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Percy Jackson 03 - The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson 03 - The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

Author:Rick Riordan [Riordan, Rick]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fiction:Young Adult
ISBN: 9781423101451
Publisher: Miramax Books
Published: 2007-05-01T07:00:00+00:00


THIRTEEN

WE VISIT THE JUNK YARD OF THE GODS

We rode the boar until sunset, which was about as much as my back end could take. Imagine riding a giant steel brush over a bed of gravel all day. That’s about how comfortable boar-riding was.

I have no idea how many miles we covered, but the mountains faded into the distance and were replaced by miles of flat, dry land. The grass and scrub brush got sparser until we were galloping (do boars gallop?) across the desert.

As night fell, the boar came to a stop at a creek bed and snorted. He started drinking the muddy water, then ripped a saguaro cactus out of the ground and chewed it, needles and all.

“This is as far as he’ll go,” Grover said. “We need to get off while he’s eating.”

Nobody needed convincing. We slipped off the boar’s back while he was busy ripping up cacti. Then we waddled away as best we could with our saddle sores.

After its third saguaro and another drink of muddy water, the boar squealed and belched, then whirled around and galloped back toward the east.

“It likes the mountains better,” I guessed.

“I can’t blame it,” Thalia said. “Look.”

Ahead of us was a two-lane road half covered with sand. On the other side of the road was a cluster of buildings too small to be a town: a boarded-up house, a taco shop that looked like it hadn’t been open since before Zoë Nightshade was born, and a white stucco post office with a sign that said GILA CLAW , ARIZONA hanging crooked above the door. Beyond that was a range of hills . . . but then I noticed they weren’t regular hills. The countryside was way too flat for that. The hills were enormous mounds of old cars, appliances, and other scrap metal. It was a junkyard that seemed to go on forever.

“Whoa,” I said.

“Something tells me we’re not going to find a car rental here,” Thalia said. She looked at Grover. “I don’t suppose you got another wild boar up your sleeve?”

Grover was sniffing the wind, looking nervous. He fished out his acorns and threw them into the sand, then played his pipes. They rearranged themselves in a pattern that made no sense to me, but Grover looked concerned.

“That’s us,” he said. “Those five nuts right there.”

“Which one is me?” I asked.

“The little deformed one,” Zoë suggested.

“Oh, shut up.”

“That cluster right there,” Grover said, pointing to the left, “that’s trouble.”

“A monster?” Thalia asked.

Grover looked uneasy. “I don’t smell anything, which doesn’t make sense. But the acorns don’t lie. Our next challenge . . .”

He pointed straight toward the junkyard. With the sunlight almost gone now, the hills of metal looked like something on an alien planet.

We decided to camp for the night and try the junkyard in the morning. None of us wanted to go Dumpster-diving in the dark.

Zoë and Bianca produced five sleeping bags and foam mattresses out of their backpacks. I don’t know how they did it, because the packs were tiny, but must’ve been enchanted to hold so much stuff.



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