“Well,” Lur rumbled, scratching his shaggy head with a single claw, “it seems as though she’s getting a lot out of the experience, too.”
“Absolutely. The other option we were given was to betroth our first male child to Onna’s first female child. You dodged the bullet on that one, son.”
“Why do you say that, Papa?”
“Because,” Murra called out from the doorway, “Onna’s little girl is a grouchy, little harpy. The only way to be happy with her is to put a bag over her head and lock her in a the closet.”
“Murra!” Ginga shook her finger by way of reprimanding her daughter. “That’s not nice.”
Cam and Ginga’s raven haired, raven-winged, daughter put her hands on her narrow hips and shot her mother the sort of look that only an adolescent can manage. After her moment of ineffectual rebelliousness, she sauntered into the room, and flopped into her father’s favorite chair.
“Well, nice or not, Mama, Onna makes some ugly children.” Murra said, arranging her wings for comfort in the chair. “So, you called me. There must be something interesting going on.”
Etty shifted around on the sofa and held out her hand for her sister to see the ring, grown into her finger. Murra craned her neck, took a quick look at her sibling’s hand, and blanched.
“That isn’t what I think it is, is it?” Murra asked in a flat tone of voice.
Cam nodded. His dark child threw up her hands, and lifted her face to the ceiling.
“When did my family become a magnet for trouble?” She asked.
“Darling, dearest, our family has always been a magnet for trouble. You’re just too young to know about it.” Ginga sighed.
“I’m pretty sure Lur will agree with me when I ask you all to please stop.” Murra looked over at her brother, who nodded vigorously. “So, please stop the new and dramatic developments.”
“Are you finished, my girl?”
“Yes, Papa. What can I do to help?”
Cam and Ginga explained the issue at hand, and requested that she speak with her mentor as a preamble to formally reporting Etty’s marriage, and the ring that she’d discovered. Murra agreed to help, and disappeared as quickly as she arrived.
Etty fidgeted and asked, “What do I do in the meantime?”
“Oh. Be careful and do your best not to use the ring for anything. It becomes easier every time you use it.” Her father replied.
“Very well. If you will excuse me, I want to see how my husband and his friends are doing with their ‘command performance’ at their leader’s residence.”
Etty stood up, gave her family a round of hugs and kisses, and vanished into thin air.
Lur stood up, stretched, and shook his hair out. His face was set in grave lines that reminded Ginga of her own father, when heavy topics weighed on his heart.
“It isn’t that bad, son.” She said, trying to comfort him as much as she could.
“As much as I want to believe you, I can’t. Someone will not be pleased that Etty found their treasure, and I’m willing to bet they aren’t very nice people. This will get worse before it gets better… and, even so, I don’t know what ‘better’ should look like.”
If you enjoy good zombie fiction, please check out “Blood Soaked and Contagious”, available on Nook, iTunes, Amazon, Kobo, around the world. Thanks!