Betrayed Chapter 23

So last chapter had Stevie’s death scene and Zoey didn’t really react to it. She did cry towards the end and she said she drew strength from her friends standing close to her but it’s pretty sparse. Which is to be expected as everyone is panicking and doesn’t really have time to react.

But now that the dust is cleared and Stevie has joined the other dead as worm food, Zoey’s going to milk it. What’s worse, is that everyone will focus on comforting Zoey even though the rest of her friends knew Stevie for longer. Everything will focus on Zoey like the eye of a hurricane in spite of the destruction going on around her. Everyone but her must learn to suffer in silence and without support.

As if PCK knew people would be predicting just that and was eager to fulfill it, we begin the chapter with someone comforting Zoey.

“Zoey, sweetheart, you have to let her go.”

That’s Damien telling Zoey to let go of the corpse. As I figured, all of her living “friends” are busy trying to make her feel better. Not one of them is bothered because they just watched a friend they’ve known longer than Zoey die. No, they’re all worried because Zoey is holding Stevie’s body and won’t let go or talk. Clearly she must be in shock so Neferet suggests they speak calmly to her and try to get her to release the body. Then Damien has an idea.

“I have an idea.” Damien’s voice bounced around inside my mind like a pinball machine. “We don’t have candles and we don’t have a sacred circle, but it’s not like Nyx isn’t here. Let’s use our elements to help her. I’ll go first.”

Wait, wait, wait. His voice bounced inside her head like a pinball machine? Not like a pinball in a machine but the machine itself? Those aren’t really known for bouncing. Is this PCK’s attempt at saying that Damien’s voice is crashing into Zoey’s brain and shattering into hundreds of very expensive, and probably sharp, pieces? Because I’m for it as long as it hurts Zoey.

Also, that is the most frivolous waste of powers I’ve ever seen. Suddenly everything Eragon’s ever done seems like a wise tactical decision. Using his powers to magic gold out of the ground? Forcing a blind man to walk to Elfland? Magicking a pair of rings so his inbred cousin and wife can feel when the other is in danger? Those were some of Eragon’s worst moments but never did anyone else use their magic just to make him feel better. Though it might be as bad as him making a gold lily or shaving with magic.

Damien summons a “big wind” which “whooshed” around Zoey to blow the stink of death away. Shaunee summons fire to make Zoey warm and then Erin summons water to “wash” her pain away. Then Erik says there’s still one more element in the circle and Damien say that Zoey normally manifests spirit. No, she manifests whatever she wants, Damien. Or did you forget?

“Right now Zoey can’t manifest anything by herself. Let’s give her some help.” Two strong hands gripped my shoulders, along with the other hands that grasped places on my arms. “I have no affinity for these things, but I do care about what happens to Zoey, and she has been gifted with an affinity for all five elements,” Erik said. “So I, along with all of her friends, ask that the element spirit help her wake up so that she can get over the death of her best friend.”

Even though Zoey is feeling sad she’s still more special than you. Praise is like comfort food for Zoey’s Unicus. It’s also like regular food, snacks, appetizers and desserts. Zoey is suddenly filled with a shock and she can see a healthy smiling Stevie. She thinks that this means Stevie is being embraced by the goddess then she opens her eyes and everyone is happy that Zoey is back.

They tell her to let Neferet take Stevie so she can be cleaned up before her mom shows up. Zoey says she knows but doesn’t want to go and then PCK remembers she’s supposed to be writing about people and not androids so Zoey cries a little and her voice cracks. Everyone coos over Zoey and tells her it’s alright and that Stevie is gone now so just let go, walk away and any other grief counseling cliché they can muster. Then PCK spends a paragraph telling us how Zoey’s new dress is covered in blood and ruined.

Which is messed up in so many ways. PCK spent more words on Zoey’s dress than she did telling us how Stevie was dying. It makes it seem like Zoey’s more upset about her dress than her dead friend. ‘Stevie dead, oh no…wait did I get blood on my dress? Ew! Ew! Ew! Also, goddamn it dead Stevie, this was new!’

Nefert tells her friends to help Zoey wash and then to give her “this”, something we’re not shown, to drink so she sleeps without nightmares. Zoey whines that they’re talking about her like she’s not there. Which would be a valid complaint if she was trying to participate in the conversation. As it is, they can’t help but think she’s gone catatonic. They escort her back to the dorm and towards the stairs but Aphrodite is in the way.

“I’m sorry Stevie Rae died. I didn’t want her to,” Aphrodite said.

“Don’t say shit to us, you fucking hag!” Shaunee snarled. She and Erin stepped forward, looking like they wanted to beat the crap out of Aphrodite.

See, the only way PCK can make Zoey seem reasonable it by making her friends blood crazed idiots who’re willing to fight at the drop of a hat. Even if Aphrodite is being insincere, she’s at least going through the motions of offering condolences which is more than I can say for any of Zoey’s companions. Zoey tells her guard dogs to stop because she wants to talk to Aphrodite alone.

Zoey wants to know if Aphrodite had a vision. She says no, just a feeling that something bad was going to happen. Zoey begins to fret and Aphrodite can tell, without her saying anything, that it’s because Zoey didn’t have her own vision. Aphrodite says that there’s nothing she could do and that’s why she didn’t show her. Right, but she did let her feel bad so she’d know something was about to happen. Makes sense to me. I’d think it’d be better to let people enjoy their time right up until something bad happens, rather than let them know something is coming and they’re powerless to stop it. Of course I’m not as benevolent as Nyx so I probably don’t get it.

Zoey asks how does she knows as Neferet said Nyx took her gift away. Aphrodite then drops a serious bomb. Neferet lies! Also, Zoey shouldn’t drink the thing that she gave her. I know, who would have thought that drinking a mysterious liquid could be dangerous? The odd thing is how this isn’t a medieval setting where all medicine is either a potion or a poultice so Zoey, and everyone else, should distrust stoppered vials filled with who knows what.

Zoey returns to her “friends” and they demand to know what Aphrodite said. They also threaten to kick Aphrodite’s ass if she said anything bad about Stevie. Zoey says no, she just said she was sorry and then they go into her room where Zoey reacts just a little more.

“No!” I gasped. “They’ve taken her stuff! They can’t do that!” Everything that was Stevie Rae was gone—from the cowboy boot lamp and the Kenny Chesney poster, to the gyrating Elvis clock. The shelves over her computer desk were empty. Her computer was gone. I knew if I looked in her closet, all of her clothes would be gone, too.

Such subtle reminders that Stevie was supposed to be some sort of hayseed, PCK. Erik says that’s just what they do and they moved it somewhere else so it wouldn’t make Zoey sad. Right, not to rifle through her things for anything that might incriminate the vampires before turning her possessions over to her parents. It’s to make sure Zoey isn’t any sadder than she already is. Erik says that if she wants something she’ll have to ask the family. Zoey tells us she doesn’t want Stevie’s stuff, she wants Stevie.

Everyone leaves, the guys return to their dorm and the girls go fetch Zoey food. Now that she’s short one friend she’ll have to split the extra duties among the remaining three. She strips, throws her clothes into a plastic bag, examines her “tattoos” and then gets in the shower. She also whines at Nyx, asking “why?” It’s hard to say but I’m sure it was something you did, Zoey.


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

2 Responses to Betrayed Chapter 23

  1. redclause says:

    This would be the perfect moment for Zoey to think back on Elliot and realize how unfeeling she was back then, considering she now knows how it feels to have your friends existence erased just hours after they die in front of you. But then I remember Elliot had no friends because he was fat so yeh. 8I

    Also wow Shaunee and Erin way to stay classy. I guess their teenage boys going through alot of emotion, but still the fact that they try to threaten Aphrodite makes me realize their no different from her at all.

    • vivisector says:

      True and if it weren’t for the fact Elliott is now a member of the undead, Zoey would have completely forgotten about him. Though having her reflect on his death and then realize she couldn’t remember his name would have been a great point for character development. Maybe the realization could have shocked some sense into her.

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