Reaching Retribution (The Prophesized #4)(4)

By: Kaitlyn Hoyt

“Thank you, Claire.”

“Not everyone or everything is as it seems. Please remember that.” Claire fades away, leaving me standing in an empty hotel alone. I don’t really know what to do. I just know that I have to be successful. I can’t let this future play out. The previous one was scary enough. There’s no way I can let everyone face Dravin by themselves. The future Claire described sounded horrible. I can’t let them experience that. I can’t let my Avengers group fall apart. Oh my gosh, what about Jane? Have they already told Jane? I hope not.

I wonder what everyone is doing right now. Is Colton okay? Is Liam okay? Claire mentioned that Liam will die because of me. Is he experiencing symptoms already? How soon will those symptoms start to appear? I need to make this quick. There are too many things I don’t know. I hope that nothing happens to Incendia. I didn’t get to put a protective enchantment on her, but Bragden will protect her. I’m sure of it.

I cross my arms and continue walking toward the front door. I’m not sure where I’m going. I feel a little pull in my gut telling me to leave the hotel. What I need to do won’t be found here. The answers I need are somewhere outside. They’re not here. Nothing is here. Just me. Alone. Again.

“Some guidance would be nice!” I yell at the ceiling. This whole ordeal is just frustrating. How the heck am I supposed to get back if I have no idea what I’m supposed to do. Pushing the cold metal on the door at the entrance, I walk out of the hotel. There’s nothing out here either. The whole town is deserted. I walk until I come to the road. Looking both ways, I expect to see tumbleweed roll across.

Nothing happens. Well that’s depressing.

“What’s going to happen to me?” I ask.

Silence. Who was I expecting to reply?

“Waiting for you is like waiting for rain in this drought. Useless and disappointing,” I mutter. “A Cinderella Story. Point for Team Ryanne.” Is craziness a side effect of dying?

“Talking to yourself doesn’t change the fact that you’re dead.” I instantly tense when I recognize the high voice behind me. And here I thought dying would be the worst part of my day. Hesitantly, I turn around and face the girl who tormented me in high school. Please tell me that I’m not supposed to work with her.

“What are you doing here, Lily?”

“You think you’re the only one who gets a second chance?” she places a hand on her hip as she watches me.

“You’re dead?”

“Apparently,” she snaps. “Otherwise, I don’t know why I’m here.” Her voice isn’t as harsh as I remember. I watch as her eyes flicker around us, before I too glance around, finally getting a good look at our surroundings. I’m no longer standing outside of the hotel. I’m back in my hometown, standing in front of the high school. How did I get here?

A warm feeling spreads through my stomach. Dang it. I bet someone somewhere is laughing at this turn of events. Claire said that I would know when I had to do something, and I’m guessing that this is what she meant. Keeping my groan inside, I turn toward Lily and put on a neutral expression. “How’d it happen?” I ask her.

Lily crosses her arms and looks up at the sky. Biting her inner lip, she tries to hide the tears in her eyes. “Why? It doesn’t change anything.”

“Look Lily, obviously we’re supposed to help each other. If you want to get out of this situation alive, we’re going to have to trust one another,” I tell her.

She tears her eyes away from the clouds above and looks down at me. I watch her for a few seconds, but she does nothing. Fine, I’ll find my own way out of here. I turn and walk away from her, knowing that she’ll call after me if she’s serious about surviving this.

“Wait, Ryanne, I don’t know what to do! I have no idea where to go. I’m scared and confused and I need help!”

“You’re not the only one dead here, Lily! I want to get back too. I have a soulmate and a protector waiting for me. If I don’t get back, my protector will die, my soulmate will become depressed, and a crazy man will rule the world, enslaving humans to fulfill his every need.”

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