The Underworld - By Jessica Sorensen

Chapter 1

I wasn’t sure whether I was dead or alive. Perhaps alive in the sense that I was still breathing, but was I even breathing? I wasn’t sure. I wasn’t sure of anything.

Blackness swallowed me whole, and not the kind of blackness that comes from being in a dark room. No, this darkness was heavy and thick, and it wove into my body making my skin damp, and my limbs heavy.

Where this dark place was, or how long I’d been here, I didn’t know. I might have been here for years, month, days, or even just a few seconds. Time felt nonexistent.

After awhile, I started to convince myself that I must be dead. That the memoria extracto—or whatever the heck that memory removing rock Stephan had used on me was called—had taken my life, instead of wiping away my mind. But how could I tell for sure if I’d died, or if I was still thriving? I mean was there really a difference between death and losing every ounce of who you are?

The only problem with my “I was dead theory” was that if I was dead, then why could I feel pain blazing in my leg—the exact leg Stephan had stabbed me in? Was feeling pain possible after you died? But if I wasn’t dead, and instead my memory had been erased, along with my emotions, then why did my heart ache from Alex’s betrayal?

The ache hurt so bad that I thought my heart was going to actually stop beating. How could Alex do this to me? Yes, I knew what the circumstances were, and I knew what I was—a girl who had gotten stuck harboring a world-saving star’s energy inside her. But this wasn’t just about the energy; it was also about Stephan, the leader of the Keepers, collaborating with the Death Walkers and quite possibly with Demetrius, a man who wants to let a portal open on December 21, 2012. A portal that, if opened, would release hundreds and hundreds of Death Walkers, causing the world to end in a sheet of ice. And yet, despite all of the previously mentioned facts, Alex still let Stephan attempt to wipe my memory away. No questions asked.

Betrayal.

I knew all too well how much the feeling hurt.

But how could I feel the hurt?

How could I still feel?

It didn’t matter how many questions I asked myself, because no answers ever came to me. All I had to pass the time was the blackness that suffocated me. Nothing but me and the darkness.

I was alone.

The pain in my leg shot up a notch, taking a toll on my ability to stand. So as carefully as I could, I lowered myself toward the ground, but a sharp pain fired up in my neck, and I froze. I let out a whimper as my fingers brushed the back of my neck, reminding me of when my Foreseer mark had appeared, and how Alex had kissed me. Then right after the kiss, he’d betrayed me.

I sighed as I sank down on the ground, wondering if this was how it was always going to be. If I’d always be trapped in the dark, alone, just like when I couldn’t feel. Although I may not have been surrounded by darkness back then, I was as lonely as I was now. The only difference now was that I could feel emotion. Scared, nervousness, pain—these were just a few things pouring through me at the moment.

And then, suddenly, my head began to hum, and my skin felt as if it were sparkling. I gasped as I was yanked backward. Something was dragging me through the blackness, leading me to…I had no idea. I kicked and tried to throw my weight forward, but it was useless. My heart raced as I squeezed my eyes shut and waited for whatever was coming next. The disappearance of my mind? My death?

And then I felt it; a faint, electric spark kissing at my fingertip. But wait. No. There was

no way I could be feeling that.

There was no way I’d feel that again.

Was there?

Chapter 2

Buzz….buzz….buzz. My eyes flew open, and I was instantly blinded by a bright light. Light everywhere. Radiating throughout the room.

Room…Huh?

My head was buzzing as I shot upright in the bed. A bed? I was now in a bed, with a blanket draped over me. Pale purple walls surrounded me, and there was a small window next to the bed where I could see colorful lights flashing all over and strange shaped

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