The sound of my cousin knocking on my door finally woke me up.
“Go away!” I yelled at him, throwing a random rock at the door. Getting up from my bed, I slipped on a pair of black leggings, a neon orange T-shirt, a sleeveless black leather jacket, and orange high tops. I put up my black hair in ponytail braid with a neon orange hairtie and slung my bag over one shoulder, then flung the door open.
Carter was still standing there.
“What part of go away do you not understand?” I asked him, raising an eyebrow.
“Um… sorry?” he answered questioningly. “Anyway, I was told that you wanted me and Lotus for something.” Carter glanced next to him and I saw Lotus standing to the side, glaring at Carter.
Lotus threw a rock at Carter. “And I can tell her myself that I’m here, thank you very much,” she told him. She put her ash blonde hair up in a high ponytail and added, “Hi, Vic. What do you need us for?”
“Okay, so, long story short, there’s a quest. And I’m supposed to choose three girls and three guys to come with me. I figured that you two would be good for the quest, but I also have no idea who else to take. Any ideas?”
Lotus tilted her head back and thought about it. “Maybe… maybe Savannah? She’s good at fighting and survival, so she could help with any self-defense.”
“All right,” I agreed, grabbing a notepad. I made a column for girls and a column for boys and wrote Vic Lawrence, Lotus Smith, and Savannah Starstruck in the girls’ column, the wrote Carter Lawrence in the boys’ column. “Who else do you think? Oh, maybe Delly. She’s good with hunting.” I added Delly Meinheart to the girls’ column. “Okay, now we just need two more boys.”
“How about Wyatt?” asked Carter. “He’s good with survival.”
I nodded in agreement and added Wyatt Woods to the boys’ column. “Oh, and Savannah’s twin, Taylor. He’s good at navigation.” I added Taylor Starstruck to the boys’ column, then breathed out a sigh of relief because the list was complete.
“Great,” Lotus said, “the list is finished. Now, let’s get ready for the quest and get the others. Carter, you go round them up.”
Carter nodded and sprinted off in the direction of the other huts without looking back.
I gestured for Lotus to come inside and we headed to the loose floorboard. We pried it up and coughed as the dust flew up into our faces. Once the dust cleared, we removed a box of bows and arrows and knives. Then we took out a bunch of sacks so people could have somewhere to put their weapons and stuff. We also found a bunch of water bottles that would magically keep liquid at whatever temperature the user prefers. They were pretty awesome water bottles, in my opinion.
Lotus grabbed a box of matches. “Just in case,” she told me, slipping it into her bag. “We might need it.”
A knock came from the door.
“Come in!” I called, not turning around yet; the door opened, letting Savannah and Taylor in.
“Hey,” Savannah said, plopping down on the ground next to Lotus. She had a sword in hand and a double headed battleaxe strapped to her back. Her caramel- colored hair was in two boxer braids down her back, and she didn’t seem to mind that it wasn’t brushed.
Taylor sat down next to her and said, “Hi. What’s going on?” He had the same hair color, pale green eyes, and freckles as Savannah, but that was where the similarities stopped. Instead of looking ready for battle, he looked more like he was about to hike the Appalachian Trail. He wore clothes for hiking, he had a hiking backpack filled with hiking gear, and also stuff for hunting.
Just then, my gay cousin came back with Wyatt and Delly. He blushed the instant he saw Taylor and turned his face away to hide it.
Rolling my eyes, I thought Great, just great. We’ll have to worry about feelings, too. How fun. And no, I do not have a problem with people being LGBT+. I’m lesbian, so it’s not exactly like I can be homophobic. I just don’t want to have to worry about how people might act if their crushes die on the quest. Speaking of the quest… . “Okay, so, there’s gonna be a quest thingy. Here’re the lines of the prophecy,” I told them, then recited what the Oracle had said.
The others stared at me with a mixture of excitement and fear on their faces. I didn’t blame them for the fear. This quest was going to be really dangerous, after all.
“So…” Delly finally said, “we don’t know what a lot of this means - which sucks - but we do know that we need to, uh, go west to save a village. You’ll be leading us to find the songs Olympus lacks, whatever that means. And there’s also a beast in some cave pretty far east, and we have to kill it by uniting some stars. That sounds… not that easy.”
“Really?” Lotus asked with mock shock. “Are you sure? That sounds entirely unlikely. Where could you have ever gotten that idea?” She looked at me and rolled her eyes.
I gave her a warning glance and turned back to Delly. “Yeah, it probably won’t be that easy, and there are some things we don’t know. But we’ll figure it out allong the way, don’t worry. We’ll get through this - this quest, whatever it is. So don’t worry about not knowing things. That’s not our main concern yet. What we should worry about, though, is how we plan to get to around, how we plan to stay alive, and other things like that. So, any ideas?”
Carter raised his hand, so I nodded in his direction. He said, “So… for the getting around part, we could go on foot? Or maybe find some horses? Or Vic or I could try building some sort of vehicle.” When he finished stating his idea, he glanced at Taylor to see if he approved. Fortunately for him, Taylor was nodding along.
Savannah’s hand subconsciously reached up to her battleaxe. “For survival, we’ll need to hunt and gather food for, well, eating, and bring water for drinking, along with iodine pills to purify water. We’ll also need to find a good place each night to set up camp; make sure the area is okay and anybody trying to stop us wouldn’t try to find us there. Oh, and we’ll need to dress accordingly to the weather. I probably shouldn’t say much else, because the gods tend to change things up a lot, and it would be a bad idea to bring too many things we won’t end up using.”
“Got it,” I said. “All right, guys, pack your stuff, and we’ll meet up by the gates and leave.”