Once Upon a Time – Chap. 49.7


“So, I guess we’re back to my original question.” Aaron’s voice started off in soprano before cracking itself back into its normal octave. He scooted his chair to the end of the table this time, increasing the distance from his guests to the extent of nearly becoming impolite. “How are you going to find this Raynerus, son of Nalter?”

“Well,” V raised his sword and sighed at the blade, “we originally thought this would be all we needed but you may be right that he could be hundreds of miles from here.” The vampire let the sword fall to the kitchen floor with a loud clang while nodding at Aaron’s laptop. “And it appeared that your oracle in a box there could help us but I fear we simply don’t have enough information for it.”

While the vampires and Aaron sat in silence for a moment, Seth cocked his head and studied the other items lying on the table. Then, letting out a moan that ended as a growl, he suddenly lurched forward toward the end of the table where Aaron sat at.

“Get away from me!” yelped Aaron, swinging his arms and legs at the zombie as if they were fighting each other under water.

Seth, however, simply stood perplexed in front of the frightened host and watched him fall backwards and out of his chair.

“Seth, what are you doing?” demanded Deigen, hastily grabbing V’s sword from the floor and pointing the blade at him. “Gwendolena didn’t send us here to eat people.”

“And I’m not trying to.” The zombie picked up a thick newspaper from the table and shook it at him. “But this appears to be some sort of informational literature and I thought taking a look at it couldn’t hurt. Clearly I was wrong.” He turned to Aaron as the poor, panic-stricken man shakily stood back up. “Sorry, I really didn’t mean to frighten you.”

“But,” Aaron let out a loud gulp, “but you talked about eating brains just a moment ago and then you lurched toward me.”

“I’m a zombie and you were all talking about food so…,” Seth let the rest of his statement trail off into an unspoken apology this time with a shrug. “And I wasn’t lurching for you, I was reaching for this.” He held the newspaper up again. “Am I right that it’s another information source?”

“Technically but nobody really reads those anymore, at least I don’t.” Aaron nodded at the newspaper while reclaiming his seat. “Ian subscribed to getting the Sunday issue delivered here a while back though for some reason. If you ask me, that’s an ancient way of getting any kind of news.”

Seth’s legs and back made several frightening popping sounds as he sat back down but the zombie barely seemed to notice. “Well, I’m far more familiar with my information being delivered on paper rather than anything like your magic box over there so I’ll give this a try if you don’t mind.”

During the entirety of Seth and Aaron’s conversation, Deigen had taken it upon himself to finish off the bag of cheese-flavored cylinders. Now the vampire leaned back in his chair with crossed arms and a face that would have possessed a somber seriousness if not for the amusing ring of cheese powder covering him from nose to chin. “So then gentlemen, what shall we do?”

“I think first,” V elbowed Deigen and made a wiping motion with a hand over his own mouth until his comrade understood the gesture and began to wipe away the powder. “We should devise a search plan, one that can cover as much ground as possible.”

A thud and muffled growl emitted from the closed laundry room door behind Aaron. A louder thud caused the thin wooden door itself to shake before the commotion ceased entirely. “Um,” Aaron gave an uneasy glance toward the laundry room, “your other friend’s been in there for a while now. Are you sure we shouldn’t let him out?”

“Not unless you really do want a zombie trying to seize your brain.” Seth turned a page and continued reading. “I may have enough willpower to prevent being so rude but Wymer barely had enough willpower when he was living to keep from eating a cupcake if it was off limits.” He turned another page. “And you, my friend, have a very delicious cupcake lodged inside that head of yours. Not to mention before you even get to the cupcake, there’s layers of candy coated organs like—

“So suffice to say,” Deigen kicked him from under the table, “Wymer is staying put where he is for now.”

“Yes, most definitely.” Seth gave another apologetic shrug to Aaron. “Sorry. I appear to have found myself in the food and entertainment section, was making me hungry.” The zombie turned another page. “Ah, this section is apparently sports, nothing appetizing about that.” He frowned at one of the photos bearing a team of football players in action. “Particularly with these bizarre hats. How would anyone be able to get to the brain with those things on?”

“That’s sort of not the point,” interjected Aaron with another gulp.

“So as I was saying,” V sighed, “we need to devise a plan of how to search for Raynerus.”

“We also need to find him quickly,” said Deigen. “Gwendolena and the others are waiting for our return. It’s not like we have a lot of time on our hands.”

“But this guy could be anywhere in the world.” Aaron flung his hands up. “How are you even going to know where to start?”

Seth turned another page and raised his brow. “I think we should start by going to the dentist. A certain dentist who apparently used to go by a slightly different name and happens to be accepting new patients.” He lifted the page he was reading from and tossed it on the table for everyone to see. In the bottom portion was a small ad bearing a cartoon rabbit carrying a giant toothbrush and the following announcement: ‘Doctor Ray Nerus invites you to HOP on over for his new patient special! Initial Exam and Doctor’s Consultation Free of Charge!’ Underneath the main ad was a second block of text that read ‘Schedule your checkup TODAY!’ and provided the address and phone number for the vampire wererabbit dentist’s office.

“Wonderful, great job Seth!” Deigen gave a cheerful slap upon the table. “That absolutely has to be him!” He shook his head at the ad. “Though I do wish he’d included a drawing of himself rather than that frightful rabbit. Aaron, are you familiar with the location listed here?” After hearing nothing, the vampire looked up at him. “Aaron?”

“Yeah. I went there just last week to get a cavity filled.” Once again, their host looked like he might either faint or bolt out of the room. “Dr. Nerus is my dentist.”


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