Chapter 7: Ascension Graveyard by Candice Coates

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Chapter 7

The Encounter Blog interview with Etta Castle Teague
HL: Was there ever a time in all of this that you’ve wanted to just give up?
ECT: What? And pretend that the sequence is normal, Let the ascensions continue?
HL: Why not? Everyone experiences those moments in life when facing smaller circumstances, tinier foes. No one would blame you if you felt that way or if you even decided to turn tail now.
ECT: Unfortunately I’m too tenacious for that. Stubborn to a fault, really. Once I start digging, if I find any kind of bread crumb of interest, I can’t help but follow. Even if I wanted to quit, my nature wouldn’t let me. I have to follow through.

*          *          *

(Several years ago)

“I told you it would work!” Baldwin grabbed Etta by the hand and ran with her into the woods. “I told you all it would take was a bit of blood and some vomit,” He turned back, sparing a glance at her face. There was a mixture of horror and delight in her dark eyes. Baldwin hoped it was because of the vomit and not him. “But I am sure any kind of waste would work.” That didn’t sound much better. He was doing a fine job of impressing her.

He’d known Etta for only a few weeks, and already he’d allowed himself to embark on a task that he had feared doing since he was fifteen. Back then it was a complete accident. A group of bullies, a bloody fight, his blood to be exact, a gut emptied of its lunch, and the Lotus that had come to scan them whizzed out of control and crashed somewhere in the woods, not far from the Ascension Yard.

Baldwin didn’t have the heart to follow the erratic trail of the Lotus back then, but the desire had been there. It clung to him like the sweat trapped between his and Etta’s clasped hands. Sometimes he dreamed about it, chasing down the spinning metal-like beast, finding it crashed and broken amid debris and stone. In his dreams, he, filled with righteous indignation and the courage of a thousand lions, would crush what was left of the crashed Lotus to bits. Then he would start a revolution. Everyone would follow him. Everyone would work together and bring down the Lotus for good. They would stop accepting the status quo.

He had, not long after he’d been rejected for ascending.

It wasn’t until he moved some 500 miles east of home and found himself in the presence of Etta Castle that he suddenly felt like he could do anything, and now he had.

In the short amount of time that he’d known her, he’d formed the only army he thought he needed. The brown eyed girl made him feel like he could fly.


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