Smoke on the Horizon

IXX. Hazel

IXX. HAZEL

Frank looked like he wanted to pass out, then and there, and fall off his pegasus. Hazel flew up beside him and reached across to place her hand on his arm. He nodded, muttering “I’m okay” under his breath, and steadied himself.

“Okay, so how was it defeated before?” Hazel said. “And what was its original purpose? You said Poseidon created it.”

Annabeth nodded. “Yes. Andromeda claimed to be more beautiful than the the other goddesses or Nereids, who then demanded retaliation from Poseidon. He created Cetus to punish Andromeda and she was chained to a cliff to wait to be eaten. Perseus fell in love with her and asked her parents for her hand in marriage if he saved her and killed Cetus.”

“He would have,” Calypso muttered, just loudly enough for Hazel to hear.

“Okay, so how did Perseus defeat him?” Percy said.

“It’s not really clear,” Annabeth continued. “Some accounts show that he decapitated it, others that he used the head of Medusa to turn it to stone. Either way - ”

“Couldn’t have been very easy to dangle a head in front of that thing,” Jason said. “I’m not even sure if I could find its eyes.”

“Exactly. So - needless to say - this isn’t going to be easy, but we’ve faced big monsters before. We can do this.” Annabeth’s words were so convincing Hazel almost thought Piper had spoken instead. There was a way to her voice that made it clear she was the leader in this situation and knew what they had to do.

The war-ready Athena, Hazel thought.

“So, what’s the plan then?” Percy said, directing the question at all of them. “We all jump on it at the same time and hope it sinks?”

No one offered an answer. It seems impossible.

Below, the dark shape of Cetus loomed in the churning waves, a great black spot in the ocean that none of the demigods wanted to face. The odd thing was, the monster didn’t lunge again. It was as if it knew they were out of reach and was biding its time; as if it knew they’d try again.

Suddenly, a sweet sound emerged from the flapping of wings and crashing of waves. At first, Hazel though she was imagining it, simply a fragment of some lullaby surfacing in her memory for no rational reason, but then she noticed the others had a kind of dreamlike expression across all their faces.

“What is - ” she began when she looked at Calypso toward the edge of the group. The goddess was poised atop her pegasus with the look of someone important, the look of someone who knew she could have what she wanted. And she was singing.

Now what she was singing was unclear, the words jumbled in Hazel’s head and lost to her as soon as they came. All she knew was that Calypso’s voice was the most beautiful thing she’d ever heard and she wanted nothing more than for it to continue. She felt bubbly and lightheaded and grounded all at the same time, like she could do anything and would do anything if only she’d be able to hear that voice sing.

Nico was the one to break the silence.

“Wha - what are you doing?” he said in his stupor.

“She’s singing,” Jason snapped. “Listen.”

“It’s an enchantment?” Nico persisted.

“Well, obviously,” Annabeth said. “She is an immortal goddess. What else would you expect?”

Nico shrugged, apparently satisfied with the answer.

Hazel glanced around at the others, her eyes landing on Frank just as he slumped over in his saddle and prepared to slide off his pegasus.

“Frank!” She grabbed his sleeve and hefted him back on just in time.

“Hmm?”

“Frank, pay attention,” she said softly.

“Hr-hrm.”

“Okay, so Calypso, what are you doing? Why, rather?” she said, a hint of anger tinging her voice.

“To help,” was the reply, Calypso’s lilting voice barely breaking its pace and carrying on with the song.

Hazel saw Percy and Jason share a look, Nico, Frank, and Piper take on confused expressions, and Annabeth look like the answer to every question forever had just been answered to her.

“Of course!” she exclaimed, and it was starting to dawn on Hazel as well. “She can sing to Cetus!”

“Uh, I don’t know, Annabeth. I’m not really sure an ancient sea monster is totally caught up on the latest Top 100.” Percy shook his head as if just realizing he were starting to fall asleep and rubbed at his eyes. “I’m still voting for the ‘jump on him and make him sink ’ option, personally.”

“No, you don’t get it. Calypso’s voice - it can put Cetus to sleep if we can get him to hear it.”

“I think I kind of understand,” Hazel interjected. “The song works almost like a sedative; it can make whoever hears it do whatever she wants them to.”

Calypso nodded and the song ended. Instantly, Hazel felt more alert. It was as if a sheer grey curtain had been draped before her eyes and she could now see clearly again. Apparently, it had the same effect on the others, for the importance of this realization now seemed to be dawning on all of them.

“But how do we get Cetus up here to hear her is the question,” Piper said.

“If Percy and Jason can lure it up, I can attempt to get close enough. It wouldn’t take long, or at least, it shouldn’t take long. ‘In and out’ as you say.” Calypso said it simply, yet it sounded to Hazel like it would be more complex in action than simply “luring it up.” But the others seemed to be on board, so she guessed that was the plan. It was certainly the most straightforward option. If only things ever went according to plan on their quests.

“The rest of us should stay close in case you guys need help,” she said, not wanting this to end as badly as she envisioned it would. To her surprise, Percy agreed with her.

“Definitely,” he said, patting Blackjack to keep him calm. “Annabeth, Leo, Piper, Frank, Hazel, you all stay close enough to Calypso to keep an eye on her but far enough away so Cetus doesn’t see you. We want him focused on her.”

The other’s nodded and Annabeth looked like she wanted to say something, but before she got the chance Percy, Jason, and Calypso had turned seaward and were galloping back down to the surface.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.