As unexpected and inconvenient as floating in midair already happened to be, Sylvia quickly found this was only one of the new problems she’d just made for herself. Not only did she, Meriall, and the table gently bob up and down like a bunch of hot air balloons, but all three now drifted directly toward a window slightly below them. Though just large enough to have likely let them pass through, the window fortunately remained impassable thanks to a pair of rickety shutters that closed it off aside from the slight draft that continued drawing them in. On the other side, the voices of everyone else gathered outside could be heard as muffled shouts.
“What a charming welcoming party, Gwendoloena!” Serena called out. “A few dozen vampires sworn to protect the living, two zombies that act like they still are, and an ogre who looks like he’s spent his years as a farmer. Do you really think this hodgepodge collection of misfit monsters will be able to stop us?”
Gwendoloena’s light hearted tone as she yelled back gave no indication that she planned on letting a little bullying from megalomaniac villains ruin her day. “You forgot to include our more common friends gathered here, my dear. Oh, but I’m sure you at least remember Trevor since he left your side to join ours. I suppose our hodgepodge collection of misfit monsters must provide more preferable company. Nothing personal, I’m sure.”
“Hi Wymer, hi Michelo!” Trevor’s excited shrill grated on Sylvia’s ears even with the shutter’s meager protection. “Finnick, is that you? Why hello, great to see you again!”
Three men’s voices called back in unison. “Hi Trevor, how are you?”
“Who cares how he is!” Serena screamed. “He’s on their side now and that makes him your enemy!”
Sylvia rolled her eyes as the one slightly familiar voice, Wymer, responded in a pitiful whine. “But he said hello.”
A louder whine erupted from Meriall, who’d clearly had enough of just listing to voices throwing insults and greetings to one another. “Sylvia, this isn’t fun, I can’t see anything.”
“It isn’t supposed to be fun, Meriall, our side is going to start fighting theirs in a moment. And the Keepers out there want to rule over everyone so it’s basically a battle of good versus evil.”
“I know and I want to see it, not just listen!” The little girl sat on the edge of the table and opened the window’s shutters before Sylvia could swim her way through the air in time to stop her. As if riding on a ship whose sails suddenly caught a mighty gust of wind, the window belched them out. Meriall raised her arms up and squealed with delight while Sylvia barely grabbed a table leg in time to go along for the ride. Below them, Serena sounded as though she had still been in the middle of her reprimand but seeing two girls and a table floating over the impending battle field apparently caught everyone’s attention quickly.
Algar ran over to stand directly under the table, looking equal parts bewildered and worried. “Meriall!” The ogre raised his arms up to them as though he planned to catch them from the incredible height. “What are you doing up there!”
“I’m flying, Algar!” The little girl danced around on the table, making it seesaw up and down in the air. “It’s so wonderful! Sylvia insisted on doing this instead of baking and now I’m glad she did!”
“What is this supposed to be?” Serena sneered at the spectacle overhead. “A pathetic attempt at distraction?”
“Not at all.” Gwendoloena sighed and, even from the distance between them, Sylvia could tell the vampire looked straight at her. “This is simply the result of a certain someone disobeying my instructions.”