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A Walk With Greeks


Apollo Batt


        The words came together piece by piece into making a great story, but the words were the authors choosing. This amazed me. You can choose one word then another and each can decide how it would end. The reading was always my favorite part in the books.

            “Quince, always has his head in a book,” a voice says behind me.

            “Hello, Ab. Who’s on today’s list of torturing?” I said without turning. I listened to the sarcasm in Abraham Walker’s voice.

            “Ah, come on, Quince. You know you would have to write if you wanted to have a list.”

            “Oh, parish the thought of you having to write something.”

            Ab walked in front of me and put his hand on Greek Sirens and Other Evil, a favorite book on my part.

            “Hey!” I complained. I looked up at Ab’s startling, blue eyes and wild, red hair.

            “It’s uncanny how much you read. I don’t understand why you don’t watch it like everyone else does.”

            “Well, unlike some I like to use my brain for good,” I starred deep into his eyes, “not evil.”

            I had been battling with Ab since second grade about his connection with people’s head with his hard fist. I had to admit though he could be pretty intimidating, but I had a thing for getting into deep friendships with intimidating guys.

            “I still don’t understand,” he said, shaking his head. He didn’t understand why I read so much. I didn’t understand why they read so little, but I knew why. It was because of the stupid invention. Long ago, before I was born, a not-so-wise wizard decided that books weren’t that grand. Now, most people would just pass it by, thinking that this guy was no big thing, but they were wrong to do that. Outraged by people’s judgments about him, he set out to put a limit to the book’s wealth- meaning the people who bought them all over the world. He spent months locked up in a tower. When he came down he had in his hands a wonder, a thing that made the pages and the words from the book project onto a flat area, any flat area, so it was almost like a movie, yet better. For the people that like to read he kept the words so that it was used as a movie and a book in one. Most people nowadays just skipped the reading and watched the movie. When the people saw this some were thrilled, some not so much. They brought together a council which approved of the genius invention but, because the movie/book was built by magic they were skeptical. Some say the man was mad so they tucked away his little project. Years later, a young witch, the man’s great-great niece’s cousin’s wife’s son’s daughter, brought it back. How, I cannot say that story was long forgotten, but happen it did.

            “Come on,” Ab beckoned. I looked up, he was at the library’s door, looking peeved, “Are you coming?” I was puzzled.

            “Come where?” Ab rolled his eyes.

            “Have you been listening to anything I said?” I shook my head.


            “The guys are meeting us at The Joint in fifteen minutes.”

            The Joint, a hangout of ours, was a block away from the library. It became habit for Ab to come and drag me out of there each day. I looked down at the picture of Cerberus, Hades’ three-headed dog. Mythology was always a favorite topic of mine, especially the three-headed mutt. I examined his six eyes. I was about to answer Ab’s plea to go when I noticed something odd. One of Cerberus’ eyes blinked. I fell back in surprise. I heard Ab snicker.

            “What’s the matter? Did one of your pooch’s heads try to bit you? They need a muzzle on that thing.

“Come here,” I said with sudden power.

            “We got to go meet the...”

            “Now,” I broke in. Ab grumbled and walked over.


            “His eye... it blinked,” I said with amazement. Ab shook his head.

            “Yeah, duh. It’s called a movie screen.”

            “Not the screen, the picture.” Ab rolled his eyes once again.

            “You’ve starred at the book too long, you’re seeing things.” I grabbed his shoulder as he walked away.

            “I’m not kidding.”

            “Neither am I, let’s go!”

He picked me up by one arm. I was used to this. I was his rag doll. He let go when I was up. Red marks were all that were left on my pale skin. In a moment I was thanking Mrs. Keft, the librarian, and was walking out the door with Ab leading the way.

            As we walked down the pavement to The Joint my mind kept tuning out Ab’s bothersome chatter and thinking about Cerberus. What happened? How did it happen? What can we do to fix it? Can we do anything to fix it? Questions raced through my mind

            “...and then we all pounded on the geek. It was hilarious!” Ab stopped short.

            “Quince?” I came out of my thoughts.

            “Ya-huh,” I mumbled. He blushed. That’s when I got concerned.

            “You, um... I mean, are you all right? Not to sound all girly on you.” I starred at him and fell down laughing. His face was beat-red.

            “Hey. Stop it!” There was no way that that was possible at the moment. All worries escaped from my head. When my laughter died down I decided I could speak.

            “That was the first time I heard you ask that.” Ab puffed out his chest in an act of desperation.

            “I mean, um... you know? Oh, shut up.” He punched my softly in the arm. I smiled.

            “Yeah, I know.” He walked the rest of the way in silence.

 We walked into the crusty hang-out. Pictures of old rock stars glistened on the wall. Max, the owner of the Joint and a certified wizard, greeted us with a conjured up pizza. Five boys awaited us. I sat next one, I think his name was Line. He gave me a mischievous grin then focused on the pizza. He reached out for a piece.

“Well, boys. Took you long enough,” said Ony, the so-called leader. Ab sat next to him.

“Our little friend here has got some issues.” A short, skinny boy with freckles straightened.

            “I do not!” he shouted. I starred at him trying to think of whether or not I knew him. No matter how hard I try I never got the group’s names right. Line, I think, bopped him on the head.

            “Ow! Line, why did you do that?” the boy whined.

            “I wasn’t talking about you, Jinn!” Ony bellowed. Jinn shrunk back in his chair. Ony turned towards me.

            “Well? Have so much fun in that library of yours that you didn’t want to leave?” Ony was tall and skinny. His black hair almost always covered his dark, deep brown eyes. Ony was not the guy you wanted to tell confide in.

            “I guess,” I shrugged. I reached for a piece of pizza. The table started to wiggle horribly and I couldn’t get a grip of the slimy pizza. I pulled my hand back, puzzled. Ony, Line, Ab, and the twins, Jus and Lenex, all glared at Jinn who smile sheepishly.

            “Oops, sorry. I have A-B-C-D.” Jus (could be Lenex) groaned.

            “No you don’t, you fool.” Jinn pouted.

            “Do too, can’t keep still if my life depended on it.” Lenex (could be Jus) took over.

            “Yes, that may be true, but it’s A-D-H-D not A-B-C-D.” Jinn’s grin died away.

            “Honest mistake,” I said trying to help him out. Jinn glowed. It was my turn to be glared at. The silence was broken by the sound of a BOP when Line, I believe, whacked Jinn once again.

            “Ow!” Jinn whimpered.

            The conversation of the gang slipped in and out of my head. I couldn’t help thinking something was very amiss with the picture. Ideas jumped to and fro inside my brain. No matter how hard I tried concentrating on the boys words, they just weren’t interesting enough so I went back to my questions and thoughts. I thought about Cerberus and the book, the pages, the information. Then my thoughts switched to the boys, their similarities and their same pleasure for hurting others. I shook my head.

            “You disagree?” Ony asked. The clouds disappeared from my head.

            “Huh?” Everyone’s stares bore into me like needles. “I mean no, uh yes?” Lenex (could be Jus) closed his eyes. I always thought the twins were clairvoyant, anything they do make me even more suspicious.

            “You should never answer a question you do not know or haven’t heard,” he whispered.

            Ony has his penetrating look. Ab has his strength. Jinn has his hyperactivity. Line has his fondness of smacking people on their head. Then there’s Lenex and Jus, they have their intelligence and clairvoyant attitudes. It’s very true that their intelligence reaches- it is on the border line of insanity. By then I had my mind made up gang or no gang I needed to get out of the freaky place with all the freaky people. I had to much stuff on my mind for this crowd. I got out of my seat. The commotion awoke Jus (could be Lenex) from his odd state.

            “You’re leaving?” I nodded ferociously. He solemnly did also. I walked out of the “dust-bin” Joint, as people called it. Max nodded as I walked out the door. Ab tumbled after me.

            “Wait up!” he yelled as I walked further away. I was too agitated to stop. I felt Ab’s strong hand pull me back.

            “Quince?” I turned around, aggravated.

            “What is it?” I said a little more harshly then I intended. He backed away. My head fell down to the ground.

            “I’m sorry,” I mumbled. Ab shrugged his shoulders.

            “No big. What’s up with you anyway? You’re even more freaky than you normally are.” I wanted to be straight-forward with him.

            “It’s that blasted picture.” Ab stifled a snort. Inside, I could tell he was laughing hysterically.

            “Quince, it’s a picture, it’s not going to come to life.” The thought erupted into my brain. The idea of the movie part of the invention malfunctioning and bringing back fiendish ghouls of the Greeks chilled me to the bone.

            “Quince? You’re white. Why are you white?” I started to sprint to the already seen blue building.

            “I have to go to the library.” Ab looked at me, puzzled.

            “Why?” He jogged after me trying to keep up with me long-legged leaps.

            As we got more near to the library my heart nearly beat out of my heaving chest.

            “Quince! Wait up!” I heard Ab’s faint voice over the constant poundings of my heart. I didn’t stop for him. I ran up the stairs which Ab and I called the “hundred-mile stairs” for its great many stairs. I darted through the door. My eyes searched the place room to room. I saw the Mythology room and further searched. The room was grouped into three different sections: Roman, Greek, and American. Those were three that people find most interesting. I found myself drawn to the room hesitantly. A familiar hand gripped my shoulder. I spun around to greet Ab’s glowing, red face.

            “What... the heck... is wrong... with you?” he said between large inhales.

            “I’m sorry. I’m just a bit paranoid at the moment.” Ab grunted.

            “A bit?” he asked. I shrugged as I walked out of the room. Ab followed absent- mindedly. Mrs. Keft eyed me suspiciously. I smiled an I’m- truly-alright smile. She nodded in response. I walked towards the door. Before I left I checked to see if everything was still in order. Ab smiled and shook his head. I turned to leave when an explosion stopped me in my path. I was flung backwards into the door, and then all I saw was black.

            When I woke the room was in disarray. Books were scattered everywhere and it looked like the floor sprouted pages, pieces, and fragments. My heart skipped a beat.

            “AB!” I yelled. “MRS. KEFT!” I clutched my head in agony. A sticky, red substance greeted me. I bit back a yelp. Standing just feet away from me were three frighteningly beautiful women. They had long brown hair that caressed their fair skin. They were draped in long, flowing, white, cotton, dresses. I felt a blush graze my cheeks. They smiled a toothy grin. There was something evil about them, but nothing I could name at the moment. They opened their mouths and the sound of a sweet angelic choir answered the movement. What happened next I could not say. It felt like I was being drawn to them by their song. When I woke I was on the floor. I turned around, there behind me was Ab rubbing his leg.

            “Ow, hey! What’s the matter with you? Didn’t you see me?”

            “What? Oh, sorry, no,” I said meaningfully.

            “I have not the slightest idea what is going on with...” his speech broke of. He noticed the women.

            “Who are they and what happened?” he asked with a smile. I shook my head as if  to say “I have no idea,” but then I thought.

            “Oh my goodness...” I buried my head into my hands.

            “Quince! Don’t zone out on me, man! Tell me.”

            “Sirens,” I said with a moan. Ab was puzzled.

            “I don’t hear any sirens.” I shook my head, which was still in my hands.

            “No, the Greek Sirens. They’re mythical beasts that charm men with their song; in return they guide him to death. Trust me, nothing is good about this.” Ab’s face turned hard.

            “Mythical, which means ‘myth’ which means ‘unreal’.”

            “No, you idiot,” Ab was taken back, “not ‘unreal’ more along the lines of ‘not of this time period yet still can be brought up by the most powerful element’ which is?” I asked him.

            “Magic?” I nodded. The thought suddenly came to him. He gripped my shoulder.

            “Quince! The eye! Cerbubiduda! Were the Sirens one of things in that book?” I nodded, pathetically.

            “Along with the Kraken.” Ab whimpered.

            “That’s the sea beast, isn’t it?” Once again, I nodded.

            “Where’s Cerbudebubbub, then?”

            “Cerberus?” he nodded. “I don’t ...” A loud crash answered his question. Ab moaned. Standing there was a seventy foot three-headed dog. He growled. The Earth started to rumble and the ground started to shake.

            “Quince? That’s a big dog.” I nodded. “Is the shaking from,” he gulped, “that thing?”

            “I don’t think so.” Ab turned away from the Sirens and Cerberus to me.

            “Then what is it?” I mouthed the word “Kraken.”

            “Oh...” his voice died down. A large, almost a mix between a fish and a reptile, monster appeared. He gave an ear- clenching screech. We crouched down lower. If the Sirens didn’t kill us with their song and if Cerberus didn’t tear us to bits, then there was no doubt that we would be eaten by the Kraken. The tremor grew. A large, blinding light flashed before us. I blinked and looked around. The Kraken was gone, but the two still remained.

            “What happened to the Kraken?” I whispered. Ab shrugged his shoulders in a jerky movement. Suddenly the Sirens gave an annoyed look in our direction.

            “That is just so predictable,” said the Second Siren as she fluffed her hair.

            “I know, it drives me up the wall when they do that to poor, ol’ Krakey,” said the First Siren.

            “They look friendly, maybe we should talk to them?” said the Third, gingerly. Her two sisters shot her a glare.

            “Talk to a human? I wouldn’t stoop that low, sister,” the Second sister said with feeling. The First sister agreed.

            “I hope you wouldn’t either, sister,” she said with a snarl. The Third set her face.

            “You wouldn’t stoop to pick up a pen, or whatever the humans call them, in case you might ruffle your dress.” The Second glared at her. The Third smiled, defiantly. The First Siren just watched. Ab and I stood there, mouthes agape. The Third of the Three turned to us. She smiled.

            “Hello, my friends.” The edge of my mouth curled into a smile. Ab’s face was beaming.

            “Oh, stop being so ignorant,” she said to her sisters. She waltzed over to me and held out her hand. I took it gratefully.

            “Hello,” I said, timidly. She smiled. She turned to Ab and offered her hand to him as well, he rejected it. Ab was still very frightened. The Third shrugged.

            “Suit yourself.”  Her attention went back to me.

            “I’m Quince,” I said, my voice now fully recovered.

            “Well, hello there, Quince.” There was an awkward silence as Ab got up on his own.

            “This is Ab,” he shot me a glare, “Ab?”

            “What?” he said with a hint of venom.

            “Say hello to...” I looked at the youngest Siren, “what is your name?” The Third looked puzzled.           

            “Name?” I nodded, “I don’t think I have a name. I might have once, but I forgot it. When you’re out in the middle of a vast land of water with only a rock to perch on  people don’t exactly remember to ask names. They more gaze fondly at us. People are so rude. I mean, how would you like it if someone came into your special area while you’re singing? It’s not very kind.” Once she stopped the silence was deafening. Ab, oddly enough, broke it.

            “Well, what about the whole thing about you and your sisters distracting people in ships so that they run into giant rocks?” The Second burst in.

            “It’s not our fault that people run into rocks because they aren’t paying any attention. Just because we are an awesomely, wonderfully talented young singers,” the Third rolled her eyes, “doesn’t mean that they have to stop paying attention to where they’re going.” The First nodded. The Third smiled at her sisters.

            “Told you they’d be nice.” Ab grumbled.

            “Then what do people call you, individually?” They looked at each other.

            “We’re just the Sirens,” the said in unison.

            “But, what about...” Suddenly, the three-headed dog leaped into the circle of Sirens and humans. Ab screamed. Cerberus stopped dead in front of him. He bent down and licked Ab thoroughly from head to toe. Ab squeaked. A laugh busted from my lips.

            “Everything is so messed up! I don’t understand it. You,” I pointed to the Sirens, “are supposed to be mans worst fear while you,” I looked to Cerberus,” are supposed to be a human-eating evil...thing.” The three looked at me.

            “Must you always believe what is in books?” the Third asked. I released breath that I hadn’t even realized I had been holding in.

            “Ah, get this thing off me!” Ab screamed. I snickered and helped pull the bouncing puppy off him. I turned to each of the should-be monsters and smiled.

            “No, I guess not.  What would the fun of that be?” I asked. A question puzzlement passed through is head. “Wait! How are we going to get you back into your time or into the book?” The Sirens shrugged and Cerberus yipped, slobbering all over Ab. I shook my head, another problem that needed to be solved. All he had ever wished for was a happy ending.

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