How's it hanging, people of Fanfiction? Afroman007 here with my first fanfic! Please review, as I love critiques and this story is for your entertainment, and I'd love to hear what you guys think about it!
A bit of background: Expect this to be a fairly long story. Also, for those of you looking for PJaTO characters, I PROMISE they will appear SOMEWHERE in the story. There's A LOT to set up before I drop the bomb on what I'm planning for Percy and the gang!
So without further ado, here's the first chapter!
Chapter 1: I Am Given a Piece of Jewelry
Look, I never asked to be a half-blood. It wasn't on my 'things-I-wanna-be-when-I-grow-up list'. I definitely didn't want to be the target of angry mythological figures (who are real by the way), and have to watch my back anytime I stepped off my apartment stoop.
Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself, sorry. My name is Eddy Brown; and this is my story.
I should probably start off by telling you that I'm 13 years old, and have been kicked out of more schools in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area than anyone else I know. I'm not a bad kid or troubled, although, a lot of teachers would disagree. I just: well…I struggle. See, I have ADHD, and it makes it really hard for me to pay attention to things and sit still. I have enough trouble understanding anything my teachers tell me, and I'm always doing something to make them mad at me. Like, tapping my feet or drumming my pencil on the desk, needless to say, I get kicked out of class: A LOT. It doesn't help that I fail a lot of tests too. Honestly, I can't win. It's either flunk out, or get kicked out in my book.
Anyways, I'm in the 7th grade at The Winchester Thurston School. Yeah, I know what you're thinking: and it's just as stuck up and snobby as it sounds. See, I feel like part of the reason I don't fit in at school, is because I'm not a rich kid. I live with my mom in a small apartment across the Allegheny River in a town called Sharpsburg. I have to commute in, but there are school buses, so thankfully I don't have to get embarrassed by my mom dropping me off and trying to give me a kiss on the cheek in front of the school. Ugh, just thinking about that is making me ill.
So, like I was saying before: Winchester Thurston. Not really much to say about the place, except it's filled to the brim with over-privileged kids. Now, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with having money, but these kids are usually pretty stuck-up and always make fun of me for wearing second-hand clothes. I don't really care though, it'd be worse if they knew that my play clothes at home looked even worse than my slightly dirty jeans and off-color hoodies.
There are two people at W.T that I do like. First: my best friend Jacen Darklighter. We're kind of the social outcasts of the school. And my mom always says: birds of a feather flock together. I suppose she's right. Jacen is a bit taller than me, and has kind of a crazy hairdo. His hair is bright red, and spiky. Like he's trying to be like that lead singer from Green Day. Anyways, his eyes are a weird shade of blue, almost purple and he has a light complexion. He's always wearing T-shirts with something sarcastic on it, like: What time is it? Time for you to get a watch! Stuff like that. He thinks it's funny, and I guess I do too, but when you see him wear the same shirt for about a week after he gets it, the joke fizzles out. Jacen is the class clown at school. He's always making jokes, and more often then not, he and I spend our time out in the hallways after getting in trouble. He's a cool kid though, and he gets that just because we're a bit different than other kids it doesn't make us bad.
Second: there's our music and theatre teacher: Mr. Phoebus, or as we call him: Mr. P. He's this twenty-something year old guy with wavy blonde hair and startling blue eyes. He dresses like those guys you see in Hollister ads, real casual and cool, and his personality is the same way. He likes to refer to the class as dudes and dudettes. Mr. P has us doing this unit on mythology right now, and for an ADHD kid, I've got to say he has a way of explaining things that even keep ME interested. For example, the other day, he told us this myth about how the sun god Apollo fought against this nasty monster called Python and slew it. The way he told the story made it sound like he was actually there: watching the whole thing. In fact, when Mr. P talks about mythology, it always sounds like he's talking from experience. But that's crazy: I mean, the dude is seriously cool, but he's only like 13 years older than me! How could he know? Mr. P loves music too. The guy can play like, every instrument ever made! It's seriously insane. I mean; I really like to play the guitar. In fact, my mom plays and she lets me fiddle around on it from time to time. According to her and Mr. P, I'm pretty decent. She says she named me after a famous musician, but I'd rather NOT talk about whom. Besides, I don't ever go by my FULL name. Its not a normal name, I know that much. By, the way: it's NOT Edward. And, I'd rather NOT give these kids any more ammunition to make fun of me.
The school day started out like every other day. It was mid October, so the leaves were all different shades of red, yellow, and orange and it was kind of cold out. I caught the bus at my stop on 6th Street and N. Main, and sat in the back, next to the window. I stared at my reflection in the early morning light and my own face stared back. Dark skin, tight curls of black hair, and the feature that always seems to make people distrust me: bright, golden-yellow eyes. I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how I ended up with an eye color like that. My mom doesn't have eyes like mine, so I'd assume they're from my dad. Heck, my mom and I went to see a specialist about it when I was little, and even he seemed baffled. When the doctor asked my mom who my father was and if he shared the trait she just nodded. The doctor seemed more interested by that and asked if my father could possibly explain more. I'll never forget the pained look on my mom's face as he said that, and I guess the doctor felt really bad, because he dropped the subject. To this day, I'm not sure why my eyes are the way they are.
The thing is, anytime I ask about my dad and why he isn't around, my mom says the same thing:
"You'll meet him someday Eddy."
"But who is he? Where is he?" I'd always ask. At this point, my mom would always look up at the sky or ceiling and smile wistfully.
"Oh, he's watching over us. Like I said, you'll meet him some day. He is a great man."
By this point, I just gave up asking. I mean, was I mad at my dad for not being around? Yeah, I guess. But, the thing is, I've always had my mom. I never lacked for attention or love. The way my mom said that too, made me think maybe he passed on. Besides, even if he didn't die, if my dad were to come back into our lives now, I don't know what I'd say.
"Oh, hey. What 'sup dad. Where've ya been?"
Honestly, it's probably better that he's not a part of my life.
The school bus turned around the corner on Penn Avenue and we made our way up into Bloomfield. As we passed a bus stop, an older lady looked right at me and waved cheerfully. At first, I didn't register why, but then I realized I had seen this woman before. Two years ago, a bully knocked my brown bag lunch onto the ground when we lived here in Bloomfield. The older woman kind of just appeared and offered me a big plastic bag and helped me throw out the lunch on the ground. She told me to keep the bag and when I opened it, it was full of fresh fruit and a few ham and cheese sandwiches: my favorite. I went to thank her and say I couldn't take it, but she just vanished. Like, POOF. When I was younger stuff like that happened all the time. Once, when my mom and I went grocery shopping, my mom stopped to talk to a middle-aged man in a wheelchair. They seemed to know each other and when he turned to me, he smiled super big at me. That kind of freaked me out, but my mom said that he's an old family friend and that we would see him around sometime. Another time, a younger woman with black hair tied in a very formal bun –like a ballerina- stopped by me while I waited for the bus last year and talked to me as if we were old friends. I felt like I should know her, but I just couldn't for the life of me figure out from where. She had the same kind of sparkle in her eye when she spoke to me that my mom got when she talked about my dad.
I was brought back from my thoughts when the weight on the bus seat shifted next to me. I glanced over to see a coy looking Jacen grinning at me. I rolled my eyes. Here come his morning jokes.
"Heya Eddy!" he said cheerfully.
"Yo, what's up Jacen?"
"The sky," he replied, not missing a beat. "Everyone knows that."
I thought that falling victim to one of Jacen's plays-on-words would spare me from having to endure his lame jokes all morning, but I was wrong. Jacen says that he uses me as his warm-up, so he can be at top form when we get to school. The lame jokes continued all the way up to Baum Boulevard, where we picked up my least favorite person at school: Jake Malsen.
Jake Malsen was W.T's 'official' bully. He was a mean, acne-riddled kid with pale, watery eyes and light brown hair. He was tall and skinny, but don't let that fool you: he can pack a wallop if he ever knocks you down in the hall. Which for Jacen and I, was like, every day. Jake hangs out with the dumber of the football players, the one's that follow his lead. He's the quarterback for the school team. I don't know if he's any good, because I've never bothered to watch the games. I nudged Jacen while he was in the middle of a really bad 'your mom' joke, and chin-pointed to the front of the bus where Jake was getting on. Jacen shut up real quick at that.
See, Jacen is the funny guy, but that's only really at school. His home life: kind of stinks. He lives with his mean old grandma because his mom died in a plane crash. She was a pilot for one of those big airliners, and Jacen secretly told me once, that he wanted to be a pilot of some kind when he got older. Jacen acts like a goof in my opinion, because he doesn't want people to know that he isn't always as happy-go-lucky as he acts. I mean, I know how to see through him, but that's just because we've known each other since the 3rd grade. He also said that his grandma told him that his dad was some kind of hooligan and that he left after his mom gave birth to him. I mean; that's harsh. I know I've never met my dad, but at least my mom said he was a good person. Jacen doesn't really talk about home much, but I can tell he likes being away from there, even if it means he has to deal with Jake Malsen everyday.
Jake saw us sitting in the back and started making his way towards us. I groaned. The other kids turned away from his gaze or began to talk in whispers to each other. They knew that as long as they didn't provoke him, Jake would leave them alone. Problem was: Jacen and me seemed to provoke Jake just by existing. Typical.
"Well, well, well," Jake sneered as he turned around from the seat in front of us. "If it isn't dweedledee and dweedledum."
"Go away Jake." I growled. I'm not really one to pick a fight ever, but I really don't like it when Jake calls Jacen or me names. Jake's eyebrows rose in challenge.
"I don't feel like it," he spat, "What're you going to do about it?"
"Ask politely?" Jacen added in. I glared at him and he gave me a 'what-did-you-want-me-to-say' kind of look. Jake sniggered.
"Cute Darklighter," Jake said sarcastically. "So, you dweebs know what's going on today in school? Probably not, since you've got no friends except each other."
I ignored Jake's comment and thought about it. Mr. P was also our homeroom teacher. By that, I mean Jacen and me. I remember him saying something about music being cancelled for some event, but I was in such a hurry to get out of class for lunch I didn't hear the rest. I looked at Jacen and he shrugged. Figures, he was right behind me.
Jake seemed to pick up on our confusion because he rolled his eyes with a cruel smirk and said:
"The pep-rally dweebs. You know, for my team in the Homecoming game this weekend?"
Jacen made a very smart 'oh! Of course' kind of a look, and I grinned slightly. He could always get his knocks in on Malsen in the sneakiest ways.
"So?" I finally responded. "What about it?"
Jake didn't seem to like my answer too much because he turned in his seat after calling us a few choice names and then made his way up to sit with his stupid friends. Jacen balled his fists around his backpack straps.
"I REALLY hate that guy." He said. For a moment I thought his fists were smoking, but I realized that it was kind of cold on the bus, so it must've been our breath. I nodded and we sat in silence for a bit.
"Do you wanna ditch?" Jacen asked as we turned onto Morewood Ave. I glanced at him skeptically.
"No way man," I said, "Mr. P watches us like hawks. He'd be the first to know if we tried to skimp out on an assembly."
"True. He always does seem to know somehow."
Our bus was one of the last to get to the drop off area at the front of the school. As usual, Jake and his goons bumped us as we got off the bus and then pushed through Jacen and me to get into the school. Honestly, one of these days I might just pop him a really good one in the nose.
We made it to our lockers and shoved our backpacks inside. I noticed that the backpack straps on Jacen's bag looked frayed somehow, like someone took a lighter to them.
"Dude," I said looking at the bag, "You really need to get a new bag, look at your straps!"
Jacen gave me a weird look before he looked at them and frowned.
"Crap. No kidding."
We made it to homeroom and sat down at our desks. Luckily, we sat by each other, so it never felt too awkward in class. If we didn't, no one would talk to us because we were Jake's favorite punching bags, and they didn't want on his hit list. Literally, that is.
As usual, Mr. P had his feet propped up on his desk at the front of the room and was reading this morning's newspaper. He told us he didn't care much for the news, but liked to read the horoscopes. Jacen always joked that Mr. P was looking for love advice. Not that the guy needed it.
When the bell rang, Mr. P sat up, folded his newspaper and gave us his 100 mega-watt smile, which as usual had the guys groaning and the girls swooning. He clapped his hands together.
"G'morning dudes and dudettes! As you know from yesterday, music and theatre class is cancelled today because of the pep rally. But that doesn't mean that I can't quiz you on a few things before we head off to the gym!"
Everyone groaned. Mr. P just smiled wider.
"But first, let me take roll call!"
He went down the list, marking us off as we said, "Here!" and stopped on names when he noticed people were absent.
"Oh, poor Mary Ellen," he tisked, "So she really came down with a fever after all. And it looks like Michael must've hurt his ankle at hockey practice last night, hope he's feeling alright."
This was one of the really weird things about Mr. P. Okay, I know you're probably thinking, 'What do you mean?' Well, Mr. P has this weird thing of always knowing exactly WHY someone isn't in class. It's not just when he knows why you're absent, he even seems to know what you're REALLY doing when you ask to use the bathroom during lessons.
"And Suzie is probably talking to her boyfriend at his locker again. Mr. Scholls is going to mark Davey absent again if they keep this up…"
And, just as he finished, the same girl, Suzie came barreling through the classroom door completely out of breath and huffed:
"S-sorry, Mr. P, I w-was in the bathroom and…"
"No," he replied smoothly, "I don't think your boyfriend's locker counts Suzie," her face got even redder.
"B-but, how?" she stammered. Mr. P just grinned.
"Take a seat, dudette."
She did, while all of us chuckled and sniggered.
After Mr. P finished checking off his attendance sheet he started a pop quiz on mythological stuff. Most of the class got it wrong, but I felt like I knew quite a bit. It was the only subject besides music that I've ever really taken to.
"Okay, who can tell me the name of the famous hero," Mr. P began, "Who traveled to the Underworld to save his wife's soul from Hades by paying for her soul with his music? Don't get him confused with the other hero, another son of Apollo."
I groaned. I knew the answer of course. I just didn't want to have to answer. But of course, Mr. P's eyes sparkled as he made eye contact with me. I took a big sigh and:
"Oedipus, son of Apollo." I answered blandly. "NOT to be confused with King Oedipus."
Oedipus was my full name. That's the reason why I didn't use it if I didn't have to. I usually went by Eddy or just Ed if I could. I mean, I didn't even know where my namesake came from until I learned about the hero Oedipus' story in Mr. P's class. Then, when he went on to explain about the KING named Oedipus, I was mortified. After that lesson, I went home and begged my mom to tell me that she DIDN'T name me after the king. She asked why I was so bothered by it and I told her. She laughed and went on to explain that she named me for the Hero Oedipus, that was so talented in music he was able to bring the Lord of the Dead to tears. Of all the names though, I get stuck with the one about two really tragic stories. And more often than not, people assume I'm named after the more famous Oedipus, the one that killed his dad and married his mom. Not cool.
Mr. P smiled and nodded at me.
"Very good, 'Eddy'. The way he said my name made me remember that Mr. P knew what my full name was. I groaned as I put my head down on my desk.
"Okay, next question," Mr. P continued, "What was Hephaestus the god of? Anyone?"
Mr. P scanned the room again and locked eyes with Jacen who shifted awkwardly.
"Ah, Jacen," he said fondly, "Looks like we've got another dude who shares a name with a mythical hero!"
"Ha-ha, Mr. P, but my name's not spelled the same way!" Jacen said with a strangled kind of voice. Jacen wasn't stupid. I knew that he liked mythology lessons almost as much as I did. I didn't understand why he looked so awkward when Mr. P asked him the question. Then again, everybody was giving each other odd looks like: are you named after a mythological hero? I was just glad everyone seemed to be too dumb to put two and two together just now.
"Well, Jacen?" said Mr. P patiently. Jacen gulped.
"He was the God of Forges."
Mr. P's eyebrows rose.
"H-he was the God o-of fire."
Mr. P gave Jacen a sympathetic look. I totally understood why. If my mom died in a plane crash, and I wanted to be a pilot when I got older. I'd be scared to die the way my mom did. Jacen told me once that when they recovered his mother's body it was badly burned. Fire makes the guy super nervous. Even pictures. Honestly, I don't think I've ever felt so bad for the guy. I smiled at him for getting the answer right; he gave me a 'thanks' kind of a look.
Mr. P asked a few more questions, which were a lot more straightforward and then clapped his hands together again.
"Okay! That's enough of that! Let's all head down to the gym and get some decent seats for the rally!"
We all filed out in a big swarm, but Mr. P called Jacen and me back to him. We turned around and jogged toward the classroom door where he was waiting. He looked at Jacen first.
"Sorry about that Jacen," he said sincerely. Jacen just nodded. "But," Mr. P continued, "You should know that to be afraid of something that makes you who you are is dangerous. When we don't accept who we are, then we fall apart at the seams. Trust me."
Jacen gave Mr. P an awed look, as if he were just seeing the guy for the first time. He stood a little straighter and nodded at him. Mr. P motioned for Jacen to catch up to the class. He looked at me and I said that I'd meet up with him and to save me a seat. Mr. P grinned down at me. With his looks, many of the girls in our school wondered why he would want to teach music and theatre when he could just go be a famous musician or model.
"And, as for you Mr. Oedipus Brown."
I groaned out loud.
"Mr. P," I said with a sigh, "It's Eddy. We've been through this!"
Mr. P just laughed and patted my shoulder.
"You know, being named after a mythological hero isn't necessarily a bad thing! In fact, it makes you more unique! Like your eyes! How many kids can say they have eyes like yours, eh?"
I looked at my reflection in the classroom door window and was returned with two golden orbs glancing back. I sighed again.
"I don't like being different, y'know." I said quietly so Mr. P wouldn't hear, but he seemed to understand what I murmured perfectly.
"Like with Jacen," he began, "Being different is part of who you are. You could change your eye color with contacts, or change your name; but the person who you are inside doesn't change; or at least, it shouldn't. Be proud of who you are: Oedipus Brown."
I looked up at him and gave him a small smile. Mr. P was seriously one cool teacher. He always knew just what to say to make me feel better about anything.
"Before we head off to the rally, there's one more thing I want you to have, actually."
I glanced at him curiously. Mr. P chuckled at my expression and reached up for the inside of his shirt collar. He tugged a thin silver necklace out and undid it in the back so it came off. Funnily enough, I never even noticed that he wore jewelry. If the girls knew that, they'd probably swoon over him more. When it was off, he placed it in my hand.
It looked like a normal silver necklace, thin and connected by almost microscopic looking chain links. It gleamed in the light from the sun filtering through the windows making the silver look golden colored, like my eyes. Connected at the end, like where a cross, or a locket would be, was a silver half-moon looking thing with a stick coming out from the bottom of the moon.
"It's a sickle," Mr. P said like he was reading my confusion. "They were used for harvesting, and was the symbol of one of the most powerful immortals."
I thought it was a nice gesture and all, handing me a necklace, with mythological content, but I didn't really understand why Mr. P would give it to me. Like he was reading my mind again he continued:
"Someone very dear to me gave me that necklace for safekeeping. He said that one day, I'd find someone who would need it more than I would. Every time I wear it, it reminds me of him and that he never let anyone try and change who he was. Our talk just now reminded me of a talk I once had with him where he told me the same things I just told you pretty much. So I want you to have it, Eddy."
I was speechless. I took the necklace and placed it in my pocket, where no one else would see it. I didn't want the other teachers to assume I stole it from someone. I may be a lot of things, but I'm not a thief.
"Thanks, Mr. P." was about all I managed to get out.
He grinned and ruffled my hair, like what I'd seen a father do with their sons when they do something right. The thought made me feel somewhat sad.
I noticed that while I was thinking, Mr. P was walking away from me down the hallway. He stopped about ten feet from me with his back turned and said:
"One more thing Eddy."
I straightened at his tone. It sounded much more serious than I had ever heard Mr. P speak before. It was unnerving.
"You and Jacen watch out for each other. You'll need each other more than you think; especially from this day and onward."
You know the weirdest part of Mr. P's statement wasn't his cryptic warning, or the fact that his voice was so serious to me, or that I had no idea what he could possibly mean. No, the weirdest thing was, the way he said all of that, made it sound like after today, I wasn't going to see him again.