Jack and I emerged from the inipi, unsteadily. The entire experience felt like a sauna, physically, but I could definitely feel something else, like I had been put through the wringer, been squeezed and shaken out raggedly.
Outside, Melissa stood with Nat, Kate, and Anna-Maria. The older woman was nowhere to be seen.
“I give this place two stars,” Jack said, shakily. “Would not do again.”
“Reilly?” Nat asked. “How about you?”
“I’ll let you know my Yelp rating once I throw some lightning.” I lifted my hand to do just that, then realized I had no charge flowing in me. It was gone, entirely. “Well, that explains why I’m so exhausted.”
“What?” Nat asked.
“Out of juice.”
“Of course, you’ve been purified by the ceremony,” Melissa said. “Come on, it’s not over. Now we have some food. You need to build strength back up.”
“Makes sense,” Nat said. “You need to get rid of that bad charge and fill yourself back up with the good.”
“So, zap me,” I said. “Give me a boost.”
“Oh, hell no! I am not risking catching what you had. If you’re that hard up, grab some jumper cables and try the Explorer over there.” She pointed in the direction of the muddied forest green Ford.
“The hell he will, that’s my car!” Melissa protested.
“Let’s just eat,” I said. “part of the ceremony, right?”
Melissa nodded, then pointed to the picnic tables of food. “Since Kate said you people eat a lot, we prepared a lot.”
“Thanks,” I said.
“I paid for it,” Kate said.
“I’ll give you half a star,” Jack told Kate.
She gave him a full finger.