LILY JUST WANTED a break. She just wanted to sleep. She needed to sleep. Lily hadn’t slept in almost a week, and the events of tonight would keep her up even longer.
How was she supposed to believe something as ridiculous as the existence of supernatural creatures? It was wild, and fantastical! It was the type of thing that almost put her in the nuthouse. She knew better than to admit the existence of supernatural beings, yet that doctor was so opened about it.
Isla answered all of Lily’s questions. She didn’t show any signs of deterring from such beliefs. Lily did everything in her power to shake her. Then Isla did the unthinkable.
She grew a pair of delicate wings. They sprouted out of her back. Oh, how they were so beautiful. Lily wanted to trace the swirling patterns engraved in their transparent forms. Light caused rainbows glimmer in those beautiful wings.
“Do you believe now?” Isla cocked her brow at her. She gave a toothy smile, and Lily caught a glimpse of small little fangs.
“What are you?” She gasped. Lily found herself reaching to touch her fangs.
“I’m what’s called a chimera. I am tainted blood to our kind, too much mixed into one being.” Isla shooed Lily’s hand away. “You don’t want to touch those. If you prick your finger, you’ll get a hefty dose of venom in your bloodstream. Unfortunately I don’t have an antidote to match my venom.” Isla locked eyes with Lily. She smiled briefly at her.
Lily looked her over. She could sense something was wrong with this magical doctor. Though she seemed generally good at putting up a facade of contentment, she was worried.
“The masters are eager to meet you. They always meet new members to the castle.” She took a step back from Lily. “Before you meet them, I must give you something. I need to know your medical history, so we can brace for what’s to come.”
Lily looked her up and down, shaking her head. Her thick spring-like curls bounced in every direction. “I take benztropine.”
“For schizophrenia?” Isla looked confused. “But you’re a seer. You’re not schizophrenic!” Her nostrils flared, and shade of darkness swirled in her ember-orange eyes. “No wonder you don’t know a thing about your abilities. When were you prescribed the medication?”
“I was eleven. I started hearing voices. I was prescribed several different medications, before my psychiatrist found one that worked.” She looked down at her feet. Lily didn’t know why she was openly telling her. She didn’t like talking about her disorder, let alone telling a stranger. “Why did I tell you that?”
“It’s a part of my species. I am a descendant of Vertas, the goddess of truth. You can’t help but to tell me the truth. It’s not your fault. No one can resist.” Isla shrugged her shoulders. “And I can know all of your truths before you speak, but I prefer to give people a chance to open up to me. I do not like to pry.”
“So you’re part god and what?” Lily was slowly soaking it up. Though it was a lot to take in, she couldn’t help but ask more questions.
“My mother was a sylph-fairy hybrid, and my father was an Ifrit. My mother’s blood line has been very tainted throughout millennia of breeding. All of the women though, do contain the blood of gods.” Isla shrugged, as if it wasn’t something massive.
Lily swallowed, trying to process it all. Immortals were real. Very, very real. Not only were they real, but they came in different species, different sizes, different everything. Was she a part of them?
“You started hearing voices when you were eleven? What triggered them?” Her eyes glowed again.
Lily bit her lip, trying her best to avert eye contact. “Nothing you want to know about?” She looked down at her feet, wanting to hide from the world.
She could hear her blood rushing. She felt a lick of heat go across her neck, and she wiped at it. Lily swallowed a hard breath, trying to steady her suddenly racing heart.
Just thinking about her childhood gave her an instant anxiety attack. Lily had gone through years of therapy. She’d put up walls to keep the nightmares away. She was not going to knock them down.
“What triggered them?” Isla pressed harder.
Lily shook her head. “No.” She shook her head even harder. “No!” She covered her ears as the sound of distant screams echoed. Lily fell to her knees, and glanced up at the doctor. “Stop it!” She grabbed her ankle.
The heat on her neck disappeared as a cold caress held her still. Darkness crowded her, holding her in place with black tentacles.
“Mama! Papa!” A little girl screamed in terror. A two-toned hair child sat between lifeless corpses. The glow of fire filled the darkness, and a gory scene laid at Lily’s feet.
Lily snatched her hand back from Isla’s ankle, trembling. “What the hell,” she whispered to herself. Lily sat back on her ass. She buried her face in her hands, trying to rid her eyes of the vision she saw.
“Perhaps you’re a little more than seer.” Isla briefly turned around. When she turned back to face Lily, a small cup was in her hands, a liquid threatening to tip over the edge. “Drink this. Every last drop. It’ll make you feel better.” She bent down. With one hand she forced Lily to look up at her. “I promise.”
With a shaking hand, she took the cup and downed its contents. A hot fire clawed down her throat, filling her belly. Sweetness coated her tongue, like the sweetest strawberries she’d ever tasted.
Run! A voice screamed in the back of her mind.
Cobwebs blinked over her vision. The world around her felt as if it were falling and rising at once.
Lily tried to stand, but she couldn’t. She tried to crawl, but she couldn’t. She couldn’t move. She couldn’t yell for help, or beg for mercy. After all, she’d been drugged.
Why did you drink it? Another voice chastised Lily. They’ll kill you!
Or worse. Another voice added on. It cackled mercilessly.
Lily looked up at Isla. “What did you give me?”
“We call it a cocktail. It’ll heal you, make you stronger. Better.” Isla patted Lily on her head. “You’ll feel a little tipsy, as a side-effect from the contents. But no one here will hurt you. You have my word.”
Her word didn’t mean shit to Lily. She was now susceptible to just about anything now, because of what she gave her.
‘You’re the one who took it.’ This voice was soft. Calm. ‘Now you must deal with the consequences.’
Lily felt what very little strength she had, leaving her body.