This story is inspired by Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Magnus Chase and the gods of Asgard, and my siblings.
Ali pointed her piece of wood at me and said, “Sure, I want to go kill myself trying to reach a mystical island.”
“Is that a, ‘yes’?”
“Possibly. If I happen to say, ‘yes’, when do we leave?”
“We should leave by Wednesday, and we need to take someone else.” I responded.
“Maybe you should take Max, I’m sure that would be SO fun.”
I rolled my eyes. “I am NOT taking Max!”
“You’re not taking me where? Felicia, what are you hiding?” Max asked from behind my locked door.
I silently cursed myself (and Max) for talking so loudly.
“Blast it, Max! Go bugger off and don’t bother me! And whatever you heard, forget it. It’s none of your business.” I yelled at him, hoping he would leave.
“Felicia, I’m worried about you. Everyone’s talking, and I can’t tell what’s true and what’s not. Please, let me in and we can talk it out. We got off on the wrong foot, and –” Max started to say before he was cut off by someone else.
There was a hushed conversation on the other side of the door for a while before two sets of footsteps walked away, and I was left alone. I wondered how much Max had heard, and I hoped that it was not much.
I worriedly walked back to Ali, and saw that she was still carving the chunk of wood. It was now an intricately carved rosebud figurine. She looked up at me and asked sarcastically, “What? Still think I’m cute? If so, please head over so I can punch your gut.”
“No, but I’m still wondering who else to bring.”
“I don’t know, maybe someone you know instead of a stranger!”
“I do have someone, but I doubt she’d talk to me,” I muttered.
Just then, someone came running out to a nearby balcony, and I recognized the button-up shirt and annoyingly-colored, rainbow hair.
“WAZZUP Quackenbush!” She yelled as I sighed. “Great day to GO SOMEWHERE, AM I RIGHT?!”
I sighed and facepalmed as Azazel jumped over to me, using the balconies as trampolines. When she jumped on Ali’s balcony, I thought Azazel was going to get stabbed by Ali’s spear, but she narrowly missed it. Was it bad that I kind of hoped she wouldn’t miss? She jumped with the all the grace of a donkey, landed on my balcony, and bowed, as if she was expecting applause. Ali clapped slowly. “Neat trick,” she said sarcastically. She added a whistle, and I decided that was a little over the top. I stepped in before someone got stabbed.
“What are you doing, Azazel? I thought you were...um...”
“Oh, I just wanted to go on a quest with you, I figured you were going to save the world and whatnot, so I MIGHT AS WELL JOIN YOU!”
I sighed. Max probably told her, and now I was doomed because I would have to travel with Azazel. Only the people I went with could know, and no one else, but Azazel knew. Maybe, just maybe, she hadn’t purposefully avoided me. Maybe she wasn’t planning something. Maybe she felt the same way I did. Maybe she deserved a second chance.
“We leave in two days. Pack as much as you need for more than a few nights. Tell no one else. I’ll be in charge of where we stay; it’ll be sorted by the time we leave.” I dismissed Azazel, ushering her out of my dorm room.
After the others left, I looked at my room for a moment, before starting to pack. A couple of t-shirts, a few tank tops, some pants, and other clothes went into the suitcase I had brought. I packed and repacked it all before it finally fit.
When that was done, I looked at the clock, and it said a quarter to eight. I figured that was enough time to find a few hotels and figure out how to pay for them. I headed back to the library, and slowly walked towards the computers, as if they would explode.
I moved the mouse and jumped when the screen turned on. I quickly typed in the username and password, praying it wouldn’t show the words I’d been avoiding.
Thankfully, the computer let me get to the search engine, where I typed in, “Calf of Man hotels.”
One result popped up, labeled, “Stay at Calf of Man today! Population: 3” I looked at it, and hesitated before clicking. The website popped up, and I jumped again, saying a few unrepeatable words that I’m glad the librarian didn’t hear. I scrolled, and there wasn’t much to see, a 4.5-star review from one person, a cost of a half-pound per person, and the founder’s name, Cascade, which I assumed was a nickname. I clicked the button to book a room, and it said to pay when you get there, so I booked two adjoining rooms, in case someone *cough Azazel* was being annoying.
After doing that, I closed the tab, turned off the monitor, and speed-walked out of the library. I remembered I had homework, and I had to get it done for tomorrow's class.
I rushed to my dorm and worked through each pre-calculus problem with some (maybe more than just some) difficulty.
As I sat back and put my pencil down, the nighttime bell rang, and I went to shut my door. I had just rolled into bed when I heard a knock from the balcony door. I sighed and wondered if it would ever end. I got up and opened the door. I was shocked to see Ali and Azazel standing there in ninja clothes with packed bags and hiking gear. Azazel had a dark weapon that did not look like a fork. The blade was curved, and the handle was long with a vine curling around.
Ali tossed me a matching ninja outfit. “Here, take this. Go change. we have something for you when you’re done.”
I ran inside and changed, hoping this “something” was not another ninja costume. I changed into the wretched ninja outfit rather quickly and joined Azazel and Ali back at the balcony. “Is this really necessary?” I asked. “YES” Azazel answered, and I decided not to argue with her. At least we were sneaking off at night so no one would have to see me in this ridiculous outfit.
I grinned and was about to say something sarcastic about ninja burglars when I heard footsteps behind us.