Betrayed Chapter 22

So I’ve been thinking back on Zoey’s “Vampyre Sociology 415 text” mentioned back in chapter 18. It seemed to have the basics a new vampire would need to know kind of like the Handbook of the Dead in Beetlejuice. So why isn’t that information gone over right off?

That seems like the kind of thing you’d go over in the first month of them being there. Breaking them in, explaining what kind of changes they can expect over the next few years and so on. Even better, use that time when they’re not consumed with bloodlust to explain it and let them know how to cope should those feelings strike while, for example, they’re in the presence of a human being. Instead of putting it off as advance vampire homework that’s reserved for the older students.

So we’re still present for Zoey’s ritual. She says that everyone stopped talking as soon as she starts again. Wait a tick, why were they talking? Last chapter ended with her being told that she represents spirit. Did that cause everyone to break out into spontaneous conversation? ‘Zoey represents spirit!’ ‘God, isn’t Zoey just so great?’ ‘Yeah, I’m thankful to the goddess, of course, but more to Zoey for existing in our presence.’ ‘Whoa people, settle down! Save it for later when Zoey’s feeling bad!’

Once everyone shuts up, Zoey recites a poem she found in that old book in the library. I’m not the person to ask about poetry so I won’t judge or quote it. Zoey does assure us that it’s beautiful though, just in case we couldn’t interpret it.

I focused on the words to the beautiful old poem, and sincerely hoped that tonight actually would be the beginning of something special.

Not only does PCK tell us that the poem is beautiful but that Zoey sincerely hopes. As opposed to falsely hoping which is so common. And how do you focus on words like that? Shouldn’t Zoey’s attention already been on them rather than, say, the curtains across the hall? Has she done enough of these rituals that she can just slide by on autopilot? ‘Hum dee dum, just thinking about how awesome I am and I can’t wait until I’m done with this ritual. Ohh, I’m almost at the part where I recite the poem. I guess I’d better focus on that so I don’t screw it up.’

Zoey does the thing where she passes around the wine before drinking the leftovers while telling everyone “blessed be”. Which is totally unique and nothing like another religious ceremony. Then it’s all over and Zoey says she feels empty the same way like after spring break seems to end too quickly. That’s right folks, Zoey only feels alive when she’s draining the blood of the innocent and being seduced by older men. Her friends come over and start talking about the concrete and wondering if it’s drying too quickly.

“Please. Like my Twin can’t call in a little water to soup that cement right up if it has the nerve to dry before we can make our handprints,” Shaunee said.

Ok, so is that something a person with water affinity can do? Can they summon water or can they merely make people feel the illusion of being spritzed with a squirt bottle? You really need to nail down the specifics soon, PCK. Though even if she does, the characters will constantly be “discovering” new powers as PCK needs them.

They want to hurry and get the handprints done because they’re hungry. Stevie seems grumpy and everyone says that she must be having PMS issues since she looks so bloated. I may not be a woman but I doubt the ladies in the audience were really interested to know if one of the characters is on her period. Oh, and they were having tacos and they can’t wait to eat them. They go outside and Zoey tells us they concrete is in cardboard molds that will be easy to tear off. They have fun putting their handprints in it and using sticks to write their names in them.

The cement was definitely still wet, and there was a lot of laughing going on as we made our prints and then used twigs Jack ran out to collect (the kid was certainly handy to have around) to write our names.

Get the stick, Jack! Go on, fetch! Good boy, Jack! Jack must be short for Jack Russell Terrier. I bet Zoey would mistake anyone who does what she tells them as a friend and vice versa. And really, getting a couple of twigs makes him useful? If he could find twigs in the middle of a desert, that might be impressive. Not so much when it’s in a school courtyard where there are a few trees.

Erik says he’s glad that Neferet picked him for the council and Zoey lets him believe that so as not to hurt his ego. Then Stevie starts coughing and Zoey smells blood. Naturally she sends one of her minions off to find Neferet as Stevie starts spraying blood. She’s panicking because she’s dying but I won’t believe it until her corpse has been cremated and her ashes launched into the sun. Zoey says she can’t do this but finally goes over to Stevie and helps her hold towels to her face while she coughs blood.

Then someone produces a green candle. Zoey holds it in front of Stevie and calls earth to them. She asks Nyx for help giving strength to a “very special fledgling”. Neferet shows up and starts moving people out of the way before Zoey yells at her.

My voice blasted the room with its power, and I saw even Neferet jerk back with surprise. “No! We stay with her. She needs her element and she needs us.”

And what power was that again? How does it blast the room? If I were trying to convey that someone’s voice was powerful I’d say that it shook the room or that a couple people clapped their hands over their ears. But that’s part of showing and trusting that the audience isn’t too stupid to pick up on it.

Neferet says fine, that it’s almost over and hands Zoey the rather suspect vial of white liquid. She says that it will help her pass without pain. Zoey says there’s no need as Stevie hasn’t been in any pain since she called earth. They carry her into the infirmary on a stretcher while Zoey mutters how everything will be okay. For her, anyway. Things are still going to suck for Stevie whle she dies but Zoey will be fine. Stevie asks Zoey to tell her parents that she loves them then she says something incredibly stupid.

“You don’t really have a mamma or a daddy, so would you tell my mamma that you’re their daughter now? I think I’d worry about them less if I know y’all have each other.”

Right, because that’s not messed up at all. ‘Hi there, Stevie’s parents! I know we only met once and I only knew your daughter for a month but she died and I’m going to be your replacement! What do you mean that sounds like the plot to “The Roomate”?’ 

Look, I get that Zoey doesn’t like her parents but they’re still her parents. That’s one of those wonderful things we all have in common is that we don’t get to choose are family. Whether we’re adopted or not, it’s outside of our control. But Zoey’s too good to be stuck with parents who don’t unconditionally love her and praise everything she’s ever done. And of course Stevie’s parents will be glad to become foster parents for an emancipated snot they don’t know.

Everyone says they’ll take care of everything for Stevie and not to worry. Stevie says good and that she thinks she’ll go to sleep now but Zoey had better not leave her. Then Stevie dies and the candle goes out and all Zoey can smell is a rush of “meadow-filled wind” in spite of the blood leaking from Stevie’s corpse. That must be some strong wind if it’s carrying a whole meadow.

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3 Responses to Betrayed Chapter 22

  1. JJ says:

    Wait…vampires still have their period? How’s that work with the whole blood-lust thing? Does that mean that they can have children?

    • vivisector says:

      Honestly that would bring a whole host of other problems to the table. I have qa feeling that they’ll probably be able to because nothing should ever be deprived from Zoey, not money fame or power or even the ability to spawn little entitled demon shits of her own.

      And yeah, you’d think the older fldglings would start going nuts around the scent of blood whenever one of the girls is visited by the cramp fairy. What with how Zoey went nuts over a tiny drop of blood on Heath’s lip and she’s barely a month old(as a vampire and mentally).

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