I ACCIDENTALLY VAPORIZE
MY PRE-ALGEBRA TEACHER
Jason had never thought that he would ever feel so inferior when compared to another demigod than he did when he heard the stories of Percy's triumphs; I mean he was Praetor after all. But when he sat by the campfire with the rest of the campers and heard that Percy took down the Minotaur (It must have been 8 feet tall, beefy and with huge horns and Percy took it down with its own horn), Medusa (he used his shield to look at her just like the original Perseus and then cut off her head), Atlas and even Kronos himself, he felt small. He confronted gods too, Hades, Ares and even Jason's own father, Zeus. He was even offered godhood, and what's more, he turned it down. No, Jason had never heard of someone who was more like a legend than Perseus Jackson, not even Hercules could compare.
Piper had never thought that she would find two people who seemed more suited for each other than Percy and Annabeth. She blamed her mother, but she couldn't help but aww at the thought of the two being reunited. She knew that she loved Jason, and that he loved her back, but it would never compare to what Percy and Annabeth seemed to have had from the stories she heard around the campfire. Her cabin had even coined a term for their relationship, Percabeth, and even Piper had to admit that it sounded perfect.
Leo had always felt inferior to Jason. He was handsome, while Leo could only be called cute, he had Piper and he was son of Zeus for gods' sake, but even he had to admit that Percy was obviously better than Jason. Percy may have only been a son of Poseidon, still a member of the 'Big Three', but he took on a Minotaur and Medusa at the age of twelve. Twelve. He took on Atlas and he even fought the big-bad Kronos the previous summer and won. He was a living legend and Leo knew he could never compare. A guy like that was going to be serious, even more serious than Annabeth, and, from what he heard from Jason, Camp Jupiter would be likely to make him worse. Leo and he would never get along.
It was true; all Jason, Piper and Leo ever heard about Percy was how brilliant and awesome he was. Annabeth refused to talk about him lest she burst into tears, and Thalia, Nico and everyone else, even the Stolls, took her lead. The only times he was ever mentioned was at the campfires, as Annabeth had stopped attending, and then only the stories of Percy's triumphs were ever mentioned, the newcomers never learned anything about what this 'hero' was truly like.
This was why Poseidon took it upon himself to tell Jason, Piper and Leo about the true Percy. Zeus had forbidden them to have any contact with their kids, but that didn't stop the mischievous god of the sea. He had heard about a book that was sweeping Olympus, all of the minor gods and goddesses were reading it and Poseidon could have sworn that he saw the corner of a copy peeking out from underneath Zeus' throne the last time he had sought council with his brother. It was the story of the hero Percy Jackson, from his own perspective, gods only know how the information was obtained, but that was a trivial matter. All Poseidon knew was that he had to get a copy to Camp Half-Blood as soon as possible to give time for them to read it, so that they could get a true picture of his son before they met him.
And that was why, as Annabeth was lying dejectedly on her bed one morning, she heard something solid that sounded somewhat like a book, hit the ground beside her bed. She reluctantly lifted her head and peered down to where a rectangular package, bound neatly with brown paper, had settled, along with a note written in a man's clear, bold print:
Dear Annabeth, it started.
I have been watching all of you for the past couple of days since you heard the news about Percy's whereabouts, and I must say I am concerned, Jason, Piper and Leo seem to have gotten some really misguided ideas about Percy and I think this will help with their education. I want them to have a clear picture of my son when they meet him. There are 5 books total, another will follow once this one has been completed. Oh, and let anyone else who wishes to hear his story listen too, I think Thalia and Nico would find it beneficial also. And use my cabin, that way you will not be disturbed. Good Luck – Poseidon
Annabeth stared at the note for longer than necessary while she tried to process what it meant. Jason, Piper and Leo were 'misguided' and this was a book that would help with their 'education' about Percy. She opened the package, and sure enough it was a book, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, she could only guess what it was about.
She eventually decided that, though she didn't really understand, which was very rare for a child of the wisdom goddess, she could not ignore a task set for her by a god, and not just any god, one of the 'Big Three' no less. So she set out of her cabin to look for Jason, Piper and Leo, Thalia and Nico, and whomever else she thought may want to hear Percy's story.
It wasn't long before she found them all and they were all sitting comfortable in Poseidon's cabin. Annabeth had taken Percy's bed, while everyone else had grabbed a bed or a chair, or, lacking that, the floor. She had managed to find Jason, Piper, Leo, Thalia and Nico, along with Travis, Connor, Rachel and Clarisse. She explained what Poseidon had asked her to do and had suggested that they all read a chapter in turn so that everyone would get a chance to read. To her surprise, it was Nico who volunteered to read first, but she didn't question it, she just passed the book over.
Nico took and deep breath, I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher, he began.
"Cool chapter title." Travis said, awed by the prospects of a title such as that.
"How do you accidentally vaporize your teacher?" Connor questioned.
"I don't know," Annabeth huffed impatiently, "maybe we should read and find out." She finished, glaring at the two boys to make them shut up.
Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood.
"I don't think many people do." Thalia muttered
If you're reading this because you think you might be one, my advice is:
"Wait, seaweed brain is giving advice," Clarisse asked incredulously "This will be good."
close this book right now. Believe whatever lie your mom or dad told you about your birth, and try to lead a normal life.
"For a seaweed brain that is actually quite good advice." Annabeth admitted
Being a half-blood is dangerous. It's scary. Most of the time, it gets you killed in painful, nasty ways.
"That's sadly true." Thalia added.
And everyone had to admit that she was right.
If you're a normal kid, reading this because you think it's fiction, great. Read on. I envy you for being able to believe that none of this ever happened.
But if you recognize yourself in these pages-if you feel something stirring inside-stop reading immediately. You might be one of us. And once you know that, it's only a matter of time before they sense it too, and they'll come for you.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
"But you didn't." chorused the Stolls
My name is Percy Jackson.
"Oh really?" Thalia said "I'd have never guessed."
I'm twelve years old. Until a few months ago, I was a boarding student at Yancy Academy, a private school for troubled kids in upstate New York.
Am I a troubled kid?
"Yes." Said Travis.
"Definitely." Connor added.
This was met with a glare from Annabeth.
Yeah. You could say that.
"See he even admits it."
And even Annabeth had to grin.
I could start at any point in my short miserable life to prove it, but things really started going bad last May, when our sixth-grade class took a field trip to Manhattan- twenty-eight mental-case kids and two teachers on a yellow school bus, heading to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to look at ancient Greek and Roman stuff.
"Awesome." Annabeth added.
"Torture." Nico muttered, and those who heard him nodded.
I know-it sounds like torture. Most Yancy field trips were.
Annabeth frowned, while Nico grinned.
But Mr. Brunner, our Latin teacher, was leading this trip, so I had hopes.
Mr. Brunner was this middle-aged guy in a motorized wheelchair. He had thinning hair and a scruffy beard and a frayed tweed jacket, which always smelled like coffee. You wouldn't think he'd be cool, but he told stories and jokes and let us play games in class. He also had this awesome collection of Roman armor and weapons, so he was the only teacher whose class didn't put me to sleep.
"Awesome! I wish my teachers did that!" Connor and Travis exclaimed in unison.
"Is that Chiron?" Annabeth asked
Thalia nodded, "Probably, it sounds like him and he usually goes personally to check on the stronger half-bloods, and I think Percy loosely fits that description."
Annabeth frowned as Thalia insulted her missing boyfriend.
I hoped the trip would be okay. At least, I hoped that for once I wouldn't get in trouble.
"Oh seaweed brain, why would you even think you'd be lucky." Thalia added, wearily, "Half-bloods almost never are."
Boy was I wrong.
"I told you."
See, bad things happen to me on field trips. Like at my fifth-grade school, when we went to the Saratoga battlefield, I had this accident with a Revolutionary War cannon. I wasn't aiming for the school bus, but of course I got expelled anyway.
"What were you aiming for then Percy?" Travis asked incredulously.
"We may never know." Nico answered regretfully.
And before that, at my fourth-grade school, when we took a behind-the-scenes tour of the Marine World shark pool, I sort of hit the wrong lever on the catwalk and our class took an unplanned swim.
"Cool" exclaimed Travis and Connor
And the time before that... Well, you get the idea.
"No, we want to hear more." The Stolls said indignantly.
"Well he hasn't mentioned anything more." Nico said, as he scanned the page in front of him, "You'll have to ask him if he comes back."
"When," Annabeth ground out, gritting her teeth, "you two can ask him when he gets back." She finished with a glare at Nico.
Nico put up his hands in surrender, "Okay, when he gets back."
This trip, I was determined to be good.
"Oh Percy." Thalia said, a pitying look on her face.
All the way into the city, I put up with Nancy Bobofit, the freckly, redheaded kleptomaniac girl, hitting my best friend Grover in the back of the head with chunks of peanut butter-and-ketchup sandwich.
"Eww." All of the girls added, the boys just made faces of varying levels of disgust.
Grover was an easy target. He was scrawny. He cried when he got frustrated. He must've been held back several grades, because he was the only sixth grader with acne and the start of a wispy beard on his chin. On top of all that, he was crippled. He had a note excusing him from PE for the rest of his life because he had some kind of muscular disease in his legs. He walked funny, like every step hurt him, but don't let that fool you. You should've seen him run when it was enchilada day in the cafeteria.
"Way to blow your cover there Grover." Annabeth muttered.
Anyway, Nancy Bobofit was throwing wads of sandwich that stuck in his curly brown hair, and she knew I couldn't do anything back to her because I was already on probation. The headmaster had threatened me with death by in-school suspension if anything bad, embarrassing, or even mildly entertaining happened on this trip.
"Well that's no fun." Travis and Connor said together.
Everyone else simply rolled their eyes.
"I'm going to kill her," I mumbled.
"Great, finally some action." Clarisse cheered "Come on do it Percy."
Grover tried to calm me down. "It's okay. I like peanut butter."
"Percy, why didn't you just hit her?" Clarisse said, a frown beginning to form on her face.
He dodged another piece of Nancy's lunch.
"That's it." I started to get up, but Grover pulled me back to my seat.
"You're already on probation," he reminded me. "You know who'll get blamed if anything happens."
"Yeah they always blame the Half-blood." Travis whined.
"Isn't it usually your fault?" Rachel muttered.
Rachel just sighed.
Looking back on it, I wish I'd decked Nancy Bobofit right then and there. In-school suspension would've been nothing compared to the mess I was about to get myself into.
"See, I told you Percy, you should have decked her." Clarisse finished, a full-on scowl marring her features at this point.
Mr. Brunner led the museum tour.
He rode up front in his wheelchair, guiding us through the big echoey galleries, past marble statues and glass cases full of really old black-and-orange pottery.
It blew my mind that this stuff had survived for two thousand, three thousand years.
"It's been around longer than that Percy." Chided Annabeth
He gathered us around a thirteen-foot-tall stone column with a big sphinx on the top, and started telling us how it was a grave marker, a stele, for a girl about our age. He told us about the carvings on the sides. I was trying to listen to what he had to say, because it was kind of interesting, but everybody around me was talking, and every time I told them to shut up, the other teacher chaperone, Mrs. Dodds, would give me the evil eye.
Mrs. Dodds was this little math teacher from Georgia who always wore a black leather jacket, even though she was fifty years old. She looked mean enough to ride a Harley right into your locker. She had come to Yancy halfway through the year, when our last math teacher had a nervous breakdown.
From her first day, Mrs. Dodds loved Nancy Bobofit and figured I was devil spawn. She would point her crooked finger at me and say, "Now, honey," real sweet, and I knew I was going to get after-school detention for a month.
One time, after she'd made me erase answers out of old math workbooks until midnight, I told Grover I didn't think Mrs. Dodds was human. He looked at me, real serious, and said, "You're absolutely right."
"Woah, foreshadowing much?" Nico commented, smiling.
"Is that…?" Annabeth questioned, glancing at Nico.
Nico nodded, "I think so."
Mr. Brunner kept talking about Greek funeral art.
Finally, Nancy Bobofit snickered something about the naked guy on the stele, and I turned around and said, "Will you shut up?"
It came out louder than I meant it to.
"Of course it did Percy, of course it did." Thalia giggled.
The whole group laughed. Mr. Brunner stopped his story.
"Mr. Jackson," he said, "did you have a comment?"
My face was totally red. I said, "No, sir."
Mr. Brunner pointed to one of the pictures on the stele. "Perhaps you'll tell us what this picture represents?"
I looked at the carving, and felt a flush of relief, because I actually recognized it. "That's Kronos eating his kids, right?"
"It had to be that one." Thalia groaned.
Nico just shuddered.
"Yes," Mr. Brunner said, obviously not satisfied. "And he did this because ..."
"Well..." I racked my brain to remember. "Kronos was the king god, and-"
"God?" Annabeth questioned
"It's Percy," Thalia answered, "he usually doesn't know these things, and I'm positive he knows now. Anyway, Chiron will probably correct him."
"God?" Mr. Brunner asked.
"Titan," I corrected myself. "And ... he didn't trust his kids, who were the gods. So, um, Kronos ate them, right? But his wife hid baby Zeus, and gave Kronos a rock to eat instead. And later, when Zeus grew up, he tricked his dad, Kronos, into barfing up his brothers and sisters-"
"Eeew!" said one of the girls behind me.
"Eww" the heroes in Cabin Three chorused.
"-and so there was this big fight between the gods and the Titans," I continued, "and the gods won."
"Yeah!" Travis cheered, as he punched a fist into the air and Connor mimicked him. "Go Daddy, go Daddy, go Daddy—," they chorused as they happy-danced around the room, almost knocking over most of Percy's meager possessions as they did so, before Clarisse silenced them with a glare.
Some snickers from the group.
Behind me, Nancy Bobofit mumbled to a friend, "Like we're going to use this in real life. Like it's going to say on our job applications, 'Please explain why Kronos ate his kids.'"
"You never know." Annabeth answered.
"And why, Mr. Jackson," Brunner said, "to paraphrase Miss Bobofit's excellent question, does this matter in real life?"
"Busted." Clarisse added.
"Busted," Grover muttered.
Travis and Connor gasped, "You think like a satyr Clarisse! I'm ashamed of you!"
Clarisse scowled and glared once again at the offending sons of Hermes.
"Shut up," Nancy hissed, her face even brighter red than her hair.
At least Nancy got packed, too. Mr. Brunner was the only one who ever caught her saying anything wrong. He had radar ears.
"Or horses ears." Travis added happily.
I thought about his question, and shrugged. "I don't know, sir."
"That's a surprise." Thalia muttered.
"I see." Mr. Brunner looked disappointed. "Well, half credit, Mr. Jackson. Zeus did indeed feed Kronos a mixture of mustard and wine, which made him disgorge his other five children, who, of course, being immortal gods, had been living and growing up completely undigested in the Titan's stomach. The gods defeated their father, sliced him to pieces with his own scythe, and scattered his remains in Tartarus, the darkest part of the Underworld. On that happy note, it's time for lunch. Mrs. Dodds, would you lead us back outside?"
"How is that a happy note?" Thalia wondered.
Nico simply shuddered again.
The class drifted off, the girls holding their stomachs, the guys pushing each other around and acting like doofuses.
Grover and I were about to follow when Mr. Brunner said, "Mr. Jackson."
I knew that was coming.
I told Grover to keep going. Then I turned toward Mr. Brunner. "Sir?"
Mr. Brunner had this look that wouldn't let you go- intense brown eyes that could've been a thousand years old and had seen everything.
"You must learn the answer to my question," Mr. Brunner told me.
"About the Titans?"
"About real life. And how your studies apply to it."
"What you learn from me," he said, "is vitally important. I expect you to treat it as such. I will accept only the best from you, Percy Jackson."
I wanted to get angry; this guy pushed me so hard.
I mean, sure, it was kind of cool on tournament days, when he dressed up in a suit of Roman armor and shouted: "What ho!'" and challenged us, sword-point against chalk, to run to the board and name every Greek and Roman person who had ever lived, and their mother, and what god they worshipped.
"Cool!" Travis exclaimed.
"Except for the whole spelling part," corrected Connor, "we have dyslexia remember?"
"Damn." Travis grumbled, "but the sword bit was cool."
Connor nodded. Swords were cool.
But Mr. Brunner expected me to be as good as everybody else, despite the fact that I have dyslexia and attention deficit disorder and I had never made above a C- in my life. No-he didn't expect me to be as good; he expected me to be better. And I just couldn't learn all those names and facts, much less spell them correctly.
I mumbled something about trying harder, while Mr. Brunner took one long sad look at the stele, like he'd been at this girl's funeral.
"He probably was." Said Annabeth.
He told me to go outside and eat my lunch.
The class gathered on the front steps of the museum, where we could watch the foot traffic along Fifth Avenue.
Overhead, a huge storm was brewing, with clouds blacker than I'd ever seen over the city. I figured maybe it was global warming or something, because the weather all across New York State had been weird since Christmas. We'd had massive snow storms, flooding, and wildfires from lightning strikes. I wouldn't have been surprised if this was a hurricane blowing in.
"The gods seem angry," Jason piped up, "Zeus and Poseidon especially it seems. What happened to make them so angry?"
Everyone but Piper and Leo jumped. They'd forgotten that the three newcomers were even there, too wrapped up in memories of their missing camper.
Annabeth recovered first. "Yeah, they were really angry, but I won't say why yet, I'll leave that to Percy."
Nobody else seemed to notice. Some of the guys were pelting pigeons with Lunchables crackers. Nancy Bobofit was trying to pickpocket something from a lady's purse, and, of course, Mrs. Dodds wasn't seeing a thing.
Grover and I sat on the edge of the fountain, away from the others. We thought that maybe if we did that, everybody wouldn't know we were from that school-the school for loser freaks who couldn't make it elsewhere.
"I don't think that'll work, Percy." Thalia muttered. "You're too hopeful for your own good."
"Detention?" Grover asked.
"Nah," I said. "Not from Brunner. I just wish he'd lay off me sometimes. I mean-I'm not a genius."
"Yes Percy, you're definitely not a genius." Annabeth added, smiling.
"But that's why you love him." Thalia said, glancing at Annabeth and winking.
Annabeth blushed and turned away.
Grover didn't say anything for a while. Then, when I thought he was going to give me some deep philosophical comment to make me feel better, he said, "Can I have your apple?"
"That's a satyr for ya," Travis added, "always thinking about food."
I didn't have much of an appetite, so I let him take it.
I watched the stream of cabs going down Fifth Avenue, and thought about my mom's apartment, only a little ways uptown from where we sat. I hadn't seen her since Christmas. I wanted so bad to jump in a taxi and head home. She'd hug me and be glad to see me, but she'd be disappointed, too. She'd send me right back to Yancy, remind me that I had to try harder, even if this was my sixth school in six years and I was probably going to be kicked out again. I wouldn't be able to stand that sad look she'd give me.
"Prissy's a mommy's boy!" Clarisse jeered.
Annabeth and Nico glared at her.
"Don't say that about Percy or his mother. She's an amazing woman." Thalia added, glaring at Clarisse also.
Mr. Brunner parked his wheelchair at the base of the handicapped ramp. He ate celery while he read a paperback novel. A red umbrella stuck up from the back of his chair, making it look like a motorized cafe table.
"Cool, I want one of those!" Travis exclaimed.
"Yeah, maybe we could get the Hephaestus cabin to make one for us?" Connor added.
"Yeah, we should so do that."
"We'll go ask them once we've finished this chapter then."
Annabeth glared at the two brothers, "Don't you think the Hephaestus cabin have enough work to repairing after the war and making more weapons to make an electric chair for two over-excited sons of Hermes?"
"Yeah you're right." Travis conceded
"That's why we'll ask them when they're done with all of that stuff." Connor added.
Annabeth just glared.
I was about to unwrap my sandwich when Nancy Bobofit appeared in front of me with her ugly friends-I guess she'd gotten tired of stealing from the tourists-and dumped her half-eaten lunch in Grover's lap.
"Eww." Piper and Rachel added, their noses scrunched in disgust.
"Oops." She grinned at me with her crooked teeth. Her freckles were orange, as if somebody had spray-painted her face with liquid Cheetos.
Clarisse laughed. "Nice description Percy."
I tried to stay cool. The school counselor had told me a million times, "Count to ten, get control of your temper." But I was so mad my mind went blank. A wave roared in my ears.
I don't remember touching her, but the next thing I knew, Nancy was sitting on her butt in the fountain, screaming, "Percy pushed me!"
Mrs. Dodds materialized next to us.
Some of the kids were whispering: "Did you see-"
"-like it grabbed her-"
"Cool," Travis exclaimed. "Percy used his fishy powers."
"Fishy powers?" Annabeth repeated warily.
"Yeah," answered Connor, "Percy can control water and talk to fish and horses, his fishy powers!"
Annabeth simply shook her head in response, as did the others, except Nico and Leo who were nodding.
"Do I get a name for my powers?" Nico questioned hopefully.
Connor considered this for a few moments, before looking at his brother for a moment and nodding. "We haven't got one yet, but we'll think of one."
"Can I have one too?" Leo added, feeling left out.
"Of course." Travis replied.
I didn't know what they were talking about. All I knew was that I was in trouble again.
As soon as Mrs. Dodds was sure poor little Nancy was okay, promising to get her a new shirt at the museum gift shop, etc., etc., Mrs. Dodds turned on me. There was a triumphant fire in her eyes, as if I'd done something she'd been waiting for all semester. "Now, honey-"
"I know," I grumbled. "A month erasing workbooks."
"No Percy. You never try to guess your punishment." Travis scolded.
"Yeah," Connor added, "that's the single worst thing you can do."
"Why?" Thalia questioned.
The two simply stared at her incredulously for a moment, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, before Travis answered, "Because, my dear, then you give them time to think of a worse punishment." As if that made everything clearer.
That wasn't the right thing to say.
"Of course not!" Connor grumbled. "See!" he added to Thalia.
"Come with me," Mrs. Dodds said.
"Wait!" Grover yelped. "It was me. I pushed her."
"That's not gonna work Grover." Thalia said wearily.
I stared at him, stunned. I couldn't believe he was trying to cover for me. Mrs. Dodds scared Grover to death.
She glared at him so hard his whiskery chin trembled.
"I don't think so, Mr. Underwood," she said.
Grover looked at me desperately.
"It's okay, man," I told him. "Thanks for trying."
"Honey," Mrs. Dodds barked at me. "Now."
Nancy Bobofit smirked.
I gave her my deluxe I'll-kill-you-later stare. Then I turned to face Mrs. Dodds, but she wasn't there. She was standing at the museum entrance, way at the top of the steps, gesturing impatiently at me to come on.
"What does Percy's 'I'll-kill-you-later-stare' actually look like?" Leo questioned.
How'd she get there so fast?
I have moments like that a lot, when my brain falls asleep or something, and the next thing I know I've missed something, as if a puzzle piece fell out of the universe and left me staring at the blank place behind it. The school counselor told me this was part of the ADHD, my brain misinterpreting things.
"Yeah right," Annabeth muttered, "you may not be good at observing things but you're not that bad. She's just an impatient monster. But which one…?"
I wasn't so sure.
I went after Mrs. Dodds.
Halfway up the steps, I glanced back at Grover. He was looking pale, cutting his eyes between me and Mr. Brunner, like he wanted Mr. Brunner to notice what was going on, but Mr. Brunner was absorbed in his novel.
"Must be a good book." Jason muttered.
I looked back up. Mrs. Dodds had disappeared again. She was now inside the building, at the end of the entrance hall.
"Correction: a really impatient monster." Annabeth added.
Okay, I thought. She's going to make me buy a new shirt for Nancy at the gift shop.
"Percy! Haven't you learned from last time, don't try to guess the punishment." Travis groaned.
But apparently that wasn't the plan.
"Of course not."
I followed her deeper into the museum. When I finally caught up to her, we were back in the Greek and Roman section.
Except for us, the gallery was empty.
"No witnesses." Annabeth groaned.
"But they wouldn't see what was happening properly anyway." Thalia reasoned.
"Still," Annabeth added, "they might have seen something."
Mrs. Dodds stood with her arms crossed in front of a big marble frieze of the Greek gods. She was making this weird noise in her throat, like growling. Even without the noise, I would've been nervous. It's weird being alone with a teacher, especially Mrs. Dodds. Something about the way she looked at the frieze, as if she wanted to pulverize it...
"If she's a monster like we think then she probably does." Nico pointed out.
"You've been giving us problems, honey," she said.
I did the safe thing. I said, "Yes, ma'am."
She tugged on the cuffs of her leather jacket. "Did you really think you would get away with it?"
The look in her eyes was beyond mad. It was evil.
She's a teacher, I thought nervously. It's not like she's going to hurt me.
"Oh Percy, why are you wrong so often?" Thalia muttered, "Why do you even try?"
I said, "I'll-I'll try harder, ma'am."
Thunder shook the building.
"We are not fools, Percy Jackson," Mrs. Dodds said. "It was only a matter of time before we found you out. Confess, and you will suffer less pain."
I didn't know what she was talking about.
All I could think of was that the teachers must've found the illegal stash of candy I'd been selling out of my dorm room.
"Yeah Percy, of course that's why a monster from the depths of Hades is after you." Nico muttered.
Or maybe they'd realized I got my essay on Tom Sawyer from the Internet without ever reading the book and now they were going to take away my grade. Or worse, they were going to make me read the book.
"Oh Percy , why do you never want to read." Said Annabeth sadly.
"Oh I don't know," Connor said sarcastically, "maybe it's because he's demigod dyslexic and can barely read English?"
"Well?" she demanded.
"Ma'am, I don't..."
"Your time is up," she hissed.
Then the weirdest thing happened. Her eyes began to glow like barbecue coals. Her fingers stretched, turning into talons. Her jacket melted into large, leathery wings. She wasn't human. She was a shriveled hag with bat wings and claws and a mouth full of yellow fangs, and she was about to slice me to ribbons.
"A Fury?" Jason asked incredulously. "Boy, Hades must have been really angry too!"
"Yeah, and it's Alecto too, Dad was really pissed. He hardly ever sends the Kindly Ones, and he never sends Alecto." Nico added.
"How do you now it's Alecto?" Annabeth questioned.
"Isn't it obvious?"
"No." Everyone else chorused.
Nico just shrugged. "Well it's obvious to me."
Then things got even stranger.
Mr. Brunner, who'd been out in front of the museum a minute before, wheeled his chair into the doorway of the gallery, holding a pen in his hand.
"What ho, Percy!" he shouted, and tossed the pen through the air.
"Is that…?" Nico asked Annabeth.
"Probably." She answered.
Mrs. Dodds lunged at me.
With a yelp, I dodged and felt talons slash the air next to my ear. I snatched the ballpoint pen out of the air, but when it hit my hand, it wasn't a pen anymore. It was a sword-Mr. Brunner's bronze sword, which he always used on tournament day.
"Yep, that's Anaklusmos." Annabeth said.
"Ana-what." Leo asked.
"Anaklusmos." Annabeth answered. "It means—"
Piper cut her off, surprised that she knew something, "Riptide."
"Yeah," Annabeth continued, smiling at Piper, "Riptide. It's Percy's sword. It was given to him by his father."
"Cool," Leo said, awed. "Like Jason's coin. Why do other people get cool stuff and I don't?"
"But mine's cooler," Jason boasted, "Mine can be both a sword and a spear."
Leo simply huffed and muttered something about the 'Big Three' kids being spoilt under his breath.
Mrs. Dodds spun toward me with a murderous look in her eyes.
My knees were jelly. My hands were shaking so bad I almost dropped the sword.
She snarled, "Die, honey!"
"Can't she give up on the honey thing now." Nico sighed. "She's already revealed her true form, she doesn't need to keep up the pretense of being a teacher anymore."
"But it makes her seem more creepy ." Connor pointed out.
"True." Nico had to admit.
And she flew straight at me.
Absolute terror ran through my body. I did the only thing that came naturally: I swung the sword.
"How is that natural?" Rachel asked, incredulously.
"To a demigod it's the most natural thing in the world." Annabeth said softly, with a little regret.
The metal blade hit her shoulder and passed clean through her body as if she were made of water.
Mrs. Dodds was a sand castle in a power fan.
"Cool!" said Travis.
"Yeah." added Connor.
"Definitely." finished Leo.
She exploded into yellow powder, vaporized on the spot, leaving nothing but the smell of sulfur and a dying screech and a chill of evil in the air, as if those two glowing red eyes were still watching me.
I was alone.
There was a ballpoint pen in my hand.
Mr. Brunner wasn't there. Nobody was there but me.
My hands were still trembling. My lunch must've been contaminated with magic mushrooms or something.
Had I imagined the whole thing?
"Magic mushrooms." Rachel questioned. "Really."
"The Mist is still affecting him." Clarified Annabeth.
I went back outside.
It had started to rain.
Grover was sitting by the fountain, a museum map tented over his head. Nancy Bobofit was still standing there, soaked from her swim in the fountain, grumbling to her ugly friends. When she saw me, she said, "I hope Mrs. Kerr whipped your butt."
"Who?" Leo asked.
Nico chuckled, as he read the next line.
I said, "Who?"
"Cool," said Leo proudly, "I think like Percy."
"But seriously," added Piper, "Who is Mrs. Kerr."
"Our teacher. Duh!"
I blinked. We had no teacher named Mrs. Kerr. I asked Nancy what she was talking about.
She just rolled her eyes and turned away.
I asked Grover where Mrs. Dodds was.
He said, "Who?"
But he paused first, and he wouldn't look at me, so I thought he was messing with me.
"Grover seriously needs lying lessons." commented Leo.
"Yeah." The Stolls nodded, "we should give him some when he gets back."
"Not funny, man," I told him. "This is serious."
Thunder boomed overhead.
I saw Mr. Brunner sitting under his red umbrella, reading his book, as if he'd never moved.
I went over to him.
He looked up, a little distracted. "Ah, that would be my pen. Please bring your own writing utensil in the future, Mr. Jackson."
Everyone giggled at this, it was so like Chiron.
I handed Mr. Brunner his pen. I hadn't even realized I was still holding it.
"Sir," I said, "where's Mrs. Dodds?"
He stared at me blankly. "Who?"
"The other chaperone. Mrs. Dodds. The pre-algebra teacher."
He frowned and sat forward, looking mildly concerned. "Percy, there is no Mrs. Dodds on this trip. As far as I know, there has never been a Mrs. Dodds at Yancy Academy. Are you feeling all right?"
"Chiron is a much better liar." commented Leo.
"Well he's had centuries of practice." Annabeth replied.
"That's the end of the chapter." said Nico, "Who wants to read next?"
"I will." Clarisse said.
Everyone looked at her surprised.
"You got a problem with that?"
Nobody said anything.
"Good. Then it's settled. I'm reading next."
So they settled down eagerly for the next chapter.
Okay first chapter of a type of story that I know has been done before but I hope you like this one and will review, the button is just below and reviews are awesome.
I hope they're aren't any mistakes, my friend acted as an unofficial beta reader for it and he thought it was acceptable.
Thanks for reading, the next chapter should be up soon.