Smoke on the Horizon

XXIII. Hazel

XXIII. HAZEL

Their journey gave them nothing.

Leo led them back to the coordinates where Cetus and Percy had disappeared, but there was no sign of either. Jason took the plunge into the cold water, descending as far as he could manage before resurfacing and informing the others that nothing was there. Even the layout of the ocean floor looked different, he said. But that didn’t make sense. Unless the ocean was playing tricks on them, which Hazel decided was entirely possible.

They scanned the water for hours, splitting up and covering the surface in all directions, searching for anything that might serve as evidence of Percy’s presence. But they came back with nothing.

Eventually, the sun began to sink once more and the impending night forced them back to their little deserted island.

The tide was still out, and Hazel had the sneaking suspicion it was farther away than before, and the extra space in the sand provided the pegasi with a nice cool place to rest their wings.

The eight filed back into their tents as the sun slipped away yet again, and Hazel for one, lost herself in deep, unescapable dreams.

Hazel found herself in the middle of a storm. The racing wind whipped by her, giving its best effort to knock her off the slick rock she was perched upon.

She wanted to run and hide, if only there had been anywhere to do so. She felt her feet begin to slide on her little rocky island, waves beating up against its’ algae covered surface, her sneakers little match for the will of an angry titan.

For she was certain Oceanus had something to do with this.

She squinted out into the whirlwind of water and smoke, until she could finally make out the outlines of the others, clinging desperately to their own rocky patches. She saw Frank beside her, a few yards away, bow drawn and aiming at something above them, but with every arrow he shot, it was blown off course by the storm and missed its’ mark.

Jason was next over, only distinguishable by the extra haze that seemed to cling to him, his little storm so minuscule in comparison to the one it was battling.

She could see the small silhouettes of the others, Piper, Calypso, and Nico, farther off, too blurred by rain to tell how they were holding up. Annabeth, Leo, and Percy were no where in sight, however, nor were the pegasi or Festus.

As Hazel tried to think around their situation, feeling so much like she were in a dream yet uncertain of reality, she caught sight of a massive cliff face in front of them, off farther out to sea.

The only problem with that was, walls don’t tend to move. And the longer she looked at this one, it was most certainly, undoubtedly moving towards them.

It was a wave.

A tidal wave bigger than anything Hazel could have previously imagined was hurtling towards them, ready and willing to obliterate any hope they had for escape.

Hazel felt herself panic, if only for a moment, as while the wall of water edged closer, she heard a voice, soothing and calm, whisper in her ear.

Into the sea, it said. Into the sea if you want to survive.

No question passed through her mind, she believed the voice without a doubt. She watched as the wave was suddenly on top of them, ready to crest, ready to pound them into the rocks that up until now had been their refuge, unless they jumped.

She shouted, screamed, to the others, telling them what to do, knowing it would save them. But the wind was too strong, her voice too weak, and Frank continued to launch his arrows, Jason his storms. Clearly she was the only one to have heard the voice, and she couldn’t save the others.

One last time, she yelled, and she saw Frank turn to her in confusion, finally hearing her cries, but she had already jumped, plunging headlong into the sea as the massive wave came crashing down.

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