Once Upon a Time – Chap. 31.1


Roughly an hour later, Seth and his companions found themselves trekking into the outskirts of the East Desert but the Kingdom of Fools remained unseen. Certain they must be close enough to spot a massive castle of all things, he stopped leading the way to slowly twirl around in place. Now quite tired and hungry, neither Simone nor Nancy seemed particularly pleased with the obvious prospect of being lost.

You don’t know where it is?” Nancy shouted the question at him, continuing to clutch his maimed shoulder despite the makeshift bandage Simone had made. “I thought you’d been there before!”

I have and I do know where it is.” Seth revolved back around the other direction. “I’m just getting my bearings straight.”

How can you not remember how to find it! We’ve come all this way and now—

Nancy, I said we’re not lost.” Seth spun his back toward the henchman and faced Simone, mouthing the dreaded ‘we’re lost’  to her like a silent apology.

Simone tucked the pellet-shooting machine under an arm to pull the cork off her flask. “Well, start hunting for landmarks because it looks like getting those bearings straight is going to prove pretty”—she attempted to take a swig but instead turned the flask upside down and shook it, not a drop dripping out—“important soon.

Landmarks, right. The mountains in the distance are on the right,” Seth mumbled the words while thinking back to everything Bastiick did to find the castle when first coming this way. “And the sun is hanging in the east.” He nearly gulped when remembering the next step involved throwing things in the air to bounce off the structure’s hidden walls. “Oh right. The thing has some kind of protection spell on it, it’s invisible.” Hoping he might get lucky, the zombie grabbed a handful of small rocks from around his feet and tossed them underhand as far as he could. No sudden shimmer of magical walls. No sign of them bouncing off of anything other than the ground they plummeted back down to. “And I have absolutely no clue where it is other than somewhere in this desert.”

Simone re-corked her useless flask and looked ahead at the endless plain of sand and dried up patches of grass that lay before them. “Splendid. Then let’s hope these friends of yours are keeping an eye out for us.”


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