As Sylvia and Albert rushed into the castle with a woman who had been a bird only a few minutes ago, Seth immediately knew three things that signified this battle might have slipped into the enemy’s favor. First, his side now obviously lacked two people; that one of them was a more pungent than menacing zombie like himself and the other a magician who was more confident than competent in her talent didn’t make their loss any less of an issue. Second, he’d been close enough to Gwendolena when the bird-woman fell into her arms that he’d overheard the entire quick and bizarre reunion that took place when she turned out to be Sylvia’s mother. This could only prove to be more problematic since it meant, despite his hope to the contrary, these birds swarming down really were the kidnapped villagers. And third, because the birds were actually thousands of villagers trapped in a spell, Gwendolena remained on the battlefield and shouted out the most impossible request of the day.
“Careful what you do to fend off the birds, you will only harm the actual person they once were if you use too much force!” Even as she spoke, the feathery mass began attacking everyone with beaks and claws. “Try to just knock them out if you can. I can heal any minor wounds but please be careful not to hurt them too severely!”
Seth bent down and tried to shield himself as best he could. Several vague impressions of someone poking at his back foretold of a near future with less jacket and, soon, less skin. “Gwendolena, I can’t knock them out, I’m a zombie with only one arm left and it has all the strength of a wet noodle! I have one defense against anyone attacking me and that’s my mouth!” He inwardly groaned as the “poking” increased, proving that he must be a favorite target for a mob of vicious birds he wasn’t allowed to fight back. “And I’m fairly certain you can heal my wounds!”
“Don’t worry, Seth, help is on the way.” Gwendolena did some sort of waving hand motion that sent a gust of wind toward him and thankfully blew the birds off of him. Unfortunately, the wind also took Seth with it and ended up toppling him over into a snow angel formation on the ground.
“Um thanks.” Seth gulped as he watched the feathery mass regrouping above. “I think.”
“Deigen and V are running up to you!” called out Gwendolena.
Seth watched as the birds began flying back down toward him. “Great. More help.”
Vampires, however, seemed rather well equipped for fending off insane bird attacks. Faster than Seth’s eyes could hope to keep up with, Deigen and V punched every bird that came low enough to get in arms reach. Out of the corner of his eye, Seth saw some of the other vampire guards doing the same on birds that had surround Ian, Simone, and everyone else incapable of using the same supernatural sucker punch technique.
“Thought we weren’t supposed to hurt the birds?” Seth stood up but kept himself ducked under the ring of vampire arm protection.
“We’re not,” said Deigen while punching another bird in the middle of its dive bomb attack. “We’re just hitting them hard enough to stun them, like what Simone’s accidental shot did.” He nodded toward the bird he’d just struck. “See? That one over there is already starting to turn back into a person again.”
Sure enough, when Seth looked back at the dazed bird lying on the ground, he found it becoming a dazed man now wearing faded overalls instead of feathers. As the comically odd scene of vampires punching birds that turned into people continued, a smile crept up Seth’s face. Bird by bird and person by person, it seemed the odds just might shifting back in their favor after all.