Betrayed Chapter 26

Perhaps the most annoying aspect of this is not PCK wrote this. It’s that an editor looked it over, using a presumably trained eye, and then put her stamp of approval on it. Authors aren’t perfect and it’s all too easy to leave a mistake in your work because your brain fills in the details or the right word. Editors exist to proofread and help shape the book so it tells the right story. Sometimes that can mean suggesting an author cut parts or slice out fragments to make it cleaner.

So when I see things that are only mildly stupid, I remember that an editor had to look at it first. Then she had to go ‘looks good to me’ and send it off for final approval before printing. Maybe the editor for PCK has an excuse like she’s just doing it until her Kickstarter fund for documenting the life of a Rat Terrier reached its goal. Whatever the reason, paragraphs like the following irk me.

“Here, Zoey, it’ll help if you swish this around in your mouth.” Blindly I took whatever Erin handed me, relieved when it was just cold water. I spit it into the nasty bowl of puke.

The nasty bowl of puke. This is opposed to the delicious bowl of puke Zoey had for dinner the night before. And while I don’t need to know where Zoey spit or that she did indeed do so, it does mean we’re back at the list style narration. I’m starting to wonder if this wasn’t really written in a traditional sense and it’s actually just a bunch of listed bullet points nested in one another and lightly expanded on.

Zoey says she wants to cover her face and burst into tears but doesn’t have that luxury. She must be upset that Heath is going to be someone else’s food supply. Maybe then he’ll imprint on Elliott and then he’ll have a friend in the series. Zoey is going to see Neferet but first she has to brush her teeth and put on some shoes because she only put on socks. Again, details that add nothing more than a higher page count.

Zoey goes upstairs and isn’t accompanied by one of her man servants masquerading as friends. But why not, PCK? Who will produce a bowl if she needs to puke or fetch her slippers if her feet are cold? Zoey goes past her room and right to Aphrodite’s room where the door opens before she can knock.

Aphrodite figured Zoey would make an appearance and ushers her on in. The first thing Zoey says to her isn’t ‘hey, I want to apologize.’ or ‘hey, I need your help’ or anything nice. She asks if Aphrodite has some mouthwash because she just threw up. It must have been her tactful nature that made her a perfect candidate for becoming high priestess.

She pointed her chin at the medicine cabinet over the sink. “In there. The glass on the sink is clean.”

Ow, that sounds like it hurts. Either Aphrodite has a flexible neck or she can remove her chin and use it as a pointer. Once she’s done washing out her mouth, PCK decides to start swearing a little. Zoey says, to us she’ll dispense with the bullshit and then asks how you can tell if a vision is true or not.

She sat down on one of the beds and shook back her long, perfect blond hair. “It’s a feeling in your gut. Visions are never easy or comfortable or fucking flower-draped like they are in the movies. Visions suck. At least real ones do. Basically, if it makes you feel like shit, it’s probably real and not just a dream.” Her blue eyes looked me over carefully. “So, you’ve been having visions?”

Wait, what movie show psychic visions as “flower draped”? The few ones relating to psychics I can think of usually show very fast cuts that are sometimes filled with static and resemble a seizure. Zoey says she had a dream and thinks it a vision. So why are you consulting with Aphrodite then? She asks why Aphrodite warned her off from the medicine that Neferet gave her. Aphrodite says she had a roommate who died and when she drank the medicine her visions went away for a few weeks and she couldn’t really remember her roomie.

Aphrodite says Zoey should go as it won’t look good if they’re seen together. Zoey agrees and Aphrodite says that Neferet makes people think she’s good and that not everything light is good and not everything dark is evil. This would be an excellent point if there was any moral subtlety in this book. It’s pretty much just, humans bad, vampires good with one or two rare exceptions.

Case in point, Aphrodite. Sure she was a bitch, according to Zoey at least, but at least she was her own bitch before. Now the PCK wants to keep her around, it’s suddenly all Neferet’s fault. I hate when authors write in keystone villains almost as much as I hate evil jut because. Why can’t Aprhodite been bad but maybe not as bad as Neferet? Or maybe she just aligned with the high priestess because it was convenient for her? Hell, their own goals might have simply intersected and it worked out.

So Zoey returns to her friends and she’s off to talk to Neferet. Everyone says they’re coming along to because Zoey’s regular chair bearers are off for the day. Zoey just can’t believe that her friends are coming with her. I don’t know why they are or why Zoey should be shocked. Zoey didn’t tell them about seeing Neferet talking to Elliott or how she “stole” the credit for Zoey’s ideas. Or have they just come to accept that Zoey needs support for the simplest of tasks?

I started to tell them no, but I couldn’t make the word come out. The truth was that I was glad they were here, glad they obviously felt the need to join forces around me and protect me. I’d worried for a really long time that my extra powers and my weird Goddess-chosen Mark would brand me such a freak that I wouldn’t fit in, wouldn’t have any friends. But the opposite seemed to be happening.

Yeah. I bet you were real worried about that. It’s always so hard to be awesome, what with all the jealous haters. You’d probably give anything to be normal like everyone else but alas *tortured sigh*, you’re cursed with being special. And how shocking it is that all your friends would love you unconditionally, Mary…I mean Zoey.

The troupe of idiots goes marching towards the door and run right into Neferet. She says it’s convenient that she found Zoey as the two detective are back and want to talk with her. Zoey, who didn’t even notice them until Nefert pointed them out, says she’ll be glad to help in anyway she can. They want to use the library to chat with her and Neferet agrees. Personally, I’d want to talk to her in a private room with a female officer present as well as a school administrator but then I didn’t graduate from the School for Dumb Kops.

The upside of this means that Zoey now has to face them alone and without the help of her friends. According to my calculations, as Zoey has become increasingly useless during her stay, she won’t be able to write her name or even talk to the police. Eventually Neferet will break down and have Damien come in so he can work Zoey’s jaw for her. The police immediately ask Zoey if she can account for her whereabouts.

Zoey says yes, she was on the phone with her grandma during the time they ask and she texted Heath and they can even see her phone. Because there’s absolutely nothing suspicious about an airtight alibi. Zoey offers her phone which Neferet says she doesn’t have to do. Zoey says she doesn’t mind and then this happens.

Detective Martin took my phone and started going through the text message files, copying onto a little pad the messages. “Did you see Heath this morning?” Detective Marx asked. “No. He asked if he could come see me, but I told him no.”

Hey, how about a picture of the phone message, guys? Maybe even a copy of the phone’s memory? That would probably hold up in court better than a couple of hand written notes. Even better, how about the phone records subpoenaed from the carrier? Oh, wait. PCK would have had to do research on police procedure before writing it like that. They notice that she was supposed to go on a date with him on Friday.

“Zoey, you know it is strictly against school rules to continue to date humans from your old life.” I noticed, as if for the first time, the disgust that filled her voice when she said humans.

‘It sounded exactly the way I said it, and it was creepy. I vowed then to stop being such a hypocrite.’ Zoey claims she knows but it’s just that they have so much history. Yes, it’s a rich and detailed romance that happened completely out of sight. We’ll just have to take Zoey’s word that she’s not still hung up on him because he’s basically a free meal ready and waiting. They want to know of anyone can corroborate her presence in her room and Zoey says yes because she have a big grieving sleepover.

Zoey asks if they know where Heath might be, they say his truck was found nearby and Neferet says they should stop bothering Zoey and start “spending time searching the gutters for the teenager”. The police are confused and Neferet says that last time Heath visited he was drunk and high and this time was probably no different. She says that’s where drunks usually end up, in the gutter. Maybe if they’re blackout drunk and they don’t have any friends. Neferet asks Zoey if she has any idea where he is. Then Zoey blurts out that she had a dream that she thinks is a vision.

Into the stunned silence Neferet’s voice sounded clipped and harsh. “Zoey, you have never before manifested an affinity for prophecy or visions.”

Should I be worried when other characters don’t believe Zoey’s pulling powers out of thin air? So Zoey ends up telling the detectives, in vague terms, that she saw Heath being grabbed by something. They instantly believe her rather than chalking it up to pointless worry or a coincidence. Zoey says it’s not the vampires taking the kids and then Neferet sends them to talk with Shaunee and Erin.

As soon as they’re gone, Neferet asks if Zoey imprinted on Heath. Gee, who better to answer that question than a girl who’s been a fledgling for less than two months. Surely she will have all the answers as opposed to you, a century(ies?) old vampire with experience. Zoey is worried that Neferet will be able to see the truth so she closes her eyes, summons the elements and then lies to her. Neferet says she worried that Zoey drank form him again or that they were together. Then she says it was a bad idea to tell the cops that her dream was a vision.

Zoey says it was very real, except for that part when a penguin wearing a tortoise shell marched by singing Crazy by Seal. Neferet asks if Zoey took that medicine she gave her last night and Zoey lies again. Neferet says that if she keeps having bad dreams to come to her so she can make a stronger mixture.

I nodded and walked with her back to the living room, careful not to show my disgust when she hugged me in front of everyone and said good-bye with the warmth of a mom. Actually, she was exactly like a mom, specifically my mom, Linda Heffer. The woman who had betrayed me for a man and cared more about herself and appearances than she cared about me. The similarities between Neferet and Linda were becoming clearer and clearer.

Ah, the teen melodrama and our title. Because her mom not being comfortable with Zoey being a vampire is exactly like Neferet commanding a small army of undeadlings. And clearly she doesn’t care about you, Zoey, because she hasn’t prostrated herself before you and begged forgiveness after a particularly long penance.

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

1 Response to Betrayed Chapter 26

  1. maeverin says:

    but wait! what was the color and consistency of the puke?? did it have little bits of count chocula? the story will make no sense without these details PCK!

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