Chapter Fourteen - The Marking

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I was back in darkness; the same place I had my last vision.

This time my breath was shaky. I knew I wasn't in a definite place or room, but rather a limbo state. I wasn't dying. I wasn't dreaming. I was just being.

The same voice sounded behind me. With just one word, I shivered.

"Soon."

That's when I opened my eyes to the same hospital room I was in just days earlier after my placement exam. The only difference was that it was dark outside and the only light came from the radiance of the moon and a light peeking out from the bottom of the door. I could see shadows fading in as soft words are being spoken in the room behind it.

"This is the beginning," A voice I recognized as Galen said.

"The prophecy says six, but only five of them are here with no other reports coming from the outside. The other is still out there in a place with no Seekers," Another, Sophia, said.

"They'll turn up soon enough. Right now we must deal with the others."

"Have any of them woken up yet?"

"No. I expect it shouldn't be too long. She might have all the power but not enough to kill them all just from the Marking." Galen was quiet for quite some time before speaking again. "Cole Trainor. Alexander Carpenter. William Phillips. Leona Carter. Taylor Buckley... Who is the sixth?"

That's when the room faded out once more.

_____

The next time I came to, it was bright. My eyes blinked, slowly adjusting to the sudden light as a pair of arms wrapped strongly around my body.

"I was so worried!" Claire said while holding me. "Are you okay? How are you feeling?"

She pulled back and I could see that her eyes were red and bags lined the bottom. For a girl who spends ample amounts of time on her appearance most of the time, I knew she must have been here all night.

"I'm fine," I mumbled. "What happened? Where are Alex and Cole?"

"Alex woke up a little bit ago and is being looked at by one of the nurses. Cole is still out." She bit her lip. "There's two others that came in just like you guys. I don't know what's going on, they won't tell me anything. But..."

I raised an eyebrow. "But what?"

"I'm not allowed to say. Galen warned me and said she needed to be the one to show you all--"

She was interrupted by a nurse and Sophia walking in. She looked well put together, despite knowing she was up and about last night too. Apparently the witch can't look tired because it's a sign of weakness or something.

"Good," she said while crossing her arms over her chest. "You're finally up. Sit tight and we'll be having a meeting when everyone's awake."

"What's going on?" I asked but she shook her head.

"Have some patience. You'll find out soon enough," she said and turned to leave the room. Before completely exiting, she stopped and looked over her shoulder at me. "Welcome to the beginning of the end, sweetheart. It'll be a long road coming."

She finally left but I sat there in complete confusion and fear. What's going on? What even happened last night? What the hell am I?

Claire sat there quietly, something I would have otherwise thought was impossible, while the nurse gently took my vitals. She asked me to lean forward, which I did, and when she lifted up my shirt, my friend gasped. I peeked up at her and her gray eyes shined in disbelief at what she was looking at on my back.

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