Awakened Chapters 15 & 16

Chapter 15

Has anyone in the world ever missed Zoey as little as I? Maybe the cops but that’s because the author keeps deflecting their bullets. We’re back with her and she’s crying because she’s just gotten the news about Jack being dead.

The worry in Stevie Rae’s voice made me wipe the snot and tears from my face with the sleeve of my shirt and kinda sorta pull myself together. “I’m here. N-not okay, though,” I said with a little hiccup.

Remember folks, Zoey is strong and independent so sayeth the gods. Unless she’s hit with the news that someone she’s known for a couple of months has died. Then she falls apart like a set of tissue paper handcuffs in the rain. Stevie asks if she’s alright, Zoey says no and asks if Stevie is sure and crosses her fingers. Stevie says they’re pretty sure no one else would be stupid enough to setup a sword like that and get killed. Then Zoey beings whining about how unfair it is.

Look, PCK, no one cares except Damien and that’s because he’s forced to. Zoey doesn’t really know Jack that well. No matter how much you try to sell us on it, she’s known him for a couple of months. His death should be shocking, not incapacitating. Hell, Zoey should even react coldly being as she, just over a week ago, watched Heath die.

That would be interesting though, watching Zoey go completely numb. She’d begin to realize that there is no negotiating with her enemy. No hiding out on an island and taking a vacation. As long as Neferet draws breath, everything Zoey does and could care about is in dangers. Cue montage of Zoey loading magazines and secreting knives on her person before she flies back and turns Neferet into a smear on the wall.

Stevie then asks if the “otherworld” is really that nice. Zoey, as usual, doesn’t answer the question and asks if Stevie hasn’t been there before. Stevie says no, she’s not sure where she was but it wasn’t nice. Zoey then begins recycling the old platitudes about time to die and being in a better place. Zoey says she knows in her heart that they’re both at peace.

Zoey swears she’ll make Neferet pay for what she did and tells Stevie they’ll get through this. All while mentally debating if she really wants to go back at all, still. Zoey laments how it seems like they’re not getting anywhere fighting Neferet. Probably because you haven’t actually done anything to her. Last I recall, you blessed her and they left because kindness burns when you’re Dark Heart.

Stevie tells Zoey she’s not alone. Zoey is grateful and says that this isn’t really about her, sure, that it’s about the others who’ve died.

“Yeah, you can say that, but evil has taken a pretty dang big toll on you lately.”

Truly, evil has taken the most from Zoey. After all, she lost her not boyfriend and part time snack, Heath. Who else has evil taken from her again? Stevie, who came back to life? Not really seeing her as having lost anything more than anyone else like, say, Dragon. Having a character tell us that she’s suffered, does not make it so.

Then they talk about things we’ve known for what feels like forever. Did you remember Kalona was beaten? Yup. That’s still a fact. No one’s seen him but they figure he’s hanging around somewhere.

“I hear you. I think Kalona’s probably here somewhere lurkin’ around all in her nasty shadow, and by that I mean her crotch,” said Stevie Rae.

Zoey says that proving Kalona is around may be a step in showing Neferet as evil as it will mean she lied to the council. Zoey also warns Stevie that might mean the ravens will be nearby. Stevie goes quiet and says yes, that just might be. Zoey chalks it up to Stevie being alone at the school and becomes nauseous thinking about it, for some reason. Then she says that in a couple of hours, they’ll be headed back which also makes Zoey feel sick. They end the call after a faux friend moment and Zoey runs off to tell Sgiach and pack.

“Say something. Anything. Please.” I’d just blurted my guts out to Sgiach and Seoras. Naturally, telling the story of Jack’s horrible death had made me bawl and snot. Again. And then I’d babbled about having to go home and be a proper High Priestess even though I wasn’t one hundred percent sure what that really meant, while both of them watched me silently with expressions that looked wise and unreadable at the same time.

Naturally, Zoey. It’s not like a leader should show a modicum of control on their emotions. Sgiach is all, ‘that’s very sad, I’m sorry for your loss. Does this mean you’ll go home so I can get back to boning McVampy?’ Zoey says thanks and says it doesn’t seem real yet.

What? When something doesn’t feel real, you don’t react so violently to it. It takes time to really settle in and you don’t react the way Zoey has. Unless Zoey is really numb and, once it wears off, she’s going to go catatonic any minute. Zoey says she has to go back for reasons and Sgiach says that she’s doing it from a place of power while Neferet will think that it was just a simple death that made Zoey do it.

Zoey says it may be time to shake up the council as they’ve let Neferet get away with murder. McVampy says it’s not their battle. Zoey asks how fighting evil isn’t and Sgiach argues that they are. They’re busy keeping the old ways alive which they can’t do in Tulsa because there’s no old magic left. Sgiach begins delivering a sleep inducing speech about civilization and “intolerance” destroying the souls of the world. They’re busy keeping the balance on their island. They give her a rock at the very least.

“It is—a special piece of Skye marble called a seer stone. It was found more than five centuries ago by a Warrior on his Shamanic quest as he ran the Cuillin Ridge on this very island,” Sgiach said.

‘Here is an ancient and storied piece of our universe that was just invented by the god of the keyboard. Legend has it, that it has magical plot contriving abilities but no one knows how to make it work. Keep it by you and I’m certain it will activate at just the right time to save you.’

This magic seer stone is the magic lens from Ocarina of Time. It can reveal old magic spirits if there are any out there in the world. Oh, and it only works for certain priests so no shock when it works for her. Zoey isn’t sure what to do if she does find them but it’ll probably be enslave them and make them chill sodas for her.

Chapter 16

Over to Stevie who’s just told Damien that Zoey is coming back. Lately, PCK has taken to starting the chapter in media res as if that makes things faster paced. No one told them that only works if it’s interesting. Stevie says they’ll go get Zoey from the airport in a few hours before Neferet barges in.

Being as she’s evil, Stevie must swear something black and evil feels like it’s hiding in her shadow. Also, Duchess recoils from Neferet. Aphro shows up as well and Neferet says she has something that applies to everyone in the room.

“I have decided that Jack’s funeral should be in the manner of a fully Changed vampyre. His funeral pyre will be lit tonight, as soon as Zoey arrives at the House of Night.”

That sounds to me, like a threat. ‘I want to announce something that will apply to everyone.’ ‘Yes?’ ‘Ted the traitor is to be hanged outside the gates.’ With the unspoken implication that everyone will end up like them.

Neferet then says that Zoey will be the one to light it because that’s just right. Stevie fumes that she can’t believe Neferet is lying, because who would expect evil people to lie? Next you’ll say she murders people or steals. How fucking rude can you get?

Damien breaks the current monotony with an older tedium by grieving. At least he’s somewhat entitled to it. Jack was still a two dimensional character, thinner than Damien even, but he was still his love interest. Neferet leaves them to hug Damien with a parting word that Zoey should be back around ten and the funeral will be at midnight because that’s auspicious.

Damien whines how he can’t deal with Neferet and the grief and he can see why Zoey’s soul “shattered”. Aprho and Stevie tell him he’s got to keep it together for them. Because only the protagonist is entitled to take a week off and hang out in heaven with god. Damien then calms down when Stevie assures him, again, that Zoey is truly coming back.

Then they start worrying over the details of how to feed all the pets because they look hungry. Gee, I hope that scene makes it into the movie. I can’t wait to see the actress playing Stevie ask ‘where is Duchesses’ food?’ That’ll be the scene the show when she takes home the Oscar. Damien then panics about Jack’s stuff but Aphro says Beavis and Butthead are taking care of it.

Aphro and Stevie go to get the pet food and connive a way to get Damien to eat. This is the kind of intrigue that makes me long for the sword chapter of Eragon. Stevie guesses that Neferet is up to “something really, really bad.” Voldemort bad or Galabtorix bad? Also, Stevie gives Aphro some shit for seeming to care about Damien. Then ol’ Krammy shows up so Aphro can make a racist joke which I’m not repeating.

When Stevie and Krammy go to get offended, Aphro points out that being the only human in the school makes her the biggest minority. Aphro then goes into her room so Stevie and Krammy can have a scene. Krammy, of course, has only appeared to add some sass to the chapter and a prophecy to the mix. Krammy hands her a poem, smells Steive, says the scent reminds her of something and wonders where Stevie is off to.

Krammy keeps sassing her and they talk more about Zoey being under such strain. Krammy then tells Stevie to go read her poem among the trees. She tells Stevie to act on it damnit, this is the third such warning she’s received so far. Krammy says she’ll cover Stevie’s disappearance with Aphro but that she’ll owe her dinner. Stevie says okay and makes a beeline for the trees.

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