Back?! YAY! And now, without further ado: Part 3.5!)
I tried to warn him, but the words stuck in my throat, and then there was glitter raining down everywhere, sticking to his hair and skin and clothing. I stumbled back right into a zombie, which promptly tried to gum my arm, but somehow--somehow I managed not to scream.
Thor's eyes blazed a blue-white so bright I expected the bus itself to explode around us with lightning, and thunder crashed so loud my heartbeat stuttered. Needless to say, faced with an enraged thunder god, the zombies fell back.
Except for one.
It was one of Mia's. I thought his name was Adam. And then there was Mia with him, smiling her not-a-care-in-the-world-in-the-midst-of-Zombies-smile, and I had never, EVER been so glad to see someone in my life.
Thor, on the other hand, clearly did not agree. The sky was glowering again, and so was he. When she mentioned the glitter on his person, lightning flashed and thunder growled.
"Amaliaz!" She smiled a smile which I'm sure she meant to be reassuring, and hugged me. "You appear to have boarded the wrong bus! Perhaps! Let me help you. Where are you headed?"
"Thank GOD you're here," I said.
"NOT you," I amended quickly, rolling my eyes. At least if he was finding me amusing enough to snort, he wasn't going to blow up the bus. Yet. Mia was grinning. "Oh, Mia! We were on our way to the mall by bus-- the other bus-- and there was this Frost Giant sitting in front of us, and I really thought Thor was about to throw lightning right there, so I had to get us off the bus, but I didn't realize we'd stopped in Zombie Land! And then all I cared about was getting back ON the bus before I was coated in glitter and I didn't notice until it was too late that this isn't... well, how was I supposed to know they had special zombies-only buses?!"
Thunder rolled outside and the snare-drum beat of hail sounded against the roof of the bus. Thor was still dripping glitter, and the zombies, having gotten over their initial fright, were closing in again. On him. On me. He grabbed me with one be-dazzled arm and pulled me out of the way of a zombie lurching for my purse.
I am ashamed to admit it, but I am absolutely positive that by that point, I was cowering.
"I told you Zombies were trouble," Thor murmured in my ear, shielding me from the zombies which were NOT Mia's with his body. Thunder Gods, for all their faults, make excellent bodyguards. "Foul, loathsome creatures. At least Frost Giants I can pummel-- Whoever thought it would be a good idea to allow Zombie enclaves among human habitations should be smote."
"LOLZ!" Mia gave a wave and we were immediately flanked by her personal zombie companions. Some of them were still a bit more slobbery than I liked, but at least I knew I wouldn't be snacked upon. "Don't worry, Amaliaz! ZombieLine!Purple goes to the University, not the mall, but if you get off with me there, you can catch the human bus to where you want to go!"
Thor was still glowering, but now it was at Mia. She swallowed and took the tiniest step back.
I elbowed him in the gut and he transferred his glowing-eyed glare to me.
"Thank you, Mia! I don't know what we would have done without you!"
Thunder rumbled overhead again. "I can tell you exactly what we would have done," Thor grumbled.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a strange zombie leap back with a flash of static emanating from Mjolnir. Then another whimpered, and I recognized the tell-tale shimmer of electricity in the air, dividing Mia's zombies and ourselves from the rest of the bus.
"What was it you were saying about no miracles, major, minor, or otherwise?" I asked.
"That was before they started chewing on Mjolnir," Thor replied with a sniff. His glare fell on one of Mia's less sophisticated entourage which had started picking at the sparkling remnants of the glitter pot which still clung to his hair and clothing. "Mia-- if you wouldn't mind keeping your glitterati to yourself?"
"Er. Yes-- so sorry!" Mia clucked her tongue, then waved a hot dog in the air, trilling, "Hands to home!"
"How many more stops did you say it would be?" I asked. Even Mia's zombies couldn't be counted upon not to throw glitter around and my eyes were stinging in anticipation.
"Oh, just twelve more stops," she said, giving me a very bright smile.
I groaned. I had a feeling before this was over, I was going to wish I'd let Thor beat the tar out of that Frost Giant. Too late now.
One thing was sure, this was going to be a very, very long trip.