The evanescence, p.10
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       The Evanescence, p.10

         Part #2 of Fallen Souls series by Jessica Sorensen
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Page 10


  Evan holds up his hand. “Before you two start making plans, can someone please give me a rundown of what the heck is going on? I mean for all I know you two could be zombies. ”

  I roll my eyes. “Zombies don’t exist. Everyone knows that. ”

  Evan elevates his eyebrows and gives an exaggerated eye-widening. “Yeah, everyone knows that, yet a few hours ago, you two were lying on the floor without a pulse and now look at you. ”

  I shrug. “It’s been known to happen. ”

  He sighs, shaking his head. “I don’t get what you’re saying. ”

  “I know,” I say and then give them both a quick rundown of what happened.

  “There’s one thing I don’t get,” Evan says, fiddling with the chain on his belt loop. “Why weren’t we able to tell that you were still alive? We couldn’t see you breathing or find a pulse. ”

  I shrug. “Maybe it was because I was on the brink of death. Or maybe because I was possessed. I really don’t know. ”

  “Or maybe it’s because you were dead and now you’re a zombie,” he says.

  “Oh, would you get off the zombie kick, dude. ” Laylen looks at me with disbelief as he hitches his thumb at Evan. “Seriously, what’s up with him?”

  Laylen doesn’t know Evan very well, but I do, and I know he’s seen a lot of strange things in his life, which is why he questions a lot of things.

  Evan narrows his eyes at Laylen and I catch his skin flickering. It’s time for a subject change before one of them steps too far on the other one’s toes.

  “Any ideas of where she would have gone?” I ask Laylen.

  “Gemma?” he questions. “Why are you asking me?”

  I stare him down. “Because she seems to tell you everything? Do you remember her saying anything when she found your body?”

  He shrugs. “I couldn’t really hear anything. ”

  “You know the possibilities of where she could have gone are endless, right?” Evan chimes in. “With her gift she can basically go anywhere. ”

  “I know that,” I tell him, thinking about the last thing she whispered to me. She said she’d make her pay. Helena. It has to be Helena. I tap my fingers on the armrest, wondering if she’d really do it. Throw herself into danger without any protection. Sure she’s Immortal—one of the protected one’s—but she could get trapped down there, amongst many other things. Maybe that’s what she wants. Maybe she wants to die. I shut my eyes. It’s like I can almost feel her pain, feel what she’s doing, see how she’s thinking. It’s strange, but for some reason, I can almost retrace her steps.

  Without saying a word, I get up from the chair and leave the room. With my eyes still shut and ignoring Evan and Laylen’s shouts about where I’m going, I walk down the hallway; not of my own accord, but with something else, as if I’m getting lead by a ghost.

  When I open my eyes again, I’m standing in front of the curio table. It hits me, like a brick over my head. Her locket and the Cornu Lepore are gone. I crouch down on my hands and knees and feel underneath it, searching the floor to see if they were knocked down. However, deep down, I know I’m not going to find them because I know she picked them up on her way out to where ever she went, just like, deep down, I know she’s hurting and angry about something. I can almost see it happening, the way she walked down the stairs, sad, yet determined, and when she passed them, she scooped up her locket because deep down, a tiny part of her wants to live.

  Evan and Laylen walk in. “Are you okay, man?” Laylen asks, leaning against the doorway, eyeing me as I crawl around on the floor.

  “Evan, did you move the necklaces we took from Gemma?” I ask, pushing to my feet.

  “No, they were on the table earlier today. ” He points a finger at the curio.

  “Gemma must have taken them,” I speculate, brushing the dirt off the knees of my jeans. “I think I might know where she is…” I glance at the front door, picturing her opening it. “To Nalina’s with the Cornu Lepore. ”

  “How do you know that?” Laylen wonders. “Just because she took the necklaces?”

  “It’s a feeling,” I reply, knowing I’m sounding like a freaking weirdo.

  “Okay…” Laylen considers this and then, standing up straight, he heads for the door. “Let’s go get her. ”

  “Why would she do that, though?” Evan questions, perplexed, as he zips his jacket up. “The Cornu Lepore isn’t supposed to be anything special. At least, that’s what I’ve always been told. ”

  “It was special to Helena,” Laylen interrupts, turning the doorknob, then holds up his hand when I start to open my mouth. “Don’t ask me why because I’m not sure. All I know is that it was important to her. That’s why she took it from Nalina in the first place. ”

  “Maybe Gemma’s going to try and go after Helena on her own. ” Evan shuffles toward the door.

  “Yeah, I already thought of that,” I mutter.

  The three of us grow quiet and I feel like I’m going to explode. I’ve always been taught to keep my cool and deal with whatever’s thrown at me, but it’s becoming too much. I just wish that, for like a month—Hell, I’d take a day—that we could live our lives in a normal way, without any crazy Faeries, Keepers, Witches, or anything else trying to take over the world.

  “I think she’s gone to Nalina’s to find out why Helena wanted the pendant. ” I pat my pockets for my knife. “And I think she is going after Helena if we don’t make it to her first. ”

  Evan withdraws a small, ruby-filled Crystal Ball from his pocket and holds it in the air. I’d almost forgotten that he has the power of a Foreseer as well. “I can’t use this in here with the Praesidium. ” He glances at the lavender marble lining the floor. “So, we’ll have to go outside. ”

  We nod and Evan leads the way. It’s pitch black and I can barely see as we make our way down the grassy hill and away from the castle. I can hear the pitter-patter of footsteps and the fluttering of Sprite wings. I take out my knife because it makes me feel content and Evan lights up his hand so we can see where we’re going. Where are we going exactly? To Gemma? I really don’t know. All I’m basing it on is a feeling I have that I can read the things she does. That’s it. Other than that, I’ve got nothing.

  All I can do is hope that I’m right. And I’ve never really been a fan of hope.

  Chapter 10


  I think I’ve officially lost my mind, but I don’t think I care. I have Nalina trapped in the corner of the living room, cowering and crying as she rocks back and forth, banging her head against the wall. I used the Serpent’s mark to invade her mind; made her think that there were snakes crawling on her. It’s a little trick I learned from a certain Fairie/Foreseer who also has the mark. He did the same thing to me when he invaded my thoughts. I guess I’m a good student.

  Nalina’s fear of snakes is much more intense than mine, though. She flipped out so bad that she jumped on the kitchen table, screaming at the top of her lungs until she ran out of breath. Then, she ran towards the front door and almost escaped, but as she swung the front door open I conjured up the thought of a giant snake with an open mouth, scaly skin, and venomous fangs, waiting outside to swallow her. She leapt back and slammed the door shut. After that, she retreated into the corner of the living room, cowering behind the sofa. That’s when the banging started, like she’s trying to bang the images out of her head.

  I feel sort of bad for her. I know from my own personal experience that it’s terrifying to see snakes everywhere and to have my mind invaded. Nevertheless, I need to know why Helena wanted the pendant. Besides, I think I’m starting to lose my mind a little bit, maybe because of my grief or maybe it’s from the hate I feel toward Helena, but for some bizarre reason, pity, guilt, and shame just aren’t working for me at the moment, like I’ve completely disconnected from the world and reality.

  Snapping my fingers, I make the crawling snakes vanish from Nalina’s thoughts and wa
lk over to the sofa.

  She’s trembling from head-to-toe and tears stream down her cheeks, soaking her face and the collar of her shirt. “Please, Gemma,” she begs me. “Please, don’t torture me anymore. I can’t take it… it’s hurting my head. ”

  I squat down beside her, wanting to feel bad—searching for it deep inside me—but I’m numb. “Okay, I’ll stop, on one condition. You have to tell me the truth. No more bull crap lies about not knowing anything. ” My voice does not sound like it belongs to me; it sounds strong and confident.

  She takes a breath through her nose and releases it from her quivering lips. “Okay, I’ll tell you whatever you want to know. ” She wipes the tears from her cheeks with the back of her hand, then stands up, running her fingers through her hair, trying to compose herself. “I just need to sit down for a moment. ”

  Nodding, I follow her to the sofa in the middle of the room and we have a seat on opposing sides. It’s quiet for a minute and I can hear the tick of the clock, the song of the wind, the shouting of some dude nearby who really wants to, “Chillax. ”

  “What happened to you, Gemma? You have become quite ruthless. ” Her eyes are full of animosity. “If I didn’t know better, I would think that Helena might still be inside of you. ”

  “She’s not,” I tell her, crossing my legs and studying the window across from us. It’s getting dark, the stars are out. The day’s coming to an end. The day everything came to an end. “This is just who I am now, I guess. ” Shaking my head, I clear the thoughts and shoot her an impatient look. “Start talking. ”

  She sits up straight and, covering her mouth with her hand, she clears her throat. “I was telling the truth when I said the Cornu Lepore was given to me by Luna when I was a child, I just left out a few of the details. I promise that my intent with all this has always been to protect you, even though it may not seem like it. ”

  I roll my eyes at her. “Sure, whatever you say. ”

  She glares at me. “My mother taking me to see Luna was a one-time event. It was the only time I was allowed to go to the Fairie Realm. My mother told me I was never supposed to go back—that it was too much of a risk and that the Empress could end up being discovered.

  “Even though our meeting was short, Luna managed to pull me aside while my mother was distracted by some Sprites. Luna told me that I was special and I deserved something special. She told me to hide the pendant from my mother and that she was never supposed to find out I had it. I did what I was told and I don’t even know why. Luna didn’t know I’d never be allowed to return to the Fey Realm and she became bitter toward Nalini. Honestly, she just became bitter towards everything. ” She crosses her legs and adjusts her skirt, smoothing out the wrinkles. “I think it’s one of the reasons why she wants to conquer the world… because the Cornu Lepore proves that I’m from royal blood and, if I were to go to the Faerie Realm, the Fey would have to respect that I could rule over them, even though I’m not full Fey. ”

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