This story is inspired by Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Magnus Chase and the gods of Asgard, and my siblings.
Everyone stood, gobsmacked at the sight of a slimy green vine that looked suspiciously like seaweed. It leaked ocean water all over the floor, and it was hollow.
How did I know it was hollow? Well, I certainly didn’t touch it, but when I squinted at it, I could see an outline of its structure. It had some kind of bottle stuck inside.
I was the first one to move, and when I did, I reached inside and pulled out a sea-glass bottle with folded papyrus inside. The plant had moved around my hand and not touched it, as if it were afraid to get it dirty.
Everyone was no longer staring at the plant. Now they were all staring at me with their gobs open like a bunch of gormless zombies. I looked at them and asked, “What are you all looking at?”
Brianna was the first to speak up. “Umm, Felicia. I don’t know how to say this to you, but...”
“Welcome to the club!” Sebastian butted in.
“What club?” I asked skeptically. “What are you all talking about?”
Just as they were about to answer me, the bell rang.
As I walked to the Cafeteria for dinner, my classmates drowned me in questions. I ignored them and kept walking, but I stopped when I saw Max pushing through the crowd towards me. I narrowed my eyes at him as the crowd parted around him.
“Felicia, are you alright? You look like you have the Heebie-Jeebies!” Max had the decency to sound concerned, but I didn’t believe it for one second. He had abandoned me when I needed him the most. I was sick and tired of him being dodgy and disappearing around me. I gathered all my pent-up energy into a loud outburst, not caring who heard.
“That’s rubbish! No, I’m not alright, I’m miffed! The whole day, you and Azazel being dodgy and avoiding me, leaving me to wonder if I did something wrong! Everything’s not fine! Crazy things have been happening and you weren't there to HELP. You just HID AWAY IN A CORNER and watched me drown myself in questions. I know NOTHING of this life I’ve been DRAGGED into, and you should’ve HELPED ME UNDERSTAND! Are you really as daft as a cow to leave me ALONE and CONFUSED? You’re mad as a bag of ferrets who’ve GONE TO THE DOGS! You could’ve at least given me some SENSE of PURPOSE! You must’ve lost the plot at a car boot sale! It’s so bloody gone to shambles I can’t even call it a hard line! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to kick my heels and see a man about a dog! Don’t bother looking for me.” I stormed off, leaving Max and everyone standing around who probably didn’t know their onions, and I may have said some other curse words. I stormed off back to my dorm and locked the door. I just wanted to be alone, so I walked out on the balcony and looked down at the city shining in the fading sunset.
Then I realized that I had the note in my hands. Maybe this could answer some questions for me. I looked down at it, and surprisingly, it was blank with faint ink smudges. I straightened out the note, trying to read it, but the ink had disappeared. I secretly wished that the luminous moss on the wall could grow closer and shed a spot of light. Then it did.
I gaped at the moss crawling along the wall and coming towards me. It swirled in an interesting pattern that called to me and begged me to understand. I gasped as the sensation hit me. It was more than I ever had felt before. It showed me its life and I showed it mine. We connected, and I could feel it like another part of me. I could reach out and sense every blade of grass by the sidewalks and every leaf suspended from the trees. I ran my fingers along it, and it curled around my hand. The moss grew brighter until I could see green writing on the papyrus.
I knew you would figure it out. Listen, you need to go to Calf of Man in the Irish Sea by Wednesday night. There, you will find a Nyad, she will help you. Be warned, the water gods there can be temperamental. If you want to live, take only take two other people on your journey. Take an underwater boat and make sure to bring something that will please the water gods. There, you shall find a map to Nyx. We believe Nyx and her army are planning something that will through the world into Chaos. We are counting on you to find the legendary map and stop Nyx. Survive this mission, my love, and we will meet again!
Tell no one but your chosen companions of this.
So much for answering my questions. I read the note over and over again, trying to find a hidden meaning, but it just gave me more questions. I needed to talk to someone, but I didn’t want to talk to Max or Azazel, and I couldn’t tell anyone I wasn’t bringing. But who was I bringing? The only people I knew at Camp Sparta, I didn’t want to bring, and I didn’t want to go meet people after the vine crushed the gym.
I heard a knock on the door, and I ignored it. Nothing good would come from interacting with others. I read the note another time over, and still couldn’t figure out what to do.
“Felicia? Please, talk to me. I know I wasn’t there today, but will you please listen to m–” I cut Max’s voice off. I wouldn’t talk to him. If I did, I would probably end up giving in and pretending that what he did was lush and perfect.
“Don’t even fathom it, Max! Stay away, and don’t come back unless you're apologizing!”
I looked angrily to my left, and was surprised to see someone standing on the balcony and looking at me.
She was really short, but looked around my age. Her eyes were a dark grey, like rain clouds on a dreary day. Her skin was pale, and she was wearing a sweatshirt around her waist, hiking shorts, and a t-shirt that said, “Eat, sleep, vaporize monster, repeat.” Her braided, dirty-blonde hair almost completely covered a scar on her left cheek, and she was smirking at me, about to crack a joke.
“They seem to want in. I wonder why,” said the girl, “I’m Ali by the way. Don’t call me Alice, or I will have to kill you.”
I stared at Ali before I started to smile.
“Hi Ali, I’m F–” I started to say before she cut me off.
“I already know who you are. It’s not like anyone talks about you. You’re definitely not just a new kid with super-cool skills and got one of the cool kids to like you.” Ali teased me sarcastically.
I rolled my eyes as she grinned mischievously.
“You know you’re obnoxiously cute for a child, Alice. Like a little puppy!” I quipped back.
Ali took out a pocketknife. “Understand, I will literally punch you in the face. Don’t call me cute...Please.” she said seriously. After a moment, she laughed like nothing happened and started carving a piece of wood into an elaborate design with her pocketknife.
This gave me an idea. I looked at her and asked, “Do you like adventures?”
“Sure, why?” She responded.
“Well, I have to go on a journey to an island. Do you want to come?”