He frantically searched the shelves of pantry items around him and grabbed a string of garlic. As his confused onlookers slowly dropped their hands down, he wrapped the string of garlic around his neck like a scarf.
“Is he seasoning himself?” asked Uncle Albert, who rejoined the group from his more leisurely zombie-paced pursuit just in time to witness this new spectacle.
“Uncle Albert!” Sylvia turned on her heel. “You’re not thinking about eating him!”
The zombie pointed at the man wearing roughly a month’s worth of garlic. “Well, what exactly would you call that?”
“Something quite unexpected,” said the Queen, stepping in the room. She nodded at the smelly stranger. “Is this the scoundrel who gutted my library and tore down one of the bookcases?” She asked the question not with an ounce of anger but more like a young girl asking their teddy bear if they would care for more pretend tea. She regarded the outlandish garments the man wore. “And just where is he from?”
“We don’t know, Your Majesty,” said one of the vampire guards. “The young woman reports she summoned him here with a spell.”
The Queen turned to Sylvia. “What was the spell?”
Sylvia blushed for having been the cause of so much trouble. “Butter the moon, cheese morning, morning dew”—she made a small cough, mainly to break up the words and prevent herself from accidentally summoning yet another garlic-loving intruder—“a milk maid’s son.”
For the first moment since entering the kitchen, Her Highness appeared displeased. “That doesn’t quite sound like a spell, my dear. It is, however, fairly reminiscent of failed riddle guesses. Perhaps for the last of a particular set of riddles guarding very particular items?”
Sylvia felt her cheeks flush further, realizing she still held the stolen puzzle pieces in a clenched fist.
“But,” the Queen glanced down at the hand, taking on a nonchalant tone again, “I suspect there will be time enough to discuss that later. For the moment,” she turned back to the now whimpering stranger, “let’s focus attention on our special visitor.”