Okay, first of all, I do NOT OWN anything possibly related to the world of Percy Jackson. I don't own the characters, I don't own the story. I don't intend to gain anything from this. It's just for fun, okay, people? No need to be mean or rude about it.
Secondly, I also don't own the rights to the disney songs that inspired me to write this in the first place. So if you see something you think it's familiar, you're probably right. I'm not stealing it, okay? Just borrowing because I think it's beautiful. And, again, I don't intend to gain anything from it, so get off my back.
Thirdly... Thank you so much for your nice comments. Really, guys. Like, you gave me so much love... I'm inclined to believe you actually enjoy reading about Andy Jackson. So I decided to keep writing. And I decided to keep the whole story here, condensed. I think this July I'll start writing the next Act, so you guys will have that to look forward to.
Okay, I love you, bye.
Act I - Storm At Sea
Part I - You are my world, my darling. What a wonderful world I see.
It was not my fault, she repeated all the way home.
Andy couldn't understand how yet again she had gotten herself expelled. For fifteen years she had managed to jump from school to school—nobody ever seemed to think she deserved a second chance. And maybe she didn't.
Whatever they might say about her, one thing Andy was sure of: It had not been her fault!
Yancy Academy; the simple thought made her want to barf. She hated the place and everyone in it. Well, except for Grover, the scrawny boy who cried whenever he got frustrated. He had bad acne, a wispy beard on his chin, and on top of all that, was crippled. Some sort of muscular disease in his legs that made him walk funny, like every step hurt. But she adored him anyway, he'd been the best friend she'd ever had.
Oh, and there was Mr. Brunner, of course. He'd been a good Latin teacher. But he pressed Andy unlike any other, ignoring the fact that her bad ADHD made her brain misinterpret things. It was hard to keep up, and he accepted nothing but the best from her. Like she could do any better than a C-.
Andy scolded herself and tried to focus. It was hot inside the bus. She was sweating like mad. The New Yorkers were busy with their own little lives. Andy sat back and remembered who's fault it had been.
The math teacher—who looked like a fragile little granny—had decided to hate on Andy since her first day. She seemed sweet enough, but her death stare could scare the bravest of men. How she loved looking at Andy with hatred, as if she was trying to pulverize the girl with her eyes. Andy always knew the old lady was evil; she just had no idea how right she was about it.
Problem was nobody believed her that the woman turned into a shriveled hag with bat wings and claws and a mouth full of yellow fangs. Nobody believed her that the monster was about to slice Andy to ribbons. Nobody believed when Andy swore that at the last moment, when she thought her math teacher was going to murder her, Mr. Brunner arrived and threw her a ballpoint pen that turned into a sword at her touch.
But Andy remembered it all too well.
Mrs. Dodds spun towards her with a vicious look in her eyes. Andy's knees were like jelly. Her hands were shaking so violently she had trouble raising the sword. Mrs. Dodds flew straight at her and Andy did what she had to do, what little she could do. When the metal blade hit Mrs. Dodds' shoulder it passed clean through her body as if she were made of water. She exploded into yellow powder, vaporized on the stop, leaving nothing behind. Andy was left alone. Nobody was there but her. Her and the ballpoint pen in her shaky hands.
After that they all had tried to convince her with lies. They kept saying, over and over, that she had imagined the whole thing, after all, there had never been a Mrs. Dodds at Yancy Academy! Andy almost believed them. Almost. But Grover couldn't lie to her. Whenever she asked, he would tell her there was no Mrs. Dodds, but he always hesitated first. She knew him all too well.
Then she heard a queer conversation between Grover and Mr. Brunner.
"... a Kindly One in the school!" Grover had said. "Now that we know for sure, and they know too—"
"We would only make matters worse by rushing her," Mr. Brunner had replied. "We need her to mature more."
"But she may not have time. The summer solstice deadline—"
"Will have to be resolved without her, Grover. Let her enjoy her ignorance while she still can."
"Sir, she saw the..."
"Her imagination," Brunner insisted. "The Mist over the students and staff will be enough to convince her of that."
"Sir, I... I cannot fail in my duties again," Grover's voice was choked with emotion. "You know what that would mean."
"You haven't failed, Grover," Mr. Brunner said kindly. "I should have seen her for what she was. Now let's just worry about keeping Andy alive until next fall—"
A shiver went up Andy's spine and she returned to the present. She shouldn't dwell on these things, but she couldn't seem to focus on anything else.
The bus stopped at a red light and she glanced out the window. There was an old fashioned fruit stand in the street, with good looking cherries and apples, walnuts and apricots. But there were no customers, just three old ladies sitting in rocking chairs in the shade of a maple tree, knitting the biggest pair of socks Andy had ever seen. The lady on the right knitted one of them while the lady on the left knitted the other. And the lady in the middle held an enormous basket of blue yarn. They all looked so ancient and bizarre Andy was surprised they could still function out in the world.
Suddenly, the three of them glanced over at Andy at the same time.
Her heart raced. They were definitely looking at her. The old lady in the middle took out a huge pair of scissors and cut the yarn dramatically, still watching Andy who didn't understand what was happening but thought everything seemed strangely significant. She wanted to go out there and ask the ladies what that meant, but the light chose that moment to turn green.
The bus drove far and soon Andy could no longer see the three old ladies.
Andy walked into her mother's little apartment hoping she would be home. Instead, Smelly Gabe was in the living room playing poker with his "buddies". Without hardly looking up, he said, "So you're home."
"Where's my mom?"
"Working. You got any cash?"
Andy couldn't help showing her disgust. Not only did he smell pretty bad, but everything about him was repugnant. He had about three hairs on his head, all combed over his bald scalp as if that made him handsome or something. She almost barfed all over him.
"I don't have any cash."
He raised an eyebrow. "You took a taxi from the bus station," he said. "Probably paid with a twenty. Got six, seven bucks in change. A girl expects to live under this roof, she ought to carry her own weight. Am I right, Eddie?"
One of the man watched Andy with sympathy. "Come on, Gabe," he said. "The girl just got here."
"Am I right?" insisted Gabe.
"Whatever," Andy dug some dollars out of her pocket and threw at her stepdad. "I hope you lose." And she rushed out of there into her so called room that now was mostly Gabe's storage. "Home sweet home," she whispered sitting on the bed. Gabe's smell was almost worst than the nightmares about Mrs. Dodds.
Andy sat there without moving for a long time, until the door opened and her mom called softly, "Andy?" Immediately, Andy felt good. That was the effect her mother had on her. It was like she only saw the good things about Andy, none of the bad. "Oh, Andy!" She hugged her tightly. "I can't believe it." Sally sat beside her on the bed and proceeded to tell her how much she had missed Andy. Sally wanted to know everything about everything, that was how much she cared. But before they were done, Gabe called from the living room.
"Oi, Sally—How about some bean dip, huh?"
Andy gritted her teeth. Sally pursed her lips. "I have a surprise for you," she said. "We're going to the beach."
Andy's eyes widened. "Montauk?"
"Three nights. Same cabin."
She smiled. "As soon as I get changed."
Then Gabe appeared in the doorway. "Bean dip, Sally? Didn't you hear me?"
Andy wanted to punch him, but Sally said, "I was on my way, honey. We're just talking about the trip."
Gabe's eyes got small. "The trip? You mean you were serious about that?"
"I knew it," muttered Andy. "He won't let us go."
"Of course he will," her mom said evenly. "Your stepfather is just worried about money. But Gabriel won't have to settle for bean dip. I'll make him enough seven layer dip for the whole weekend."
Gabe softened a bit. "Maybe if you hurry with that..." he said. "And if the kid apologize for interrupting my poker game."
"Maybe if I kick you in your soft spot and make you sing soprano for a week—"
"Andy!" warned Sally.
"What? Why do you put up with this guy?"
"See how she is with me?" complained Gabe.
Sally glanced at her daughter; they locked eyes for a minute. Andy sighed. "I am so very sorry I interrupted your incredibly important poker game. Please go back to it right now."
Gabe's eyes narrowed. His tiny brain was probably trying to detect sarcasm in the statement.
Unable to, he turned his back and left.
The cabin was on the south shore way out at the tip of Long Island. Andy loved the place more than anywhere else. Her mother had been going there since before Andy was born, there was where she had met her father, whoever he was. Sally never talked about him. But now, as they sat together on the porch watching the waves, it seemed impossible for Andy not to try at least once more.
Her mom's eyes went all misty.
"Please," Andy urged. "Just talk to me. Say anything."
"He was kind," Sally shrugged, but didn't stop there. "Tall. Handsome. Powerful. But gentle, too. You look a lot like him," she added and Andy smiled. "I wish he could see you. He'd be so proud."
The smile vanished from Andy's face. "Why? What's so great about a dyslexic, hyperactive fifteen year old with a D+ report card, kicked out of school for the ninth time in nine years?" Surprised, she felt the tears streaming down her face. Weird. She didn't know she had that grudge inside her.
Sally opened her mouth ready to argue, but Andy wasn't interested in that. "How old was I?" she asked, suddenly. "When he left?"
"He was only with me for a summer. He didn't even meet you."
Andy felt a sudden rush of anger. She felt resentment for a man she never knew. He'd left them and now they were stuck with Smelly Gabe. "And you're going to send me away again?" she asked. "To another boarding school?"
"I don't know, honey," whispered Sally, her voice heavy. "I'll have to see about it."
"Because you don't want me around?" Andy said and a stupid sob followed. She couldn't control it. She missed her mother so much.
Sally came closer and embraced her child in her arms. "Oh, Andy, no. I—I have to, honey. For your own good. I have to send you away."
"Because I'm not normal?"
"You say that as if it's a bad thing... You don't realize how important you are. I thought Yancy would be far enough away. I thought it would be safe."
"Safe from what?" Andy asked, exasperated.
"I've tried to keep you as close to me as I could," her mom said. "They told me it was a mistake. But there is only one other option, Andy—the place your father wanted to send you. And I just... I just can't stand to do it."
"What? The guy never even met me but wanted me to go to a special school?"
"Not a school. A summer camp." Andy felt her head spinning. "I'm sorry, honey. But I can't really talk about it. I couldn't send you to that place. It might mean saying goodbye to you for good."
"But... if it's only a summer camp..."
Suddenly started to rain. Typical movie rain, out of nowhere and bringing the world down with it. There was this weird noise approaching. Andy lifted her head and saw a figure in the night, coming towards them. She got to her feet. Sally did the same.
When the figure got close enough, Andy exclaimed, "Grover?"
But it wasn't him exactly.
"Searching all night," he gasped. "What were you thinking?"
Sally looked at Andy in terror. "Andy," she said, "what happened at school? What didn't you tell me?" But Andy was frozen eyeing Grover, not comprehending what she was seeing.
"Oh, it is right behind me," he yelled. "You should've told her!"
"Doesn't matter," Sally decided with authority. "Both of you, in the car, NOW!"
Grover ran for the Camaro—but he wasn't running exactly. He was trotting because where his feet should be, there were no feet. There were cloven hooves.