A storm began brewing over the city. My feet slip outwards on the wet sidewalk as I round the corner, the cold evening air shocking my throat and lungs as I inhale deeper, faster. Clutching Percy with all my strength. With each footfall a jarring pain shoots ankle to knee, ankle to knee. Perhaps jumping that wall onto stairs wasn't so smart. My heart beats frantically, all or nothing. Fail and my whole body will pay the price, run and the damage is limited mostly to my shins and knees. I know the streets of New York better than they do, those hellhounds just happen to appear out of no where. If they want Percy they'll have to do a lot better than that. They're slowed by the skinny alleyways and citizens constantly getting in the way. Which is good for me, but I need to get to the Ocean. Percy will be safe there. I can hear them panting with the effort from three hundred yards behind, that's how freakin' noisy they are. Chasing people for food, will never beat a mom protecting her son. He will survive this. I looked down at my sleeping son, probably one of the last times I'll ever be able to do so.
Percy has to survive this.
I can't stay in the city, even if it was a safer place to be before this whole mess started. The crowds masking my baby's scent, but maybe just maybe Poseidon can take him and raise him in the sea. I know it is suicide, but I need to take that chance. For Percy.
The more brutal the storm the calmer my heart. I prayed for so long for Poseidon to send winds enough to cover our tracks with the debris of a storm, to wash away any trace of our path, to remove his scent from the crisp night air. If the gale were any less we would have been picked off already by the hellhounds, dracaena, and cyclops chasing us. But they cannot navigate in the unforgiving eddies of violent air. Bitter gusts rip at our flimsy clothing designed for nothing more than a stroll down the road. It bites at our faces and stings our eyes, narrowed to keep out the relentless curtain of rain. I refuse to be reduced by this storm, I embrace it as a gift, a benevolent gift from the god of storms. For only such violence can deliver us. I fear not what is ahead, only what is behind. I can't let them hurt my poor Percy. He will survive this. His crying, the only thing luring them at this point. I try and calm him, but nothing seems to work. 'Wait! Water! That should do it.' I was already soaked, I take Percy out from the blankets covering him. It's working... slowly. Too slowly I think.
Yet, every step I take only drives further from the city. Away from the ocean. Away from his father.
The forest was endless, gloomy, and primal. Its canopy was eclipsed by poplar, chestnut, and larch, who provided just enough openings for light to pass down for disorderly saplings to control the rich grounds below. Thin tree limbs grasped every tree, and a hodgepodge of flowers, which were scattered sporadically, added more life in the otherwise uniform forest floor. A clamor of beastly noises resonated through the air, and were out of sync with the splashing of fish in a nearby lake. 'Wait? Lake?!'
I keep running, but I know my time is up. Out of the corner of my eye I see something sharp and long coming towards me. I try to jump out of the way, but it's too late. I scream giving away my position, but the pain is unbearable. I collapse to the ground. Covering Percy with my body, as the hellhounds tear open my back. Their hair is black as coal, and their eyes glow like angry red flames. Engraining into my mind.
Half my body felt numb while they other half screamed in agony. The sharp, burning sensation was all I could focus on. 'What if there was no end to this pain? What if it got worse?' These thoughts alone were enough to get my heart racing faster, never mind the pain itself. They paused for a moment and took a deep breath. I took this opportunity and kicked the two hellhounds in their ugly faces. Perhaps if I could shift my focus away from the pain it'd be easier to manage. I let out a moaning yelp, part desperation and part determination. I only had two options: fight or give up. Perhaps against my better judgment I swallowed the pain and continued onward, but taking at least some care to prevent making it worse. Crawling slowly with one arm, while the other held onto Percy tightly. Losing a lot of blood. I'm surprised I can still move. Getting closer, I can see the water almost reaching out. Moving higher and higher onto the shore as I get closer. Reaching the side of the lake... barely.
The hellhounds recovered a lot quicker than I thought and rushed me, dragging me away. "No! Somebody please help! Save Percy! Somebody!" I knew this was the end for me. I lost my grip on Percy and could no longer reach him. Desperately trying to claw at the dirt and get free. I was losing consciousness as the adrenaline left, and the edges of my vision began to darken. "Somebody please help." Whispering through the howling wind, drowning it out. I felt the blood begin to pool all around me. Percy cried out and the hellhounds forget about me and start to stalk my baby. I wanted to scream, do something, anything!
No, I cannot give up. Giving up means Percy loses, I will never give up. There must be a way out of this, there must be a way I can save Percy. Surely there must be somebody around here, somebody who can help at least him. "Save him!" I shouted one last time. I'm so dizzy, everything is spinning around me. 'I feel like.. I think I might pass out. No, no I can't pass out. But everything is still spinning.' I'm going to die, I know it. I know there's no saving me, not anymore, it's too late. Fine, come and get me death. I'm not afraid, not anymore. Just be quick about it, I don't have all the time in the world. But let it be only me.
I'm so sleepy. I guess I'll rest my eyes for a little while, just a little while. I may never open them again, but we'll find out soon enough. First I must rest. Yet I can't! My baby is right there.
But it was no use. All I can do is watch. Helplessly as they beasts inch closer and closer to a crying Percy. The wind throwing the rain sideways. The hellhounds salivating. I can't do anything. This is the end for both of us. "I'm sorry Percy. I love you with all my heart..." I told him as my heavily eyelids closed on me. It felt as if an eternity has passed.
*CRASH* Snapping my eyes open I see the water surrounding Percy protectively. Strangling the hellhounds turning them into dust, and sending them back to Tartarus. But who was controlling the water? "P-Percy is that y-you?" *cough* spitting up blood. A hole going through my back and through my stomach.
"The water is reacting to his distress much like Poseidon. What's your name?" A beautiful Naiad, with a melodious voice said from the waters edge, walking closer to Percy, she was crying. Picking him up and humming a soft lullaby, instantly calming him down. The water no longer tossed and turned and immediately the wind died down. The rain slowing down to a drizzle. 'D-did Percy?'
"Sally. P-please take care of-of him. I-I don't have *cough*" that was all I could tell her, never letting my closing eyes waver from my precious baby. "I love you Percy..."
"Ssshhhh, don't worry. I'll raise him the best way I can. He's safe with me. I swear on the Styx." Her voice filled with such devotion and honesty, made me think Percy was going to be ok. Like truly ok.
"Tha-thank you." I told her, closing my eyes for the last time. All my life I had feared death, suppressed dealing with the notion, never ready to depart. Always for me there would be tomorrow and the day after. As I'd aged I'd kept company with older folks, after all, if they were still living then I was young. But it all seemed so fleeting when I had Percy. I always thought I would have enough time, but now that is all I wish for. Time was no longer her casual acquaintance, but leading her steadily onward whether her feet wanted to follow or not. Onward where Percy better not follow. Not soon anyway.
Nasaea's (Naiad) POV:
My day started out like any other. Drifting through the waters of my lake and making conversation with the animals and the nymphs in and around here. Or the naiads from the stream near by. Lots of gossip and speculation going around about the Prince or Princess of the Sea. Is he a boy or girl? Demigod? Is it just a rumor? Did he have an affair with a Naiad? Maybe they died? That would be just awful. Even after, I don't even know how long, that gossip was everywhere. Time has a way of just slipping by us nature spirits. Not that we mind.
If only I can meet him. Then that would make my day. NO! Much more than just a day.
After the latest tree gossip, a massive storm formed far off, towards the city. I didn't think that much of it, the gods are always fighting over one thing or another. So I continued with my daily routine, still attempting to clean out the garbage left by some filthy humans. 'Ugh they make me furious! And it was so long ago. Still making me clean up after them. Sheesh.' Good thing we are pretty far way from any town and nothing like that has happened since then. No more humans come by here any more. Have not for a long time actually.
I felt a massive disturbance from up above and went to check it out. Swimming back to the surface, I stare as the oncoming onslaught of wind, rain, and debris. Tearing it's way towards my home. 'Why are the gods coming here?!' I thought because who else can make that big of a freakin storm! Man, some one is definitely pissed off. It was only getting worse each passing moment.
The wind screams more than howls. Rain falls like stones. The trees they bend and moan in wrath enough to scare the gods themselves, branches torn like paper limbs. This storm, more wicked than any in living memory, is watched through debris that tumbles in the vortices, heavy like bullets, destroying anything and everything, as if the storm itself was in distress.
That's when I saw a women run through the forest, clutching something in her arms protectively. She didn't even notice the Hellhounds until they literally began tearing her open. 'Why can't I look away?' I wanted to puke. Flesh ripping apart, peeling away to reveal exposed muscle and bone. I forced myself to shut my eyes. I can't look anymore.
The next thing I heard was the whimpering of the hellhounds. So I peeked through the gaps between my fingers... and was amazed. With one arm she crawled closer and closer to the edge of my lake. While holding onto to something else. She was getting really close, but I was too stunned to do anything. No, mesmerized is more like it. Mesmerized by her strength.
The water began reacting on its own, reaching out in desperation for the woman? Is it going for the thing she's carrying?... 'A baby! I have to get to them!' So I swam as close them as I could and reached out to the mom. 'Yes!- NOOOO!' She was so close! She was right there! I wasn't fast enough! "No! Somebody please help! Save Percy! Somebody!" The women shouted. I kept on staring and watched her being dragged away, blood spilling everywhere. She began losing her own grip and let go of the baby, much closer to me. As she kept gaining distance. This was too much for me.
I heard the baby cry out 'Oh no!' Immediately the hellhounds forgot about the mother and turned towards the baby. Stalking, inching closer and closer. Salivating and hunger growing in their burning red eyes. The storm was only worsening, whipping up everything and tossing it aside as if it were nothing.
I don't know what to do.
*CRASH* I felt a pull in the water, as it began to swirl possessively around the boy. Picking up and draining the life out of the fowl beasts. Until only dust was left.
"The water is reacting to his distress much like Poseidon. What's your name?" I told her, 'He must be a child of the sea.' I said, letting my tears flow. Picking him up and humming a soft lullaby that my mom used to sing to me, instantly calming him down. The water no longer in ache and immediately the wind died down. The rain slowing down to a drizzle. He's very powerful.
"Sally. P-please take care of-of him. I-I don't have *cough*" She told me. Watching her baby with only love. "I love you Percy..."
"Ssshhhh, don't worry. I'll raise him the best way I can. He's safe with me. I swear on the Styx." Thunder clapped in the distance, sealing her word. 'He can change the world as we know it... Percy...'
"Tha-thank you." Shutting her eyes for the last time. Hopefully her soul can find peace. I looked down at Percy and began to panic. He was covered in a lot of blood! Soaking his baby clothes through. I turned around and rushed back to my lake and began removing his clothes, undertaking the task to clean him. 'Is it even his blood?' I began to wonder. Finally taking off his shirt last, he has a star shaped hole off to the right side of his stomach. It was big and bad, covering about half of his side. I don't know how he's alive. It must have happened when the hellhounds tore into Sally's back. Poor women.
Without thinking I tossed him into the lake, screaming, "Amphite! Asea! Kyrene! I need your help!" without waiting I dove back into the water. Rushing towards a blood surrounded Percy. Concentrating on the water to become clean and pure. Hoping this was enough to heal the Sea Prince. Too deep into concentrating I barely noticed three spirits entering my waters.
"What? What is it Nasaea?!" Amphite, Asea, and Kyrene asked together.
"We have to heal him! I made a promise! And he's the Prince of the Sea!" To be honest I barely cared about the last one, because it shouldn't matter. I made a promise anyway. Without so much as a peep from the others, they began to encircle Percy. Doing the same as me. Cleaning the water, the cleaner it is the faster the healing. I risked opening my eyes, only to see a smiling baby. Giggling with a couple of fish, the wound nearly gone. Leaving a massive star shaped scar, as his skin began to close up. Healing in a matter of minutes. "He-he's ok." 'He should've died with that wound.'
"H-how? I mean I now know he is the prince, but how?" Kyrene questioned.
"I don't know. The fates must favor the boy." Amphite reasoned. Sporting a perplexed expression. I really wish that that was true.
It had taken a surprisingly little amount of time to calm and heal the boy. If they hadn't known any better, it seem like he was right at home. Without a care in the world. How wonderful the blessing of ignorance. Especially for this child.
This amount of excitement hasn't reached them since... Well since ever. A Prince of the Sea, here? That was unheard of! Word quickly spread and before anyone knew it, the forest and lake was buzzing with the curiosity of nature.
Since the commotion has died down, the nymphs and other naiads came over to the waters edge, interested in the Prince. All wanting a chance to glance at him. It's not everyday you get to meet the Prince of the Sea at a land locked lake. However, Nasaea was adamant that this must remain discreet. If word gets out that the prince is alive and here. Then monsters will keep showing up or worse, the gods. Ruining their lives as they know it. If the gods know that Poseidon's child is alive, even after their oath? Zeus won't hesitate to find and strike down poor Percy.
"Swear on the Styx. All of you." Amphite told them with a heavy glare in her eye. Whatever the case, they all swore believing that the gods would only make the situation worse. They aren't known for their ethics and morals if history has anything to say about it. Thus it was sealed with a clap of thunder in the distance.
"Good. Now come on, meet the newest addition to our family... Percy." Nasaea told them, while holding Percy in a motherly fashion. Cooing at his adorable little face. With messy jet black hair, a tan complexion, and sea-green eyes. Eyes the same color as the ocean on a stormy day, green with tinges of blue, grey and silver. They say eyes are windows to the soul, but they forget to mention that the eyes tell a lot more than that.