CH.7 : What Are You
💙 Sienna’s POV 💙
Parking the beat-up truck in the tiny lot, I got out, not bothering to lock the door. No one in their right mind would steal that. I walked towards my destination, avoiding the potholes in the sidewalk.
As I walked closer, the too-bright neon sign blinded me, displaying the symbol of a palm. The tiny shop window displayed the services offered and the name of the owners.
Home of the world’s best psychics, The Drevis Sisters.
If anyone could help me, it would be them. I didn’t know who else to go to.
As I pushed the glass door open, what appeared to be a dozen bells chimed at the same time. I stood frozen in mid-step, thinking I was intruding. Then I remembered my mission and entered with determination driving my legs.
Passing under a curtain of red and green beads, I was shocked by the cluttered space. Lining the walls were bookshelves from floor to ceiling—their books along the themes of palm reading and fortune-telling. Several crystal balls were housed on some of the shelves.
All around the room, there were human-sized statues. None resembled the human form. It was an eerie sight, and I wanted nothing more than to hightail it out of there.
I have to do this. My mom needs me.
Walking further into the room, I became absorbed into my surroundings. Turning around, I slammed into something. At first, I panicked, thinking I bumped into a statue. I didn’t want to waste my money on replacing a monstrosity.
It wasn’t a statue I had bumped into, but a woman. Standing barely over five feet, I easily towered over the chubby old woman. Her eyes were blindfolded by a black cloth, but her hands grabbed my arms to steady me before I fell.
“I am so sorry!” I apologized, taking a step back. The dark-skinned woman wore a long-sleeved purple dress, flowing down to her anklet clad feet. Dozens of beaded necklaces adorned her impressive Bosson. Crowning, her head were braids of grey hair gathered in an updo.
“Do not apologize, child, we have been waiting for you.” The woman said, her voice was rough and out of breath but full of unspoken wisdom.
“How did you know I was coming?” I asked, feeling uneasy and wondering if this was their regular treatment of costumers. Making them feel like their arrival was foretold, so they would feel obligated to shell out the cash. I didn’t care, I just wanted answers.
“You look just like your mother, Sienna Ramones.” A voice said from behind me.
I spun around to see another woman. I was baffled as to how she knew my name, but I suppose people don’t call them the psychic sisters for nothing.
She must be the other Drevis sister. Contrasting with her sister, a blindfold did not shield her eyes. Her dark chocolate skin was ornamented with a wise pair of black eyes and full lips. Her eyes, calculating, observing my every move and every breath. Like her sister, she wore a long-sleeved dress, but hers was green, and her hair was split into grey dreads.
“Do you know my mother? Please, you have to help me find her!” I said, my voice pleading. The two sisters came to stand side by side, their hands intertwined. As they touched, a jolt went through their bodies, only lasting a second. It was almost as if they connected somehow.
“I remember the day she came here all those years ago as if it were yesterday.” The sisters spoke in an unsettling unison.
“Why did she come to you?”
“She wanted something, something that she could only have though unorthodox means. For that, she required the help of otherworldly creatures. The Cethyes (Sithies) to be exact.” they said, and I gaped at them stupidly.
“The what? What could she possibly have wanted from them?” I asked, anxious for more information. Despite how uneasy I felt with the knowledge, I was glad I could put a name on these creatures. I felt like I was a step closer to finding my mom and those who took her.
“She came to us to arrange a meeting with one of the Cethyes, one who was willing to strike a deal. We warned her, told her how unpredictable their kind was. They have no issue with taking advantage of naive humans. She insisted, and we regretfully helped her. We don’t know what your mother asked them for,"
“How do I get her back, where do I go?” I asked desperately.
“You cannot. The deal was sealed in blood, and the payment has already been paid. These contracts are sacred to Cethyes."
"No! I have to get her back, there must be some other way.” I begged, my eyes flowing with neverending tears, I fought back a sob as I clenched onto their clothes.
“No, not without becoming the...” they paused, looking like they regretted saying too much. “You must not submit to the king, child. Your mother is beyond saving, but you are not. You must not go with the one named Luthias.”
My ears pricked up at the mention of his name. I didn’t bother asking how they knew of my meeting with him. “Why? what is he going to do?”
“He is the Cethye who sits upon the throne that rules them all. You, my dear, are his destined queen. For the next five days, the fabric that separates the mortal realm from the Shrouded Isles, their realm, is at its thinnest. He only has this window of five days to convince you to cross, he cannot take you unwilling. You must resist him, or you may never see the mortal world again. You will cease to be human,” They warned, their eyes holding a knowing pity. They didn’t have to worry about that, I would never give in. Not when mom was still missing.
“I would never go with him, he’s the same as those who took my mother,” I said bitterly. A small part of me, a stupid part, yearned to go with him. I mentally crushed the thought and buried it under a hundred thousand suns.
“You say that, but you are changing. It has already begun.”
“Changing how?” I asked, confused by their words. I didn’t feel different.
“Have you looked in the mirror at all?” They asked, pointing towards a wall-length mirror on the corner of the room. What are they even going on about?
As I caught my reflection in the mirror, I gasped.
“This gotta be some kind of trick!” I yelled, searching for another reflective surface. There was a small hand mirror resting on a table next to me. Taking it in my hand, I peered into my reflection, horrified by what I saw yet again.
It wasn’t a trick. This was real.
Amongst the strands of my black hair were several streaks of white. It wasn’t just my hair. Flecks of blue invaded the hazel of my irises. The strangest of the changes was the mark on my forehead. I ran my fingers over the intricate design, outlined in blue. It weakly pulsed under my fingertips.
I faintly recalled Luthias telling me I carried the mark of the Azure Queen. He saw it that night. This meant that the mark had appeared Friday night, but why didn’t Jax and Evelyn notice anything? Was the night truly that dark? Or was it the alcohol?
Why the hell was I so distracted to notice my own body changing? Unless, for some reason, it wasn’t visible to me until now?
“How is this even possible? why can’t others see what I see?” I exclaimed.
“Humans without the sight are oblivious to the existence of the supernatural. All they have are half-true tales. You must resist Sienna, all this can be reve-” The sisters said before their heads snapped to the left. They seemed to sense something ominous approaching. “You must leave. They are beginning to gather,” They said, rushing to push me out of the shop.
My heart dropped as I knew exactly who was gathering. The monstrous creatures were never going to give me a break. I barely got any information from the sisters, and the freaks just had to come at the worst possible time.
The sister in the blindfold placed a cold object in my hands. Inspecting it, I realized it was a ruby dagger. Symbols ran the length of the blade, its hilt covered in a dark leather wrapping.
“You have to leave, use this to protect yourself. They are coming for you.”
“Who is coming for me? Why are these creatures attacking when I’m supposed to be their queen!” I yelled, confused to the core as to why these things kept happening to me. Why me? I was no one special.
“They are solitary ones, either banished from their courts or left on their own accord. The Shrouded Islesisn’t only inhabited by the Cethyes. It has many other residents, some of whom desire the Azure court destroyed, and the Cethyes brought down onto their knees. Now that they know you will be queen. Many have gathered in this town seeking your death. Be careful and trust no one. Some of these creatures excel at illusionary magic.”
With that, they pushed me out of the shop, locking the door behind me. As I heard the sound of growling, I hurried to the truck. The growls came from multiple directions.
The pancake lady from the diner must’ve brought her friends to play.
I drove down the road as fast as the piece of junk allowed. The trees on either side of me became a blur as I sped though, my heart pounding in my chest. My hands were so clammy with sweat that I thought my grip on the steering wheel would slip.
The road was tiny, and I had to try hard to steer along its curves and bends without wrapping around a tree.
I screamed and swerved left as a tree fell, blocking a portion of the road. From the corner of my eye, I spotted blurry shapes sprinting through the trees. They were massive and moved with a frightening speed that defeated my hunk of metal.
As I tried to steer a bend in the road, a bulky figure covered with fur, ran onto the road ahead of me, blocking the way. My heart pounded in my chest as I thought about what to do. Do I think this piece of junk will run the monstrosity over? Or should I back up?
The road was too narrow. I couldn’t turn around. As I glanced at my rearview mirror, I saw more of the fur-covered creatures behind my car. I was completely surrounded.
I don’t know how it happened, but my body’s reflexes made the decision for me. My foot slammed down hard on the breaks, and my head smacked into the steering wheel, the car skidding into a stop. I saw stars behind my lids and felt a warm liquid trickled down the side of my face. The smell of burnt rubber drifted into my nose.
See, mom, thats why a new car was needed. It would’ve had a freaking airbag. When I find her, we are going to have a serious talk.
As the stars in my eyes dimmed and my vision cleared, I realized I had stopped inches away from the monster. Its muzzle twisted up into what resembled a smile, revealing a mouth full of rotting black teeth.
I shrank back into my seat, wanting to get as far away as possible. I wanted to leave the truck and run, but if they could outrun the truck, my two legs would never escape them.
Just as it began to climb the hood of the truck, something shot through the air and struck it in the head.
It was a gleaming golden arrow.
Blue sparks and smoke began to emanate from the wound. The creature collapsed on the ground screaming in pain, I covered my ears to block its shrill cries.
I watched in horror as its body began to contort before crumpling into a pile of viscous purple liquid. I didn’t have time to gawk at the mess as a golden form rushed past me.
My head whipped around to follow their movement, and boy, they were fast. Standing at seven feet tall, were men and women dressed in an intricate golden armor holding golden bows in hand.
They moved with gracefulness, almost as if their bodies held no weight at all. Jumping twenty feet in the air and then raining down thousands of arrows at the monsters.
Not knowing whether they were friends or foes, I drove away as fast as I could now that the road was clear. Failing to force my eyes to remain on the road, I glanced at my rearview mirror. I saw one of the golden warriors bow down on one knee, his golden eyes meeting mine.
Not stopping, I high-tailed it back home, the red dagger icy cold in my jacket pocket.
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