Once Upon a Time – Chap. 44.3


Serena surveyed the battlefield before her with a face that suggested she’d caught one too many whiffs of the remaining zombies. Not that many actually did remain. Between Gwendolena’s fellow vampires making lighthearted work of removing their heads and the woman in a pink dress taking down most of the others with that loud magical metal stick, only two of the Keepers’ zombies still stumbled about. Besides that, half of their henchmen had completely switched sides and now stood crowding around Trevor’s lemonade table. Though there were no cookies or scones in sight yet, word already spread that Gwendolena might bake after this whole war nonsense was done with and this rumor caused yet another henchman to become a traitor following his stomach. Serena’s scowl grew intensity when she turned to find Kirkaronus more preoccupied with making intricate folds on a piece of paper than paying any attention to combat.
“We can’t lose, Kirkaronus.”

The magician looked up just long enough to glance at the clear signs of impending failure before returning attention back to folding his paper. “I think you’re wrong. We appear to be losing quite well.”

“Would you care to help with changing that?”

Kirkaronus began folding more quickly. “I already am. Just give me another minute or two.”

“In another minute or two, you and I will be the only ones left fighting on this end of the battlefield.” Serena’s rolling eyes landed on Wymer who’d just approached them. “I trust you have more sense than those other fools to even consider changing sides?”

Wymer’s only response was to give a nervous nod, followed by a loud gulp, and sudden interest in Kirkaronus’ paper art. “Say there, what are you making? A little paper boat?”

“A bird.” Kirkaronus spoke to the paper while working on the second wing. “And I don’t intend for it to stay this little.”

As Serena leaned closer on her horse to get a better look, the corners of her mouth began to finally creep back upward.“You’re making a guide for our winged friends overhead.”

“Unless you want to continue playing chess with those giant bubbles and watching our side embarrass itself.” Kirkaronus lifted a hand up in front of his face with the completed bird resting in the open palm. “I think the time for our comeback is well overdue.”

Wymer made another loud gulp as he looked up at the birds and back to Kirkaronus’ miniature paper copy. “You know what I think though? I think maybe it’s still possible to offer a truce. I don’t think surrendering would be all that bad really.” He thumbed behind him. “The other side has lemonade and I hear there might even be cookies later.”

“Wymer,” Serena’s voice suggested she just might strangle the henchman if he came any closer, “do you want cookies and lemonade or do you want to help rule the world?”

A heavy sigh emitted from Wymer as he looked down and responded in a sad sing-song tone. “Rule the world.”

“Good.” Kirkaronus blew into his hand and sent the paper bird flying. As it rose up, the paper itself began changing from head to tail into real feathers. By the time it reached the circling birds, the paper bird had become a real bird itself. He beamed with admiration as all the birds began following his crafted one down to the battlefield. “Because anything but world domination would be so dreadfully dull.”


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