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Authors: Joan Holub,Suzanne Williams

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BOOK: Hephaestus and the Island of Terror
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CHAPTER THREE
Sea Monsters!

A
s Zeus moved to the helm of the ship, he touched the oval stone disk he wore around his neck. “Chip, which way is the Island of Lemnos?” he asked it. Poseidon knew the seas well and was probably going in the right direction, but confirmation from Chip would be good.

An arrow appeared on the stone, pointing north. A tiny voice said, “His-tip ay-wip!”

Chip was another of Zeus’s magical objects. Most of the time, symbols appeared on it when Zeus asked a question. But Chip also spoke his own special language, Chip Latin. It was kind of like Pig Latin, only you moved the first letter of each word to the end of the word and added “ip.”

“Thanks, Chip!” Zeus said. “A little to the left, you guys!” he shouted to Hades and Hera. His brother and sister Olympians shifted the sails just as a wind picked up, sending the ship forward. Fifteen minutes later they caught up to Poseidon.

“Hey, Fishbreath! We’re going to beat you!” Zeus teased.

Poseidon grinned, looking happy and wholly confident as he skimmed across the sea. “You wish! The sea is my element, Thunderboy. When I’m in the water, it’s like my whole
mind opens up. I feel like I can do anything. It’s awesome!”

Zeus had felt that kind of awesome feeling before, when Bolt was in his hand, and the wind and rain of a thunderstorm whipped around him. But that was before he’d battled Crius. Before the awesome feeling had been tainted by evil creeping into his heart. He shuddered, wanting to forget.

Hades ran up to him, holding a basket filled with food. “Hey, I found some bread and sardines in the hull. Think we could borrow them, too?”

Zeus’s stomach rumbled at the mention of food. “Sure. Poseidon can catch more fish to replace that food later. So, yeah, go ahead.”

“Hooray! I’m so hungry, I would eat the shoe off a Crony’s stinky foot!” said Hades.

“Ew!” said several of the girls. However,
they all knew he liked things stinky. In fact, when some of the Olympians had been trapped inside King Cronus’s belly before Zeus had rescued them, Hades had actually been happy down there!

A few minutes later the Olympians were munching bread and sardines as the wind carried the ship to Lemnos. Even Artemis woke up enough to sleep-chew.

Zeus gazed upward. The sky was blue, the air was cool, and his belly was full.

“What a beautiful day. Things are going our way,”
Apollo sing-songed, echoing Zeus’s thoughts.

“Don’t jinx us!” Hera warned.

“Huh?” Apollo said. “There’s no such thing as j—”

“Sea monsters!” Hades cried, jumping up from his seat near the sails. He was right! Two
dragon-like heads had risen from the water by the bow of the ship.

One of the monsters was the turquoise blue of the sea, and the other was emerald green. Instead of ears there were fins on either side of each monster’s head. And their teeth looked big enough and sharp enough to bite the ship in half.

“Monster attack!” Ares yelled, his red eyes blazing. He lifted his spear, poised to throw it.

“Wait! Don’t hurt them!” Poseidon warned. He zipped between the sea monsters and the ship, riding on his trident.

“This ship holds my friends! You must let them pass safely,” he commanded the monsters.

It worked! Recognizing him as the god of the sea, the monsters bowed their heads in awe. “As you wish, Lord Poseidon,” the green monster rumbled in a deep voice.

“Wow. Impressive save, Bro,” Hades called down to him. “We were almost sea-monster food!”

Poseidon shrugged, but he was smiling proudly.

“Let us aid you on your journey,” the turquoise monster offered. “Where are you headed?”

Zeus stepped forward. “To the Island of Lemnos,” he told them.

Both monsters’ dragon-like heads jerked back in alarm, and their fin-ears flapped wildly. “No way!” said Green. “You’re on your own.”

“We apologize, Lord of the Sea. But we are afraid. No one goes to that island,” Turquoise told Poseidon.

“Why?” asked Poseidon.

“Yeah, what’s the matter with the place?” Zeus asked.

“It’s spooky and dangerous. Plus there’s something very, very weird about it. You should stay well away,” Green replied.

“Spooky?” echoed Apollo.

“Dangerous?” echoed Athena.

Demeter leaned over the rail, her eyes wide. “And what do you mean by ‘weird’?” But the two sea monsters sank back into the sea without answering.

“Maybe we should do as they say and turn back,” Hades said with a worried look on his face.

“Turn chicken, you mean?” Hera scoffed as their ship continued to speed over the waves toward the island. “We can’t. This is our quest.”

“Hera’s right,” Zeus agreed. “We’ll have to see for ourselves what’s there.”

“The island may be spooky and weird, but I’m sure it’s nothing to be feared,” added Apollo.

Hera scowled. “There you go, jinxing us again!”

“Not everything I say can be a jinx, can it?” Apollo protested, but the Olympians all looked
worried now. An uneasy silence fell over the ship as they sailed on.

After what seemed like days, they heard Poseidon call out. “Land ho!” Finally!

The nine Olympians on board all rushed to the bow to see an island ahead, shrouded in fog.

“What’s that dark thing looming in the middle of the island?” Hestia wondered aloud.

Others made guesses. “A mountain?”

“A volcano?”

“A Titan?”

And then they heard it:
Boom! Boom! Boom!
“Is that someone—or something—playing the drums?” wondered Athena.

“Oh, good. Maybe the islanders like music,” Apollo said hopefully. As they sailed closer, the sound became clearer.

“I don’t think it’s drums. It sounds like hammers hitting . . . metal,” Ares remarked. Their
ship ran aground about twenty yards from shore.

“There are two rowboats on board,” Zeus said. “Let’s split up and then meet onshore.”

“How will we find one another in that fog?” Hera asked.

“I’ve got Bolt, and Hestia has her flame,” Zeus replied. “We’ll each go in a different boat and flash our lights if we get separated.”

After lowering the boats to the water, Zeus, Hades, Athena, Apollo, and a sleepwalking Artemis climbed into the blue rowboat. Hera, Hestia, Ares, and Demeter took the gray one. Poseidon zipped off toward shore, riding on his trident alongside them.

CHAPTER FOUR
What the Oog?

R
owing to the island seemed to take forever. Zeus could hear Apollo next to him, singing softly. He wondered why the fog was so thick, like a big, white blanket covering the island. He couldn’t even see when their boat hit the shore—he could only feel it.

Bump!

“Bolt, we need light,” said Zeus, holding up his dagger. But nothing happened. The
thunderbolt’s usual glow didn’t come to pierce through the fog. Though he continued to shake Bolt, no light shone from it. “That’s odd,” he said.

Hades and Athena climbed out of the boat after him, and then they helped Apollo with Artemis. “Foggy,” Artemis muttered and then yawned.

“Dark and spooky. I like it,” said Hades. He sniffed the air, his face breaking into a big smile. “It even smells like the Underworld.” Hades was god of that dank place, which lay beneath the earth.

“Ew! You mean the Underworld smells like rotten eggs?” Athena asked, wrinkling her nose in disgust.

“Rotten to you, awesome to me,” Hades replied, and Athena shook her head.

“Since your bolt isn’t working, Hestia’s torch
would be very useful about now,” Apollo remarked.

“Yeah, where is she? And the others?” Zeus asked, looking around as they waited. “Hera? Hestia?” he called out.

There was no answer. Zeus grabbed Chip.

“Chip, take us to the other Olympians,” Zeus said. Like with Bolt, nothing happened.

Before he could try again, Athena shrieked. “Look out!”

Whoosh!
An arrow sliced through the air and whizzed past his ear. Zeus heard it splash into the water behind him. Through the fog three more arrows came at the five Olympians.

“Duck! Run!” Zeus yelled.

“Which one? You’re confusing me!” Hades yelled back as an arrow flew over his head.

“Both!” Zeus cried. “Head to the right! The arrows are coming from the other direction.”

Too panicked to think clearly, Zeus covered his head with his hands and raced into the fog. The four other Olympians were at his heels. After about a hundred yards he stopped, trying to catch his breath. The fog was thinner here and he could see Hades, Athena, Apollo, and Artemis around him. “I guess we’re safe here for now,” he told them.

Just then a line of warriors stepped toward them out of the fog. “Uh-oh,” said Artemis sleepily.

Each held a drawn bow loaded with an arrow pointed right at the Olympians. Bare-chested and bearded, they looked ferocious.

Hades quickly put on his magical object, an invisibility helmet. But it didn’t work. He stayed visible.

“Hey!” Hades complained. “There’s something wrong with my helmet. I should be invisible, but I’m not!”

“Tell me about it,” said Zeus. “Bolt and Chip won’t work either. There’s something about this island . . .”

“Droog-ee-ur-woo-pongs!” barked one of the warriors. At least, that was what it sounded like to Zeus.

“What the ‘oog’ did he say?” Apollo whispered.

“Ponged if I know,” Zeus whispered back.

“Root noog!” a different warrior said.

“Droog themoo!” added another.


The moo?
Do they want us to find them a cow?” Zeus wondered aloud.

“Doubt it. I think they want noodles,” said Hades. “Where are we supposed to get noodles at a time like this?”

“Droog-ee-ur-woo-pongs!” the first warrior repeated impatiently.

Athena’s gray eyes lit up. “No! I think he’s saying ‘Drop your weapons’!”

BOOK: Hephaestus and the Island of Terror
7.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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