Author: PersonifyThis PM
Carried down river 150 miles, Neola Montenegro is swept away by both the river and her mother's hidden past. Follow along with her as she discovers new family members, bothersome gods and unique powers in her struggle for self identity.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Adventure - Apollo & Percy J. - Chapters: 8 - Words: 18,122 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 09-28-10 - Published: 07-29-10 - id: 6190008
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: I'm really just writing this for myself, but I figured it's nice to share... so here it is. I don't own Percy Jackson or any of the characters you recognize. Sue me and all you'll get are my college loans. Please review with any constructive criticism you have. I'm always trying to improve my writing.
It Swam In The River
Have you ever wished you could be somebody else for the day? Maybe Angelina Jolie, Oprea or the President? That way you could skip all the hard work and just be successful.
For a long, long time I was convinced I was not the 'right' person. For some reason I was believed my mother was lying to me when she said my dad was a hotel manager but died of brain cancer when I was a baby. I had no facts to base my feelings off of. Just the nauseous feeling I got whenever she called him my dad.
Turns out I was right.
I blame the sun. It was just too beautiful to stay inside that day. The mercury had sky rocketed into the 80s and my little sister and I were setting out for our first solo trip to the river. My room was in disarray. The teal comforter on my bed was half on the floor and one cream pillow had fallen in between my bed and wall. Two bottles of water, towel, sunscreen, hair brush, Cosmo and Quaker Oat granola bar were all stuffed in my tangerine beach bag. Turning in a 360, I tried to see if their was anything else I was missing for our trip to the river. The band posters on my wall sagged in the summer humidity. When I got back I'd have to reapply tape to the Lady Antebellum poster.
Calling out to my sister to be ready to leave in five, I ran to the bathroom for a last minute pee. Even though I live in Alaska I'm not one for peeing in the woods or outhouses. I washed my hands and studied my reflection. Mom had just braided my black, kinky hair into a thousand little braids with blue and gold beads so it actually looked good. But of course to ruin that I had a pimple forming on my cheek.
I pinched at my skin it was brown but not I'm-a-secret-Ethiopian-princess brown but more of a oops-I-burnt-the-hot-chocolate brown. My lucky little sister had the Ethiopian princess coloring. Her skin was black like Godiva-dark-chocolate but she had wicked relaxed hair that curled like Shirley Temple and bounced when she walked.
The only time my hair cooperates is when my Mom's twisted, braided, barretted it down. Sometimes like right now it looks really good sort of like I just got back from a Jamaican vacation. Wiping my hands, I left the bathroom with a backwards glance to make sure my shirt wasn't stuck in my jean shorts.
Becky and I tramped down the dirt path her plucking fireweed while I whistled Vincent by Don McLean. It's one of Mom's favorite songs and she plays it on any of our road trips or vacations. When we got to the river a Becky tornado occurred. Her left sneaker almost belted me as I took refuge under one of the trees. She jumped in the wide river screaming koowabunga! I giggled.
Becky was swimming and I was listening to my iPod. I was really excited Mom agreed to let us come down by ourselves. Since my mom is a tour guide for the Denali National Park when she gets home all she really wants to do is soak up the 21st century.
I flipped through my songs, day dreaming about families. See it's just me, my mom and Becky. So I've always imagined what it would be like to have a dad. When I was six, I went around asking, 'are you my daddy?' to my teacher, the mail man, a cross guard, a fireman, two joggers, and a priest before my mom caught me. I'm not shy. I don't mind talking to strangers and that's always terrified my mother. She sent me to a child therapist and that was the end of that. No more daddy questions out of me.
However, every once and a while I think I can catch her and get her to tell me about my real dad. She just glares at me and snaps, "Neola." That's my name by the way, Neola, Neola Montenegro.
Hey Soul, Sister by Train was playing from my iPod touch and the sun was hovering over the silt grey river when I saw it. Twice as tall as my house and just as wide, the thing had a tuft of hair over it's one eye. A shadow fell into my face and I rubbed my eyes. Becky was still playing in the river like everything was ok so I just shook my head. Too many nights up late. I had gotten through two full songs before I felt it.
Thud, thud, scratch.
Thud, thud, scratch.
I looked up standing right next to Becky, barely ankle deep in the river, was the one eyed monster, dragging a club.
"Ughhnaa," It roared at me raising it's club in the air. Becky looked up and screamed. My heart did a flip in my chest, but the cyclops didn't bend down a squash her in it's meaty fist. No instead it charged- straight for me. The ground trembled like the after shock of an earthquake as I leapt up.
"Get help!" I screamed running off into the woods. The blue shadows cradled me for a moment before I heard SMASH and a spruce was pulled up from it's roots. I scrambled forward. It lumbered behind me when I remembered, my cell phone!
I pushed 9-1-1, "hello, please state your emergency," said a woman on the other end.
"I being chased by a monster! I'm in the woods out by Denali National Park and-"
"Ma'am your going to have to calm down. Now can you give me your address?"
"Not really!" I said scrambling over a boulder and ducking as it's massive club swung over my head. It crashed into the white fern next to me with a crr-unch.
"Ma'am I'm sending dispatch to your cell phone's GPS location. Just take deep breaths and get into a place that your attacker can't see you."
I looked around trying to find a good hiding spot. There were two downed trees ahead of me and a boulder a little to my right. I glanced back behind me to see where the thing was. A bird was chirping in a nest 40 feet up and the Cyclops had stopped to stare. I scrambled for the boulder and threw myself behind it. A pain erupted in my shoulder like lava running down my arm. I sucked in a deep breath and my eyes watered. The one eyed thing was still distracted so I searched ahead for the next hiding spot.
Ahead of me was a line of trees but behind that was open air. My mom and some of her friends went cliff diving there occasionally. I technically wasn't allowed to jump from the top yet. Mom would only let me go about half way up, but this was an emergency. She'd understand. The water beneath it was a big lake of glacier water which would make it impossible for the Cyclops thing to see me. I held my shoulder and looked back. It was still watching the bird.
Sucking in a deep breath, I charged out from behind the boulder. I sprinted and studied the ground so I wouldn't trip. My iPod head phones bounced forgotten by my leg. I didn't trip instead I just snapped a bunch of branches. A branch caught my white headphones so they got all tangled up. I ripped them out of my iPod and kept running.
The monster noticed. It started chasing me again. By then I was panting and slowing down. It was still lumbering after me though. My vision blurred and started to cry. You would too if a monster like that was chasing you. I was crying so much that I tripped. I laid there for a moment listening to the pounding of it's feet behind me. The forest floor was mossy and soft under my cheek. My arm felt like someone had it pressed against a stove top but I dove between the green spruces and straight into the open air.
I don't remember how I got the will to stand up and keep moving but something made me pick myself up off the mossy forest floor, stagger to the cliff side and throw myself over. Falling from that high up, with my arm feeling like jello that had been boiled was not pleasant. I didn't get an adrenalin rush like I normally do when I cliff jump. Instead I just felt sick to my stomach. When I hit the water, white bubbles rushed in my mouth before I cracked my head on a rock and blacked out.
Before I opened my eyes I tasted the crunchy grit of sand. Pearls of water wormed between the hairs on my head and my damp clothes were plastered to me. Pushing myself up off the beach, I looked around. The town was covered in mist while old fashion fishing boats were rocking in the harbor. Dragging myself over to the rocks, I patted myself down. Nothing broken, a few bruises over all not too bad. In front of me was a tackle shop called Anchorage Bait and Tackle… No way. I was down river, I mean like a hundred and fifty miles down river!
Somehow my iPod had survived the journey, but my cell phone was lost to the river. I tried to collect call my house on a pay phone after that but no one picked up. I wandered around that afternoon and walked into downtown Anchorage. Every couple of hours I called home but I got our voicemail every single time. It was nine o'clock when I realized that I wouldn't be able to get in touch with Mom. Normally, my mother is way over protective about knowing where Becky and I are. At. All. Times. She only just decided I was old enough to go down to the river with Becky alone. I sighed, when I get back, I doubt that she'll let me do that again.
I went into the People's Bank on the corner and took out money from my college fund. I figured this was enough of an emergency that Mom would forgive me when she found out. The first thing I did was head over to an Old Navy to get some dry clothes. Hey if I had to get new clothes I might as well get something nice. While I was in the store I also got a 'sangria' canvas backpack, a few extra outfits, new iPod head phones, notebook and toiletries just in case.
Sitting down in the Snow Goose Diner, I ordered myself a root beer float and grilled cheese. The waitress didn't want to serve me at first, but thankfully parents typically let their kids wander around later in the summer time and I was able to convince her it was ok. When I got my food, I twirled a French fry in my puddle of ketchup.
What could I do? If Mom wasn't picking up then obviously something isn't right. I couldn't remember any of her friend's phone numbers either. My grandparent's live in Boston but they would let me stay with them until Mom called me. I nodded to myself. That was the responsible thing to do. Mom would approve. I took a big bite out of my burger and nodded.
Slurping up the soda from the bottom of the glass, I figured my grandparent's would want me to go to them if their was a problem. Family takes care of their own and all that. Although if family takes care of their own wouldn't my dad be an ok person to go to too? The waitress walked by with a plate of sizzling shrimp and something that reeked of garlic.
He totally would be. I mean he's my father after all! I grinned and on her way back asked for the check. Maybe the crazy monster attack wasn't so bad after all. If Mom and Becky are ok then this could be sorta… well… good.
I'll finally get to meet my dad. Before Mom made me stop my dad hunt I found a business card of his in her jewelry box. And it wasn't from a hotel. I carried the cream and gold card around with me until Mom found the card bent, stained and stuffed under my pillow. She took it away from me however by then I had memorized what it said:
Mr. A. P. Ollo
CEO of the Olympus Corporation
Empire State Building
New York City, New York
I rationalized that if worst came to worst and I couldn't find him then I could just continue on to Boston, no sweat. So I got a taxi to the airport and pleaded and puppy dog eyed my way onto a red eye flight to the Big Apple.