Once Upon a Time – Chap. 40.4

Hello dear readers, my oldest nephew is getting married next Saturday and I’ll be trekking back to the land of my people (a.k.a North Carolina) to attend with my trip back being on Sunday. That being said, I think it’s a very good plan for us to also take a break next Sunday since I won’t be leaving til that afternoon and am not entirely sure how late I’ll be making my way back home. Actually, that’s probably a good idea anyway since next Sunday is also Easter. While my monsters happen to be quite a friendly lot, the day of the risen savior is not the best time to post story bits involving vampires and whatnot. Granted, dying eggs every color of the rainbow and eating chocolate rabbits doesn’t tie in with the true reason for the holiday either but that’s worthy of a whole other post. If you celebrate Easter, I hope this upcoming one includes lots of time spent with family and friends. If you don’t celebrate Easter, just know that those of us who do are as tired of seeing multicolored eggs hanging on trees in front yards as much as you are. Either way, enjoy this week’s snippet (sorry it’s so short) and see you all again after Cottontail has left town!

Sylvia_chasing_Murielle_colored“He has it, just look at the expression on his face!” Sylvia pointed at Ian as if she just pinned down the prime suspect in a murder case. Her eyes widened at seeing him actually pull a familiar jagged black object out of his pocket. “There, you see? That’s one of the magical stones we need!”

Ian’s own eyes squinted at the flat stone he held up over the table. “This thing is magical?”

“And quite powerful when combined with all of its friends,” said Gwendoloena, tilting her head slightly to inspect it from her chair. “We now only need one more but there’s little idea as to where that last missing piece to the puzzle may be.”

Ian remained still aside from eyes again, this time sliding to his other side and sharing a look with Simone.

“Do the two of you perhaps,” Gwendoloena leaned toward the couple, “have more in common with one another than we thought?”

“I found this on my brother when me and Seth were on our way here.” Simone plucked a jagged black stone from her own pocket and turned in her chair halfway to face the zombie. “Sorry, it was while you were busy dealing with that Wymer fellow. I would have said something about it but I had no idea you were looking for it.” She turned back to Gwendoloena. “What does this puzzle you’re talking about do once it’s completed?”

“It is believed to be one of the only true ways to win against the Keepers and in doing that,” the vampire nodded at Deigen and V, “we hope the curse on us will be removed. The alternative to that, however, would be that we and our zombie friends would simply find rest from this unnatural state we find ourselves.”

“But what does that mean? That you’d all either die or,” Meriall pouted and took on a more ominous tone, ‘become normal people again?” Clearly the second option held less favor with her than the first.

Gwendoloena nodded. “Yes, dear. But all of us monsters here except Algar would gladly welcome such change.”

“No!” Meriall pounded her tiny fists on the table. “No, you can’t do that, either one of those would be horrible!” She reached over the table and snatched the stones from both Ian and Simone, neither having time to react before she jumped out of her chair.

“Hey, where do you think you’re going with those?” Sylvia tried to grab her but only caught air as the little girl rushed out of reach. “Come back, those are important!”

Not knowing the castle well enough yet of where to go or hide, Meriall apparently only aimed to make her game of keep away last as long as it could by sprinting around the table with Sylvia in pursuit. Most of the table’s occupants simply watched the spectacle with back and forth head motions like they were watching a tennis match. Algar tried twice to halt either one of the running ladies but his large and bulky ogre arms couldn’t keep up with their race. Finally, Gwendoloena caught Meriall in a bear hug on the fifth lap. She held a hand up to stop Sylvia while still holding Meriall with her other arm. “Oh little one, dear little one,” she cooed while gently rocking the girl back and forth, “we didn’t talk nearly long enough earlier, did we?” 

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