Gentle wind whipped around me in waves, lashing against my bare skin with its cool caress. Where the wind chilled me, the sun provided warmth. Plump clouds hung in the sky, round like cotton though none dared to drift in front of the sun.
I looked down at the outfit I wore, running my fingers over the thin yet sinfully soft material. A white shirt, and lavender pants. The events of the last few days rushed over me, the wind growing colder against my skin as I realized this was all a dream, a production of the magic infused liquid I had drank.
I had gotten my invitation to Iridian, and was on my way to the Iridescence Pack. Helena and Camille flitted through my mind like a distant memory, though I know I had seen them merely hours ago. I remembered the midnight liquid in the decanter, the crescent moon etched onto the bottom. I remembered the explosion of flavor, both foreign and familiar, as the liquid touched my lips. I remembered falling into bed, m
I wish I could've said I woke up before I plummeted to my death, but I didn't. I remained awake--if you could call it that, the entire horrific free fall.I fell through the air, gravity pulling me down without mercy. Stars danced around my eyes as I flipped, my eyes widening as I watched the vast ocean grow closer and closer. Fear and nausea swirled in my gut, my entire body tingling with that 'free-fall' feeling, the one where your stomach jumps and lodges itself somewhere it shouldn't be. The feeling you get on a roller coaster when you're speeding down a steep slope, the point where everyone puts their hands in the air and screams.I've always hated roller coasters, couldn't stand the way they twisted your stomach into knots, or the way the wind battered you senseless. I would have traded this for a million roller coaster rides.I wanted to scream, but the wind ripped the sound from my lungs. My mouth hung open; my eyes wide as
Apollo led the five of us out of the train station. The parking lot was nearly empty, only a handful of cars were scattered about. Four bulky looking black vehicles were parked against the curb, right outside the entrance. They were large enough to fit the five of us, plus a driver and passenger.A cold breeze brushed against my skin, coaxing a shiver from me. The thin material of the outfit they provided did little to protect us against the afternoon wind. The sky had turned a deep shade of indigo as the sun hid behind the treetops.I had to catch my breath as I looked at the world around us. It was clear we were in a rather small town; the buildings were faded and the signs cracked. It wasn't the buildings or town that had my mouth dropping, but the view around us. As far as I could see, a dense forest surrounded us. The trees were thicker than I had ever seen, the leaves bright and healthy. Off in the distance I caught sight of a cluster of mountains, ja
A million questions ran through my mind, all regarding my Grandpa's old photograph. He would have told me if he'd been to Iridian before, I was sure of that much. Mom had warned me about Iridian as if she had first-hand knowledge, but I couldn't imagine my Mom going to Iridian and taking that picture. Cameras weren't even allowed during Iridian, which only made me more frustrated and curious. There was no way my Grandpa or Mom had come from the Iridescence Pack. The thought made my stomach roll with unease. They couldn't have lied to me, they wouldn't have. Yet, somehow that photograph made its way into my Grandpa's box.I followed Camille and Helena up the stairs and through the large front doors, gaping at the room around us. The foyer, as most wealthy people called it, was basically a large empty room. Crystal chandeliers etched in gold hung from the arched ceiling, thick Persian rugs covered the floor like a long red carpet. Thick maroon curtains were draped o
I shifted into my human form, vastly aware that I stood bare in front of the old woman. I began to come forward, to help the woman to her feet, but she elevated a hand and halted me. My underdressed state was the least of my worries as I faced the woman who had somehow survived against the bobcat's attack. My heart hammered roughly, fear still singing in my veins. The animal could have easily killed me as well, and I had acted without any caution. While I had always been a risk taker, this was entirely new. I wondered what Aidan would say, and knew he would wring me dry for blindly putting myself in danger. Regardless, I couldn't bring myself to regret my hasty, thoughtless action. "Its bite was poisonous?" I frowned, a sickening feeling swirling in my gut
The majority of the contestants had already gone to their rooms; I assumed, as only a few remained in the common area. Abel, two other men, and the plump woman Alice sat in the common room. Each had a place on the plush, velvet sectional. A crackling fire roared in the fire place. The four of them were having a quiet conversation, hearty laughter spewed from that side of the room. I noticed the crystal glasses in each of their hands, wondering if it were alcohol or a potion they were drinking. Abel's dark eyes met my own, the touch of a smile playing on his full lips. He gave me a brief nod before turning back to the man with salt and pepper hair, who laughed at something Alice had said.Something about Abel didn't sit right with me. Whether it be the confident swagger he always held, or the constant look of amusement on his face. I carefully returned his nod with one of my own before following Camille and Helena up the large, winding staircase. Our footsteps echoed into the
Judging from the lack of sunlight streaming through the rippling folds of the scarlet curtains, I had awoken before the sun began to rise. As soon as my eyes fluttered open, my heartrate increased. Thoughts and wild expectations of what the day would hold raced through my mind. Those who played Iridian in the past had never given more than a few details. No one, other than those who have played, knew what the Iridescent Pack held.I hadn't a clue what to expect, but after my encounter in the forest last night, I knew nothing was off the table. As if to remind myself it happened, I dug through the pocket of the shorts I wore and fished out the obsidian marble. I could see a tiny version of my face reflected in its smooth surface, my bright eyes wide and my glossy hair a flaming shade of orange. I looked frazzled and nervous, tired yet awake. I also reached up and grazed the cold stone of the necklace I wore,
Night's words had the entire room speaking, murmuring heatedly about what that might mean. Even Helena, Camille and I were stunned by his words. I knew that anything could happen in the game, but I at least expected some basic rules that kept the contestants from offing each other. It seemed everyone else was thinking the same thing. If there were no rules, there was nothing stopping us from eliminating each other. I couldn't imagine it, that someone might take matters into their own hands and remove some of the contestants from the game.One of the men leaning against the wall raised his hand, and the room fell into silence as Night nodded his way. The man leaning against the wall was only a few years older than Camille and I, thin but held faint traces of muscle. His shaggy hair was a washed-out shade of brown and hung down to his shoulders in limp strands. What set me on edge the most, was the downright excite
I didn't have time to process the abundance of heated thoughts that ran through my head at the sight of Grandpa Kents box. The shop keeper had chosen that moment to emerge from the back, sending out the fresh scent of burning wood. There were a few smudges of soot on his dark brown skin, but his smile remained radiant. If he noticed the unease on my face, he said nothing."See something you like?" He smiled, following my eyes to my Grandpa's box.I fumbled for my words, trying to sort through the mess my mind had become. The Game Maker had stolen Grandpa's box and made it part of the game, but here it was. It was too easy--far too easy. I knew there had to be something more and yet I couldn't shake the shimmer of hope that I had just won the game. Disappointment followed behind the brief hope I had felt. This entire town was beautiful and I had hardly explored this pack and all it had to offer. I wasn't sure I wanted the game to be over yet.No, I told myself. W