JPEG Final Tragic Mountain LARGE FLATTENED copy

“Groan.”

“Vhat the fote????” Said Vlad.

“Grooooaaaannn…” said a voice from within the crowd of the newly ‘evolved’ Hell’s Angles architect/bikers.

“Grooooaaaannn!”

Vlad’s eyes, full of venom, scanned his new army for the source of the interruption. “Such impudence! Who…?”

“Grooooaaaannn…” said the walking-dead-as-a-walking-doornail wretched maidservant Penelope as she began to shamble between the motorcycles, through the thorns and down the moonlit hill.

Curious about the zombie’s motives, the crowd watched her in silence.

“Mwoooooohhhhh annnnhhh,” groaned piteous Penelope, continuing her trademark shamble.

“What did she say?” asked Chester. “Where is the unfortunate creature headed, Your Highness?”

The Countess Bathory answered, “Penelope is telling us that through these thorns (sniff), brambles, and poison ivy (sniff) is the path…to true love. She was always the optimist, that poor, poor shell of a woman.”

Penelope’s heartbreaking groans faded as she headed deeper into the dense brush. “Mnnnnnungph…!”

“Jeez, she smells,” said one of the newly badass-ed motorcyclists.

Which was a good thing, because…

Downwind, at Poenari Castle, Huthbert Grieves, Vlad’s downcast moping zombie butler, who had bravely remained behind to defend the castle, had caught a scent of something he hadn’t dreamt about for nearly two hundred years. His neck creaked as he looked up toward the ridge outside. No, not smell like  brains. What was that? He sniffed the air and inhelled a smell as sweet and familiar as dead flowers. “P-P-P-P-P…It’sssss herrrrrrr!” He dropped his serving tray and shambled toward the cold moonlight streaming through the window.

Huthbert’s first smile in centuries cracked the parchment skin around his dusty mouth. Her name, buried in his desiccated heart, rumbled and found its way out of his papery lungs and across the lolling stub that was once his tongue. The sound, seeking life, broke to the surface. “Peh-Pehnelllllopeeeee…”