Jocelynn is about to be Determined. On her birthday she will attend The Zenith, drink the Elixir, and find out what she is supposed to do for the rest of her life. This ceremony will direct her life, choose her fate- but is she ready for what she will learn?


5. Chapter V

I hadn’t noticed him before. Now I found it amazing that I hadn’t noticed him. He is big and burly. I have no doubt that he could smash me to a pulp as easily as I could swat an annoying knat.

“Jared, is he…?” I don’t need to finish my thought. Jared’s worried expression is confirmation enough.

With a giant burst of energy the necklace pulls both me and Jared forward. Jared could’ve let go of me but he keeps hold of my arm in desperate attempts to slow our procession.

The juggernaut of a man had already noticed us and turned toward the village and ran of for the center of town where we would be slowed by the amount of people. The force of the medallion changes instantly, giving me a whiplash. Jared loses his grip on my elbow and goes sprawling onto the ground. I don’t see him get back up.

I am half running half being dragged after the man. People and objects alike are knocked over and I let out groans as the chain digs into my skin and as my knees scrape against the ground. Some magical force keeps the necklace from completely cutting through me though. That is something to be grateful for.

After another minute I can tell where I am being dragged to. The lookout tower, afterwhich this village was named. It is used as a lookout to keep runaways or dangerous creatures from entering or leaving. And now a thief is running up it’s stairwell, knocking guards out of windows and doorways. If I catch up to him I could be one of those people. But, I can not stop moving toward this threat.

“Jocelynn!” A flare of hope swells in my chest as I hear Jared hollar my name. I turn my head just enough to see him sprinting after me, chest heaving, dust billowing into a great cloud behind him. He is almost close enough to touch me. Five more steps. Four more, now three. Forgetting the last two steps he leaps and tackles me to the stair that I had just reached. The cold concrete burns my back as I slam into it. I’ve never welcomed pain before now.

Without looking at me or explaining what he is doing Jared thrusts the medallion over my head and over his. I smile at Jared and his brilliant idea. He can’t feel the pull like I can so the necklace sits against his chest, still. He smiles back at me and says, “I can feel it now!” I laugh and stand back up. We still need to get the Elixir.

Understanding my intentions Jared helps me up and climbs up the steps right behind me. We run all the way up to the top of the tower and find the odoriferous man climbing up through a hatch that led onto the roof. I scramble after him, trusting that Jared has my back and will follow me.

“Stop! Give us back the Elixir and we will leave you alone. Just hand it over, now,” Even to myself the demand sounds pathetic and weak.

Mr. Big Ugly and Hairy must have thought so too. He sneers at me swings a massive fist at my head. Thankfully, Jared does have my back and shoved me out of the way. I still felt the rush of air go past my head.That could’ve been my head! I shiver at the thought.

Jared, true to his Determination, really is brave. He lunges for his legs in an attempt to set him off balance. While he does this I yank on the man’s hair and tug on his arms. In all of the confusion the man falls down onto one knee. He actually growls at me!

I don’t care though, as he fell, a crystal sphere popped out of his hide jacket and was flying through the air. The Elixir. I jump off of his back and cradle the precious potion in my arms when I catch it. Growling again the monstrous man stands up, knocking Jared aside. He shoves and I go flying over to the edge of the tower. I dropped the Elixir and I see him pick it up.

A breeze I hadn’t noticed before swirls my hair in my face. I blink as I notice that the ends have turned white. No, not white, Silver. Like my eyes. Like the medallion. Like the color of a Zenite. Like me.

Suddenly, the amount of power that a Zenite can have presses down on me. I have the power to do this. I can do this. I am determined to. I lurch up and begin running toward the man who is preparing to descend down the hatchway. I leap through the air, my hair and cloak trailing behind my like leaves in a summer storm. I crash into him, knocking both him and the sphere off of the tower.

Losing all sense of self-preservation I jump to grab the Elixir. Only I don’t fall after I have it in my safe clutches. Instead I seem to softly float back to the tower next to a gaping brunette with bright, wide, blue eyes. Jared.

Ignoring my friend I peer over the edge of the lookout tower. The man was gone. But I am confident that he won’t be coming back anytime soon.

“Jared, let’s get out of here. I can’t stand being away from home much longer. I never would’ve imagined that I would say this but I’ve had enough adventure for one week.”

He stares at me like I’m a stranger and I give him an inquiring look. “It’s just… you almost sounded normal there for a second!” I smile to myself. In all of the commotion I have started using contractions more. “Do not worry; I will not let it become a habit.”

We laugh as we walk down the watchtower. I am surprised to say that something good came from all of this. Aside from regaining the Elixir, I made a new friend. And as two friends we started on our way back to The Gate. Just as I entered the forest I could see the moon peeking out from behind a cloud.

Jared mentioned, “I just hope that we don’t have any trouble on the way back home. You know, no scuffles with ogres, arguments with Zenites-dangerous things.”

I glance at him. “Ha ha. Don’t worry, we’ll be fine. I am determined that we will be.”

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