The Boy from the Book (Nico Di Angelo)

Chapter 1 – Arrival
I sprinted towards the woods as a drakon pursued us. My heart running a marathon, messy black curls flapping behind me wildly and silver chain cuffs clinging.

Man, the things you can do when you need to save your life.

Coach Hedge yelled through his megaphone – “Cupcake! You’ve gotta run! I can keep it down until you get to camp! LUKE, I AM YOUR FATHER!”

Say what, now? Isn’t that from Star Wars?

We’d been through a lot together, and I did not travel halfway across the globe for my satyr to become drakon-meal.

So, I did a crazy thing.

I formulated a plan that had a 90% chance of failure.

But I still retorted – “Coach, I am not leaving without you! Besides, I have a plan.”

Then came the reply – “And we all know how well those work out, don’t we?”

Can no one trust me? Okay, I nearly got us killed…thrice. But still.

Despite the motivational statement, I went – “Well, for once I’ve got a plan that will work. At least, I hope it will.”

Coach Hedge rolled his eyes and grunted.

Okay, let’s put this plan into action.

I spotted all three of the things I needed right away.

I ran in front of the drakon and started taunting it, with insults like – “Hey, butt-face! Where’d you get the skin from? Looks like someone’s lizard shrivelled up and died!”

Well, that worked pretty well. I had all the attention I needed now.

I sprinted towards the tree and quickly scaled it. Using one of the branches as a spring, I managed a perfect backflip onto a rooftop and caught hold of one of the bronze boards there.

Who bronze-plates their roofs? Weirdos.

I screamed out a final insult for all it was worth – “Hey, your face can scare away the whole hill! Let me take care of that for you.”

And I did the stupidest thing in the world.

I jumped, rolled and came up standing.

Right on the creatures’ head.

It started jerking and tossing around, trying to shake me off its back, till I got a hold of myself and used the bronze board to chop it clean off.

The monster exploded into yellow powdery dust.

I started coughing and fanning dust out of my eyes till I tripped. I nearly fell flat on my face.

When I went near the thing which I seemed to have tripped on, I realised with horror that it was the drakons’ head.

I said, reeling with disgust – “Why the hell is that still here?”

Coach Hedge replied, starstruck – “It’s a spoil of war, kid. You defeated that drakon on your own, so it belongs to you. Never seen anyone do that before.”

As I trudged up the hill, I looked over my shoulder and said – “Well, I guess I’m special then. How much further to camp?”

I didn’t know, until that moment, that some people were watching me.

A group of kids in battle armour sprang out of the bushes, combat-ready.

A tall girl at the head of the group, with blond hair approached me with the question – “Well? Where’s that drakon?”

I answered this in a very smart and intellectual way – “I made it explode.”


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