May the Sea Be With You

The Worst Wedding

On Mom and Bob’s wedding day, I was the flower girl and Jacob was the ring bearer. I had to guide him down the aisle while I also threw flower petals, which was hard enough. What was worse, though, was that I had to wear a dress.

I had to stand in front of everyone wearing a dress. I nearly cried, but I kept my mind off of it by thinking about what was probably happening at camp while I was gone. I thought about all my friends and about the babies, and then the ceremony was over.

At the reception, my mom’s family, some of whom I had met before, told me how pretty I looked in the dress and how strong I was looking. They asked about my special school and I told them that it was going well, but my mom wanted me home to try normal school for the next semester.

Bob’s family tried to talk to me too, but I didn’t want anything to do with them. I focused on Jacob, and when he fell asleep in a chair at the table while the adults danced, I lay my head down and wished that we were where we belonged. I missed campfires and the silly songs and dances that we did. Campfires were a lot more fun than this wedding.

The next day, my mom and Bob sat me down in the living room. They didn’t have Jacob come because he was too young to understand.

“How would you like it if I adopted you?” Bob asked.

“Adopted?” I said. I didn’t know the word.

“We would fill out paperwork so that I would be your dad and you could have my last name, Russell.”

“Then we’ll really feel like a family, don’t you think?” Mom asked.

I scowled. I liked my last name, Lucas, and I told them so.

“My last name is going to be different now, too. And Jacob’s,” my mom told me. “You don’t want to be the only one called ‘Lucas’ in our family, do you?”

I mumbled that I wouldn’t mind.

“I just want to show you and Jacob that I’m here to stay, no matter what,” Bob said, smiling. As if it was a good thing that he was staying.

Even though I never agreed, my mom said that they would send in the paperwork for Bob to adopt Jacob and I. She told me that I should call him ‘dad.’

While she was busy cooking and Bob was watching Jacob, I ran outside. I found some shadows and crossed my fingers. I knew that I could get somewhere by shadow traveling, and anywhere was looking better than here.

I melted into the shadows, feeling the cold try to consume me, then tumbled out from under a tree. I looked around. I didn’t recognize anything, but I could feel magic. It was something that Hecate had taught me.

“I think I’m at camp,” I whispered to myself. It was much warmer than the weather at my house, so I was either at my camp or I was in California near Camp Jupiter.

I heard a snap off to my left. I scrambled to my feet and ran.

Exhaustion nearly overwhelmed me, leftover from the shadow traveling, but I managed to keep going, my eyelids heavy. I could hear rustling behind me, as if something was chasing me, but my eyes were too heavy and my brain too sluggish to register. I nearly slammed into a tree as I realized that I recognized where I was. This was where Luke had nearly killed Percy with a scorpion years and years ago. Percy had taken me here to show me.

I willed my limbs to keep running towards the safety of camp, hoping someone would see me before whatever was chasing me caught up. “Help!” I yelled, my throat straining. “Help!”

I felt my foot hit the rock and fell in what felt like slow motion. I hit the ground, just a couple feet from the edge of the woods, and everything went black.

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