Hey! For those who have read my other story, I'm sorry I've been slow, but it's finals week, so I've been stressed. This story I started a few months ago and love the concept. But it's a few months old so if something doesn't sound right or I typo-ed just let me know. Kay?
If any of you have read my fanfic stories you're going to draw parallels. I love ancient mythology. It began with Percy Jackson but grew. This is MY take on all this ancient mythology. Some things are similar, some are not. I already have several chapters written so I'm gonna just post what I have. I want to continue this story so I thought I'd share it. :)
" time to come back, Cerabell. Embrace your gift. Help rule the Order. Save our Division. Stop the what is to come before it ends us all."
I woke to the lovely sound of my alarm blaring. I groaned and threw my hand at my clock, having it take a few tries due to the fact that my eyes weren't open.
I sat up with an odd feeling, almost a rushing feeling. I felt like it had something to do with my dream. I had been having odd dreams as of late but could never fully remember them. A woman talked and there was some weird name...Sarah Bell maybe?
I shook the thought away. Of course I would have a weird dream last night. The night before my sixteenth birthday.
I rubbed my eyes and stood while I pushed on my big, black glasses that we're supposed to look kind of retro, but just ended up looking odd on me. I stood in front of my mirror, noting my green eyes and mop-ish blond hair looking back at me, my reflection mimicking my every sluggish move. I was in black baggy sweatpants and a pale pink tank top. I slipped into my kitty slippers and prepared myself for my mother.
Perhaps I should introduce her.
You see, when I was in second grade, I was asked to explain my parents in one word. For most people they put smart, funny, nice, loving, cool, or whatever. Me? For my father I put 'Gone' and for my mother I put 'Eccentric' (which, by the way, earned me a gold star and the Word of the Week). When I was four my dad ditched out. My mom tried to pretend she was okay, but I would hear her cry at night. During the day she took life seminars and cooking classes.
"Gracie! You up?"
I racked my hands through my hair with a sigh. "Yeah, mom!"
I opened my creaking wooden door and dragged myself down our wooden steps that protested under my weight.
My mom squealed at the sight of me and before I was fully awake there was a bright flash. I covered my eyes. "God, mom! I've been up for about two minutes. Cool it with the camera, kay? I'm not exactly picture perfect right now."
She held up her hands in mock surrender. "Sorry, sorry. I'm just so excited! The big one-six. The sweet sixteen."
"Yeah, I'm sure this is a big deal-"
"This is a huge deal!" My mother testified. "My little baby is growing up!"
"I know, I know. But I'd rather treat this like any other birthday. Or, heck, any other day."
"Would this be a bad time to tell you I made breakfast?"
"Mom! I told you not to!"
"Its just pancakes!" She insisted.
"With chocolate chips." She added sheepishly.
I slapped myself on my forehead. "I told you not to!" I repeated.
"I know, I know. How about you go get ready and then have breakfast?"
I nodded and wordlessly ran back upstairs to our bathroom. I turned the shower on to near blistering heat and sat back, weaving my hands through my hair. I took a deep breath and when I exhaled, I was shocked to find that it quivered. I felt near sick, like something in me was just...off.
When the water had heated up I stripped and hopped in, letting myself be engulfed by the heat and clarity of the water. After five minutes or so I reluctantly shut the water off and wrapped a towel around my bare body. After having showered I swiftly brushed my teeth and then sprinted to my bedroom. I threw on a pair of skinny jeans, a camisole, and a pink and white plaid shirt. Then I picked up my hairbrush, feeling as if I was wielding a weapon, and attacked my hair. After about ten minutes I had it in a loose side braid. Finally, I slipped my glasses back on, put on my bright orange Converses, grabbed my school bag, and headed back downstairs where I was pounced upon.
"Whoah, dang." I said, pushing away the petite girl who clobbered me with a hug fiercer than you'd expect.
"Happy Birthday, Gracie!"
I rolled my eyes. "Thanks, Si." Sierra Alens has been my friend since preschool. Despite her smallness she would always defend me when I was picked on. Sierra stood before me wearing a white tee, and unbuttoned black vest, a black plaid skirt, black leggings, and black flats. Her black hair was also pulled back with a white headband.
"So," she said, "we still on for six?"
"I don't see how I could possibly get out of it."
She smiled. "I knew you had some smarts in you."
My mom walked up. "Hello, Sierra."
Si smiled. "Hey, Ms. Richards. Make sure Grace here doesn't duck out of our dinner plans okay?"
My mom laughed. "Of course. Pancakes?"
"That sounds fantastic, Ms. Richards, but we so gotta go otherwise we will be late to the major."
"Is Tyler taking you to school today?"
Si nodded. "Yups. And, as I said, we so gotta go." She grabbed my wrist and yanked me towards the door.
I used my free hand to wave to my mom. "Bye, I guess."
"Bye sweetie!" She called back.
When we were outside we walked down our cracked cement steps and driveway. It was interesting to look around the street. I lived in one of those towns where everybody had a garden and watered their lawns. Our grass was yellow and our flowers were brown. Neither my mother or I cared much about our lawn. In fact, I should probably mow it that weekend, it was pretty bad.
Si led me down to a silver Lexus. In the front seat was a curly headed, red-haired, freckled teen. Si waved. "Hey, Ty!"
He leaned over and opened shotgun door. "Sorry, Si, this is the one day a year Gracie gets shotgun. Happy Birthday, Grace." He added with a sweet smile.
I sat down while Sierra climbed in back. "I swear, I'm already sick of hearing that."
"What is it with you and birthdays?"
I shrugged. "I don't know. I'm not a spotlight and special treatment kind of girl."
Sierra sighed. "Before you, I didn't know there was another kind."
"Yeah, well, I'm an oddity I guess."
Tyler laughed. "That you are." With that he put his foot on the gas pedal and pulled away from my house. Its yellow lawn in the field of green seemed to suddenly mean more to me than just dead grass.
BURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
A COMMUNITY, NOT A SCHOOL
Every time I saw that sign leading into my school, I had to contain my laughter. If by community they meant a bunch of stuck up, self-righteous people who not only wanted to know your business, but control it as well. Tyler found a parking spot in the back and we all climbed out.
"Hey, did you guys get the geometry homework?" Tyler asked.
"The homework with numbers in it?" Si playfully asked.
"That's the one."
"Sorry, I don't speak math."
He playfully shoved her. "Your a 4.0 student. You understood it. Help?"
Si nodded. "See me Study Hall. How about you Grace, you up for a little math-a-thon Study Hall?"
"What else do I have to do the one free period we get."
Si laughed. "That's the spirit!"
I rolled my eyes. We entered the school and I waved to them before departing down a different hallway to get to my locker. I weaved through the throng of my peers trying not to get knocked over. I was fairly successful until I got to my hallway where I was shoved to the ground.
Happy freaking birthday to me.
"I'm sorry," A male voice told me as he held a hand out to help me up. I looked up at the guy who shoved me. I didn't recognize him, which is odd because we don't get any new kids in our crap town. He was tall and lanky, but muscled with long dark hair. He wore a blue T-shirt and black skinny jeans with a pair of old converses.
"It's fine," I mumbled as I stood, ignoring his wordless offer for assistance.
"I'm sorry, what was that?" He asked.
"Nothing." I snapped, but then sighed. "I mean, I said it's fine," I said, slightly kinder.
He nodded. "I'm glad." He held his hand out, this time in greeting. "I'm Zane. I'm new."
I shook it. "Obviously." He raised an eyebrow. "I mean, it's a small town." I explained. "I know everybody, except you, so, obviously, you're new. I'm Gracie."
He released my hand. "Its a pleasure to meet you."
I scoffed. "Trust me, its not." I walked over to my locker and worked on the combination.
"Why is that?"
I turned and was shocked to see Zane standing behind me, I thought he would have ditched out at that point in the conversation, if it could even be called that. I turned back to my locker. "Why what?"
"Why is it not a pleasure to meet you?"
I pointed down the hallway to a skinny brunette showing far too much skin. "See her. That's Audrey Reemer." I turned back to Zane. "You seem like a decent enough guy, but you also seem like you could be like every other okay popular guy who typically ignores people like me. You wanna survive this town. Go talk to the Audrey Reemer and her followers. Trust me, she's someone you wanna meet, not me. Not the odd girl with the yellow grass."
"Never mind," I sighed.
He stood there silent for a second, allowing me the concentration to open my locker.
"What if I don't care?"
I stuffed my bag in my locker and turn to him once again. "What?"
"What if I don't care? About Audrey Reemer. About popularity. About all of that."
"Then you moved to the wrong town, buster." I turned back to my locker, pulled out my English textbook, folder, and notebook along with my pencil bag, and then slammed my locker shut.
"Well, I didn't exactly have a say in it." He protested as he followed me to my class.
"And why did you move here? We're not exactly the epicenter of interest."
I snorted. "Yours or your parents?" I joked.
I looked at him questioningly.
He shrugged. "Family business."
Just then the warning bell rang. Zane smiled. "Perhaps another time."
"Perhaps." I said with a smile.
"You free tonight? Maybe we could discuss it over dinner?"
I found myself smiling. "That sounds nice, but my friends are already taking me out to eat, and trust me, I couldn't cancel if I wanted to."
"Oh? What's the occasion?"
"Birthday," I reluctantly replied.
He smiled. It was nice. Sweet, yet confident. "Well, Ha-"
"If you finish that sentence, I'll punch you."
"Why?" he asked trying not to laugh.
I looked around and saw the hall was practically empty. "I'll tell you later. I really gotta go to class. You may have the new kid excuse for being late, but I sure don't." With that I turned around and ran to my next class, failing to fight off the smile on my face.
The next four class periods went by in a near literal blur. I'm pretty sure I flunked a geography test. The entire time I tried to justify not paying attention by telling myself its my birthday, so I didn't have to listen or try, but yesterday was no special day and I didn't listen then either.
Finally the fourth period bell rang and, feeling like a paroled prisoner, I fled to the cafeteria. For once the lunch wasn't gag-inducing. Just the good old classic pizza. That made me glad.
I went over to the line when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I jumped, startled, and spun around to be face to face with a smug looking Zane. I hit him on the arm. "Don't do that!" I protested.
"I didn't exactly plan this whole master thing to startle you. I just tapped you on the shoulder, Gracie." For some reason, my name sounded odd on his lips. Like it was awkward, clumsy, and forced.
"Sure you didn't." I replied jokingly skeptical.
"Okay, maybe I did a little," he replied.
I playfully punched him in the arm. "I knew it!"
Zane rubbed his arm. "Yeah, yeah, you knew it. Enough with the abuse, okay? Your stronger than you look."
I snorted. "Please. I can barely do three push ups."
"Well, you know, things can change quickly." He was suddenly serious, looking me straight in the eye. "You never know what you're capable of."
"Yeah well, in a fight, I'd be about as aggressive as gum on a sidewalk. Just a mere annoyance, if even."
"You never know," he insisted.
"Well, the closest to a fight we get around here are bitch fights where the only injuries are broken nails and screwed up hair."
Zane laughed. "I look forward to it. Oh!" He exclaimed, appearing to recall something. "I...got..." he said as he dug in his pockets, "a little...gift for you." With flourish he pulled a little square out of his pocket and handed it to me. I took it and saw it was a pack of gum with a little ribbon on it.
I couldn't help it. I laughed. It was so sweet and corny and I loved it. I pressed it to my heart in extreme mock adoration. "Oh, Zane! Oh, why thank you! Dear me, it's just what I wanted!" I placed a hand on his shoulder. "Your a saint. I hope you can pay off the debt."
At this point, both of us were quivering from containing our laughter.
He managed to get it together enough to reply. "I think I'll manage to pay off the debt."
"And you just keep on giving. That's you I guess. You're a giver."
At this point we lost all control and nearly peed ourselves laughing, gaining us many cross looks from our peers. Our laughter was mostly under control as we reach the tray table. We each grabbed a tray, stocked up with food, and then payed. I thoughtlessly walked over to Si, Tyler, and I's usual table and Zane speed walked to catch up. "Hey, Gracie!" There it is again. That little, near inaudible, trip when saying my name.
"Yeah?" I asked, trying to ignore the awkwardness in the way he says my name.
"You mind if I, I mean since I'm new, you know..." He trailed off, looking uncomfortable, which seemed like it'd be uncommon for him.
"Zane? Would you like to sit with me?" I asked with a smile I hope he takes as sweet, not stalker-ish.
He nodded, looking both relieved and thankful. "Very much so, yes." He gestured for me to lead the way, and I walked us toward the far corner of the cafeteria. As we walked I looked over by the windows and saw Audrey and her friends laughing away at something that probably wasn't funny.
"You know, you probably could sit with them," I told him. "Sitting with us will condemn you for good."
He looked at me. "Well, you see, that's kind of not an option any more."
"Oh, and why is that?"
"Well, I took your advice. I had, shall we say, a discussion with Ms. Audrey Reemer."
"And?" I inquired.
"Well, lets just say it ended with me saying some very unkind things about her utter lack of a quality personality. On a completely unrelated topic I think I have set some kind of record for getting detention on my first day of school."
I nearly dropped my tray I was laughing so hard. Though, thankfully, I managed to settle down when we got to my table. Si and Tyler seemed to be in a discussion and I just sat right on down opposite to them on our round table. After a pause, Zane sat next to me.
"I swear he was totally cute!" I overheard Si exclaim. "I mean, when do we ever get a new-why, hello there!" She said when she finally took notice of us. Si smiled a bit too widely and looked at me intensely. "Grace," she not so subtly asked, "who's your friend?"
"Zane," I informed gesturing to the owner of the corresponding name, "this is Sierra, or Si, and Tyler. Si, Tyler, this is Zane."
"Well, hello Zane." Si greeted, her interest apparent. "Just as a topic of discussion I would like to inform you I am currently totally available."
"And utterly desperate," Tyler muttered.
Si gasped, but it was with a slight smile so you could tell she was trying not to laugh. "Am not!"
Tyler pointed to Zane. "Poor guy has only been here a few minutes and he's already being hit on by you!"
Ty and Si started getting into a fight, but you could tell neither of them was upset. I leaned over to Zane and muttered, "Did I mention the level of oddity of my friends?"
"I think it may have slipped your mind."
"I truly apologize about the lack of heads up. I promise it won't happen again because I honestly have no other friends." I said with amuse and not remorse.
"What are you two talking about?" Si asked us, having lost interest in her argument with Tyler.
"My odd choice in friendships." I confessed truthfully.
Si picked up a piece of broccoli and chucked it at my head. To my amazement, I managed to dodge it with an agility I didn't know I had. "We're freaking amazing friends and you know it!"
I shrugged. "Gotta admit, I'd rather have my two insane friends than a whole bunch of Audrey Reemers."
"Aw," Tyler said sarcastically, "she really does love us."
I pick up a piece of my broccoli and chuck it at him. It hits him square in the forehead, which is odd because I have the aim of a four year old.
"Damn, Grace, nice shot." Si praised. I smiled and looked over to see Zane staring at me intently. I felt my face redden and before I really thought about it I was chewing on my thumbnail. When I realized it I quickly dropped my hand down, now even more embarrassed by my nervous habit.
The rest of the lunch period was full of fun, jokes, and laughs. I was actually sad when the bell rang. Zane followed me to my locker (I discovered his locker was just down the hall from mine), but am shocked when he walked back to me and fell into line with my step.
"You have chem. next right?" He asked.
He smiled wide. "Excellent." He told me. "So do I."
We both walked together as I told him about the chem. teacher who could be a bitch at times. We reached the classroom and I took my assigned seat (because our chem. teacher was one of those teachers). Zane stayed up at the front of the room, shifting his weight uncomfortably.
Mrs. Ackland got up from her desk and walked up to Zane. She was short with graying hair she pulled back into a bun. She wore a white blouse, a knee-length gray skirt, and penny loafers. "You must be our new student, Mr. Blake." I smiled at hearing Zane's last name, which I didn't know. "You may take the seat behind Ms. Richards," she said gesturing to me. Zane nodded and walked to the seat behind me.
"Hello Ms. Richards," he whispered. "I'm Zane Blake. Nice to make your acquaintance."
"Gracelyn Richards. Likewise." I whispered back trying to stifle my giggles.
"Ms. Richards, Mr. Blake, if you are finished I have a class to teach," Mrs. Ackland barked at us.
I blushed and looked down while Zane muttered, "Sorry, Mrs. Ackland."
Though, when we glanced at each other again we had to cover our mouths to keep from laughing.
The bell rang forty-six minutes later and Zane and I went our separate ways. I dropped off all my stuff in my locker and speed walked to the far end of the school where the gymnasium lied. I wemt into the girls locker room and found that Si was already changing.
"Hey, girl!" She greeted enthusiastically.
"Hi." I walked up to the locker next to hers and unlocked it. I then began to change as well.
"So...," Si, prompts as she slipped her shirt on.
"So...what?" I asked as I undressed.
"What's with you and Zane?"
"What do you mean?" I slipped on my shorts and pulled off my shirt.
"I mean," she says, dragging the word out, "What is going on between you two?"
I slid on my gym shirt and slammed my locker shut. "Si, I've known him since exactly this morning. Trust me, nothing is going on between us."
We walked out of the locker room and into the gym.
"Come on!" Si argued. "You know you two have chemistry."
"The only thing I know is that I have a nosey friend."
"A nosey friend whom you love!"
Then our gym teacher, who just went by 'Coach" because he coached the basketball and football team, too roll and then split us up into four teams of six to play volleyball. Two girl teams and two boy teams. Si and I were on the same team with four other volleyball players. Since Si also plays volleyball, I was the only one who didn't.
This should be fun, I thought.
No. Not even a little bit.
Sure enough ten minutes later I had been hit in the head three times and missed five of the seven balls I tried to hit, the other two flew way to left.
Si jumped up and blocked a ball. "Seriously, Gracie," The ball came back and she spiked it back down, earning our team the point. "You should go for it. Ask him out!" She told me.
"Why would I do that?"
"Richards!" Callie Rosingyle, a Varsity volleyball player on my team, yelled at me. "Your serve! Try not to take someone out."
"No guarantees," I murmured to myself. The volleyball is tossed to me and I managed not to drop it.
When I got to the base line I heard a laugh from the other teams side and saw Audrey Reemer laughing, clearly at myself. "Be careful!" She shouted to the other court. "This ones got hell of an arm on her! I mean, how else could she get it to the far side of the gym the few times she actually manages to hit it?"
Everyone started laughing. Both the girls on my court and the guys on the other. I felt my face redden. Coach half-heartily tried to get everyone to settle down, but it didn't do much.
Finally it was Si who calmed everyone down with her kind choice of words.
"EVERYONE SHUT THE FRICK UP OR I SWEAR TO GOD I'LL START THROWING PUNCHES!"
Now, Si was a small girl, but everyone knew enough about her to know she didn't bluff, especially when it was about defending her friends.
"What a freak." Audrey sneered.
"Damn straight." Si agreed, then turned to me. "Serve away, Grace."
I took a deep breath and tried to focus on my serve. I heard Audrey snicker again and before I realized what I was doing, I was shouting.
"Audrey, seriously, shut up. No one cares about what you have to say. The only thing people seem to care about you is the size of your breasts."
Everyone is silent. Audrey stared at me, mouth wide. Then she smiled. "At least people notice me. I mean you, they don't care about what you have to say, or the size of your flat chest."
I was then fuming. I tossed the ball up and hit it as hard as I can, aiming straight for Audreys pretty little face. And to every ones, and my own surprise...
I hit my mark.
And not only that, Audrey was thrown back three feet. Her team mates helped her up while Audrey covered her nose. When she moved her hand, I saw the rusty color of blood.
"You bitch!" Audrey shouted, pointing at me. "You did this on purpose!"
I felt absolutely no remorse. I looked back at her calmly. "Of course not. You said so yourself, I can't aim to save my life. It was purely accidental." I say as I feel a smirk cross my face.
She narrows her eyes. "You bitch!" She repeats.
"Ms. Reemer that is enough!" Coach snapped. "Have a friend walk you to the nurses and then you may walk yourself to the Principles office."
"But Gracie is the one who hit me!" She accused. "She started it."
"Gracelyn will stay after school tomorrow for the after-school-workout." He turns to me. "Won't you Ms. Richards?"
I mentally groaned. At least it wasn't detention. My mom would freak. "I guess so Coach," I agreed.
Audreys death glare continued, then, figuring she didn't have much else to lose, she called out, "This isn't over, bitch. I'll have your head." She then finally let her friend drag her out of the gym.
Si walked over to me. "Damn girl. When did you grow a pair?" To Si, this is one of the highest praises you can get.
"Honestly? Last night I think."
After that Coach made us go back to our games. Now only going against four (or five when Kara, the girl who walked Audrey, came back) our team crushed the other. Si talked endlessly about the game and my 'newly found badassness' as we changed. Finally we went our separate ways knowing we'd see each other next period in Study Hall. The entire time though, I couldn't help but wonder...
What the hell was going on with me?