T W E N T Y - E I G H T
“So...” Serenity started “Where are we headed?”
I smiled at the curious nature hidden underneath her annoyed tone.
I moved the oar a little further left, avoiding the plethora of jagged rocks in our path.
“You have a map, don’t you?” I smirked at her “Why don’t you see for yourself?”
“I did” she gave me a glare “But the only damn thing I see are trees.”
“Well...then that’s where we’re headed” I snickered.
She threw a little stone at me “Smartass.”
I laughed, keeping my eyes on the route to avoid those pesky rocks.
“Is this still the Acheron?” she asked, peeking over the boat to stare at the water in curiosity.
“No” I smiled, looking at the Merlot colored water “It’s The Lethe.”
“The Lethe” I repeated, keeping a steady hand on the oar “The River of Forgetfulness.”
“So if you touch it, you forget everything you know?” she asked, pulling her gaze from the water to me.
“No” I said “The sole purpose of this River is for souls to drink from it in order to forget their previous lives.”
“It obviously doesn’t work now, right?” She asked “Since everyone back in the city remembers their previous lives.”
“It works,” I said “But only for the ones who choose to move on.”
“Hmm...” She hummed and then sat up straighter in her seat “Uh...Zephyr.”
“Yeah?” I focused on the dodging the steep rocks in front of us, frowning when I realized that they weren’t here the last time I used this route to travel to the Island of Elysia.
“Do you see what I see?” She said, sounding panicky.
I looked at her, on alert, and she pointed to something in front of her.
When I followed her gaze, I relaxed a bit.
“Don’t worry” I reassured her “It’s just an illusion.”
“It doesn’t look like an illusion to me!”
“Well, it is” I smiled “It’s meant to keep the souls from traveling too far away from the city.”
“If it’s really an illusion” She scrambled to where I was standing “Then why can I see the seventy foot drop?!”
I frowned again and followed her gaze.
Sure enough, there was a seventy foot drop instead of the illusion dissipating the closer we got to it, like it should whenever one of the Royal Family passed by.
“Grab your bag” I said urgently, forgoing the oar and hauling her up “We need to get off this thing!”
“And where are we going to go?!” She yelled at me before pointing behind us “I don’t know about you but I really don’t feel like impaling myself on those pointy rocks!”
“Just trust me!”
“I did trust you!” She yelled louder over the waterfall’s pounding waves “And look where it got us!”
“Just hold on.” I grabbed her around the waist.
“Hold on to WHA-” She screamed in my ear as I propelled us up, latching onto a hanging vine and wrapped my hand around it, grunting when the vine shifted, dropping us closer to the rushing water.
“Holy Hell” Serenity’s grip around my waist tightened as we watched our boat pummel to its death at the bottom of the seventy foot drop.
“It’ll be okay” I soothed her “I promise.”
Her eyes glanced at mine and my heart panged when I saw fear in her pretty green eyes.
“We can’t die.” She whispered “We just can’t.”
“We won’t” I promised “But in order to do that, I need you to trust me.”
“I do trust you” She gave me a weak smile “I just have a tendency to say mean things when I’m mad.”
“I know” I smiled at her “And I find it adorable.”
The vine slipped further, propelling us closer to the cliffs edge.
“Okay Princess” I gripped her tighter “On three, I’m going to get you to safety.”
Her eyes widened “How?”
‘Good Question’ I thought to myself.
I wiggled my eyebrows and she let out a small huff “Wouldn’t you like to know?”
“One” I counted off, concentrating on strengthening the vine with my powers “Two...”
Before I could finish counting off, the vine snapped, dropping us seventy feet down the rushing waterfall.
My body was heavy, my lungs burned, and my head was pounding so bad that I felt my pulse in my ears.
I could barely open my eyes but I knew one thing.
Something was dragging me.
And that something was freaking huge.
I moaned softly when a branch dug into a cut on my back.
I tried to open my eyes but I was just so physically exhausted that I could only listen to my surroundings.
I knew that whatever took me, we couldn’t have gotten very far because I could still hear the water from waterfall rushing down the rocks.
Suddenly, I was lifted onto something and a rancid odor filled my nose.
I gagged, turning my head away from the smell and someone chuckled menacingly.
“Pretty girl” Someone croaked softly “It’s too bad she won’t stay that way for long.”
With those final words, and the excruciating pain overtaking my body, I finally blacked out.