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Persephone's Garden Chapters One and Two

By , Arlington, VA
Clarity

How it All Started


"It's not his fault he left you to help Olympus! It was the right thing to do! If you're going to kill anyone kill me!" Gwen yelled. Godsd*mnit Gwen! I thought, She’s going to kill you! With a snap of Jenna's fingers Gwen flew back and hit the cavern wall, she stumbled to her feet. Jenna summoned a sword and walked up to her, "Why wont you die already?!"

"Because I have a reason to live! You don't!" Gwen yelled. A tornado of flowers formed in her hand, she pushed it towards Jenna. Aw d*mmit! So close to the Styx! I thought. Gwendolyn picked a flower off one of her mothers trees and threw it at Jenna. She deflected it with her sword and it came back towards her.

If anyone deserved to die it was Jenna, but there was nothing we could do, Tori was locked in combat with Luke, and me with Monique. Right before the flower hit Gwendolyn, I saw what it looked like. Razor sharp petals and midnight black, an instant death flower. I could just tell by the way it looked. Tori screamed, her bird Austin had some how followed us to the Underworld, he shot past me towards Jenna, I never knew blue jays had attack mode.We both ran to Gwen, she was barely breathing. The flower had hit her heart, it didn't matter what we did she would die, right here in the Underworld.

"You're a monster!" Tori sobbed, "You killed her! Monster!" she sobbed into her hands, no one deserved to die like this. Gwen’s breaths were like any normal ones but I knew she was dying, nothing could help her. The flower had hit her heart. Okay, let me start from the beginning, this is bad place to come in. It all started when Tori and I got permission for a quest and... Well, you’ll see.

“Chiron, are you sure you want us on a quest?” I said, making sure that he was talking to us, “We’re like the two most accident prone people at camp!”
“Yes! You two need to go now, or else we will not have enough time to get it.” he said looking out to the Sound.
“Enough time for what? And we dont even know what we’re doing! Chiron! This isn’t fair!” Tori exclaimed.
“Just go to the Empire State building, the girl with the flowers in her hair will help you from there.” he said, he handed us both backpacks. “There is Ambrosia and nectar in both and all your magic items. Good luck.”
“But how will we get to Manhattan? It’s too far to walk.” I asked.
“Pegasai.” Tori said, “Come on Clarity, Chiron is obviously distracted.” We headed toward the stables, I had a feeling something bad was going to happen on this quest and it was going to be because of Jenna, I had no clue how right I was. I was horrible with pegasai, but finally with promise of MANY sugar cubes, the stupid flying pony let me get on his friggin back.
“You need to learn to be better with animals.” Tori said.
“Easy for you to say! You say a few things to a bird and you have one insta bird friend! It’s harder for me!” I said as we took off. “Why couldn’t you ask your bird friends to take us anyway? They like me better. Where’s Austin?” Austin was Tori’s blue-jay pal.
“Right next to you.” Tori said simply, I turned my head a bit to the left and right next to my friggin head was that stupid bird, Austin.
“HOLYSH*TMUFFINS!” I yelled. Stupid bird made me fall of my horse, and then Tori did a really stupid thing. She jumped off of her pegasus. Then she snapped her fingers and a whole s*** load of canaries flew out of nowhere and saved my *ss. They sat me in a upright position.
“Well the good news is that by bird you make better time, so we are as you can see,” Tori pointed next to her, a huge building was there. The Empire State building. “At the Empire State building, so lets go down.” I was trying to figure out how she was floating, the I saw where she was standing. My best friend was standing on a flock of doves. When we touched base on the ground, Tori thanked the birds and they flew off.
“So, Chiron said to look for the girl with the flowers in her hair?” I said, looking around the groups of tourists buying I HEART NY shirts and stupid little Statue of Liberty trinkets and key chains. “There’s no one with flowers in their hair. Anywhere. Except maybe Broadway.”
“How about we try Olympus?” Tori asked, “I know some people so we don’t have to explain to the guard why we’re here, I just say my name.”
“Okay, we both found out we’re demigods last year! We both go to HB Woodlawn in Arlington, Virgina and our excuse to our parents to why we’re gone over the summer is that we have a special camp payed for by the school for kids with ADHD or ADD so we can learn how to control ourselves without the random outbursts. How do you have connections at the Empire State building?!” I exclaimed.
“Do I have to explain?” Tori complained. It didn’t matter but it still put a question in my head.
“No, let’s go.”

Olympus was gorgeous! The palace’s were amazing and the streets lined with gold. I had never been to Olympus because I wasn’t a year-round camper like my half-brother James, he said he’s been here four times. Lucky. Anyway, on our way to what looked like the grand palace we passed by so many weird things like demigods walking around and chillin’ with nymphs. I looked ateveryone we passed. None of them had flowers in their hair.
We kept walking, we were coming up to palace when I saw a guy with a harp, no. Not a harp, a lyre. As we got closer I heard rhyming, really bad, horrible rhyming. He had a bow and quiver slung over his shoulder and a laurel wreath on his head. Apollo.
“Lord Apollo,” I bowed, Tori followed me.
“Ah, girls, are you here for an audience with Zeus?” He asked us.
“No, actually we’re looking for a girl with flowers in her hair. Chiron wasn’t very specific.” Tori said, she was blushing.
“Oh, you’re looking for Gwendolyn! Right this way girls.” We followed him, “You’re Clarity right? And you Tori?”
“Yes,” I said, Tori just nodded. Blushing even more. Oh my gods, she was crushing on the god!
“Daughter of Dionysus, right?” Apollo asked me, I was eyeing his bow and quiver, I was not a fan of archery. “You’re father sure knows how to throw a good party! I think I’m still recovering from the one he threw two weeks ago! And Tori, your dad Eros? Great archery competition!”
“Really?” Tori and I said at the same time. I can’t believe Apollo still had a hangover from party my dad threw two weeks ago!
“I’m no good at archery, but I have a good sword arm.” Tori replied.
“Oh, well. Here we are.” Apollo said. We were in a garden full of many different flowers, “Right over there.” He pointed at a girl sitting in the middle tending to an odd bush of flowers, they were black with razor sharp petals. (Haven’t you heard of those somewhere?) “Gwendolyn, you have visitors.” The girl turned to us, sure enough she had flowers lining the crown of her head.

“Thank you, Lord Apollo.” She said. We thanked him too and then he walked away.

“You must be Gwendolyn,” I said.

“Yes, and you are?” Gwendolyn said.

“Clarity, daughter of Dionysus.” I replied.

“Tori, daughter of Eros.” Tori said.

“Ah, you must be the ones Lord Mercury was telling me about.” She had a way of forming her words, it was... different.

“Latine loqueris?” I asked.

“Nempe vos a sanguine adhuc dimidiae Graece loqui latine?” She responded. I was stumbling, I only could string a few comprhensive sentences together that weren’t like Hello, my name is... I could only gather she said yes and was confused I could speak Latin.

“Uh, I know a thing or two, I learn at school. But that’s it, I can understand more Ancient Greek than Latin.” I said in english.

“Uh, what did you mean by ‘Greek’ half-blood?” Tori asked.

“I go by the ways of Ancient Rome. I use the Roman names and they keep their distance, as you know Clarity, Rome was about power and strength.”

“Ugh!” Tori exclaimed, “Why did I decide to take french?!”

“Vous parlez français?” Gwendolyn exclaimed.

“Oui!”

“Anyway,” I cut in to their conversation, “We need your help, we are supposed to go somewhere and find a flower or something and make sure Jenna doesn't get it. Can you help us?”

“Much doesn't happen here anyway. Sure, it could be fun.” She cautiously took about all the flowers from the bush and placed them in a pack. She also went around the graden grabbing various flowers off of various plants, not caring what they were just tossing them in. One was a deep purple, like grape juice. Another was light pink and playful, kind of like Tori’s eyes when she’s happy.

Stupid mood eyes, see, some children of Eros’s eyes have the ability to change to their mood. So when Tori is embarrassed they’re green, when she’s happy a light pink, angry, well just hope you never see her angry. Well anyway, she tossed the last flower in the bag it was pure white with a light pink, dark purple center. Somehow when she was tossing flowers in her bag her outfit had changed from white roman toga lined with gold to white loose blouse, navy blue shorts and sparkly silver converse.

“Lets go!” She said, “But when we get off Olympus we may need to IM camp. I need to ask someone something.”

Chapter Two

Tori

Three of My Best Friends Are Idiots


“Oh my gods! I can’t believe they would do that!” I exclaimed.
“I’m not lying,” David said, “Chiron has gone off to see if anyone knows what happened to them, before he left me here he muttered something about a stupid prophecy. The oracle is going crazy wondering what she said to make Chiron so agitated, Melissa just keeps roaming around the porch of the Big House hoping every thing's okay.”
“I can’t believe Quinn and Ryan and Grace would do something like that!” Clarity said. “They stole three pegasai from camp and flew off looking for us?!”
“Greek demigods are so rash,” Gwendolyn muttered.
“Excuse me! What are you then?” I sneered.
“I am a Roman demigod, much more calm and collected,” she replied. “David, just tell Chiron that we’re going to look for the Phoenix, and it will guide us from there.”
“Okay,” he replied, “Just make sure that you don’t run into any monsters.” His tone was a little worried.
“David, we’ll be fine!” I said, “Just Iris Message us if anything happens at camp, okay?”
“Okay, Tori, just... be careful. Okay?” David said.
“Sure, but you know me, always getting into trouble.” I smiled, “Well, bye.” I swiped my hand through the rainbow. We started walking down fifth avenue trying to hail a taxi. Sucks that Clarity and I were from Virginia, New Yorkers just put out a hand and there you go. A taxi just appears out of no where.
“So,” Clarity said, “What was all that with David?”
“Nothing,” I said, pretty sure I was blushing again, almost bad as when we were on Olympus.
“It was so not nothing!” she exclaimed.
“I’ll tell you later.” I said, Gwendolyn looked like she had millions of ideas running through her head.
“Gwendolyn, whats wrong?” Clarity said.
“Uh, nothing, I just was thinking about... flowers!” She was defiantly distracted and defiantly hiding some.
“Whose your mom anyway? Or is it dad?” I asked.
“Proserpina.” Gwen said quickly, I looked to Clarity for help. I had no clue about minor Roman gods.
“Persephone.” Clarity said. “Goddess of springtime.”
“I know who she is! I’m just no good with Roman names!” I exclaimed. We walked in silence for a while, I was thinking about Ryan and Quinn and how stupid they are when I heard:
“CLARITY! TORI!” A strangely familiar vice yelled. It was Ryan.
“Oh. My. Gods.” I said. The nerve of them, you know that day I finally realized who the camps biggest morons were.
“Hey!” Grace called out, from, wait for it! a taxi! How the h*ll they got one considering three pegasai were missing.
“Guys what are you doing?!” Clarity asked/demanded.
“We’re here to help! We know somethings not right!” Quinn said, “I mean why would Chiron pick the to most accident prone people at camp to go on a quest?”
“Oh, wow nice to know you believe in us!” I said sarcastically.
“Anyway,” Ryan said, as they got out of the taxi and paid the guy, “We are here to help, and if we go back to camp now, we’ll be screwed. Kitchen duty for a week. So what do you need to find?”
“A Phoenix,” Gwen said, “I don’t think your little rag-tag team will help here son of Pluto.”
“Did she call us rag-tag?” Grace asked.
“I heard son of Pluto, isn’t that the Roman term for Hades?” Ryan questioned.
“Yes, she’s a Roman demi-god, don’t ask quetions or we’ll be sitting here for weeks.” I said, “So unless you can help us find the Phoenix can you go? Please, or at least be quiet?”
“My mom is Hestia,” Grace said, “Maybe we can ask her. You know she likes to chill in the torch of the Statue of Liberty.”
“She’ll know where the Phoenix might be how?” Clarity asked.
“The Phoenix burst into flame at the end of it’s life cycle, from the flame the same Phoenix is born,” Grace explained like this should be obvious to her, “The flame that they burst into is a kind of homey flame, it gives everyone near a warm feeling inside.”
“Okay, so we ask your mom and she tells us, than the bird will lead us from there,” I asked.
“Yep.” Grace replied.
“Let’s go to the Statue of Liberty.”

So after we took the ferry to the island and thats where we hit a bug in our brill plan, how the fudge were we supposed to get up there with all the tourists milling around.
“You could get a bunch of birds to bring us up.” Ryan said.
“I thought of that, but Ryan genius, how could we without arousing the suspicion of tourists?” I said .
“Or we could climb the steps up then go up to the crown, then try to get Hestia’s attention from there?” Clarity said.
“But the crown you have to reserve it six months in advance!” Quinn protested.
“Or we could use these,” Gwen said as she pulled out a bunch of transparent flowers, “They are invisibility flowers, we have to eat them and they’ll cloak us. Then Tori can summon birds and we can fly up there.”
“Oh my gods!” I exclaimed, “you could’ve mention these before we went through this ten minute debate.”
“I was looking at my weapons. I’m sorry, by the way you guys talk too much.” Gwen said.
“Just give us the flowers.” Clarity said, I thought the flowers would taste nasty but they tasted rather good, kind of like funnel cakes. After I summoned the birds we flew up, one of the Canaries started poking at Gwendolyn like she was an interesting piece of bread. For some reason my specialties are Canaries, Blue Jays, Doves, and Ravens. Odd.
We were approaching the torch, you couldn't see it from the ground or feel it close to the crown, but the torch had a warm glow and a homey feeling. Grace looked like she was going to explode with joy, I guess she really enjoyed her mom’s company. Anyway, I could see a small girl about nine or ten tending to the the flames of the torch. Wait, what? I could see the flames actually moving. I told the canaries to let us down next to the goddess.
“Lady Hestia,” I said, I bowed and everyone followed.
“Tori, Grace, Clarity, Quinn, Ryan, Gwendolyn.” Hestia said.
“Lady Vesta,” Gwendolyn sat next to her. Grace sat on her other side and the rest of us gathered around the flame.
“Why have you come to one of the many home flames of the country?” Hestia asked us all.
“We seek guidance to find the Phoenix, we heard the object Jenna wishes to find can only be found by a Phoenix.” I said.
“Ah, the Phoenix, a majestic bird. Why, you and Clarity know where to find the Phoenix. May I see the Frisbee in your pack please?” She asked. I took the Frisbee out of the pack. "I remember asking the son of Hepheastus if I could put the secret in one of the magic items he was making."
“And he gave you my frisbee.” I said.
“Yes, odd weapon to ask for, why?” Hestia asked.
“I found after a while that plastic frisbees don’t work as well as one made of celestial bronze.” I replied.
“Wasn’t it Jake who made that for you?” Ryan asked.
“Yeah, we have silent agreement. I help him do something and he fixes my frisbee when it needs it.” I replied. Hestia traced the edge of the dragon with her fore finger. The disk began to glow gold, red, and orange. A Iris Message formed- no, not an Iris Message, a hologram. It was a map that had a red line running through it, but not completly through it stopped somewhere in the middle. I realized it was a map of the U.S. and it was showing us where the Phoenix would be.
“You are going to find the Phoenix at the next home flame of this country. I cannot help you any further, and Grace dear, please remember, even though you’re just a creation of mine,” Hestia said, Grace blushed, “You have a ig purpose in this quest.” Hestia vanished in a instant and we weren’t sitting in the torch of the statue of liberty anymore. We were back in Manhatten and we had to get to New Orleans.

“I am not riding a Greyhound!” Quinn said, “My mom says those things are filled with germs and gross icky things!”
“Germaphobe much?” Clarity said.
“I have money for AMTRAK tickets. From my last time out of camp for Christmas break, Ares gave five hundred dollars.”
“Rich kid much?” Ryan asked.
“I’m not going to take any s*** from you Ryan, your dad being lord of riches, being the richest god in all of Greek mythology.” Quinn snapped.
“OMG! Cool it, love birds. No don’t even give me that look! Eros and his children know of all love and see all love!” I said.
“Lets just get over to Grand Central before anyone starts looking at us like we’re crazy.” Gwendolyn sighed.
“Does anyone want to get rid of her?” Grace asked.
“We can’t she’s important to our quest. We’ll fail without her,” Clarity said, grudgingly. When we got to Grand Central station all I could think was, Why is Hermes sttaring at me like I’m the bad guy? But anyway, we purchased our tickets and headed to our train. it didn’t leave for forty five minutes. I sat down on a bench and started taking my stuff out of my bag. Chiron thought of everything! My knife, my quiver, my Frisbee, my key necklace that I had since I was three.
The key necklace wasn’t a magic item. It was a remember 9/11 necklace, I met a girl once whose mother and father both died when the twin towers fell. She was the nicest person I had ever met, she wasn’t full of hate or bitterness or anything that would destroy her on the inside, she had no acid eating away at her core, because she accepted the fact that her parents were gone, though she missed. them. Melissa was bravest girl I’d ever met.
Melissa lived at Cold Rock Orphanage, I met her when I was in New York a few years ago on a charity trip. A few months ago she had shown a special gift, being able to see through the Mist. Chiron went to the orphanage and adopted her. She now lives in the big house and is the camps Oracle.





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