“So you want me to risk my life to come on some ridiculous quest with you and just leave my life behind? How can I even know if you’re telling the truth or not?” I hissed the questions at Sophia.
I knew that I was being unreasonable and mean, but I was having problems and I didn’t want to help other people, I had my own things to take care of. Well, it was more like my parents were having problems.
They had always seemed so happy together, I wanted to be like them when I was older, a beautiful, happily married couple, but they weren’t what they seemed.
My parents were hiding they’re problems from me and arguing at night. Last night I couldn’t sleep very well, so I texted people and just stared at my ceiling for hours, my parents had no idea that I was awake when they started to yell.
“You did WHAT with my money?”
“It’s not just your money.”
“I’m the one who works for it, you just spend it all!”
Just thinking about the anger in their voices was making my eyes water.
“Sam, I know that’s something’s wrong, please tell me what it is, we were close friends for a while, I can help you.” Sophia’s voice was obviously full of concern and I knew that she meant well, but I hadn’t talked to anyone about my feelings, I had ever been that kind of person, and I wasn’t about to start now.
“Nothing’s wrong Sophia.” I replied defensively.
“I do understand that you don’t want to tell me, but I promise you that I can help, and I would never tell anyone if you didn’t want me too.” Sophia stayed level-headed and calm, but, my thoughts were wandering and I didn’t know what to do.
I felt a warm tear run down my cheek and within a moment I could barely see because the tears blurred my vision. Sophia just held me, she said nothing she just stood there with her arms wrapped around me while the tears spilled out of my eyes over and over. When the tears dried and I thought it was over, they would start all over again. That happened a couple times until I had no more tears to shed.
“My parents…” I began to explain to her. My voice shook and broke while I spoke to my old friend. “They aren’t as perfect as they seem, they fight, they’re not happy.” I closed my eyes counted to 5 and took deep breaths. “The only reason they’ve stayed together and put up with each other was to help me. They’ve been lying to me, pretending to be what they’re not. I’ve been causing they’re sadness, at least recently.”
“Don’t be silly, they love you, you make them happy, please don’t blame yourself.” Sophia whispered gently. I wasn’t able to really grasp what she said and take it to heart at the time, though I wish I could have.
I stepped away from Sophia’s hold and felt small arms wrap around my waist. I let out a gasp of surprise before looking down to see the strange little girl that was with Sophia hugging me, a single tear was running down her cheek slowly.
“I don’t know what it’s like for you, because I’ve grown up as an Orphan, with only my brother, but I can’t even imagine hearing your parents fight like that, which means it must make you feel terrible.” I had no idea who this girl was, but her voice was able to calm me down and because of that I affect I could listen to her. She looked small and frail, but her opinions were clear and strong. I felt instantly connected to the little girl, who looked like she could not be older than 12. She looked up at me and into my eyes, her eyes shined with a bright wisdom, and it was easy to see her emotions and the struggles she had been through.
I crouched down and held both her small hands in both of mine.
“My name is Samantha. Who are you?” My tears had stopped because of his brilliant little girl and my voice returned to being steady.
“My name is Bridgit, that’s my brother Matthew. I just turned 11.” She pointed to the large blonde boy standing beside Sophia.
He was one of the biggest, muscular, most terrifying people I’ve ever seen. A scar ran across the left side of his face and his hair almost covered his eyes.
“I’ll come with you Sophia, I don’t want to stay here, I can’t stay here.” I stood up and was now looking at Sophia instead.
“Are you sure?” she asked me cautiously.
Sophia explained to me what we were doing and soon enough I was packed, had written a letter to my parents and was walking with the three other inhabitants to Mila’s house.
It didn’t take very long to get there, but it took us 8 calls before she picked up her cell phone and answered the door. Mila and I had never been close so I could only try to imagine how surprised she was to see me on her doorstep. Her eyes winded and her jaw dropped when she took in what was happening.
“What’s happening Sophia?” She yawned.
“Eric’s gone, he was taken and we need to find him, all of us. All the inhabitants we know of so far need to help, this is the beginning of our quest.”
After a little bit more explaining we were huddled on Mila’s porch while she packed and wrote a note to her parents.
In less than 5 minutes we were heading back to Rachel’s house to collect her.
“Do we know where Eric is?” Mila asked. “How are we going to save him if we can’t find him?”
I looked over to Sophia for an answer and saw that she was making a weird face.
“He’s in the underworld.” She responded.
“How do you know that?” I asked curiously.
“Artemis told me, she knows because her brother is inside of Eric, she can communicate with him, kind of like how Eric and I can communicate, except Artemis and Apollo know how to control their bond.” Sophia seemed to be talking more to herself than to us.
“How exactly do we find and get into the underworld?” It was the first time I had heard Matthew speak. His voice was just like his appearance; rough and strong.
“What about we go to that Greek shrine in the park, maybe if we could read it, it would tell us where to go.” Rachel suggested.
“But can any of us read Greek?” Sophia pointed out.
“I kind of can.” As soon as I had said the words, everyone turned to me. “I learned in Greece, when we lived there for a year.” I explained to them.
And we were off, walking briskly to a Greek shrine to figure out how to get into the underworld. This was going to be quite an interesting quest, and a dangerous one too.
It didn’t take us very long to walk to the park, as we walked through it and towards the shrine you could see the outline of the three statues. Zeus, Poseidon and Hades were towering over us in statue form. The three statues were carved so beautifully, the edges strong and the gods’ features pronounced. Beautiful plants were growing all along the bottom of the statues’ pedestals.
I walked over to the statue of Hades and looked over it for a moment before starting to read. He looked old, but extremely strong and definitely powerful. He was dressed completely in armor. At least half of the pedestal was covered in Ivy and parts of a rosebush that stood beside the statue.
I started to read; Hades, powerful god of the underworld was tricked by his brothers; Zeus and Poseidon into the lesser land.
That’s it? I asked myself in my head. There has to be more.
“Look! There’s more words, the plants are just covering them.” I looked over to see little Bridgit standing at Zeus’ foot pulling back a sheet of Ivy to reveal more Greek letters and symbols.
I did the same to the Hades sculpture and it had the same outcome. I read on; it is said that there is an entrance to the underworld, right here in Canada. It’s underneath Niagara Falls, in the tunnels, there is an inscription. Read the inscription and the gate to the underworld will appear.
“Guys, I know where we need to go!” I yelled happily.
* * *
“So, how are we gonna get there? Does anyone have a license?” Sophia asked.
“I do, and a car too.” A boy stepped towards us. He looked maybe 16 or 17 years old, his hair was blonde and gelled. He had rolled his sleeves to make a muscle tank, and it was obvious that his ego was HUGE.
“Who are you?” Sophia asked.
“My name is” He was cut off as another boy walked towards us.
The second boy was muscular and looked like he for sure played many sports. His short, black hair looked really familiar. I had seen him at school before.
“Dylan?” Sophia seemed extremely surprised by his appearance here.
“Hi Sophia, I’m so sorry if my friend was bugging you.” The boy named Dylan said. He walked towards Sophia and spoke only to her.
I had seen Dylan with Eric they must be friends. I realized.
“Where’s your brother?” Dylan asked her.
“He’s at home.”
I could tell that Dylan was not convinced, I wouldn’t have been either and I hadn’t even talked to either of the siblings in years.
All of a sudden Sophia fell to the ground, her eyes were open and she wasn’t breathing. I gasped and froze, not knowing what to do.
“It’s okay, she’s just communicating with the gods, I’ve seen this happen before.” Bridgit was at my side, holding my hand. I walked towards my old friend and knelt beside her head, Bridgit close beside me.
It only took 2 or 3 minutes of us sitting there before Sophia sat up and was back with us.
“Okay, one of you needs to explain to us what’s happening.” Dylan said, his voice shaking. The two boys just stood there, looking at us.
“Do you know anything about the Greek Gods?” Sophia asked them.
“Yes.” They responded simultaneously.
“Good, because each of you have a God inside of you.”
* * *
We finished explaining the circumstances to the boys and they just stood there and looked at us in awe.
“I always knew I was special.” Dylan’s friends stated, puffing out his chest importantly.
“Dylan, you’re friend has the biggest ego I’ve ever come across.” Sophia stated before I could.
“Yeah, well this is Daniel Weston, we’ve known each other since like forever, our mothers have been best friends since high school.” Dylan explained himself to us all.
“So, who are we inhabited by?”
“You’re inhabited by Poseidon.” Sophia told Dylan, than she turned towards Daniel. “And you’re inhabited by Zeus.”
“Does all this mean that I’m driving, where are we going?” Daniel asked. He was rocking slightly and looked super excited.
“Niagara falls.” Matthew told him.
“Sick, I haven’t been there in so long!” Daniel was already walking towards the parking lot.
The rest of us exchanged glances and followed him. When we caught up to Daniel he was standing in front of a red pickup truck. The paint was peeling and the windows were caked in dirt. Hanging from the mirror were several different air fresheners. I heard the key click in the lock and Daniel swung the driver’s side door open and hopped in behind the wheel. Dylan opened the door on the other side and he, Sophia and Rachel climbed in the front beside Daniel. I held open the back door as Bridgit climbed up and into the back beside her brother, then I slid in beside her, and Mila beside me.
Within a moment we were driving, listening to Daniel sing along with the radio.
It would take us several hours to get to the Falls, I looked around at everyone and watched as they yawned, and slowly one by one they fell asleep, until it was just me and Daniel. I closed my eyes and tried to sleep but dreams just wouldn’t come to me. I eventually took to looking out the window and watched as everything passed by us. My eyes were starting to close when Mila jerked awake beside me. She was panting and her eyes were wide. I put my hand on her shoulder and told her to breathe.
“What’s happening?” I asked her when she regained breath.
“I just had a weird dream.” She panted. Her eyes wandered, observing her surroundings before stopping when she was looking past me, out the window. “Daniel, stop the car!” Mila wailed.
The brakes screeched as the pick-up truck came to a halt at the curb. The three of us who were awake were panting.
“Why’d you make me do that?” Daniel turned to look at Mila and questioned.
“I think that I-I-I ha-ad a vi-s-sion.” She stuttered.
“Really, a vision?” He challenged.
“Well, I definitely saw that girl in my dream, just now.” She pointed out the window. Both Daniel and I followed her finger to see a girl. She was walking by herself and looked kind of out of place, because of her height.
She stopped in front of one of the stores, leaned up against the window and pulled out her phone. Her hair was shoulder-length and really dark brown. Over her eyes were a pair of big, black-rimmed glasses, but she didn’t look nerdy at all, she was really pretty. She was wearing a knit sweater and simple, ripped jeans.
“What was your dream about?” I asked Mila.
“Well, it was basically this, except Sophia was awake as well, she saw the girl and fainted.” She responded. “I think she’s inhabited.”
As if on cue Sophia yawned and her eyes fluttered open.
“Why are you guys talking so loudly? And why aren’t we moving?” She said, peering into the back at us.
“We believe that the girl over there is also inhabited.” I tried to explain. “Mila had a vision.”
Sophia turned to look out the window, and as soon as her gaze found the girl, she went limp.