The Forbidden Child

I blew out the candles as my family clapped and cheered. “Happy Birthday Paisley!” said my mother. The feather that hung from her hair tickled my cheek as she gave me a kiss on the forehead. The Cherokee tribe had started to dance to the music.

All of a sudden the ground began to shake, interrupting the celebration. Thump, thump, thump, each sound as loud as a scream in the mountains. Grandpa always told me not to scream in the mountains, otherwise an avalanche would roll down the mountain and bury us all. A pine tree fell down from outside of the field. I looked into the distance to see a man, a tall man. He was ripping the trees out of the ground one by one.

“What’s going on?” I ask.  My mother stood up worried and took my hand.

“You’re going to go back to the house with grandpa and grab all your stuff. Then you’ll wait on the porch for me. Okay, Paisley?”

My eyes started to water, “I’m scared mommy.”

She cupped my cheek with her hand, “It’s going to be fine.” She smiled and told grandpa what to do. “Go with Paisley to the house and get ready to run.” She tried to say it quietly but I could still hear her.

“Piper, I don’t think it’s a good idea to go out there by yourself. You haven’t done this sort of thing in years.” Grandpa had a worried look on his face.

“Dad, everything will be fine. I’ll run to the house if anything happens.” She kissed grandpa and me on the cheek and headed towards the man. Grandpa and I lingered on mommy running for a while.

“Come on Paisley, let’s go home.”

I put my stuffed monkey, Mr. Snuggles, an energy bar, and mom’s favorite feather in my backpack. Then I ran downstairs to meet grandpa on the porch like mom said. We waited for a few hours until she finally came running back. Out of breath, she said to grandpa, “Take her to the Camp, it’s too dangerous here. I should have raised her there like her father said…” my mom realized that she shouldn’t have said that right as she was saying it. I looked at her with wide eyes, “My what-”

“Grandpa is going to drop you off at your aunt and uncle’s house. And I’ll meet you there tonight okay?” She ran up to me and bent down to kiss my forehead again. I looked at her, my calm, kind, innocent mother. Or so I thought at the time. Grandpa once told me that I was the reason she was like this, peaceful. He had said that I made the worry lines on her forehead disappear. But as she talked to me just now, three deep wrinkles had appeared on her forehead.

I just nodded and gave her one last hug before grandpa took my hand and lead me to the truck. Mommy went to the porch and lifted up a wooden floorboard. She reached down inside, more than half of her arm in the hole.

I got into the truck and buckled myself. Curiously, I pressed my fingers and mouth up against the window to see what mommy was doing. I gasped.

She pulled out is something I would have never thought I would see  in my mother’s hands,

a sharp, glistening knife with a leather bound handel. She held it comfortably, like it was a familiar feeling to hold a weapon. My mom proceeded to close the floorboard and then sprinted to where the giant lay. I was scared out of my mind, scared about my mother holding a knife, scared about leaving my home in Oklahoma. And I was  scared that I would never see my mother again.

But as she ran out of sight, I replaced my fear with reassurance. ‘Life will only become negative if you think negative.’ At least that’s what aunt Annabeth says.

“Paisley wake up, we’re here.” Grandpa lightly shook my shoulder. I rubbed my tired eyes and slid out of the truck. I’ve only been to Camp Half-Blood about five times my entire life. And mommy refused to tell me what the camp was for.

“Good to see you Percy,” says grandpa from behind me. I turned around to see uncle Percy and aunt Annabeth hugging grandpa. When they finished hugging grandpa, they turned towards me and hugged me too. “Why don’t you guys drop off your stuff in the Big House, and then come join us for lunch? We were just about to have some anyway,” asked Annabeth.

“Sounds good to me,” grandpa smiled, took the big bags and started to walk towards the Big House.

Later that night, we all sat on the porch of the Big House. Waiting for mommy to come back, even though I had lost hope about an hour ago. Grandpa had gotten tired and gone to sleep and Percy and Annabeth had gone inside to get snacks.

Campers walked by, talking, sword fighting, holding hands. I ignored them all until this one camper walked by the Big House. She looked concerned when she saw me and said,“Hey there, what’re you doing out here all alone?” she asked as  she looked around. “Where are your parents?”

“My mom is away, but my grandpa and my aunt and uncle are inside,” I said shyly pointing toward the door.

“Clarisse, get away from my niece.” Uncle Percy said, standing with Annabeth in the doorway. A cold stare was plastered on their faces.

“What makes you think you can talk to Paisley, after what your dad did to Piper?” Annabeth said, walking up to Clarisse and giving her a prod in the chest.

“How was I supposed to know she was yours! Be mad at my dad not-”

“Don’t worry Clarisse, you don’t need to defend yourself.” A man was now lowering himself down from the sky, surrounded by a bright red haze.

“Ares,” said Percy.

He was wearing a full suit of armor and a spear at his side. He was tan like me and had black curly hair, also like mine, with huge muscles. The man looked quite familiar, yet I didn’t know why. But the part that struck me most was that he was holding my unconscious mother in his arms. “I think everyone can agree that I am the cause of what happened to Piper. So there is no reason for you two to be fighting,” he set my mom in an armchair and then looked at me. “Hello Paisley.” I didn’t answer. All I did is hide behind Percy. He smiled, hiding his disappointment. “You’ll find out soon enough who I am. Maybe then you’ll be ready to talk.” He took one more look at mommy. “Let’s not tell her that I was here, kay?” He smiled and vanished in a poof of red smoke.