I woke up early the next morning. I tried to get my thoughts from the previous night out of my head. The idea that I might be a weapon to destroy the gods, well, it scared me. And then there was my father. It was entirely possible that he was only trying to use me. I didn't want to believe it. I wanted to believe that he was training me because he cared about me, but the evidence was all there in front of me.
Elice yelped at me as I sat staring at the ground. I patted her on the head as I stood up. "Come on, girl," I said, "Let's get moving."
The weeks passed by uneventfully. The only things that I had to look forward to were my nightly training sessions with my father and those only brought on more disturbing thoughts. Elice went for weeks at a time without food or water and when we did stop it was only for an hour or two at a time. Elice didn't like staying in one place for too long. The only time we stopped for an extended period was Washington D.C. and that was a mistake.
I sat on a set of stairs and looked out across Tidal Basin at the city beyond it. I had read a lot about Washington D.C., but I never imagined that I would ever get to see it in person. At the edge of the water, Elice stood leaning over it and was lapping water into her mouth. It had been a week since she had last stopped to drink or eat anything. It still amazed me how she could accomplish such a thing. As for me, I had to get by on whatever I could find, I even had to steal food to get by sometimes. It didn't bother me as much as it used to, being out of the city for a month brought on more than a few changes.
Behind me stood the Thomas Jefferson Memorial which cast a long shadow over me. A constant stream of people moved across the area in front of it, some of them stopping to look at the boy sitting alone in front of the monument, but none of them taking more than a second to do so. Not many people ever paid any attention to me. Most of them just ignored me, probably feeling like they would be obligated to help me if they acknowledged my existence. The few that didn't overlook me were the ones that saw Elice. Even though they were seeing a dog because of the mist, she would usually manage to scare them away.
Across the basin, the Washington Monument towered over the city, stretching into the sky like some kind of divine hand reaching into the heavens from the earth. I stared at the top of the monument intently. It was something that I had always wanted to see, the view from the top of the monument I mean. Something about being up that high, the feeling of being on top of the world, the idea of it was nostalgic. That was the best part of living in the attic at the orphanage. Even if I wasn't in the highest building, I was still above all of the other kids that lived there.
I felt a nudge on my arm. I looked down at Elice, who was pushing her head against me as if to say, "Come on, it's time to go." I patted her on the head. I wasn't ready to leave yet, but Elice hated staying in one place for too long. My father was the same way. He told me that if I stayed in one place for a long time then monsters would pick up on my scent and would be on my trail in no time. He said that I was too powerful to remain still, that I could have an army of monsters after me within minutes if I wasn't careful. I thought that he was over-exaggerating. I wasn't all that strong. That was what I thought anyway.
The training sessions with my father were becoming less frequent recently. He said that it was because of my fast improvement. It had only been a month and I had already mastered shadow travel, which was apparently due to the fact that I was born with that talent. Not only that, but I had also become an adept swordsman. I still wasn't good enough to face Hades, but I was improving fast. I had also become adept at calling monsters to help me.
At the end of my last training, my father started teaching me about another one of my powers as well. This new power was the ability to control the minerals of the earth, to manipulate them to my will. It was similar to the way that I could manipulate shadows. The difference was that shadows are not solid like minerals, which makes them easier to manipulate. I wasn't any good at it, not yet anyway, but that only meant that the sessions would continue and I would be able to see my father more.
Elice continued to nudge my arm, but more violently now. Something was bothering her. It wasn't just the fact that we had been standing around for too long, she was sensing something. A monster must have been close by.
It may not have been a good idea, but I wasn't ready to leave, not yet. Besides, Hades said that I needed to get some real world experience if I ever wanted to improve my swordplay anymore. A fight with a real monster was the perfect chance to test that theory.
I stood up and patted Elice's head again. "Don't worry girl," I said, "I'll be alright."
I began to walk around the basin towards the Lincoln Memorial, but Elice refused to let me go. She jumped in front of me and blocked my path. "I'll be okay," I said again, but Elice didn't want to listen to me. She walked up to me and began nudging at my arm again like she was trying to turn me around. With her strength, she could have easily pushed me in the other direction.
"Stop it," I said, and she did. I didn't like to use this power on Elice, but sometimes it became necessary. Being a son of the Underworld, I was able to control monsters, no matter how strong they had to listen to me. The only withdraw of it was that it took some of my own strength for me to have power over them, the stronger they were, the more energy it took to control them. It wasn't hard to control Elice though, not because she was weak, only because she didn't try to resist me.
Elice sat down and stared at me. "Stay," I said like I was scolding a dog.
I walked around Elice as she watched me go. I could see the worry in her eyes. She was warning me, I knew that I should have listened to her, but there was no way that I would ever get a chance like this again. Elice curled up into a ball as she lay down on the ground. I felt bad, using my powers on her, and for something so stupid. She began whining as I walked away from her. It was kind of heartbreaking in a way even though I knew that she was just trying to guilt me into listening to her.
I reached the other side of the basin and the World War II Memorial. On the street in front of me, an endless stream of cars, busses and other vehicles flowed up and down the road. On the other side stood the memorial, fifty-six granite pillars built in a circle around a fountain with each of the pillars adorned with a laurel at the top. Two arches were built at the flanks of the fountain and on the opposite side of the fountain was a wall about ten feet high that was covered in gold stars. The entrance of the memorial was flanked on either side by bronze panels that depicted life during the war. I stood staring at the memorial in awe. I had never seen anything so impressive, not in person anyway.
The memorial was built to commemorate one of the bloodiest wars the world had ever seen. My father told me that many of the soldiers that fought in the war were demigods like me. He also said that the war itself was fought between his children and those of his brothers and that it lead to the three of them signing a treaty that forbid them from ever having children. Well, that combined with the supposed prophecy that he keeps talking about. Anyway, the war was, more or less, the reason that Zeus would kill me if he ever knew of my existence.
Beyond the war memorial was the famous reflecting pool. Almost half a mile of water that stretched from the war memorial over to the Lincoln Memorial. Hades had told me that most of the U.S. presidents were demigods and that included Lincoln himself. It amazed me that there were so many demigods that had lived among mortals like they were totally normal humans. I guess it shouldn't strike me as being that astonishing though. I lived with mortals for twelve years and no one ever knew the difference…not even me.
I turned my attention away from the two memorials. While the two of them were impressive, they weren't the reason that I wanted to stay longer. Behind me stood the real reason that I wanted to be in D.C., the Washington Monument. Like I said before, many of the United States presidents were demigods, and General Washington was probably one of the most well known. The monument seemed appropriate for him considering its height. After all, Washington was a son of Zeus.
As I looked on at the monument, I saw a number of men wearing black suits around the grounds. Now, being in Washington D.C., there were a lot of guys walking around in business suits, but these guys were different. For one, they were all wearing a pair of sunglasses, which wasn't strange by any means since it was the middle of the day. Well, it wouldn't have been if it wasn't November. The other strange part about them was that they were all wearing the same exact suit. It was clear that these men were acting as some kind of security.
In the very front of the monument, a few feet away from it, was a group of people, all of which were of varying ages. The majority of them were looking around the grounds. Some were taking pictures while others were simply admiring the scenery. The ones that were not looking around were listening to a woman who was standing in front of the crowd and facing away from the monument. From what I could determine, I was looking at a tour group.
I took one of the two walkways on either side of me. It was one of many that surrounded the monument and lead to the inner walkways, which formed a sort of circular shape around the monument that probably would have looked like a deformed eye if you looked at it from above. Well, a deformed eye with a massive spike-like object sticking out of it like someone had tried to blind the person the eye belonged to.
I reached the inner walkways and walked around the monument as if I were admiring its beauty. I passed a small building when I reached the far side that appeared to be some kind of information center.
As I walked, I noticed that everywhere I went at least one of the men in black suits was watching me. They were trying to hide it. They watched me from behind their sunglasses, but no amount of darkness could conceal any secret from me. One of the men began to follow me at a distance, keeping a close eye on me. I guess that a twelve year old alone in a city like D.C. was a little bit suspicious.
I had to disappear fast. I walked at a quicker pace, but still looking as if I was just strolling casually. The man that was following me matched my pace. I approached the shadow of the monument and began to draw the darkness towards me. The minute that I entered the shadow of the building, a shade was pulled around me and I disappeared within the blink of an eye.
I continued forward, but I looked back at the man that had been following me. He tried to hide his surprise, but I could tell that he was trying to figure out what had just happened. He jogged over to the spot where I had disappeared and inspected the area. After a moment, he shrugged his shoulders and then began speaking to someone, probably over a radio, but there was no way to tell what he had said. I smiled and began a leisurely stroll towards the entrance of the Washington Monument.
I saw a man in the tour group pointing to the spot where I had disappeared and saying something to the girl next to him about how he could swear he saw someone walking along the path a minute ago. Next to him was another man, a much larger, much scarier looking man. He stood over six feet and had broad shoulders and a muscular build. He was wearing a blood red shirt that said something like, Hnwau Wutiloiou. Okay, so that probably isn't anywhere close to what it said, but I'll get back to that. Anyway, his shirt had a rather gory looking scene on it that I would rather not describe. The man also wore a pair of blue jeans and light brown working boots.
Okay, so about the Hnwau Wutiloiou thing, I should probably mention that I have dyslexia and ADHD. I never found out while I was at the orphanage. They did educate us, to the lowest degree possible, but they never mentioned anything about me having either of those disorders. It's true that I read a few books while I was there, and I did have trouble getting through even the simplest ones, but I always attributed the problem to my lack of good education. Hades was the one that told me about the disorders. He didn't need to know about my inability to read or lack of ability to sit still for more than a few seconds because all demigods had both disorders. The ADHD was our natural battle senses and dyslexia was caused by the fact that our brains were hardwired to read Ancient Greek, not English.
So yeah…anyway, the big guy was kind of intimidating, but there was something that seemed strange about him. I don't know what it was, but he gave me an uneasy feeling. Not only that, but he kept staring in my direction wearing a big toothy grin like he could see me. The last time I was seen while hidden in the shadows was…no, I couldn't think about that. Nothing bad was going to happen. I had to force myself to look away from the guy, but I managed to keep my mind off of him. It was strange, but, just for a second, as I was looking away from the man I thought it looked like he only had one eye. It must have been a trick of the light.
I made my way passed the tour group and listened to the girl at the front, who must have been a tour guide, as I entered the monument. She was telling the people in the group about the history and construction of the monument. It was all really interesting, but there was no way that I could listen to something like that for too long. I guess if you're into that kind of thing then it's actually bearable.
I entered the lobby of the monument. The inside of the monument was a marble hallway used as a waiting area. On the floor was a mosaic design that depicted a laurel surrounding a badge shape that was colored like the American flag. Another part of the floor showed a laurel that surrounded the words: first in war first in peace.
I walked through the waiting area until I reached a room that had a single elevator. On the way to the elevator, I saw a bronze statue of Washington himself. The statue was in a part of the hall that was blocked off and it was far enough away that it was out of the arms length of even the tallest man. Above the elevator was a bas-relief of Washington.
I stood and stared at the bronze colored doors of the elevator when I heard the sound of footsteps from the waiting area. I moved to the side quickly so that no one would bump into me. The group of people that had been outside, which, unfortunately, included the scary looking man, filed into the room. I had to adjust myself several times to avoid the mortals, but I managed. After a moment, the tour guide forced her way to the front of the group and pressed a button next to the doors. The elevator doors opened and the people moved into the elevator. Once it was full, the tour guide hit another button and the doors began to close. I barely made it into the elevator without getting squashed.
I felt the elevator shift without warning as it began to move up the monument. The tour guide said that it would take about seventy seconds to reach the top. On the way, she started talking about the construction of the top of the monument and the placing of the capstone. I lost interest in all that after about five seconds.
The whole elevator ride, I kept catching the big scary man looking over at me. Whenever I wasn't watching him, he would look over at me until I looked back at him. At that point, he would turn his head away from me and feign cluelessness. Up close, the man was even creepier looking. His teeth showed that he cared little for personal hygiene and his nappy bed head showed that he cared even less than that. His nose appeared to be broken like he got into a lot of fights and that was everyone's favorite place to punch him. His eyes, I mean eye, or…well this was confusing. When I looked at him from the side, he appeared to have two normal brown eyes, but when I looked directly at him, his two eyes looked like they were trying to come together to form one big eye. Whatever I was seeing, something was definitely wrong with this guy.
We reached the top floor of the monument and the doors opened to reveal a small observation deck. The room was large enough to hold everyone, but just barely. There were eight windows in all, four on each wall, a few of which had a step below it for kids to see out of the window. The walls curved up in a pyramid shape until there was about a foot of room in the top of the ceiling, which was about ten feet high.
The mortals began moving out of the elevator and into the room. I walked into the observation deck after all of the mortals were cleared out of the elevator. By that time, everyone was crowded around one of the eight windows. Even the big guy was looking out at the view of the city. There was no room for me to get to any of the windows. I thought about waiting for the people to clear away, but I didn't want to wait. I had already spent too much time in the city and I wanted to get out of there soon.
I went to one of the windows, one that had the least amount of people in front of it. Unfortunately, it was also the window that the big guy had chosen to use. Actually, he was the only one at that window. I guess I wasn't the only one that got a bad vibe from him. When I approached the window, the big guy glanced back at me, but only for a second. Otherwise, he didn't seem to notice me at all. Maybe he was just a regular mortal and he had no idea that I was there. Maybe he just kept hearing me when I was walking and kept looking back to see if someone was there.
I got up on the step, since I was at one of the windows that had one. The view from the observation deck was breathtaking. I saw the whole north side of the city. Nestled in some trees on the ground in front of me was the White House, the home of the current president. Beyond the White House was a jumble of buildings as far as I could see. Each one was taller than the one in front of it. I don't think I've ever seen quite a thing in my life.
"View is pretty from up here," the guy next to me said.
I looked over at him. He was staring out of the window at the view. I don't know who he was talking to, himself maybe, but he was starting to really scare me. I turned back to looking out at the view, but I was getting uncomfortable. No matter how much I wanted to stay there, I knew that I had to leave.
I turned and stepped down from the stairs in front of the window. That was when I realized that something was definitely wrong. When I had looked out of the window, the room had been full of mortals. Now, there wasn't a single person up there. The only ones there were me and the scary guy behind me.
I moved as fast as I could towards the elevator, but I stopped dead in my tracks when I heard the man speak again. "Doesn't demigod like the view," the man asked, "View is pretty."
I turned and looked at the man. He was staring right at me. It was clear now. He only had one single eye, one big brown eye that was focused on me and only me. I was sure that this man was no mortal. And he just called me a demigod.
Crap, I thought, he's a monster!
I ran for the elevator. Before I could take a step, I felt the monster grab me by the collar of my shirt. The minute he touched me, the shade dispersed. I was now completely visible. The monster lifted me off of the ground and held me up in front of him. His one big eye looked me up and down like he was inspecting the quality of a piece of meat. Knowing how monsters thought, that was probably exactly what he was doing.
"Demigod is scrawny," the monster said, "But he has much power."
I punched and kicked at the monster, but he held me at a distance so that I couldn't reach him. I hated being like this. I couldn't stand it when I felt so helpless. It was just like what happened when I ran away from the orphanage, and when Emily disappeared. I couldn't do anything.
But it wasn't the same. I was stronger now. I could get out of this.
"Feisty," The monster observed, "May be scrawny, but active demigod best for eating."
I ignored the monster and concentrated on the shadows. It was harder to use my powers during the day, but the inside of the building wasn't very bright, which made it a little bit easier on me. I formed the darkness around me into a shade. Behind the monster, a swirling mass of darkness began to form and move towards him.
"Time to cook dinner," the monster said.
"Cook this," I told him.
I willed the darkness to move forward. It hit the monster hard and he stumbled forward. He let go of me and I rolled over the ground so that I was behind him. The monster fell over and slammed into the ground face first. The room shook as the monster fell over. I couldn't imagine what his nose must have looked like after that.
I didn't waste any time. I jumped over the Cyclops and sprinted towards the elevator. I started hitting the button frantically, hoping that it might make the elevator move faster. Behind me, the Cyclops began stirring. He let out a frustrated groan as he began to move around. I hit the button more and more frantically until I finally heard the sound of the elevator reaching the observation deck.
The doors opened and I jumped into the elevator as soon as the gap was wide enough. I hit the button inside and the door began to close. I just had enough time to see the Cyclops looking up at me with a big bewildered eye. "Dinner is escaping," he bellowed as the door closed shut.
I slouched against the back of the elevator and let myself slide down into a sitting position. I let out a sigh of relief and listened to the hum of the machine's gears.
While I was there, I concentrated as hard as I could. I felt my consciousness reaching out to the world around me like a snake moving through its tunnels. I felt the touch of Elice's mind. It's hard to explain how communicating with Elice through my consciousness feels. I don't exactly talk to her, not in any normal sense. Instead, we communicate by feeling each other's emotions. As I touched Elice's mind, a sense of wonder came over me. I don't know what she was doing, but the feeling passed soon and was replaced by a strong worry. I knew that she was on her way so I let my consciousness recede.
A loud ping sounded in the elevator to let me know that I had reached the bottom floor. The door opened and I dashed out, much to the surprise of the next tour group waiting to go up. I pushed through the people in the lobby, ignoring the many slurs that they yelled at me as I shoved them out of the way.
I bolted out of the monument in a frenzied sprint. I didn't stop until I made it to the walkway surrounding it. I pushed my hands against my knees and leaned over. I began to breathe heavily. I hadn't realized how fast I had been running until I stopped. I tried to look around, to figure out what I should do next, but I couldn't move my neck and my thoughts were so clouded that all I could think about was how tired I was.
When my breathing finally slowed to a steady pace, I lifted my head up and searched the park for Elice. She was nowhere in sight. She was a good distance away, but she was fast enough that she should have arrived at any moment. There she was, running towards me, faster than any dog.
I started walking towards Elice, but then I felt the ground begin to shake. I stopped, and so did Elice. We both looked up towards the monument. The shaking came in shockwaves, like someone was hitting a gigantic drum and the vibrations were causing mini earthquakes. Even the mortals were looking around with fear in their eyes.
The shaking became more and more intense with each passing moment. I watched as the center of the monument shattered apart sending rubble raining down on the people below. One massive earthquake caused me to fall backwards and sit on the ground. The Cyclops that attacked me was falling from the sky straight towards me. "Dinner cannot escape me," the Cyclops yelled as he plummeted towards the earth.
I stood up and started running. Ahead of me, Elice sped up to her max speed, but she was still too far to get to me in time to help. I closed my eyes and started running as fast as my legs would carry me. That was when I heard Elice's yelp.
I turned my head and saw a massive piece of rubble falling right over me. There was no time to avoid it, I only had one chance. I closed my eyes and focused on an image, the image of a blade resting in my hands. I felt a tug in my stomach and something solid began to take form in my hands. I gripped the object and opened my eyes. I was now holding the full form of my sword, Kardiabisma, Heartstopper.
I turned around and swung Heartstopper at the piece of rubble. Luckily, though it was still a large piece, it was small enough that my sword was able to slice it in half. The rubble split into two pieces, each of which smashed into the ground on either side of me. I gripped Heartstopper with both hands and held it at a ready position. Elice appeared at my side and the two of us stood prepared to take on the Cyclops.
I always felt stronger when I held my sword. At first, I had attributed the feeling to the confidence that came with the possession of a weapon. However, after I had told him about the feeling, my father explained to me that the sword was magic. The magic in the sword enhanced my shadow manipulation making it easier to use and increasing its power.
I watched as the Cyclops hit the ground several feet in front of me and landed standing up on his feet. I had hoped that the fall would be enough to kill him, but of course it wasn't. I could never be that lucky. The ground shook in a more violent earthquake than any of the previous shockwaves that the monster had caused. I stumbled back, but I managed to keep my footing. The monster looked on at me and my hellhound even as we looked back at him.
The Cyclops lifted up a piece of rubble next to him and tossed it at us. Elice and I dodged, the two of us running in two different directions, and the piece of rubble smashed into the dirt. I fell forward, but caught my footing in time to see Elice charging at the Cyclops at top speed. I didn't think that it was the best idea, but I couldn't let Elice attack alone. I charged at the Cyclops from the other side.
Elice reached the monster before I could even close half the distance between me and the Cyclops. She jumped at him, her jaws opened. Before she got a chance to bite him, the Cyclops swung his arm and hit Elice with his back hand. Elice let out a painful yelp as she hit the ground and went skirting across it.
"Elice," I yelled.
I picked up speed and closed the remaining distance in a matter of seconds. The Cyclops threw a punch at me that would've crushed me, but I managed to step out of the way. I tried to slash at the monster's wrist. Before my blade could connect, the Cyclops hit me with the back of his free hand. He didn't get much force behind the hit so he only managed to push me away from him.
I tried to hack at the monster again. Unfortunately, he had recovered from punching the ground and made an attempt to crush me under foot. I dove out of the way as grass, dirt, and rock were thrown into the air around me. I rolled over the ground, stood up, and stabbed at the Cyclops's ankle. The monster let out a pain filled scream as Heartstopper pierced right through his lower leg.
I pulled my sword from the Cyclops and stepped away from him. He reached down and grabbed at the wound in his leg. I wasn't even thinking as I turned around. I thought that cut would be enough to kill him. After all, most of the monsters I had fought went down after being bitten by Elice, why shouldn't one go down from a stab wound. I guess it never crossed my mind that a monster this large would be harder to kill.
As I turned, I felt something similar to a rock strike me on the side. Before I knew it, I was in the air flying back towards the Washington Monument. I slammed into the marble of the building and nearly blacked out at impact. I fell to the ground and sat there trying to make sense of the blurred scene in front of me. As far as I could guess, I was about to die.
I shook my head as my vision cleared. I saw the Cyclops walking towards me slowly, a hint of pride showing on his face. I knew that I needed to get out of there, but I wasn't thinking fast enough. The monster snatched me up as I tried to scramble to my feet. With his one large hand wrapped around my waist, I wasn't going anywhere.
The monster lifted me to eye level and stared at me. I struggled to break free of his grip, but he was way too strong for me. "Fight with demigod is fun," the Cyclops laughed, "Work up big appetite."
I kicked and punched at the monster, but nothing connected. I couldn't believe that after everything I had been through I was going to die as some overgrown beast's dinner. I mean, weren't demigods supposed to have epic tales that ended with an honorable death or by being cursed by some angry god. Something like that I would have been okay with, but this? There was no way that I was letting it end this way. That was when I remembered something. I still had my sword.
I lifted Heartstopper and stabbed down at the monster's elbow. The blade connected and cut into his arm. The Cyclops cried out in pain and let go of me. I fell to the ground, but the monster was still too close to me. I concentrated and used the shadow of the monument to form two shades around each of my arms. I willed them forward and they slammed into the monster forcing him to go airborne. The Cyclops flew through the air and crashed into the ground a good twenty feet away from me. A cloud of dust and debris was thrown into the air.
That had to be it. There was no way that anything could have survived all of that. I watched as the cloud of dust disappeared. Standing in the center of a crater was the Cyclops…and he looked angry.
I punched the marble wall behind me. How could that thing survive all of that punishment?
I was going to need something harder to kill this thing, something stronger, something…bigger. I rubbed my hand against the monument. I looked up at it and a thought occurred to me. It was a bit of a long shot, but it may have been the only way out of this mess.
I reached out with my conscious, but I wasn't trying to reach Elice this time. I felt the touch of the minerals in the ground below me. Okay, so if trying to explain how touching Elice's mind feels is hard, then explaining what it was like to control the earth is impossible. Touching them with my consciousness, well, it's kind of like that feeling you get when you first wake up and you don't want to move, but you know that you have to so you force yourself to get out of bed. That's the best way that I can think of to describe it.
I searched through the different minerals until I found those of the monument. I don't know how to tell you how I knew the difference, but they all have a different feel to them, it's kind of like tasting different flavors of ice cream, how you can tell the flavor by the taste. Anyway, once I found the monument, I tried to force the minerals to separate and break apart. I hoped that I would be able to bring the monument down that way, but the minerals were crammed too close together. It was nearly there, they were ready to split, but they just needed a little extra push.
My thoughts were interrupted when the Cyclops screamed at me. "Demigod will pay for that," he yelled, "I will kill you in most painful way possible."
I turned towards the monster and my consciousness receded. As it did, I felt the minerals in the monument pulling back together. I watched the Cyclops as he prepared to charge at me. I needed to keep the monument ready to fall, but I had to avoid big and ugly while I did. I reached out again and separated the minerals in the base of the monument. As I did, the Cyclops began to run at me.
I dove and rolled to the side. I nearly lost my concentration, but I managed to get it back in time. The Cyclops bolted past me and slammed into the monument. I could feel the minerals crying out as he did. I thought that would be enough to topple the building, but it stood strong. The monster would have to hit it at least a hundred more times to cause any damage. I didn't have time for that, and besides, I wouldn't be able to keep dodging him for very long.
I gripped my sword and I got an idea. It might not be the best idea, but maybe, if I could weaken the base enough, it would work.
The Cyclops roared and then charged at me again. I dodged out of the way and the idiot tripped over himself. He fell to the ground and rolled several feet, causing yet another miniature earthquake. The few mortals who were left in the area screamed as the ground shook violently.
I didn't bother to worry about them. I ran at the monument, my sword ready to strike. I forced the minerals at the base to move as far apart as possible. I swung Heartstopper as hard as I could. The blade hit the side of the monument and cut into the marble like a knife through butter. I ran across the entire base, cutting through and forcing the minerals to break away from each other. I reached the other side of the monument and stopped.
On the side of the building was a massive cut, a near perfect slice. The slash reached almost five feet into the marble from the side. I looked up at the top of the monument, hoping to see it sway as it fell, but the monument remained in place.
I stabbed my sword into the ground, the frustration growing to an unbearable point. It was about to fall, it just needed that one little push. I thought that I might be able to do it, but there was no way that I was strong enough. No, I needed something a little bit heavier. Maybe something that was big and stupid too.
I jumped to the side as a piece of rubble hit the ground where I was standing. I looked over at the Cyclops. He was standing at the end of a channel that he had made in the ground when he fell. He was panting heavily and looked like he was ready to murder somebody. He picked up another piece of rubble and tossed it at me. I stepped to the side as the monster's aim was way off.
"DEMIGOD WILL DIE," he screamed.
"Then come and get me," I yelled back.
The monster stared at me with a large murderous eye. I moved to the side so that I was positioned between the monster and the center of the monument. Now I just needed to make him mad.
"You think you can kill me," I said, "You couldn't even kill a paralyzed chicken." I know what you're thinking and I agree. That was a horrible insult. The thing about monsters though, they are easily angered. And they're not very smart.
"What," the Cyclops yelled.
"You heard me," I called back to him.
I saw a blazing rage ignite in the Cyclops's eye. He charged at me faster than I ever thought someone that big could run. I smiled as I held my sword up. As he approached me, I dove to the side. I guess I misjudged his intelligence just a bit. As I dodged him, the monster reached to the side and grabbed me by the waist again. He had my arms pinned down this time so that I couldn't use my sword.
Even though he managed to grab me, he didn't stop his charge and he ended up slamming head first into the wall of the monument again. I watched as the monument began to sway away from us. A moment of despair took over me as I realized that the monument was going to fall the wrong way.
The monster turned around and rubbed his head. Then he looked down at me and began to celebrate. "Yay," he yelled into the air, "Puny demigod cannot escape me." The monster began waving me around in the air and continued yelling out in celebration. I continued to watch the monument as its sway slowed down, or at least, I thought it was slowing. It was hard to tell with the Cyclops waving me through the air.
The big idiot finally stopped his rambling and held me still as he looked over me. I watched the monument's sway stop. It remained motionless for a second before it began to fall towards us. I smiled. This was exactly what I wanted. But something hit me at that moment. I was going to be crushed along with the monster…unless I could get him to drop me.
The monster looked at me quizzically. "Why do you smile," He asked, "Is dying good thing?" I started laughing. It wasn't because of what he said; it was because he had just given me the perfect idea. "Hey," he yelled, "What is so funny?"
I kept laughing until the monument was looming over us. "It's nothing," I said, "Just don't' look behind you."
I knew that he would be too stupid to not listen to me. The monster turned his head to behold the Washington Monument as it was about to crush him. He turned around and lifted his hands up to catch the structure.
I was dropped and hit the ground underneath him. There was no time for me to run away. Luckily, the shadow of the monument was dark enough for me to get away.
I concentrated on an image of the walkway around the monument, a spot where I would be safe. I watched as the area around me melted away until I was surrounded by pure darkness. I was flung forward at a speed ten times faster than Elice could run. I felt like I was on the world's most dangerous roller coaster.
Before I knew it, a new scene began to form. The shadows melted away until I was sitting in the spot that I imagined being at. I turned around and watched as the Washington Monument fell on the Cyclops, who had made a vain attempt to catch it with his bare hands. The monster let out one final scream as he was crushed.
I sat and stared at the monument. A month ago, I never would have believed that I would be able to accomplish such a thing. Even now, sitting there like I was, staring at the fallen monument, I was in complete disbelief that I had actually done it.
I stood up and continued to stare at the monument. I was actually expecting the Cyclops to come crawling out from under the rubble. After everything that I had thrown at it, I had begun to think that it was invincible. Nothing is invincible though I guess. I might have stood there all day, waiting for the monster to attack me again. I might have, if I hadn't heard that roar.
I looked off into the distance. I couldn't see anything, but I could sense it. There were monsters nearby…and there were a lot of them. If that wasn't bad enough, I also heard sirens approaching me. In a matter of seconds I had gotten the entire mortal world and half of the immortal world after me. I had to disappear fast if I wanted to live.
Elice yelped as she appeared next to me, her back lowered so that I could climb onto her. I mounted her quickly and gripped her fur as she sped off into the distance. I looked back in time to see a group of police cars arriving at the fallen Washington Monument.
Elice ran well into the night and the next morning. I had gotten used to sleeping on her back while she ran, but it was still uncomfortable. She didn't like to stop, but I still needed to eat. Even Elice needed to eat she just didn't do so nearly as often as I did. Anyway, by noon the next day I could feel my stomach growling. That's how I ended up at a McDonalds outside of Raleigh, North Carolina.
It was lucky that I had just enough money for a meal. I didn't have the energy to try and steal anything. It was easy enough with my shadow powers, but I didn't have the strength to use any of my powers. Not after that fight. Regardless of how I got it, it felt good to finally get something in my stomach.
I sat down in a far corner of the dining area. There were only a few other people in the place, which included a group of teenagers on the opposite side of the restaurant who were yelling and throwing their food at each other, a family of three that sat two tables away from me, and a lonely old man who was sitting at the table next to me.
I was surprised at how fancy the place was. The seats were comfortable and there were even these comfy chairs that looked like they belonged in someone's living room. The comfy chairs, which there were four of, each had a small table attached to it so they could be used to eat at. There were also three LCD TVs in the dining room, one of which I could see clearly from where I sat.
Local news was showing on the TV. A blond haired woman wearing a red dress sat behind a desk with a view of downtown Raleigh behind her. Well, I think that was what the view was. I've never been to Raleigh so I wouldn't be able to tell. Anyway, she was talking on and on about a local shooting or something like that. I wasn't really paying attention. I was too focused on my food.
"And in national news," the woman said, "Has Washington succumbed to a terrorist attack?" I stopped halfway through my sandwich and looked up at the screen. To the left of the woman was an image of the Washington Monument with the words, LEBBORISL VLLACK, printed over them. Again, dyslexia. "Late afternoon yesterday, an explosion at the Washington Monument caused the structure to crash into the ground in what government officials are calling, 'the strangest and boldest attack on American soil in history.'
I could feel myself sweating as the newscast went on. The screen changed to show a bird's eye view of the monument, or what was left of it anyway. Construction crews were scattered around the rubble of the building, attempting to clean it away from the area.
"This is the current state of one of our countries most beloved monuments after yesterday's attack," the woman went on, "A witness at the scene was able to capture the attack on video, but the event is baffling everyone from citizens to the F.B.I's top investigators."
The screen changed again to show the monument standing as it had been before. A man's voice could be heard telling his daughter to look up at the structure. After a few seconds, someone ran out of the monument and disappeared from the frame. The camera panned over to show me standing with my hands on my knees and panting for breath.
The scene went silent. Then a loud crashing noise could be heard and the camera shook violently. The camera panned back to the monument, but not before showing me turn around to look at it. A few more crashing noises could be heard and the camera shook with each one. Suddenly, a massive explosion went off on the side of the monument accompanied by a loud boom. The man that was filming the video screamed in terror and let out several, 'Oh my god's, before the screen went black.
The blond woman appeared again. "A frightening sight," she said, "Officials report that the building was evacuated in time and that no one was hurt."
I let out a relieved sigh. I had never considered that anyone might be inside of the monument when I toppled it. Hearing that everyone had escaped safely was good to know. Not only that, but, from the looks of things, no one had any idea that I had destroyed the monument. Who would suspect a twelve year old of even being capable of something like that?...Apparently, more people than you would think.
My relief was short lived as a new image appeared next to the news lady. The image showed an enhanced picture of me from the video that the man had shot. I was staring at the camera as I turned to look back at the monument. My face was kind of pixilated, but you could make out a few features. Besides that, I was still wearing the same clothes, a black pair of tight fitting jeans and a black shirt with a skull and crossbones on it.
"Witnesses claim to have seen this boy at the base of the tower when it fell," the woman said, "No one can identify him, but authorities are asking that anyone who sights him to report his location to their local police department. This boy is to be considered armed and highly dangerous."
I swallowed the last bite of my sandwich. Ever since that picture of me appeared on screen, everyone had been staring at me. Well, everyone besides for the teenagers, who had already left. The guy at the cash register had disappeared into the back and the old man had just hung up his phone. I could only guess at what they were doing, but I knew that it wasn't good. Well, not for me anyway.
"Cleanup crews are expecting…" the woman began to say, but whatever she was going to say was lost as I left the restaurant. I reached out to Elice. Before long, she was speeding to me as fast as she could.
She wasn't fast enough. I watched as a squad car pulled into the parking lot. The words, North Carolina State Police, were seen on the side even though I had to squint to read them. A trooper stepped out of the car and looked right at me. I tried to walk away casually, but the officer grabbed me by the arm.
"I have some questions boy," the officer said, "I'll need to take you downtown."
"Sorry," I said, "But I need to find my mom." I looked up and saw Elice speeding towards me. "Look, there she is now."
I pulled away from the officer as Elice leaped onto him. The man cried out in fear as Elice bit into his arm, her massive teeth easily piercing into the man's forearm. Elice used her immense strength to hurl the man across the parking lot and into his own squad car. Before the officer could get up, I was on Elice's back and speeding down the highway towards South Carolina faster than any mortal car could move.
"I need backup," I heard the officer yell into his radio, "Suspect in Washington terror attack has been sighted!"