Hunted Chapter 8

Here’s another silly quirk I’ve got to question. Everyone in Zoey’s universe seems to aspire to owning a “gold card”. This is perhaps a minor nit to pick but gold cards aren’t really the standard these days. Pretty much since credit card companies introduced a platinum card, gold is more like regular than anything else. Hell, these days banks will issue “platinum” debit cards as if it means anything. So, generally speaking, a gold card isn’t impressive.

It’s a bit of a holdover from the early days of credit card when gold cards were more of an exclusive thing offered only to customers who had a good payment history and spent a lot. It was a sign of wealth because, back then, credit cards didn’t let you carry a balance, it had to be paid in full in thirty days. Not a lot of people could afford to do that, hence the status associated with it.

While I’m sure you’re all riveted by that history nugget, it’s not the point. My point is that PCK’s age is showing clearly through when teens like this shouldn’t care about a “gold card”, it’s just not in their awareness unless their parents all lived through the seventies as well. It’s make more sense for them to dream of owning a sports car or jewelry.

Oh look, yet another chapter where Zoey is flashing back to her first day in the tunnels. Is nothing of consequence going to happen, PCK? It doesn’t have to be an action scene or anything like that. How about something more relevant to the plot that people having prophecy come out of their ears? PCK defies my wishes though and we sit around talking to Kramisha about the stupid poem from the last chapter.

Zoey wants to know where she got it and Kramisha said it just came to her like all the things she writes. They look at some more poems and PCK won’t spare us her amateur scribbles. They’re all dark and foreboding to the characters and everyone reacts to them as if Kalona were stepping into the room right then. Zoey tells Kramisha to copy them all down for her which worries Kramisha for no reason. Erik says she’s more qualified to be a poet laureate than Loren which earns him a dirty look from Zoey.

Okay, even though it made me uncomfortable to think about Loren, especially when Erik had been the one to bring him up, I felt the rightness of what he was saying down deep in my gut, which said more about Kramisha’s true nature than my exhausted guessing and my apparently overactive imagination were telling me. Nyx obviously had her hand on this kid. What the hell. I’m the only High Priestess we have. I can make a proclamation. “Kramisha, I’m going to make you our first Poet Laureate.”

That’s not really an honor, considering the circumstances. She’s the only poet they have. That’s like being on a deserted island and declaring yourself the best doctor around. It might be technically true but only by default. Kramisha can’t believe it and Zoey tells her they need a “poet laureate”. Wait, why do they need a poet who’s received honor or recognition? Maybe Kalona’s spirits can be fended off with bad meter.

Jack asks if that doesn’t require the vote of the council and Zoey says her council is there with her. And it’s not like they’ll vote any other way than what Zoey wants. When they leave Kramisha to copying them down, Jack asks what it means. Zoey says she doesn’t know but can tell it’s the work of Nyx. So, Nyx allows people to have free will up until she wants them to write down a poem. Then they decide they’ll need Damien to decode these mysterious poems and figure out what they mean.

Zoey then goes upstairs and looks around, whining about the lack of cell phone reception. Erik points to the sudden bad weather and says that they can take out cell towers. Zoey then worries that the storm is unnatural and not just some random pattern. I would blame Kalona except I suspect it’s PCK making cell phones useless. That way the plot can’t be solved too quickly.

While Zoey is wandering about in the depot, she’s commenting on the décor. Apparently there’s a lot of art deco styling and mural depicting Native Americans and blah blah blah. For some reason, Zoey thinks it could be a good school. Right, except for the lack of teachers, materials and the fact she’d be in charge of it. Other than that, I’m sure it could be a great school. Jack then points her in the direction of the showers.

“Okay, well, I’m going to hit the showers,” I said lamely. “Erik, would you and Jack let Damien know about Kramisha’s poems? Tell him if he has to talk to me about it I’ll be in Stevie Rae’s room, hopefully sound asleep for at least a few hours. If it can wait, we’ll all meet and try to figure out what it could mean after we’ve rested.” I shifted the towels and bathrobes I’d been clutching so I could wipe sleepily at my face.

Erik tells her she needs to sleep because not even she can keep going without sleep. What? Is she well known for staying awake? Because she’s constantly falling asleep in the books. Maybe off screen, Zoey likes to pound espressos and spend seven days awake while playing Bejeweled. Jack says yeah, he’s so tired he wouldn’t be able to stay awake on guard duty if Damien wasn’t with him.

Before Zoey can go in to wash, Erik stops her and asks if they’re “together” again. I wouldn’t count on it, Erik. It’s looking more and more like Stark is her soul mate so you’d probably pick one of Zoey’s single friends and get familiar with her. Zoey has to think about it for a second.

I met Erik’s eyes and saw his vulnerability through the pretend confidence of his smile. He wouldn’t understand if I said I needed to talk to him about, well, sex before I agreed to get back together with him. That would hurt his ego as well as his heart and then I’d be back where I was before, with me kicking myself for being the cause of us being apart.

Wait, why wouldn’t he understand? Look, PCK, I get that Zoey’s a prude. If she doesn’t want to have sex again until she finds “true love” or some other shit, fine. That can just be part of her dumb personality. But don’t have her be a stupid and lazy prude on top of it. The last thing I want to read is Zoey waiting until her and Erik are naked before bringing that up. And screw you Zoey for thinking Erik’s ego can’t take a little rejection.

Zoey just agrees with Erik and tells him that, yes, they’re together again. He gives her a kiss which Zoey describes as sweet and not a prelude to sex. Then she wonders if she was wrong about the reason he was so ardent earlier but attributes it to the wrong reasons again, suspecting him being a “man” in vampire culture. She seems to think that, somehow, being with a full vampire is different than being with a “boy or fledgling”. Just how the hell she would know, having only had sex once, is beyond me. Maybe Zoey belongs to a sud-reddit and heard secondhand.

Zoey then ends the chapter by going in to take a shower. This is why PCK gets to be a published author and others get to slave away at their manuscripts, trying to make an interesting story. What these people need is more characters showering, describing dull architecture and hashing out their relationships while a crisis rages outside.

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