|Chapter 1 |
Timing, I thought. All about timing. Whispering winds swirled around me. I let them. Don't strike me down Zeus, Jupiter, what ever. I felt more comfortable on the ground. It was no wonder. I'm daughter of Hades and all. I still couldn't believe this. All this time, and I still couldn't believe it. My dad hadn't died. He couldn't die. He was immortal, could never die. And all this time, he still hadn't helped me. My breath was coming out in ragged gasps as I ran toward the edge of the cliff. I could here the raspy screaming of the gorgons, so close behind me it wasn't even funny. The first time I saw them I had thought, this is crazy. A dream. But it was all too real. I had learned just later from the goddess Athena, that I was a demigod. That I was someone who was dangerous. Because of who my parent was. And I was the fight of the millennium on Olympus. I gasped. Here it was. The cliff. And I was about to do either the most weird thing, or crazy thing ever. Closer closer. Until they thought they had me trapped.
“No use struggling, honey.” Stetheno said.
“Yes.” Rasped the other. “We have you trapped. Eventually, we'll kill you. The fates can only protect you for so long.”
“Well, I think I'm hanging on a little longer.” I said. The rock trembled and quaked beneath my feet. Rattling around as it struggled to break free. Then there was an explosion. The gorgons slipped off and hit the ground, dead. Their bodies dissolved. I soared away, wind whipping through my hair. Another explosion. This time not made by me. Lightning struck me. I screamed. I wasn't dead though. It had been this way for weeks and weeks and weeks. The gods could try to kill me as much as they wanted. It didn't work. They could strike me with lightning, try to drown me, not help me in a fight, but it never worked. According to monsters, the fates protected me. I could be hurt and hurt and hurt, but not killed. And at this I wasn't sure I wanted to be protected.
I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know where I was. And I didn’t know why I didn’t remember anything, but in the same way I knew my name was Cal, I knew that I was a demigod. I was son of Apollo. I got weird looks as I walked down the street. My clothes were torn, and splattered with monster grime. I jogged toward a doughnut shop. I stepped inside. The doughnut keeper suddenly gave a terrified look. “Oh no. I’m NEVER going to let you in here again! Get out!”
I walked outside. Crisp morning air had made even the city’s honking horns, and screaming people seem fresh. Suddenly a man from across the street yelled at me. “Hey kid!” I turned. “Hey!” He ran across the street. “Who are you?”
“Um…I don’t know.” I replied.
“Well I do, son of Apollo.” The voice was raspy. Then he lunged. I yelped and pulled away. Not another one, I thought. He changed to a half pigeon half man thing and flew overhead. “Zeus will pay well for your head!”
“I think I want to keep it!” I yelled and threw myself under a car.
The pigeon thing jumped over the car, scaring a lady with a pink umbrella. She screamed and ran inside the doughnut shop. The pigeon thing picked the car up and threw it. I was dead.
Knock out dreams
The lightning bolt knocked me out. I was struggling for concusses when I had this crazy dream. I was standing in Burger King. I ordered a cheese burger , some fries and a diet coke. The guy said, “Have a nice day, and enjoy your meal!” He said the enjoy your meal part in a devilish way, that made me wonder if he knew something I didn’t. I walked to a little booth in the back of the restraunt, when a face appeared in my meal. I dumped it on the ground and screamed. I got some weird looks but I ignored them. “Please don’t dump me again.” Said my cheeseburger.
“What…who…are you?” I asked. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. I felt a little stupid talking to my cheeseburger and fries.
“Aphrodite, of course.”
“Are you here to kill me, or help me?” I asked. I had learned to be wary of gods and goddesses lately. Most of them wanted to kill me.
“I, am not taking sides in this fight.”
“I will not kill you yet.” My fries said.
“Great to know.” I said.
“In a way, I am helping you.”
“Helping. Yeah, Helping would be good.”
My cheeseburger frowned. “I am sending someone your way to help you.”
“Is it that cashier up there? He’s kinda cute.” I had to admit he really really was.
“Indeed. That is why I’m dating him.”
“You’re dating a Burger King cashier?”
“That is Lord Ares.”
“So Ares works in a Burger King, and Aphrodite is a cheeseburger.”
“I would not be so quick to become ignorant.”
“Do who is the guy you’re sending to help me?” I asked, genuinely curious.
“You will know him when you see him.” The dream started fading. “Remember love conquers all!”
“What?” I yelped after her, but the dream faded and I woke up.
Ladies with pink umbrellas
The lady with the pink umbrella suddenly rushed out of the doughnut shop and screamed, “
“Um, you’re not a monster, are you?”
“Ignorance! Your friend has ignorance too. “
“My friend?” I asked confused.
“Oh. Your FUTURE friend.”
“Um…Who are you???”
“Aphrodite. I must leave soon so listen!” She commanded. I was about to say something, and then got a glare, so I was quiet. “There is a girl, in dire need of your help. You will meet, not to long from now. Understand?”
“Umm.” Her eyes were really distracting, like they couldn’t decide on a color to stay as. I watched them. I was trying to figure out what color they REALLY were when she pressed again.
“Um, I…uh… I… uh… guess.”
“Good.” She exploded in a puff of smoke and I stared at her pink umbrella. Inside it there was a note that said, ” Without even hesitating I knew it meant in ancient Greek disappear. Her eyes glinted a wild hot pink. She motioned me over across the street. Set in water. Get in. Will take you anywhere. Her name’s Lyss.
I woke on the same stone I’d passed out on, except for the fact that it had fell. It had made a huge indintion in the ground around it. I hopped off the stone, and hit the ground. My clothes were damp and the ground was muddy. A puddle had collected in the indition in the ground. I wondered breifly if that had really been Aphrodite, in her dream or just a crazy dream. I was leaning toward real. I stared at the clouds that had now blew away in to the distance, And wondered how my life could get much worse. The Olympians wanted to kill me. I wandered around blankly. I need to get out of here, soon, but first I needed to eat. I thought. I slung her back pack off. It hit the ground with a thud, and I slid down into the indition to start eating. I yanked out a package of crackers, and since I wasn’t feeling very hungry snacked on them, while thinking about my problems. I was staring into a puddle of water when a boy in a pink Umbrella appeared.
“ Gods of Olympus!” I screamed.
“Mm.” The boy murmered.
“Who,” I asked, “are you?”
“I think, I’m Cal.” He said.
“Cal?” I questioned. “Wait, Wait, I need to rephrase that. Are you a monster?”
“Monster?” He asked. “No. Well at least I don’t THINK so. I think I’m a demigod.”
“Demigod?” I asked. “You…a…a demigod?” Some part of me could seriously NOT believe that this boy in a hot pink umbrella was a demigod.
“Um well, like I was saying, I’m not exactly sure.”
He got out of the umbrella and we settled on the edge of the crater. Sharing the bag of crackers, he played back what he remembered of his life. I stared forward. “Your memories could have been buried. They could have been stolen, and then there’s always the river Lethe.” I said the last part so quietly that no one could of heard me. But he had sharp ears.
“River Lethe!” he exclaimed. “Maybe that’s it! The name sounds farmiliar and I think that I might have been there.”
I hesitated. “It’s a possibility. But not many LIVE people get down to he river Lethe. It’s fairly protected though, and you’d be crazy to do it knowingly. You forget all of your life. EVERYTHING. And getting it back, well, it’s rare.”
“So I might never get it back?” He asked. “None of it?”
I felt so bad for him she told him, “It’s possible. People have done it before. The question is how…” I didn’t tell him it had only been done twice since the beggening of time.
She was pretty. She had green eyes that were captivating. They held Cal captive. They were even more distracting then Aphrodite‘s. She had blonde hair, but she’d cut it so it went along her jaw line. She had soft skin, that was a perfect shade of tan. Her clothes were dusty, but her soft gray shirt with a skull and cross bones with a little bow and her jeans seemed to bring out the very best of her. She was watching him curiosly. He could barley make himself meet her eyes. He desperatly hoped I didn’t have a girlfriend. This girl would be perfect for me.
“So, um, who’s your Mom/Dad?” I asked
“Mm?” she asked.
I reapeated my question. “Hades.” She awnsered.
“Oh.” I glared at the ground kicking myself for even asking the question. “Mine is Apollo, and apparently
Zues will pay well for my head.”
She seemed to depressen more. “You too?”
“Oh. He’s chasing you too?”
She muttered something that might have been, Yeah, or might have been, I’ll kill you.
I decided I should shut up. She walked around the rock in the ground. After studying it she lifted her hands high in the air. The rock shivered, like it was having spasms. Then it flew in the air. She set it on the ground next to me. “Wait! What’s your name?” She turned and I was afraid she was going to kill me for asking. Then She sighed.
“Alyssa. Lyss for short.”
“Mine’s Cal.” She nodded but didn’t say anymore. She studied the rock again.
“Mmm.” She mumbled and walked around it. “Get on.”
“Get on!” She yelped. “It isn’t that HARD to understand!” I didn’t argue. I climbed on the rock. She pulled herself on. The rock shivered and for a half a moment I wondered if we were going to fall of the rock. And then it flew up with amazing speed. She sat down beside me.
“Are you doing this?” I asked.
“Well it isn’t you.” She snapped and that ended the conversation.
Cal and Stephen
This boy in a pink umbrella was either playing a really sick joke, he was a god testing me, or he really was a demigod. At this point I was ready to believe anything other than he was a demigod. I stared forward. The sun was setting in the distance, and it was a pretty sunset. Pink, Orange and Red played on the edges of the sun. Was this the person that Aphrodite was sending to help me? I quickly moved the thought out of my mind.
“So…um?” Cal asked.
I glanced at him. With sandy brown hair and playful light blue eyes, I couldn’t believe that he wouldn’t already have a girlfriend. He looked so much like, Stephen. Where had that thought come from? I asked myself. Stop it now, I ordered myself in my mind. “Umm what?” I questioned.
“I asked where you’re headed.”
“I don’t know,” I admitied. “I think I might head for California.”
“Do you always ask so many questions?”
“Because I’ve got a safe house there.”
“What city is it in?”
I groaned. IT continued on this way for a while. I didn’t awnser most of IT’S questions just because I didn’t feel like it. But because IT was with me, all I could think about was Stephen. And you know how you push away a memory, and it just triggers another one? That’s exactly what my mind did. OVER AND OVER AND OVER. The way he kissed me. The way he held me tight. And the way I absolutely LOVED him. That night on the roof of my house. He had asked me if I believed in being haunted by something I did. I told him I did. He said that he did to. He said one thing that he was haunted by was not asking me to be his girlfriend before this. And this was the way our relationship started.
Cal kept asking questions and I kept ignoring them. At midnight, I was still up. I could here my heart beating and it sounded like footsteps on stairs. I was going through it agin and again and again. Playing back all of our relationship to the day he died. And his death, was my fault.
He had taken me to this fancy place for dinner. We were laughing in the front seat of his car, telling jokes to each other. He was 16. Just old enough to drive. When suddenly a monster attacked. It smashed the car and killed him. They didn’t even find his body. And everyone thought that he was drunk when it happened. They buired an empty coffin. They didn’t know that it was MY fault. All of it. MY fault. And they had no idea.
I left myself going somewhere, although I didn’t know where. Ever since his death, it had been to much to cope with. So I ran. I didn’t know where. I just ran. A line that Stephen had told me once rang through my mind. “Time turns flames to embers, you’ll have new Septembers, everyone of us has messed up too. Lights change like the weather, I hope you’ll remember today is never too late to be brand new.” It was a line from his favorite song. My favorite song. He wouldn’t blame me, would he? Eventully tiredness over took my mind and I slept.
Time slowed down as we went toward Lyss’s “Safehouse.” We moved quickly toward it, but time literlly slowed down. As a breeze whipped past her it blew her hair back. I had no problem believing that she was the princess of the underworld. It was simple as that, I decided. If you thought that it was impossible for her to be the princess of the underworld, you’ve never seen her. She has a regal air, and she holds her head high. She’s completely sure of herself and her powers. She made the rock head toward the safe house, and I decided that I had to be the prince of something to even look at her. So I ran over the tings Apollo controlled. I settled on the prince of the sun. I mean pretty good, right? The princess of the underworld and the prince of the sun.
As soon as I walked in the house I realized this wasn’t some hut that she’d made. It was a fancy house. She walked inside. Her face dropped, although I couldn’t see why. This place was awesome. Fancy furniture, a kitchen, bedrooms, and a TV! What was wrong with this place? She ran her fingers across the dusty furniture. “Is this your house?” I asked.
“No.” She murmered. “It was my friends, before…” She trailed off. I knew what it meant when someone trailed off. Died. That’s the only thing it means.
“Died.” I finished for her. “He died…didn’t he?” She sighed.
“Yeah. He did.”
She walked into the other room. I followed her. “Make yourself at home,” She said weakly. “Just give me a minute.” She wandered around and I watched for a half a moment. Then I retreated into another room. I wondered what she was thinking. I stepped inside. There was little food inside the house, but what was good I cooked. I cleaned the table, and set it. I had to wash the dishes, which were also covered in a fine layer of dust. When dinner was ready, I set out looking for Lyss. I found a small trapdoor, and headed up the ladder into what I guessed was the attic. Lyss was curled up in a seat staring out the window.
“Hey.” I said quietly. “Dinner’s ready.” She looked at me and nodded. I headed down the ladder, and got our beds ready for the night. It took me about an hour and by then she came down the rungs of the ladder. I gave her a small smile, and she tried to return it, but failed. We ate in simple silence. I tried to break it several times, but it easily slid to a stop. We ended up just letting the converstaion slip. Lyss still seemed sad after a shower, and a pair of fresh Pjs. I curled up on one of the beds I’d made. Lyss slipped into one too. She was asleep quickly. I turned off the light slid over next to her and tucked her in. “Goodnight.” I whispered to darkness.
Toward the awnser
Morning approached rapidly, much more rapidly than I would have liked. I slept comfortably enough, the beds that Cal had made were good ones. But all the same I was sleeping in STEPHENS house. My dreams were tormented memories, that I had carefully tucked away in the back of my mind. They flowed freely now, Tormenting me. I thrashed as the part of my brain that still functioned right fought against the blanket of sleep, and dreams that were filling my head. But eventully that part even gave in, and memorys blanketed me. “Hey,” Stephens laugh filled my mind. “Aren’t you tired?” He asked, still laughing. “I heard you were up ALL night.” He was smiling. It was infectious. I grinned too.
“How did you happen to find that out?” I asked. “It was a girls ONLY sleepover!” I was laughing. He started laughing too, and several grown-ups gave us looks like “Stupid teenagers, stop disturbing the noise of the city!” He grinned at me, and I couldn’t help but think he was SO cute. Then he said, “Well I also heared that the girls called their crushes.”
“You DID NOT here that!” I yelped. “Did you?”
“He is NOT my crush!” Stephen did a poor imitation of me. “Hang up the phone you guys!” I reached out and tried to punch him, or slap him, but he jumped out of my reach. He knew better than to come close to me when I was frustrated with him. Every time he came close I reached out to slap him, which only made him laugh, so when we got to school we were both laughing, and then the whole memory melted.
There were more like that. They washed over me with perfect clarity. Then there was one, I’d never seen before. “Lyss?” Stephen asked. “Is that really you?” He ran over to me. He hugged me so tightly I could barley breath. I hugged him back. “Oh Alyssa,” He muttered. “I thought I lost you.”
I pulled out of his hug and stared at him. “You thought you had lost me?” I asked. “You’re here! You’re alive!” I wrapped him in a hug again. I held my breath, and then took a gasp of air as I leaned in to kiss him. We touched lips, and I let myself inhale his scent, making myself savor it, because it was all a dream. We pushed away at the same time. Our surroundings were white, only proving that it was a dream. “Are you real?” I asked, my voice the quietest it had ever been. “Is any of this real?”
“I don’t know,” he said, his voice a whisper too. “But if it is, it’s the best dream I’ve ever had.” I grinned. The dream started fading around the edges. “Goodbye,” He murmered. “And goodnight.”
“Goodbye, Goodnight.” I whispered, but I didn’t know if my words ever met him, because the dream faded before I said the words.