I smiled when I saw Megara eating a small breakfast. I noticed that her hair was pulled back into a ponytail. She wasn't like healed or recovered but she was trying.
The odd thing was I didn’t see Bobbie sitting with Megara and Lexie. Most people ate with their siblings in the morning.
I looked around the cafeteria for Bobbie until I spotted zir. Ze was with Bec Nassar. That was odd. Maybe ze saw that Bec had no one at the moment? Since Kore and Mindy were sent on that mission by Zephyros, Bec had no family for the last few days.
I’ve heard rumors of the Nassar siblings. That they weren’t demigods but instead young gods. Or they were half nymphs that were adopted by Hades and Persephone. There was probably a truth among the rumors.
And Mindy Flora was basically their sister. At least a sister to Bec, anyone with eyes could see that Kore was head over heels in love with Mindy. Except maybe Mindy.
“Reina! Earth to Reina.” Alex, my older brother, snapped his fingers in front of my face.
“What?” I answered.
“You zoned out. I just asked you who you are taking to the Summer Solstice party?”
“No one at this point. Maybe Megara- as friends. But I bet if she goes at all she’ll want to go with Z.” I said.
“What about Mindy Flora? She’s cute.” He suggested.
“Nah. I think she’s dating someone. I’ve seen hickies on her neck.”
“She’s two years younger than me. No way.”
“Okay how about you suggest people that I talk to?”
“Andy Oojima? You hang out with her sometimes.”
“I hate you.”
“What? You two can go just as friends.” Alex laughed.
“You are no longer my favorite brother.”
“Since when was I your favorite?”
“Since Quinn stole my red with white polka dots pinup style dress and got a stain on it.”
“Ah. That makes sense.”
“Yeah. But anywho I hate you now.”
“You’re so cruel to me.”
We both laughed. Alex and I came from the same home and father, and he was always a loving and protective older brother. Now of course he wasn’t my favorite brother, my favorite brother was named Gale Hale. He was three and was so sweet but we only get to see him when his mortal mother brings him here to visit. She’s a sweet young lady who’s happy that her son has fourteen older siblings who love him. She also has the hots for my sister, Mary Lou.
I looked around the table at my siblings. Mary Lou Hill was the oldest at the age of nineteen. The second oldest was Alex. Just barely nineteen years old. Then there was Em Annes and Liz Patterson, both eighteen only a few months apart. Next was me, and the twins; Lu and Su Zhang. Seventeen. But the twins would be eighteen in December. Sixteen year olds were the triplets, and Nina, Quinn, and Alex Wiesel, aka Little Alex or Alex W. Through they would be seventeen next month. Jo Smith was thirteen. Jamie Annes was ten and Lucy Hill was eight. There could be more of us out there but who knows? Our mom does but she has a habit of making sure her kids come here as soon as possible to at least know about her other kids. And to know her to an extent.
“Mindy Flora and Kore Nassar are back,” Liz said from her seat. Maybe they saved more demigods. Maybe I get another sibling or friend. Or it’s another cute little kid who might sign up for the archery class I was teaching. Kids really love to shoot at things.
People were asking questions and shouting. Everyone wanted to know what happened.
A sharp whistle cut through all the noise. I looked towards the source of the sound, Zander Hicks was standing on top of the table where he and the rest of Apollo’s gremlins were sitting.
“Let them eat breakfast before you guys go bugging them!” He yelled.
Mindy yelled a thank you to him.
I watched the pair as they went to the table where Bec was sitting. And Mindy hugged Bobbie. Did they know each other? Or was she simply just greeting zir? A hug did seem like a very Mindy Flora greeting. She’s so happy and bubbly.
“Five bucks says Mindy is going to fuck zir,” Alex W. said.
“Nah. Y’all look at how she lookin’ at zir. Twenty bucks for no banin’.” Mary Lou shook her head.
A screamed pierced the air after they made their bet. I looked at the entrance doors. There stood a black girl. She looked terrified, her eyes glowed golden, she looked like a puppet, and she clawed at her own eyes. Then she screamed again.
“Find the lost goddess
Sibling bonds to break the chains.
The mark burns the home
Free the powerless
The knife will destroy the rule
Four go, one will die”
I looked around the room. Everyone was surprised. An oracle.
The girl fainted. Golden smoke swirled around her.
Mindy Flora rose to her feet. “It appears me and Kore accidently found an Oracle.”
No one spoke. No one even moved.
Apollo appeared above the girl and smiled.
“That is correct, Ms. Flora,” He said. Still no one spoke.
“Now, now. This is not a big deal. Johanna, Zander, my little healers. Would you two take what’s her name to the hospital. Make sure she okay,” Apollo said.
Johanna Ravi and Zander rushed over to help out the strange girl. To help out the Oracle.
“Well then, everyone else go back to your breakfast. It’s almost time for self defense training. Eat a big breakfast because Ares has a fun day for you all.” Apollo looked towards where Mindy Flora and Bobbie were sitting.
I had a bad feeling in my stomach and it wasn’t just because Apollo mentioned training with Ares. Four go, one will die. That line made me worry. I knew everyone here if that line was about anyone here I was scared. I didn’t want anymore people to die. Harry, Garnet, and the Minotaur’s sixteen victims were already too much death.
The Minotaur. No one ever found out who summoned it. But no one can forget it. I lost a sibling, Jamie Barrow. The Apollo kids lost three brothers. Levi Albright, Merlin Grey, and Kane Franks. And then there was Gale Harold and Lucy Brown, daughters of Ares. John Dove, son of Poseidon. Jordan and Percy Mell, children of Meloine. Matilda Smith, daughter of Enyo. Reid Lin, child of Zeus. Ronan Peterson, son of Boreas. Nariko Yoko, daughter of Hebe. Lily Woods, daughter of Eris. Mab Jones and Ezra Nelson, children of Harmonia. Sixteen names no one will ever forget.
So yeah we wanted there to be no more deaths, Hades we wanted there to never be deaths. We were all friends or we knew each other.
Eighteen deaths was way too much for a group of teens and children.
“A new Oracle. Can you believe it?” Nina said.
“It’s amazing,” Mary Lou said.
“It’s scary,” Jamie said.
I nodded. They were both right. With a new oracle the whole world was changing by the second. She could see things that no one else alive could.
I flopped down onto my bed. Ares really did give us a hard time in gym. Who let’s a god teach a self defense class anyway? Ares didn’t even go easy on his own kids. I sometimes wonder why my mom would ever sleep with a man who’s so aggressive and cruel but then I remember all the stories I’ve learned about her. Dear old mom wasn’t so kind in the olden days. I still love her. And of course I remembered my own father, who was far more aggressive and cruel than Ares.
I kicked off my sneakers and let them fall to the ground. Ugh, my room was kinda a mess. It was mostly clothes and shoes I never bothered to pick up after changing. I wondered if the new kid, Bobbie messed up zir room already. I know my first day here I did so.
I had thrown my old clothes and started cutting them up with a pair of scissors that I found . The clothes soon covered the floor and I started to cry. I can’t remember if I was happy or sad. Probably both. I had a new home and I was away from my father. Away from the hell I was living.
A knock came at my door. I jumped from my bed and quickly opened it. Su and Lu were smiling their deviously smiles. I knew what that meant.
“The infirmary is missing a fat and flirty doctor and one of the rooms is locked and you can hear moaning again?”
“Yup. But now we saw both of the Lancaster twins doing extra laps around the building.” Lu said.
“Johanna is fifteen and a cheater. Sounds just like you two.” I smirked.
“Haha, very funny.” Lu said.
“Let’s go. Maybe we can see who he is banging. Juicy gossip.” Su signed.
“Yeah we’ll go. Just let me get my flip flops on.” I bent down and grabbed my only pair of flips flops.
Me and the twins waited inside a room right next to the locked infirmary room. We had been waiting for about twenty minutes now.
Finally the door opened. I covered my mouth to stop myself from gasping. Bec Nassar. Almost fifteen years old and the only child of Hades. The child who killed their own mom five years ago. They once threatened to send zombies after Johanna. Of course that was about two years ago.
“Bec, wait!” Johanna popped out of the room to kiss Bec on the cheek. Bec kissed her on the cheek back.
“I love you. Hopefully I will see you tonight.” Bec said. Aw. That was kinda sweet.
“Bec… I just want to tell people. I want to break up with Lilo.”
“I want you to stay with her. We’re young, have fun. Date more than one person at a time.” Bec said.
“Lilo is my friend, I don’t love her. I only said yes to dating her because I wanted you to get jealous. What am I to you?” Johanna hissed.
“I love you but I can’t be actually with you. I can’t tell you why but trust me. I love you.” Bec said.
“We have this same conversation every single day.”
I looked at Lu and Su. “We don’t tell anyone.” I signed to them. They nodded. This was not what we thought we would see. Especially not Bec Nassar being the one to be with Johanna or the Johanna not really liking Lilo thing.
“I know. I just- I don't know what to do anymore. Johanna, my life is a mess. Has been since I was nine. I just don't want to accidentally hurt you.” Bec started crying.
Johanna wrapped his arms around them. “Listen, I am going to break up with Lilo. I'm gonna send her a text in a second but we don't have to officially start dating. We can keep it a secret until you're ready. Okay?”
“Okay. I’m sorry for all this drama.” Bec said.
“We’re young. Drama happens and Hades, we’re the children of the gods. We’re like drama magnets.” I could hear Johanna taping on his phone.
“I love you, you dork.”
I smiled. They were kinda cute. Johanna was kinda happy go lucky and blunt. Bec was quiet and always seemed so sad. Johanna hid her feelings behind false happiness while Bec couldn’t hide theirs with the shadows that always followed them.
“Damn.” Su signed.
A buzz noise came from Johanna. He frowned. “Code red.” My blood ran cold. Code red was very bad. It meant a death.
Johanna and Bec both ran out of the infirmary.
“Su, Lu. We need to go and see who died. And fast. I want to know if one of our siblings is one.” I said. Dear gods don’t let it be any of my siblings. Or my friends. Or anyone. Please let it be a false alarm.