Seth did a double take between the pellet-shooting machine on the ground and it’s owner, who seemed intent on meeting danger with open arms.
“Wait, wait, Simone!” He rushed in front of her as well as his decaying legs could manage. “That’s your brother? The one who gave you Albert’s book?”
She nodded, still fixated on the hungry undead and trying dodge around him.
“You can’t just walk up to him.” Seth sidestepped in her way again. “Simone, he’s a zombie.”
“So what?” Simone finally stopped and poked him. “He’s just like you.”
Seth glanced behind him to find Lucas’ shuffle already becoming a stumbling run thanks to traveling downhill. The four flesh-eaters behind him gained momentum as well. He turned back to Simone. “But he’s not like me. He doesn’t have self-awareness or any idea who you are anymore.”
“And this place we’re making our merry way to get to has that magician friend of yours doesn’t it?” Simone shrugged. “Isn’t she the one who made you able to do things like argue with people?”
“I’m trying to keep you from doing something stupid and yes, she is, but we’re probably still a good while away—
“Then I’m taking him with us.” Simone made a false step the left before jerking to the right faster than he could compensate for.
Seth watched her trod up, feeling helpless. Then he remembered someone still possessing the strength and speed to possibly save her was just at the bottom of the hill. He whirled around to call Nancy into action as a hero – and immediately felt helpless again. The terrified henchman remained huddled to the ground. With his cloak covering him, the man looked a giant potato. “Nancy, come help me with Simone!”
“Do I have to fight the zombies?” asked the potato in a muffled yell.
“Yes, you have to fight zombies, you coward! Otherwise they’re going to eat her and she’s not going to do anything about it!”
The potato didn’t move.
“They’ll come after you next and I won’t help you!”
At this grim prediction of his near future and likely death, Nancy finally sprung into action and actually raced up the hill. Rather than charging to Simone’s rescue, however, he tried to hide behind Seth.
“No, go help her!” Seth pushed at him. As he turned to check on Simone, he became aware of two things: First, Simone and the zombies were now deep in a game of tag as she tried to get her brother separated from the others. Second, pushing Nancy when the man stood both on a hill and in grabbing distance was a bad idea.
“Aaahh, help, I’m going to fall!” Nancy snatched Seth’s left arm to keep from tumbling down. The zombie instinctively jerked the opposite direction to steady himself. This turned out to be an even worse idea. Seth felt not necessarily the pain but a sudden sensation of his left side becoming lighter as his arm tore off.
Seth glanced at the gaping hole in his shirt where once an arm and sleeve resided. He waved his remaining arm toward the one he just lost into Nancy’s hand. “Great job.”
Nancy let out a scream as though it were his arm he ripped off. He stared at the limb in his white-knuckle clutches but couldn’t seem to let it go. At the same time, his continued yelping alerted three zombies that Simone wasn’t the only thing on the hill’s menu. They broke off pursuit and charged down toward the henchman. Not having the time (or fighting skills) to do anything else, he took them on with Seth’s arm. While this unconventional method did little to remove his attackers entirely, it at least kept them at bay.
“Well, at least you’re fighting for once,” said Seth, watching Nancy swing the severed limb like a club and wallop his foes in the head. It was the most animated and gutsy behavior he’d seen out of the henchman since meeting him. It also looked a lot like an undead version of wack-a-mole.