Why does life always have to be so hard?
Sorry, I'll introduce myself. My name is Lewis Montgomery, and the biggest story of my life started with Cheese Demons. Now, someone might be reading this and think, "cheese demons, that sounds ridiculous," but you haven't met a cheese demon so you don't get to judge.
It was supposed to be a simple mission, my first actually, we were to go to the Washington Monument where I would watch and take notes as Allyssa took care of the stray singular cheese demon. Instead, we arrived and find fifteen of them waiting for us.
Here's how it went down.
Our backs were turned to the monument and we seemed to be in a bad situation. Alyssa turned to me and said far too calmly, "You distract them and I'll see if I can get a portal out of the Washington Monument." Usually, when someone makes a statement like that I try to get as far away from them as possible, but alas we live the life of a magician where important monuments and structures are used as easy transportation. Well, that isn't entirely true, we Egyptian modern-day magicians can use stuff like the Washington Monument because it is an obelisk and ancient Egyptians were the first to use shapes like that, thus we can draw on power and make portals.
"Distract them!" I yell, my voice shrill with fear, "have you seen them?"To emphasize my point, a slab of cheese falls next to us and we turn our alarmed faces toward an especially large demon who happened to be the thrower, "You'll do fine," Alyssa shouts without an ounce of confidence, "now split." And with that, she ran off toward the monument and left me completely alone against a dairy farmer's worst nightmare.
It is hard to describe cheese demons to people who have never seen them, surprisingly their bodies are not made of moldy cheese but of high-quality dairy products. Their bodies are made of what grilled cheese looks like without the bread, all melty and droopy but with a human shape.
The real question here was how I would distract these droopy human-shaped grilled cheeses? I came up with an idea right when the demons decided they were bored and started approaching me with bricks of cheese that probably weigh a ton. I bet they were thinking how fancy it would look implanted on my red-haired head. From my belt I pull out my prized possession, my Netjeri blade, when I bring it out, flames spring across the blade from where I put fire hieroglyphs across the knife( have I mentioned I follow the path of Ptah, god of craftsmen). I focus on the pommel of the knife where I had recently put the hieroglyph A'max, which means burn. I press down on the glyph and swung the blade in an arc in front of me and everywhere the knife went fire stayed, hanging in midair. Luckily the dairy demons seem to not like a line of fire wanting to burn them, go figure. The leading demon would not wait for my fire to fade, he waded into it and only scorched a little bit of his cheesy chest, the other demons motivated by their leader also started walking through the fire.
This in itself is enough to make me want to trade places with Alyssa, except that I am terrible at portals and Alyssa is only a little bit better. I have to do this I told myself and then I charged the demon leader and plunged my flaming meteoric iron blade into his chest. Sadly the chest absorbed the impact of the knife, I looked up, terrified of what I saw. The cheese demon grabbed me by the throat and threw me toward the monument where I landed on the ground with my breath knocked out of me and I couldn't move for several long seconds. While I was lying on the ground I saw one of Alyssa's boulders fly overhead and crash into the demon who threw me (again I should mention that Alyssa follows the Egyptian god of the earth, Geb). After I fully regain my senses I yell up at the sky, "Ptah, please help me, I'd take a gun or a sword I'd even take a platypus." I said that last bit because the Egyptian god Ptah created platypus', incredibly after I said it a web-footed billed creature landed on my head tangling my red locks. Everyone stopped, Alyssa stopped, the Cheese Demons stopped, and some terrified tourist who was running away, with jeans and a star wars shirt stopped, and we all stared at what I now knew to be a Platypus.
"Come on Lewis, the portals open." Alyssa yelled and everything went to chaos. I got up and ran as hard as I could to where Alyssa stood next to a swirling vortex of sand that was the portal. I looked back to where the Cheese Demons were running toward us, when I reached Alyssa she jumped through the portal with me close behind, and as I felt vertigo that always takes hold of me when I travel like this - a slab of cheese hits me farther into the portal. Before I black out I think again how hard it is being an Egyptian magician.
I woke up with an animal's bill sniffing around my face. When I focused on it, I realized it was the Platypus and I shook her (for I had determined she a she) off my body. When I sat up and I looked around I realized we were on the roof of the Brooklyn house (AKA the twenty-first Nome) where we had portaled to. Alyssa was sitting a couple feet away playing with some clay she had kept in her bag," How did the Platypus get here?" I asked her," I don't know." She answered. "I didn't think she had come through the portal until, Bam! she was right on top of you." "Huh, I thought, so the only gift Ptah ever gives me, his only follower, is a platypus?
"Well, I guess we should go down stairs now and tell everyone about our successful mission." I said sarcastically as I dived into my backpack searching for some of the candy I always keep in there,"Hey guys how did the mission go?" came the voice of a young boy with with a procession of penguins following him. "Oh yah!" I said as I found a package of skittles and started eating them, then I seemed to process the question properly and answered, "Oh, hi Felix, the mission went terribly and we had to run for our lives with our tails between our legs." I said the sentence quickly and got back to my candy. "For once Lewis is right, there were way more Demons there then we had been led to believe." Alyssa said. I looked at Felix trying to see how this information affected him, but he had already moved on and noticed that there was another animal among us, "Awww, it's so cute." Felix exclaimed when he noticed the platypus, "Where did you get her? Oh, and Lewis, Carter wants to see you, he's in the gym."
I found Carter in the gym just like Felix said, but what Felix didn't tell me is that Sadie and two of my other teachers were there too along with Alex and Baxter (two of my fellow magician initiates). "Hi Lewis, I'm glad Felix could get in touch with you," Carter said in his best "I'm seventeen years old and I can still be a teacher voice, "Now I'm just going to to skip to the important bit which is why you three are here. Sadie and I have decided to send each of you to a different North American Nome, Lewis I will be personally flying you to the Fifty-first Nome In Texas so you better go upstairs and pack while Sadie and I tell the others were they will be going." I should have known something was up, only Sadie would send me on a hard fly with Freak after my first mission, "there is only one thing I want to say," I said, "wasn't the Fifty-first Nome destroyed by Apophis a year or so ago." I thought I made a pretty good point but Sadie just rolled her eyes and answered, "Well they rebuilt, duh, and we thought it would be good to spread the path of the Gods by having some of our initiates to go train there, so run along and get your stuff, Carter is leaving in an hour."
The flight to the Texas Nome was a bumpy ride through the Duat on a flying reed boat pulled by a crazy griffin named Freak. When we arrived I got off the boat and vomited on the concrete road outside of a building that I assumed was the Texas Nome. We were greeted by a friendly man named Jacks Grissom who is the brother of JD Grissom who died protecting this place. Apparently all the former residence died when Apophis destroyed this place and magicians from all over the country volunteered to come and live full time at the Nome.
Carter left right after he set me down, he left me with Jacks, "Well, you should let me give you a tour of the place and I'll introduce you to some of the people who live here."Jacks said and started walking down towards the building and as I followed him I took in the broad shoulders and the strong back, this guy would make an excellent follower of Horus (God of war). Carter and Sadie didn't say it but I knew why they really sent me here, to make some of these magician's follow the path of the Gods. The people I passed seemed happy enough walking down the halls talking about how their friend accidentally turned into a camel and couldn't turn back, you know, standard magician stuff. I saw a few kids here and there swinging their staffs and bragging about how they made an amulet turn into a falcon today, again, all seems normal. I think the people I'll will have the best time convincing are the kids my age, kids that are fourteen like me. We made our way up some stairs and down a couple hallways and finally stopped in front of a regular looking door, Jacks touched his curved wand to the door and said, "Lewis Montgomery." And my name appeared on the door, he then gave me the keys and gestured for me to open the door, so I inserted the key and swung the door open, inside the room was just the normal stuff: a bed, a desk that was far to small for me to work on a,nd there was a wardrobe that I bet had all clothes that fit me just like the Brooklyn house. "Yup, this looks a lot like my room at the Twenty -First Nome." I said to Jacks, "Hey Jacks, I got what you wanted me to find and there still intact," said a young girl that came running down the hallway, she wore a pink shirt and brown pants and she had blond hair and a smile that said she just did something outside of the rules, "Now pay up - we had a deal." She handed him a sheet of old scrolls for inspection and once he decided they were good enough, reached into his pocket and brought out a ten dollar bill and handed it to the girl, " Lewis this is Mellie, she and I had a bet that she couldn't find these scrolls a hundred present still intact, I should have known better than to bet with Mellie, she always wins." I thought about what Jack said and then answered, "Can I see those scrolls," he handed them to me and I closed my eyes and concentrated and there I felt it, it was faint but I tried harder and felt it stronger this time, it seemed to be forming Hieroglyphs, and I got it, I opened my eyes and found Jacks and Mellie staring at me, "These scrolls have been magically repaired in the last few minutes," both Jacks and I glared at Mellie, "They were repaired using the hieroglyph spell "join together". I didn't dare mutter the word in Egyptian for it might activate the spell, "How did you do that?" Asked Mellie, "I'm a follower of Ptah, I can tell when something has been altered," I answered. I decided not to trust Mellie, anyone who would use a divine word to win a bet isn't a person you would have fetch errands for. "Anyway these scrolls are for you Lewis, there all the information that we have about the path of the Gods, I tho- You follow the path of the Gods?" Mellie interjected. "Yeah." I answered. While we had been talking I had opened my backpack and had started on a pack of Fruity Gobbles, Gods, I love candy.
Mellie pulled me down multiple hallways and finally we emerged into an area that looked a lot like the gym back in the Brooklyn house, "What do you do when you follow the path of the Gods?" Mellie asked me after she closed the door to the gym, "Like what kind of cool stuff would a follower of Horus do?" I didn't have the energy to explain right now. I mean today I have been thrown, punched, hit, and flown with only a small rest and a healing potion in between. Also my back hurts so much from the cheese slab that hit me,but I'll try anyway, "When you follow the path of the gods you can draw on more power and occasionally ask for a small amount of help in your area of expertise from your patron God," As if on cue a platypus ran up to me and pawed on my leg, the same platypus, "really, I thought you didn't come with me." though Mellie really wanted to pet the platypus, I could tell, she restrained herself and waited for me to give an example of what I had just said, so in my exhausted state I tried to summon the white eyes of Ptah, "What happened to your eyes?" Mellie shrieked and I could tell it had worked, "Ptah's eyes are completely white, and I found that I could easily turn my eyes into his and have sharper way of looking at things, I can see every detail of our clothes, every grain of wood on our staffs, I have the eyes of a perfect craftsmen," I answered, "What are your talents as a magician?" I asked Mellie while my eyes returned to normal, "I'm a water elementalist, though not a very good one, oh and I like to bet." I'm not sure that last one is a magical skill but that had given me an idea, I rummaged through the scrolls Jacks had given me and finally found the right one, there wasn't much there, not many people used to follow this God but I bet I could find more info on him later, "Here," I said, handing her the scrolls, "Khonsu, God of the moon, the moon controls the tides which would be good for your water elementalist power and he is the biggest betting man in ancient Egypt." Mellie looked very intrigued by what I had just told her but then she said, "Do you have a name for that platypus?" When I shook my head she continued, "I think you should name her Linda." It was so out of the blue that it took me a moment to fully grasp the name and then I decided I liked it and nodded again, "If you want to tomorrow I think I could practice with you?" I asked and when she nodded I said, "now I'm going to crash, see you tomorrow."
When I got back to my room I set my alarm to 12:00 a.m. and laid down on my bed and fell asleep right away.
I dreamed. Which is weird because I barely ever dream. Then I remember I had forgotten to use my dream prevention pillow that all magicians use. In my dream I was summoned through the the Duet(the magical realm that exists beneath our own) in the form of my Ba, one of the five parts of the soul, the Ba looks like a chicken body with my head on it. When it appeared I had arrived at my destination I was in a room with a broad oak workbench and a middle aged man with dark brown hair and completely white eyes, "Ptah." I could barely say his name once I realized it was him, "hello Lewis sorry about only sending you a platypus before but I thought That was just the distraction you needed," Ptah said with a smooth smile, "but now I have a much more pressing concern for you to handle. The Gods are angry, we Egyptians have been handling our world ending problems but everyone else is really not doing too well," I had no idea what he was talking but it seemed rude to interrupt a God so I let him continue, "those barbarians are doing especially terrible, so we have decided to send you and two others to Boston to check up on them," again I didn't know why they would want us to go to boston but I guess it's important, "the others are being briefed by their patron Gods know. Oh and I almost forgot, it will be easy to find Fadlan's Falafels.
I woke up and gathered all the things I might need for this mission and headed out the door to the gym, I wanted Mellie to know why I was skipping our session. when I arrived there I was surprised to see Alex there along with Mellie and both were pacing, "Lewis we both just had dreams of our patron Gods, Alex saw her patron Goddess Bast the cat goddess and I saw Khonsu which is weird because I haven't even decided to follow him yet." Mellie just blurted it all out fast, like she wanted to be done with it, "I just spoke with Ptah and he said we all had to go to Boston." I said to them, "weird that's what Bast said too." Alex said. We all walked toward each other slowly and I noticed we all had backpacks on ready for travel, " how did you get here Alex?" I asked, "Bast helped get me here with a portal." Alex answered. Then right when I was about to talk again a sand portal opened beneath us and swallowed us all up.
We were thrown out somewhere in a large city street and as we got shakily to our feet and looked around, "well I guess the mission starts now," Mellie said. As I looked around I noticed a sign a couple buildings down with a familiar name on it, "Fadlan's Falafels," I read to myself and then said to the others, "Ptah mentioned that place," I pointed to the sign, "should we start there." everyone else gave a nod so we started towards the restaurant.
When we got there we didn't order anything, we just sat down and looked around. After a couple minutes of nothing Mellie nudged me and nodded to a couple of kids looking at us, noticing the knife I kept in my belt which shouldn't have been possible because of the glamour(magical stuff that keeps mortals from seeing the magical). Once the kids noticed that we were looking at them they got up and left, "should we follow them?" Asked Mellie, "yeah I think we should, see what they're up to." And it was decided. Before we went though I pulled a pair of boxing gloves from my bag that on each glove had the hieroglyph, khefa, which means "Fist of Horus" you can imagine what that does, the others looked at me quizzically as I put them on and I explained, "when I say "Fist of Horus" in Egyptian it activates the spell without much strain from my actual magic, like a scroll, but way cooler." They nodded their understanding and summoned their staffs and wands and we headed outside.
We went down an alley that is behind the restaurant and found them waiting for us. There is one boy and a girl, the girl held a spear with a look that said she could use it, and another boy held a sword in his hand, "why are you following us?" said the boy with the sword, he looked like he had gotten used to sleeping on the streets the hard way and hadn't liked it, with rumpled clothes and a dirty face, "we wanted to now why you are looking at us." I said back, I doubted I looked very imposing with my boxing gloves held high, but he didn't know what these babies could do, "You were carrying a dagger, that makes me always think demigod, and the fact you followed us out here only makes me more uneasy about you," this time the Girl spoke for the Boy and held up her spear, and then out of the blue she charged us. I don't think even her friend expected this but as she charged he prepared to follow her, I got over my shock soon and stepped forward and punched the air while shouting," khefa", and a glowing blue fist appeared in the air and punched the girl across the alley. When she finally landed it was hard and I was afraid I had killed her, but amazingly she got up and slowly walked towards her friend, the blast should of at least knocked her out but aside from a few cuts and bruises she seemed fine. The blast though nearly ripped my arm from from its socket and it laid limp at my side while the glyph slowly disappeared from my glove, "How did you find us." The boy said suspiciously, "We don't know you so unless you're secret agents of Loki and want to fight, you shouldn't be here." That statement completely shocked me, especially the name Loki, which if I could remember was the name of a Norse God. this put us at a kind of a standoff until a voice said, "Wow this is so cool." "Shut up Jack." The boy said, he appeared to be talking to his sword, by the way the sword glowed with a lot of different colors, "But Magnus this is really awesome I haven't seen guys like this sense Frey and I decided to go on a vacation a couple thousand years back." This time I was sure the sword had spoken the voice had come directly from the sword, it was pretty weird but then again so where are lives, "you're trying to act cool Magnus, and this standoff again is so cool." the voice said again, Magnus is what the voice called the boy. The name Frey really rattled my bones, like the name Loki I was sure I had heard it in some viking myth, "Jack you know those guys?" the boy called Magnus asked. But he never got the answer because right then a pack of wolf men rained down on us.
My two captains and I have been hunting Lycaon and his pack for three days now. we had left the other hunters behind because we could go faster with just the three of us, "Thalia why would Lycaon be going so far into a city like Boston?" Sarra, one of my captains asked me. I had been pondering the same thing, these werewolves usually liked forests not cities, and why Boston? but I had more pressing matters to worry about, the wolves were running down the sidewalk which looked weird because they were all giant so they had to walk single file. You might think why don't people notice these creatures walking around in a big city, it's because of the Mist, a magical essence that prevents the mortal from seeing the mystical. The pack had started to move toward a falafel place down the street, "Maybe they're hungry." Joked Lisa who was to my left, I glared at her, we were closer then we had ever been to this pack in the three days we had been traveling, "Girls let's get on the roof of that restaurant." I said pointing to the falafel joint, they nodded and we set off towards it.
It didn't take long for us to get on the roof, we were trained for things like this. Once we were up we heard a commotion going on in the alley behind the restaurant and we looked from the roof down and saw a scrawny red haired kid with boxing gloves on standing in between of two girls, each carrying a wooden staff in one hand and a curved stick that looked like a boomerang in the other. They were facing off against one boy and one girl, the girl held a spear and the boy held a sword, neither sword nor the spear seemed to be made of celestial bronze or imperial gold (the two metals that kill monsters extremely well) the boy with the sword said, "Jack do you know these guys." But just then Lycaon's pack came crashing into the alley.
The kid with the boxing gloves was the closest to the pack and I was ready to throw myself in front of the wolves to save him when the kid punched the air and said a word, ( a word that I was sure wasn't ancient Greek or Latin) after he said it a glowing blue fist appeared and punched the nearest wolf. Sadly the wolf staggered back a few steps but then growled and kept advancing, "Oh come on, can't anyone just properly die from that punch." the boy yelled, and I could see the knock back on that thing was huge, the kids arm had nearly been blown off and now he was cradling it in his other arm. The wolf he had punched would have gotten him too if Sarra hadn't shot the wolf in his hind leg, not fatal but silver is the best weapon against these creatures and all three of us had quivers full of silver arrows. The boy looked up and saw where we were and yelled, "Thanks." Then he reached behind him and pulled out a knife with a flaming blade but I could tell his arms were too hurt right now to use it properly, luckily someone stepped in, "Lucas don't! Make us a shield, and make it big enough for everyone." One of Lucas's companions said and gestured to the other group of kids, the girl with the spear and the boy with the sword had charged the wolves and were weaving and dodging trying to get a good hit on them, one of the girls who were with Lucas was spraying the pack with water that was coming endlessly out of her staff the other was standing muttering something I couldn't understand and suddenly opened her eyes and through down her staff, and immediately after it hit the ground it turned into a giant leopard. I was so shocked by that it took me a minute to realize my captains had gone down to help them fight and were yelling for me to hurry up, that shook me out of my shock and jumped down into the alley and immediately started firing arrow after arrow but the wolves just kept coming, it reminded me of the time I had helped Percy Jackson defend New York against wave after wave of monsters. We started moving towards Lucas's group, everyone was moving over there for that matter. All the while shooting arrow after arrow until my quiver started to feel lighter and emptier. I stopped to conserve my arrows and ran for it. When we got to where everyone else was I saw Lucas had put four statues that were so small they could fit in my hand facing north, south, east, and west and had drawn a circle with chalk that connected all of them, but the circle wasn't finished there was one part still not connected, "everyone get inside the circle and I'll close it up." Yelled Lucas, I didn't know what he was planning but I jumped in anyway so did the others not just mine and Lucas's group, the other group jumped in to, and right when the last person jumped through he made the circle full and a wolf rushed towards us and I was just about to jump out of the way when the wolf tried to cross the circle and it hit thin air and just for a second I saw a blue shimmering wall separating us from the pack and then it was gone.
I Looked at the scrawny red head, not believing that he made this but when I looked at him I saw he was barely sitting up straight and then I realized just how powerful something like this is and I having some control over the weather being a child of Zeus(Greek god of the sky) so I now the more powerful you make something the more draining it is and he purposely made this circle big enough for everyone and that must be extra difficult, "Well, don't just stand there you can fire your weapons through the shield." this spurred everyone into action, "Anyone have any arrows?" I asked, "I might be able to get you some," said a girl with a staff and stick, "I can summon some from the Duet but I don't know if you want a specific kind." I didn't know what the Duet was but if she could get me arrows, "Try getting silver arrows like this." and I handed her one of my last arrows. The girl took it and held out her other hand(for she had dropped her staff and curved stick), and the hand disappeared into thin air and after a few more seconds pulled out a quiver full of silver arrows. I was amazed at what she had done and scooped up the quiver, "What's your name?" I asked her, "Mellie." She answered. Mellie would make a good hunter of Artemis I thought to myself, I started firing at the wolves and they started to slow down. Suddenly the pack separated and a man in a dark suit walked forward, "Hello Lycaon." I said to the first werewolf while I trained an arrow at him, "Oh I wouldn't do that if I were you daughter of Zeus," I didn't lower my bow, "My pack and I are leaving now, we have lost too many wolves and need to recruit more," He smiled as he said it, revealing pointed teeth, "But rest assured this is not over I will feast on your flesh and on the flesh of all your hunters." And with that nice finisher he turned around and retreated back the way he had come with the rest of his wolves following him, "Well that was fun," the boy with the sword said, "Anyone want falafels."
The group headed inside. It was early in the morning but the restaurant was open, the boy with the glowing sword whose name was Magnus walked right up to the counter and spoke with the guy behind it, when they were done talking the guy behind the counter went around and told everyone they had to leave. Once all the people were gone he gestured for everyone to sit at a table and walked out of the room himself.
Once we were all settled down in a seat we started telling each other our names, there was Lucas and his friends Mellie and Alex, and there was Magnus and his friend Sam (the girl with the spear). I looked over the groups, Lucas and his friends looked the most tired, they didn't just look tired they were probably on the verge of passing out. "Anyone want to address what just happened," Magnus said, "I mean I'm used to wolves attacking me but those were werewolves right like real werewolves!" I sighed before this last fight my captains and I had been traveling for days with little food and less rest. I was about to reply when I heard a hard thunk and I looked over to see Lucas passed out on the floor. Alex crouched next to him and slapped his face lightly a few times, enough for him to murmur, " Ohhh, evil cheesy wolf demons, no more cheese please." I knew I looked like an idiot, sitting there with my mouth open almost laughing. I don't where these people come from, but I want to learn
I want to say thanks to my mom and my family members for encouraging me to write. It is my 15 birthday today and I'm glad that I get to finish this story, which I started writing when I was 10 - this is the first story I ever wrote. I know not many people read my stories but I want to say thanks to Arminer7, who I don't know, but was the first person outside of my family to vote on my stories, his are great and have a lot more views than mine. Also if you want I'm totally open to suggestions and I might make more stories about Lewis and friends.