Epilogue

Sir Daniel stepped out of his crypt with his trusted sword in hand. He shivered as he looked out over the tombstones. He'd always hated graveyards for obvious reasons.

Oh give over, he thought to himself. Be brave for once in your life- erm death- eh, well you know.

He began to follow the nasty slimy trail Zarok had left behind, but it seemed almost the moment his feet touched the ground, there was a stirring coming from beneath. He watched in horror as hands sprung up from the ground, then heads and bodies. Soon he was surrounded by zombies all grabbing and reaching for him.

He couldn't move at first, just stood there paralyzed. Then he remembered the cold steel in his hand. He raised his sword over his head and then swung it around, slicing them all in one swipe. It was easier than he'd expected it to be. They were badly decayed and their bones were brittle. He continued on through the graveyard. He scanned the names on the stones as he went along. Some names he recognized and gulped at the thought. Could he have just killed his friends? He came upon another stone and read it. His heart grew heavy as he read the name:

BELOVED DAUGHTER

LADY BABETTE DeLONCRE

Nowhere on the stone did he see "Beloved Wife" or anything else to indicate that she had been married. He knelt before it and hung his head. She really did love me.

Suddenly he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. They're sneaking up on me, he thought frantically and grabbed his sword. Swinging around, he sliced through two ghouls that had been closest to him. There were others and he sliced violently until he was sure they were all dead. Breathing heavily, he stepped back. He let out a surprised cry when someone- or something latched onto his back and wrapped its arms around his neck. He whirled around and rammed his sword into the thing's stomach. It moaned and stumbled back a bit before falling lifelessly to the ground. This one was a woman, or at least had been a woman at one time. Sir Daniel could only tell this because of the dress she wore and her long hair. It looked as though it may have had blonde hair.

Sir Daniel gasped. It couldn't- could it be- ?

He dropped beside the body. "Babette," he whispered, sorrowfully. "My love, my Lady Babette. What have I done?"

He couldn't be sure with the others but this, he knew, was Babette. She was wearing his favorite dress- a style he couldn't remember seeing anywhere else. It was tattered now and the color was faded from old age, but he still remembered how it had looked right down to the last detail. It had been a satiny deep emerald green color with tiny glass beads set in intricate ivy-leaf patterns. He remembered how they had glistened as she danced and twirled with him at the dances and balls.

But this, he suddenly realized, was not Babette. This was Zarok's doing. He'd used her body, but her soul was elsewhere.

Sir Daniel stood and looked down on the zombie's face, which was twisted in a frozen expression that was a mix between agony and rage. This was not Babette. This thing hadn't even had a soul- a mindless minion under the will of Zarok. Sir Daniel gripped his sword tighter as he remembered the evil wizard's eyes. There was no remorse or sense of pity in those eyes. Just cold pure hatred. With a last look at Babette's twisted figure, he headed for the cemetery gates, out into the world to begin his quest to clear his name as a failure and earn his reputation as a hero.

THE END

(for real this time)