We stepped off the bus into chaos.
Thor growled, and the sky turned green, then black, overhead. Thunder gods are very good at making the clouds glow in a full rainbow of colors. They're also very good at making rainbows, actually, but more often than not they seem very intent on choosing shades which remind a person of the contents in a sick baby's diaper. Needless to say, I was not impressed.
But I also wasn't impressed by the parade of zombies, throwing glitter and feathers and confetti everywhere. I hid my face against Thor's chest when what seemed like a full cloud of glitter blew toward us. He'd vaporized the last remnants of what had been dumped on him onboard the bus about the same time he began using lightning to shock the zombies that came too close.
"Keep your eyes shut," he told me.
I didn't argue. My hair began to rise from my head, floating up and sticking to my face as the air charged with static. The soft spit of water droplets turning to steam filled my ears, and I imagined the bits of glitter flaming into dust around us.
"Oh! Did I forget to mention?" Mia said. "Today is the Zombie Pageant!"
I groaned. "We'll never make it to through all this to the other bus stop!"
"Not without breaking a few heads, arms, and legs," Thor agreed. "Theirs, obviously," he added.
"Don't be silly," Mia said. "It's only a parade, and then a talent show and craft fair. Once they settle in and start making things, you'll have no trouble crossing the quad!"
"Is it safe for me to open my eyes yet?" I moaned.
"For the moment," Thor said.
I opened one eye, sneaking a peek at our surroundings, and was reassured by the shimmer in the air around us. A bubble of static-electricity repelled the worst of the glitz, but the feathers had begun sticking to it, and it wouldn't be long before everything outside our safe haven was obscured by rainbow-colored bits of fluff. Only Mia and her two best zombies were inside the bubble with us. Adam and Tyler both leaned carefully away from the field and they both were shooting Thor looks of thinly veiled irritation.
"Uhm," I said, not entirely sure I wanted to be trapped in a bubble with two clearly annoyed zombies, friends of Mia's or not. "Exactly when are they going to start the craft fair portion?"
Mia squinted through the feathers. "Before lunch, for sure. See? They're already setting up for the talent show. Oh! Microphones! I wonder if they'll sing?"
Since this question seemed to be directed at Adam, I didn't feel compelled to answer, instead glancing up at Thor. His expression was as dark as the sky overhead. He shook his head just slightly, his mouth pressed into a grim line and his eyes narrowed.
"Stop that," I hissed.
He glanced down at me, his expression clearing immediately and his eyes widening in innocence. "What?"
"You're planning who to take a hammer to first, and how many you can knock unconscious before they mob you. I KNOW that look, Thor."
He crossed his arms over his chest, his silence as good as an admission.
That was when the crooning began, like strangled seagulls screaming.
"Yes!" Mia said. "I knew they were going to sing! What a treat!"
Treat was not the word I would have used, nor from Thor's wince did I suspect he felt it adequate. I clapped my hands over my ears when more seagull screeching joined in, then the entire assembly of zombies were all moaning and shuffling and carrying on at the top of their lungs.
Lightning flashed overhead and the bubble of static flared blue-white, incinerating the feathers which clung to it. The crash of thunder drowned out the noise of the zombie song, and I sighed in relief as the crowd fell silent. Thunder gods are very good at turning storms into music, and compared to the god-awful noise previously assaulting my ears, the thunder rolled with the tones of tympanis in concert. My favorite lullaby.
Except that every undead creature in the place was staring at us. Needless to say, my relief at not being subjected to zombie-song was short-lived.
Mia sighed. "Well. That's too bad, really. Zombies almost never sing and I was hoping to record my observations for the end of term paper I need to write."
"Uhm," I said, as the mass of zombies began shambling in our direction. "You don't suppose they'll be scared off by a little bit of a jolt, do you?"
Thor grinned and stepped in front of me, Mjolnir already in his palm. "We can only pray."
I could only imagine which outcome he was praying for. No doubt it included a brawl.