Untamed Chapter 23

Look, yet another chapter for day two. It’s okay to advance the time frame, PCK, really. No one will complain if Zoey gets to her second year of vampire school before book forty. I’m not in marketing or anything but I’m pretty sure the target audience would be fine not fantasizing about high school for the next fifteen years.

“It is a warning,” Aphrodite said solemnly. “All of my visions are warnings of a tragedy that could happen. This one really wasn’t any different.”

Why are they always visions of a tragedy that “could” happen? Does that mean they might not? Does Aphro occasionally have visions that fall through? How pissed would someone be, getting told they were going to die only to find out it was a mistake on the seers part? She ought to add a disclaimer to all her visions if that’s the case. “Warning: psychic visions are for entertainment purposes only and may not represent actual futures. Nyx is not responsible for any action taken as a result of misinterpreted visions. Void where prohibited.’

Grandma says that Aphro’s visions prevent terrible things if heeded. Yes, if they’re correct. They take this moment to reminisce about the last horrible tragedy they prevented regarding the bridge. Again, another one which may or may not have happened and Zoey took all the credit for preventing.

They tell grandma how the poem Aphro wrote down came out in her handwriting. They figure that this means Nyx wants grandma involved. Here’s a funny thought for you, Zoey. What if Kalona made that happen so you’d drag grandma in and follow her bad advice? Instead, grandma says, yup, Nyx definitely wants grandma involved.

“That’s not surprising,” I said. “You’re the only Ghigua Woman we know.”

Fun fact for everyone, a Ghigua is a wise woman and host of other things. The core take away there is it’s a woman only title. Calling grandma a “Ghigua Woman”, is like calling Duchess a “Labrador Dog”. It’s already implied. Grandma says there hasn’t been one of those for years and requires a tribal vote. Zoey says that she has her vote as well as her slaves because they’re their own tribe. I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works.

Aphro says that grandma should come there and Zoey gets a feeling that Aphro is right. Grandma says she doesn’t like to leave her lavender farm and they’ll just figure this out with modern communications technology. Zoey then asks if grandma trusts her, she does, and Zoey tells her to come to the school. Grandma says okay, just as soon as she packs some things.

So, does the school have accommodations for non-students? It would be nice if the vampires allowed human exchange students to stop in and mingle. That might earn them more good will among humans than working at a cat charity. If they don’t, are they going to make an exception for grandma because Zoey has a feeling? Neferet wouldn’t allow it but Sheky will because Zoey is the author and few characters will dare to argue with their god. Zoey tells her to hurry, grandma asks if it can’t wait the few hours until morning and Zoey says no.

“Tonight.” As if to punctuate my request through the phone, Aphrodite and I heard the chilling sound of a raven’s deep, creepy, croaking cry. It was so loud, it could have been in her warm, tidy living room with her. “Grandma! Are you okay?”

That sounds like and order, not a request, Zoey. Grandma says that they’re spirits and not really dangerous because she’s nowhere near death. And that’s when grandma dies because dramatic irony demands it, right? Zoey says to hurry because they’ll feel better when grandma gets there and she says she’ll be there in two hours. They say their goodbyes.

Aprho says that means Zoey has a lot to do between getting her servants up to speed, setting up the “nanny cam” in the morgue and getting approval from Sheky for grandma’s visit. Zoey asks what Aphro will be doing and she says she’ll be putting her brain to work on the poem by napping. Aprho says that, hey, at least they missed a day of school which makes Zoey whine about her one class with Erik.

Aphro starts acting like Stevie and saying she wants to hear all about it. Zoey ignores her and heads down to her friends. They’ve already heard all about her confrontation with Erik. They get right to the act of making her feel better and demanding more details. Zoey blathers a bit and then tells them they have other things to worry about. She sends them all to Aphro’s room.

We flash forward to that moment and PCK does something they rarely ever do. Zoey tells her servants the story about Kalona in a short paragraph. I wasn’t sure of they knew how to do that anymore. I was certain we’d have to sit through a dramatic retelling just like the one in the last chapter.

“Okay, that’s the creepiest story I’ve heard in ages.” Shaunee sounded practically breathless. “I swear it’s even scarier than all of the Saw movies put together.”

Allow me to translate. ‘See, I’ve heard of modern movies and am therefore in touch with the youth. Please continue to buy my books!’ And that legend isn’t as scary as Saw. It doesn’t even reach the same horror as Sharktopus. As if to make up for the lack of babbling PCK missed out by summing up, they all sit around talking about the story and how creepy it is. Then they talk about the ravens and blah blah blah, please let something happen already, blah blah.

Zoey then takes a paragraph to look at the dog and pet it while hoping Stark comes back to life for her and the dog. Yes, because with the death of Loren, Zoey really needs another boy to step in and fill the harem out. Then Damien starts talking about the poem and looking it over. He says it’s not a poem or a song like Zoey thought. He says it’s a prophecy and everyone immediately agrees.

“Prophecy, like in Lord of the Rings about the return of the king?” Jack said.

No, prophecy as in “The Prophecy” starring Christopher Walken. Attention PCK, you don’t need to drop in references to every blockbuster movie that you’ve seen. I say this because no one has ever been confused as to what a prophecy is. There might be five people in the world who’re unfamiliar with the concept of a prophecy but only because they were raised by kangaroos and haven’t learned a language.

They set about to decoding the prophecy and Damien starts babbling about using poetry format to analyze it. Look, PCK, your “prophecy” isn’t exactly the NSA’s cipher test, ‘kay? It says the “ancient one” is sleeping—duh?—and that the evil witch will wake him up. There’s not really a hidden message to be found. They go about trying to figure out whether some of the conditions have been met.

Let’s see, something about bleeding earth and wondering if Nolan’s or Loren’s death met it. They’ve all forgotten that “earth” might be referring to a person, like Stevie, rather than the actual ground. They also can’t figure out who could be the “queen tsi sgili”. Gee, an evil witch who delights in pain and death? I can’t think of anybody who’d fit that profile. It’s not like Neferet’s evil and abuses her powers. I’m stumped.

Damien finally names Neferet when they start talking about mind bullets and psychic powers. They start debating whether or not Neferet’s really evil enough to be an evil witch. There’ reasoning is equal parts amusing and stupid.

“She’s chosen a different path from Nyx,” Aphrodite said.

So have the nuns at the cat rescue, does that make them evil witches? They says the odds are she’s the one the prophecy is talking about. Though Zoey starts wondering if she’s grown stronger from the deaths of Loren and Nolan. Her servants are shocked that Neferet might have committed the murders and not someone who belongs to “the people of the faith”.

The idiots start figuring out everything that the audience has already known since the end of book two. Oh, and Kalona might be reaching out and whispering to people who are open to evil and death. PCK chooses to end the chapter with Zoey saying “ah crap” as she realizes that Neferet might be taking advice from Kalona.

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