Chapter 11: Explanation (sort of)

“Poor Samantha,” said the girl, lowering her bow. She stepped off the fiery staircase and walked towards the car. She punched a hole in the car window. Glass shattered. “Her secret… couldn’t be kept in.”

She raised her arrow again and shot it towards Samantha’s neck. Samantha slumped forward.

Angelika gasped and grabbed Jack’s hand. Jack couldn’t be happier to hold onto a regular person, one who was in control of herself. Jack squeezed Angelika’s hand so tightly his knuckles turned white.

“Who are you?” Jack asked.

“Hm? Oh. It’s a boy,” she said, looking at Jack. She said boy as if he was a disgusting creature.

“Answer the question,” Angelika said.

“Oh, right. Sorry. Never introduced myself,” said the girl. “Sadie.”

“Last name too,” Angelika said.

“Doesn’t matter,” Sadie said.

“Why’d you just kill Samantha?” Angelika’s voice was shaking. She was still in shock of having witnessed someone being murdered, even if it was someone she didn’t care about.

“Because,” Sadie said while stroking her wolf. “She was… what do you mortals call it? Ah yes, Samantha was infected.”

Angelika gave Jack a look that said I told you so. Jack sort of gave up arguing with Angelika at that point.

“What about Nyx and Jason?” Angelika asked.

“They’ll be fine. At least Nyx will. A fine huntress,” Sadie replied while her tiger nuzzled her.

“What about Jason?” Jack asked.

“Well, his antibodies for the infection were less strong than Nyx’s. We’ll have to see,” Sadie said.

The wolf growled.

“No, Silver,” Sadie assured the wolf, “we won’t have to leave.”

“Wait, you can talk to your wolf-” Angelika started, but Sadie interrupted her.

“You know the saying ‘curiosity killed the cat’?” Sadie asked.

“Who doesn’t?” Jack and Angelika said at the same time.

“Well, right now you’re being the cat,” Sadie said simply. “Curiosity shall kill thee.” She said this all without a wince or a flinch.

“Hey, wait a sec,” said Jack. “You, like, just met us. Why would you want to kill us-”

“-just like that.” Angelika snapped her fingers.

“Because,” Sadie replied firmly, “you are fighting against my people. My children, if you will.”

“Your children?” Jack asked.

“Yes.” Sadie’s wolf and tiger growled and bared their fangs. “My people. I am the queen of the infected, the goddess of the infected. Or as I say it, the Queen of the Immortals.”

Chapter 12: Captured

Jack gaped at Sadie. He didn’t care if he looked stupid. This looks-like-thirteen-year-old girl, Sadie, was the queen of the infected? No way, he thought.

Then he heard Angelika speaking in his head. You can’t go trusting every single person you meet that might seem okay, she had said.

And now they were about to die. Maybe not the best time to apologize to Angelika for being dumb.

“Now, would you follow me?” asked Sadie. It wasn’t really a question. It was more like an order.

Angelika’s grip on Jack’s hand grew tighter. Jack could’ve sworn his hand was about to break off. “Do we have to go?” she asked in a small voice.

“We’ll die if we don’t,” Jack replied. “I don’t want to, Angelika. I really don’t. We’re going to die either way. But I think we’ll die a better death if we follow her.”

“A better death?” she repeated. Frost was beginning to spread on Jack’s hand now, but he didn’t care.

Jack shrugged. “Now are we going to go in that chariot or not?”

Jack’s hands were freezing. Literally freezing. Angelika’s magical ice powers had practically turned his hand to ice and now it was creeping up his arm. Even worse, Angelika’s hands were also frozen, so now their hands were stuck together. “Can’t you thaw your hands or something?” Jack asked her.

“I can’t,” she replied. “There’s an enchantment that prevents my powers from working.”

Without intending it, Jack sent a spark of electricity that danced across their hands and broke the ice.

Angelika massaged her hand. “That feels better.” Then she blushed. “I mean, your hand feels okay, but if my hand is frozen to yours, that feels a little weird-”

“I get what you mean,” Jack told her.

Angelika gently slipped her hand into Jack’s again. “I’ll try not to freeze your hand again.”

“Have a seat,” Sadie told them.

Again, it wasn’t an option. An invisible force pushed them back on the plush, velvety cushions.

“By the way, you two look adorable together,” Sadie commented. “Are you dating?”

Both Jack and Angelika blushed. “No,” they said at the same time.

I don’t even like her, thought Jack.

Or do you? questioned a small voice in his head.

Jack thought about that. Whenever she got an idea, Angelika’s gray eyes seemed to twinkle more brightly, and-

Okay, stop ithe told himself.

Surprisingly, Angelika’s hand wasn’t freezing like it usually was when she was nervous. Her hand felt comforting in his, considering they were probably going to die soon.

The chariot stopped at an impressive castle. Sadie hopped out of the chariot and ordered, “Follow me.”

Angelika and Jack reluctantly got out of the chariot and followed Sadie into the large gates.

“Don’t worry, I’m not going to torture you or kill you or anything like that,” Sadie assured them with her back to Jack and Angelika as if she had read their minds. “I’m offering you a haven from the infected.”

“I thought you were the queen of the infected?” Angelika inquired.

“I am,” admitted Sadie, “but I’ve decided to be generous. And there aren’t any infected people inside the castle.”

“Inside?” Angelika demanded. “What about outside?” Dang, that girl was smart even when she got nervous.

Suddenly, two guards seized Angelika and Jack from behind. Their skin was oddly colored a pale shade of green. They’re infectedJack thought immediately.

Sadie turned around to face them. “You’re smart,” she said to Angelika. “A little too smart, in fact… that could be a problem.” She ordered the two guards, “Take them away. Cell 78B.”

Jack struggled as hard as he could. Angelika tried to freeze her guard. Nothing worked.

Sadie smiled wickedly. “Hope you have a nice time here.”

The guards covered Jack’s and Angelika’s heads with black bags.


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