After English, the bell rang and Seth grabbed his things with a sigh of relief. Today just seemed to drag on at a snail's pace."Jeez, they sure love their packets."
He cast a glance at Dionne who seemed to be engaged in a pretty interesting conversation conversation with Ellie. Not wanting to interrupt, or be interrogated by her friend, he packed the thick textbook and spiral notebook full of doodles and short stories into his bag. As he stood up, he paused and checked his flip phone. His mom had left him a text message.Off today and until next Monday! See you at home! \(^o^)/
Seth smiled. It definitely had been a while since she had been home, this period had been longer than usual and caused him to worry for her sake. Sometimes he felt she was pushing herself too hard and sometimes he found himself silently asking "why?"
But everytime she came home, she always brought home gifts or something cool such as the Playstation that sat in his bedroom. Okay! Cool, I'll be home soon Mom. Just gonna swing by Ozzy's house real quick.
As he stood there fiddled with his phone, he realized he hadn't asked Dionne if she'd be accompanying him to see the satyr. Seth sighed to himself, he should've asked her earlier! It was likely she'd be leaving school with her friends.Oh why do I suck at talking to people?
Dionne exited the classroom with Ellie, laughing at a story she was telling when she realized that Seth was still inside the classroom. Hadn't he said something about meeting the half-goat -- satyr,
she reminded herself -- after school?“Oh, I have to go talk to some teachers. Go on ahead? I'll catch you again tomorrow,”
she told Ellie with a brief hug.
"Sure," her friend said, looking briefly uncertain before shrugging and heading towards the bus stop.
Entering the classroom, Dionne spotted Seth packing up. “Hey,”
she said, walking over, “you're going to meet Ozzy, right? Mind if I tag along? I have a few questions myself.”
Seth slung the weighty bag over his shoulder with a grunt and pocketed his phone."Yup! He has some pretty cool knick knacks too, maybe a bit nerdy for your tastes. Well, really he just likes to collect stuff I guess. That's where I got the sword."
He gestured to his wrist, the bronze chain glistening in the white fluorescent light.“That's a sword?”
Dionne asked, skeptical. However, considering everything that had happened in the past few days, she wouldn't be surprised if Oisin Oakwood, the ginger satyr-disguised-student, was actually a secret arms dealer that sold transforming weapons. “I'll take your word for it,”
Dionne said with an amused smile. Maybe she'd get a teddy bear that transformed into a chainsaw, unless Ozzy didn't carry to modern-day weapons.
They passed another colorful poster advertising the school dance on Friday, which was actuallly a couple of days from now. It seemd a lot of his classmates where going to this one from all of the conversations he had overheard from the previous days. Apparently the school was trying for a fancier location than the past dances or even last year's prom!
He paused at the poster, scrutinizing at the words. "Oh wow...They're doing it at a manor this time? That's not too far from my place."
He murmured in surprise. "No wonder people are excited about this dance. It seems classy. Jeez, there's even catering too and you've gotta dress up too....Gosh, admission isn't even that much. I wonder who's funding this one?"
Seth pictured tables of food lined up in one of the wings of the multi-story building. “Huh, price is rather low this time around,”
Dionne said, eyes glossing over the poster before turning to Seth with a grin. “All the more reason to come!”
He shrugged and shook his head. "I can't dance though."“Party pooper,”
Dionne teased, pouting. “Have you ever been to any dances?”"Nah. I just never thought of going to one. It doesn't jive well with my loner persona. Besides, who'd go with me anyways? I don't hang with anyone and I think if I just turn up by myself, I'd probably leave after the first five minutes."
He sighed, [color=MediumSpringGreen]"Okay look, I've been to one before and I tried dancing with a classmate. I ended up tripping over her and falling face first into the fruit punch. So embarassing! This was like, middle school, I think." He facepalmed and his face reddened. "Gosh my mom was there too. She's been me urging to go to another one since then."“What! How come I don't remember something like this happening?”
Dionne asked, grinning. “But please, you think that's bad? Freshman year, Sadie's, I think a fight broke out -- something about this guy who went to the dance with a girl other than his girlfriend?”
Dionne said, laughing, “Comedy gold. But,”
she said, calming down, “I won't push it on you. Just know that the offer's there -- maybe I could introduce you to all of my friends. They don't know you, but it's cool. They'll come around.”The offer? What? She's offering me to go to this dance with her!?
He felt very warm all of a sudden and awkwardly cleared his throat. "Uhm--yeah. Sounds great. But, you know, I-uh, don't know you too well. And, we..."
He fidgeted and touched his fingers together.
Seth took a deep breath and exhaled. ...Look, we only just met! We haven't even had dinner together and now you're asking me to do these things!?"
His tone of voice oddly higher than normal.“Well if you don't wanna go with me, you can always go stag,”
Dionne said with a grin. “But no pressure. Just -- you won't know what's fun and what's not if you don't try, right?”Wow...this is magnificent! But wait- "Wait but, aren't you already going with someone else? I mean, a girl like you, obviously very attractive just going with a group of friends? Aren't you going with a boyfriend? What if he gets jealous or something and starts a fight with me? I mean, I'd be worried for his safety and he should get jealous anyways..."
he blurted out. “Seth please. If it bothers you that much, we can just go as friends. Or we could even go stag -- that's probably what I'm going to end up doing for the dance anyway,”
Dionne said, sighing. “Well then, to Oisin's? Sit on the dance a little more -- I'd hate for you to convince yourself out of something you might like.”
Seth opened his mouth as if to say something, but decided to hold his thoughts back. He felt as if he had cheated himself out of a golden opportunity. They calmed down and exited the school, walking past the bus ramp, the yellow buses revving as they roared ahead and onto the road.
Knock! Knock! Knock!"I always knock, he knows it's me."
The raven haired teen said. He smirked as an inside joke crossed his mind. “Huh. Polite. Most people I know just barge right in,”
Dionne said as the door opened to reveal Oisin, ginger hair haphazardly arranged in the telling image of a bedhead. “Afternoon, Oisin. You weren't at school today, so we took the liberty of coming over in person to ask some questions.”"O-oh okay!"
he fumbled around before opening the door wider. "Pardon the mess, I was just looking for something earlier."
Oisin sheepishly said.
The small house looked as if a tornado had swept through. Clothes spilled onto the floor from an open dresser. Various electronics and novelty toys were scattered about on the floor. Seth stepped on a pink whoopie cushion as he carefully tread his way through piles of papers, magazines, and binders. Brrrrrrrrttt!"Hahaha! Haven't seen one of these in forever!"
He giggled as he picked it up, tossing it onto the sofa nearby. "So...what the heck were you searching for?"“Looks like a tornado swept through here or somthing,”
Dionne added, stepping over a fallen stack of papers to get into the living room. “Er, do you need some help?”Nope, nope nope! Perfectly fine!"
The young satyr said, bustling around the living room. "Here, have a seat!"
He swept off a few action figures off the sofa. "This is the largest safehouse we have in the Northwest. It's full of weapons and hazardous devices."
Oisin seemed very flustered as he sat down at a chair. Brrrrt!
Seth fidgeted and held in a giggle, a guilty smile on his face."I'm sure you have many questions, both of you. But first, Seth, the cellphone please."
Oisin gestured to Seth with a serious tone in his voice. Seth pulled it out, a puzzled expression on his face. He gave it to the satyr.
Oisin pulled the battery out of the phone and placed it on the table."What...are you worried about us recording you or something?"
Seth asked."No. Worse."
Oisin's tone darkened. "You're already are aware that there is more to the world than meets the eye right? The monster you fought. The dreams."
His red-rimmed eyes flickered between both of them. “How did you--”
Dionne paused. Of course the satyr knew about the dreams -- he probably knew that her mother wasn't in her life as well. This entire situation was ridiculous. One step at a time,
she told herself, sighing. “Yes. I had a dream about Mrs. Sloan and peacocks, and I wake up with this,”
Dionne said, pulling the peacock feather out from her coat pocket. Staring at it for a brief moment, Dionne grimaced and looked back up at Oisin. “What does it all mean?”
Oisin nodded, leaning in a little closer as he scrutinized the feather. "I'll get to that later, please let me explain."
he hastily said and leaned back, crossing a furry leg over another."Greek mythology is real, it never was a myth to be precise. It's an integral part of this world but normal everyday humans can't. They are mortals and cannot see past the Mist. However, both of you can see it because the two of you are demigods, Greek demigods -- the offspring of a god or a goddess. In ancient times, the biggest heroes were all demigods. Hercules, Achilles, Jason, Perseus, Odysseus, and so on.
The jittery sensation you feel, the dyslexia. Your mind is constantly on alert. It's a battle reflex and it'll save you one day. You can read ancient Greek, better than you can read English.""Unfortunately as there are benevolent gods and beings who maintain the world's balance, there are malicious beings that aim to topple the gods; monsters that can sense you and pursue you, Titans, who vie for control over the world again. If you study your mythology, you'll be more aware of these threats. But you won't find that information in school."
Oisin procured a piece of paper. Greek lettering was hastily written in red ink.Κατευθυνθείτε στη βιβλιοθήκη και να βρει το πεπρωμένο σας."Argus wanted me to pass this instruction to you."
Seth peered at the paper, his eyebrows rising in surprise. He could actually read the words!Head to the library and find your destiny.“How,”
Dionne started as the strange symbols started drifting around the board, forming words that she could recognize. “You said Argus wanted you to tell us this? Do you have any idea why? It just says to head to the library and 'find your destiny,' whatever that means.”
She paused frowning in thought. “And what do you mean by us being the offspring of gods? Both of my parents are human!”“That's what you might think. Tell me, Dionne, do you live with both of your parents? Godly parents rarely stick around after they've conceived or 'given birth,' in your case,”
Oisin said. The shocked look on the girl's face told him that he was on the right track. “Since your dad is pretty famous and all, I can guess that your mother probably left a while ago, right?”"Yeah..."
Seth spoke. "My dad's not around either. But you would think, well if he is a god, he'd at least visit now and then instead of just leaving us hanging out to dry."
He grumbled. “Well it's not as simple as that you see,”
Oisin said. “For one, gods can't very well spend all of their time with a single human. For that reason, most of them leave their children in childhood.”
Oisin fished out a pair of tiny metallic ear cuffs, one of them silver and the other gold. "If they did, then that would show favoritism and that would not bode well with their other offspring. Favoritism has incited wars in the past. That's why you must learn to protect yourselves and it's my job to keep you guys safe until you do."
He placed them in front of Dionne. "Arm yourself with these...Sqeeze them...I think." "Uh...earrings?"
Seth asked. “Ear cuffs,”
Dionne said, recognizing the metallic bands. “Proof that you're a guy,”
she said, winking at Seth as she slipped the gold one onto one ear. Dionne gave the silver one an experimental squeeze, watching in astonishment as it lengthened into a black-bladed dagger in her hand, a shard of light dancing across her face as Dionne stared at the blade lying in her hand."Cool..."
Seth whispered in awe as he watched. “Stygian Iron,”
Oisin supplied. “The other one is Celestial Bronze, like Seth's weapon.”
Dionne didn't say anything, instead reaching up and sliding the other cuff off her ear, watching it transform in her hands into a gold-bladed dagger of similar design and length to the black one. “Both are metals that can be used to harm beings of magic -- which includes both of you, thanks to the blood flowing through your veins. Use them well and to your advantage.”
After Dionne played with the blades and nearly lopped an ear off of Seth, Oisin finally returned from his bedroom, a backpack strapped onto him. "Guys ready? We'll head to the library and get back before it gets dark."
The satyr said.
The trio hopped into the silver sedan and Oisin hit the road. Dionne had taken shotgun this time, leaving Seth in the backseat as he stewed over his thoughts. The ocean sparkled orange in the afternoon sun. As Dionne and Oisin chattered, he couldn't help but observe that the satyr seemed a little nervous -- tense, even. Was he nervous about the future maybe?
Back at the "safehouse", he felt a little bitter to find out about the real reason behind his father's
departure. His mom had never mentioned anything about his father being a god. He was a hero in her eyes, brave and courageous as he partook in the war. Did she even know his real identity?
Even to this day, she still awaited for his return ever since he went missing years ago. The government had initially provided her with weekly updates on their search for him, but now their letters in the mail came only annually with the bold black typeface - STATUS: UNKNOWN, MISSING.
Dionne found Oisin quite refreshing. Having been confined mostly to light, frivolous talk and overplayed drama in her circles, the satyr's down-to-earth sense of humor was rather new, and she could see why Seth liked him. While their small talk stayed mostly around school and how life worked for Oisin disguising himself as a human, what she'd learned about her parentage earlier that day bothered her as well.
Dionne had become accustomed to thinking that the woman had left her lover and child -- abandoned, more like, but Dionne wanted to give the woman the benefit of the doubt -- for some greater calling. However, as the years went by without a single word from her biological mother, Dionne developed a sense that the woman had never really cared for her anyway. If she'd really cared, wouldn't she have reached out by now? Dionne had kept hoping that she might have received word on some special day -- her fifth birthday, then tenth, then perhaps the summer before high school or even her sweet sixteenth -- but nothing so miraculous had happened. Life went on without the woman, and now Dionne's life was being rudely interupted because of her "mother" that'd never even been a part of her life.
Looking through the rearview mirror, Dionne saw a disgruntled look on Seth's face and figured that the boy was probably trying to process the new information as well. "You okay back there?"
Seth glanced at her in the rearview mirror, "Yeah...I'm okay. I'll get over it."
He quickly muttered, the scowl on his face refusing to soften.
He sat in silence as the car pulled up in the parking lot in front of the beige colored library.
They got out of the car. Seth sighed and put the thoughts in his head to rest, for now. If he ever met the old man, he'd be sure to have a long chat with him.