So, for some reason, you guys actually like this story. Beats me. But I am glad you like it! This is the eighth installment/chapter. Hope you guys enjoy it, and have a great day!
Chapter 8: Pop Quiz Time
My new home.
It was… old looking.
It was still beautiful, don't get me wrong, but you're talking to the girl who grew up among skyscrapers and sprawling universities.
Everything in New York was modern. You didn't get a chance to be old, unless you're a giant university, like Harvard.
Camp Half-Blood was what an old Greek city must have looked like. Shiny marble buildings, giant statues, old fashioned looking pavilions. There was even an ancient ship floating on the lake for gods' sakes!
It was beautiful, but also blinding. Mid-day sun on marble is hecka bright, so I was still squinting looking at it.
The three of us, me, Chiron, and Mr. D, walked down the hill. A small group of horses with wings flew overhead, girls riding them, giggling. One looked down and saw me. I waved, but she looked shock and flew her horse away.
It was the same story with everyone else who saw me. Kids of every age, and some satyrs, saw me. I would wave, smile, give a thumbs up, and most of them would pale and run away, whispering to others and pointing to me.
I was starting to feel nervous, but the place was too beautiful. We passed a hearth, where a young girl tended to flames. She looked up at me. I waved. To my surprise, she smiled and waved back. It made me really happy for some reason.
The camp was beautiful, but also terrifying. The rock climbing wall was awesome as it moved and rumbled. It ceased to be awesome as it started spewing lava. The armory was cool, watching some buff kids make weapons. Then someone blew something up and smoke was billowing everywhere.
The strawberries smelled sweet and seemed peaceful, until a young satyr accidentally made a giant plant monster. Chiron steered us away from the fields very quickly.
We walked up to a giant sky blue house. It was the only modern looking thing in the camp. If you call southern architecture with wrap around porches modern. It was modern compared to the marble.
Chiron led us inside, "This is the Big House."
I nodded, "I see. Very clever naming. It is big, and it is a house. Who came up with that? I'd like to congratulate them on their superb naming skills."
Mr. D stifled a chuckle at my dryness, but immediately glared at me. I had the slightest feeling he didn't like anyone, except maybe Chiron.
"You would do well to keep that kind of language to yourself."
"What other choice did I have? I like being alone. I can't exactly talk to anyone other than myself if I'm alone."
He snorted softly, then turned away from me, looking off into the forest. Chiron winked at me, and I got the feeling I was doing well.
He cleared his throat, "So. Hermes tells us you are the daughter of Poseidon. We trust the words of a god, usually. Do you have any proof to back up your claim?"
I shrugged, "Well, not proof I can carry on me. I mean, seriously. How do I carry the proof of being able to breathe underwater on my person? I can't. I would have to do it, not show it. Besides, proof can be faked."
"Yes. We know. That is why we wish to test your claim." He trotted up the stairs of the porch, waving at the door, "Come with us so we can discuss your arrival."
I followed him and Mr. D through the house until we reached a room with a long table. I looked around. There were ten people seated at the table. And all of them looked up at me as I followed Chiron in.
He stood at the head of the table, "Everyone, the reason why you're here is to discuss a new camper." He waved at me, and I waved at the table, "Lana Jackson."
A tan guy with sandy hair and a scar on his face raised his hand, "Uh, Chiron? This isn't camp policy. Campers are introduced at dinner, then put in their cabin. Why are we here?"
He shuffled on his hooves nervously, "Because of the fact that she was escorted here by a god…"
The group started muttering among themselves. I figured that they really didn't deal with cases like that very often.
A girl with woodsy brown hair and eyes frowned, "Why was she escorted here by a god and not a satyr?"
Chiron cleared his throat, looking at me sideways, "That would be because she is… the daughter of… Poseidon."
Gasps rippled across the room as most stared at me incredulously.
First impressions, people.
I rocked back and forth on my heels, lips pursed. This was exactly the position I loved to be in. gawked at, whispered about, questioned and doubted.
I loved it.
Just a hint to the oblivious out there, I'm being sarcastic.
A big, buff girl with brown hair scowled at me, "and why should we believe this little shrimp in anything she says? We all know that the gods agreed to not sire any more kids."
"Yes, but we literally have proof in the camp that it's not always true. Besides, we're going to test to prove her claim. This is where you all come in."
"You want us to… test her?"
They all looked at each other, then nodded.
I frowned, "Oh goody. Pop quiz time."
They stood from the table, and I followed them to what appeared to be stables. The girl with brown hair and lithe form stood me in front of one of the stalls. A horse head popped up and sniffed at me.
I rubbed its nose. What else could I do?
If an animal wants pets, you give it pets.
Simple as that.
"Now, don't turn around. I'm going to raise some fingers, and you need to talk to the horse to find out how many I'm holding."
"Talk. To the horse."
"Yes. Poseidon is the father of horses, so you should be able to talk to them."
I scratched the horse behind its ear, "Of course. That makes complete sense. Like everything else here."
It flicked its ears at me and I smiled. I like horses. They can be cute at times.
I had a feeling the test had already started, but the horse was either not cooperating with me, or horses did not talk.
At the time, I was pretty sure it was the latter.
But, at the time, I also had a secret weapon.
There were mirrors in the stalls for no reason.
They are still up to this day.
And yes, I know.
It was wrong to do. I shouldn't have lied and pretended that the horse was telling me the information when I was actually cheating.
What they don't know can't kill them.
The charade went on for about two minutes. They nodded among themselves, seeming satisfied, then motioned for me to follow.
I turned my back to the stall and started to walk away.
Then, I heard a small voice whisper after me 'Good luck Lady Jackson'
I flipped around and stared at the horse, "You want to run that by me again?"
It just flicked its ears and looked innocent. The group looked back after me, so I couldn't exactly stay to interrogate the horse.
Now that I think about it, that's a weird thing to say.
But I followed the group to the lakeside.
The buff brunette lifted her spear up and threw it. It soared well over the center of the lake and touched down, probably sinking down to the bottom.
She turned and smirked at me, "Go fetch."
"Sorry, but I'm not a dog. Only bitch here is you."
She lunged for me, but I jumped into the water and swam as fast as I could away from her, chuckling.
I popped down under the water. It was normal water so far. I could breath, and like always, it kept me dry.
Fish swam all around me, and in the back of my mind, I could hear their tiny little voices questioning my presence.
I ignored them.
Fish aren't really that smart. Trying to keep up a conversation with one will give you a headache, trust me.
Word of advice: NEVER talk to a sunfish. You will regret it.
I swam down to the bottom. I couldn't see anything besides kelp and rocks.
And a group of girls.
I stopped in my tracks and swam back.
Girls sitting at the bottom of a lake weaving baskets.
Obviously at the time, I had no idea what they were. Now I do.
I had racked my brain. What had the books called them?
They were naiads.
Spirits of water.
I floated there for who knows how long, until one looked somewhat up and saw me.
They dropped their baskets and surrounded me, swimming in circles.
Their voices trilled over the faint rush of the currents.
"Who is this?"
"How is she alive down here?"
"How does she breathe?"
I cleared my throat, "Uh, I think I can answer for you."
They started back away from me. I tend to have that effect with things I say.
"My name is Lana, I'm down here because someone decided this would be a fun test, and I can breathe because I'm the daughter of Poseidon."
They swirled around me in excitement.
"Do you think you can point the way to a spear that showed up recently?"
They pointed directly down. A current waved by us at that second and the kelp bent down, revealing the spear shaft.
"Oh, sweet. Thanks ladies."
I drifted over to it and pulled it up from the ground.
I used the water to propel myself up in a giant column above the lake. I could see almost the entire camp and forest, including the group, which was starting to drift away.
Buggers must have thought I had drowned.
I willed the column to the shore and set down in front of them, holding the spear.
They all stared at me as I looked around.
"So… does this mean I passed the quiz?"