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If he died without male offspring, his younger brother, Proteus, would take over the kingdom, and the two of them hated each other. No matter how much you think your life sucks, these guys and gals had it worse. He doesn't get damned to eternal punishment. The Fates would snip your lifeline. It's weird being alone with a teacher, especially M r s.
Automatyczne logowanie. Introduction Look, I'm only in this for the pizza. The publisher was like, 'Oh, you did such a great job writing about the Greek gods last year! We want you to write another book about the Ancient Greek heroes!
It'll be so cool! It's hard enough for me to read books. I sold out. I guess it's cool. If you're looking to fight monsters yourself, these stories might help you avoid some common mistakes - like staring Medusa in the face, or buying a used mattress from any dude named Crusty.
But the best reason to read about the old Greek heroes is to make yourself feel better. No matter how much you think your life sucks, these guys and gals had it worse. They totally got the short end of the Celestial stick. By the way, if you don't know me, my name is Percy Jackson. I'm a modern-day demigod - the son of Poseidon.
I've had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I'm going to tell you about were the original old-school hard-luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. Let's pick twelve of them. That should be plenty. By the time you finish reading about how miserable their lives were - what with the poisonings, the betrayals, the mutilations, the murders, the psychopathic family members and the flesh-eating barnyard animals - you should feel better about your own existence.
If that doesn't work, then I don't know what will. So get your flaming spear.
Put on your lion-skin cape. Polish your shield and make sure you've got arrows in your quiver. We're going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we'll die painful tragic deaths. Let's do this. Perseus Wants a Hug I had to start with this guy. After all, he's my namesake. We've got different godly fathers, but my mom liked Perseus's story for one simple reason: Perseus doesn't get hacked to pieces.
He doesn't get damned to eternal punishment. As far as heroes go, this dude gets a happy ending. Which is not to say that his life didn't suck. And he did murder a lot of people, but what are you gonna do? Perseus's bad luck started before he was even born. First, you gotta understand that, back in the day, Greece wasn't one country. It was divided into a gazillion different little kingdoms.
Nobody went around saying 'Hi, I'm Greek!
Athens, Thebes, Sparta, Zeusville or whatever. The Greek mainland was a huge piece of real estate. Every city had its own king. Sprinkled around the Mediterranean Sea were hundreds of islands, and each one of them was a separate kingdom, too. Imagine if life were like that today. Maybe you live in Manhattan. Your local king would have his own army, his own taxes, his own rules. If you broke the law in Manhattan, you could run away to Hackensack, New Jersey. The king of Hackensack could grant you asylum, and Manhattan couldn't do anything about it unless, of course, the two kings became allies, in which case you were toast.
Cities would be attacking each other all the time. The king of Brooklyn might decide to go to war with Staten Island. Or the Bronx and Greenwich, Connecticut, might form a military alliance and invade Harlem. You can see how that would make life interesting. Anyway, one city on the Greek mainland was called Argos.
It wasn't the biggest or most powerful city, but it was a respectable size. Folks who lived there called themselves the Argives, probably because 'Argosites' would've made them sound like some kind of bacteria. The king was named Acrisius. He was a nasty piece of work. If he were your king, you would totally want to run away to Hackensack. Acrisius had a beautiful daughter named Danae, but that wasn't good enough for him. Back then it was all about sons. You had to have a boy child to carry on the family name, inherit the kingdom when you died, blah, blah, blah.
Why couldn't a girl take over the kingdom? I dunno. It's stupid, but that's how it was. Acrisius kept yelling at his wife, 'Have sons! I want sons! When his wife died probably from stress , the king started getting really nervous. If he died without male offspring, his younger brother, Proteus, would take over the kingdom, and the two of them hated each other.
In desperation, Acrisius took a trip to the Oracle of Delphi to get his fortune read. Now, going to the Oracle is usually what we call a bad idea. You had to take a long trip to the city of Delphi and visit this dark cave at the edge of town, where a veiled lady sat on a three-legged stool, inhaling volcanic vapour all day and seeing visions. You would leave an expensive offering with the priests at the door.
Then you could ask the Oracle one question. Most likely she'd answer you with some rambling riddle. Then you'd leave confused, terrified and poorer. But, like I said, Acrisius was desperate. He asked, 'O Oracle, what's the deal with my not having any sons? Who's supposed to take the throne and carry on the family name?
One day your daughter Danae will have a son. That boy will kill you and become the next king of Argos. Thank you for your offering. Have a nice day. When he got to the palace, his daughter came to see him. What did the Oracle say? Many men had asked to marry her. Now all Acrisius could think about was the prophecy.
He could never allow Danae to marry. She could never have a son. She wasn't his daughter any more. She was his death sentence.
You will see me murdered! She always tried to be kind and considerate. She loved her dad, even though he was scary and angry and liked to hunt peasants in the woods with a spear and a pack of rabid dogs. Danae always made the appropriate sacrifices to the gods.
She said her prayers, ate her vegetables and did all her homework. Why was her dad suddenly convinced she was a traitor? She got no answers. The guards took her away and locked her in the king's maximum-security underground cell - a broom-closet-sized room with a toilet, a stone slab for a bed and twelve-inch-thick bronze walls.
One heavily grated air shaft in the ceiling allowed Danae to breathe and get a little light, but on hot days the bronze cell heated up like a boiling kettle. The triple-locked door had no window, just a small slot at the bottom for a food tray.
King Acrisius kept the only key, because he didn't trust the guards. Each day, Danae got two dry biscuits and a glass of water.
No yard time. No visitors. No Internet privileges. Maybe you're wondering: Well, my evil-thinking friend, the gods took family murders very seriously which is weird, since the gods basically invented family murders.
If you killed your own child, Hades would make sure you got a special punishment in the Underworld. The Furies would come after you. The Fates would snip your lifeline. Some major bad karma would mess up your day. However, if your child just 'accidentally' expired in an underground bronze cell ,,, that wasn't strictly murder. That was more like Oops, how did that happen? For months, Danae languished in her underground cell.
There wasn't much to do except make little dough dolls out of biscuits and water, or talk to Mr Toilet, so she spent most of her time praying to the gods for help. Maybe she got their attention because she was so nice, or because she had always made offerings at the temples. N o — h e didn't expect me to be as good; he expected me to be better.
A n d I just couldn't learn all those names and facts, m u c h less spell them correctly. I m u m b l e d something about trying harder, while M r. Brunner t o o k one long sad look at the stele, like he'd been at this girl's funeral.
He told me to go outside and eat my lunch. T h e class gathered on the front steps of the museum, where we could watch the foot traffic along Fifth Avenue. Overhead, a huge s t o r m was brewing, with clouds blacker than I'd ever seen over the city.
I figured maybe it was global warming or something, because the weather all across N e w York state had been weird since Christmas. We'd had massive snow storms, flooding, wildfires from lightning strikes.
I wouldn't have been surprised if this was a hurri- cane blowing in. N o b o d y else seemed to notice. S o m e of the guys were pelting pigeons with Lunchables crackers. N a n c y Bobofit was trying to pickpocket something from a lady's purse, and, of course, M r s. D o d d s wasn't seeing a thing. Grover and I sat on the edge of the fountain, away from the others. We thought that maybe if we did that, everybody wouldn't know we were from that s c h o o l — t h e school for loser freaks w h o couldn't make it elsewhere.
I just wish he'd lay off me sometimes. T h e n , when I thought he was going to give me some deep philosophical c o m m e n t to make me feel better, he said, "Can I have your apple? I watched the stream of cabs going d o w n Fifth Avenue, and thought about my mom's apartment, only a little ways u p t o w n from where we sat.
I hadn't seen her since Christmas. She'd hug me and be glad to see me, but she'd be disappointed, too. She'd send me right back to Yancy, remind me that I had to try harder, even if this was my sixth school in six years and I was probably going to be kicked out again. I wouldn't be able to stand that sad look she'd give me. Brunner parked his wheelchair at the base of the handicapped ramp. He ate celery while he read a paperback novel.
I was about to unwrap my sandwich when N a n c y Bobofit appeared in front of me with her ugly friends—I guess she'd gotten tired of stealing from the t o u r i s t s — a n d d u m p e d her half-eaten lunch in Grover's lap. H e r freckles were orange, as if somebody had spray-painted her face with liquid Cheetos.
I tried to stay cool. T h e school counselor had told me a million times, " C o u n t to ten, get control of your temper. A wave roared in my ears.
I don't remember touching her, but the next thing I knew, N a n c y was sitting on her butt in the fountain, screaming, "Percy pushed me! D o d d s materialized next to us. S o m e of the kids were whispering: AU I knew was that I was in trouble again.
D o d d s was sure p o o r little N a n c y was okay, promising to get her a new shirt at the m u s e u m gift shop, etc. T h e r e was a tri- u m p h a n t fire in her eyes, as if I'd done something she'd been waiting for all semester.
I pushed her. I couldn't believe he was trying to cover for me. D o d d s scared Grover to death. She glared at h i m so hard his whiskery chin trembled. Underwood," she said. I gave her my deluxe I'll-kill-you-later stare. D o d d s , but she wasn't there. She was standing at the m u s e u m entrance, way at the t o p of the steps, gesturing impatiently at me to come on.
H o w ' d she get there so fast? T h e school counselor told me this was part of the A D H D , my brain misinterpreting things. I wasn't so sure. I went after M r s. Halfway up the steps, I glanced back at Grover. He was looking pale, cutting his eyes between me and M r.
Brunner, like he wanted M r. Brunner to notice what was going on, but M r. Brunner was absorbed in his novel. I looked back up. D o d d s had disappeared again. She was now inside the building, at the end of the entrance hall. Okay, I thought. She's going to make me buy a new shirt for N a n c y at the gift shop. But apparently that wasn't the plan. I followed her deeper into the museum. W h e n I finally caught up to her, we were back in the Greek and R o m a n section.
Except for us, the gallery was empty. D o d d s stood with her arms crossed in front of a big marble frieze of the Greek gods.
She was making this weird noise in her throat, like growling.
Even without the noise, I would've been nervous. It's weird being alone with a teacher, especially M r s. Something about the way she looked at the frieze, as if she wanted to pulverize it.
I did the safe thing. I said, "Yes, ma'am. It was evil. She's a teacher, I thought nervously.
It's not like she's going to h u r t me. I said, "I'll—I'll try harder, ma'am. Confess, and you will suffer less pain. All I could think of was that the teachers must've found the illegal stash of candy I'd been selling out of my d o r m room.
Or maybe they'd realized I got my essay on Tom Sawyer from the Internet without ever reading the b o o k and now they were going to take away my grade. Or worse, they were going to make me read the book. T h e n the weirdest thing happened. H e r eyes began to glow like barbecue coals. H e r fingers stretched, turning into talons. H e r jacket melted into large, leathery wings.
She wasn't human. She was a shriveled hag with bat wings a n d claws and a m o u t h full of yellow fangs, and she was about to slice me to ribbons. T h e n things got even stranger. Brunner, who'd been out in front of the m u s e u m a minute before, wheeled his chair into the doorway of the gallery, holding a pen in his hand.
W i t h a yelp, I dodged and felt talons slash the air next to my ear. I snatched the ballpoint pen out of the air, but when it hit my hand, it wasn't a pen anymore. Brunner's bronze sword, which he always used on t o u r n a m e n t day. D o d d s spun toward me with a murderous look in her eyes. My knees were jelly. My hands were shaking so bad I almost d r o p p e d the sword. She snarled, "Die, honey!
Absolute terror ran through my body. I did the only thing that came naturally: I swung the sword. T h e metal blade hit her shoulder and passed clean through her b o d y as if she were m a d e of water.
D o d d s was a sand castle in a power fan. She exploded into yellow powder, vaporized on the spot, leaving nothing but the smell of sulfur and a dying screech and a chill of evil in the air, as if those two glowing red eyes were still watching me. I was alone. T h e r e was a ballpoint pen in my hand. Brunner wasn't there. My lunch must've been contaminated with magic m u s h r o o m s or some- thing.
H a d I imagined the whole thing? I went back outside.