The Frozen Sun (A Demigod Story)
Chariot of Light to reside
At the gated bridges of gold to destroy
Nature's son to live or die
By the daughter of War's choice
Son of Light to deny
But to hear the sound of a voice
And to fail he will see
The world covered in eternal ice.
P.S. This takes place after all the HoO stuff has been settled out so I might be guessing on a lot of stuff. Also comments, rates, and feedback of any kind is welcome.
My mother was skeptical considering how I ran away the first time I lived with her. As for my father- well if he even cared I suspected he would be planning on the bloodiest way to dismember me. The activities director at the camp I sort of lived at year round didn't trust me enough on my own, no matter how many times I promised I wouldn't make anything explode.
So he sent a companion with me. I did not need to be babysat, even if it was supposedly for "my own good". I also was kind of glad that Briar was here, though I would never be caught admitting to it. School was harder than it was cut out to be, especially with dyslexia and ADHD. Also it was notable that the last time I've been in a traditional school setting was in fourth grade and that my "harmless" teacher was actually a crazed monster who tried to eat me.
It wasn't even October yet and I wanted to bail. I wanted to run out screaming, I wanted to burn my copy of "Emma" by Jane Austen, I wanted to bash my desk over all the rude teachers and all the bÃtches and asshÃ³les who made a side remark to me or treated me like I was dumb. I was under strict orders to not hurt these people with my special weapons. However Chiron or Mr. D never said anything about ordinary school desks.
I feel a paper hit me in the back of my head. I turn around to see Briar staring at me, dark blue eyes narrowed. "Read," he mouths. I shoot him a dirty look before picking up the tiny piece of paper. As I unfolded it, I wondered how Briar could even fit any words up there. I also was wondering how he expected me to read it.
As soon as I unfolded the paper, my questions were answered. Briar could fit his message on the slip of paper because his handwriting was tiny. I could read the message because it was in Ancient Greek.
Patience. You look like you are having murderous thoughts.
I snorted, and quickly concealed it with a cough. Of course I was having murderous thoughts! Having to sit in a hot stuffy room learning reading about some Victorian girl's love life would do that to anybody! Well almost anybody.
"Who wants to pass out the tests from last week?" Mr. Lloyd asks as Jenna Nobles puts her hand up, volunteering. I resist a growl, I couldn't stand her, she was too perfect. As she walks by me I can't help but stick my foot out in the isle so she trips over it.
And she does, with a lot more theatrics than necessary. Naturally many people-mostly boys- come to her aid. I noticed something strange however, her leg felt like metal. It even sounded like metal. After years of training I was now on high alert. I didn't even care I got a B on my test- usually a cause for extreme celebration as I usually passed with a D or a C.
I just needed to get out and talk to Briar.
Finally the bell rang and as the students fought to get out of the classroom I ambushed Briar. "Does Jenna smell funny?" I immediately interrogate him. It was a neutral question, to an outsider it would just make me seen like a paranoid, crazy freak. However to Briar and me, that question held a lot of meaning.
"She doesn't smell monster bad," Briar mumbles. "She smells bad, like I shower in really cheap perfume bad."
"Briar," I hiss, "when I tripped her, her leg made a sound-like it was metal. And it felt and sounded hollow. Tell me that's normal and I swear to the gods I will-"
"What will you do Victoria?" Briar asks almost mockingly.
"I will drag you by the horns back to camp and then chop them off in front of that oak tree you like." I hiss viciously.
Briar looks at me, his expression horror struck. "You wouldn't," he whispers.
"I would," I say seriously, countering his statement. "Jenna isn't human, I'm sure."
"Maybe she just has a fake leg or something," Briar suggests halfheartedly. "Genetic defect or an accident or something."
"Briar, we both know if it was that we would have heard the dramatic and most likely heroic story by now. It's not a fake leg for medical purposes."
"That's it," Briar says suddenly. "We need to get the other demigod and head back to camp."
I narrow my eyes at this announcement. "What other demigod?" I ask slowly, carefully watching his facial expressions. "Who are they and why didn't you tell me you were looking for demigods? I could have helped."
Briar looked uncomfortable. "Um Victoria," he ventures out, "finding demigods is a delicate process and you're not exactly subtle. No offense," he adds on hastily.
"I can be subtle!" I protest. "And anyways, you get more things done by taking the direct route."
Briar stares at me for a moment. "Right," he says. "As I was saying finding new demigods requires subtly."
"The monsters obviously haven't gotten that memo," I mutter under my breath. I then notice Mr. Lloyd staring at us and I nudge Briar, indicating we should probably get out now.
"Who is the demigod?" I ask as we exit the room. "Maybe I know them."
Briar gives me a half kind of smile. "Everybody knows him. The demigod is Anwar Wright."
"Please tell me you are joking," I say with a pained expression. "Not Anwar Wright, student body president, one of the most popular people here? Not Golden Boy?"
I look at Briar hopefully, maybe this was a joke- a bad joke but still a joke. However Briar's expression wasn't humorous, in fact it was dead serious. "Golden Boy?" I repeat for the effect. With those words I notice a shift in Briar's eyes.
"Oh no," I say almost to myself. "You don't think Apollo is his parent do you?"
"It makes sense!" Briar says excitably, and I begin regret giving him this opportunity. "The charm, the interest in medicinal sciences, being in band, and we have both heard his poetry in class. It almost is as...uh special as Apollo's himself."
I smirked. We both knew that Briar meant "dead awful" instead of special. However it wasn't wise to intentionally anger a god like that. Everybody knew how proud Apollo was of his poems. It was actually quite ridiculous.
"You know what you said before, about helping?" Briar asks. I nod and force myself to refrain from saying that I was now regretting that offer. "Will you go talk to him? Get him on his own?"
"Sure Briar," I sigh. This was going to be interesting at the very least. "I'll try my best."
As I come to Anwar's locker I see he is surrounded by a bunch of people. "Anwar," I say walking directly up to him, shocking most the people into silence. "I need to talk to you alone."
This causes some of the girls to erupt into giggles. "Like he would ever talk to somebody like you," she shrieked. I should have felt embarrassed at the comment, but I didn't. I just felt really, really mad.
I was about to get in a good punch on her face when somebody puts their hand over my fist. I was about to punch them too before I saw who it was. George Ju was always one of the decent ones.
"You're already on probation," George reminds me gently, referring to an incident at water polo practice last week. Marshal was fool enough to not wear his head protection and I somehow ended up biting his ear hard enough that he needed stitches. The school then put me on probation. It was a shame really, it was one of the few mortal sports now where it was acceptable to almost kill somebody and it still be considered legal.
I was about to punch the girls anyways when Mr. D's leering face came into my mind. "She'll get expelled before Christmas," he had said. I had to prove him wrong, it was a legitimate need.
"It was an accident!" I protest, not for the first time. "I didn't mean to bite his ear, it just happened."
I looked around at the popular and beautiful people surrounding Anwar and I knew that they were not going to let me talk to him alone. Well, alright then. Who said I needed their permission?
I elbow my way through the crowd and pull Anwar out from it. "It's really important," I hiss at him. "Believe me, I wouldn't be talking to you if it wasn't."
"I'm flattered," he says dryly. "Why can't you tell me here?"
I pull him completely out of the crowd and half lead- half drag him down the hall. "Because," I whisper. "Some things are private and don't need to revealed in front of an audience."
"You're in love with me aren't you?" Anwar asks.
I feel like gaging. "I am going to pretend I didn't hear that," I say. "It is better for everybody's health."
Anwar looks at me differently. "This is serious isn't it, Faust?" He says, using my last name.
I nod in response. That's when Anwar kicks into action. "Guys, its fine," he calls out to the people who looked ready to follow us and the people who are already starting. "Faust here was to embarrassed to share it with you, but I'm tutoring her in English. She is having a hard time understanding how to interpret Emma's actions and the authors purpose as well as-"
"They got the point," I tell Anwar. "That's enough. Now come on." And then I somewhat unceremonially drag him down the halls.
"Briar where are you?" I ask into the air. "I've got him. "
"Wait- Briar?" Anwar asks skeptically next to me. "Briar Shale? Is this some sort of a joke Faust?"
"My name is Victoria," I say gritting my teeth. "Not Faust."
"Isn't Faust your last name though?" Anwar counters most annoyingly.
"Hey, chill out dude." Briar appears from out of nowhere. "You probably don't want to push your luck right now, she is very on edge right now."
"You say Apollo," I say to Briar somewhat manically. "I say Aphrodite."
"Are you two speaking in some sort of a code?" Anwar asks.
My eyes drift over the janitorial closet and back over to Briar's eyes. With a nod we spring into action. I grab Anwar on the left side and Briar abandons his crutches and hauls Anwar in on his right side.
"Are you two some- I don't know- angry violent killers?" Anwar bursts out.
"I'm not," Briar says with a sly grin, "but I can't speak for Victoria."
"We aren't going to hurt you," I snap out. "Not unless you give us a reason too anyways."
"Then why am I here?" Anwar asks dumbfounded. I look pointedly over at Briar, this was his thing, I was just the muscle. I stand in front of the now closed janitorial closet door, making sure there was no escape route for Anwar. Gods know he would soon be desperate for one.
"You are special," Briar starts and I want to mentally facepalm in shame for him. This was not really the best place to start. "You have dyslexia and ADHD right?" Briar asks and I am stuck there in horror.
"Yeah," Anwar ventures cautiously. "Why does it matter?"
"That is one of the major signs of a demigod," Briar says, convincing Anwar that we were not sane probably. "You are half human and half Greek god."
"Or goddess," I add. "If your mortal parent is male."
"Or goddess," Briar parrots for my benefit.
"So theoretically, assuming this is true in theory," Anwar says slowly as if to humor us. "Who would my parent be. I know my mother is Layifa Wright so it must be a god. Theoretically."
"We can't know for sure, until you are claimed. That should happen as soon as you get to camp. In fact, you really should have been at camp sooner because of the pact."
I could keep up with Briar's rambles because I knew what he was talking about. It was odd that Anwar, who was seventeen or eighteen hadn't been claimed and brought to camp yet. I should have known the gods would have a hard time keeping there promises.
"How do you know I'm a demigod?" Anwar presses. "Not everybody in the world with dyslexia and ADHD can be a demigod, right?"
"That's true," Briar admits. "However you also stink." Seeing Anwar's offended expression he added, "all demigods stink, that's how monsters find you".
"Are you two demigods?" Anwar asks. "Theoretically," he adds hastily, as if remembering none of this was real.
"I am," I say from my post. "He isn't."
"Who is your godly parent, theoretically?" Anwar asks.
"Cabin Five," I say, enjoying the look of puzzlement on his face.
"Victoria," Briar tiredly says, "don't be difficult."
"What are you if you aren't a demigod?" Anwar asks. In answer, Briar starts taking off his pants.
Anwar reacts like any rational person would in this situation. "Put back on your pants!" He screams. "What are you doing? You're crazy! Both of you! I-"
Anwar stops screaming because he is knocked speechless by what he sees. "Why do you have furry legs? And hooves?"
"Because I am satyr!" Briar exclaims proudly. "Now we got to get to Camp Half- Blood."
"Half-Blood. Like you. You are half god and half-"
"Shut up," I quietly say, but still loud enough for them to hear me. "I feel something coming. Something belligerent." I used the SAT word not only to show that I could be normal and concerned about normal things like college tests, but also to make a point to Briar. As part of my demigod abilities I could sense when somebody wanted to fight. This unknown person was radiating 'belligerent'.
Briar shut up and so did Anwar as I slowly and quietly backed away from the door. Instinctively I pressed the top of my ring- made of gold with an oval 'plate' on top with a plumed helmet and spear engraved on it. I feel something slide over my body and I knew that my lightweight, invisible armor was on. The ring was my magic item, a little gift from dad from when I was fourteen and in the Battle of Olympus. It was an interesting choice from him, I expected a man eating sword or something.
I hear Briar going through his bag. I didn't feel like this was the time for bag searching. I hear a swish and an intake of breath. That's when I turn around to see what was going on.
Briar had my sword.
"How did you get that?" I hiss. I was torn between being grateful, as I felt better with that sword, and feeling totally violated. "And how did you fit it in that bag?"
"The Hephaestus' kids helped me with the bag. It's magically expandable."
"But it's not metal or fire working!" I point out shrilly.
Briar laughs and rolls his eyes. "Okay, so the Athena cabin helped us out with the weaving. You can buy these now in the camp store you know."
"I'll keep that in mind," I say dryly as I reach for my sword. Anwar is looking at my sword as if he has never seen anything like it, which is actually probably true.
We stand in a tense silence, barely breathing for several seconds before we hear the below or rage and primitive hunger. "I smell demigods!" The voice of Jenna Nobles screams. "And that infuriating satyr."
I move slowly to open the door, knowing that it was over. I could fight better in the hallway than the closed in space of the closet. I hear Briar say "empousa," under his breath. Well that would explain a lot.
"Briar, keep Anwar safe," I command. "If you have a weapon use it to injure the right flank. Anwar, keep out of sight and out of the way. If you are about to get killed, yell. Whoever is closest or the most easily available will kill what ever is attacking you. If there is two monsters, Briar you get one and I get the other. Anwar just stay out of the way. If there is one monster, let me have it. Anwar stay out of the way and let Briar get you to safety."
For a moment nobody speaks, and I think that both of them are going to cooperate with my plan. I mean I knew Briar would, when it came to combat I almost always knew what I was doing. It was Anwar that was the wild card.
"Why do you get to make the plans? I bet I could use that sword and Briar has hoofs! Why do you get to fight and decide what we do?"
I open the door and before stepping out I throw Anwar a look. "My father is the god of war," I say contemptuously, "that's why." And then I throw myself out into the path of the empousa.