I spent a long, uncomfortable night in my cell, taunted by brain juice and the memory of the new scars I’d seen on my face in the werewolf’s mirror. I did try to sleep, once I realised the vampire really wasn’t coming back; it didn’t seem like anyone else would come to let me out any time soon either. Of course, sleeping’s a lot easier said than done when your bed is a concrete floor.
Hours later—or so I guessed, since for all I knew it could’ve been days—the sharp click of heels on concrete snapped me out of a doze. My first thought was Tabitha. Then my brain caught up with my eyes, and I realised the newcomer was an unfamiliar woman dressed all in black. Like the vampire, she was pale and skeletally thin, but the caste mark on her face was different. Several black lines radiated outward from eyes sunk so deep they were little more than shadows. I shivered involuntarily.
“Margot Lucas?” Her voice was soft and dry, like dead leaves rustling against pavement.
“Why do people keep saying my name like a question?” I demanded. I couldn’t even fool myself into thinking my attitude toward the woman was anything but bravado.
“Because those incompetent wolves never confirmed your identity. You are Margot Lucas, yes?”
She pulled a notepad from some hidden pocket and jotted down some notes. “Do you understand that, as a newly turned zombie, you are restricted to the undead zone?”
“But I’m not actually a zombie. There’s been a—”
The woman locked her eyes on mine, and I lost the ability to speak. “Do you understand?”
“Yes,” I squeaked.
She removed a sheet of paper from another of her hidden pockets, and slid it through the bars. A pen followed. “Sign.”
My eyes scanned rapidly over the text. She wanted me to sign away my rights as a human? “I-I can’t.”
She bent her empty gaze on me again. I shivered. “If you want to leave, you’ll have to sign.” She turned away. “Your choice.”
My choice. Not much of one, was it? Acknowledge, on paper, my new identity as a zombie and make any future claim to still being human legally impossible, or remain here in this cell where I’d never have a chance of proving myself human.
My gaze wandered over the bars, the hard concrete floor, the cup of brain juice. Stay, or leave.
I signed the paper.