Chapter 10: Games
Annabeth had wasted no time in dragging Jack out to a nearby field, happy that they had arrived Annabeth fell backwards into the snow before she began moving her arms and legs to make a snow angel. Once satisfied that the angel would be finished she stood up turning around to see her work. "Not my worst." She commented before an idea came to her, "Hey Jack how about we play a game?" Jack's face lit up as he waited for Annabeth to continue. "Who ever makes the biggest snowman wins." She only then seemed to remember Jack's ability to control winter, "And no use of magic powers." She added quickly.
Jack laughed "Fine," he sighed before starting to work on the snowman and with every minute would check on Annabeth's progress only to see the girl use a completely different technique from his own.
Hours went by and Jack was almost done with the upper body, he was currently having a hard time as the snowman was wider than him and without being able to use his magic trying to put the large head in the middle of a very large snowman became a difficult task.
Annabeth was struggling more though as her snowman wasn't wide but tall and skinny, snow was piled up in a large heap that was made to look like two sections all together, beside the snowman was a steep mountain of snow that Annabeth was using to gain the height she needed to make the top of her snowman, a problem with this was carrying the snow up it and the walking down it only to walk back up with more snow. Her legs were aching slightly and the top of her small hill was unstable meaning should it give way she'd fall into her snowman.
Jack was becoming frustrated with the snowman's head. He had tried many times to get it centre and pushing it there wasn't working as the snow would become stubborn meaning that every time he tried to push it towards the centre, his hand would push through it causing a hole.
Having just witnessed his snowman's head fall apart once again Jack growled at the task before, him before gathering more snow. Again Jack found himself repeating the task of creating the snowman's head, if only it would go on. He'd be finished and would be able to go back to using his magic despite his current limited knowledge on how it worked.
Looking up he found Annabeth standing atop a snow hill on her tips toes balancing unsteadily as she patted snow on top of her snowman slowly building up the head. The look of pure concentration on her face as she patted down the snow. It was hard to decide who would win, both seemed to have used about the same amount of snow or at least once finished they would, the differences being that Jack's snowman was wide and not tall like Annabeth's.
Jack was on his toes trying to position the snowman's head in the centre or as close as possible, he was just about to place it when a startled scream filled the area. Jack spun around to see a mountain or crushed snow where Annabeth's snowman and snow bank should have been.
Looking about for any sign of the small brunette Jack looked back to the pile of snow as it began to move. Breaking out from the cold white hill Annabeth laughed as she smiled up at Jack from her place on the ground. "Whoops." She stated sheepishly as she took in Jack's slightly panicked expression. The winter teen however soon found himself laughing with Annabeth as the twelve year old brushed the snow off of herself.
Jack's laughing was cut short as a soft thud sounded behind him, cautiously Jack turned around only to moan when he saw that his snowman had fallen over, it was official Jack's snowman didn't want to be built, with a sigh he turned to see Annabeth digging up the mound of snow to find a large boulder of snow. It appeared as though both had to start over, Annabeth started first as she began using the fallen compact snow from her last one to create the new one.
Jack on the other hand had other ideas, knowing fine well that the snowman would only fall apart should he reattempt to build it he placed the ball of snow on the floor before making it bigger. In minutes Jack had a large snowball and placed it with ease in the centre on top of the base snowball.
Minutes ticked by and Annabeth was quick to finish her snowman only now it was half the height it was from before, Jack's snowman on the other hand was doing a lot better than his previous attempt, it now had a head and arms which were constructed out of the remains of the last snowman. "Done!" Jack sighed as he fell back into the snow.
Annabeth smiled with hers before turning to see Jack's, "That's cheating Jack!" the twelve year old laughed while she looked at Jack's snowman.
"No it isn't! He's just buried or at least half of him is." He said pointing to the upper torso, arm and head of his snowman.
"You were meant to build a snowman Jack not half of one." Annabeth laughed.
"You're just jealous 'cause I won." Jack smiled, he looked at Annabeth's snowman he had to admit it was impressive for one twelve year old to build alone.
"Cheater." Annabeth mumbled. Jack laughed as he picked up his staff it's chilling glow silently welcoming him back, Jack had yet to realise that Annabeth was studying the staff as he spun it around a light trail of frost following the head. "How does that work?" Annabeth asked startling Jack from his amusement of watching the staff head leave an icy trial through the air.
"I…um…I don't know." Jack replied honestly as he turned around to face her. Crouching down to Annabeth's height Jack held out the staff for both of them to see, "I know that I can freeze lakes and trees with it."
"It's covered in ice." Annabeth pointed out, Jack laughed slightly.
"Yes…" He said hoping that she would elaborate on her statement.
"When I held it, it was just wood?" She said reaching out to touch the frozen object, it looked so brittle and yet strong and did she dare say familiar. Slowly her hand came in contact with the cold staff, Annabeth gasped at it's freezing temperature. From the corner of her eye she could have sworn Jack flinched at her reaction, but instead of pulling her hand away from the staff Annabeth only wrapped it around it's thin frame the cold seeping further though her mittens.
Jack continued to watch in amusement as Annabeth marvelled over the frozen wood in truth he did wonder just what he could do with the staff's magical powers, as the possibilities began to swirl around Jack's mind until he was brought back by Annabeth. "Well?" She asked staring at Jack with an annoyed expression.
"Well what?" Jack asked confused, Annabeth huffed in anger her warm breath clouding in the cold air.
"I wanted to know if you can fly?" Annabeth repeated, Jack looked at the twelve year old confused as the question hung in the air. Of course he couldn't fly it was impossible for people to fly by nature, just as Jack was about to state so Annabeth cut him off. "It was just that a while ago when you saved me from the wolves. We were moving so fast it was like we were flying." Annabeth said.
"Oh that." Jack said wincing at the first time he had sped through the forest like the wind. Clearly Annabeth was not pleased by his simple answer as she was currently scowling at him, Jack was quick to hold up his hands defend himself. "Look the first time that happened I wound up crashing into a tree." He stated plainly.
Annabeth laughed, she could easily guess that they would crash into a tree after all they had almost done so had she not pointed it out during their escape from the wolves. "So what about flying lessons?" Annabeth asked.
"Flying lessons? From who?" Jack asked looking about, "It's not like there are other people that can fly and I don't speak bird."
Annabeth shook her head a smile forming on her face, "No. I meant what if you practised it?" She gestured to the empty field, "You could try around here." She smiled. Jack glanced around the wide empty field, a feeling of uncertainty quickly settling into his stomach, while his head was racing with excitement of learning what it would be like to feel weightless.
Jack smiled he liked the idea of being as light as a snowflake that and if this worked it would be much faster than walking. He looked to Annabeth, "I guess we have a new game then."
Annabeth laughed as she scrambled to her feet before excitedly pulling Jack to his. "The sooner we get started the more fun we can have!" Annabeth giggled as she pulled Jack into the open field.
Jack stumbled as he tried to keep up with the eager girl, "What's the rush we still have all day." He smiled as they now stood in the middle of the field, wondering what to do next.
Annabeth was the first to get an idea as she exclaimed, "What about jumping?" Jack looked at her questionably.
"Jumping?" He repeated. "You want me to jump?"
"Like a Jack-in-the-box!" She laughed, her smile widening. Jack sighed, he had a few things to say to whoever named that ridiculous toy.
"This isn't going to work." He stated as a matter of fact, before he began jumping on the spot. Annabeth giggled, whether this was going to work or not she didn't really care as watching Jack make a fool of himself was fun.
"Try jumping higher." The child instructed, while holding her sides as she erupted into another fit of laughter. Jack groaned his legs were beginning to tire and he was quickly becoming dizzy from the constant movement, but wanting to succeed Jack began jumping higher despite how tiring it was for his legs.
Annabeth was on the floor no longer able to contain her laughter of the snowy teen before her, the source of her amusement ended however when Jack became too tired with the exercise. Falling into the snow Jack allowed himself to rest as he waited for Annabeth to regain control before anymore ideas could be suggested. He just hoped that jumping wasn't a part of them.
It didn't take long for Annabeth to stop rolling on the floor with laughter as she was soon up and waiting on Jack with a few giggles escaping her every few seconds. "Any more ideas?" Jack asked looking at Annabeth from his seat on the ground.
"You could try running around the field really fast." Annabeth suggested as she watched Jack stand up. Jack looked at the field it was fairly large so hopefully he this should work, and on the bright side he wouldn't have to fear about running into any trees.
"This is going to be a long day." Jack sighed, before receiving an encouraging push from the brown haired child beside him. With another sigh Jack began jogging towards the edge of the field before turning right to run clockwise around the field, with any luck he wouldn't have to go far before this worked.
Annabeth watched from her spot in the middle of the field as Jack's speed steadily increased, slowly the white haired teen was sprinting around the edge of the field. "Faster!" Annabeth yelled, to her surprise Jack's speed did increase as it wasn't long before Annabeth found it hard to keep her eye on him without constantly having to turn.
"Try jumping!" Annabeth called out to the blurred figure that was Jack. Jack on the other hand was having a hard time trying to run in the circle, the speed that he was running at felt familiar but different. He was positive that he was going at the same speed that he had when being chased by wolves but now it was like something was missing from it. He didn't have the weightless feeling like then.
Jack finally managed to hear Annabeth's suggestion and thinking that it was better than running in a circle he tried it. Before his feet could touch the ground once more the wind caught him before sending him higher into the air. "Yes!" Jack and Annabeth cheered as Jack floated almost six foot off the ground. No sooner had they celebrated that Jack fell towards the ground.
Wasting no time Annabeth ran towards Jack who was currently lying in the snow laughing. "You did it!" Annabeth cheered, the brown haired girl wasted no time in giving her friend a hug.
Before Jack could respond Annabeth's stomach rumbled, the girl in question giggled slightly before looking around to see the position of the shadows. Noticing that the shadows were closer to the people or objects Annabeth knew that it was around noon. "We should go back." Annabeth said her voice hinting lightly at the depression the topic brought her.
Sensing this Jack spoke, "Hey don't worry, we still have until sundown. We can come back outside by then." Hoping to lift the young girl's spirit's Jack smiled as he lead the way back to Annabeth's house.