I feel like a retired veteran of FanFiction. It's been so long since I've updated that I'm old. Does anyone even read my shit anymore? Well how could you? There is no shit to read due to lack of material not posted. There's new writers now, writers I've not read nor they know of me. Whereas my name was once known. Which is strange. And I laugh at myself for it. I've never been a writer with much talent, even though my teachers scoff at my mention of me saying I have no talent. In fact just this year I won an award in my creative writing class for a science fiction paper I wrote about clones and the couple screen plays I wrote. "Incredibly interesting and so new. To me your already an author" "You have a gift Jasmin, don't throw it away" I'm not so sure I agree. All writing is to me is bullshit. You sit in a chair and bullshit. Make this up and everyone loves you. It's not like its hard, the creative process is easy. Anyone can come up with a million dollar idea. What separates authors and writers (as there is a difference in my mind) is that an author is a master weaver and a writer is someone who knows what they want to say but can't quite piece it together in a brilliant way. An authors words become spun gold, perfectly interwoven and fabricated to catch your eye and make you say "Wow that's beautiful" whereas a writers work is much more like loose rope. Still a woven braid of words, skillfully put together, just not with the same sheen of brilliance. Teachers say I'm a wonderful writer. And to that I agree. But will I ever be an author, and not a clumsy writer? That I doubt.
Disclaimer- As I just stated in long-worded ramblings above, I am no author therefore I could not possess the rights to this book series. I am still but a lowly writer which is a seed to be an author, if I could make myself grow and not cut myself down. I have a nasty habit of doing that however.
It was the same thing every waking hour of Thalia Grace's existence. It always started at point A ending at point B like a terrible marathon of Barney. You had to always sit through that torturous theme song and it always ending with the credits of a bunch of behind the scenes insane people who would end up in jail years later for drug abuse. That's the way Thalia felt. She had lived once, once she dictated her life and every day she opened her eyes was a new one. Those days were long gone. Now she was just a re-run of the same show, and the worst show of the season at that.
Each "day" felt like a month and every hour felt like a year. She would open her eyes at the same camp, with the same people. Seven year old Annabeth was franticly putting her 2 sizes to big boots on and scrambling around for her knife. Handsome Luke was quickly jamming their camp-ware in a back pack, casting a frantic look over his shoulder every 3 seconds as if he was looking for something. Grover was above her, shaking her shoulders which she quickly summed up to be the reason she had stirred from her much needed sleep. Sound didn't reach her ears until she was up on her feet, spear in hand.
"-heading right for us! We have to run! Come on hurry up Thalia!" Luke was yelling. Monsters. Again. Same old, same old. Nothing new in the life of Thalia Grace. She thought that maybe she'd get a break today, seeing as today was their last day of venturing before they reached this camp Grover had been talking up and down. Still she wasn't a god so she didn't make up what went on in life. With a heavy sigh she slung her back pack over her shoulders and hefted Aegis as she ran. She wasn't sure where she was running, there was just an internal compass telling her where she needed to go. Plus there was a frightened satyr bleating franticly ahead as he lead the way. That always helped.
Behind them Thalia could hear the many sick sounds monsters made when they were in a hurry. In a hurry to catch Thalia and her companions. Her trained ears picked up a lot of those sick sounds meaning a lot of monsters. To many to even hope for a chance of survival if they were caught. That gave her an extra boost of speed. Had to stay ahead of the game. Literally.
"There!" Grover yelled ahead, "If we can just make it over that hill we're in the safe zone!"
"That's great. Run faster Goat Boy!" Is what Thalia would have replied if a hell hound hadn't have pounced on her. Her half-blood instincts were all that saved her. Just as the hound had exploded from the bushes on her right flank, she had twisted her body and jammed the shaft of her spear directly into the hounds sternum bucking it off her. The hound skittered away on its paws, claws cutting deep divots into the ground as it drug them through the dirt to slow its speed to a stop.
"Keep going. This will take 3 seconds." Thalia purred through a smile as she lowered her body into a defense stance, leveling her spear to the hounds chest. Hell hounds were easy. It was the smaller monsters you had to worry about. They slipped under your guard like an oiled snake, and she had fought a couple of those. The hounds beady red eyes followed her as they paced rhythmically, Thalia's spear head lined up perfectly with the beasts heart. Then it charged. Right into Thalia's spear. She pushed as it ran into the spear head, pushing the spear clear through the hound up the shaft to where she had her grip, then slung it off like a dog throwing a toy it had been shaking from its mouth. As the hound flew into the bushes she had thrown it toward it was crumbling into flaming ashes. She didn't even waste time to watch and make sure it was dead, she had already picked herself up and was sprinting full force to catch up with her companions.
When she had caught up with them, she found them back to back in combat against three snake-woman. Thalia rolled her eyes. Could they catch a break ever? Shaking her head at the misfortune, she snuck up behind one, jamming her spear through the snake-woman's neck down to her ribs like it was a sword. The second the bronze sank into the things skin, it burst. Thalia quickly fell back into her stance, holding Aegis up in front of her and her spear parallel beside it, the spear head trained for right between the two approaching snake-woman's eyes. One took a swipe at her with a crude war hammer that she easily deflected and counter attacked just as quickly, jabbing her spear between the things teeth. Poof. One down, one to go. Out of the corner of her eye Thalia saw Annabeth creeping up to it with her knife out, nodding at Thalia. Thalia understood and began jabbing at the snake-woman, missing each strike purposely to create a long enough distraction for Annabeth to sneak under the monsters guard and stick her knife in the creatures neck. Gone.
"Let's go." Luke grabbed Annabeth around her arm and pulled her to her feet, prompting her to run. They ran out into a clearing, the hill very clearly ahead now. It was close. The only problem with that was the legion of monsters behind them and it was a legion. Snake-woman, hell hounds, Laistrygonians, Cyclops, and various other things mixed in she didn't waste any more precious time inspecting.
There was no way the four of them could fend off all those monsters. It was just impossible, no matter how you looked at it. There was no way. They were as good as dead. Unless Thalia resorted to the groggy plan coming to mind. She could do something. They didn't have to all die. She glanced up at the hill and couldn't think of any better place to make a final stand.
Once they ran up the hill she stopped and turned to face the horde of monsters gathering around the base of the hill like a swarm of ants ready to climb into their ant hill. Luke and Annabeth pitched forward they stopped so short, giving Thalia wild looks.
"What are you doing! We can't waste time! Lets go!"
"No," Thalia stabbed her spear into the ground beside her, using her free hand to tighten the straps on Aegis which shinned brilliantly in the now gloomy sunshine above, "You three go. I'll hold them off and buy you some time."
"Thalia that's insane! You'll die!"
"Thanks for being positive Grover. Really, its helpful."
"But Thalia," Annabeth's wide grey eyes scanned the monsters below before finally coming to rest on Thalia once more, "Statistically there is no possible way-"
"I know." Annabeth's eyes grew wider, and shiny with tears yet to fall.
"I know. Now would you guys get moving already? I've got monsters to kill." The three of them stood there a moment, words on their lips but no sounds being distributed, then finally they turned and fled. Thalia watched them go, a knot forming in her stomach as she realized that would be the last time she saw her family.
Buck up, she told herself, this is no time for that emotions crap. She had to be strong. With a firm nod she turned back to the threat, now clawing up the very hill she was standing on, hungering for her death. Knowing full well there was only one outcome of this fight, she pulled her spear from the ground and held it against her shield, trained on the oncoming horde. The closer they got, the tighter that knot in her stomach became until she felt like she was going to throw up. Thalia had known fear before but not like this. It was a calm fear, settled as it was distributed throughout her entire body. It was a fear mingled with peace. The fear of an end and the peace of an end. A two-for-one deal as it were. And the moment she figured it out, the horde was upon her.
It was confusion and chaos. Her expected life span from the moment they got past her spear head was 5 minutes max but through every dodge, stab, jab, and turn she felt herself living past that time. That is until she felt a crippling pain in her spine, driving her to her knees. The pain source wiggled in her back then moved down, dragging a burning trail with it. Claws. Thalia knew this was her end and by every god she could conjure up in her failing mind she hoped it was a heroic one.
Then something weird happened. Something like a dream. A dream exactly. She fell asleep. A slow sleep. Slow as sap. Her entire being felt sluggish. She felt old and planted like the very ground she was upon was her birth place and she had grown ever so slowly into the person she was now. Still she felt it had taken years for her to get to this place. To the end of her death once again. To the end of this dream. And now she was herself as she was in the present, reaching the credits of the Barney re-run. She was dead and come tomorrow she would have the same dream once again. For now she sat inside herself much like the body of Thalia Grace had become the imprisonment of Thalia Grace. Her own flesh were the walls that held her captive in this never-ending dream. Maybe she was in the fields of punishment and this was Hades special punishment just for Thalia because he had hated her so much in life. This is a creativity with her uncles name all over it.
Strangely at the same time there was an awareness so bleak she almost didn't know it was there that she was alive. That she was life. How else could she be feeling this sickness if she wasn't alive? Recently her dreams had become somewhat transparent and faded like an old film reel. Maybe Hades had played back her death so many times the film was starting to wear out. That was her best guess. That, however, didn't explain the nasty sickness in her heart. For it was her heart. It was at the center of her being, eating at her like a hot oil or acid. And whatever the slimy disease was it was making her feel aged. Aged so much that she felt death was coming to her a second time only slower this time. Much, much slower. Everything was slow in this dream world she lived in.
That oily infection burned at her heart for quite a while, and though she continued having her dream, it bogged down. The color faded and it was put into slow motion. Until finally it felt like someone had put ice on her heartburn. Gods it felt great! She hadn't felt this good since she was actually alive! Wait. She was alive. Wasn't she? She was. She wasn't this lethargic life force stuck in Hades punishment. She belonged in life as life belonged in her.
Suddenly she wasn't having her dream. Not today. The re-run was over. She was in a hall and there was a light at the end. As she drew nearer to it she realized it was a bronze light. No not even bronze it was gold. Vivid gold arraying the walls and floor, casting a gold light over Thalia's body. Thalia's body! She was a body! Not a dream. She was herself and she was walking. Yes that felt good. Felt. What a shock that was too! She felt. Not the same worn out, recycled feelings of her dream but new ones. Feelings of warmth and happiness and life. The closer she got to this gold light the more of her former self felt restored. Then she was standing in the gold light and all that old, sluggish feelings washed off her. She wasn't there.
She was here. She knew this place. She was on the ground. The bones of the earth and its filthy flesh getting her favorite clothes grimy. She was indeed alive. Everything from before, the repetitive dream she had thought to be Hades curse had all just been one big dream. The death, the running, the chase, the last stand. All but a dream. She still felt a little sluggish though, slow again like in her dream. She needed to remember how to work her body. She needed feeling. Blood running through her veins into her heart and oxygen rushing into her brain. Oxygen. She needed to breath. What made her breath again? Her lungs. And how did she get the oxygen into her lungs? She had to open her mouth and pull it in.
Her eyes took what felt like years to open as she sucked in that oxygen for her lungs and they beheld such a strange sight. A boy with black hair and eyes like the color of the sea was looking right back at her with his hands on her shoulders. This wasn't Luke or Annabeth. Not even Grover. Wasn't she in camp?
Slowly her tongue came back to life and she heard herself speak, "Who-"
"I'm Percy," He said, "Your safe now."
"No," He assured me, "You're okay. What's your name?" Thalia thought for a moment. What was her name? She had a name. That was for sure. And she knew it too. But her brain hadn't fully come to life yet and she waited patiently for it to spark up. As she waited she watched as Percy's facial expression changed. He grew pale and he seemed to know the answer to his own question before Thalia even had to chance to answer it.
"I am Thalia," She found as her brain came to life, fully restoring her entire self back to its former glory, "Daughter of Zeus."
And thus ends my one-shot on Thalia's experience as a tree. I don't know what prompted this story nor why I love it as much as I do but I'm quite proud of it. I have always loved Thalia's role in these books. Maybe because she reminds me so much of my friend Carson but who knows. I just love her. And I've never not once (double negative) wrote a story about Thalia as the main character.