Disclaimer : I do not own Percy Jackson…
Chapter 7 : Problems Everywhere
Percy’s face did not look happy as he stomped over to me. “Did I hear that right?” He shook my shoulders. “You kissed Robbie Feldsman. Robbie Feldsman kissed you. Which one is it?”
I looked at him. “Hypocrite.” I grumbled.
“How am I being a hypocrite Alex?” Percy was grinding his teeth.
“Well, I mean, there was the time when I caught you two in the cabin on my be…” He quickly put a hand over my mouth. When he let go, I smirked at him. “So don’t lecture me about kissing.”
“Fine.” Percy sighed resigned. “So you’re together?”
“Uh huh.” I nodded in assent. Percy suddenly brightened up and I looked suspiciously at him. “What are you thinking?”
“I am your older brother, right?”
“What are you playing at?” I asked exasperated.
“Therefore, it’s my duty to threaten all of my younger sister’s boyfriends.” With that in mind, Percy strode to the edge of the woods and dragged Robbie off to who knows where to do who knows what.
I went off, shaking my head, to the archery range. A horde of people were following me, about 80% of them being the Aphrodite cabin begging for details. The other 20% was some of the Apollo cabin. Now them, I was worried about. Will Solace came to me as I was throwing my knives.
“Can we talk?”
I turned to him. “If this is because of Robbie and me then piss off.”
“Robbie and I” an Athena camper said. I turned around with a frightening glare and the poor camper nearly peed his pants.
Will shrugged his shoulders. “I mean, I just want to know that you won’t hurt him in anyway.”
Will looked relieved. “Well, we’re good then.” He started walking back toward cabin 7. Then he turned back around. “Listen, Alex, if you do, then let’s just say, Robbie has a lot of siblings.”
“Yeah, I got it already.” Throwing another knife at the target, I could still hear the whispers and giggles of the Aphrodite cabin. I couldn’t take it anymore. Stabbing a knife straight into the table, I yelled, “Can you guys shut up? Yes! Me and Robbie kissed! So what?! Stop making it such a big deal!” When I stopped, the Aphrodite cabin backed off. I was still in a bad mood when I stomped in for breakfast. Then I saw Robbie. He looked traumatized and I hurried over to his table.
“What the hell did Percy do to you?”
“Your brother is really scary sometimes, do you know that?” was my unsatisfactory answer.
Going straight to Percy, I put my hands on my hips. “What did you do?”
Percy looked a little smug. “Just gave him a little warning. Don’t worry Alex, he’ll snap out of it by lunchtime.”
Thankfully, he did. When lunchtime came around, Robbie was his usual sunny self, cracking jokes and smiling. When I asked him what Percy did, he answered, “It’s nothing Alex, really. Now that I think about it, it was pretty funny. Anyway, do you want to duel with me after lunch?”
Summer passed by quickly. Before I knew it, Robbie and I were sitting on a picnic blanket looking at the stars. “I can’t believe you’re leaving tomorrow.” I sighed, resting my head on his shoulder.
Robbie put an arm around me. “Hey, I’ll come back during breaks.”
We didn’t get expelled from our prep school thanks to Chiron who manipulated the Mist to make the adults think that Mrs. Baker was a teacher who was mistreating her class and Robbie and I were the courageous ones who tried to tell a teacher. I thought that story was BS and I told Chiron that but he shut me up with “Would you rather be expelled?” Although it didn’t really matter in my case, because I decided to stay year-round. I knew that “the real world is where the monsters are” and all of that but I liked camp and I didn’t really want to pull a Percy and start getting expelled at every school I went to. Mom went ballistic, of course. I couldn’t really tell her that I was a demigod so I told her that I found a new school to go to. Not the best idea. Mom went all, “I need to see this school. Does it have a website? It’s a boarding school?!” Finally I had to ask Chiron to come and manipulate the Mist. After that, there was no trouble.
Robbie tapped my shoulder. “Percy’s looking at us.”
“Oh who cares.” I said flippantly. The drama of the new Rolex couple finally died down after a week and Percy accepted that we were together, however reluctantly.
“You should go back. It’s nearly curfew.”
“All right.” I got up from the blanket and stretched. “Don’t you dare leave tomorrow without saying goodbye.”
“Consider me warned.”
The next day was a blur of promises and tears and hugs and kisses. (in the case of Robbie) After everybody left, I staggered back into my empty cabin. The camp seemed so desolate without everyone. I couldn’t wait until winter break.
As the months went by, I started to like the solitude. Plus, since there were only a few campers who stayed year-round, we were pretty much allowed to do anything. It was as if nothing could go wrong. And of course, I jinxed it. It was a breezy crisp November day and I was heading over to the Big House about to ask Chiron a question on the Pegasi when I first noticed something wrong. Mr. D wasn’t at his normal place at the porch. I asked Chiron about this.
“Zeus has recalled all the gods back to Olympus, even Mr. D” Chiron said.
“That doesn’t make sense,” I protested. “Why would he do that?” In my head, I was screaming, NO! Not now! It’s too early!
I do not pretend to know Zeus’s mind child. He is very unpredictable. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an archery class to instruct.” He clopped away.
I walked off thinking. It just didn’t make sense to me. Zeus would never recall Mr. D back unless… A horrible feeling started up at the back of my mind. I ran after Chiron. “Can I go visit Sally? I’ll be extra careful.”
“I normally wouldn’t say this but yes, you may.” Chiron smiled at my victory dance. I’ll have Argus drive you there and I suppose Sally can drive you back.”
“Thank you!” I ran to the end of Half Blood Hill and quickly got into the car with Argus. I had a niggling suspicion in the back of my head and I had to see if it was true. After hours of traffic (which was torture for my ADHD body), Argus dropped me off in front of Sally’s house and winked at me as he drove off. I knocked on the door and it was opened by Mr. Blowfish himself. “Hi Paul. Do you know where Sally is?”
Paul gaped at me. “Alex? What exactly are you doing here?”
“Confirming a suspicion. If Sally isn’t here then can you give me a ride to the Empire State Building?”
“Um…” He looked conflicted.
“Fine. Make it a short visit.” Paul grabbed his keys and soon we were heading out. “So what’s this suspicion of yours?”
“Mr. D’s been called back and I’m pretty sure Olympus is closed.” I looked over at Paul to find him looking completely confused. “Just, demigod stuff.”
He nodded. We rode in silence for a time until Paul cleared his throat. “We’re here. I’ll be waiting outside for you.”
“Thanks Paul.” I dashed out of the car and into the Empire State Building, totally ignoring the line. Seeing the security guard, I ran over. “I need to get to Olympus.”
I was expecting it but my heart still sunk when I heard his answer. “Zeus has closed Olympus, young lady. You can’t get in.”
I trudged out, my head hanging. If the gods had closed Olympus, that meant that in a few months, Percy would disappear. I knew I couldn’t stop it but I wondered, Maybe I should go to California? I shook my head as I climbed in the car. No, I couldn’t do that. I might get seen by Nico and I wouldn’t want that to happen. Paul looked at me. “Bad news?” he asked.
“You could say that.” I put my head in my hands.
“I called Sally. She can take you back to Camp Half Blood.” Paul looked awkward. “So, should we go now?”
Back at Camp Half Blood, I prepared an Iris Message. “Oh goddess, accept my offering. Show me Annabeth Chase, wherever she is.” Throwing the drachma in, I sighed in relief when the image showed Annabeth at home. Although it was after school, it would have been awkward if she took clubs. “Annabeth!” I hissed.
She looked up from what I assumed to be her homework. “Alex? What’s wrong?”
“Olympus has been closed. Mr. D’s been called back to Olympus. Bad things are happening, Bethie.”
“Don’t call me that!” Her eyes widened as the message caught up to her. “Wait what?”
I repeated what I said. When I finished, Annabeth looked worried. “I’ll have to tell Percy this. We’ll talk more during winter break, all right?”
“Got it.” I slashed through the mist.
Next up? Robbie. I told him everything and when I finished, he looked more worried than Annabeth. “What should we do Alex?” He asked.
“I don’t know, sunshine. Let’s talk more when you come back for Christmas, got it? I already talked to Annabeth about this too so she’ll probably have something all thought out.”
“Yeah. See you later, Alex.” He cut the connection.
When Christmas came, I was one of those campers who waited eagerly for people to come. Finally, I saw Percy and Annabeth climb up the hill. I hurried over to them. “So what’s your plan?”
“No hello, how are you?” Percy put a hand over his heart. “Seriously Alex, I’m hurt.”
“Well, we do have a lot more important things to worry about.” Robbie’s voice floated from behind me. I whirled around.
Percy gagged. “Keep it PG guys.”
I frowned at him. “Says the person who can’t even keep it PG 13.”
“Oh shut up, all of you.” Annabeth’s voice sounded annoyed. “Alex, I know that something seems wrong with this but I’m sure it’s nothing that serious.”
I knew that she was wrong but I desperately wanted to believe that as well. “All right. I guess it’s just Zeus being his usual paranoid self.”
“Now guys, I’m hungry. Let’s eat something. Please? I didn’t start winter break early to talk the whole time.” Percy’s whining voice cut through my thoughts and all four of us headed toward the dining hall. It was a good day. We had a huge snowball fight which ended up being a draw because by dinnertime, all of us were soaking wet. After dinner and the campfire, I headed back to the cabin. I had just seen Percy and Annabeth kiss and I did not want to see more mushy stuff, thank you very much. We both fell asleep, Percy grinning like a lovesick puppy, which to be fair, he was, and me just collapsing on my bed.
I woke up the next morning to Annabeth shaking me. I yawned. “Annabeth, what’s wrong?” Then I stopped. Annabeth’s face was a mess. Her eyes were puffy and red and I could see tear tracks on her face. I got up. “Seriously, Annabeth. What’s wrong?”
Tears pulsed out of her eyes again as she said, “Percy’s missing.”