Jenna Kay, author of Mark of the Seer, has stopped by the blog today with a guest post to kick off the Treasured Tales for Young Adults blogoversary celebration. Welcome to the blog Jenna, and thank you for being a part of Treasured Tales’ blogoversary celebration.
This is the first part of Jenna’s guest post. Check back soon for part two.
Music and Writing Part One
Today I’m going to be sharing a scene and the music that inspired it from Mark of the Seer. This is a dream that Clarity has about her friends and how easy it is for them to be sucked into a delusional world (how easy it is for them to follow the crowd). It’s also when Clarity wakes up to her hands scorching and baring her Seer marks. The song “I’m so Sick” by Flyleaf inspired this.
The small room was crowded with teenagers dancing to loud techno music. Lights colored red, yellow, purple, and green flashed, pulsating on their faces in a psychedelic way. Their eyes were closed, concentrating on the beat of the music, faces a complete blank. They moved the same way, the same rhythm. All of them. . .but me.
I was standing in the heart of the crowd, sticking out like a sore thumb. I felt like a sheep who had wandered away from its herd, stranded in a mist of deep abandonment.
Then a door caught my eye. It was off to the side of the cramped room, bright rays of light seeping through the cracks. Almost like the lights were purposely shining in my eyes, trying to grab my attention.
I started pushing through the thick of kids, the door beckoning me to come closer. Shoving as hard as I could I found that the entranced teens were not budging. I screamed at them to move, to get out of the way. But to my dismay they acted as if they couldn’t hear me; As if I wasn’t there. They seemed completely oblivious to my shouting and shoving.
Halting my rant, I gazed at them in extreme wonder and despair. What was their problem? Why were they ignoring me? I knew they could hear me—my screaming was at maximum capacity!This had to be a joke, some kind of sick game that everyone was playing, but why me? What had I done to make them act as if I were invisible?
Relief flooded me when Kora came into view. Pushing through kids, I made my way to her, finally having enough strength and motivation to move the zombified kids.
She was dancing in front of the door I’d spotted. Funny how she wasn’t there a second ago. I hugged her, greeting her, waiting for her to open her eyes and greet me back. My relief quickly vanished. Her eyes remained closed, seemingly unaware of my presence.
No. Not Kora. She wouldn’t dare play a prank this nasty on me! Grabbing her shoulders I shook her, screaming at her to open her eyes and look at me. But all my trying was for nothing, my attempts failing miserably to get her attention.
I spotted Janey and Casey dancing together closely. Yelling and shaking them I also failed to get their attention. Then I spotted Brenton in the corner of the room. I’m was in tears, crying with frustration. Putting my arms around him, sobbing his name, kissing him on the lips—he didn’t wake up.
That was when I decided this wasn’t a prank. Something very peculiar was afoot. Nothing I tried had worked to wake my friends from whatever spell they were under. I could not break the trance they were in.
Feeling dejected, I glanced around the room. I could feel the wrongness in the air. The way they were swaying to the music, eyes closed—something had them so immersed that they were detached from reality. It was like aliens had taken over their bodies; Aliens who were into techno music.
For a brief moment I envied them; Wanted to be like them. Needed to be like them. I wanted to belong so badly, and dance like nothing else mattered in the world. I wanted that numbness they were experiencing, because from where I was standing I could tell that they were out of it, so much so that if a meteorite smashed into the room, no one would even notice.
But the door was calling me, not by name but by force. I knew that whatever was behind that door held answers to questions I had yet to ask. Standing adjacent to the door, examining it, I saw that it didn’t look different than any other door I’d seen. There wasn’t anything spectacular about it or anything. It was just. . .a door.
Warmth sped quickly up my arm, spreading through the rest of my body as I grabbed the knob. Twisting it slowly, cracking it open, I realized immediately that what I’d been searching for all my life was just in reach. That hollow feeling I’d had since the death of my parents might possibly get filled. I couldn’t tell you how I knew; I. Just. Did.
Joy, happiness, contentment, belonging—those four very human feelings were a huge commodity in a chaotic life.
The light was so bright I shielded my eyes, knowing that if this didn’t wake up my friends, nothing would. A high-pitched, inhuman scream erupted behind me, piercing the air. Chill bumps ran up and down my arms. That was when I noticed that the music was no longer blaring, and the freaky-colored lights had stopped their irritating flashing. The only sounds I could hear was my heavy breathing and the erratic beating of my heart, like a ball bouncing around in my chest.
Slowly I turned to face my peers, my friends, to see if they were now awake. . .and to find who let out that horrible scream.
Fear ran rapidly through my body, sending icy shudders down my spine. Terror clutched its ugly paws into my heart. No longer dancing, they stood side-by-side with wooden expressions harboring their faces. Kora and Brenton were in front of the mass of unblinking kids. But there was something different about their eyes, something terribly wrong.
The eyes that stared at me were black. Not Brenton’s chocolate-colored eyes, or Kora’s green eyes. No. Black eyes, black as the night sky. Not just Brenton and Kora, but all of them.
“What’s wrong with you guys?” I asked shakily.
Kora narrowed her newly blackened pupils at me.
“Do NOT open that door.”
Whoa. Kora had just spoken, I saw her mouth moving, but that was not her voice. The voice was too deep and manly compared to her usual high and peppy voice.
I was mystified. “Kora,” I whispered cautiously, “what’s wrong with your voice?” My question was answered with mean, hate-filled laughter, laughter that bounced off the walls, shaking the room.
“Clarity.” A voice called.
My heart stopped. I’d heard someone calling my name from behind the door. I faced the door, turning my back on my friends.
“Open the door, Clarity.”
Abruptly the harsh laughter stopped, followed by a cacophony of evil voices, roaring urgently:
“DO NOT OPEN THAT DOOR!”
Without giving it a second thought, I swung the door open, the blinding light penetrating the dark room. Screams of agony and pain sounded. I didn’t look back—couldn’t see anyway. The light was just too brilliant. The screaming started to die down. And then. . .
While the screaming and light had invaded everywhere, I’d squatted down to my knees, hands on my ears, eyes squeezed tightly shut. I didn’t want to move. Too afraid. Until a gentle hand touched my shoulder, that familiar sense of calmness hitting me in the chest.
Opening my eyes I was overcome with joy to see Sam kneeling next to me. He took my elbow, helping me to my feet. My eyes searched the room—at least I thought it was a room. White floors, white walls, white ceiling, white everything. Looking one way and then the other I couldn’t tell where anything began and ended.
Sam’s face shouted relief, his smile vibrant. “You did it, Clarity. You opened the door.”
“What is this place, Sam?” I asked, awestruck.
“A safe place,” was all he said back.
I raised my eyebrows at him. “Yeah, I guess it’s safer than what’s on the other side of the door. And what about my friends? They looked so evil, so. . .possessed.” I shuddered just thinking about their laughter and black eyes.
“They’re using your friends to weaken you. They will use anything important in your life against you for their own gain. They want to make sure you never find out what you are supposed to become.” The clear-blue color of his eyes kept me enthralled, their shine breathtaking.
I shook my head. “Who are “they”?” I inquired after a few seconds of dumb staring.
“The bad guys.”
Okay. “Why do “they” not want me to know what I’m supposed to become?” Wow, that was a mouthful. What the crud were we talking about anyway?
He frowned, his eyes narrowing. “Because they are afraid of you. You, Clarity, are part of something big that could hinder their plans for all of mankind.”
Yeah, uh-huh. Still not making sense. “Sam. Just what exactly am I?” I really wasn’t expecting an answer.
He sighed. “Give me your hands, Clarity.” Hesitantly I did what I was told. “Do you trust me?” he whispered.
Did I? “Yes.” Oh-kay, guess so.
He smiled. “We don’t have much time. So when I tell you to take a breath, do it. You got that?”
I shrugged. “Yeah. Sure.”
“On three,” he whispered. “One. . .”
Suddenly my hands burned, right in the palms. “Um. . .Sam?”
“Two. . .”
The heat intensified. “Sam, wait. . .what’s happ. . .”
Quickly I took a breath and. . .
(Excerpt from MOTS, Chapter 5)
(click here to read part two of Jenna’s guest post)
Thanks for having me!
Pages to stalk…
Wasn’t that an awesome excerpt from Mark of the Seer? I read Mark of the Seer last year, when it was published with the title Clarity. To read my review just click here.
Also, there are heaps of prizes that you can win as part of Treasured Tales’ blogoversary celebration. For a list of all the prizes just click here.