Mom looked more and more paranoid with every day that passed.
Every morning she would ask me if I Saw anything, if something was going to happen, and I'll tell her everything: Mrs Rivera down the street was going to lose her cat, Danny from my class is going to get all the questions wrong in the spelling test, we're going to have pasta for dinner.
I tried to tell her that I didn't See anything once, but she didn't believe me. Lying scares her more than telling the truth, so I didn't do it.
Mom also says that I can't sing, because I'll catch His attention. In fact, even speaking can catch Their attention, so I'm told that I have to keep as quiet as possible and I can only talk to her.
I don't know who He is, nor who They are, but they scare Mom. They scare me too.
Thunder rumbles, Arrows fly, Waves crash, Hawks fly, Sun blinds, Owls fly.
They are powerful… and I have an idea who they are, but I don't want to scare Mom even more so I keep silent.
Silence is weird.
All the other kids find me weird because I don't talk anymore, but Mom says that it protects me, so I don't. I hear a lot though, even the teachers don't mind saying things in front of me. Adults swear freely around me because 'boy won't repeat it anyways,' and I don't. Even Gabe says things that I'm pretty sure are illegal in front of me, but I can't tell anyone about, 'a mute snitch? Never heard of one, ha!'
Smelly Gabe is the worst of the new changes.
Gabe smelled bad. He likes to play poker and smoke, and drinks more than even Old Man Jaron three apartments down. He sometimes pinched me so I would squeak, and he would laugh and say that I'm not mute. I hide from him.
"Mom, play, park?" I signed clumsily.
Mom was teaching me Sign Language so I could say things without speaking, but I'm a bit slow at learning it.
"Let me get Gabriel one more beer and then we'll go, okay baby? Go grab your jacket." Mom said, reaching into the fridge.
I scampered off to do so, and paused at my empty backpack.
I have to bring it.
I didn't question it, I began putting my extra jackets and clothes in my backpack. My teddy, Mom's copy of Ovid's Metamorphosis, and a steak knife went into the bag too. I wonder why I'll need this?
Smiling, I take my coat out of my bag.
'Nice and warm,' I giggle as I put it on.
I shrug my bag back on and continue walking.
Huh, that's why. I suppose I'll know more about the other things later.
"Percy! Let's go!" Mom called.
I followed Mom, one step behind her, holding her hand.
Something is wrong, but I can't See what it is.
I try to tug on Mom's hand, tell her, but she doesn't notice. I try to tug on her hand again, but she just turns back at me and says, "Baby, keep up, I don't want to lose you in the crowd."
I scowl, but do what she says. Something is wrong.
Central Park is full since it's sunny out; children screaming as they run around, kites flying, dogs barking.
Mom stopped and laid out a blanket on the ground, setting her purse down on it and then herself.
"You can go play, but remember: don't say a word, okay?" She told me.
I nodded, and quickly ran off to climb a lonely tree.
The playground looked nice, but when I climb trees- nobody bothers me at all. The trees were high enough up that I could see a large chunk of the park, but not too high that the Lightning-Anger-Smiting of Them would notice me.
I hummed a bit as I climbed another branch, reaching higher and higher so I could sit at the top. I'm technically allowed to hum- Mom only said I couldn't sing or speak.
Sitting on the highest sturdy branch, I pulled my bag onto my lap. I can see the whole park from here! Well, not really, but I can see a large part of the park; the lake and the hotdog stand and the playground.
...And the one-eyed man in a trench coat that has been staring at me for the past few minutes.
I tugged on Mom's sleeve. The trenchcoat man is following behind us and Mom hasn't noticed.
The man got closer and closer.
I screamed. The street-crowd's eyes turned to me.
The man charged, hands outstretched to grab me.
I ran, ripping out of Mom's grip and into the street. I dodged a car, then a taxi, and I heard several people scream 'Kidnapper!'
Mom ran after me, trying to stop the man.
She didn't see the car.
The man ran from the scene.
I slapped my hand over my mouth to stifle my scream.
Mom is dead. Mom will be dead.
I can't… I have to… Mom will die if I come home with her today. That man is going to follow us home and try to take me and Mom is going to die and it's going to be all my fault…
This is why I have my bag. I have to leave Mom to save her.
I don't want to leave…
The trenchcoat man stared at an oblivious Mom, reading her book.
I have to leave.
Quietly, slowly, I climbed down the tree, trying to grab anyone's attention.
I slung my bag back onto my back, and took off across the grass to Mom. I have to say goodbye.
"Percy? What's wrong, baby?" Mom cooed, seeing my scared face in front of her. "Did you See something? Come here."
She opened her arms out for a hug, but I didn't go to her. I wanted to, but I knew I couldn't leave her if I did.
"I love you." I said. My voice was scratchy and croaking from disuse.
She looked horrified.
"Percy! Percy!" She screamed, getting up to come after me but I ran into a crowd of kids, disappearing into their midst.
The man followed, somehow able to track me while my Mom screamed for me, panicking at my disappearance.
Running across the grassy knolls, the man hot on my tail, I weaved and ducked adults with BBQs and picnics. One officer, hearing Mom screaming after me, tried to catch me, but I jumped out of the way of their arms.
I sprinted out of the park, chest tight and pounding.
Alleyway. Blood. "Godling! You are going to be a delicious meal!"
No. Not the Alleyway.
Subway full. Blending into the crowd. Hidden, silent, unseen.
I skidded past a hotdog cart, ignoring the guy I nearly bowled over, and went straight to the steps leading me to the subway.
Pushing past the adults who yelled at me, I squeezed into the underground crowds. The man was too far behind me- too big to push through the crowd- and he wasn't visible anymore.
I ducked under the ticket scans, and awkwardly fell into step with a woman dragging three kids behind her. Nobody gave me a second look as I slipped onto a train with them.
Rattling through the underground. Curled up on a chair. Safe.
The doors slid shut.
I sighed, slumping down on a chair.
My heart was still racing, and my legs ached. But I was smiling.
I saved Mom.
Nobody was looking at me, so I slipped Mom's book out of my bag.
I wonder why I needed this?
The Metamorphosis by Ovid.
Opening it, the words swam, but I looked at the first few words.
"Perseus." A bearded man spoke from his throne.
Twelve gods on twelve thrones.
Them. They are the gods.
I gripped the book tighter. I need to know more.
The overhead speaker said that there were ten more stops, but I didn't pay it any attention.
The gods are real, and Mom was scared of them.
I continued reading.
What do yall think so far? Good? What do you think about Percy's way of prophecy? The visions are all in BoldItalics for formatting convenience and the ability to differentiate reality from the future.
For anyone saying that Sally wouldn't do this: Sally lets her fear for her son get the best of her multiple times in canon. Gabe, while I understand was not a purposeful malicious act, did hurt her and she must have suspected hurt Percy too, but since he was 'protecting' Percy, she let it slide. Like here- multiple oracles in the past caught Apollo's attention for their voice alone (Herophile, Cassandra, etc) so Sally, desperate to protect Percy, told him to stop speaking. He doesn't tell her that it hurts him and so she doesn't stop it.
I also have a PJO discord server for this fanfic (and my other fics) that anyone can join! (Just remove the spaces) : / / discord . gg/ hfXGUeraTg