Once Upon a Time – Chap. 27.3



An object can’t be both destructive and helpful!” Nancy pointed at the metal pellet shooting contraption cradled in Simone’s arms. “It has to be one or the other.”

Seth stepped toward the staircase where they still stood. “I think the purpose depends on the intention, Nancy.” He waved an arm over the dozen or so immobile zombies with little holes in their heads littering the floor. “It seemed pretty beneficial earlier.”

Yes, well”—Nancy raised his head to note the glowing orbs over their heads—“what about those things?”

Simone followed the gaze before snapping her eyes back to him. “You think my electric lights are dangerous now?”

Nancy flopped his arms and snorted. “Exactly, lighting from electricity, who ever heard of such a thing? Candles, torches, lanterns, those are normal ways to light a house.” He jabbed a finger up and down toward the ceiling. “You harness the power of a lightening bolt into little glass jars and say you’re not capable of something dreadful?” He kept the finger pointed but lowered his arm to aim it at Simone. “You’re an evil magician of some sort, admit it!”

I’m don’t know a lick of magic and I’m not evil.” Simone shrugged. “I’m just an inventor trying to mind her own business and keep her house from falling apart.” She nodded her chin toward him while aiming the pellet machine at his chest. “You’re the one who tore my front door down and threatened to throw rocks at my window. That wasn’t very nice.”

Nancy slowly eased three steps away from her and gulped loud enough for Seth to hear him downstairs. “I eh, I said I’d fix the door, didn’t I?”

Even though he didn’t need to breath anymore, Seth found himself releasing a long sigh. “Nancy, you’ve been trying to make her a secret member of the Keepers or at least someone evil enough to brown nose ever since she saved your sorry life. Drop it or I have a feeling she’ll give another demonstration of her loud machine there. Or maybe she’ll end up saving you again,” he took another step forward while keeping eyes fixed on the henchman, “from me.” After a few seconds of glorious silence finally passed, Seth turned to Simone. “But you’re definitely not just some common hermit hiding out in the woods. You said you’re an inventor but where did you derive the inspiration for,” he circled his hand around her gun and the light bulbs, “these strange things?”

“From an unwanted gift.” Simone bit her lip. “My brother stole this book, it’s a journal of some kind from a dead man in the desert.” She shrugged, resting the pellet machine on the banister. “I suppose him being dead obviously meant the poor guy didn’t need it anymore but it’s still stealing so at first I didn’t want it.” She gazed up at her lights. “But there were all these drawings of things I’d never in my whole life imagined. And even though some of the book’s written in a language that makes no sense, I had to try creating what he described. I figured at least that way one inventor could carry on what the other hadn’t been able to finish.” As she looked back at the zombie staring up at her, the smile faded. “What?”

Seth shook his head. “It wasn’t the book’s author that died in the desert. And your brother didn’t just happen to find him dead either. I don’t suppose he had a friend named Caleb?”

Simone’s mouth became a nearly perfect ‘O’. “Well yes, that’s one of his pals from that village just on the outskirts of the desert actually.”

And your brother told you”—Seth attempted to cross his arms and was quickly reminded he still had an umbrella sticking out of his chest. He sighed again and dropped the arms back down. “And your brother told you he and his friend Caleb stumbled across a dead inventor in the desert, whom they just took a strange book from?”

Well, he barely said anything about it really. He”-she paused to slap away the hand of an overly curious Nancy trying to grab her gun—“he just bolted in here one day after their trip, rattled off enough gibberish to let me know he’d stolen me a belated birthday present and said he’d be gone for a while to sell some sort of rock fragment they found. Caleb wasn’t with him that time.” She rolled her eyes. “Just like him though to go back to his cozy village and let my brother do all the hard work of finding a buyer for that stupid rock.”

Stupid rock!” Nancy’s jaw sky dived toward his boots. “You mean one of the precious puzzle pieces!”

Simone’s face scrunched. “How could a hunk of rock be part of a puzzle, precious or otherwise?”

You’d be surprised,” said Seth. “You might also be surprised just how much more I know about your book and that hunk of rock you’re talking about than you do. The man Caleb and your brother supposedly found in the desert? They murdered him for the rock puzzle piece. And when that same man woke up as a zombie, he ate Caleb while your brother ran off with the bounty.” He paused for a moment, considering. “Though I don’t think Albert had any idea his father’s journal had been taken.” He rose a brow at Simone. “I don’t suppose you’d let me see this book your brother gave you?”



Filed under Once Upon a Time

2 responses to “Once Upon a Time – Chap. 27.3

  1. Great way to end it, Julie. I’ve also noticed your writing getting better–more visual. Keep up the good work!

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