Today’s Sunday Snippet is from the book AWOKE: The Want Series by K. T. Conte.
About Awoke: The Want Series
Katya leads a normal life any teenager would be envious of – popular, pretty and dating the high school elite. Not she enjoys the spotlight, mind you. She wants everyone to believe she is normal.
But when Katya sees the real reason behind the earthquakes plaguing everyone in Boston, the truth rattles and shatters the perfect normal illusion Katya created for herself. An ability to see unearthly creatures and manipulate waves of life energy labels her as anything but normal. And it’s an ability that attracts unwanted and dangerous attention.
She reluctantly finds herself in the company of Gregor, a handsome member of an international spirit military team called the Kyrios. Her simple decision to help thrusts Katya in a world of the undead spirits, betrayal and a perpetual battle between undead monsters and the wardens that keep them in their place.
Katya must decide whether she values the simple and easy life she created for herself over the complex and difficult world now asking her to stand and fight.
CHAPTER 1 of AWOKE: The Want Series
I intended to have a normal, run–of–the–mill, no–vision–having night. The kind of night that after hours of dancing, you end up holding your pumps because your feet hurt like crazy, but you can’t stop grinning through the pinched toes because you had such a great time with friends. The kind of night where you make memories that will stick with you and make you chuckle when you think back on them.
I wanted that kind of night. I really did.
Before I left my house, I even gave myself a good talking to in the mirror. “Katya, you will not mess this up tonight. You will be a normal—no you are a normal person tonight. There is nothing weird about you. You will not have strange faraway looks in your eyes. You will not see odd things out of the corner of your eye. The only thing you will see is the bottom of a beer mug that you will convince a flirt
I thought I’d listened to myself. At the very least, I’d tried. And everything seemed okay at first. I made my grand entrance at Jillian’s Bowling and Bar for my friend Amie’s birthday party, said hello to my best friend Cynthia and Amie herself, and made my way to the ladies’ room.
I had just sat down in the stall when I started to feel an unfortunate but now familiar creepy-crawly feeling. My stomach did that odd drop it does when you’re on a rollercoaster, about to go down a hill. The hairs on my arms raised up, and I started to feel my skin warm up to alarming heat levels. Someone unfamiliar with my condition would think that I was erupting from the inside out. When my vision started to get small and dark, I understood then what my mother hadbeen complaining about all these years about menopause.
Man, I really don’t listen.
I felt myself sigh as I began to see things and people I had never seen before. Places I had never been.
A huddled group of sweaty, burly men, laughing together and pointing at me.
Lukewarm water lapping over my feet as I stood on a large rock in the middle of lake.
A dimly glowing orb in a room covered in silks overlooking a castle courtyard.
Blue eyes, glowing brighter and brighter, that had me frightened and mesmerized—
The scenes always flashed by so quickly that I could never get a clear sense of whether I was experiencing someone else’s vision, or God forbid, that I was remembering my own experiences that I’d put out of my mind. It sounds crazy for me to even think that I could forget something so completely that I’d not know whether it had been there in the first place, but my life has forever been complicated. Not remembering something that then returned violently into my psyche without provocation would be just one more complication on a very long list.
“Katya! Where the hell are you?”
I’d never wanted to strangle and hug someone at the same time before. Cynthia’s shrill voice interrupting me brought me surprisingly close to that impulse. The visions were quickly disappearing. As the tingling started to lessen, the last vision of the bright blue eyes lingered. Iwanted to desperately to hold on. But the longer I tried, the faster it seemed to erase from myhead. Then it was gone.
I couldn’t even remember what I had just seen. The only thing that remained was the nauseous feeling in my stomach, the impossible heat coming from me, and the sense that I had lost something.
Every single time. It was the same every time.
I heard, “Kat? Katya Stevens, what the heck is taking you so long?”
A green pair heels clicked against the bathroom tiles toward my stall and the sound helped tocenter me. I needed a minute to keep my dinner from coming up and cool off. The abrupt knocking at the stall door startled me and I could feel my stomach churn again from the adrenaline. Sighing, I made myself presentable and slammed the door open.
“Cynthia, could you be any louder?” I sucked in my teeth loudly. “I was in the middle of something!”
With the sweat pouring down my forehead and the groggy look I had on my face, Cynthia recognized my symptoms and immediately become concerned. “Are you okay? Did you just have another episode?” She reached out to me, but I dodged her touch; I hated her touching me when I was sweaty like this.
“Yeah, I just finished. I think I was about to hold on to something when your high-pitched voice scared the crap of me.”
Rolling her eyes, Cynthia smirked. “Literally or figuratively? Doesn’t smell too bad in here.” I gave her the finger. She had at least the decency to grab a few paper towels and pat down my face. “I’m only trying to make you smile, Kat. Sorry about the yelling, but you were taking too long. I don’t want to miss a second of this party. Of all the times to have visions on the can!”
“Shh! What if someone heard you?” I quickly checked the two other bathroom stalls to ensure that we were alone. I headed to the sink to freshen up and wash my hands. “You are acting like I enjoy these visions or flashes or whatever you want to call them that come out of nowhere.” My shoulders sagged in annoyance and confusion. “I’m just so done with this. This last month has been a nightmare, and I wish they would just stop.”
My best friend studied me. “Do you remember anything this time?”
“If I did, you know you’d be the first to hear about it.”
“Maybe you should talk to your mom about—”
I shot her a stern look. “Are you crazy? Do you enjoy me having my freedom? To come and go as I please? If she gets wind of this, she’s going to think I’m having another psychotic episodeand have me back in therapy sessions like when we were kids. I’m not going back to that time, Cyn. I’m not going back to pills and sessions and people looking at me like I’m nuts or possessed. She has enough to worry about with work, not to mention leaving me alone at home with the shakes.”
She looked at me sympathetically, aware of the anxiety that showed in my eyes. “I’m sorry I brought it up. We’ll leave it alone. Everything is normal, right?”
I strengthened my trembling smile for her. “Right.” I turned to the mirror and wiped the remaining sweat off my arms and my neck. My halter dress fortunately gave me the opportunity to air out the heat I was still feeling.
“Man, I wish I had some deodorant.”
Cyn giggled and began to fish inside of her clutch. “Don’t ask me why I brought this with me. It was a totally random thought, but something told me to bring this.” And she pulled out a travel–sized deodorant.
And I burst out laughing. “Are you serious?”
“Kat, I swear. I have no idea why I brought it.”
I applied it, looking at her through the mirror. “Your twin senses were probably tingling. See? It’s these instances like this that make me think people should be best friends with someone who shares their birthday.”
Rolling her eyes, Cynthia handed me a towel to dry my hands and leaned over my shoulder to gaze into my mirror. “Just say I’m the best,” she whispered.
I gave her a happy look and blew her a kiss. “You are the best, Cyn.”
Cynthia winked at me and began to ruffle her curly red locks, adjusting her green halter dress and makeup. My best friend had looks that were out of this world. Pert nose, flawless complexion, not one blemish. She came out of the womb with looks that any model would pay for. She knew it, and so did everyone else.
People thought that she was stuck up, but that wasn’t the entire truth. Cynthia also had a heart of gold and had always protected me at every chance, ever since we were kids. She always had this sense of just being there when I needed her. I did the same for her. We called it our “twin sense.”
As we preened and fixed our makeup, she threw me a sideways look from the mirror. “Don’t drive yourself crazy over this. Just let it go, Kitty Kat.”
I nudged her out of my mirror. “You know I don’t like being called that.”
Cynthia giggled. “Whatever, K.K. Look, tonight is about having fun. We only have six weeksleft of our last high–school summer. The birthday girl is waiting for us by the pool tables and is having a mini freak out. You both can’t be freaking out at the same time. I can only handle so much. Have pity on me, please?”
Sighing but smirking, I nodded. “I guess I do have to be the stronger one here, seeing as I’m the oldest.”
“A technicality. You’re only like a few hours older.”
I grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her towards the door. “Yes, yes. Now give me a second. I’ll meet you outside.” Cynthia gave me one last look before her heels were clicking out the door.
Smirking, I shook my head, attempting to clear my thoughts. Cynthia was right. I couldn’t let this mess up Amie’s night. When Cynthia and I turned eighteen last month, Amie was one of the few people who came by our neighborhood and just spent time with us. She didn’t expectanything, or want anything in return, which was rare for most of the girls in our class.
Because Cynthia and I were popular at school, it meant that someone was always looking for something—either a way to become popular or to increase their own status by bringing us downwith some malicious gossip. Amie, neither popular or malicious, just wanted to hang out with us because she liked us. Cyn and I decided that we would do everything we could to make sureAmie Espinosa’s eighteenth
And it almost hadn’t gotten off the ground due to the tremors.
Six months ago, small tremors started shaking up the eastern region of the United States, and they’d become more frequent since then. There have been more here, in Boston, than anywhere else. While a few of Boston’s iconic buildings have suffered some damage and a few individuals have been injured, people were mostly freaking out about having this many earthquakes here in the Northeast in the first place.
Especially Amie’s mom, Mrs. Espinosa. She wanted to cancel Amie’s party all together because she was afraid that “the big one” might happen while we were downtown. Cyn and I hadconvinced Cynthia’s mom, Mrs. Maroney, to speak to Mrs.
I sighed, adjusted my halter dress, threw my clutch underneath my arm, and stepped out of the bathroom to find Amie and Cynthia waiting for me not far from the door. Seeing their faces reminded that I had only one goal tonight.
I was going to have fun, dammit.
If you enjoyed this snippet from the book AWOKE: The Want Series by K. T. Conte, you can buy the full book on Amazon. I would also love to know what you think of the book, so please leave a comment below.