Chapter 3 in Oh, For the Love of Coffee!
I just stared at her, open-mouthed, rooted to the spot. I stayed that way for about five minutes. Finally, I gathered my courage, my name, and my ability to form a coherent sentence, and made my way out of the house.
Chiron was waiting for me outside along with Natalie, my best friend and half-sister. They were talking, looking nervous. “What’s taking so long?” I heard Natalie say, “She should have been here by…” She cut off as soon as she saw me and ran up to me. “O my gods Kassi, you’re a white as a sheet!”
“Really?” I asked, trying not to make her worry, “I feel fine.”
“So…! How did it go? What did the oracle say?!”
“Ummm…” I said, glancing at Chiron.
“It’s alright Kassi, you may tell us.”
“Okay…” I recited the prophecy for them.
“Oh. Well that’s cryptic,” Natalie replied after she heard it. She had that face on, the one I had seen many times before. Gears in her brain were grinding overtime as she tried to sort out the meaning of the prophecy.
I left her to her thinking and turned to Chiron. “So seeing as I can speak. What now?”
“Well, now you choose your companions. Traditionally, two are chosen.’
“Yeah, well, I’m not traditional,” I muttered to myself. A little louder, I asked Natalie,” Hey, Natty, wanna come with?”
“What?” She asked as I pulled her out of her mind, “Uh..Yeah! Definitely! Let’s whoop some monster butt!”
“Sweet,” I replied with a smile, “Let’s find some others.”
We left Chiron at the Big House and walked towards the cabins. Naturally, we did what Athena kids do best, strategize. We discussed the pros and cons of each camper we knew. “No one from Ares,” I said, “They’re all too combative and won’t listen to me.”
“Alright,” said Natalie, thinking, “What about Leanne McLain from Demeter?”
“Natalie, you hate the Demeter kids,” I reminded her.
“Wrong. I hate that Jeffrey kid. He’s a cheater and a sore loser. He grew poison ivy in my bed,” She said angrily, then calmed herself. “But Leanne’s really nice. And maybe the powers of Demeter would help out.”
“Hmm. They aren’t the best fighters, and I have a feeling we are going to encounter a lot of monsters on our quest.”
“True. I’ve got one! Emma Clarkson, from Aphrodite. She’s not the best at fighting with weapons, but her mom gave her magical shoes. They make people, or monsters, fall asleep. Those would be really useful.”
“Okay…” I agreed. “Emma Clarkson. Anyone else?”
“Anyone else?” She asked, puzzled, “But Chiron said that, traditionally, there are two chosen.”
“I know what he said, but I feel like one more is needed.”
“Okay…” She said, still not entirely convinced, “What about an Apollo kid?”
“Rebecca Marks. She’s a skilled fighter and a nice companion. She’ll be great.”
“Alright then, let’s go ask them.”
The Apollo cabin was just across the courtyard so we went there first. I poked my head in the door, looking for Rebecca. I found her on the far left wall, cleaning her bow. “Hey Becca,” I said, walking up to her, “I’ve got a question for you. Do you want to join me on my quest?”
She looked up, surprise on her face. “Really?” She asked it like she couldn’t believe that someone would want her companionship.
“Really really,” I assured her.
“Um, okay! Thanks! When do we leave?”
“Dawn. Make sure you’re ready.”
Natalie and I then walked over to the Aphrodite cabin. Emma was sitting on the steps, putting her hair in curlers in front of a mirror.
“Hey Emma!” Natalie called.
“Hi!! Congrats on the quest Kassi!! Bring me back an iced mocha, kay?!”
I glanced at Natalie, not sure this was a good idea.
“Umm…actually Emma, I wondered if you wanted to come along.”
“Ahh!” she squealed, “Of course! I LOVE Starbucks! Yay!”
“Okay, well we leave at dawn.”
“Okay! I’ll bring my lipstick!”
Natalie and I walked back to our cabin to start packing. We met Seth on the way there. “Hey Seth,” I called cheerfully. He was one of my better friends and an awesome sibling.
“Hi. Congratulations on your quest Kassi. Who are you taking?”
“Uh, Natalie, Emma Clarkson, and Rebecca Marks.”
“You going to ask anyone else?”
“Oh, ok.” He looked a little crestfallen and even a little angry. I felt bad. He obviously wanted to come, but I already had four people total. I decided not to say anything to him, knowing it would make him feel worse.
“Well, see you later.”
The Athena cabin is silver in color with white curtains and an owl over the door. On the inside, the beds are all pushed against the wall to fit bookcases, study tables, workbenches, and anything else. Grey-eyed children are absorbed in books or structural designs of some sort. Athena is the goddess of wisdom, so her kids are all pretty dang smart (not to toot my own horn or anything). Also, most of them are blonde. If you value your life, you NEVER tell a dumb blonde joke around an Athena kid. It will most likely be the last thing you do.
I walked over to my bunk and grabbed my backpack. “Natalie?” I asked as we were packing.
She stopped from checking her nectar to look at me. “’Bout what?”
“The prophecy,” I admitted. It had been bothering me all evening, and I needed to talk to someone about it. “It doesn’t sound very promising. It sounds horrible! Arriving at the gates with one more than bidden. Doesn’t the underworld have gates? Will I cause the death of someone? That’s not supposed to happen! What if it’s Emma? Or Rebecca? Or you!?” By this time I was close to hysterics. Natalie came over and gave me a hug.
“No one’s going to die Kas. Prophecies normally have hidden meanings. It could be anything. So don’t stress over it.”
“Okay,” I said, “Thanks.” She always knew exactly what to say to make me feel better.
I finished packing and was going through my mental checklist one more time. Nectar: check. Ambrosia: check. Mortal money: check. Drachmas: check. Change of clothes: check. And last but not least, Hesperus: I reached up to my neck and made sure the magical charm was still there. Check.
I then fell asleep, waiting for dawn.
Next Chapter ~ Chapter 4: Java Chip Frappuccino
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