I know it's like two weeks later. I'm sorry, it's just that I've been dealing with a few personal issues, and feel sort of depressed. I'm starting to lose interest in this kind of stuff.
We dashed through the cavern, weaving past a labyrinth of stalagmites. Light was dim, and the two of us could only hear the roar of an unseen beast behind us. The canyon was getting closer and closer with each step; within moments there'd be nowhere left to run.
Annabeth turned to me, "We don't have a choice! I have to face it!"
"No," I shouted, "It's gonna kill you!"
"Then I plan to die fighting," she replied, "Go! It only wants me!"
"I'm not leaving you," I insisted.
"And I'm not letting you stay just so you could die too!"
The shadowy form of the monster loomed over us. A cold sense of dread crawled through every inch of my skin, freezing me in place.
"Percy," Annabeth quivered, "Get...out...of...here."
It lunged as a dark silhouette, ramming into Annabeth. I watched in horror as they fell over the edge of the chasm, her screams echoing in the air...
I woke up, panic still clinging on to me. It felt like one of those scenes in the movies, where someone wakes up yelling "NO!", or something like that.
My head ached as if it had been shattered, not to mention my whole body felt decrepit. Aphrodite sat beside me, smiling mischievously while her fingers drummed on my chest.
"Well good morning, sleepyhead."
Springing up, I uncapped Riptide with a flick of the finger. "What did you do to me?" I snarled.
"Only what you wanted me to do!" she laughed, "You're mortal now!"
I hesitated. "Wait, really?"
"Oh yes. Let me show you." the goddess drew a small dagger, and before I could react, quickly jabbed me in the shoulder. I yelped, falling against the wall.
"WHAT THE FU-" I cut myself off halfway, as the color red seeped through the wound.
Her eyes narrowed. "I'll pretend I didn't hear that, Perseus." She pulled the blade out from my skin (ouch), and healed it with a single touch. "Now, I suggest you hurry. The council's already started."
"What council?" I mumbled.
"For the quest, remember?" Aphrodite droned, picking at her nails. "Good thing I brought you back to camp. You better go, unless you'd rather stay here with me. I mean, we could have a good time."
"Um," I said, " I'll pass on that."
"So shoo, shoo," she waved, "I think I'll redecorate Old Seaweed's cabin a tiny bit."
Everyone had gathered around the ping-pong table in the Big House, along with some of the counselors. Chiron was the first to spot me.
"Ah, there you are, Percy," he said, "Now we may proceed with the vote."
Thalia scowled. "You're such a lazy pig."
"And you look fat," I yawned, receiving a stiff punch.
Chiron sighed, "This is no time for child's play. Many of our people have been abducted by creatures of unknown intent. This sanctuary itself is left defenseless, without protective borders nor sufficient personnel for a patrol. If we aren't set before sunrise, precious time could be wasted. Now, we need capable candidates who are willing to fill the final slot in our selective troupe. Who volunteers?"
Four people raise their hands, albeit reluctantly. I shook my head and turned to Chiron. "Look," I said, "You need to let me go. I've done this stuff before."
"I am aware that your experience does indeed make you the best candidate, in a way," Chiron began, "But you must understand that the ancient laws are not to be broken. Only a half-blood may join a quest."
"That won't be a problem."
I drew my sword from my pocket, and clenched the blade tightly in my left hand. Everyone in the room stared intently at me, waiting for what I was about to do. With one quick motion, I yanked the sword out from my hand, its edges slicing deeper than I'd expected. People screamed as a waterfall of red started cascading from my palm, and I myself had to hold back a few tears. This was pain on a level I hadn't felt in twelve years.
"That's...a lot of blood," Thalia gaped.
"Ya think?" Echo grimaced, "Why aren't you healing?"
Chiron tossed me a bottle of water. "Well, overdramatic. But... I suppose you got your point across."
Grover blubbered and fainted, falling on his own vomit.
Word of advice- don't ever leave a goddess of love alone in your room. When I walk through the door, I half expected a dozen girls jolting up from their beauty sleep and shouting "PERVERT!" at the top of their lungs. This place looked almost exactly like the Aphrodite cabin: carmine colored carpet, venetian red walls, vases of roses placed at every corner, a mural of cupids and hearts painted on the ceiling, and to top it all off, an actual queen sized lovebed.
"Kill me now," I groaned.
Just before I started searching for my stuff, I heard a knock at the door. Behind it stood Echo, who was staring at some of the draperies.
"Um, hey," she said, "I was just...uh."
"A prank," I lied, "Come in."
She walked in and shut the door behind her. It was real awkward, and Aphrodite's refurbishing didn't do much to help.
I cleared my throat. "So..."
"Just, uh, making sure you're ready. Always be prepared...you know."
"Oh, okay," I answered, "So I'm guessing you're all set."
She carried a small duffel bag in one hand, and twirled a Red Sox cap in the other.
"Let me guess. Invisiblility?"
Echo looked up in surprise. "How'd you know?"
"A friend...Athena gave her one just like that. Except I think she was more of a Yankees fan."
"Hm," she sounded disappointed, "I guess this isn't all that unique after all."
"Oh it's special alright," I grinned, "You have no idea." Then something struck me.
"You got a weapon?"
"Just this bow Thalia lent me."
I rummaged through my drawers. "Here." In my hand was a souvenir that brought memories flooding back. Echo took the dagger, a spark igniting in her eyes.
"It looks almost...familiar," she mused, "Feels familiar...oh, uh thanks."
I smiled. In that moment, I knew there was still hope. For somewhere inside deep inside this girl, there was just the faintest glimmer of Annabeth.
I have absolutely no motivation or enthusiasm for this stuff anymore. If its alright with you, I think I won't be writing anymore. Sorry, and thanks for reading :)