Raven

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•Eighteen•

I wake up in a hospital bed. My first instinct is to escape, but Hybrid is asleep next to me. That must be so uncomfortable. He's in a chair with his head on my thigh. His hand is holding mine. He's cute, but he looks stressed.

I look around. Or, try to. My neck is in a brace. I use my ability to watch from Julia's eyes.

Julia walks around her town, listening to "Alone" by Nico Collins. She keeps her head down, her hood on. No telling what she's up to.

"Raven!" someone lightly shakes my arm.

I look at them. When I see her, I nearly have a heart attack.

"Don't try to speak. Jess damaged your vocal chords. It'll take them a while to heal," Karma says, writing in a notebook. She's still in her grey suit.

I just lay there, scared. She looks kind of sad. I give her a confused look.

"What's wrong?" she asks, putting the notebook on a side table.

I push a thought into her mind, "Why do you look sad?"

She sighs. "I just wish people would accept me more. When I was in the Midworld, nobody liked me there either. I was always feared because I was a Karma."

"Midworld? What's that?" I give her the thought.

"It's somewhat in the middle of the Overworld and the Underworld. Being a Karma there meant I was good and bad. The Midworld's color is red, just like the Underworld's color is black and the Overworld's color is white."

"When did you start eating organs?" I ask, still through the mind.

"When I was alive, I was kidnapped. This man took me to an island..."

Flashback

"This is your home now, girl. Get used to it," a man shoves me onto an island. I look around, secretly loving it. I love nature. "Do you have a name?"

"Katya," I answer. The man nods.

"You can call me Zero." He starts to walk past me, into the forest.

"Zero?"

"I will take zero buts from you. Understood?"

"Yes, Zero," I answer.

"Good. Follow me."

I follow him through the thick forest, eventually coming to a two story house. It's made of the trees from the island, and it's beautiful. Zero leads me inside. It stinks. I walk through the house, trying to find the source of the smell. Zero follows me.

"Eager to find the stench, are you?" he grabs my shoulder. He has to bend a little bit to grab it. I'm six, so I'm kind of small.

"I've been taught to clean any messes I find. So yes."

"Over here," he opens a door. I look away and begin to gag. The room is filled with dead people. "I've heard you don't get illnesses easily. Correct?"

I nod, tears falling.

"Good. I only hunt for myself, so unless you want to starve–"

"No! I know some of them! I'm not going to–" he cuts me off by fitting a hand around my small neck.

"Enough. I gave you two options, didn't I? Starve, or don't. It's your choice."

Present Time

"Holy fudge," I push the thought into her head.

"Whenever I would misbehave, I'd get whipped. Now, my body is covered in scars, which is why I always wear this suit. It covers my weaknesses."

"I'm so sorry. I didn't know."

"It's okay. I'm not supposed to be here. Zoe doesn't trust me around patients. I'm gonna leave before she catches me." She turns to leave, and she does, but I summon her again.

"You shouldn't have to leave," I smile, pushing the thought to her.

"Are you sure?"

"I'm sure."

Hybrid begins to stir. He slowly lifts his head, rubbing his eyes. "Raven," he says in relief. "What is she doing here?"

"She was keeping me company," I give him the thought.

"Right. I'm going to go get Zoe. I'll be back," he kisses my forehead and leaves.

"Goodbye, Raven. I'll see you soon," she rushes out.

A few days later, I'm back on my feet. I haven't seen Jess in a while. While at the hospital, I started overthinking. She was fighting with herself over a deal she made, but with who? Obviously someone terrible, but demons are as evil as you can get. Other than the Underworld's Karma. When I started thinking about Karma, it made me think that she was acting kind of suspicious. She was trying to avoid Zoe at all costs. But why would she need to avoid Zoe? This led me to think Zoe had either done something or she knows something she's not supposed to. Or Karma is hiding something. Karma could be the one controlling Jess. If Zoe did something, what did she do? It can't be that bad, right? Right?


I've been avoiding everyone. I don't know who to trust. Hybrid is obviously hurt, but he understands. Zoe has been staying on task, healing everyone, and no one has escaped from the Underworld.

Ghost is calling a meeting tonight because he's crowning Karma secondary leader of the Underworld. We're supposed to look nice. As in dresses and suits. I'm going in a tux. It actually looks really nice. It's black with red designs and accents, like the little cloth on the pocket. The meeting is mandatory, so hopefully I'll be able to find Jess. It's as if she never existed. I can't use my abilities on her and I can't summon her. I'm worried.

I decide to go to Earth. College is starting soon. I think I'm going to go. I'm gonna have to find a roommate. They won't know of my presence, of course, but Julia lives a few days away from where I want to go. I walk over to Harvard.

"Beat it, nerd!" a man shoves a kid into a fence. The man looks rich. The boy is in a white collared shirt with red suspenders, a red bowtie, and black glasses with tape in the middle. The man walks away, shivering when he walks through me. I walk closer to the nerd. He just lays on the ground by the fence. He looks up at me and speaks.

"If you're going to hurt me, just do it already."

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