“And if I’m the stars, Cricket Bell is entire galaxies.” Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door)
Time for another instalment of Aesir Legal, a story involving zombies & Thor & Amalia & other fantastical elements! TO RECAP: Mia and her zombies are searching for asylum with her kind of creepy vampire sort of friend Adler. We catch up with our heroes as Adler and Amalia try to strike a deal regarding past legal battles betwix the two. So! Here we are! More zombiesss! As we all love! When you’re done, clicky here to read Amalia’s FABMAZING half!
Okay, okay, this will not actually be the zombie games I just made the piccy a while back a like it….
“Can Baldur change his mind vis-à-vis helping us?” A breath warms my neck and I shift, tilting my head towards Thor for Adam’s benefit. We better hope nobody heard that. Don’t want people getting ideas.
We’ve already been refused, not once but twice, from the Transylvania’s Undead Anonymous Embassy. Apparently we weren’t undead enough for them. Also they didn’t like our clothes. It’s all silk and velvet in their house, and we totally clashed with the furniture. In terms of style and just general clashing.
What can I say? The room was dark and I don’t do well in unfamiliar territory. I did offer to pay for the damages. I’m not, like, evil or anything. Zombie slobber does wash out, also.
“Dude, I’m no expert on Asgardian law,” I whisper to Adam. He’s already nodding. “But I guess if anyone could it’s a God type being, right?”
“ADLER!” Amalia repeats.
I open my mouth, about to tell her she would be perfect for this all-girl rock choir group I know of because she has excellent projection, but think better of it as she flicks her eyes towards the offending Vampire. I swallow. It is like the entire room freezes, waiting for a response. Even the zombies feel it as a shiver that runs through them. One wrong word from that woman’s mouth and it’s no more showers for me. Boy, I miss just standing under running water. Every time it rains now we have to take shelter; after our last run in with Thor, le zombies are a little charged about storms.
“I..” Adler says flexing her hands and darting her eyes around. “I invoke the right to Pause.”
Amalia blinks, glancing to Thor who looks like he’s chewing on rocks. Sounds like it too. Sounds like an avalanche of boulders threatening to crush us. Baldur and Bragi know where to look, they cotton on fast, and I sigh as everyone turns to me. I shrug and say, “Well it is a legit thing. We use it in Zombie Class all the time, the invoke-ee gets a moment to think about things. Normally it’s supposed to help the more, uh, living challenged work out what to say. It’s a one time thing. No take backsies.”
“Giant hot dog sledging is also a thing,” Adam helpfully points out in the silent aftermath of my ruling. “So is Jam Finger Painting.”
I shoot Adam a SHUT UP NOW look but he continues, “Also, I think, this one Zombie AGM Mia took me to there was this sport not unlike mrph-” Putting your hand anywhere near a zombie’s mouth is never a great idea, never, but in this case I think it a better idea than actually listening to Adam ramble.
“But maybe Adler is ready now!” I say with my goofy NOBODY KILL ANYONE smile that I tend to use at the Zombie Admin office.
To my surprise, Adler nods, straightening up.
“Yethh,” she says, coughs and spits out a little blood. “Uhm. Yes. I will speak now. I think….”
I roll my eyes, feeling the rumble of thunder beneath my feet as Adler goes for a classic Vampire pause that Thor clearly disapproves of. Sucking in a breath I decide we’ll do what I swore we wouldn’t next, we’ll run along to the Paranormal Fiction Readers for the Protection of Paranormal People (or the PFRPPP) and petition. I’m not looking forward to it, but I guess if we all dress in body glitter they’ll consider it. Maybe they’ll mistake us for members of the TwiClan this time.
“I suppose the charges can be dropped. Lawyers aren’t worth their fees nowadays anyway. Daddy expired… oh, sorry, I mean FIRED, two last week so I’m sure he’ll be happy to, ah, cut our losses.” Adler chuckles patting her thighs. It is as if she wants to clap but thinks that might be a step too far.
Beside her Tyler smiles sheepishly, then stops as he glances around the room. Wrong crowd. I’m sure Amalia finds the idea distasteful by the way her nose wrinkles, and personally I’ve had too many near misses with lawyers. The buttons on their jackets are just so SHINY, and they all tend to smell slightly of hot dogs.
I frequently have nightmares about walking into the kitchen and finding the remains of a lawyer on my counter. My clan are excellently trained but even the best zombies slip up occasionally, normally spectacularly, and with people that smell of food.
“I do, however, require some kind of formal recognition… um…”
Adler glances around the room. I follow her gaze because a) normally the area a bloodsucking member of the undead is looking at is the area you want to focus on if you value your life and b) it doesn’t go where I expect it to. It lands upon Bragi. I’m not sure anyone catches it; Adam is trying to repack some zombie backpacks after handing out colouring books while the rest of the room sizes up Adler.
Only I see Bragi shake his head, mouth something that looks suspiciously like THE FLOWERS ARE WILTING BUT THE BUMBLEBEES HAVE IT, and then scratch his elbow.
I may be bad at lip reading, I may look like I’ve taken part in the world’s first feather, glitter, and mud rolling triathlon, but I’d know that itch anywhere. That is the itch of a guilty party. I practically invented that itch, and it is followed by a wink from the Vampire.
“…receipt?” Adler finishes, quickly drawing her eyes away from Bragi. I frown, knowing undead flirting when I see it.
“Whoah. Are you okay, Mia? Oh no! Did your glitter rash come back? That salve you gave me last time worked a treat. I still have some some?” Amalia says taking a step towards me as I make my own step towards Adler, intending to show her how not to make le flirty eyes.
I smile, touched by Amalia’s concern, and find my anger dissipating. We’re here for sanctuary, to not die, I tell myself as I roll my shoulder. Maybe Adler is just trying to make le nice, and is actually being a TEAM PLAYER. What would I do if Bragi mouthed things at me?
“I’m good,” I say, waving Amalia back only to gesture between her and Adler. “So! A DEAL has been struck?? Yes?!”