Here’s one of three sneak peeks of the currently-in-(slow)-progress sequel to Rise of the Seers. Enjoy.
Pixie felt relief rush through her as Zach’s age-old Volvo chugged toward her. She no longer had the discombobulated feeling that had accompanied her ever since she’d realized she was standing on an unfamiliar sidewalk, sans coat, on a chilly winter afternoon. In the ten minutes it had taken Zach to get to her she had gone through her memory a dozen times. She remembered eating lunch with Zach, remembered leaving him to talk with some teachers. But… what for?
And what happened after that?
As hard as she tried to remember, the very next thing in her mind was her presence on this strange street, and the realization that she had no idea how she’d gotten there.
Zach rolled up in front of her, head bobbing to music she couldn’t hear over the noise of the engine. She figured it was metal something or another. He turned the music off, stretched his lanky frame across the front seat of the car, and shoved the passenger side door open. “Hey. You wanna practice your driving?”
“No. I don’t think that’s a good idea in my state of mind,” Pixie said as she strapped in. “Where are we anyway?”
“You don’t know?” Zach pointed out his window. “This is where they tore down the old campus after they built our school.”
Pixie sighed as she glanced at the slightly elevated mound of dirt that marked the old Dante High. “So at least I didn’t go far.”
“What do you mean you didn’t go far?”
Pixie took a shaky breath, then turned to face Zach. “After I left you at lunch, something happened. I remember being inside the school one moment, then—bam—here I am, standing right there on that sidewalk. I’d totally forgotten about the old school. I don’t know how I got here, and I have no memory of what I was doing or where I was twenty minutes before that.”
Zach just kept driving. He seemed to be thinking about something else.
“Isn’t that weird?” Pixie said. She had been expecting a much different reaction.
“What? Yeah.” Zach glanced over. “That is weird—like, alien abduction weird.”
“Be serious, Zach.”
“I am serious. You said you don’t know what happened to you for twenty minutes. So, anything could have happened. One explanation’s as good as another.”
Pixie doubled over in the seat, resting her arms on her legs and her face in her open hands. “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she mumbled.
“There’s only one thing you can do,” Zach said.
“What? Join a support group for alien abductees?”
“If there were one, I’d join it. But, no. All you can do now is move forward.”
Pixie shot him a look. “Are you crazy?”
“No. I thought you were making the case for that.”
“I was drugged, or knocked out, or something for twenty minutes—”
“Not a whole day,” Zach said, gripping the wheel tight as he turned onto the road that ran in front of the high school. “Think about it. You’ll see I’m right.”
“Fine.” Pixie crossed her arms and slumped in the seat. Maybe Zach was right. But, still…
“Great. Now what?” Zach turned into the parking lot and let the engine idle. “I was gonna skip the rest of the day. Want to come to my place?”
“Sure.” Pixie shrugged. She closed her eyes and tried to think of something else as Zach made a U-turn and headed back to the road. But the empty spot in her brain seemed to clamor for all her attention. And the more she paid attention to that black hole, the more sick she felt.
She realized she needed her go-to distraction—music. Preferably Emilie Autumn’s wild tunes or Purity Ring’s illogic lyric beauty—something she could get lost in. But she hadn’t finished loading everything into her phone yet. Opening one eye, she squinted at the Volvo’s dashboard. Whatever Zach had been listening to was still playing, the volume turned all the way down. Probably hardcore metal that’ll blast my ears right off. But anything to dull my brain, at least for a little bit. She reached for the volume knob and turned it all the way up.
What blasted out of the speakers was not what she expected. “You like Iggy Azalea?” she shouted over the saucy, hip-hop beat.
“What? Yeah.” Zach’s cheeks started turning red. His eyes riveted to the road. His grip on the steering wheel tightened.
“Oh, my god, you really didn’t want anyone to know,” Pixie said, forgetting herself momentarily and enjoying Zach’s discomfort.
“Come on,” Zach moaned. “She’s like my one guilty pleasure.”
The Abyss Beckons (Rise of the Seers: Book 2) is coming soon.