“Of course not,” Annabeth muttered. “I’m surprised the Laistrygonians had the guts to attack you with him around.”
Tyson seemed fascinated by Annabeth’s blond hair. He tried to touch it, but she smacked his hand away.
“Annabeth,” I said, “what are you talking about? Laistry-what?”
“Laistrygonians. The monsters in the gym. They’re a race of giant cannibals who live in the far north. Odysseus ran into them once, but I’ve never seen them as far south as New York before.”
“Laistry—I can’t even say that. What would you call them in English?”
She thought about it for a moment. “Canadians,” she decided. “Now come on, we have to get out of here.”
“The police’ll be after me.”
“That’s the least of our problems,” she said. “Have you been having the dreams?”
“The dreams … about Grover?”
Her face turned pale. “Grover? No, what about Grover?”
I told her my dream. “Why? What were you dreaming about?”
Her eyes looked stormy, like her mind was racing a million miles an hour.
“Camp,” she said at last. “Big trouble at camp.”
“My mom was saying the same thing! But what kind of trouble?”
“I don’t know exactly. Something’s wrong. We have to get there right away. Monsters have been chasing me all the way from Virginia, trying to stop me. Have you had a lot of attacks?”
I shook my head. “None all year … until today.”
“None? But how …” Her eyes drifted to Tyson. “Oh.”
“What do you mean, ‘oh’?”
Tyson raised his hand like he was still in class. “Canadians in the gym called Percy something … Son of the Sea God?”
Annabeth and I exchanged looks.
I didn’t know how I could explain, but I figured Tyson deserved the truth after almost getting killed.
“Big guy,” I said, “you ever hear those old stories about the Greek gods? Like Zeus, Poseidon, Athena—”
“Yes,” Tyson said.
“Well … those gods are still alive. They kind of follow Western Civilization around, living in the strongest countries , so like now they’re in the U.S. And sometimes they have kids with mortals.
Kids called half-bloods.”
“Yes,” Tyson said, like he was still waiting for me to get to the point.
“Uh, well, Annabeth and I are half-bloods,” I said. “We’re like … heroes-in-training. And whenever monsters pick up our scent, they attack us. That’s what those giants were in the gym. Monsters.”
I stared at him. He didn’t seem surprised or confused by what I was telling him, which surprised and confused me. “So … you believe me?”
Tyson nodded. “But you are … Son of the Sea God?”
“Yeah,” I admitted. “My dad is Poseidon.”
Tyson frowned. Now he looked confused. “But then …”
A siren wailed. A police car raced past our alley.
“We don’t have time for this,” Annabeth said. “We’ll talk in the taxi.”
“A taxi all the way to camp?” I said. “You know how much money—”
I hesitated. “What about Tyson?”
I imagined escorting my giant friend into Camp Half-Blood. If he freaked out on a regular playground with regular bullies, how would he act at a training camp for demigods? On the other hand, the cops would be looking for us.
“We can’t just leave him,” I decided. “He’ll be in trouble, too.”
“Yeah.” Annabeth looked grim. “We definitely need to take him. Now come on.”
I didn’t like the way she said that, as if Tyson were a big disease we needed to get to the hospital, but I followed her down the alley. Together the three of us sneaked through the side streets of downtown while a huge column of smoke billowed up behind us from my school gymnasium.
“Here.” Annabeth stopped us on the corner of Thomas and Trimble. She fished around in her backpack. “I hope I have one left.”
She looked even worse than I’d realized at first. Her chin was cut. Twigs and grass were tangled in her ponytail, as if she’d slept several nights in the open. The slashes on the hems of her jeans looked suspiciously like claw marks.
“What are you looking for?” I asked.