Betrayed Chapter 9

We begin with a minor complaint. We start the chapter off immediately proceeding the last, with Zoey reacting to Aphrodite’s proclamation that grandma will be an organ donor in short order if Zoey doesn’t listen. Zoey asks what the hell she means—getting closer to cursing but not good enough—and “rounded” on Aphrodite. It’s technically correct as the last chapter had Zoey turning away and trying to drag Aphrodite to Neferet’s office. However, it’s kind of unnecessary as the people that stop reading at chapter breaks will assume that happened in the break as will the folks that just read through.

It does, however, allow me to picture Zoey doing cruel things to her classmate like slamming her face into a disc sander to polish off her rough edges. ‘They always say you should try to be well rounded, Aphrodite!’

At this point, Aphrodite has gone blank and doesn’t respond. Then Zoey remember that Aphrodite was prompted by Neferet so she says “tell me what you see”. And now I’m picturing Zoey with a cleft lip, yelling at a reporter duct taped to a wheelchair. She says brown water that’s cold and she can’t get the door of the Saturn open.

Ok, so can Aphrodite see the future or does she see it from their point of view? I think that’s an important point to clarify because if Aphrodite can only see what’s going on from inside someone else’s head then her powers are a bit less useful. People in stressful situations aren’t thinking clearly and really wouldn’t offer a lot of tips on how to prevent whatever is going on.

I felt a horrible jolt. Grandma has a Saturn! She bought it because it was one of those ultra-safe cars that were supposed to be able to survive anything.

You know what would be great? If Aphrodite is just messing with Zoey to get her to run away from the school, blinded by fear for her grandma. That’s where Aphrodite could abuse her reputation as a psychic, get a few details and screw with Zoey’s head under the guise of having visions. That might be giving her too much credit though.

Apparently Aphrodite’s visions are from the point of view of someone present because it all sounds like it’s from Zoey’s grandma’s point of view. She saw a car in front of her with two kids in it fall and hit a barge and now it’s on fire. Probably because it was carrying a boatload of fire down south from the fire mines up in Canada and they crashed onto one of the crates.

Zoey starts asking for details like where and when. Aphrodite repeats that the water is cold and then goes silent before coming to. Aphrodite says that Zoey’ grandma was on a bridge that collapsed and she drowned but offers no real details. Zoey says they’re going to talk to Neferet then and make her believe and Aphrodite says no and that if Neferet asks that she won’t remember much. Maybe I didn’t offer Aphrodite enough credit, that actually sounds almost villainous. Or wait, maybe not.

Zoey says that Neferet will get it out of her and Aphrodite says no she won’t. Zoey says that if she wants the DDs back then fine. This causes a “look of raw pain” to cross Aphrodite’s face. She says that only Neferet can do that. So Zoey asks what Aphrodite does want.

“I just want you to listen to me so that you know that Nyx hasn’t abandoned me. I want you to believe that my visions are still real.” She stared into my eyes. Her voice was low and strained. “And I want you to owe me. Someday you’re going to be a powerful High Priestess, more powerful even than Neferet. Someday I may need protection, and that’s when you owing me will come in handy.”

I see Aphrodite is ready to cross over to the dark side. And by dark side I mean whatever moral ground Zoey claims to stand on. So Zoey agrees that, ok, if Aphrodite her what happens to grandma she’ll owe her a favor. Aphrodite add that it has to be whatever she asks and Zoey agrees.

“So it is spoken; so it shall be done,” she whispered. Her voice sent chills up my back, which I ignored.

Why does everything like that have to be spoken formally? Why couldn’t Zoey and Aphrodite just make an agreement and move on with it? Why does there have to be some supernatural element to it as well? Why can’t Zoey be bound by her word because she keeps her word? Oh, right, she’s a sociopath. Never mind, Aphrodite. You’d better get that promise written in blood and in triplicate.

With that secured, Aprhodite says that it’ll be that afternoon as grandma is heading into town to get Zoey a present. Then Zoey says that makes sense because her birthday is next month. She then complains about how she has a “sucky” December twenty fourth birthday.  Oh, let me guess. It’ll turn out that Jesus was actually a vampire and born on the twenty fourth and Zoey is the second coming of Nyx. But at least now we know about when Zoey arrived at the school.

Aphrodite says she doesn’t know why it’ll break but it’ll happen at three fifteen because she remembered seeing the dashboard clock. It’s good that those are always accurate and set properly by the owners or that might be a problem. Then Zoey starts yelling at Aphrodite about how other people are going to die. Aphrodite counters that Zoey wasn’t too concerned with anyone aside from grandma before. Zoey tries to wave it away by saying that’s who she cares about but she still can’t let people die. Psst, Zoey, it’s okay. We know you’re selfish, you don’t have to hide it from us.

So Zoey asks for more details about the bridge and Aphrodite can’t come up with any. At least until Zoey tells her to think harder then she recalls that it’s the I-40 bridge over the Arkansas river. She asks Zoey what she’s going to do about it and Zoey says she doesn’t know but she’ll figure it out. Aphrodite says she’ll be working on her nails and Zoey says that having “crappy parents” isn’t an excuse to be a bad person. This allows Aphrodite to complain about her parents.

Luckily Aphrodite just says that Zoey doesn’t know what it’s like and then flips her hair as she walks away. Zoey says Aphrodite has issues. Pot, Kettle, I believe you two have already met. Then Zoey gets out her phone which prompts her to tell us how she keeps it on silent because of Heath bugging her. You know, the guy who’s obsessed with her because she’s a dumb vampire and under her mind control. Then Zoey calls grandma to wake her up and tell her about the bridge.

“Oh! Oh, my! I’d better sit down.”

Yes, get out of bed so you can sit down before you collapse. Zoey can hear her grandma fanning herself and she says she just got lightheaded. Grandma asks if she should try to stop the bridge from being used and Zoey says no, that’s not her job. Only Zoey gets the glory for saving lives, damn it. Once off the phone Zoey decides that she has to get busy. I can’t wait to see how much praise this gets Zoey.

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