A Tale of Griffins and Half-Bloods

Being a monster is hard enough. Being a monster who needs demigods to help you is even worse. Being a monster who needs help from demigods against other monsters is living hell.
And you thought being human was hard.

(Okay so I'm now realising my huuuuuge mistakes in consistency with the actual books so please bear with me that will be fixed I swear.)

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5. The Horse-man and the Bird-Cat. - Cinder

The barn was… well, the barn was big. At first I’d thought it was pretty small. Distances do that, y’know? But no, as we got closer I realised it was indeed a massive barn. The paint on its walls was peeling a little, the wood beneath seemed dry and sun-bleached.

The demigod opened the door for me to enter, still holding her sword within stabbing distance of my behind.
You know what they say. Never judge a book by its cover. Looks can be deceiving. All that stuff. It applied to the barn. Inside it was rather nicely decorated, if I do say so myself. Its interior did not give off a barn vibe. I nodded slowly to myself as I looked around, appreciating the various pieces of furniture, the decorations, all that stuff.
I almost didn’t notice the other people here, one sitting in a wheelchair, the other on a sofa. They were both playing pinochle. A few moments passed as I stared at the strange pair, before realising the non-wheelchair-ridden one was a God. Right. I should have noticed that sooner.

The man in the wheelchair smelt strangely like horse. Might I just say that I hadn’t eaten in a couple of days at this point. I was starting to feel the vague hints of hunger, and I’m not ashamed to admit that this human was starting to look a tad appetising. I couldn’t help but look at him hungrily. He looked up, completely ignoring me, and addressed the demigod.

“Alyx! Why are you here? I thought you were on guard duty?”

I felt hurt. I was being ignored. The God turned where he sat, leaning back to watch the events unfold. I hadn’t seen the Gods all that much, but I was relatively sure that this was Dionysus. I’d heard he’d been banished to Camp Half-Blood. 

“Turns out you were right, the monster broke out of its chains,” the girl- Alyx, I assumed- stated. She crossed her arms, shooting me a sideways glare.

Oh see now that was even worse- they were purposefully ignoring me.

“Hm,” horse man said, “How did it manage that?” His tone was casual, tired, even. I wouldn’t have been surprised if monsters raging around camp was normal for these people with how they were reacting to this news.

“For all you know I could be out there murdering half bloods, and killing things,” I said, gesturing behind me, “And you ask how I escaped?”

“It can shape shift,” she said, “It becomes a massive bird.”

“Maybe I’ve been misunderstanding the other monsters until now,” I pondered, “Maybe that’s what I’ve been missing out on, all these years.”

Horse man and Alyx both looked at me. Alyx raised a questioning eyebrow. “Missing out on what?”

“Eating you lot,” I said cheerfully. “Other monsters seem to have so much fun, I honestly don’t know why I’ve never tried it. This must be what my life has been missing- maybe it’s why they came after us, to share the joys of demigod eating.”

“What is it with you and these “them”? You were cryptic enough the first time, so just spit it out.”

The horse-man stepped out of his wheelchair, and spoke- Wait a second. Stepped out of his wheelchair? Then his horse legs emerged. Oh. Right. Centaur. I’d forgotten what Chiron looked like- I’d only ever seen him from a distance, anyway. That would explain the horsey smell. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. “Them?” He sounded unimpressed.

Alyx spread her hands. “Thank you! That’s exactly how I feel. Suddenly, out of nowhere, just as I was about to slit its throat, it started jabbering on about “them”.” She pointed to me, looking at Chiron. “I didn’t just want to kill him without first bringing him here, but-”

I took a step forward. The demigod went silent. I looked the centaur straight in the eye, standing tall and proud despite my situation. Dionysus watched with a bored expression, sipping a glass of strange bubbling brown liquid that wasn’t even alcoholic. What happened to being God of wine? “Centaur. You’re technically a monster. Like me, I’m technically a monster.” Chiron narrowed his eyes. I could tell he didn’t like being called a monster. 

Oh joy, we had something in common. “Don’t look at me like that. We both know that there are some centaurs who quite gladly kill humans and demigods. Just like there are griffins-” I emphasised the word griffin, breaking eye contact to give a pointed glare at Alyx. “-That do the exact same. But, just like you, there are centaurs who will not kill unless they have an awfully good reason to do it. Now I ask you, why can this logic not apply to me? 

"I swear on the river Styx that I have never mortally wounded a human- demigods included- that left me be and let me get about my own business.” I paused, taking a breath. “I came to this place- where I know full well that I am despised- seeking help, shelter even, and bringing a warning. I am desperate.” My voice took a more sorrowful tone as I remembered the massacre I had witnessed days ago, before shifting to one more spiteful as I spoke my next words. “You cannot deny my words, Centaur. While the centuries have remembered your kind favourably, and mine… less so, you cannot deny the truth.”

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