I paced up and down the snow covered alleyway every so often looking at my sisters cloak covered face. I pulled my green cloak tighter around me and my grip tightened around my bow and my other one rested on the hilt of my dagger. I looked at my sister again.
‘When is he going to get here?’ I asked her impatiently.
‘When he comes,’ she answered back.
‘But it’s cold,’ Caylin, my sister, said. I tugged my deep green cloak closer and snuggled into the warm folds of its comforting embrace.
‘Come on Jared,’ I muttered into the darkness. Almost as soon as I had finished speaking a dark figure appeared in the moonlight. Beside me, Caylin raised her loaded bow.
Suddenly out of nowhere I could hear a pair of very slow footsteps, slowly getting louder. I raised my bow in defence and carefully notched an arrow into the bow string, pulling the string back until the bow creaked under all the pressure. I raised the bow, pressing it against my lip and taking a breath in, slowly. Finally, the footsteps were given a voice.
‘Don’t shoot,’ the voice said, it was commanding and was strong. I could feel every cell in my body wanting to do as it said my brain eager for them to not surrender. I lowered the bow, not letting any tension go to waste. I looked ahead and saw a figure emerging from the black.
I frowned, recognising the voice.
‘Caylin, don’t shoot,’ I said, stepping closer to the figure.
‘I have her ring,’ the boy called out, holding up a small, thin torus. The moonlight sparked off it, and Caylin grinned.
‘That’s mine,’ she said, running forwards.
‘Caylin!’ I shrieked, stretching out my arm to stop her. ‘Don’t-’
‘Cianna? Surely you’re not still mad at me?’ I could just imagine his grin, that annoying, mischievous grin.
I glared at my sister and ran toward the voice and slipped over on the glimmering ice. I looked down and saw a figure shrouded in a green cloak that helped me up.
‘Thank you Cianna,’ I told my sister and then a gruff voice replied:
‘I’m not Cianna,’ He knelt down and placed the ring on my finger. I shook him off.
‘Eurghhh,’ I groaned; ‘Cianna, a little back story on this dude?’ I asked of her.
‘That,’ I said with bitter distaste, ‘Is Jared Anderson. Former camper of Camp Half-Blood, and,’ I paused for effect, ‘Murderer of- wait, you don’t need to know that detail. You’re too young.’
‘Hey!’ Caylin exclaimed angrily. ‘We’re the same age! I’m only half a minute younger than you!’
I rolled my eyes and turned away. ‘Anyway, Jared, you’d better get going. Chiron wouldn’t like you contamin- returning.’
‘No, Cianna,’ Jared protested. ‘I have to return. I have to make amends. I didn’t-‘ he suddenly remembered Caylin was with us, and stopped, glaring at me.
‘Let him come,’ Caylin said. I looked at her.
‘Fine. But the instant that you make trouble, you’re leaving.’
On the way home it was the worst walk of my life, quite frankly. I spent the entire journey walking behind and listening to Cianna laughing at Jared’s failed attempts of jokes. I watched Cianna’s mini braid swishing from left to right and thought about how we looked. We both have auburn hair, pale skin and freckles. We are both fairly tall for our age and are well built with a fair bit of muscle which we obtained from the vigorous training at Camp Half-Blood. But that’s where the similarities end. As I’ve already told you, Cianna wears her hair down, curled with it swept up at the top, braided down. I, however wear my hair in a tight bun which has a braid that feeds into it. I wear t-shirts with blue jeans and purple high top Cons. Cianna however wears the more traditional white blouse, brown leggings and high, but soft, fake leather boots. She also always wears a cloak, because she’s awkward like that.
[Thanks, Cay, describing us. I thought we agreed I could do that… we so did!] I may have been laughing Jared, but inside I was worried. How would Chiron take it, us turning up back at Camp with an enemy of Camp in tow, even us two, two of his longest (and favourite) campers?
I glanced behind us, surprised we’d got so far without being chased by monsters. My sister stepped aside and I could see a trail of monsters littered behind her.
‘Oh, um, thanks, Cay,’ I said. ‘Uh, how about you take a break? Get to know Jared a little. I’ll cover us.’
Without waiting for an answer I took her place and began defending us.
I took a sharp intake of breath and then jogged towards Jared. I looked at him, annoyed.
‘I think your sister likes me again,’ he told me.
‘Nooooo (!)’ I told him sarcastically. ‘I would never have guessed by the way she was talking you.
He chuckled. ‘You’re part American and you still get sarcasm,’ he laughed at me.
‘Yes and so?’ I glared at him, ‘I get these talents by being daughter of Athena,’ I told him. ‘You’re annoying, big, burly and quite thick, in some senses I analysed. You’re a son of Hephaestus.’ I summed up.
I rolled my eyes at Caylin’s back.
‘Actually, Hephaestus isn’t too annoying. I’ve met him, once.’
‘Well, Jared is.’ She replied defiantly. ‘I’ve met him, once.’
‘For once, Caylin, you’re right.’
Jared laughed; that annoying, deep chuckle. ‘So, how long ‘til we reach Camp?’ he asked.
‘About…’ I worked out the distance in my head, then the time we took to walk and therefore how long it would take us to reach camp. Then I worked out how much Jared’s hair had grown by since I last saw him, when I last saw him (about a year ago) and therefore how much it grew per month, day, hour and second. Then I took into account that he may have cut it, and-
He waved a hand in my face. ‘Hello? I asked a question.’
‘Oh, oh yeah. About…’ I reworked it out. Then I worked out how much Jared’s hair had grown in that space of time. ‘Oh, uh, about a metre in that direction,’ I pointed vaguely. Then I looked up at his face. ‘Did you know that your hair just grew 0.0104073037mms?’ I asked.
I looked up smiling into the deep black of the night and rolling my eyes at my sisters’ oddness.
‘Actually Cianna, it’s in the exact opposite direction and is in fact about half a mile away.’
Jared chuckled looking between us, his dimples showing fairly prominently. I smirked and confronted him:
‘So why is it you find us so amusing, if I have permission to ask.’
‘It’s just that you’re both so similar, not just because you look the same but in your personalities too.’ Jared replied.
I scoffed, ‘us two, similar?’ I asked, ‘We’re about as similar as a cat and a dog, we are just unlucky enough to come in the same wrapper.’ I said angrily at the fact yet another person had said that. Suddenly Cianna chimed in,
‘I’m the cat!’ She said excitedly. I shook my head, rethinking the decision I had made earlier in my life that my sister may be sane. I completely doubted that fact and was now deciding how insane she was. Before I knew it we were at the gates of Camp Half-Blood, I smiled.
‘Home,’ I breathed.