What Regret Tastes Like

Chapter 1- Paralyzed

A/N So I decided to write a short story. This has nothing to do with Somewhere in Time but I wrote it to get away from the story for a while. (By the way, Chapter 11 is up.) I know I should be updating but I have a severe case of Writer´s Block so I´m publishing this instead. I hope you like it. This is set at the beginning of the Sea of Monsters when Percy, Annabeth and Tyson arrive to Camp to find Thalia´s tree poisoned. Again it is in Annabeth´s POV, I suck at Percy´s or anyone else´s for that matter. Sorry. Please Review, even if it sucked. I plan on making this story about three or four chapters long, Again, Please review!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks.

Chapter 1- Paralyzed

We were almost to the hill now. Percy of course running slower than Thalia, while she is in tree form. But as I focused on something else besides his flaws, I noticed something. Something I woul´ve seen had I been focused and paying attention. I reprimanded myself because of that, then went back to stare at Half-Blood Hill as I ran.

The tree.

How could I have not realized it? As I got closer, I saw monsters coming and going through the boundary as they pleased. Demigods were all over the fight, trying to kill the bronze bulls that came at them. As I saw the pine tree that should've kept them out, I stopped dead in my tracks.

The bark was an unhealthy shade of green; some sticky yellow sap was coming out of it. The leaves were turning orange, and there were already some which had withered and fallen to the ground. What had they done to her?! I looked again at the battle scene. Fire, screaming, monsters, campers, and Percy and Tyson attempting to get past the bulls. My eyes snapped shut, but that wasn't enough to keep the bad memories away. I opened them again, this time to find myself in a different yet similar situation. One so awful, I still had nightmares about. It marked the beginning of my stay here at Camp, but at the same time, it also marked the end of my first real family.

We've failed.

I'm so tired I have to concentrate on bringing one foot quickly after the other to stop myself from stopping, as I race away from everything. On to the hill that Thalia said was home. I can't hear anything. The thud-thud in my ears doesn't let me listen to anything else. I can't go on. I can barely see anymore. I'm so cold, even with the green jacket Luke gave me. It doesn't matter anymore. I don't know where he is. I can't hear him! I can't see. I'm scared.

I trip.

I trip and stay down as a horrible sound rumbles next to my head. I breathe hard, unable to stop myself from making a noise. I look up. The monster topples over me, raising his sword above his head.

I'm lost. We're lost. It's over. They are right behind us now. The monster lowers his knife but falters, sprinkling me with yellowish dust.

"Annabeth! You okay?"

Luke's voice. I nod blindly.

"Come on. We're almost there."

He helps me up and even though I'm with him, I feel alone. And so I keep running. I look away from the setting sun and see that we are almost to the top now. Thalia is behind us. But she isn't close like always. This time, she´s far away.

"Luke!" she barks and we turn around to face her. "Get Annabeth and Grover over the border, yell for help!"

"I'm not leaving you alone." He says.

She is fighting hard. She´s brave, but there are too many. I scream at her. She doesn't turn. She is in danger and no one is doing anything.

"You promised! Annabeth comes first! You have to make her safe!" she doesn't speak again, but she is almost close to us now. Grover tries to push me down the hill, and Luke lets him. I let out a yell of rage. I'm so angry.

"No! I stay here and fight the monsters with you!" I say to Thalia when she reaches us. Luke's gone. He is fighting a snake woman somewhere to my right. Thalia looks at the approaching monsters and readies her spear. Sparks fly everywhere around her.

"Annabeth, I want you to run down this hill and don´t look back. Get out of here now." She says slowly, as if I wouldn't understand if she spoke more quickly. This makes me angrier.

"You don't trust me! I can fight, but you never let me! You don't think you can do anything just because you're older, and I can´t!" I complain. The monsters are in our faces now, but she turns to me. She looks very angry. Angrier than I have ever seen her. Her eyes smolder and she, too, tries to push me downhill, but I still whine. She is crying in rage. She is yelling at me to run.

But a shadow passes over our heads and Thalia is gone too. I hear a deafening BOOM! And I see grass, then sky, and then grass once more. I hit my head on something hard. It hurts. My head feels wet and sticky. My sight is blurry. I stand up. I see Luke on the ground with his eyes closed, and I tumble towards him, but lightning and screaming stop me. I look over, and around, for Thalia. She is nowhere. I run to the base of the hill. She is not there either. I look up, to the top of the hill.

I see a pine tree.

I refocused my eyesight into the present. Percy was on the ground with Tyson and Chiron trying to help him up. The hill had scorch marks all over the grass. Campers and naiads ran over to douse the remaining flames with water, but I just stood there, paralyzed, with tears in my eyes. The bulls were gone, and Clarisse was yelling and swearing. Percy looked up and stared right at me, his green eyes full of confusion.

"What happened to you?"