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|
Alright I'm just going to say it now so you know and don't get your hopes up... this will probably be the last one for a while. I've barely got enough time to sleep and shower let alone write stuff that doesn't have to do with school. Thanks for your patience :)
The club was called Suncrest. And you could hear the music from down the block. When we got inside it was like someone had put ear plugs on my ears except it wasn't to keep out noise- instead the only thing I could hear was music. My siblings took off to the dance floor with shouts but I just stood on the side. I had never been to a club. I plucked at my red dress, shuffling. I looked around to see if their was some place to sit when I saw Austin standing next to me. His face looked as apprehensive as I was feeling.
"I guess we should get out there huh?" I shouted.
He nodded not moving towards the dance floor.
"It's probably a lot of fun once your out there."
He just nodded again. I looked at the crush of bodies and took a deep breath. I slipped my hand into his. His palm was sweaty and warm. The majority of the people were drinking beers and fruit cock tails which seemed to give them courage to strut out on to the dance floor. But neither Austin nor I were drinking. The club was typically an 18 plus club but somehow Michael had gotten us in. I felt out of place though. I thought maybe next week I just would stay with the babies instead.
'No,' I thought shaking my head, 'this is the thing. It's gotta be fun.'
Smiling to convince myself, I tugged Austin out onto the floor. My target was the gaggle of blonde girls that I assumed was my sisters.
I pushed our way over to them and sure enough when one of the girls turned around it was my sister, Sarah.
"Neola! Austin! There you are!" Kayla squealed. She took my hand and started jumping around. Tentatively I mimicked her. Most of the kids dancing in the little ring were the younger ones Austin, Logan, Sarah, Kayla and me. Austin was just standing awkwardly in the ring. After a moment Sarah grabbed his hand and started dancing with him.
"I throw my hands up in the air sometimes
Gotta let go!"
Kayla threw our hands in the air and I bounced on my own. It was sorta fun once you got into it. I took a deep breath and imagined I was rocking out in my room alone. I swung my hips back, foreword, left, right. No one laughed at me so I kept going rocking my body to the music.
"I wanna celebrate and live my life
My confidence was building so I tried some of the moves Liz, one of my friends from cheerleading, had shown me after school last spring. I raised one arm in the air and spread my legs a bit, then I let my entire body roll. Getting the flow down, I did it again and again. I grinned.
"Baby, let's go!
Cause we gon' rock this club"
Laughing and rolling my body to the thumping beat, I threw both of my arms in the air twining them about and swinging my hips. My thighs burned and I could feel my scalp sweating. I pushed my butt out and sand along to the songs. Both Kayla and Austin had found dance partners. They were still close though so I kept dancing, imagining I was in my room. Your Love, California Girls, OMG, If I Had You and Ridin Solo blasted through the club. Then a pair of arms wrapped around my waist. I tried to look back to see the guy but couldn't quite get my neck around.
Kayla gave me a thumbs up and I could see from his hands that he was black too. I kept dancing the way I had been just pushing back against him. He wasn't that great of a dancer though. When my hips were going left his were going back. When I was putting my hands above my head, his would stay on my waist. All in all it was not nearly as much fun as when I had been dancing by myself. But I stuck it out. Honestly, I think I did just so I could say I danced with someone. Several times I caught myself making faces at his dancing abilities. Both Austin and Kayla were watching me. Kayla with amusement, Austin with concern.
I didn't want to be the only one who couldn't get a dance partner while we were her though. Even Austin had managed to overcome his nerves and dance with a girl. So I toughed it out until his hands consistently started lingering in between my thighs. That's when I broke away. I shuffled closer to Austin and Kayla. Austin subtly moved is dance partner in between me and the man. Kayla grinned and grabbed my hand spinning me around. When she stopped spinning me I was even farther away from him. I rocked a bit not nearly as enthusiastic as before when saw Logan and Jake leaving the dance floor. I shouted to Kayla I was going to tag along with them. She nodded.
I slithered through the masses of bodies calling to my brothers. They didn't hear me. Sighing I kept pushing. I had made it half way when a hand grabbed my wrist. The hand attached to me was white this time, but very tan. I looked up and saw one of the older teens smiling at me. He had a mop of blonde curls that were perfectly round even in the 150 percent humidity on the dance floor. His grip on my wrist was tight and I could shake him off. Yelling I tried to tell him I wasn't in the mood to dance.
He leaned in and whispered that he had requested the next song just for me. His voice was perfectly audible without him raising his voice over the music. I got a full body case of goose bumps and every single red flag I had went of. His previously alluring white smile became creepy while his freckles turned his face into a devious mask.
"Not happening," I said not even bothering to yell it to him. I gave him my Super Deluxe Death Glare which previously had only been used when Becky used my tampons to make "dollies." However, he easily overpowered me and pulled me forewords so my cheek was resting against his chest. An iron arm closed around my waist and I was effectively trapped to this man's chest.
As I was cursing I wished that our stupid little bracelets has an SOS for trouble inside the club. The view out of my right eye only showed strangers but I tried to call out to them anyway.
"Don't do that."
Startled I looked up at my stupid dance partner. He was frowning at me and I glared right back up at him.
"Give me one good reason." I snapped. The music came on and it was a slow rap with a quick pulsing beat that made the dancers groan and try to move faster. But not my captor instead he gently swayed us.
"Besides I don't do slow dances." I said. 'Especially with creepy, freckley child molesters,' I thought.
He smiled… almost as if he could hear what I was thinking. That's when I took another look at him. About 19, blonde hair, blue eyes, a light dusting of freckles, perfect white teeth and a killer body. The kind of body Molly and Alexa and Sarah and Jessica said our dad liked to use when he was looking for women.
"Who are you?" I asked.
His smile just grew bigger.
"No way." He was full out grinning now.
Oh my god. I closed my eyes trying not to see him. Problem was I could still feel him. Rocking us. Back and forth. I had stopped trying to pull away or get someone's attention after I realized who he was.
"That'd be me darling." He said chuckling.
"I'm sorry sir, you're confused and not making any sense. If you'd let me go I could-"
He cut me off, "You know, you can't really fool a god, Neo."
'Oh fuck me' I thought mortified. His… my da… the blonde dude's eye brow went up.
"Language please. At least…" he trailed off, "while I'm right here."
Surprised, I looked down at his grey shirt. This was the longest song ever.
"Neo," I looked up at him, "you might not realize it but not much gets past me when it comes to my kids," he stopped before he said kids though and seemed to almost roll the word around in his mouth first.
"Meaning that yes, actually, I have notice the food offerings. Or there in lack of. Really did you think the thunder was just a passing storm?" He asked.
Holy friggin bit-
"Neola mind your tongue."
I reared back as far as possible, to stare him full in the face, livid.
"I haven't even friggin said it! And you know what why should I give you the best of anything?" I hissed struggling to pull away again. Where were my siblings anyway?
"I'm keeping them busy so we can have this lovely conversation," he answered my unspoken question. "Now you have to understand I don't think you are unimportant, darling, quite the opposite actually. I just didn't have the time that day to have such an in depth conversation with you."
It felt like he had deflated me and my head slumped against his chest. Somehow I could hear his heartbeat over the music. I didn't think gods had hearts. He didn't respond to that one. My own friggin dad couldn't even find the time to tell me what the fuck was going on in my extraordinarily crazy life. He didn't response to that either. Limply I tried to get my sweaty hand out of his one last time, but he shook his head, "sorry darling you're mine until the song is over."
I watched the dancers move across the floor. A woman in front of me was bent in half grinding her ass into a tall Hispanic. The music thrummed into me so I could feel it in my fingers. The lyrics advised me, "Straighten up little soldier. Stiffen up that upper lip."
"You know mortal psychologists say that children like to push their parents just to see how much they can get away with." He said. I wasn't sure if he was just thinking out loud but I felt required to tell him that I wasn't a child and that in case he didn't remember I'm 13. My dad laughed at me. I glared at his shirt pocket.
"Oh Neo you are refreshingly frank with me. I like that. And you should know, I understand why you acted the way you did. But I agree with the doctors. I can't let you act like that even with me." I glared at his stupid pocket some more. As if he was allowed to tell me how to act. Only my Mom got that privilege. And sometimes not even her.
"I'd like to see you try and stop me. You can't make someone else force me to give you my food so you can snort it up in heaven."
"Neola Montenegro you will mind your tongue around me." My dad scolded. I stared up at him a bit cowed. As I looked at him, his tanned face seemed to stretch and gradually he morphed into a thirty year old. He looked scarier this way. I bit my lip maybe I had pushed a little tiny bit too much. His eyebrows were frowning at me and the little wrinkles around his eyes were creased in displeasure.
"Sorry," I whispered. He didn't turn younger but he smiled. And it seemed to soften him. I smiled too. For a moment I was content just to be dancing with my dad. Even if we were slow dancing. I let myself listen to the song he had picked out. Something about a little girl and a mockingbird. The part that I had heard earlier came on again, "Straighten up little soldier. Stiffen up that upper lip. What you crying about? You got me." I leaned against him.
But then he went and ruined it.
"I'm grounding you." He said it lightly, as if he were a realtor telling someone 'this is the living room.' We still rocked to the same damn song that I was beginning to believe was on repeat.
"You can't do that!" I exclaimed. Then I paused could he do that? Mom had given me quite a few groundings in the past. Could a dad do that? Liz might've mentioned her dad grounded her once or twice.
"I can and I am. You need to learn respect for the gods otherwise…" he trailed off. My neck hurt from keeping it at the angle I had to so I could see his face.
"Otherwise what?" I asked.
"Nothing. It's not important. But be assured that when you get back Chiron will be fully aware of the situation. And you're right no one can force you to give a proper burn offering, but I hope that one day you will want to."
The singer was holding a single note and just like that the song was over. DJ Got Us Fallin In Love came over the air waves and my dad was letting me go. He stood in front of me for a moment looking like my dad, with a few silver curls and happy lines around his eyes and mouth. But then, as if a bucket of water had been poured over him, they were all washed away and I was staring at a teenager again.
He pushed a kiss to my forehead. "Goodbye Neo," he whispered. Then he was gone. And I was standing alone in the midst of grinding teenagers, feeling sadder than I had in months, wishing I had given my dad a hug.