“The Persean Ritual”
Linia focused upon the glowing blue light seeping from underneath the door. Soon, it would be her turn to enter. The thought made her mouth feel like she’d swallowed her shirt. Her parents hovered beside her. Mom rubbed circles along her back. Dad stood with a lop-sided grin upon his face. Her antennae drooped lower into her blond hair.
“Does it hurt?” Her question rose barely above a whisper.
“Oh, no, sweetheart.” Dad stroked her hair as the light disappeared from the door.
“There is a quick jolt, but it goes away.” Mom stopped rubbing my back.
A quick jolt. Linia’s heart skipped a beat. Her fingers went up to the gemstone within her choker. “Do I have to do this?”
“It’ll be fine.” Dad’s words carried no reassurance to his thirteen-year-old daughter.
The door slid open.
She would’ve run for it, if her parents hadn’t pushed her forward. Two steps. One more, and she entered the darkened room. She glanced behind her, but the door had already closed, her parents on the other side. No, no!
A man dressed in white stood in the center of the room. “Come closer, child.”
Her back pressed against the cool walls. She shook her head.
“It won’t hurt.” With a gloved hand, he motioned her toward him. When she didn’t move, he smiled. “I can wait all day, but I don’t know if everyone else will be so kind.”
They all do it, she told herself, but she found no comfort in this sterile room. She remained in her spot for several minutes. The man with the gloves waited for her. Ugh, she couldn’t take the waiting any more than she could take the fear of what would happen. She stumbled from the wall and stood before him.
“Very good.” He lifted up a pair of metal pliers. “It’s a couple snips, and we’ll twist the gemstone around. Hold still.”
She held her breath and closed her eyes. Metal clipped loudly in her ears. The gemstone shifted against her neck. Then, electricity jolted through her body. She stiffened as a soft cry burst from her lips.
“Open your eyes, child.”
Her eyelids parted. The room was bathed in blue light. Her body buzzed with her life rhythms as the blue pulsed with her heartbeat. Amazing.
“Now turn the gemstone back into place.”
Her fingers felt the smooth stone, and she shifted it back into place. The light vanished, leaving only the white room and the man in white before her. Shivers of the enormity of what had happened passed along her spine.
“You now have the power of life and death. Use your Persean gifts wisely, child.”