Shad and Saura: A Week in Bogshot - Part Four
The Zafara twisted one eyelid open and his good ears instantly
caught the ruckus outside. He sat up. "What in the world? What's going on out
"Let's just say... " Shad was crawling under
the windowsill, making sure that he wasn't seen outside. "Remember that book
we always called 'interesting little myth'?"
Saura came to the window. "Which o... ohboy."
"Zombie Unis," Shad replied grimly with a nod.
"Guess all stories have to start somewhere, aye?"
There weren't many of them. Only about seven
ghost Unis had surrounded the hut, galloping around it and sometimes trying
to smack it with their hind hooves. Surprisingly enough, they hit every time
but the walls never even trembled. There was no sound either even though the
thudding of ghostly hooves was loud and clear.
"What do they want?" Saura demanded, backing
away from the window.
"Go and ask them," the Lupe suggested sarcastically.
"Maybe they'll... now what?" Saura had gone across the room and pulled the Meowclops
out. The petpet seemed terrified and nervous.
"I won't mess with anyone a witch's petpet is
afraid of," he declared, letting Clopsy go. "Let's go back to sleep and think
about it in the morning. They obviously can't get in, so no need to worry about
it right now."
The morning arrived sooner than they had thought.
About half an hour after the sun had risen and the sounds disappeared, there
was a loud fierce knock on the door. When Saura opened it, he found himself
looking at the village people. Not very surprisingly.
"The zombie Unis plagued us last night!" one
old Techo announced. "You must help us!"
Saura blinked. "Oh. Mhm. Okay, well, I suppose
I can see about it... "
"They were everywhere!" another nervous voice
emerged from the crowd. "They ran in and out and scared my little babies so
that they couldn't sleep all night!"
"Yeah, and they neighed and moaned and stared
at us," someone else declared.
Shad had appeared on the doorway too. "Hey, wait,
you said that they ran ummmpf... "
"We'll look into this," Saura said firmly. "And
let you know. Have a nice day." He closed the door and let Shad's mouth go.
"First rule of witchcraft," he said firmly. "People
may ask for your help but they don't like you. So don't let them know too much.
If they learn that the zombies were here too but didn't bother us, they might
get all suspicious and come with torches and pitchforks, you know. And we wouldn't
want that, now do we?"
"Isn't that the point of being a witch, to be
able to avoid all those troubles?" Shad asked with a frown. "They're expecting
us to solve their problem, you know... "
"And we will, or at least try our best." The
Zafara went to the cauldron.
"Can you use the cauldron?" the Lupe asked.
Saura grinned. "Come here and watch." The two
leaned over the cauldron and the waves on the liquid changed at once. It was
not really willing to help, but at least paying attention.
Saura's eyes narrowed. "Show me what happened
at Bogshot last night or the Meowclops's litterbox may land in the wrong place."
The surface cleared at once and a greenish, somewhat
dark image appeared. Shad's ears pricked up and Saura raised his eyebrows. The
Unis were running in and out through the walls of the houses, dodging the panicking
villagers. They didn't break anything as they ran through all objects and they
didn't show any emotions whatsoever. It was impossible to understand why they
were doing this or what they were trying to achieve.
"Inside," Saura said and the picture changed
to show the kitchen of one house. The zombies avoided the living but ran through
every object without harming it. Not much of a plague but definitely a nuisance.
"They couldn't get in here," Shad stated, sitting
down. Saura nodded and thought for a moment.
"Something's protecting this hut," he said. "If
we find out what it is, we may be able to use it to help the villagers."
Shad shrugged. "Maybe they just don't like to
mess with Sophie?"
"They tried to get in, didn't they?" Saura looked
around. "Think. What could it be that protects the walls of a house from ghosts?"
"A spell," Shad said. "Sophie probably keeps
her house safe from any trouble she can think of. Ghosts should be a common
problem in swamps, especially when you're a witch."
They went outside to examine the hut and see
if there was anything that looked like it was meant against ghosts. The two
were soon very wet and muddy but the search was no use. Clopsy was sitting on
the windowsill, looking at them very curiously.
"What do we know so far?" Saura asked, fingering
the wall under the window. "They hit the wall but it didn't make a sound. But
it was still resistant."
Shad's yellow eyes gleamed in his half-grey,
half-brown face. "Meaning that it's not a magical item of some sort. Those tend
to lose their power in time, especially seeing the climate of Bogshot - all
wet, you know. Items don't last long."
Saura nodded. "Yeah, it had to be a spell or
a potion sealing a spell. Okay, off to search through the books."
"We could just call Tsuki," Shad grunted, referring
to their stepbrother who knew most Neopian spells and sometimes spent time inventing
his own ones. "If he doesn't know this spell then I'm Queen Fyora."
"How are you planning to contact him?" Saura
asked, rubbing the mud off in front of the door. "It'd take days to get there.
And I can bet my tail that the correct spellbook is in there somewhere. We just
need to find it."
They spent two rather interesting hours digging
through spellbooks. Some of them tried to sneak away and some were locked but
Saura said that it wasn't probably a very complicated spell so it had to be
in one of the lighter books.
"If she has loaned it to Edna or something then
I'm so going to kill her as soon as she gets back," Shad growled, flipping through
"Dunno, whatever it is, it's protecting us."
Saura grinned. "Eh, let's take a break and have something to eat, shall we?"
They couldn't find anything else the whole day
and when the evening was closing in, Shad grimly predicted another rude awakening
for the morning. They went to sleep and wondered to themselves what would happen
if they didn't find the spell.
At about midnight the Unis appeared again and
this time Saura woke up as his sleep wasn't as deep. He sat up with a frown,
went to the window, made sure that the zombies didn't get through this time
either, went back to bed, turned the other side... and hopped out.
"Shad!" he yelled. "Get up and check this out!"
The Lupe groaned, scratching the soft rug he
was sleeping on - he found it more comfortable than beds - got to his feet and
glared at Saura. "What?"
Saura was bending over the cauldron. "Here's
our spell, Shad! Remember how strongly it glowed last night? That's the thing
protecting Sophie's house!" The potion was indeed glowing as brightly as the
night before, making Saura look like a born malicious witch.
Shad came up to him, glancing at the bubbling
potion. "Nice. Are we going to put it in bottles and give to each villager?"
"We don't know how much potion it takes to protect
a house," Saura replied grimly, "and if it wants to protect other households
than Sophie's. But I guess it's worth a try."
The next morning the villagers gathered behind
the door of the hut again. This time Saura gave them tiny bottles with a couple
of tablespoons of the green liquid in each of them. "Don't break them," he warned,
"I don't know if Sophie wants to get it back when she returns or if it even
helps. Just put them somewhere safe and let me know tomorrow."
"What if it doesn't work?" Shad asked when Saura
closed the door with a sigh. "We've tried pretty much everything now."
"Sophie will be back in three days, guess they
can wait till then when all else fails," the Zafara grunted. "But I'd still
like to get this thing done." He went to the kitchen to start making breakfast.
Shad stayed in the living room to look through more books. It wasn't much use
and when they heard the zombie Unis that night, they sincerely hoped that the
potion would work for the village.
"Can't they just drive them away with torches
and stuff?" Saura asked desperately, glaring at the huge glowing cauldron before
turning the side.
Shad looked up from his rug. "Hello? They're
Unis, remember? We have two of those back home, in case you've forgotten. Big
hooves. Sharp horns. Very heavy. And with a serious attitude. I don't think
these ghosts belong to those vain little ohmygod-I-chipped-a-hoof-Unis. Seriously."
"Let's just hope that the potion works... " the
Zafara sighed and fell asleep.
It didn't. The next morning brought another rude
awakening and when the two brothers sat down in the kitchen, they were completely
out of ideas. The villagers hadn't seemed very friendly and Saura had a deep
scowl stuck on his face when he was boiling the eggs.
"We've missed something," he said. "The villagers
said that the potion didn't glow one bit. Sophie had to use something else...
something we haven't managed to find yet."
Shad nodded, slouching by the table and glaring
blankly at the wooden spoon in front of him. "She sure could've left some notes,
eh? 'How To Cope With Missing Children, Werelupes and Zombie Unis - the short
guide for witch replacements.' Wouldn't have been that hard, really."
Saura nodded grimly. Shad poked the spoon in
front of him. Stupid witch stuff... and stupid witch life, making them responsible
for a whole village. Can't they take care of themselves? Shad felt like
grabbing that same spoon, brewing some Mortog potion and feeding it to the villagers.
"There, drink it all and you'll never have any zombie problems again... "
That same spoon...
His eyes widened.
To be continued...