17-It all Ends
I ambled down my stairs, still in my pajamas.
My mother was sitting at the table sipping at her coffee and reading over the latest for-closure files.
"Good morning, darling, how are you feeling?" she asked, smiling warmly at me.
"Aside from the underlying feeling of extreme dread, pretty good," I replied, walking to the pantry to find some cereal.
All of the options were four moths expired.
"Uh, mom..." I began.
"We'll go get some donuts once your friend wakes up, he's asleep on the couch," she answered, reading my face.
I seriously considered running into the family room and shaking Nico awake, I was really in the mood for donuts. Then again, I'm always in the mood for donuts.
But it was weird, my mom never took me out for breakfast, there must've been something troubling her.
I sat across from her at the table, and stared intensely.
She got the hint, that I knew something was up.
"Honey, I think it's time we talk about your father."
"Mom, I know everything that I need to, anyways, I just talked to him a few minutes ago."
This comment didn't seem to phase her, she must've known about dream communicating.
"Lea," she paused, sighing, "I never actually met your father."
My throat suddenly constricted, like it always does when I'm shocked, "What?" I croaked.
She put her hand on mine, and stared at me apologetically.
"Dreams, can be just as real as reality, I trust you'd know that Lea," she said, tears welling in her eyes.
That was absurd! My real parents had only met in their dreams, as if that was really love! That sounded like some sort of stupid Disney plotline. And how was even possible to have a child that way?
Then I recalled reading a myth about a woman being showed with golden light and afterwards she gave birth to Zeus' child. Suddenly, the idea wasn't so absurd.
I accepted the idea, but I didn't want to know anymore, not just yet.
Nico shuffled into the room, groggily rubbing at his face. He was still wearing his normal clothes, belt and all. I had a feeling he slept in them.
I walked out of the room silently smiling and nodding a "Good morning," at Nico.
I changed into my favorite outfit, my hot pink tank top, ripped jeans and my neon pink converse. I put my shield in my pocket, my sword around my neck and vial of sunlight around my waist. I then slipped on my armor, which I hadn't worn since the last game of Capture the Flag at camp, it was warm and snug. A perfect fit to my body. I kept it in mist form so that it would be lighter during the car ride.
It was about a three hour drive up to Shasta.
We left the house around nine and I said my goodbyes, hopefully I would be returning here soon.
We stopped at a small Dunkin Donuts. I got a pink frosted donut, with little pink, purple, and white sprinkles. Perfect for me. My mom and Nico both got maple bars and my mom got two coffees one for here and one for take-out.
I could tell how stressed she was. She had already downed at least three coffees this morning, it wasn't healthy. I think she was trying to keep from passing out.
The car ride was completely silent, except the music.
I looked at my reflection in my window, my fuchsia eyes sparkled. I smiled as the music changed, switching CD's, I closed my eyes and listened, leaning my head against the window as Priscilla Ahn's Dream played. This CD was my favorite present Henry had ever given me.
I think I might have fallen asleep at some point, but I don't remember because I didn't dream. I closed my eyes and what felt like a few seconds later, two and a half hours had passed, and our destination was in sight.
Mt. Shasta loomed in the distance.
It was much taller than I remembered.
There were a few white patches of snow, but it was mostly melted two to our extra long summer. There had been no snowfall since January, which was almost a year ago. The mountain side was baron and desert looking, and I knew what lurked up there.
The sun was beginning to set over the horizon. I knew if I didn't complete my quest tonight, it would be the last sunset humankind would ever see.
My mom drove us to the base of the mountain, tears of fear streaming down her cheeks.
"Bye, mom I'll see you soon," I said, hugged her, and then joined up with Nico who was already beginning the ascent.
I didn't want to make her think that this was the last time we'd ever see each other, and I didn't want to think that either.
I followed Nico up the almost illegible path, clearly not many people had an interest in climbing the mountain.
There was no one else here today, I think the mortals could tell that it wasn't safe here, even if they didn't know why.
The hike was long and strenuous, it was like breathing in dust instead of air, and I could feel the atmosphere growing thinner as the golden rays of the sun hit our faces at a side angle.
When we reached where the snow began, I started to mentally prepare myself.
Nico who had gained some ground on me stood, and waited. When I caught up to him, he was looking at the sky. I followed his gaze, three figures circled like vultures in the sky, except they had bat-like wings.
"Are you ready?" Nico asked me, his eyes were wide with fear, but he kept his voice calm for my sake.
"Almost," I replied, I pressed the pink ruby on my armor and watched as it transformed into the brilliant silver and leather.
I then unhooked my necklace and pressed it's stone, my sword folded out, the veins of imperial gold and celestial bronze weaved into one another, glimmering in the low-light.
Lastly I un hooked my belt and unscrewed the bottle's cap. The sunlight reflected back all the colors I could think of, rainbows glittering within then glass, it was golden but shone iridescent.
I took a deep breath and as steadily as I could tipped the bottle and watched as the beautiful contents fell in slow motion like honey onto my blade. As soon as the liquid touched the metal, a brilliant light was created. My sword glowed as brilliantly as the sun, just as it should.
The belt and bottle also glowed, and I watched as it disinagrated into a ray of sunlight, it's purpose had been served.
Nico smiled warily at me, we didn't say anything but he tucked his hand into mine and we continued up the path.
By the time we reached the summit, we were out of breath, the air was so thin, but we knew we had to keep going, there was only a little while until the sun set completely.
I could see the top, a dark flickering figure awaited, taunting me, the other three shapes circled above.
I sped up my pace, I wanted this over with, now.
Thirty feet away, twenty, ten... I raised my blade ready to cut Nyx's head clean off. I heard a shrill shriek from above, it was like somebody trying to draw with a knife on a chalk board.
Before I could react a face swooped in front of me, it's pale shriveled skin clung so tight to it's skull that you could see where the jaw bones connected. The skin was transparent enough for me to see the black, red, blue and purple veins navigating across the creature cheeks all of them coming from the eyes, which were a complete black.
I stumbled back, letting go of Nico's hand.
The creature cackled, and shrieked, "I am Euryale, one the furies, wait here as my sisters arrive, we are looking forward to feasting on your flesh."
Nico stepped forward confidently, "I am the son of Hades, your master, now be gone, go back to my father and stay at his throne where you belong."
"Nico di Angelo," she crooned, "We do not answer to you anymore. We have found a new master."
"Traitor!" he yelled, "You will be punished brashly for your treachery. Now I'm going to send you back to my father, the fast way."
He sliced at her with his sword, she jumped back, flapping her wings frantically.
She made a noise that sounded like a mix between a hiss and a growl, then shrieked again, but this time, like a hawk. It was a call for back up. Within seconds her sisters swooped down. I swung at one of them, but only nicked her ribs.
I watched in horror and fascination and the light from my sword spread from the point where it had hit her, and enveloped her, turning her into what looked like a glowing gold statue. Then she exploded into gold sparkles.
At the sight of their sister's quick demise, the other two Furies took flight screeching furiously.
I turned to Nico and nodded, he closed his eyes and plunged his sword into the dirt, hairline cracks shot out in either direction, spreading across the dirt like bolts of lightning.
Skeletal hands rose from the cracks, the rest of their bodies pushing themselves out of the ground.
I'd seen Nico summon skeletons before, but it was no less terrifying now.
The skeletons peered at my inquisitively, there were about a dozen of them, cocking there heads to the sides as if to ask, "Kill her?"
Nico pointed to the sky, the skeletons chattered a reply. Their jaws clacking uselessly, unable to make an audible word. Nico looked as if he'd just ran a marathon, but he gave me an assertive and confident nod.
They began to walk up the mountain, green smoke functioning as the magical sinews and muscles that allowed them to move.
I followed them. Occasionally the furies would try to swooped down, but would have to dodge the skeleton hands that grabbed at there feet.
I could hear Nyx laughing, her voice cool and calm. Making my sleepy but angry at the same time.
I walked faster, the skeleton crowd parted for me, and I strutted right up to Nyx.
She smirked at me, "Hello grandchild, glad to see you made it."
"Really? Because you didn't seem so happy to see that I was on my way this morning."
"Don't test me child," she crooned.
"Here's your test," I said, "Dodge this."
I swung my sword aiming directly at her pale white neck.
Before I could see the light cover her body, I felt an immense pain in my chest, and I was thrown backwards. I skid across the dirt on my back. The sharp rocks cutting into my arms. Thank the gods I was wearing my armor.
Nico rushed to my slide, and helped me up, I clutched at his arms. I felt all weak and shaky, but most of all furious.
I looked back to see one Fury left struggling against the grips of the skeletons.
I was about to go at Nyx again, when Nico let go of me and sprinted forward, he may not have had the Sun Sword, but he still looked pretty intimidating.
Before he could even get close enough to take a slice at Nyx, he flew backwards, landing even harder on the dirt than I did. He groaned and closed his eyes, not getting back up.
I was beyond mad or even furious now. First Nyx messed with my life, then my head, now my friends. This was over.
"How dare you!" I yelled, stalking forward.
"What are now going to do little child?"
"I'm going to put you to sleep, permanently."
I closed my eyes, just as I had done in my dream, then opened them again. Although I couldn't see her eyes, I could tell the look on Nyx's face was horror.
"Nunc tu eris somnus," I began, the Latin spilling from my lips, "Vos mos dormire aternum."
Nyx's body feel limp, her head hanging.
Everything around me glowed pink, My tattoo was ablaze with the light, wisps of the magic curling off my body, my hair floated as if gravity meant nothing to it.
My hair band had broken during the surge of power and now my hair draped weightlessly down my back.
I walked up to Nyx body, without hesitating I raised my sword over my head and plunged in straight into her gut.
The golden light did not expand across her body, she simple exploded right then and there. Golden sparkles of light dancing down from the sky like celestial rain.
I had done it.
I had saved the world.
Suddenly the sky clouded over and it grew darker, I began to panic. What was going on.
Then, it began to snow.
Tiny crisp little silver-white snowflakes reflecting the golden and pink light.
The feeling on my skin was amazing, like the reverse effects of the Sun Sword, coolness expanded throughout my body. I turned to see that skeletons were gone and so was the last fury.
Nico still lay on the ground where he had hit earlier. I ran over to him, kneeling at his side. I cradled him in my arms.
"Did we win?" he asked, his voice weak and trembling.
"Yeah, we did," I replied, smiling down at him.
His eyes were opening slowly.
"What do we do now?" he asked.
I helped him up to a standing position. He gazed up at the sky, the snow catching on his eyelashes.
"We go home."