Chosen Chapter 21

I know that neither PCK nor her editor knows what irony means. This is evidenced when Zoey constantly refers to things that aren’t ironic as such. Like when she says she likes Count Chocula or Dracula. That’s more of an amusing coincidence. Irony is difficult because it’s the opposite of expected and people’s expectations vary wildly. However, this is a decent example of irony. I want you to make note, PCK. Read it and share it with your editor. Maybe then you’ll have a better understanding.

Zoey beings, trying to tell herself she can make this quick and easy. I laugh at your joke, PCK. Zoey says that it’ll be obvious Aphrodite is back in the DDs when she’s standing in the circle. Naturally, Zoey’s gut knots at the idea and someone needs to introduce her to a pharmacy. She then opens the door to leave her room and Aphro is waiting for her. She tells Zoey that they have to wait for her as she rushes along.

“Aphrodite, has no one ever told you that it’s rude to keep people waiting?” I said as I hurried down the hall, practically skipped down the stairs two at a time, and rushed out of the dorm with Aphrodite scrambling to keep up with me. I nodded at Darius, who had taken up his position outside, and he saluted me.

Yeah, Aphro. It’s rude to make people wait, especially if they’re suffering. Like making your dead friends await their final rest/resurrection so you can make out with boys. And why did Darius salute Zoey? What exactly has she done that’s earned her a salute from a random “warrior”? Maybe he’s read ahead and knows that she kills Neferet and he’s thanking her in advance.

Aprho comments on the “warriors” being “totally hot” and Zoey rolls her eyes. Author forbid that any one but Zoey appreciate the looks of people around them. All the pretties belong to Zoey and no one else is allowed to look. Those that do, face a minor fine and community service, defined as serving Zoey until the end of days.

Aphro asks about Neferet’s ritual, which is odd. Earlier they said that it was mandatory for everyone in school. I guess Aphro has the ability to duck hall monitors too. Zoey tells her about the “curtain” spell then Aphro asks about Stevie. Zoey says that she’s desperate and they need to do something soon and Aphro doesn’t know what Zoey plans on doing.

“I don’t know what the hell you think we’re gonna do,” Aphrodite said. “You’re the one with the mega-powers. I’m just along for the ride.” She paused and lowered her voice even more. “Plus, I don’t know what you expect to do. She’s gross and more than a little bit scary.”

Zoey says she’s her best friend, Aphro says that she’s undead and drinks blood and Zoey reiterates that Stevie is still her friend. Zoey says she doesn’t know how to heal her and Aphro asks if Zoey hasn’t just tried. Zoey laments that she doesn’t know and spells and the voice of the author suddenly chimes in to remind Zoey that the elements can heal as well as destroy. She wonders if it could be that easy. Well if it were complicated, Zoey, it would have been left to someone competent.

They spilt up to get to the hall where they’ll do the student ceremony. Zoey runs into Jack for no other reason than to tell her they did what she asked. She tells him to take his place and he does near the “audio equipment area”, saying he’s a genius with anything electronic. They don’t use it for the ceremony, just those staged town hall meetings for the local politicians. They got to keep the gas paid for somehow.

Aphro wanders in shortly after Loren. Loren asks if she’s supposed to be there and Zoey whines about it. He tells her to break a leg and Zoey claims that’s literally what would happen to her because her luck sucks. It’s true, Zoey had the bad luck to be marked then to have powers that no one else has in centuries and then one of her servants up and died on her. That’s Zoey for you, a hard luck loser who just can’t get a break. Loren tells her he’ll start the music and as soon as she enters he’ll start the poem.

I nodded and concentrated on my breathing and settling myself. When the music started, the whispering circle went completely still. All eyes were on me. I didn’t recognize the song, but the beat was steady, rhythmic, sonorous, reminding me of a pulse. My body automatically picked it up and I began to move around the outside of the circle.

Am I the only one that thinks Zoey is a bad dancer? I bet she’s doing the Elaine Benes around the room and thinks she’s doing pretty well. That’s why their membership applications have tripled since Zoey started running things. ‘No, really. She sort of seizures around the room while terrible, somber music plays. Then she tries to sound deep and spiritual, it’s hilarious. You’ve got to see it!’

Loren’s poem and voice fit everything perfectly because he can have no flaw either. Zoey is amazed and relaxed from all the stress she’s been dealing with and then she calls the elements. Once again, we’re forced to sit through every word of the ceremony. It’s alright, PCK, we’ve seen this so often we can sing along. Zoey talks to each of her servants quietly after she makes the element show up. Everyone is shocked when Aphrodite summons earth, because they didn’t notice her until then.

Zoey raises her candle and calls spirit and says she’s full of power. W already know that, Zoey, tell us something we don’t. She tells everyone that Aphrodite has been given the gift of earth. Then she wiggles around her custom stick of herbs and spices while telling us how her grandmother’s people cherished them and blah blah blah. Then Zoey reminds them about Nolan’s death and also wishes her onto to a better place.

Zoey also takes a moment to say that though she was going to announce the next members of the council, that’s on hold until the end of the year. When the date comes and goes and there have been no free elections, they will riot in the streets. Zoey says there have been a lot of challenges and then she recites the poem she learned in the last book. She goes around with the communion cup and is relieved that no one’s angry at her. Then Aphro fawns some more.

I offered Aphrodite the last drink before me, and almost didn’t hear her whispered, “Good job, Zoey,” before she sipped from the goblet and handed it back to me, saying the standard “Blessed be” loud enough for everyone else to hear.

That was the last of Aphro’s independence folding up and preparing to die. All Zoey did was say a poem and pass wine around, not exactly the stuff of legendary leadership. Zoey ends the ceremony and she’s feeling rather pleased with herself that it all went well. And it almost looks like PCK won’t end with a stupid cliffhanger until Erik cries out and falls over. Presumably, Erik stepped on one of those little LEGO pieces while walking around barefoot.

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2 Responses to Chosen Chapter 21

  1. Vanessa says:

    I totally pictured Zoey crying, “I have the power!” while holding her candle up.

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