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The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4) by Rick Riordan

The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4) by Rick Riordan

Author:Rick Riordan [Riordan, Rick]
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Tags: Fiction - Young Adult
Publisher: Disney
Published: 2009-05-01T16:00:00+00:00


TWELVE

I TAKE A PERMANENT VACATION

I woke up feeling like I was still on fire. My skin stung. My throat felt as dry as sand.

I saw blue sky and trees above me. I heard a fountain gurgling, and smelled juniper and cedar and a bunch of other sweet-scented plants. I heard waves, too, gently lapping on a rocky shore. I wondered if I was dead, but I knew better. I’d been to the Land of the Dead, and there was no blue sky.

I tried to sit up. My muscles felt like they were melting.

“Stay still,” a girl’s voice said. “You’re too weak to rise.”

She laid a cool cloth across my forehead. A bronze spoon hovered over me and liquid was dribbled into my mouth. The drink soothed my throat and left a warm chocolaty aftertaste. Nectar of the gods. Then the girl’s face appeared above me.

She had almond eyes and caramel-color hair braided over one shoulder. She was . . . fifteen? Sixteen? It was hard to tell. She had one of those faces that just seemed timeless. She began singing, and my pain dissolved. She was working magic. I could feel her music sinking into my skin, healing and repairing my burns.

“Who?” I croaked.

“Shhh, brave one,” she said. “Rest and heal. No harm will come to you here. I am Calypso.”

The next time I woke I was in a cave, but as far as caves go, I’d been in a lot worse. The ceiling glittered with different-color crystal formations—white and purple and green, like I was inside one of those cut geodes you see in souvenir shops. I was lying on a comfortable bed with feather pillows and white cotton sheets. The cave was divided into sections by white silk curtains. Against one wall stood a large loom and a harp. Against the other wall were shelves neatly stacked with jars of fruit preserves. Dried herbs hung from the ceiling: rosemary, thyme, and a bunch of other stuff. My mother could’ve named them all.

There was a fireplace built into the cave wall, and a pot bubbling over the flames. It smelled great, like beef stew.

I sat up, trying to ignore the throbbing pain in my head. I looked at my arms, sure that they would be hideously scarred, but they seemed fine. A little pinker than usual, but not bad. I was wearing a white cotton T-shirt and cotton drawstring pants that weren’t mine. My feet were bare. In a moment of panic, I wondered what happened to Riptide, but I felt my pocket and there was my pen, right where it always reappeared.

Not only that but the Stygian ice dog whistle was back in my pocket, too. Somehow it had followed me. And that didn’t exactly reassure me.

With difficulty, I stood. The stone floor was freezing under my feet. I turned and found myself staring into a polished bronze mirror.

“Holy Poseidon,” I muttered. I looked as if I’d lost twenty pounds I couldn’t afford to lose. My hair was a rat’s nest.



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