So I was struck by a huge bolt of creative lightning earlier today. I had parts of this chapter written forever ago, but in the course of four hours changed what I had along with writing the remaining eight pages. Sorry I haven't updated, the few people who used to bug me incessantly into updating, to make a long story short no longer do anymore. I dunno when I'll have chapter 12 up, the fall term is just starting, and I already have two papers to write, but who knows. Thanks to everyone who still reads this, and as always comments and reviews are welcomed. -SeaBird

Where we had left off in chapter 10:

"You must be her," the man replied before raising his hands in a sign of peace, "I mean you no harm. I just want to help you on your quest."

Chapter 11: Aloha Hawaii

"Right," I said, "That's like telling me you lost your puppy and need me to get in the van."

The man just stood there in the shadows while I slowly got to my feet. I had to use the wall to steady myself and even then I felt like I was about to double over. My head was throbbing and my back felt like someone was putting a hot brand to it.

"So young hero, do you accept my help?" the man asked finally breaking the silence.

"Who are you?"

Instead of answering he walked forward. From the shadows I saw he was riding a magnificent white stallion. No. He was the horse.

"So can you guess?" he laughed at my stunned expression. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against horses or people for the most part and I'm getting over the disbelief of mythological creatures. But here was a live centaur, centaur, standing here in front of me. This whole mythology being real is still pretty mind blowing.

I must have been muttering unintelligible gibberish cause he cleared his throat waiting for my jaw to get off the floor.

"Uh, you're Chiron aren't you?" I finally said when I had reeled in my jaw.

Chiron bowed, which was kind of weird. One of his forelegs bent and he crossed his arm over his stomach and leaned over at the waist. The motion was smooth but I dunno, sorta weird.

He straightened again and his face became serious. His silver-blue eyes grew darker as if he was sizing me up. He walked forward towards me and I was able to see him clearly.

Chiron had the white stallion body with the silver colored short cropped hair and beard. His silver tail flicked back and forth against invisible flies while his muscular body shivered. He was wearing the flower shirt but at his waist was a large leather belt, on one side was a wicked looking dagger and the other was quiver full of bronze arrows. Across his shoulder was a large bow.

"Do you know where I have to go next?" I asked him.

"I believe you already know the answer to that young hero," He replied, "But there you will face your toughest nemesis yet and unlike these they will be disguised. You will have to learn to fight without being able to hear, for if you listen to their cries you will surely go mad."

"Wait, what's that supposed to mean though?" I asked confused.

"I can't help you more than that, but be warned you will be tempted to listen to their song. You must resist or be eaten."

"Eaten... well that's a cheery thought. Wait songs? They're sirens right?" I said quickly remembering the stories of the sirens, this sounded like them.

Instead of answering my question Chiron merely touched my back causing me to scream and pass out again.

When I opened my eyes, Chiron's silver-blue eyes were gone replaced by a separate pairs of green, silver, and blue eyes.

My own olive eyes blinked a few time taking in the surroundings. We were still on the top of the mountain. Pegasus and the others had joined us now that they knew we were here. A fire was burning a little ways off and sleeping bags were rolled out next to it.

"Ugh I feel like I fell off a twenty foot pillar of ice again," I mumbled, my mouth feeling dry.

"Well that answers the how are you feeling question I guess," Chris mused, "How's your back?"

I sat up gingerly and softly ran my fingers over where the wound should have been but all I felt was soft skin. I tried twisting my neck to see but between the darkness and the fact I wasn't an owl I couldn't tell.

"Uh it doesn't hurt or anything besides being sore, but I don't feel anything like cuts either."

Kyle moved around to my back, "Gayle you're completely healed, except that it looks like you have scars there now. But what happened you were just laying here and we couldn't come near you."

"Yeah we were really worried," Karen said her blue eyes reflecting the feeling.

"I dunno I passed out and woke up in this weird room with Chiron in it and he was giving me advice, well sort of."

"Chiron was in your dream?" Chris asked, "As in the centaur Chiron?"

"Yeah that's the one," I nodded, "But I think it was more of a vision not a dream, it's hard to explain."

"Well whatever it was you're starting to look like Hades," Karen said with a shiver, "You should get some food and then rest."

"Karen's right Gayle," Kyle agreed giving me a kiss on the forehead, "We can discuss all of this in the morning. Even without the monsters here this place is still creepy."

I nodded and the four of us moved around the fire for warmth and the fact that it seemed safer that way. Pegasus told me that he and the others would keep watch and wake us if anything happened.

Thanking him, I rummaged through my bag and pulled out my journal and pen.

Dear journal,

Today was...yeah today sucked for the most part. This whole quest thing doesn't seem as glamorous as before. I mean sure it's kinda neat but there's way more dangers than any of us realized. We could have lost Karen, I could of died from getting clawed up, and now I might be losing my sanity with this vision thing I had. Well, I've had those before and I'm not insane yet, so maybe no worries there.

What Chiron had to say though is really worrying me. Disguised sirens? What's that supposed to mean. The harpies were pretty bad, but at least we could see them. I dunno, but this sounds like trouble especially the potentially getting eaten part. And how are we not supposed to hear? Guess we'll have to figure all that out tomorrow morning.

On a brighter note, my clawed up back is healed and- Mm yay just got a goodnight kiss from Kyle. Night just got ten times better. Well on that happy note, who knows how many more of those I'll have, I bid thee a fond but tired adieu.

-Gayle

I awoke to loud noises and the whinny of horses. Automatically my hand reached for my sword, gleaming in the early morning sun. Why. Why does everything always have to happen at the freaking crack of dawn. I. Am. Not. A. Morning. Person.

Though I guess when you wake up and find...uh I have no idea what to call them, They're these big bug things (ew bugs) and were in the process of climbing up the mountain, you tend to wake up rather quickly given the circumstances.

"Well glad someone decided to wake up and join the party," Chris called over to me. She and Kyle were busy packing their bags as Karen was making thorn bushes sprout around the edges of the crater.

After she finished with the last touches, she ran over and began to pack her bag.

"Morning sleeping beauty. Hope you had a good sleep," she said, "Though now that you're up you may as well help with the whole bug issue."

I got up and stretched feeling very very sore. I picked up my sword which surprisingly didn't feel that heavy, not that I'm complaining or anything. Sighing I walked over to the edge of the crater and looked over.

Just as quickly I fell backwards with an exclaimed curse trying to get out of the shooting range as a shot of liquid came up right where my head had been a second ago. It arched over me and landed a foot behind where it began to dissolve the ground behind me.

"Um guys," I said over my shoulder, "We have a couple of acid spewing bugs crawling up here. This might be a bigger problem than we thought."

I took another quick peek which was a bad idea and ended up dodging some more acid before running over to the others. There was barely enough time to throw everything into my bag when I heard the first crash as the bug thing trampled over the thorns.

It was big, slimy, and gross. It looked like a mix between a praying mantis and a centipede, with hundreds of little (though by little I mean about three feet) and in front were two huge ( by huge I mean around five feet) pincer claw things that kept clacking as the bug moved. It let out a screeching noise as a few of the little legs got ripped off by the thorns. This allowed me to see inside its circular mouth, which was lined with rows and rows of sharp teeth.

The blood drained from my face as the two monsters crawled up past the bushes.

"Gayle, do something," Chris called out.

"Um any particular reason why it has to be me?" I asked as I charged the first bug, dodging the acid as it flew over my head. I rolled under the bug and cut a few of the legs off. Which ended up not being smart as the bug started to fall on me.

I tried to use the last of my momentum to roll me from under the bug, which amazingly worked. However, there was suddenly not enough ground to keep me from going straight down.

As I scraped and skidded down I reached out and stuck my sword in the crevice of some rocks, which luckily stopped my fall even if my arm felt almost wrenched out of the socket.

"Great going idiot," I muttered to myself, "You've managed to almost get sit on by a slimy bug and then actually managed to roll off a cliff. "

If I had been able to smack my forehead I would have, but decided that trying to get back up the cliff was a better use of my time an energy. Though why I wanted to go back up towards the death bug was beyond me.

A screech below me caused me to look down and start muttering curses to myself again. So that's where the reason why I need to go up went, the second bug which had conveniently gone missing was now steadily climbing with its mouth open to my dangling feet.

I reached with my free hand up above my head to a ledge and pulled out my sword. I continued this pattern of using my sword as a leverage to get back up to the top of the cliff. If only it was as easy as it sounded.

Finally rolling over the side I fell onto something slimy and gross. Yay, I had found the first bug again and here I was thinking I'd have to buy a replacement. I swung my sword around but it just bounced off its back, however the gods must have been looking down on me, or at least the ones who like me. Although the sword bounced off the first bug it ricocheted right into the mouth of the second bug that had just cleared the top of the cliff and was about to shoot some acid at me.

With a gurgling yelp the bug dissolved into a slimy goo at my feet, all over me, in my face, you get the idea. Swiping the mess out of my eyes, I turned just in time to roll out of the way of some more acid getting spit at my face.

So during this wonderful play-date with killer bugs, one may wonder where are my loyal and trusty friends who promised to help me out no matter how tough it gets? I certainly was, because the whole we're in this together doesn't work if I'M THE ONLY ONE DOING ANYTHING. But it's alright I'm calm, cool and collected. I can handle it. Right?...gods I hope so.

The bug slammed a pincer down making a crater in the dirt where had been standing. I could feel the wind of it mere inches from my face as I jumped backwards praying not to fall off the cliff again. On instinct I swung my sword and severed the claw. Ha ha, try to think of a triumphant laugh, Gayle 1 evil bug 0.

I switched to the offensive by running around the bug trying to immobilize it by cutting off all its little legs. It wasn't too hard since if I stayed in one spot too long I was prone to be covered in acid. The plan was working really well actually, except for the minor detail I had forgotten about: its other pincer.

In a swift movement the pincer wrapped around my waist and picked me up. I was shaken like a rag doll for a few seconds before being held upside down. My head was heading steadily towards the many rows of shark-like teeth, which as I got closer I realized they spun like how a pencil sharpener would. Lovely.

Given my options of get eaten while crying, get eaten while trying to kill the bug, or somehow get lucky and come out of this alive, I went with choice c and stuck out my sword with a few dozen frantic prayers racing through my mind. Not that I thought this would do anything, but hey at least they can say I went down fighting.

You could imagine my surprise, and quite a bit of disbelief, that instead of being eaten I had somehow angled my sword correctly to impale through the bug's mouth instead of ending up as a morning snack. Amazing I must admit, since my eyes were closed through the whole thing. Good timing too cause my hand was only an inch away from being snack food.

With another shrill scream the monster exploded as if someone had stepped on it, leaving me once more just hanging in midair, I really need to learn how to fly. Luckily this time there was a nice puddle of goo for me to land in. Joy.

Getting up I looked around to see Kyle and Chris pulling up a bruised and battered Karen from over the side. So that's where my valiant friends ended up. I stumbled over to them, dragging my sword behind me while my shoes squished with bug goo.

"So hope everyone had a pleasant morning, I know I sure did."

"Sorry Gayle," Karen said sheepishly, "I fell over the side and couldn't get up. When Chris tried to help me I pulled her over and so Kyle had to try and pull us both up."

"Gayle you look horrible, what happened to you," Kyle said taking in my goo covered form.

"You're so sweet Kyle, I'm glad you noticed the new make up I decided to try on along with the new hair gel and fashion statement. Amazing what waking up to attacking bug monsters will do to ones look."

"I said I was sorry," Karen said.

"Yeah, well they were just some bugs needing to be squashed," I said and pushed back my bangs which ended up standing up at weird angles due to the drying sweat and goo, "So Chris where are we heading now? Actually on second thought let's get out of here and talk in the air. But first I need to take a nice refreshing saltwater bath."

It took a while to convince Pegasus to let me sit on him in my current state, but soon after we were up and away towards the ocean. As soon as we were far enough out I just fell off of Pegasus, too tired to try and dive into the water.

The water felt amazing, as if it was putting the strength back into my body. Which I guess it was since I'm the daughter of Poseidon. I floated beneath the water trying to scrub as much of the goo and gunk out of my hair and off my clothes. I would be needing a new pair of everything though. Nothing I did would get rid of the holes and some bits of goo just hung on tenaciously.

The others stayed close to where I was just floating as we decided to discuss our next plan of attack.

"Alrighty, where to next?" I called up to the others.

"Well Karen found the clue and said it was the flower necklace," Kyle said.

"HAWAII HERE WE COME!" squealed Karen, almost bouncing off of her horse and into the water, "Have I ever said how much I wanted to go there?"

We were all staring at Karen in shock. Maybe it isn't fair of us but we're pretty much used to her random outburst, but for those random outbursts to be actually right...yeah well it's not an everyday thing.

"Um, yeah like she said I guess," Chris shrugged.

"Well I guess we're off to Hawaii this time Pegasus, ya'll up to the trip?" I asked him and the other flying horses.

They all nodded and we launched into the air. Again, I can't emphasize enough how amazing flying is, the view, the wind on your face, the sun gleaming off the ocean waves, just the carefree freedom you get. Just, amazing.

The trip was going to take pretty much all day to reach Hawaii. Gotta love flying horse travel. However soon into the flight I realized why I wished it would take less time.

"Are we there yet?" Karen whined.

"Ugh, not this again," Chris groaned while Kyle and I rolled our eyes.

"Seriously Karen?" I asked.

"But I'm so boooooooooorrrrreeeeed."

"Find something to do then," said Kyle.

"Like what?" her whining was starting to grate on my hearing.

"Anything just please stop whining," Chris, Kyle and I pleaded at the same time.

"Fine, I'll try," Karen sighed.

I reveled in the silence that ensued. Sure the trip was kind of boring, but I was also tired from fighting bugs this morning. Using the peace and quiet to rest up I started to slowly doze off.

I couldn't tell how long I had been napping but a whisper woke me up. Cracking open my eyes barely, I saw Karen moving up closer to the sleeping Chris. I was helpless to stop the growing smile on my face as I figured out what was going to happen next.

"Psssst."

"Hm?" Chris mumbled still pretty much asleep.

"Pssssssssssssssst Chris?"

"Ugh what?"

There was a slight pause as Karen took way too long of a breath, probably just waiting for Chris to start dozing off again.

"Are we there yet?"

"FOR THE LOVE OF THE GODS," Chris exploded, "I'm trying to get some rest here. Leave me alone and go bother Gayle. She seems to be sleeping peacefully."

Uh oh. I quickly sat up straight and opened my eyes with a big yawn so that Karen would steer clear. Her blue eyes began to pout when she saw that I was awake.

"Gayle? We're almost there give it another hour or two," Pegasus said when he noticed I was awake.

"Wow really? How long was I out for?"

"Long enough," he laughed, "Don't worry for the most part all four of you were out of it until Karen got bored with sleeping as well."

"She would," I muttered looking out to the horizon, trying to strain my vision to see the distant islands I knew I wouldn't be able to see for a while. This was probably a good time to figure out what to do once we get to Hawaii, that way what happened with the harpies wouldn't happen again.

"Hey guys, we should probably figure out what we're going to do now. Pegasus says we only have another couple of hours til we land," I called out and the four of us gathered in close together.

"Alright, seeing as what happened last time was really bad, we should probably plan this out before something goes wrong instead of after," I started and looked at Chris.

She nodded, "Right, so from what Gayle's said the siren's are going to be blending into the crowd this time. I figure that means they're going to be dressed like mortals and all that."

"So how do we now who's a mortal and who's a siren? I don't want to wait til they start singing to find out," Kyle pointed out.

"That's what I'm working on. Then there's the whole matter of luring them away from the crowd, but I'm not so worried about that. We'll probably end up getting chased or something. I think our main problem we'll have apart from trying to figure out who's the siren is how to communicate with each other since we have to somehow block our hearing."

"We could go to therapy to work on our communicating skills," I had to put that in even though Chris just rolled their eyes, "But seriously, Chris just talk to us in our minds like you did to me back with the Harpies."

"Good idea," Karen said, "But how are we going to be blocking our hearing in the first place?"

"Jason used beeswax," Pegasus put in.

"We don't have any beeswax," I replied turning to him.

"How bout music?" Karen asked, "You know plug in some headphones and blare away the music. It doesn't stand out as much as us having beeswax in our ears."

"That's a great idea," Kyle said.

"But where are we going to get the music?" Chris asked.

"We could always buy some you know," I said, "We have the cash that's packed in the saddlebags."

After a little bit more of discussion we decided on the plan. We had figured that the sirens would be close to shore and probably close to some rocks. Old habits die hard, or so we hoped. Good thing we're going to an island, where there isn't a lot of places like that to search making our job incredibly difficult. But I wasn't too worried. I mean with our track record I'm surprised these monsters don't just shoot us out of the sky. So we'd stop by the first local store we find, buy a few used ipods and download some songs onto them, nice loud rock music.

We landed on a small little island away from most of the major tourist spots. We hoped that we wouldn't have to fight on some crowded street or anything putting innocent people in the way of danger.

"Maybe...the purple one," Karen mused through the collection of ipods, "No wait...maybe the blue one, no cause Gayle got that one..."

"Karen, just choose one," Chris said impatiently, "It doesn't matter what color you have. So just grab one."

Kyle and I stood around fidgeting while waiting for Karen to choose. I didn't really see what the whole deal was, just choose a color. Kyle had chosen a black one, me a blue and Chris a silver.

"But..." Karen started.

"Look your getting the purple one okay?" Chris decided for her and grabbed her arm to start pulling her away.

We finally got out of the store with our new ipods. Karen had already torn open the package so that she could start messing with it. Suddenly it hit us that we didn't have computer access to put the songs on...fail.

Though the Gods were looking down on us, pretty much literally when out of no where Hermes comes out in a mailman uniform.

"Fancy seeing you four here," He said as if this was an ordinary part of our day. Then again going around on a quest hunting monsters and riding on flying horses is totally your everyday experience.

"Umm...Hi," I said, "Yup just chugging along on our quest and having a marvelous time at it. Does it get any better? Because we're starting to get bored."

"Well that's good to hear," Hermes said ignoring my sarcasm, "Well you guys look like your in a jam."

He pointed at our useless ipods in our hands. Hermes reached into his bag and pulled out a thin laptop.

"Unfortunately I can't give this to you because that would mean I directly helped you on your quest, which is of course against the rules."

"So your really no help are you," Karen asked.

Chris elbowed Karen in the side, "He said directly. What if we were to find this laptop of yours that you 'lost' somewhere. Would it be fair game?"

Hermes just smirked and placed the laptop on top of a nearby cafe table. He turned and started to walk away when he stopped suddenly and trotted back towards us reaching again into his bag.

"I forgot to give you this Kyle," he smiled apologetically holding out a small wrapped box, "Don't worry it's not against the rules or anything. Just a father giving his son a long over due present."

"Thanks," Kyle stuttered at a loss for words.

With a wink he was gone in a flash of light, leaving the four of us in the middle of a busy shopping area to look like crazy people talking to thin air, then again we probably look like we're crazy hobos in the first place.

"Well? Are you going to open it?" Karen asked nearly jumping, so easily amused.

"Um yeah. I guess," Kyle said as he began to unwrap the package.

Underneath the silver wrapping paper was a small box. Nestled in the white tissue paper was a black Swiss army knife. It looked normal, but there were some tools on there I knew on no other Swiss army knife.

"Awesome a pocket knife," Kyle said, "And it's got all these different gadgets for picking locks"

The grin Kyle had on his face was kind of scary. I mean he's getting super excited about the knife that can pick locks, more excited than he did when we first got our swords. I mean they were swords, this is just a pocket knife.

"You're going to use your burglary skills for good not evil right?" I asked him.

"Huh? Yeah, good not evil right...whatever." Kyle was too immersed in playing with the knife to pay attention to what I was asking him.

Chris cleared her throat causing me to look over towards her. She was sitting at the metal mesh table with Hermes' laptop open. The iPod cord snaked away from the keyboard to where her iPod lay on the table next to the computer.

"Anyway, so I've already started to download songs onto my iPod This might take a while so just leave your ipods here and I'll mess with them," Chris said nodding to the spots next to her iPod, "If you would like to be helpful you could always go in and get me a soda from the shop right here."

Four sodas and many music downloads later we walked through the streets with the ipods in our ears already blaring music. We weren't going to be taking any chances this time. Everything seemed to be going alright so far though we kept getting weird looks cause every time Chris said something to Karen she would jump as if something bit her.

After a uneventful search of one beach, we ended up staying in a cheap hotel since we, mostly I, were still tired from dealing with the bugs this morning. Dinner was a quiet affair and we all ended up just falling asleep as soon as we were finished.

Early the next morning the four of us started towards the next beach, planning to tackle a beach only a mile from the first.

So we're getting nowhere with this, are we sure we read the clue right? We could just be wasting out time. I stated after going through two more beaches and not seeing anything unusual or being attacked my ancient monsters.

We just have to keep trying, we should have enough time to search through one more beach. If this one is a bust we'll head back to the hotel and rethink our strategy. Chris replied.

Sounds good. On one hand I want this searching to be over with but on the other hand I don't want particularly want to run into any monsters. You're plan sounds good though, lets check out this next one.

Alright I'll tell the others, Chris turned to me and frowned a bit, There has to be a better way to communicate so that all of us can hear each other. We might be at a serious disadvantage if everything has to relay through me first.

Would it hurt to try and open the link to us all? Like three-way with the phones.

I could try. Say something to Karen, plus it will make her jump, Chris' chuckle broadcasted across our telepathic link.

Karen, I began, this is your conscience speaking. What are you thinking about?

I had to struggle to hold in the laughter as Karen began to look wildly around her with wide eyes.

Who was that, that's not Chris' voice, came the squeaky response in our minds. I saw Kyle look over at Karen then at me with a raised eyebrow.

I told you, I replied, I am your conscience. Oooooooo.

Karen halted in her tracks and took a death grip on my arm, beginning to shake me. She must have forgotten about our loud music cause she was practically screaming at me, her mouth and eyes wide.

Suddenly she looked sheepish and stopped screaming. Chris something is speaking to me and it's not you. Am I going crazy?

More crazy than you already are? I asked before switching out of my conscience voice, Oh by the way Chris got the whole mind speaking thing to work between all of us.

Her confused look slowly turned to a glare as what I told her sunk in. I just smiled at her and began to walk again towards the beach leaving her spluttering behind me. I love literal mind tricks.

My spirits lifted when I saw bright blue water of Hawaii's beaches. Just the sight of it calmed me down and allowed me to briefly forget the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Forgetting myself momentarily, I ran ahead of my friends and raced into the surf. Euphoria washed over me like the waves of the beach. The others had similar expressions as they joined me in the surf. The setting sun was the crown jewel of the beach.

Slowly the carefree feelings faded as darkness took over. The beach had become nearly deserted except for ourselves and a few teenagers laying along the rocks on the beach.

I motioned over to the others that we should start checking out the beach for any signs of the sirens. Making sure that the iPod was still with a good amount of charge we set off.

Where should we check first? Kyle asked.

Let's start by those rocks. The sirens love rocky places to live so that's our best bet. We'll just have to wait for the kids over there to leave so we won't look any weirder than we do now looking for clues, I replied after scanning up and down the visible coastline for probable spots.

Nodding in agreement the four of us set off to the distant rocks. The pale light of dusk and the tension in the air caused the hairs on the back of my neck to standup. When I glanced over at the others, Kyle was fussing with his sword belt while Karen kept glancing around as if waiting for some specter to jump out at us from the gloom. This definitely felt different from all the other beaches today.

As we came closer, the teenagers on the rocks continued to just stare out at the sea in a daze. For a few moments we stood there with them throwing cautious looks around the beach wondering where the sirens could be.

The four of us sat down on the sand a little distance away from the three girls perched upon the rocks. I kept feeling as if something was going to go wrong any minute now, causing me to keep circling my gaze all around the beach.

The three girls on the rocks seemed almost etched in stone as they watched the horizon. Their flawless pale skin glowed in the fading light, as the wind from the ocean teased their hair, blonde, black, and brunette. All three had dark eyes and sharp features giving them a mysterious, dangerous, and beautiful look. Their bodies swayed in unison as if the three of them were listening to the same music. Actually they were kind of creepy in the fading light.

As if they had felt my gaze on them they slowly turned in a synchronized movement to face me. Their dark gaze sent shivers up my spine and when they smiled menacingly, with a bestial hunger showing their sharp, pointed teeth. The breath froze in my lungs and my mouth went dry.

Before I could cry out in warning the three jumped at me tackling me off the rocks and into the sand. One of my hands tried to push the nearest one away while my other fumbled uselessly for my sword.

Their taloned hands dug into my throat, my shoulders, and my stomach as they tried to pin me down. The combined weight of all three of them on top of me and the lack of the air flow put my mind into an instinctual panic. I was being smothered.

My vision was slowly dwindling when suddenly the claws around my throat disappeared but not before leaving three gouges on either side of my neck, along with shortening my hair by quite a bit. Note to self, siren claws are very very sharp. I angled my head to see Kyle mouth open wide in a snarl grappling with the one siren. The weight from my shoulders disappeared as Chris and Karen dragged the second siren off of my battered body, again giving me more cuts. Not that I'm ungrateful for the save, but being rescued seems to get me hurt just as much.

I guess the last one is mine then. I kicked off the monster, yes I got more cuts, and smirked at it while I reached for my sword. My hand met empty air as the smirk disappeared as I looked down to see a empty sheath. I had to jump to my right to dodge the bronze blade whistling towards my face.

As I recovered I saw the siren give me the same smirk I had only mere seconds ago. In its hands were a sword, MY sword. Okay, this is not fair when the freaking monsters get to steal my freaking sword to use it against me. I resisted the urge to scream curses at the gods, figuring it wouldn't help my situation any. Plus I needed to keep dodging my own sword.

Luckily for me Blondie, yes I named the siren, was no natural swordsmen. She had the power and force, but no control to put the blade where it needed to be, like buried inside of me.

We continued our intricate dance of swinging and dodging while I tried to maneuver my way towards the rocks, hoping to get the upper ground. Blondie finally over swung and lodged my sword in between two rocks. Thanking the gods I scrambled up to the top in the momentary lack of raining metal.

I was feeling pretty awesome with my ninja climbing skills as I watched Blondie try to pull at my sword, just getting it stuck and bent even more from the effort. That is until I realized that the sword being bent and ruined was mine and I would be the one having to fix it somehow when this was all over.

Things were looking pretty bleak. The sirens were way more powerful than their disguised forms made them appear. That and the fact that we had to keep making sure the headphones didn't fall out. The monsters didn't look to be singing at the moment, but it didn't seem like a good idea to try to fight without the headphones. Call it a hunch.

My thoughts were brutally brought back to the fight when a sudden pain in my foot blinded my senses. Looking down I gasped out a cry of pain seeing the tip of my sword embedded in my left foot.

"MY SWORD! YOU BENT MY SWORD!" I screamed out at Blondie, strangely this was the thought going through my head after being stabbed. But hey, my sword was mangled beyond belief. I could have cried, which I did actually, though I'm not sure if it was from the pain or the fact that my beautiful sword was practically broken.

Suddenly my mind just shut down, there was just so much going on that all thought processes slowed way down. The pain in my foot was excruciating, my beautiful sword was ruined, and this dumb siren kept coming towards me mouth wide open probably singing.

I tried to stumble back away from the oncoming monster, but having a sword through one foot and stuck in the rock a bit makes it a little difficult. My vision started to tunnel out on me and I knew I would be screwed if I didn't do anything in the next few moments.

Time slowed down. Looking around I saw the others fighting the monsters away farther away from the surf. Chris and Karen barely able to fight off the brunette siren their faces and arms were scratched in numerous places. Kyle was fighting the other monster in what seemed like slow motion. His sword was just barely able to block.

I watched as Blondie was only a few steps from me leap in the air. Chris was thrown to the ground and her sword clattered out of her hand while Karen tried to get in between her and the brunette siren. I could only watch as the third siren snatched Kyle's earphones out of his ears. His face showed shock before going blank and he slid to the ground underneath the monster under the numbing influence of the Siren's song.

Something inside of me broke. Wrenching my sword out of my foot, heedless of the blood and pain, I caught Blondie right in the face with the power from the upward swing. As sand pelted my blood and dirt covered face, my crooked sword continued its path until it stopped above my head.

An inhuman scream tore through my throat as I raised both arms high above my head. The sea around us became unruly and began to boil. A tremendous wave grew and split around me as it surged towards the others, pounding against the rocks.

The fighting had stopped as the tidal wave crashed forward. Monster and mortal alike stared up past the wave towards where I was standing and for a moment it felt as if I could see what they saw.

Against a stormy dark sky, a tall girl with wild eyes and short hair slashing through the wind stood atop a pile of rocks while a monstrous wave parted around her, as if by her command. Her torn and stained clothes snapped in the wind as blood flowed from wounds all over her body, staining the sand a dark crimson color. Arms outstretched above her head wielding a crooked blade covered in blood, her dirty and bloodstained face was thrown back in a terrifying scream to the heavens.

Time sped up then as the wave crashed down and decimated the monsters, while only carefully washing away the dirt and blood on my friends. There was no trace left of the sirens and I felt a faint, tired smile grow on my face as my friends raced towards me.

Looking down I caught a glimpse of something shiny in the dirt. With great effort I bent down and picked up the object before straightening up to try and see what it was in the moonlight.

The others had finally reached me and scrambled up the pile of rocks. Seeing that they were safe, I suddenly noticed that I was not nearly as well off as them. The pain from all over my body, especially from my foot, came into focus all at once, causing my vision to suddenly go in and out of focus.

My mind swam and I couldn't find the strength to stay conscious much less stand. I crumpled into Kyle's strong arms, with barely enough strength to hold out my hand which was still closed in a fist around the small pendant I had found.

"Ankh," I whispered before blacking out and going limp in my boyfriend's arms.