Once Upon a Time – Chap. 25.6


Confident the tiny cook fire dying out in the fireplace couldn’t provide the blinding light they’d followed, Seth and his companion looked up in an almost unison fashion. What perhaps both expected to find were several chandeliers hanging overhead. Instead, they found potatoes. Dozens, likely over a hundred potatoes, attached to the ceiling by hanging baskets as though they were prized houseplants. Sticking out from opposite ends of each potato, Seth was certain he saw a copper coin and a nail, which only made the hanging vegetables even more of a spectacle. But stranger still were the glass orbs hanging off of copper wire that had been wrapped around the potatoes and their peculiar adornments. The glass orbs glowed as if each held a tiny fire inside. Given the rest of the house’s condition, it was a wonder the roof didn’t immediately give way to the potato-powered curiosity above them.

I think I may have found the future apprentice Albert is searching for,” mused Seth aloud. “This certainly seems more a scientific mystery than magic.”

Apprentice?” The Keepers’ minion nodded at the bags of decorated potatoes. “Is this Albert fellow an eccentric farmer of some sort?”

Seth stumbled over to the closet door, certain he’d heard a thump, thump from inside. “No, he’s a zombie inventor.” He shrugged at the man’s puzzled stare. “He was the latter before becoming the former. A self aware zombie like me. And also like me, he’s mindful that his particular supernatural state does not include any hopes of immortality. Blasted vampires get all the perks, not fair one bit.” He paused, craning his ear closer to the door at another muffled thump. “Something living is hiding on the other side.”

The plump minion frowned. “I know you’re a zombie but can you please not talk like that?”

Fine, think I’ve figured out where our vanishing hostess disappeared to.” Seth swung the door open and peered inside. It was the fullest closet he’d ever encountered and the only thing truly visible was the curtain of coats, dresses, and other clothing hanging from a metal pole that bowed under their weight. An assortment of shoes lay lined up on the closet floor pair by pair in a row. Seth studied the shoes for a moment. “I’m guessing one of these pairs is being worn.”

The man stomped his way over to the closet. “Well, there’s an easy way to find out which one instead of wasting anymore time here.” He grabbed the pole by both ends and tore it out of the closet, tossing the entire wardrobe attached to it onto the floor behind him. The woman stood stiff against the wall, staring back at them.

Seth shoved him away from the closet. “How do you expect her to help us if you keep destroying everything she owns? And you’re fixing that front door before we leave by the way!” He turned back to saucer-eyed woman in the closet and gave a partial bow toward her. “Sincere apologies again for interrupting your evening, madam. Please be assured that should my reckless companion fail to repair any of the damages caused on his behalf, I shall make haste to relieve him of his brain and limbs.”


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