Marked Chapter 14

Now that we’re past Zoey’s lit class, we join her in fencing. She says that it’s surprisingly cool. Their instructor is “Lankford Dragon Lankford, or just Dragon” and he doesn’t look like what she thought a male vampire should look like. He’s short and has long blonde hair and he only gives off a sense of power once he’s in motion. Oh yes, and his “tattoo” looks like tow intertwined dragons.

The whole aura of power thing is really starting to grate on me. How exactly do these people all give off the impression they’re “powerful”? Is it a latent power of vampires? Can they just sense how “powerful” someone is? Does it mean political, will or physical power? PCK sort of explains it with Dragon because he moves with grace and blah blah blah because he teaches fencing. Though little does Zoey know that he’s actually a master of the picket and chain link and he knows nothing about swords.

Dragon hands Zoey a foil because it’s the lightest and the best for a woman, his words not mine. He says that fencing is one of the few sports where women play on equal terms as men. This fills Zoey with elation because it would be cool to beat a guy in sports. I think this means Zoey will add sword master to her resume just like Eragon. Dragon tells her he’s going to have Damien drill her for a week on the basic forms so Damien does exactly that.

Class ends. Zoey showers. They go to lunch. We’re fast approaching the half way point and Zoey still hasn’t gotten through her first day of school. What’s the plot arc PCK has planned for this? Finishing art class? Finding out that she got an A on the pop quiz in vampire economics? I don’t know but PCK details exactly what Zoey picks out from the salad buffet for lunch.

“So, Zoey, give. What about Erik Night?” Stevie Rae asked the instant I’d forked a big bite of salad into my mouth. Stevie Rae’s words immediately shut up the Twins and focused the entire table’s attention on me.

And we all know how much you hate attention, Zoey. If only people would stop staring at the giant neon sign you carry around that says “better than you!” with an arrow that points down. And what the hell about “Erik Night”, Stevie? Zoey has only ogled him twice, once while he was letting Aphrodite practice the silent flute. She says that he kept looking at her in class and it was weird while still leaving everyone in the dark about the fellatio.

“Define ‘looking at me’,” Damien said.

As in he had his eyes aimed in her general direction for a couple of seconds as he swept the room. But being as Zoey is the avatar, she will interpret this as something more. This will cause her to become obsessed with him and he’ll have no choice but to reciprocate her feelings. If he doesn’t, PCK will have Aphrodite turn him into a eunuch.

So she tells her “friends” all about how he was looking right at her during his monologue. Look, Zoey. Maybe he was focusing on an invisible point at the back of the room and pretending that he didn’t have an audience. People often mistake glances their way as directed at them, especially where there’re in groups. Maybe that’s all part of his acting skill, to make you feel like you’re the one he’s talking to. But no, even Zoey’s friends assume this means something and tell her she’d better not pass this up.

Never mind that, seconds before, they were all enthusing about how attractive he is. They all say he’s the hottest thing in the school and maybe even on the planet. Though Stevie does have reservations about him being more attractive than Kenney Chesney because she’s into country music. Isn’t it funny that Stevie is a stereotype? Everyone laugh at the hayseed and ignore the fact that she’s making a set of shivs in shop class. Sleep well and deep and don’t mind the patter of bare feet on the tile as they approach you in the dark.

Shaunee and Erin continue to gush about how good looking Erik is though they’d never dream of asking him out themselves. Which makes it like they’re dumping off the guy no one wants. ‘You should really pursue him Zoey, he’s totally the most attractive boy here.’ ‘I think so too. Wait, have any of you ever asked him out?’ ‘Uh, yeah, lots of times.’ ‘Yup, everyday for a month but he didn’t like us.’ ‘But I’m sure he’ll be all over you.’ It turns out they have a bet going to see how soon they can convince the newest girl to sleep with Erik. Stevie always puts her money on three days and she wins fairly often.

Zoey goes on to Spanish class and the teacher there is rude as hell. She addressed the class only in Spanish and basically ignores Zoey. Which means I’m torn on whether or not she’s jerk for ignoring a student who may or may not speak a lick of Spanish or awesome for ignoring Zoey. I think I’ll split the difference and send her a cake that I’ve spit on while sick. Then it’s off to equestrian studies where she sees Elliott and makes fun of him.

I stood nervously with a small group of kids just inside the corral where a tall, stern-faced upperclassman had directed us to wait. There were only about ten of us, and we were all third formers. Oh, (great) that annoying redheaded Elliott kid was slouching against the wall kicking at the sawdust floor. He raised enough dust to make the girl standing closest to him sneeze. She threw him a dirty look and moved a few steps away. God, did he irritate everyone? And why couldn’t he use some product (or perhaps a comb) on that nappy hair?

Every time I think Zoey or PCK can’t get any more unlikable they manage to draw upon a deep well of douchiness. Not everyone can afford to use “product” and maybe he has really curly hair that tangles easily. Again, I don’t blame Zoey for being snotty about it. We’re all guilty of making snap judgments about people based on their outward appearance especially when we’re in high school. The reason I hate PCK for it is they’re using the oldest trick in the book to make us dislike Elliott. I mean, why not just give him a huge boil on the end of his nose and a hunch while you’re at it?

Then the instructor shows up riding a horse. Her name is Lenobia, which she later says is a reference to some vampire Queen. She tells them that they were all chosen because they believe they have an aptitude for riding. I guess that’s something you can tell just by looking at someone. Or is that yet another vampire power? Is there one that lets them guess who’s most likely to crash and burn in a blaze of glory after discovering heroin?

Lenny, as I shall call her, tells them that horses are work so grab some boots and get ready to clean the stables. Zoey says she doesn’t mind though because the stalls aren’t that dirty and they’re playing Enya over a nice sound system. She also lets us know that her mom used to listen to Enya before Stepdad and he decided it must be witch music and that’s why she’ll always like Enya.

Look, PCK, Zoey doesn’t have to like everything about the school. There can be things that she doesn’t enjoy. It’s entirely possible to love something and still not love everything about it and vice versa. For example, you can love your dog but hate how it always sleeps on your freshly folded laundry because it loves the warmth and never stops no matter how many times you yell at it. Author forbid Zoey be forced to listen to modern reggae or dubstep while she works in the stables.

Lenny sees Zoey’s work and says she must have done this before. Of course she did, she took care of one of grandma’s horses when she was a kid. Lenny tells Zoey she can stay after class and brush Persephone, the horse whose stall she just cleaned. Zoey is glad to do so. That way she can stick around and listen to Lenny yelling at Elliott for being redheaded and fat and not liking horses.

“That redheaded slug kid must have a death wish,” I told Persephone as I returned to her grooming. The mare twitched an ear back at me and blew through her nose. “Yep, I knew you’d agree. Wanta hear my theory about how my generation could single-handedly wipe out slugs and loser kids from America?” She seemed receptive, so I launched into my Don’t Procreate with Losers speech.…

Yet more proselytizing whose source is difficult to determine. That’s right, don’t let anyone Zoey considers to be a loser have sex. Sure it may seem unfair but she can identify a loser just by looking at you and her judgments are final. So you’d best not be having a bad hair day or skipped showering because you didn’t want to be late when Zoey comes calling on you.

Stevie comes and finds Zoey and reminds her that the ritual will start soon. And finally we see that there are two rituals going on. There’s the one she’s going to with Stevie call the “full moon ritual” and then she has the “dark daughters’ ritual” afterwards. I thought there was only one ritual hence my confusion earlier.

I will say that the word ritual kind of loses its impact when it’s used for more than one thing. Especially when it’s right in a row. ‘Yeah, we’ve got to get to the meal ritual and then we’re headed to the gym ritual.’ ‘Don’t forget we’ve got a career counseling ritual this evening.’ Either way they run off to go to ritual number one, closing the chapter.

This entry was posted in House of Night, Recap, Spork and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Marked Chapter 14

  1. Vanessa says:

    How did she magically get turned into a vampire right when new classes started? Shouldn’t she be starting in the middle of the year or a few weeks in or something? Plus fellatio is evil, Goddess forbid you bring pleasure to a man.

    • vivisector says:

      Well the authors can’t let Zoey be inconvenienced by having to do a lot of make up work. She’s got enough on her plate being as perfect as she is and fixing the school. Why Zoey has to straighten out the school when they have all those overly powerful/talented vampires on staff is beyond me.

  2. Curmudgeonly_Caiman says:

    Enya, really? Like, cool if you like it and all, but not exactly something I’d be blasting over the PA system or whatever, you know? I have to say if I were there, I’d have to sneak and change the song over to Slayer’s “Raining Blood” or something along those lines.

    • vivisector says:

      I’d make them listen to old Western or organ music just see how many of them I could drive away. But then again I would probably resent spending an eternity teaching the little vampire bastards how to ride horses.

  3. chocolatesamus says:

    Zoey breaks her neck when she was bucked off a horse that she was kicking for not doing cool enough tricks.

    The rest of the story is about Elliot struggling to survive a rejected change while facing massive discrimination.

    • vivisector says:

      If only. Elliott is a far more sympathetic character already just from the way PCK keeps ragging on him. Maybe Zoey will find herself hanging from a cliff edge and Elliott will have to decide how long he’ll let her struggle before he stomps on her fingers.

  4. Oculus_Reparo says:

    Does the book ever explain why vampires would need, or want, to know fencing, riding, or any other specialized classes?

    • vivisector says:

      I think it’s PCK’s way of keeping the students active. Of course it would be better to just have them do a hardcore training regimen if the exercise was so important. But then the protagonist wouldn’t be doing something the authors would like.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s