The lost soul, p.11
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       The Lost Soul, p.11

         Part #1 of Fallen Souls series by Jessica Sorensen
 
Page 11

 

  Snakes are everywhere, sucking on my blood. But I shut my eyes, forcing past the crawling sensation. Again, I picture the castle, the lake, the trees, the cars. I breathe deep, pushing my mind through the block. A pop. We’re falling not to the castle, but into darkness, a suffocating hole with no bottom in sight.

  We’re falling into the unknown.

  Chapter 9

  The first time I was sucked into a vision, I touched a crystal ball and fell down a spiraling tunnel bursting with light. Ultimately, I discovered that my Foreseer power was unique and that I didn’t require a crystal ball to use it. All I had to do was close my eyes, sense the energy, and I was there; in the past, present, or future.

  It’s like I’ve relapsed to the past when I had no control over my power. Aislin and Nicholas are nowhere to be seen. Just cold and darkness, the air thick like death. My hands are flared to my side as I hunt for something to grab onto.

  “Aislin!” I holler, detecting the end approaching. “Aislin, can you hear me—” My body hits the bottom, like a bag of bricks tumbling off a cliff. The force sends shockwaves through my bones. Bracing myself, I stagger sideways.

  “Gemma!” Aislin’s panicked voice rains down as she crashes to the bottom. A moment later, a loud thump as Nicholas hits.

  “Are you okay?” I feel around, struggling to get my bearings.

  “Nice job. ” Nicholas moans. “You know this is exactly what they wanted. And it proves that you’re very predictable, Gemma Lucas. ”

  “What are you talking about?” The toe of my sneakers bumps into him. “Who are they?”

  He shifts away from my foot. “The Foreseers. And I had my doubts—honestly I figured you’d be done asking for my help. Yet, you always show up, begging me for it. ”

  “How did they know…” I drift off. “They read the visions, didn’t they?”

  “Nope, not this time,” he says. “This time you were betrayed by your own family. Ever heard of a little thing called memoria tea?"

  “Memory tea?” I wonder. “Does that mean—”

  Aislin claps her hands animatedly. “Oh my gosh, you got one right. ” A pause of awkward silence. “My excitement was a little inappropriate for this situation, isn’t it?”

  “A little,” I reply, stewing over what Nicholas said. “And the translation was kind of obvious… You say I was betrayed by my family and that my memory was tampered with. ”

  “Not your memory. Your mind. ” His footsteps pad closer. “Your Aunt Nalina slipped you some memoria tea so that the Foreseers could have direct access into your mind and your thoughts.

  “She did what?!” I knew the tea was bad news.

  He gives a low chuckle. “So for the last day or so, they’ve seen your decisions—your thoughts. ”

  “All of them?” I cringe at the awareness of the Foreseers viewing some of my private thoughts, especially current ones about a certain faerie/Foreseer.

  “What’s the matter, Gemma? Worried they might have seen some personal thoughts?”

  “Why did they do it?” I ask, changing the subject. “So they could find out if I am trying to free my father?”

  “Applause for the genius mind over here,” Nicholas hoots, applauding his hands. “She figured an answer out all on her own. ”

  “So what was up with the snake thing?” Aislin sounds undaunted. “And what is this place?”

  “This is what the Foreseers refer to as the holding cell,” he answers. “And the snake thing was from the Serpent’s Mark on my back. ”

  “You act like you enjoy having this particular mark,” I say. “That makes me instantly not like it. ”

  “The Serpent’s Mark gave me the lovely gift of making you think snakes were crawling all over you,” he explains with hilarity. “It also is what hindered your power and took us all down here. It was a gift, you know, from a very important person. ”

  “I’m not going to even try to guess who,” I say. “Because I’m sure you won’t tell me. ”

  He chortles lowly, a deep grumble that puts me on edge. “You’re getting smarter by the second, well except for the fact that you ended up down here. ”

  “You know, it kind of seems like a silly way of doing things,” Aislin tells him. “Now you’re stuck in here with us too. ”

  I sigh exhaustedly. “How long does our imprisonment last?”

  “For eternity and beyond, wah ha ha,” Nicholas jokes, then subdues his humor. “I’m not really sure. Until they find us, I guess. ”

  “Find us?” Darkness smothers my lungs. Claustrophobia creeps in. “If they put us here, then they should know we’re here. ”

  “Oh, they know we’re here,” he reveals. “It just depends on when they feel like freeing us. You’ve pissed a lot of them off with your nosing around and unlawful plans to free your father. Dyvinius is really upset. And since he’s the man with the power, you could be here indefinitely. ”

  “Indefinitely?” Aislin and I say, harmonized.

  Stillness engulfs us. I sit down on the semi-soft ground and cross my legs, easing back on my arms. I hear Aislin shift as she takes a seat. Nicholas remains immobile.

  “So have you heard of any recent events of a Lost Soul wandering around, possessing human bodies?” I opt to throw it out there.

  Nicholas silence says it all.

  “When was it?” I ask. “And who did it happen to?” The edge of his finger touches mine. I freeze, willing my hand to stay in place.

  “It’s a secret amongst the dead Faerie World. ” His tone is passive. “If I share it, The Queen of the Afterlife might kill me. ”

  I’m torn. Urge him to tell me? Or let him be?

  “Once a year she bends the laws and sends a handful up. It’s only a few, so they sneak under the radar,” he starts, surprising me. “She does it, looking for the one who will free her—the Lost Soul. “

  “But The Lost Souls and the Queen were banished I thought. ”

  “They were,” Aislin chimes in. “With the sigillum cristallum. ”

  “That’s why the world will always have problems,” Nicholas spats grudgingly. “The Keepers always think they can force otherworldly creatures to stay out of the Human World. But there are always loopholes. ” He nudges me in the ribs with his elbow. “Gemma knows that way too well. ”

  I incline away from him. “So what’s the Queen’s loophole? How does she get up here without the Keepers knowing?”

  “Well, currently the Keepers are a rare breed, thanks to Stephan and his Death Walker army,” Nicholas reminds us. “So breaking the rules is easier for everyone. However, the Queen herself can’t come up… yet. That’s what she’s looking for—her loophole. ”

  “Through a Lost Soul?” I question. “That doesn’t make any sense. ”

  “Not the Lost Soul of the dead,” he clarifies. “The Lost Soul of the living. ”

  I swallow the rock size lump in my throat. “And what’s the definition of a living Lost Soul?”

  “A soul that is broken. ” He pauses. “Its a soul that’s not completely one’s own. A soul that perhaps belongs to another. And if she takes possession of this soul, she can roam the Human World, feeding off innocent souls. ”

  My heart stops. I’m taken back to my journey to The Afterlife, when the Queen bargained for my soul. No wonder she was so desperate to get it. And when she lost it due to Annabella, she threw a tantrum.

  “But she’d have to take both of our souls,” I speak quietly. “No one can take Alex or mine’s soul without taking both. It’s why we were freed from death, why our souls were given back to us. ”

  “Who said the Queen was just after yours,” Nicholas asks.

  I place a hand over my heart, searching for a cut. “I don’t feel possessed. ”

  “Maybe she hasn’t gotten to you yet,” Aislin says encouragingly. “In fact, from the way Alex is acting, I’d say you’re not. ”

  Nicholas laughs giddily. “A Lost Soul
possessed Alex. Wow, this is turning out to be a great day. ”

  Through the dark, I locate his wrist and dig my fingernails into his skin. “Tell me how to get the Lost Soul out. ”

  “Why? It doesn’t matter. Now that she’s figured out where the Lost Soul is that will free her, she’ll stop at nothing to get it. ” He snakes his hand around mine.

  “Just tell me,” I coax. “No matter what, I’ll always save him, even if I have to do it a million times. ”

  “And what happens when she gets you?”

  “Then he’ll save me. ”

  “What kind of delusional Shakespearean world do you two live in?”

  “A kind you’ll never know if you keep acting the way you do. ” I recoil hand from his. “Now will you please just tell me?”

  “I’ll tell you,” he says slyly. “But I want one favor in return. And I’m not going to tell you what. Just know that I will collect it eventually. ”

  Aislin leans toward me, keeping her voice hushed. “You know it’s going to be bad, right? In fact, he’s probably already got something in his head. ”

  “I know,” I whisper. “But I have to. ”

  “Since I don’t have my knife to make a Blood Promise,” Nicholas rustles around, “I’ll have to take your word. But if you try to back out, I promise you’ll regret it. I’ve got more connections then you can ever dream of. ”

  The threatening Nicholas is kind of scary.

  “Okay, you have my word. I owe you one favor. ” I might as well be making a deal with the devil.

  His mood converts from sullen to cheerful. “To free a Lost Soul from a human body, you have to force the human to regain control. You have to put them in a situation so intense—so powerful that their emotions consume the Lost Soul and force it from their body. ”

  “So that’s the key—emotion?” I sense my own emotions, very much alive even after years of being dead.

  “Isn’t that the key to everything?” He takes a jab at me.

  “Are you sure there isn’t just a magic spell or something?” Aislin interjects. “It would be so much easier if there was. ”

  “If everything was easy, then problems wouldn’t exist. ” Nicholas’ fingers brush my collarbone. I wasn’t aware he was so close. My muscles spasm with surprise. “And life would be boring. ”

  I open my mouth, but a pale spotlight gleams above our heads and circles us in a halo of white. We jump to our feet, shielding our eyes and blinking up.

  “Do you see anyone up there?” Aislin whispers, ducking out of the light.

  “I don’t know. ” I spin to Nicholas “Alright Mr. Know-it-all, who is it…” I pause, my fingers hunting for him. “Damn it. I think he’s gone. ”