'Your hat's gone,' I smirk, 'Go fetch it.'

'No, you threw it. You go fetch it, seaweed brain!'

Annabeth's baseball cap (no, not the invisibility one) lies on the path in front of us.

Where I threw it.

It's the holidays and we're in central park – the sky is about as blue as one of my mom's sweets so we figured it was time to buy some ice cream. Annabeth's been staying with me this summer, and we've been lazing around, soaking up the awesome weather – apart from a coupla run-ins I've had with this psycho harpy. Long story.

I grin and shove Annabeth back on to the grass; her arm jerks, smearing ice cream on her nose. It makes her look almost cute.

'Hey!' she yells, half laughing, and then grabs me by the arm, shaking me until my scoop of chocolate chip ice cream falls from the cone, landing by my feet with a splat.

'Now look what you've done – you've wasted it!' I'm only half mad, the sun's shining too hard for me to be angry for more than a second.

Annabeth sticks out her tongue and swipes her cap up from the ground. 'You deserved it.'

Suddenly her grey eyes widen with horror. Unthinking, I yank Riptide from my pocket and uncap it, spinning around to face whatever it is she's spotted.

Oh crap, not again.

Hurtling towards me, shrieking hideously, is my least favourite harpy. Her limbs are brown and withered, and her hands end in vicious claws, but her face is recognisably a woman's – well, a murderous , insane and butt-freaking-ugly woman at least.

'I thought I killed it!' I yell at Annabeth.

'Clearly, she's come back!' she replies, rolling her eyes.

I briefly wonder what the city goers are going to think is happening – the Mist will probably make them see me being pecked to death by a pigeon or something. How embarrassing. I just hope none of them get in the way and have their heads torn off.

The harpy only has one leg, by the way. I accidentally took it off the first time we met… and now she shows up on a regular basis to kill me, ie. at least twice a week. Being attacked by a giant bat woman can really put a surprisingly big downer on your summer, I can tell you.

Before I've even finished this thought, the harpy is within reach, and I cut across with Riptide as hard as I can. The harpy howls and dive-bombs towards Annabeth, who drops to the ground and thrusts her hand upward, smooshing the rest of her ice-cream into the harpy's eyes.

I thought it couldn't possibly screech at a higher pitch, but I was wrong.

A small dog has escaped from its lead and it's kegging it down the path towards us on short furry legs, barking its little head off. Hopefully it'll distract the harpy, but it better not get in too close unless it wants to be turned into frankfurters.

Surprisingly, the dog's actually helping – the harpy's dripping with ice-cream and it can't see. The dog bounces around its legs, confusing it because it can't figure out where the barking is coming from. It squawks, and its head darts from side to side, leathery wings flapping to keep it above the ground. The talons on its feet trail just out of reach of the pooch's jaws, which snap desperately in attempts to reach it.

This is my chance. I race forward – but Annabeth flashes me a grin. I catch myself staring for so long that the harpy pulls its self together, and nearly takes my head off.


I crash into the dirt, and Riptide jolts from my hand. I don't have time to reach it, because the harpy is going for my throat. Gods, its breath stinks! My hands strain to keep the harpy's body away from mine, but I'm fairly sure I'm losing. Then I slam my knee up and catch it in the stomach, weakening its attack momentarily.

'Any chance we could call it quits?' I ask, managing to wrestle it into a headlock.

Oops. Bad idea.

The harpy screeches with fury, and throws me off like a rag doll. I have no time to think because I'm fairly confident I'm about to die, as its claws sink into my chest…

…and then its eyes widen with surprise, and its body goes limp. It crashes forward onto me, arms and single leg twitching, as a trickle of black blood dribbles from the side of its mouth.

I'm now pressed into the ground, face full of harpy. Damn, and I thought the smell couldn't get any worse.

What just happened exactly?

One word: Annabeth.

'That's the fifth time in the past two weeks I've had to rescue you from that thing,' she says, resheathing her dagger. 'Despite the fact that you've been killing monsters for three years 're so useless.'

If I could think of anything to say, believe me, I'd say it. Like, 'It's not my fault that harpy tried hates me!' or 'Stop being such a smartass!' But being kind of preoccupied with the smoking corpse pinning me to the ground, none of this occurs to me.

Plus, I never know what to say back to Annabeth until at least ten minutes afterwards, by which time it's too late.

In another second, the harpy fizzles and vanishes, leaving some suspicious and horrible looking stains on my shirt.

The girl in question – and I mean Annabeth, not the harpy (though in some ways they're pretty similar) - is standing over me with her hands on her hips, and a weird expression on her face.

I try to ignore her and focus on attempting to say something.

'I'd really appreciate it,' I begin slowly, 'If you'd stop... uh... flagging me up... every time I screw up.'

'But you screw up all the time,' Annabeth grins, 'and it's pretty darn funny.'

'It's only funny to you cos you're a sadist who likes to watch me suffer,' I splutter.

'Whatever, Seaweed-Brain.' She pulls out her ponytail, and shakes her blonde hair out. 'Stupid harpy, messing up my hair.'

It did?

Annabeth begins tying her hair up again as she walks away. Even from on the floor I can see her shoulders shaking with laughter. Laughter at me, who is still lying on the ground.

Great. With my luck, I bet loads of satyrs are watching me too, and wetting themselves at how I can't even take out a one-legged harpy, and have to be saved by a girl.

I sigh and let my head fall back in the dirt.

Did I ever mention how annoying Annabeth is?


Hope you liked it, please review! If you don't review, Zeus will send down a lightening bolt and fry your arses off. Oh yes. :P