Redoing Perseus's Quest

By: Lisa Gu

Angel was day-dreaming in class, which wasn’t new. She was always thinking, dreaming, or so her teachers called it: distracted. Angel didn’t believe that. Neither did her mother. Her mother always told her that dreaming was a vital part of life. Without it, life wouldn’t be life. Dreams held things that could lift spirits like no one else. It was special.
Angel’s mother didn’t encourage dreaming in class, but she did recommend thinking about sometimes. Angel tried listening to her mother, but she was always too ‘distracted’.
Other times in class, Angel dreamed about books that she read. She loved to read, and that was the thing she dreamed most about. She had read Seeing Cinderella, and she wished that she could have something magical handed down to her. She had read many Fairytales, and she was jealous of the princesses’ beautiful kingdoms and magical balls. She had read all the Magic Tree House books, and wished that she could have a secret magic place that took her to places. She also loved Harry Potter. It was full of magic and uncertainties.
She had even read Maximum Ride, and she wished she had magical features like the amazing leader, Max. There was a character that Angel also admired, and it was a girl named Angel herself. The Angel in the book had wings, could read minds, control minds, confuse minds, talk to fish, and breathe underwater with her invisible gills. Angel looked up to her a lot, and she was only 6 years old.
Angel longed for wings, magical events, or anything worth her dreams and imagination.
This time, Angel was dreaming about a book she had been reading this week. It was a long interesting series about The Heroes of Olympus. She was reading book #3 The Mark of Athena. Angel was fascinated by Annabeth’s bravery and Percy’s loyalty. To her, it was inspirational; outstanding. She was totally absorbed in her imagination, and was thinking of many possibilities.
Perhaps that is why she didn’t hear her substitute teacher call her at first. After the teacher called her two more times, Angel snapped out of it.
“Angel, are you listening and paying attention?” The substitute teacher demanded.
“Yes. Yes, I am.” Angel quickly responded. She heard some girls sitting next to her, snickering. She heard one of them say ‘dreaming state again’. Angel looked across the room, and she saw her friend Maxine shrugging at her, and then smiling expectantly.
“Well, if you were, you should be able to answer question #7.” The substitute used her pointer stick to point to a question on the white board. It asked what the four oceans in the world were.
“That’s easy.” Angel responded, “Plus, it’s five oceans, not four. The five oceans in the world are the Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic, Indian, and Southern Ocean.” Angel beamed up at the teacher. The teacher stared back at Angel uncertain. The girls snickering next to her remained silent. Maxine winked at her.
Angel was only in first grade, and she had answered an average question like it was the easiest question in the world.
Angel was younger than most kids in her grade. She was six; the others were six-and-a-half or seven. The group of snickering girls next to her was seven years old. This made Angel most peculiar, and strange. But some adults, including her mother, would call her special.
The substitute teacher, Mrs. Via, was a young African American with curly hair.
The substitute frowned at Angel once more. She was very bright, but always didn’t pay attention. Sometimes, she was a Smart-Alek, so the Mrs. Parky, the absent teacher, the sick teacher, wasn’t worried about that. The topics about oceans were always too easy for her. Math was a struggle for her though, but that wasn’t the point. Mrs. Via just did not understand why Angel knew the answer. She had been warned about this particular student after all. She still didn’t get why Angel was good at this type of topic. Even she herself sometimes had trouble remembering all the oceans.
That was an easy question. You see, Angel loves anything related to ocean topics. Naming the oceans was easy-peasy for her, an ocean expert you could say. She also learns about the ocean with her mother at home. She learns about marine life, and knows all about sea creatures and where they live and what they eat. She had memorized all the world’s oceans, and she was working on memorizing all the seas. Soon, she would be onto lakes and rivers.
Angel had already decided to learn about Marine Biology in her future classes. It would be rather fun and exciting for her.
When the substitute teacher was about to speak again, the bell for lunch rang, and everyone jumped out of their seats and crowded over the doorway to get out. The substitute nodded, and Angel jumped out of her seat and ran after her other friends and Maxine.
Angel snatched her lunchbox as she headed over to the lunch table to join her friends, Sasha and Maxine.  She was excited to eat her lunch, which was a delicious serving of dumplings. Then she would eat some yogurt. And when she finished that, she would gobble up her chocolate Hershey.
Her mother always made and prepared the best food. They never tasted bad. She never burned it, or put in too much salt. It was just right.
Angel was not a big fan of school lunches. It was a hot lunch, which was the only good thing about it all. Each serving was too small; a small hamburger was not enough for most active kids. They forced you to take vegetables or fruits that most kids wouldn’t eat. The kids would end up throwing it away. To Angel, it was a waste of food. Also, school lunches weren’t exactly cheap-o. Just bringing a home prepared lunch was good enough for Angel.
Angel met up with her two friends. They all said hi to each other, shared lunches, and ate. It was a happy group. Angel loved her friends. They were fun and exciting, and they didn’t tease her about daydreaming in class.
Angel’s best friend, Maxine (Angel loved relating her friend and herself to Maximum Ride), tapped on her shoulder. Angel looked over as Maxine pointed to a group of boys. The boys were whispering and pointing at them. They kept glancing over their shoulder as they murmured things to one another.
“I think,” Angel’s friend remarked, “That you have some crushes! You’re so lucky!” Angel tilted her head and looked back at the boys again. None of them really stood out or interested her. The only thing they ever talked about was video games. That was it, really.
The boys had every right to like Angel. She was very pretty indeed, that was where she got her name from. She was as pretty as an Angel. Her skin was smooth and shiny white. Her turquoise eyes shined and glowed in the sunlight. Her long blonde-streaked hair was curled at the ends, and they bounced off her shoulders. Whenever she smiled, it lit up everyone in the room. Whenever she jumped, her little white or pink dress would flutter up and down. And of course, she was an absolute expert on marine biology.
“I’m not that lucky,” Angel remarked, grinning, “You’re pretty too, you know. They might actually be pointing at you, not me.”
Angel was also right, Maxine was pretty too. She had short brown hair that went down to her shoulders. Freckles dotted her face. Her blue eyes were very beautiful. Her little skirt would dance when she twirled. Maxine was adventurous and always had a good attitude. And yes, she was great at math.
“Don’t give false ideas, Angel!” Maxine replied, blushing, “You’re much prettier than I.”
“No, she’s wrong!” Sasha, Angel’s friend, perked up, “You’re not the prettiest, and Angel is not the prettiest.”
“Then who is?” Angel laughed, but she could already guess what Sasha would say.
“I am, of course! I am pretty, am I not?” Sasha bragged sarcastically. She leaped out of her seat, and she danced around and made funny moves in front of them. Angel and Maxine used their hands to cup their mouths as they laughed. They bent over and shook with laughter as Sasha leaped, danced, and twirled in front of them.
Sasha’s curly black hair bounced up and down as the two girls kept laughing and giggling. Her dark skin glinted in the sunlight. Her dark brown eyes were closed, half-smiling, half-laughing. Sasha was fun to play with, and she was the youngest of the three girls.
Sasha sat back down again after she was done dancing. The three girls chatted and ate lunch at the same time.
“Today, when we were learning about the oceans,” Angel recalled, while eating a dumpling, “The substitute teacher caught me daydreaming. She claimed I wasn’t paying attention. I claimed not. So she asked me for the names of the oceans in the world.”
“That’s not a first.” Sasha remarked, acting giddy.
“That was dumb of her, our substitute, I mean. She should know better than to ask you a question about ocean life.” Maxine added.
“I know right?” I said, “When I answered the question easily, everyone was dumbfounded. They were all quiet and gaping, like the question were too hard for anyone to answer.”
“It is too hard to answer!” Sasha said, “I only remember one! It’s the Pacific Ocean.”
“I only remember three!” Maxine said, “Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Ocean!”
“It’s really easy! They’re the Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic, Indian, and Southern Ocean. Here is the way I remember it. Do you know how to spell Spain? If you do, that makes things really easy. Subtract the n in Spain, then add an extra a next to the first an in Spain. Then, you have SPAAI. The Southern, Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic, and Indian Oceans are it.”
“Oh, I get it!” Sasha exclaimed, “That makes it much easier! SPAAI! Now I just have to remember how to spell Spain.”
“I know how to!” Maxine said excitedly, “S-P-A-I-N! Spain!”
“S-P-A,” Sasha began, “Wait, what is again?”
“You don’t have to work so hard at memorizing it!” Angel said, laughing, “The teachers aren’t going to test you on it!”
“But what if they ask us the question they asked you?” Sasha fake-whimpered, pouting her lip, “Then what?” Angel rolled her eyes, and then smiled.
“Don’t worry, they won’t. I can promise you that.” Angel then hand motioned to Sasha, “Anything exciting that’s worth telling?”
“Well,” Sasha said thoughtfully, tapping her chin, thinking. Sasha wasn’t in Angel’s class, so lunchtime was the perfect time to catch up on stuff that was going on. When Maxine saw Sasha thinking, she tried mimicking her. But instead up chin tapping, she was stroking an invisible beard. Sasha didn’t notice.
“Well,” she continued, “I believe something is wrong with me.”
“Wait, really?” Angel asked, wide-eyed, “What do you mean?”
“I think I have short-term memory. I can’t ever remember tiny details or things that happened during the day. I can only remember fuzzy pictures of big things and ideas happening.”
“We already know that,” Maxine replied, “You told us before. We should never lend you stuff, or else you’ll forget to return it. Borrowing stuff is small details, you don’t remember it. But you most certainly remember bigger ideas, like us talking together right now.”
“I know, I know!” Sasha said, “But something bigger and stranger is going on! It’s like a curse being passed down from Angel!” Angel frowned and retorted,
“I do not have a curse!”
“But now I have the curse! I’m always distracted now! When someone asks me what homework we had yesterday, I know I can’t answer, because I don’t remember. But even if I wanted to answer, I get completely distracted!”
“Distracted by what?” Angel and Maine chanted.
“I get distracted by a strange quick flashback!” Sasha replied, “I get a very quick, clear replay of what happened yesterday. And here’s the thing, the replay is always about what I’m talking about at the moment. For example, if we’re talking about homework, I would have a flashback on our teacher assigning our homework. If we’re talking about me returning something, I would have a flashback on me borrowing the object.”
“That is,” Maxine said, “Awesome!”
“That seems very magical. Amazing,” Angel mused, “I wonder why that is.”
“I wonder too!” Sasha agreed, “But now, no one needs to worry about me forgetting stuff! The only problem is that watching a flashback in my mind takes time. I kind of ‘black out’ of the real world for some time. By the time the replay is done, the person I’m talking to is getting all over me. They would go waving their hands in my face or keep asking if I’m awake or not.”
“I wonder,” pondered Maxine, “Hey Sasha, where is that mechanical pencil I lent you yesterday?” Sasha blinked twice in confusion. Then the color on her face drained and became pale. Her mouth shut closed, and her pupils turned as dark as night.
“What’s happening to her?” Angel asked in worry.
“I believe it’s a blackout,” Maxine said, “it should be over soon.” Maxine and Angel waited patiently and waited for about five more seconds. After that, color started to return to Sasha’s cheek, and her pupils returned to normal.
Sasha stared at Angel and Maxine. Then she tilted her head at Maxine. “You never lent me a mechanical pencil.”
“I know I didn’t,” Maxine responded, “That was the point! I was testing you, and it worked. Now I can trust you with my stuff. You know, you looked so scary like that. You almost like a newborn zombie.”
“Wait a second. You don’t mean to say,” Sasha stroked her chin, “you mean you saw me black out?!” Sasha’s expression became horror. As the two had their dialogue, Angel moved her head back and forth between them as they talked.
“Clear as rain,” Maxine replied to Sasha.
“Are you serious? I feel so embarrassed right now!” Sasha said, fanning herself with her hands, “I look so stupid in that state! And I should know, my brother even told me that!” She looked hot with embarrassment.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Maxine replied, “I won’t do it again. I was just testing it.”
“Well,” Sasha sighed, “I suppose I forgive you.
“Come on!” Angel pleaded, “Raise the spirit! I can’t stand to see my two best friends unhappy like this!” Angel looked at the two hopefully. Sasha and Maxine exchanged glances.
“I’m sorry I overreacted. We’re all best friends after all.”” Sasha apologized.
“And I’m sorry I played around with you because I thought it was funny.” Maxine said.
“Good!” Angel smiled again, “Any other funny news to report before we go play? I can’t wait to go have fun.”
“Actually,” Maxine said, “I do have news. But it didn’t happen here at school. It happened with my family, on Wednesday. We decided to fly kites.”
“Ok, but it wasn’t windy on Wednesday,” Angel mused.
“No, it wasn’t windy. That is a big problem if you want to fly a kite. My brother even helped me, and I tried and tried. The kite would just not budge. My brother even left me to go find a better place to fly his kite. So I just wished that we could have some wind, maybe just a little bit. Then do you know what happened?”
“What?” Sasha chimed in excitedly, already forgetting about her blackout.
“A super-strong wind almost knocked me over!” Maxine said happily, “And finding the chance, I tossed the kite in the air. I wasn’t even aiming or throwing it right, but it immediately caught on with the wind. It soared way high over treetops, and there was no more kite string to let out. Yet the kite was still blowing, and I felt like I would be blown away! Then, thankfully, my brother came over at that moment. The surprise on his face was priceless! He held the kite string handle for me. I was so relieved!”
“Wow,” Sasha mouthed, “That’s incredible!”
“That’s almost more exciting than Sasha’s story!” Angel grinned, “Your wish for more wind actually came true! Was there a shooting star? Do you have a fairy godmother?”
“I wish I knew!” Maxine said longingly, “It was like magic!”
“I believe it was magic!” Angel said with hope in her voice, “It might really be!”
“Hey,” Sasha exclaimed, “I just realized that we’re all weird! Angel daydreams, I blackout, and Maxine’s wishes come true! We’re all alike!”
“Oh yeah, that’s true!” Maxine crowed, “We could give ourselves an amazing group name! Like EWP, Extraordinarily Weird People! Or we could be AAK, Awesome Amazing Kids!”
“What about SSS?” Angel remarked, “Super Special Students!”
“We’re not special,” Sasha corrected, “We’re weird, extremely weird.”
“No, we are special!” Angel corrected Sasha’s correction, “Everyone is special. We’re all special! It’s only us three that are the most extraordinarily special. We’re awesome!”
“This is all for one and one for all! Go Team SSS!”  Maxine crowed, “By the way, that quote is from the Three Musketeers. I found it on a cereal box, but anyway, high-five here!”
“Yes, yes!” Sasha chimed, “It’s a perfect name, Angel! Leaving out the fact we’re weird. Go Team SSS!”
“Go Team SSS!” Angel exclaimed with the other two girls. The three gave each other big, happy high-fives. The group of boys peered over in confusion.
After lunch, the three girls headed to the playground structure. It was loud, and you could hear children laughing and yelling at each other. Everyone was having fun together, and many different things were happening all at once.
Angel thought about what to do, and remembering the book Maximum Ride, Angel knew she wanted to be like that Angel, the Angel in Maximum Ride. She exclaimed,
“Let’s pretend we’re swans!”
“That sounds fun!” Maxine and Sasha exclaimed in unison. They all danced and twirled around in front of the play structure. It was fun and everlasting. The girls did leaps, twirls, and ballet moves together. They leaped up on the structure. They twirled on all the round things and things that could spin on the playground. They sat and stood on the swings, singing and spinning in circles.
The group of boys was still at the lunch tables, and they would occasionally peek over with jealousy. The three girls dancing together were beautiful. It was in perfect beat, perfect rhythm. It went along quite nicely.
“We are the SSS!” Sasha said over and over again, “We are so totally awesome like that!” Right after she said that, a child on the play structure screamed.
The three surprised girls stopped dancing and looked over at the screaming girl. Her eyes were shut tight, and her finger pointed at a direction she was looking. Everyone close to her stopped what they were doing and looked over in her direction.
The girl now stopped screaming and cupped her left hand over her own mouth. She reached out her right hand and pointed. Everyone looked that way, including the three girls.
They saw a very strange sight. There were strange figures, cow monsters, running and jumping over the school fences. They snorted and breathed out greenish gas. When the cows headed toward the children, teachers came about. The teachers herded the students around and away from the cows. All the children except the screaming girl scampered off the structure. The group of boys hurried over too.
“Quickly, come on, quickly!” One of the teachers said, “We must escape those big, dangerous dogs!”
“What dogs?” Sasha exclaimed, “I only see cows! Big ugly cows, though.”
“Don’t worry, I see them too.” Maxine replied, shuddering, “I don’t know why they’re here. The green gas looks poisonous. I wouldn’t want to get too close. Hmmm, I wonder where our substitute teacher is.” Maxine looked around; she did not see Mrs. Via anywhere. She did not see Angel anywhere either.
“Where is Angel?” Sasha suddenly wondered aloud. Maxine pointed up, and Sasha saw Angel heading up the play structure. Angel climbed up to the screaming girl, who was standing very still and looking frightened.
“What do you see, May?” Angel asked the girl.
“I-I mean, I see a big herd of scary dogs!” She sounded quite terrified.
“You only see dogs?” Angel tried again, “No big ugly cows?”
“No, not at all!” May responded. Frightened, she quickly scampered off the structure toward the teachers. Angel did nothing at first. She tilted her head over and stared gravely at the big cows. The cows were big and kept snorting green gas. They were digging up the concrete, trying to look for something that Angel didn’t know about. Or maybe she did.
Sasha and Maxine boarded the structure after May left. They ignored the teachers’ orders and calls of confusion. They scrambled up to Angel. They got a better look at the cows from the height of the structure. They glanced at Angel and saw her expression. Her face was blank. Either in confusion or anger, they did not know.
“What’s wrong, Angel?” Sasha asked, worried, “Why does everyone see big dogs when we see only ugly cows? Is something not right?”
“I guess we really are perfect for the SSS.” Maxine remarked.
“Nothing is right,” Angel replied gravely, staring at the cows again, “They’re Katobleps, cow monsters. They breathe poisonous gases from the poisonous plants they eat. They’re trying to look for some right now, but they have found none, yet. Their poison levels are still quite high. You see the green gas? That’s extremely poisonous. One whiff of it, you may faint, or in humans’ cases, as dead as a door knob.”
“Angel,” Maxine asked, “How do you know that?”
“The Heroes of Olympus,” Angel said softly, “The book, the fictional mythological book. It’s coming to life. It’s becoming true!” Angel stared wide eyed at the cows. It had been her dream to have something magical come alive. But now that it was, Angel could not believe it.
At first, the cows had never really noticed the children. But now as Angel’s beady eyes were staring at them, one of the cows noticed. It stared back at the turquoise eyes for a while, and then it brayed and let out green gas. The other cows noticed, and swiveled their heads around to face the three complete strangers standing on the play structure looking at them.
“Why are they all looking at us?” Sasha wondered. Angel groaned at her remark.
“It’s my fault. Hurry, we must leave.” Angel grabbed her two friends’ hands and led them down the structure. The cows started strolling toward them slowly.
“Where are we going?” Maxine asked.
“We’re going anywhere, just anywhere away from them.” Angel explained, “They sense us, and only us. I have only one explanation for that. But it cannot be. It really can’t. Or else…” She did not complete her thought. The cows were still walking to them, and Angel swerved around a corner.
“What can’t be?” Sasha wondered.
“We can’t be demigods, it’s impossible.” Angel answered, “It’s fiction. But what if it were true? If it were true, then we would be stranger than other kids. We would be different and have special powers. Wait …” Angel paused, thinking. She still continued to drag her friends around corners and down long hallways.
“Angel,” Maxine said very seriously, “Do you know something we don’t?” Angel looked at her, and then turned her head away.
“Suppose I did,” Angel murmured, “I can’t believe it. Those cows, Katobleps, they’re highly dangerous and poisonous. We’re stuck in the same school as them. We have to try not to disturb them in anyway. If we do, it won’t be a pretty sight.”
“Angel,” Sasha whined nervously, “What are we going to do?”
“Why are they here?” Angel was still caught up in her own thoughts, “Even if they were real, I thought they were supposed to be in Africa. They were incidentally imported to Venice, Italy. So what are they doing here? Italy is a long way off.”
“Angel?” Sasha repeated, annoyed.
“Oh yes,” Angel replied, “We have to keep walking, no running, or it might disturb the Katobleps. We should try to walk out of their smelling sense. That might be difficult though. We’re demigods, everything is attracted to us. Let’s just hope we’re demigods of minor Gods. If we’re demigods of major ones, we’re like magnets to monsters.”
“Um, did you say monsters?” Maxine asked.
“Why yes,” Angel replied, “There are venti, empousa, laistrygonians, Cyclops, harpies, and giants. There are others, but I can’t recall them right now at the moment.”
“Oh, that’s a lot of monsters,” Sasha said, thinking to herself, “How about starting with venti? What are those?”
“They’re angry wind spirits, you better not bother those.” Angel replied.
“Huh, that helps.” Sasha pouted, “That’s just what we needed.”
“Indeed,” Maxine agreed sarcastically. Angel finally let go of Sasha and Maxine’s hands. They started going into the school. They kept in their small group of three as they wandered around familiar and unfamiliar places. They peered in rooms and walked through stretched hallways. Their shoes made clicking noises on the hallway floors.
They scampered outside again. Angel was in the lead, while the two others followed closely behind her. Angel approached a green garbage can. Surprisingly, she climbed right on. On the way of going up, she stepped on foot holds on the garbage can.
“Angel, what are you doing?” Maxine asked.
“I’m just doing some scouting and overviews.” Angel answered as she hopped onto the school’s red roof. Maxine and Sasha did not know what to do, they were surprised. After some pondering, they finally decided to follow Angel up the roof. They traced Angel’s steps carefully, Maxine first, and Sasha right after her.
When they got up on the roof, Angel was waiting for them. The wind blew fiercely around them because of how high up they were. Overlooking them was the whole school and its perimeter. It was a great view, but they were very high up.
“I’m scared,” Sasha whimpered.
“You’ll be alright.” Angel murmured, “Let’s see, the cows are over there, and we’re here. So it might take them a while to get here, considering they’re even following us, which I hope they probably aren’t.”
“Look,” Maxine pointed, “All the teachers and students are down over there. Hey, look! Some teachers are on the roof like us, scouting! I’m going to say hi!” Maxine waved at them.
“No, don’t!” Angel warned in a hissing voice, but it was too late. The teachers noticed them and almost jumped out of their pants. Some teachers waved their hands down to tell them to sit tight. The other teachers made angry faces and pointed their fingers at the three girls, as if scolding them.
“Now they’ve noticed us!” Angel exclaimed, “We must get off this roof quickly, before they get us.” As Angel turned around to head back to the garbage can, a figure rose from behind the building and up onto the roof.
“Hello darlings,” Mrs. Via said slyly, “How nice of you to let me see you. How are you three tasty little morsels today?”
“What?” Maxine exclaimed, “How did you get up? How did you get here so fast?”
“Did she call us tasty little morsels?” Sasha repeated confused.
“Oh no, I didn’t say that!” Mrs. Via said suddenly, “I said, um, hasty little horse-um-els! Yes, that’s right that’s what I said. Why don’t you three little children come to me? I will help you get down from up here. It’s terribly cold and windy.”
“We’re hasty little horse-um-els?” Maxine wondered, “What’s that?”
“Let’s go down with her,” Sasha said drowsily, “It is cold and windy up here.”
“Well,” Maxine thought, suddenly a bit drowsy too, “I feel a little dizzy, but why not?” They both started heading toward Mrs. Via.
“Yes, yes,” The substitute teacher said, “Listen to her, come to me!” Angel also walked one step toward Mrs. Via. Angel realized it was a force, a kind of attraction, like a magnet. She didn’t want to go, but the substitute seemed to be pulling her forward. She was forcing her to keep going. But force, force was like charm speaking. Mrs. Via was charm speaking them! With a sudden pang of realization, Angel snapped out of her trance.
“Oh no, Empousa,” Angel murmured, backing off, “Sasha! Maxine! Don’t listen to her! She’s using charm speak on us!”
Sasha and Maxine looked confused. Mrs. Via snarled. Then the substitute started fading in some way. Maxine and Sasha looked closer, and saw that Mrs. Via now looked vampire-like. Now they started backing off too.
“Who has been?” Sasha wondered.
“Why yes, let’s start with introductions, shall we? I most certainly had wished you could have listened to me in the first place though.” The substitute teacher, the empousa, said, “I am Kelli. How very nice to meet you. What are your names?” Angel did not trust her enough to answer.
“What now?” Sasha whispered to Angel.
“Back off and try to find an escape route,” Angel replied hastily.
“Why can’t you give a friendly introduction with me? Am I that horrifying?” Kelli asked, “I do like that idea. But I am afraid I cannot let you do escape. You are trapped up here on this rooftop. The only exit is the garbage can over on that side I came up. You cannot run. You should just give up already. Come to me, my darlings. Let me bite into your tasty flesh!”
“No thanks.” Angel responded. She backed off to the edge of the rooftop. Maxine and Sasha followed after her. Kelli moved in closer for the attack. She had glistening white skin. Her flaming hair glistened, and her fangs shone. One leg was bronze; the other was the leg of a donkey. Her blood-red eyes gleamed at the three.
“Soon,” she said, “I will have my revenge! Your camp will be destroyed, once and for all. Not one soul will live.” Her eyes shot daggers at Angel, “My vengeance shall be had. Unfortunately, Percy Jackson has disappeared! But, my darling, I will kill you instead. It is the only way for me to get my revenge anyway. It is the same for me to kill you as it is to kill him, or his annoying girlfriend. What was her name again? Oh yes, Annabeth, Annabeth Chase. One annoying girl I must say.”
“What camp?” Sasha wondered.
“Percy Jackson? Annabeth Chase?” Angel wondered aloud, as she froze in place, “I recognize those names from somewhere. Wait, I know, the book! It’s from the book!”
“You don’t even remember your parents’ names?” Kelli cackled, “How sad! I don’t even feel the least bit of sympathy for you though. That’s too bad for you.”
“Why do you want revenge on them so bad?” Angel asked, almost angry, “They’re completely innocent!”
“Innocent?” Kelli asked, as if offended, “They are not the least bit! First, Jackson ruins my mission to kill him. He destroyed my fellow empousa, Tammi, easily. Luckily, I escape. Then, he and his girlfriend defeat us when we were traveling to the Doors of Death to regain our freedom. We were just walking, and they were stalking us! How could they be so rude?”
“Yeah, right,” Angel shot back, “They did not ruin your mission or kill your friend on purpose! Percy was defending himself! And when you headed to the Doors of Death, you were already plotting revenge on him. Plus, they were not stalking! They were following you, so you could lead them to the Doors of Death and they could stop the madness of monsters escaping death.”
“Ha, that’s real easy for you to say, you puny little demigod.” Kelli snorted, “Guess what would happen to us if they locked the Doors of Death. Where would we be? You guessed right! We’ll still be stuck in Tartarus reforming while they happily escape to freedom! How unfair is that?”
“Life isn’t fair,” Maxine pointed out, “It’s also not fair that you’re going to kill us.”
“Please don’t point that out again,” Sasha begged.
“Listen,” Angel commanded to the empousa, “What did you say about my parents?”
“Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase,” Kelli murmured, “The perfect annoying couple. Then they go and get another annoying kid? How annoying can they get? After I kill you, there will be no other annoying demigods in my way. I will be free to conquer as any other.”
“Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase,” Angel repeated, the names sending shivers down her spine, “They’re my parents? You’re kidding, right?”
“You lousy demigod, you’re so stupid.” Kelli snarled, “I will get you!” Suddenly, Kelli leaped at Angel. Thankfully, Angel’s reactions were fast. She darted out of the way just in time and sent Kelli falling off the roof.
“Do you really think it’s that easy to defeat me?” Kelli snarled, landing gracefully on the ground, “Think again!” She started climbing back up the building, straight up the wall, to the roof. Angel glanced to her left and saw that the Katobleps were arriving too. Their long chat had been enough time for the cows to catch up.
“Quick!” Angel motioned to her dumbfounded friends, “Follow me.” She jumped right off their current rooftop to the roof of another nearby school building. Sasha and Maxine exchanged nervous glances at each other. Then Maxine jumped, and Sasha went right after her. The group of three ran and jumped all over rooftops with a mob of cows and an empousa in pursuit.
“What are we going to do?” Maxine shouted at Angel over the rushing wind.
“I’m not really sure yet!” Angel shouted back. She was just trying to stall and give herself more time to think. She was trying to relate. Maxine’s wishes coming true, Sasha’s blackouts, and she were daydreaming. Then, realization sank in, and Angel knew just what to do. Maxine, Sasha, and herself, they were all connected. They also weren’t children of Gods, they were children of demigods!
Angel started changing direction of her movements to the nearest girls’ bathroom. Sasha and Maxine followed without complaint. When Angel reached the bathroom building, she jumped off easily and headed in. Unsure, Maxine and Sasha jumped off and headed after her.
Angel’s shoes made clicking noises on the floor. There were rows of sinks and bathroom stalls. Angel went and turned on the faucet of a sink.
“Help me,” Angel ordered her friends, “Turn on all the faucets.”
“Why?” Sasha asked.
“We’re going to have a water fight,” Angel smiled slyly. She turned to her friends and told them of her plan. Maxine and Sasha were doubtful, but Angel was positive. The three girls turned on all faucets and all water fountains. They asked Angel many times if she was sure. Angel always answered,
“It’s going to work, don’t worry. It has to work.” Maxine was well assured every time by Angel. Sasha was not that assured though, she was rather worried.
“How come I have to do the final, hardest part?” She complained.
“Your part is important!” Angel tried soothing Sasha, “Just try your best, ok? You know we’ll be there for you.”
“Yes, ok. Fine, I’ll do it.” Sasha replied.
“They’re coming!” Maxine shouted, “Get in your positions!” Hurriedly, the three scooted to their places. The empousa and herd of Katobleps were arriving very quickly. Angel signaled for their plan to start.
“Why don’t you all slow down?” Maxine said soothingly to the Katobleps, “Just take your time! You have all day.”
“You really think that charmspeak will work on me?” Kelli snarled.
“Nope, I don’t think so at all!” Angel answered in a grin. The Katobleps were slowing down, and coming into a stop.
Kelli tried to slow down, to be in part of the cow group. Angel saw this, and tried concentrating on water as much as she could. It was a strange, curious sensation. Her gut was tight and her brain hurt.
Ripples suddenly started appearing on the pools of water in the girls’ bathroom. Sinks, fountains, and toilet water began bubbling. The water from them sprouted out, went out the door, and zoomed straight into Kelli. The water splashed onto Kelli and her face, surprising her. Angel also summoned water to turn the dirt into mud from under the Katobleps feet. The cows were stuck.
Using the water splash as a distraction, Maxine knocked Kelli off her feet with wind. She was also concentrating like Angel, except on the wind. The empousa fell to the ground with a thump. It was actually more like a splat because of the wet dirt and mud.
The Katobleps tried speeding up again, but with no success. Now Sasha stepped forward. With all her might, she tried summoning things from the ground. Objects started popping up from all over the ground. Gold, gems, rubies, and all types of gemstones arose. Even rare ores and metals came up. The ground was covered. There were so many varieties; it seemed to be glowing.
The objects were scattered all across the ground. The Katobleps slipped on the gems and fell over in large bundles. Then, Sasha summoned more gemstones from the ground. She piled it right on top of all the Katobleps to form big piles.
When Kelli started getting up, Sasha tried burying her with gems too, but it didn’t work. Kelli was too fast. She got away just in time. Kelli started getting away.
“Why you nasty little demigods,” the empousa said, “I will come back!” She left in a great hurry.” The three watched silently.
“Should we chase her?” Maxine asked.
“We better not,” Angel replied.
“That was amazing!” Sasha exclaimed, “The feeling, the sensation! I felt all that power rising up in me. The ground was shaking and trembling and, wow. It was awesome.” Suddenly, the three noticed all the piles and piles of beautiful gems. They shone with absolute brilliance. Maxine had never seen so many gems in her life.
“These gems are beautiful!” Maxine squealed, reaching out for a ruby, “There are so many! Who knew there were hundreds of gems right under the school? It’s extraordinary!”
“I recommend you not to touch those,” Angel warned, “You should heed my advice. Do not take Sasha’s summoned gems and precious metals.”
“Why?” Maxine wondered.
“Because,” Angel replied shrugging, “The minerals and gems are cursed. Whoever holds or keeps them receive very painful punishments, like losing an eye, going to the hospital, or breaking a leg. Possibly even death, so don’t try.” Hearing this, Maxine backed away from the gems with caution.
“What about me?” Sasha asked, “Can I touch them?”
“Of course,” Angel replied, “You summoned them anyway, they don’t affect you.” Excited, Sasha headed to a pile of summoned gems. She picked a few up and admired them. She shined some up with her shirt, and they glowed like crazy. Maxine peeked over in slight jealousy.
“Angel,” Maxine asked, “How do you know all this? It’s like you knew this would happen. Why don’t we know anything?”
“Haven’t any of you read Percy Jackson or The Heroes of Olympus?” Angel asked in deep confusion, “They’re really good books!” Suddenly, the three girls heard shouts of teachers and students. A large crowd was coming forward. They could see their eyes of surprise. Either from them or the piles of gems, they didn’t know.
“Let’s go greet them and tell them about everything!” Sasha said with enthusiasm, “Maybe even show them our new powers!”
“Bad ideas,” Angel countered, “How about, instead, let’s run.” Angel darted away. Maxine followed. Sasha regretfully followed too.
The three girls jumped and darted out of the school and into the street. Behind them they could hear the school bell ringing, signaling the end of the school day. All the kids in the district would be leaving school and going home, either by walking, on bus, or car.
All the kids except three were going home. All except three little girls.