You know how whenever you go to do something stupid, your brain is like, hey maybe you shouldn't do this? Yeah, that was me, but I ignored it. In one quick, stupid move, I grabbed my bow, fitted it with an arrow, and ran out in front of a cyclops. When I say ran I mean jump. I ran out from behind the bushes, but jumped in front of the cyclops and shot it dead in the eye, then stopped myself from breaking my arms by rolling on the ground. Quickly getting to my feet, I’m already fitting another arrow when I yell to Cedar. “HELP GET THOSE TWO TO SAFETY, I’LL KEEP HIM DISTRACTED!” She nodded and ran over to Leo, then to the other two boys to help then to their feet. I, on the other hand, was busy jumping, rolling and dodging the cyclops’ swings to try to get me. After firing a few more arrows, I run and catch up with the others, who, thankfully, are running as well.
The one boy, Percy yelled to me. “Thanks for that.”
“Just keep running and don’t die” I yell back before shoving Cedar out of the way from a second cyclops attack. “Sweet holy Hades, there’s two of ’em!?” I yell in confusion, helping Cedar to her feet and catching up with the others.
“Now might not be the best time, but I’m Percy.” yells Percy, trying to avoid getting crushed and eaten.
“Your right,” Yells Cedar, with her anger boiling over “Now is not the best time. Do you even know where we’re going?”
“This way!” yells the blonde boy and dives off to the left. The rest of us follow and keep running. After a few more minutes of us dodging out of the way of they cyclops, Leo points ahead of us.
“See!” He yells “I told you we weren’t lost.” The rest of us rolled our eyes, and I looked to where Leo was pointing. It was a large stone gateway with the words “Camp Half-Blood carved in Ancient Greek at the top. Camp Half-Blood. Maybe they knew Will. We were only a few feet away from the gate when I turned to Cedar.
“Cedar, sword.” she nodded and tossed me her sword. I stopped, turned around, and yelled over my shoulder. “Get back up, quick!” Then turned back to the cyclops that was closing in. I get into a stance and prepare myself to swing. As soon as he was close enough, I threw the sword at the cyclops’ stomach and watched as he burst into gold dust. I smile and turn back to the gate just in time to see a dozen teens wearing bronze armor over their orange camp shirts. I see Cedar push through the crowd and run in my direction, before my eyes close and the world turns black.
I don’t remember much when I sleep. Not dreams or visions. So I couldn’t tell you what I was dreaming about when I passed out. When I woke up everything was bright. I blinked my eyes a few times and looked around. I was in some kind of infirmary or something. I felt a hand on mine and looked over to see Cedar holding my hand. I gave it a light squeeze and she looked up at me, throwing her arms around my neck. “Oh thank gods I thought you’d never wake up.” I smile and hug her back.
“It’s gonna take a lot more than a couple monsters to take me down.” I laugh, trying to make her feel better. Cedar leans close to my ear and whispers.
“I found your brother and told him about your...condition, him and the other Apollo campers are in charge of the infirmary, they promised not to tell anyone.” she pulled back and I nod, mouthing a silent thank you in response. I could feel a pair of eyes on me and I turned to see a boy dressed in black quickly turn away and walk out of the room. I just shrugged it off as another boy walked up to me. I automatically recognized him.
“WILL!” I yelled and jumped onto him to give him a hug. “Gods I missed you so much.” I squeezed my arms around his neck and felt tears prick the corners of my eyes.
He laughs and hugs me back. “I missed you too Alex. I’m glad to have you back.” We pull apart and he starts examining my arms and legs. “Well, one good thing about being a child of Apollo, we heal quickly” he says, looking over my leg. I nod and look at Cedar, who is staring at my brother, a huge smile on her face.
“Wow, you and Alex look so much alike. Alex is like a mini you!” she says trying to hold in laughter. I shot her a glare and she burst into laughter. “Sorry Al, it’s just, it’s nice to see you happy.”
I smile and nod. “Yeah, it is nice to be happy.” I focus my attention to the other campers in the infirmary. There weren’t too many, just a few cleaning up medical supplies. Will’s voice breaks my thoughts.
“You’re fine, I’ll have someone show you around camp.” Will said before turning to another camper. “Dylan, mind showing Alex around?” The camper, Dylan, turned in our direction and nodded.
“Sure, come with me.” she says enthusiastically. I hopped off the bed and followed Dylan out. “I’m Dylan, as you already know, I’m a child of Apollo too, so I guess that makes up brother and sister.” I look at her and smile. Brother and sister. Cedar said the Apollo campers knew I was trans, and they accepted it.
I look forward. “Yeah, brother and sister.” All around us were campers training or having fun. My eyes wandered over to the archery station. I stopped walking and watched as campers trained and shot arrows.
“You can have a turn later. We need to finish the tour. Plus I need to catch you up on training for capture the flag.” Dylan says appearing next to me. I nod and keep following her towards the cabins. “And here is cabin seven, the Apollo cabin.” I look up at the building. It looked more like a small house than a camp cabin. “Come on, i’ll show you inside. Your friend Cedar already helped bring your stuff in, so you don’t have to worry about that.” she says and opens the door, walking inside. I follow and gasp at the beauty of the cabin. On the walls were bows and musical instruments. Flowers sat on the window ledges and the sun made the whole cabin seem like it was glowing gold.
“Wow.” I breathed. “This is amazing.”
Dylan nods and leads me over to a bunk. “Here’s your bunk. We figured since your Will’s brother, you guys might want to be close to each other.” she gestured to the bed next to mine. “Well, i’ll let you get settled, come and find me if you need anything.” and with that, she was gone. I sat down and looked around. I grab my bow and arrows and make my way to the archery station. Archery seemed to be the only thing that could clear my head, so I enjoyed shooting arrows as much as possible. I make my way down and see there are a few others around the targets. One of them noticed me and turned to meet me.
“You must be Alex, Will’s twin. I’m Austin, another Apollo child.” He extended his hand and I shook it. Everyone I have met so far has been so nice to me. I smiled.
“Yeah, i’m Alex, nice to meet you.” I say and look at the others. “Can I ask what you guys are doing?”
Austin turns and looks at the others. “Someone shot an arrow into a tree, but no one want to climb up to get it.” I look up at the trees and spot the arrow in question.
“I can get it.” I say, removing my arrows from my back.
“Really?” he looks at me in surprise.
“Of course.” I nod and head over to the tree. “Gotta help out family, ya know?” I placed a hand on a branch and pulled myself up. Pretty soon I was halfway up the tree. I’ve had a lot of tree climbing practice, running from police and monsters. Once I reached the arrow I tossed it down and started swinging on the branches, jumping down. I reached the ground and the archery campers started clapping. Not like I did anything special.
“That was awesome.” one said. “I haven’t seen anyone climb a tree like that before, you must have had a bunch of practice.”
I nod. “When you’re a demi-god, there are certain skills you need to have, like climbing a tree to escape a monster.” We all started laughing. This is amazing, laughing and just, being myself. Our little celebration was cut short by the sound of a horn.
“It’s time for Capture the Flag!” Austin said and started walking towards the center of camp, along with the rest of the campers. I met up with Will and he started explaining the game to me.
“The Apollo, Hermes, Ares cabins almost always team up. Plus a few others.” he said as we walked. “Just be careful and watch for traps.” I nod and we stop walking, joining the other cabins on our team. I breathe a sigh of relief as I spot Cedar. She waves and I smile in return.
A few campers started naming off jobs. I noticed the same boy in black from earlier staring at me again. I guess he’s on our team.Then a girl from the Ares cabin pointed to me, breaking my train of thought. “You’re gonna guard the flag with the others.” she said, motioning towards Cedar, the boy, and a few others. I nod and feel my heart race. I’m getting excited.
We all hiked into the woods and the few of us on guard duty positioned ourselves around the flag, me up in a tree, and Cedar hiding in some bushes. Her size lets her hide anywhere. I look around and notice a few campers that were not our team coming towards the flag. I look at Cedar and she nods, clearly reading my eyes. We jump out of our hiding spaces in front of the campers, my bow and her sword drawn. That’s when the fun began.