We ended the last chapter with Zoey suddenly able to throw fireballs. At least that was the direction that PCK was pointing us. Zoey loses her concentration and the fire goes away as Stevie appears. She looks thin and pale and smells wrong. Wait, how can Zoey smell her from there? Is she a werewolf now too? Also, Stevie’s expression is now devoid of any emotion except hatred.
“Stevie Rae, what happened to you?”
I think someone from the school should give Zoey’s stepdad a call. Probably Damien as he seems like the only other person there who can push a button without blinding himself. He should give Mr Heffer a call and let him know that the “people of the faith” really need not worry about the vampire menace any longer. Really, all you need to do is light off some fireworks just before a rainstorm and everyone at the school will drown.
Well for starters, Zoey, Stevie is dead. This might come as a shock to you but death is usually terminal. Being as she’s still moving around I’d say she has a classic case of the undeads. Even Stevie hasn’t the patience to put up with the dumb questions.
“I died.” Her voice was only a twisted, malformed shadow of what it had once been. She still had her Okie twang, but the soft sweetness that had filled it was totally gone. She sounded like mean trailer trash.
I see, so when Stevie is being nice to you her accent is cute. But when she’s no longer washing your clothes and prechewing your food, she’s “trailer trash”. Maybe she’s just exasperated that you’re so thick, Zoey.
Now Zoey starts with the twenty questions. ‘Is she a ghost?’ No, try again Zoey. ‘Is she alive?’ Wrong again. Stevie says that she’s sort of alive but that it’s not so simple, just like her. Zoey goes over to Stevie and says that she’s alive and tells us that it’s a miracle while giving her a hug. She also says that it’s like hugging a smelly piece of stone. What would it take to get through her numbskull that Stevie is undead? And speaking on that subject, can she replace Zoey? Her and Elliott can be the new stars of the show.
Perhaps out of pity, Stevie doesn’t kill or even hurt Zoey. She simply tells her not o touch her again. Zoey says that they’re friends and that they can work anything out then asks if they can go somewhere to talk. Stevie says that they’re not going anywhere and this time Zoey finally gets it though she pretends not to understand the threat. Elliott tells Stevie to kill them and Stevie tells him to shut up.
“You know they can’t live now that they’ve sssseen us,” Elliott said. The other creatures stirred restlessly, making evil little noises of agreement.
Ah, the random sibilant s. How I missed it since Chris killed off the Ra’zac. Just a bit of a question for you, PCK, why does Elliott now talk with a lisp? There are two primary lisps, frontal and lateral. Frontal is more of a ‘th’ sound like thith where as a lateral gives that long s like they’re about to whistle and Elliott’s seems to be the latter. This is usually caused by the tongue being in wrong place and shouldn’t appear spontaneously. I know the real reason is because PCK saw another author doing it and just couldn’t help herself but it’s worth asking these questions once in awhile.
They undeadlings squabble a bit and one of the girls steps forward. She says if Stevie can’t do it, she will and doesn’t mind killing the human while his blood is still warm. Don’t you love when a tense moment is just jam packed with dialogue? Or when the antagonists sit around making threats which they can’t or won’t possibly follow through on? I know PCK sure as hell does.
Stevie tells the girl, Venus, to step back. Zoey asks if her name is Venus Davis and she says yes. Wow, the best she could do was to change her first name to the Roman goddess and then leave her last name the same. It just a little jarring, is all. It’d be like “Bob Von DeathKiller” or “Hercules Johnson”. They don’t exactly go together like peanut butter and chocolate.
Venus was the roomie of Aphrodite’s who died and made her sad. Venus asks how Zoey know her, Heath says she knows a lot of things and to let them go. Stevie asks why ‘that’—referring to Heath—is talking and Zoey says he’s a person not a thing. Then Zoey implores Stevie to try and remember, like she’s amnesiac not dead, and says that Heath’s her ex-boyfriend.
And then Heath and Zoey start arguing about their relationship status. Which would be funny if done right. Two people under direct threat of death getting distracted and arguing like an old married couple has a sort of charm to it. The problem is that PCK is playing the scene straight and we’re supposed to be afraid for Zoey and Heath.
Sorry, PCK, you’re just not selling me on it. Zoey can conjure fire from her hands! Unless the undeadlings have guns then they’re outclassed far and again. Heath winks at Zoey and says she knows she loves it. Zoey says he’s stubborn, then she gives in and says she loves him.
“Heath, you are the most stubborn kid I’ve ever known.” He winked at me and I couldn’t help smiling back at him. “Fine. I love you.”
It’s supposed to be played as a joke but I don’t think Heath will be able to tell the difference. Somehow this display of “humanity” makes the undeadlings feel bad. Zoey tells Stevie to explain it to them which she does. They hiss and screech and say that’s a weakness which has been burned out of them. Stevie says they’re right and that their humanity left when they died. Yes, but not their desire to sit around and argue freshman philosophy with idiots who wander into their lair.
Zoey starts arguing with Stevie about how technically she’s not human either and blah blah blah. Heath says not that he holds their ‘unhumaness’ against them. Zoey stops to tell him that’s not the word, he says he knows and was coining a word like Emily Dickenson said. Zoey can’t believe he’s been studying and Heath says he told her so. Again, I wouldn’t think now is the best time to stop and discuss it, but these villains forgot to put in their dentures this morning and don’t really have any bite.
Stevie says that this is enough and that they can’t be allowed to live. She tells the undeadlings to kill them and then walks away. Zoey summons fire again and says how cool it is that she can do that. When she can’t get someone else to do it for her, Zoey will resort to stroking her own ego. Though you really shouldn’t do that in public, Zoey.
Zoey says they’re leaving and no one should try and stop them. She waves the fire around and stays close to Heath while edging towards the exit. Unluckily for them, the place was built up to fire code and the smoke triggers the sprinkler system. With the fire doused, Zoey and Heath are set upon like trashcan to a pack of wild dogs. Or she hadoukens the first undeadling that looks at her crossways.
From the edge of my vision I saw a movement. I turned in time to see one of the creatures launch herself at Heath. I lifted my arms and flung the fire at her as if I were throwing a ball. As she screamed and went up in flames I recognized her and had to fight hard not to be sick. It was Elizabeth No Last Name—the nice girl who had died last month. Now her burning body writhed on the floor, reeking of spoiled meat and decay, which was all that was left of her lifeless shell.
Then Zoey uses the power of water and wind to put the body out and threatens the rest of them with the same. Yeah, I can tell that it really bothers her to kill someone for a second time. Zoey and Heath begins heading out of the tunnels but the undeadlings keep following her. Either because they don’t possess pattern recognition or because they’re thinking it was just a fluke.
Heath says he doesn’t know how many of them she can handle so she’d better do something. Zoey stops around a corner and summons earth to block the way. When she calls out to earth, Zoey gets an image of Stevie sitting in a corner weeping to herself. Zoey thinks that it’s not much but that it’s a start. As if Stevie had asked to be brought back from the dead and transformed into an emotionless mannequin.
Zoey collapses into Heath’s arms and tells him that they’re not really trapped. He says it’s okay and he knows what she needs. He pulls her to a cut on his cheek and Zoey begins licking at it. Yes, Zoey is certainly the kind of vampire I would want as a role model for the rest of the students. That is if you want them to grow up to be tributes to Dracula, PCK. Then Stevie shows up and ruins the mood.
“Kill me!” Stevie Rae’s broken voice shattered the spell of Heath’s blood.
I was just about to say the same think, Stevie. Though I wouldn’t ask Zoey to do it. She wouldn’t understand, pretend to misunderstand or screw it up and leave you paralyzed from the eyelids down, Stevie. Try something more reliable like holding up an umbrella to a clear sky and hoping for a freak lightning strike.
Ah we’re going with the ‘I only did it because of angst’ route with Stevie who for some reason is now pack leader of the dead vampires? (dead vampires…is that an oxymoron? ). I think PC might be going with ‘underlings are controlled by instincts or forget their humanity.’ crap, but it doesn’t work, since Stevie and the underlings are clearly still showing signs of understanding what their doing is wrong. So is it denial so they can cope better with being undead? (andactualvampireswithactualfreakingweaknesses) If so then WOW it did not take Stevie long to decide killing her ‘friend’ was the only way after becoming something ‘not pretty and perfect’. 8I
Ultimately it’s not Stevie’s fault because how dare someone suggest one of PCK’s characters are anything but perfect. Unless they’re bad and then they’re flawed if only with evil.