Login with:








Your info will not be visible on the site. After logging in for the first time you'll be able to choose your display name.

Tick Tock

Chapter 8

Both Annabeth and Alexia were looking at me as if I was some extraterrestrial creature. Alexia had voiced her question, what am I? The truth is... I don't know. I thought I had been human, but by entering Camp Half Blood, I've proven that I'm not. I died like any other person would have... and then I came back to life... but my wound is gone and in its place is something I've never seen before. "I- I don't know..." I answered honestly, I'm just as shocked as they are. Alexia ran her fingers over the curve of the mark, she traced the circle. In any other circumstance, this would have been awkward, but not now. She seemed so into it, as if tracing the clock's face would unlock some mystery as to why I was able to die and come back.

"Jackson..." Alexia looked up, but her fingers still rested on my chest, "... this is-" The RV jolted to a halt and I kept Alexia upright as her body slammed into mine. She let out a surprised yelp, and we went down together. It felt as if the ground came rushing up to greet me and my back hit it solidly. I heard myself grunt and I laid there, dazed, for a moment. I blinked and felt the world start to spin, hurriedly I closed my eyes. It wouldn't be good if I threw up in the RV.

The next thing I knew, I was laying in bed with Annabeth sitting next to me and repeating my name in a concerned voice. She really was scared for me, I felt terrible. Opening my eyes, I looked up into familiar gray ones and I smiled slightly. "Worrywart." I grinned and struggled to sit up. She helped me by placing a hand between my shoulder blades and pushing me.

"It's hard not to worry when you just died. You're either dying or disappearing, tell me not to worry when you stop doing those things." She retorted, though her tone was not unkind. Her eyes met mine, and I stared back quietly. There was something pleasant in indulging myself in the calmness that resided in her eyes. I could almost feel a tugging sensation in my chest, like my heart was trying to take me somewhere. We stayed like that for a minute before the curtain burst open and the two of us sprang away from each other.

"What are you two lovebirds up to?" I shook my head before looking up at the intruder. It was Alexia, and she was smiling in that knowing way all people smiled when they knew of a secret.

"You shouldn't say that, really. Percy and Annabeth are dating, you know?" I chuckled,

"Yeah, plus, who would ever want to date this guy?" Annabeth added on, crossing her arms and sighing in annoyance. I can't tell if it was directed at me or at Alexia... maybe both.

"Anyways... we're stopping at a breakfast joint in Baton Rouge." At the mention of breakfast, I immediately found myself peeling back the curtains on the window and sure enough, sunlight poured into the room in a steady stream. I'm almost positive that the sky had been dark when I came back from the Underworld. How long have I been out? "You might want to shower and grab a change of clothes from the closet." That was when I noticed everyone had changed out of their clothes and into new ones already. It was just me who was still in my dirty t-shirt and sweats.

"Alright... I'll do that." I sighed and went to the closet. It was surprisingly big, and I suspected it was due to it being magically enhanced like everything else in this RV. Grabbing a long-sleeved hooded shirt and some jeans and boxers -boxers are very essential-, I nudged open the tiny bathroom door and found myself in a rather large bathroom. Again, I sense that some kind of magic was at work here. The bathroom had a hot tub and a shower, along with two sinks and a toilet which had been sectioned off into its own little crystal stall. If I didn't know any better, I would say I was in a five-star hotel's bathroom. Stripping off my shirt, I threw it into the hamper before working on my sweats. Those dropped and I threw them in the hamper as well, just as I was about to take off my boxers, the world started to spin around me. I hurriedly grabbed for the edge of the bath tub, but my hands met with rough tree bark.

The world finally straightened out and I found myself standing in a meadow with only my boxers on. I felt very exposed, but at least it was Summer, the wind was warm and the sun was strong. Though from the looks of the sky, the sun was ready to set. I suddenly realized where I was. I dreamt of this place last time. It was where I saw Annabeth when she was only a kid, but that had only been a dream... hadn't it? I saw a glint and realized it was the reflection of sun off of glass as it moved. Then I noticed a tiny figure running toward me, I instantly knew who it was. Annabeth was huffing and puffing by the time she reached me, and she immediately threw her arms around my midsection. Her face nuzzled my lower stomach, and I could almost feel her happiness radiating off of her in waves. "You're here, Jackson."

"Yeah... I'm here." I placed my hand on top of her blond head. It would have been awkward if I had been thinking about this carefully. Her head was not in an ideal position, though since she's a kid, the thought hadn't really occurred to me. She finally turned her head so her chin rested on my stomach while her bright gray eyes looked up at me.

"You missed the meteor shower, if only you had stayed longer, we could have watched it together." A pout molded her lips, and I smiled, gently running my hands through her curling blond hair. It was free from its ponytail, unlike last time. This girl was so unlike the one sitting back in the RV, the one who held a dagger and knew exactly how to use it.

"I'm sorry about that, I wish I could have stayed with you." The young girl sighed out softly, almost in annoyance. I couldn't help imagining her older self doing the same.

"Then why didn't you?" She demanded, sounding very much like when I had first met her at Camp Half-Blood.

"I can't control when I come and go, silly." I squat down so I was at eye-level with her. "It was a coincidence I was able to come here today." She shook her head,

"Nuh-uh. You told me exactly when you would be coming, Jackson." Her hands were now pressed against my shoulders, I could feel her tiny hands digging in. I raised an eyebrow to look at her,

"Did I now?" She nodded ,

"But you had a scruffy face." She ran her palm over my smooth cheek and giggled, "Not like now." I took the hand rubbing my cheek and kissed the palm of it in an affectionate gesture. If this is all real, and I'm not dreaming, then... does it mean in the future I came back to tell her of my arrivals? Does that mean... I'm able to time travel? That's not possible though... time travel's impossible. Plus, anything I did in the past would screw up my present and future wouldn't it? Then I realized something... maybe that's why Annabeth's so deathly worried about me. What she said suddenly came to mind.

"It's hard not to worry when you just died. You're either dying or disappearing, tell me not to worry when you stop doing those things."

Disappearing, does she mean me disappearing in time? The thought of being able to time travel was making my head spin. I looked at Annabeth and she was looking downward, trying her best to hide her flaring cheeks. Even at such a young age, she probably understood what an intimate gesture that was. She's a smart girl. I probably shouldn't have done it, but it had been so natural, I didn't think much of it.

"Annabeth." She looked up at me, her eyes expectant and innocent. "As long as you call for me, I'll always come." I smiled and she smiled as well, suddenly pulling away from me. She ran a little ways away and I could see her lips forming my name, and I ran to her, scooping her off the ground and her laughter filled the meadow as I swung her around. These were things I'd never do with the older Annabeth, but as of this moment, I couldn't help myself. She was so innocent and free from all the darkness of the world, I just want to preserve that young gleam in her eyes. I swung her around until we were both breathless from laughter and we laid down on the grass. The sky was rapidly darkening overhead, and I suddenly felt short arms wrapping around my torso. I placed an arm around her shoulders,

"Jackson..." I felt something tugging at me, it felt like my heart was tugging me. Then the world started to waver a little bit, tilting to one side then the other. It's almost time to go back.

"I have to go..."

"No! Jackson don't leave! Don't leave!" She cried, but the world was starting to spin again,

"I'm sorry, I have to go now!" I felt something pressed into my hand before the world became a blur of colours and sounds. There was one piercing sound that tore my heart to pieces in that instant,


I found myself on the tiled bathroom floor, shivering as the cold crept into my skin. It had all been a dream after all. I closed my eyes for a moment. I could still feel the heat from her tiny body and the press of her hands against my shoulders. It felt so real, and yet it was a dream. Standing up, I stretched out my limbs and realized I had been holding something. A pink ribbon with a single bell in the middle. Could I have grabbed something from the past? Horror struck me, that wasn't a dream, was it? Now I've brought something from the past... oh I am so screwed. What if I walk outside and it's suddenly raining pigs? Oh Gods... this isn't good. I quickly took a shower and changed before heading out of the bathroom, grabbing the pink ribbon in the process.

Nothing was different though, nothing noteworthy anyway. A look outside confirmed that there were no raining pigs, cats, dogs, or animal of any kind. I sighed and tied the pink ribbon to my left wrist before letting my sleeve slip down to hide it. Yeah, a 17 year old guy with a pink ribbon around his wrist isn't weird at all. I walked out of the RV to meet up with Percy and Annabeth. They were leaning against each other, shoulder to shoulder, and talking softly with their hands clasped together. I watched them for a couple of moments, I wonder why I'm only meeting Annabeth and no one else when I have these... "flashbacks". I don't want to admit I can travel back in time yet, that's just too weird at the moment. I reached up to brush my hair out of my eyes and the bell on my wrist rang which caused Annabeth to look back. Her eyes landed on the strip of pink ribbon tied around my wrist, and I think she bit her lip before turning away. It was all too quick, I think I might have just imagined it. "Ready to go?" Percy asked, reaching back to brush his black hair.

"Yeah." I replied, smiling before we entered the breakfast joint together.

Max and Alexia were already at a booth beside the window. We walked toward them, and all of a sudden I tripped over something. A steady hand grabbed my arm, and I looked up to find myself staring into golden brown eyes. A hooded man with a scruffy face was looking at me, his eyes wide. My lips parted to murmur a thanks, but I heard him whisper, "Watch."

"What?" I was confused, but I heard Max calling my name from the booth as Percy and Annabeth slid in beside them. I looked up at them and pulled my arm away from the strange man. There was something hauntingly familiar about him though, but I decided to shrug it off. It's time for breakfast, not the time to ponder the meaning of life.

Sitting down next to Max, I picked the menu in front of me and glanced at the items. A waitress came over and poured the new arrivals a fresh cup of coffee before pulling out her notepad and pen and asking with a heavy southern accent what they wanted. "Bacon and eggs with hash and pancakes." Percy immediately said and slid the menu to the edge of the table.

"Steak and eggs -over easy- and hash with pancakes, please." I placed my menu carefully at the edge of the table. Annabeth rolled her eyes with a smile,

"Pancakes with fruit on the side." Percy and I rolled our eyes at her just as she did to us,

"Girls." We said at the same time, and grinned at each other.

"Well, I'm sorry my stomach's not a bottomless food pit like your guys'" She smiled and added cream and sugar to her coffee. I glanced over to find Max reading the local newspaper and Alexia was busy cutting her pancakes into bite-sized portions before dunking them in a small pool of syrup on the side and eating it. Syrup... I miss home. Maple syrup... I still remember my dad's friend in Montreal drizzling hot maple syrup onto a block of ice and we could scoop it up with sticks before eating it. It was like the Canadian version of toffee. I miss burying my hands in snow and throwing snowballs at people. Alexia seemed to notice me staring at her and a slender eyebrow arched.


"Uh... nothing..." I replied, smiling and looking away.

Moments later our food came, and the smell alone made my mouth flood with saliva. Oh man, I was really hungry. I just cut into my food and started eating, I don't mind the scorching heat as I wolfed my food down. I sat back when I was finished, satisfied, but not quite. "You know what I'm thinking?" Percy asked, pushing away his empty plate.

"Pie!" We both said at the same time, grinning once more. We were on the same page when it came to food. The bell around my wrist suddenly rang by itself, and I was startled, but no one else seemed to notice. I hadn't moved my left hand at all, what was going on? It rung again, it was a slow, steady beat, nothing peculiar except to the person who had it on. I could feel the bell straining, and I winced as the ribbon grew tighter around my wrist. It was cutting off my circulation. Then the wall from the kitchen exploded. All the tension suddenly eased and everyone screamed. Percy immediately uncapped his pen and his trusty sword sprang forth. Annabeth pulled out her dagger, Alexia pulled out a short sword, and Max yanked off his cross necklace which grew into a bow. Then there was me. I grabbed the steak knife off the table and everyone at our table hurried out of the booth to stand in the walkway. Everyone was dead serious now.

I saw feathers for a second before the dust suddenly cleared and a feathered lady was standing on top of the counter. Two creatures languidly strolled in from behind. One leapt onto the counter as well and opened its mouth. I felt a hand on my shoulder and I found myself being pulled to the ground as fire swept overhead. "What the f-"

"Um... long story short. Harpy, chimera, manticore." It was Max's voice. Okay... I've seen enough Yu-Gi-Oh to know that harpies are winged ladies. Chimeras should be a random mix of animals, that should be the fire breathing one. So that means the manticore is the sphinx-looking thing. With a nod, I got off the ground and brandished my steak knife. "That's not gonna be much help. You need a weapon made of magic or enchanted metal to hurt them." I heard Max say as he jumped onto the table and reached back into the air, but as he drew back, a beam of light appeared in the center of the bow. It was an arrow made out of light. He shot the beam at the monsters, the harpy raised an arm and flapped, stirring the air. The arrow wasn't deterred and stuck in the harpy's shoulder, causing an angry screech to be heard. The harpy went after Max and Alexia shot out of her position to plunge her blade into the creature's side.

"Jackson!" I rolled out of the way as fire scorched the place I had been only a few seconds ago.

"Holy sh-" I saw Percy fend off the manticore as it tried to sink its teeth into his shoulder. I gasped and hid in another booth. So much for being useful, stupid... why didn't I grab a weapon when I walked out of the RV? I suddenly felt a hard throb in my front pocket and reached in. I don't remember putting the watch in my pocket, but it's there for some reason. It's not gonna be much help in this case though, I don't need this stupid watch right now. I need a weapon... I glanced out of the booth and saw Annabeth dodging a strike from the chimera's tail, the snake. She needs my help, but I have nothing. I felt something tug in the recesses of my mind,

"The watch."

The watch... I looked at the bronze cover of the watch and frowned. Can it be...? Is this a weapon? I thought of Percy's pen, it looked pretty harmless too, but it was actually a deadly sword, Riptide. What about mine? I gripped the cover hard and scowled. If there's going to be a clue, then it's gotta be inside. Maybe that Greek word will tell me. Come on... I need a weapon! I pressed the clasp and suddenly a blade shot out. It looked silver for a moment, but then it caught the light and looked bronze. Whatever, it's a weapon. Maybe there's celestial silver or something, I don't know.

I stood up and leapt at the chimera. Its back was turned to me, perfect opportunity. The snake wasn't even paying attention. I swung at the beast, but the stupid bell on my wrist had to ring and the snake suddenly turned to face me. Aw crap. It struck, but before its fangs connected I was knocked to the side. A yelp was heard, but now was the time to strike back! I brandished my sword and swung down, plunging my blade into the chimera's soft side, right into its heart. The creature writhed and collapsed, twitching until it bled out and laid there, unmoving. Panting, I finally turned around to look at my saviour. It was Alexia, she was lying on the ground with nasty teeth mark on her shoulder. My heart dropped all of a sudden, the punctures were turning an ugly green-gray colour. The snake was poisonous. Alexia's face was slowly draining of all colour, and the sound of everyone screaming suddenly became a very distant thing. Oh God... Alexia's poisoned. Her dark eyes opened and they were staring at me, a brief smile graced her lips. They formed a single word.

"Safe." Then she closed her eyes.

"No no no, wake up, don't sleep. We'll get you help." I noticed her lips were turning purple like she was too cold. "Alexia... Alexia!" I shook her, but she wasn't responding. Her chest still rose up and down, but that was all that indicated she was alive. I felt someone behind me, but I knew who it was without having to turn. "Take care of her... I'll be back." I whispered and Annabeth came to rest beside me. I picked up my silvery-bronze blade and walked toward the manticore who was so busy fighting Percy. It swiped at him, but he deflected it with Riptide. "HEY! FACE ME!" I yelled at the creature, and it turned, its eyes vicious. I felt my vision focusing sharply on the monster, everything else didn't matter now. My grip on my blade's hilt tightened and I sprang forward, my blade plunging into the monster's mouth as it swiped and caught me across the cheek, but I didn't care. The pain is nothing, nothing compared to the agony that Alexia must feel as the poison courses through her body. A very human cry could be heard as the creature slumped to the ground and I glared at the feathers on the counter.

A hand was pressed against my back, it was Percy. "Hey, what was that? Are you trying to get yourself killed?" I scowled at the ground now,

"Alexia... she's... she might die because of me..." My voice grew quiet as we approached the girls. Max was kneeling beside his sister, holding her hand and pressing it to his cheek.

"Please... no... not Alexia..." Max repeated this over and over again and Annabeth looked up at us. Her eyes widened at the sight of my cheek, but I said nothing. A deep hatred was slowly unfurling inside of my chest, and I could almost hear a cold voice inside my head encouraging it, egging it on as it continues to seep through me.

"She has three days at the most, and if we don't get the cure by then..."

"She'll die..." I finished her sentence and closed my eyes, feeling hatred bubbling up from the cracks of my psyche. Everyone looked grim, I don't think Max was even listening.

"What's the cure?" Percy asked, glancing toward Annabeth.

"The sap from a flower found in the Fields of Asphodel." She sighed, "But to set foot on the ground past the gate..."

"Means we can't come back to the mortal world." I finished her sentence once again. She looked stunned that I knew, then she seemed to remember that I had been dead just hours before.

"So what do we do? Do we grab the pearl, or do we go to the underworld?" Percy asked, clearly conflicted, as was I.

"I know where the pearl is." The two of them looked at me, clearly shocked that I had an idea of where the pearl was.


"Pet shop." I replied and picked up the feather on the counter. It immediately crumbled to dust between my fingers. "We'll grab that, and then we'll figure out how to get the flower after. This won't take very long." I gripped my weapon tightly, so tightly that my knuckles turned white and the hilt dug into my palm. Annabeth placed a hand on my shoulder, strangely reminiscent of her tiny hands.

"You shouldn't fight, not when you're angry."

"And why not?!" I demanded, and she looked stunned by my tone.

"Because..." She reached up and touched my bleeding cheeks. It stung where her fingers brushed the cuts, but I didn't care. "... you'll kill yourself. Then what?" I frowned and grabbed her hand, pulling it away from my face.

"I've come back from the dead once, I can do it again." I walked out of the restaurant with my blade, not caring about anything but getting that pearl and then getting to the Underworld in order to grab the flower. I nearly jumped out of my skin when I felt a tap on my shoulder.

"You're not going alone." It was Percy, "I'm coming with you."

"Don't fall behind."

"You know I would never fall behind." Percy smiled and we pushed open the door to the pet shop. It was eerily quiet, even the animals inside the shop appeared tense. "Jackson, the animals-"

"Yeah. We're definitely in the right place." I could feel the bell burning against my skin and ringing softly, I realized why Annabeth had it now. It was to warn of monsters, it must have been a gift from her mother. I should give it back to young Annabeth as soon as I can.

We gave each other a look and walked toward the backroom door. Pushing past it, he glanced around, we were in a warehouse. It was huge. "Five bucks says we meet a boss monster here." Percy grinned, and I chuckled.

"Deal." My blade glowed faintly in the dimly lit room. If I strained my ears I could hear scuffling and growls, like caged animals were here. In the center of all the rows of boxes and cages, I found one large cage with a glowing sphere set on the top of it. There were scratches all along the edges, and I walked up to the cage. "This is too easy, isn't it?" I plucked the aqua pearl from its socket and placed it in my pocket.

"Jackson, no!" No? What is he talking about? A terrible creaking was heard and I felt my nerves tingle with danger. I jumped away from the cage as it burst open and a seven-headed creature loomed above us. It grew larger and larger until its heads nearly brushed the top of the warehouse. I stared up at it with my mouth open in awe. Its scales were blue then green, and then blue again as light hit it at different angles. Evil, crimson eyes leered at us from above and its mouth was gaping open with rows of sharp teeth. The head in the center raised its head and bellowed out, it was something between a screech and a roar. I heard something that sounded eerily like a dog running... but it was like many dogs running at once. I found out why in the next moment. Chimeras, manticores, and even harpies encircled us.

"Oh... fudge cakes..." I cursed.


Another chapter! I have no life, but lucky for you people, that means the story gets updated faster.

Keep commenting guys (and girls), it encourages me to keep posting. I actually don't know where this story is going to end up, so I need all the encouragement I can get right now.

As always, rate and subscribe if you like it.



Lol first story on the site!

Chelsea_Delos Chelsea_Delos
Really sorry about not updating the story. I've been really busy, but I'll try to get a new chapter up by the end of the week! I may not update as often after that since school starts in a week (ugh...) but be patient, I know how the chapter's gonna look, I just haven't gotten it down on digital paper yet!
Cookies Cookies


It varies. Sometimes I'll update a few times a week, sometimes I'll update once a month. It depends on when inspiration hits me. I'm going to try to update at least once a week though.
Cookies Cookies
Just wondering, but how often do you update?