Chapter 9: I Hide Under the Bed While Monica and Audrey Kick Butt
Life in London had been pretty good. Too good I guess because the Fates gave me the Flu. I hadn't thrown up, but I felt like I might. I had a fever of 101 degrees. Monica and Audrey had gone downstairs to get some ice. It was there, sitting in bed, that I realized I was really lonely. Then I panicked because I realized I hadn't called my mom in a month, since before I came to Camp Half-Blood. She would be freaking out. I pulled out my cell phone from my duffel bag. I swear it was dusty. That's how long it had been untouched. I dialed my home number. Thank goodness my mom bought me an international phone plan.
Dale answered the phone. "Hello, this is Dale. Who is this?"
"This is Daphne, is my mom there?" I asked.
"Daphne? Daphne who?" He asked.
"Uh, your stepdaughter.?" My voice got higher at the end, like a question.
"Just kidding, kiddo," he said. "But now is not a great time."
"Where is she?" I asked.
"She's at the doctor's," he answered.
"Oh my gods, what happened?" My voice jumped an octave. It was met by Dale's deep, booming laugh.
"Just a check-up, kiddo. Don't eat your pants."
"Wasn't going to," I replied cooly. Dale thought he was hilarious. He had the weirdest expressions too.
"I'll tell her you called 'kay? Buh-buy." Click. Well then. I sighed and closed my eyes.
That's when I heard a growl. I opened one eye, but I didn't see anything. I heard a growl again, accompanied by a sniff and thuds of heavy footprints. Monster. I heaved my tired body out of bed and crawled beneath it. With a crash, the door was knocked off its hinges. The monster thudded into the room. I heard it sniff Monica's bed. What was I going to do?
"That guy was all like, where are your parents, young lady?, and I was like, snap!" Audrey laughed. Her voice was coming closer. The monster paused.
"Yeah, you're getting better at the Mist thing," Monica complimented. The monster roared and charged. They screamed in shock and fear. I wanted to help, but my legs were like jello and I was severely dizzy from my fever. For two horrible and stressful minutes, I heard screams, roars, and clashes of swords. Finally, they came running into the room screaming my name.
"I'm here! I'm here!" I called feebly. I crawled back onto the bed and looked at the two of them. Monica had a large cut on her arm. They both looked badly shaken.
"We got your ice," Audrey said weakly. If they hadn't almost died, we might have laughed at that.
"Give it to Monica," I told her.
"Thanks," Monica moaned and slapped the bag of ice to her arm. "Aaaahhh that feels good."
"What was that thing?" I asked.
Monica looked disgusted. "Minotaur," she answered. "It almost beat the both of us together. Daphne, you're our only chance. You are protected by the Spirit of Delphi. That's why you were sent on this quest. You have to kill Echidna and get the cauldron." She looked so pitifully hopeful, I wanted to be strong for her. There were many things I wanted to protest from that statement, but I didn't have the energy.
"Good-night," I yawned, and fell asleep.
Chapter 10: We Ride the Roller Coaster of Doom
The next four days, we stayed in our hotel room in London. We were so incredibly bored all of the time. I reread Hamlet for the fiftieth time. My hair was nearly burnt from straightening it so often. Audrey had started having bad dreams, but she refused to tell us what they were about. We Iris-messaged Maggie and Amelia everyday to check up on their progress. One of us had been killed yet, which means we had so far been successful. We encountered three hellhounds. Fighting monsters was becoming routine, oddly enough.
I called my mother whenever I was alone as to not be overheard. My efforts to call were wasted though because every time I called, she was not available to talk. She was always shopping, taking a shower, at a friend's, and the doctor's, or sleeping. Pretty soon I just assumed she was avoiding me.
It was October 14, and fifteen days since we had started our Quest. In the morning, we received an Iris-message from Maggie and Emily. Emily was sopping wet. Maggie was dry, but she looked exhausted. "Happy Birthday, Maggie!" Monica shouted. Audrey and I echoed her.
"Thanks you guys!" Maggie said.
"We're in Seattle,"Emily interrupted.
"Yeah, but why are you all wet?" Audrey sniggered.
"We were ambushed," Maggie sighed, "On the ship that went up the coast to Seattle. We had to jump ship and swim."
"Well, now that you are there, you have to go to the Space Needle. We will go to Big Ben. These are two important monuments to the gods, and they mark the western monument of the U.S, and the Eastern monument across from New York, because the gods were in England before they came here. Everybody clear?" They all looked at me in amazement. I had no idea where this information had come from, by somehow, I knew it to be true. We grabbed our backpacks and made sure we had left nothing in the hotel, then we took a taxi to the giant clock tower.
The Mist swirled around us, and we felt tremors in the Earth. Then everything when dark.
When I woke up, the five of us were sitting confused, in some underground cavern. "Welcome guests," a recorded voice echoed through the room. It sounded like a sweet grandma. "I'm Mommy Echidna and welcome Home! We are several miles beneath the Earth. If you look to your right, you will see a roller coaster that will bring you down to my lair. Please fasten your seat belts and keep all body parts, (yes, that includes tails!) and weapons inside the coaster at all times. Enjoy the Ride of Doom and see you soon! Thank-you."
We looked uneasily around at each other. I was the first to break the silence. "Well," I said. "Let's get in then."
"Are you crazy?" Emily hissed. "It's the Ride of Doom!"
"This is what we came her for, remember? Be brave! You're a daughter of Zeus!" I cried.
"Daphne's right. We didn't come here for nothing," Audrey backed me up. She looked positively terrified.
We climbed into the roller coaster. As soon as everyone was seated, the coaster took off at several hundred miles and hour at a slope that when estimated, was probably 200 degrees. Were we brave? I don't think anyone can be brave on that. Our stomachs dropped out, and one of us through up, (though they're really embarrassed about it, so I won't mention any names). We screamed our heads off and cried. Our cheeks were whipped and raw from the wind. "AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" We screamed all the way down. Suddenly, it lurched to a stop. We climbed out and fell over. Our knees gave out and we were on the ground. When we got out, a mini ticket machine slid out a film strip of pictures of us on the Ride of Doom. On the bottom was a caption that read, "Thank-you and Come Again! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO Love, Mommy".
WE looked around. We were in a dimly-lit cave where the only light came from gas street lights. There was an old, wooden door with a pink side that read, "Mama's Cooking!" The four demigods unsheathed their swords, and I turned on my battery-operated hair straightener, even though Maggie had told me that only celestial bronze could kill a monster. It felt better than nothing. We took a deep breath, nodded to each other, and opened the door.