Undead Rising: Part Three
Bernard coughed as smoke covered the area, filling his lungs and making his eyes water. What in the world was that?
“Confound it! Another potion failed…” A rather irritated voice came from inside the small hut. “I’d better air out the shack again. That smell is awful…”
In the midst of his coughing, the shack door swung open, revealing a tall, long haired green Ixi, wearing tattered clothing and a hat to match. She held a magic wand in her hand, and was using it to wave off the smoke. She stopped in her tracks when she realized that there were two pets standing on her doorstep. “What in the- this is private property!” she scolded, giving Bernard a hard whack upside the head with her wand. Bernard immediately winced, grasping his head tightly with his hands. Ow… that’s gonna leave a mark later. He thought to himself. “Go on, get out of here before I turn the both of you into Mortogs!” Sophie threatened them, waving her wand as it flashed green.
Bernard, fighting through the pain, managed to stand back up straight as he faced off against the witch. “Wai-Wait, we just came here to ask you something!”
“I don’t do quests, kid, ask Edna or something.”
“No, that’s not-“
“If I may interject…” Edward spoke up, carefully trying not to anger the witch. “We only came seeking information, if you would not mind assisting us.”
Sophie raised an eyebrow. “Hmph. And what if I decide to say no? Sorry, but I don’t see the point of helping a couple of nobodies like yourse-“
Edward raised his amulet, showing it to Sophie. He still kept a firm grip on it, but managed to catch her attention with it. The Ixi eyed it curiously, reaching a hand towards it. Edward pulled back slightly, similarly to how he did with Bernard, but after a second, showed it once more.
“This Lupe has told me that you have knowledge of magic, curses, and amulets. If there is any chance that you can help us in our endeavor to uncover the truth of this amulet, it would be greatly appreciated.”
Sophie stared at the two of them for a moment, dumbstruck by the Lenny’s proposal. She shook her head briefly, standing up and leading the two of them into her hut. “I’ll need some time to study the amulet, but I might have the information you need.”* * * * * * *
“I’ve never seen anything like this amulet… not even in ancient texts.” Sophie tapped her chin, staring at the amulet. Edward had granted her permission to examine it, but not to remove it. Though she was angry with Edward for refusing… and nearly broke Bernard’s eardrums… She tried to study it to the best of her ability. “Not even the faeries have amulets like this. Where in the world did you get it?”
Edward shrugged. “It has been on my being since my soul separated from my mortal body. I cannot imagine why it would have remained with me after death.”
Sophie carefully twirled the amulet in her fingertips while it hung around Edward’s neck. “I mean this craftsmanship is so… unusual. It almost looks like something the space faerie would wear.”
Bernard didn’t notice it much before, but Sophie was right. It was decorated with silver swirls that resembled thick brambles. The brambles guarded the golden yellow jewel in the center of the amulet. Who on earth made such an amulet, and why did Edward have something so special? Edward just seemed like a normal ghost Lenny. True, he had lost most of his memories and he was a bit timid, but that was about it. Why had he been chosen to carry something like this?
THUD! THUD! THUD!
Sophie groaned loudly, stomping angrily towards the door of her hut. “Come on, more visitors? Can’t people take a hint that this place is off limits-“
Before Sophie could even open the door, it was kicked open with force, sending Sophie flying against the wall and hitting her head. Bernard and Edward were both stunned, backing themselves as far away from the door as possible. A monstrous, mutated-looking Bruce with glowing red eyes and chains hanging off his body stormed into the house, roaring loudly. He had stitches all over his body and claws on his feet that looked like they could slice through anything. He also reeked of rotting cheese and was covered in dirt… was he a zombie?
The Bruce snarled angrily when he locked eyes with Bernard, charging towards the Lupe at blinding speeds. Bernard froze in place, closing his eyes tight as he braced for impact…
It was at that moment that Edward put himself between Bernard and the Bruce, a strange energy beginning to emanate from the amulet. It glowed a bright yellow and shimmered like the sun, blinding the monstrous Bruce. The Bruce roared in pain, his form slowly hardening like a statue, then crumbling away into nothing. Within seconds, he was a pile of pebbles on the floor.
Bernard stared at Edward, dumbfounded. What in the world just happened in the past thirty seconds?
It took the two of them a moment to realize that Sophie was still lying on the floor, unconscious from the sudden attack at her door. The two of them quickly rushed to her side, propping her up and making sure that she was alright. She didn’t appear to be seriously injured, but she looked as if she wouldn’t be waking up anytime soon…
Bernard frowned. “I guess we’ll just have to do everything we can to make her comfortable for now.” He suggested.
Edward nodded in agreement, searching the small hut and eventually fetching some pillows from one of her rooms. They looked a little dirty and old… but they would have to do. Sophie probably didn’t have the time to get out and get new ones anyway.
They propped her up against the wall of the hut, placing the pillows behind her head and draping a blanket over her. Meanwhile, Bernard searched the hut for something to help the large welt that was forming on her forehead…* * * * * * *
It took at least an hour before Sophie awoke once more, confused about the events that had occurred before she was knocked out. When she was ready, she stood up and stared at the pile of pebbles on the floor. “What in the world was that monstrous Bruce doing here to begin with? I mean, I know there are zombies around the Haunted Woods, but that thing?” She shook her head. “That thing was something else. I’d never seen a zombie so enraged like that… I mean what could cause it to act that way?” She rubbed her chin with her hand, then just as quickly brought that hand to her head.
Bernard handed her a small sack of ice for her head. “Do zombies act a certain way normally…?”
Sophie let out an irritated sigh. “No, zombies frolic around in the fields and sing folk songs until dusk.” She remarked sarcastically. “Of COURSE they act a certain way! I’ve been around the woods long enough to know how they act and what they do if they ever surface from their graves.” She began waving her arms in exaggerated motions. “They act mostly mindless and go after anything that smells like living beings, including Neopets and Petpets. They always stumble around and are easy to defeat if you put in the effort to fight them. Most of them are extremely weak.”
Sophie leaned against the wall. “That thing… it had a drive to destroy something specific, and judging by the way he came at you…” she pointed at Edward’s amulet. “I’d say it has something to do with you.”
Edward looked around nervously. “Me? What in the world would a creature like that want with myself?”
Sophie raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms. “Let’s see, you’re a ghost Lenny with a magical amulet and no memory of who you were before. You’d have to be dumb to not go after or take advantage of someone like that. The fact that you somehow knew what to do to fight that thing makes your story all the more interesting.”
“You think we could find someone to figure out what the amulet is for?” Bernard piped up.
Sophie let out a snort of annoyance. “Look, I might not have been able to find out what the amulet does, even with Ilere’s knowledge that she’s given me over the years. However…” She rummaged through one of the drawers in her cupboard, pulling out a small pendant. Its’ charm was in the shape of a tiny potion bottle. “I promised myself I’d never get myself involved in something like this again…” she muttered softly as she handed Bernard the pendant. “The Faeries in Faerieland might know something about the amulet with your Lenny friend, and if you need my help, this pendant of mine will bring you back here. Only, and I can’t stress this enough… ONLY use it if it’s an emergency. Understand? I don’t want you two using that thing all willy-nilly to get back here when you don’t need to.”
Bernard nodded. “Thanks, Sophie. We appreciate your help.”
She nodded, pulling out some empty bottles off a shelf. “I’ll keep looking into that amulet and its’ magic. If I find out anything worthwhile I’ll pass it along.” She turned toward her cauldron. “Now go on, get out of here and leave me to clean up these stupid pebbles…”
To be continued…