Felix was an average boy. Well, that is what he thought. He lived thirty miles away from school. Every day he had to get up at six in the morning in order to get to school by seven. From time to time, he would fall asleep on the bus to school. Today was one of those days…
A clap of thunder snapped Felix awake. The rest of the way to school, Felix was tired and gloomy. Billy and Bob were brothers and Felix’s only friends at Philadelphia Middle School. They never went to school by bus so Jack never had any friends to talk with on the bus.
When Felix got to school, he went directly to history class. In the classroom, the desks were aligned in a “U” shape. Most of the books were in the wrong bins and there were drawings on the whiteboard. There were many statements on the board like, “HI!” or “GOOD MORNING!!!” Suddenly, the bell rang and the teacher walked in. They were studying the unit, ROME. They had already learned that rich boys could have private tutors and poor children had to start working at age five or six. As soon as the history teacher set down her history books she asked the class to begin to recite the answers to the homework. Then they had an intense discussion about Roman meals such as during dinner time, the wealthy would eat snails dipped in milk, jellyfish, bread, and mice. The poor would eat beans and bread with water for dinner. They also learned that the baths were not only to get clean, but a social place were they could work out, read, and talk. Rome also had many military achievements and built great buildings such as the Colosseum and Circus Maximus. When Felix’s classmate, Hank, asked why Rome was so important, lightning suddenly struck outside and Felix jumped in terror. He looked out of the window and saw rain battering against the window sill and a faint blink of light in the distance.
After school, Felix went to hang out with his friends Billy and Bob at their house. They played on the Xbox, PlayStation, and Hangman-the typical twelve year-old games. By dinner time, Felix got home. He wanted to tell his mom what he did today but he heard whispering in his mom’s room. It was Mrs. Amo, the history teacher. She whispered, “Jupiter has already claimed him as his son. You must bring him to Olympus.”
“No!!!” his mom exclaimed. “Jupiter never cared for him! Why would he now!”
“We need his help. He is our only hope.”
“Fine.” Outside, Felix was confused and startled.
His mom walked out of her room with teary eyes and told Felix that they needed to go somewhere in a calm voice. They got in the Toyota and drove to New York City. They were completely silent most of the way. After approximately two hours, Felix had the courage to ask his mom where they were going. His mom said somewhere grand. They got to New York Grand Central Station ten minutes after that question. Felix’s mom asked for tickets for the train Olympus Express. The ticket man responded, “What ma’am?” Then Felix’s mom said that they had an audience with Jupiter. It took a great deal of persuading to finally get the ticket. The ticket read, “Pillar between Gates 11 and 12-Olympus Express”. Felix’s mom pulled Felix there. She threw the ticket at the pillar. Instead of bouncing harmlessly off, the ticket went into the pillar. Felix was so startled that he blacked out.
When Felix woke up, he was laying in the throne room of Olympus. He saw all the Roman gods and goddesses staring at him. He was too alarmed to speak. Finally, he heard a thunderous voice booming around the room. “FELIX IS FINALLY AWAKE.” When Felix looked straight forward, he saw the enormous figure sitting on the largest throne. He had cloudy eyes and held a lightning bolt brighter than the sun. He was wearing a toga. The figure then started speaking to him, “FELIX MY SON, I AM JUPITER, KING OF THE GODS”.
Felix was shocked and could only say one thing, “Did you make our history room shake?”
Another voice then spoke, “WE CANNOT TELL YOU EVERYTHING YET, BUT YOU MUST STOP PLUTO, LORD OF THE UNDERWORLD.”
Felix blurted out “What, why?”
“HE IS TRYING TO OVERTHROW US. WE ARE NOT SURE WHY AND WE NEED YOU TO HELP US FIND OUT AND STOP HIM. WE BELIEVE THAT SOMETHING MORE POWERFUL THEN EVEN US IS TRYING TO CONTROL HIM.”
“Why do you need me?”
“YOU ARE THE ONLY CAPABLE DEMIGOD FOR A CENTURY. THERE IS NO MORE TIME TO TALK. WE MUST SEND YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY.”
Jupiter, then spoke to Felix and told him that he had a gift for him. It was a paperclip. Felix didn’t understand why he gave him that. When he bent it, it grew in to a full sized three foot long sword. Under the sun, it gleamed so bright, he had to cover his eyes. It was perfectly balanced. After a few minutes of admiring this deadly weapon, Felix was teleported to his house. Felix thought it was a dream, but he reached into his pocket and the paperclip was there. Felix knew what he had to do. He had to go to the Underworld.
Felix packed briefly. He stuck his paperclip in his pocket along with his wallet and threw a few wooden sticks in his backpack. Felix went downstairs to the kitchen and told his mom his quest. His mom nodded at everything. As Felix walked out the door, his mom kissed him on the forehead and said, “Good Luck.” Felix walked out the door in silence. He didn't want to look back but he did. He knew he wouldn't be seeing his mom for a long time. For some unknown reason, Felix sensed where the entrance to the Underworld was. It was near the ancient Pantheon in Rome. Felix would have to catch a plane…
The airport was the size of a bug compared to the throne room at Mount Olympus. Felix took some money from his wallet and casually walked through the sliding doors of Terminal A. He bought tickets to the earliest flight to Rome. As he walked through security, he placed his wallet and paperclip in his bag. When he walked through the gates, he wondered how his paperclip sword could ever go through the detector without being noticed. Right after picking up his bag, he took his paperclip out and stuffed it into his pocket. He ran towards Gate 3, where the plane awaited him.
The flight to Rome was not the greatest. The wind kept tossing the plane around as if the wind was juggling, and the food was stale and slimy. Felix managed to eat what he could without throwing up, and tried to get some sleep. Though the sudden jerks of turbulence kept him awake but fatigue finally overtook him. Felix awoke to babbling sounds produced by the intercom as the captain was preparing to make an announcement. "We will be landing soon so fasten your seat belts." Felix looked out the window and scoped cars zooming on the freeways and glaring windows on tremendous skyscrapers. He looked a little more closely and saw the little dots of tourists crowding around the famous Pantheon. Suddenly, the plane hit the ground and a jolt went through Felix. After Felix got out of the airport, he took a deep breath of sweet fresh air. New energy surged through him and he sprinted to his destination.
The streets were filled with people going in and out of shops, alleyways, and houses. As he ran past the Circus Maximus, he saw tourists funneling up into the single file line that led into the arena. Finally, he got to the Pantheon. He walked through the main gate and out the back, going to a high hill in the distance. As he climbed up the hill, he noticed that the grass was withering and dyeing because of the faint Underworld aura. When he reached the top, he spied the boulder he was looking for.
Felix touched the boulder and muttered “Aperire,” which means “to open” in Latin. The boulder sank through the ground revealing a secret passage way that seemed to have no end. Felix walked down the passage way…
The tunnel had pictures of monsters. They looked like they were going to walk straight out of the wall. It seemed like hours until Felix got to the bottom. When Felix reached the end of the tunnel, he started to hear growling. He continued to walk forward and then he saw the source of the growling-a monster! It was the gigantic three-headed mutt, Cerberus. Luckily, Felix was prepared. He took three wooden sticks out of his backpack. He fiercely threw them all at the same time at Cerberus (as all dogs like sticks and Cerberus was a dog). Felix ran as fast as he could through the enormous legs of distracted Cerberus and straight to Pluto’s Palace.
As he got closer to the palace, he saw two skeleton guards of Pluto, Spartus’s, were standing at the front door, holding three foot long iron swords. They caught sight of Felix, and swung their swords. Felix jumped back and took out his paperclip. He was hoping that he would never need to use it but he couldn’t worry about that now. He parried the Spartus’s swing and lunged. He hit one Spartus in the chest and it exploded into a pile of dust. Then he quickly slashed at the other Spartus but it parried. Then he tried aiming for the head. Still, there was no luck for Felix. Finally, when Felix was pushed to the banks of the River Styx, he threw his sword. It plunged itself deep into the monster’s neck and the Spartus staggered back and forth. Felix heaved his sword out of the Spartus’s neck, and pushed the Spartus into the Styx. The Spartus slowly dissolved away.
Felix crept into the palace looking for Pluto. Pluto was the last person he wanted to see because he was tired and scared. Felix threw that thought away. After what seemed like ages, he came upon the dining hall of Pluto. A sharp screeching voice was talking. It wasn't like monsters, nor was it like his father’s. “PROSERPINA, PLEASE BRING ME THE ROASTED POMEGRANATE. I AM HUNGRY. THE SOONER WE GET RID OF THE OTHER GODS, THE MORE TIME WE WILL HAVE TO RULE THE WORLD.”
Then a sweet mellow voice spoke, “Yes Pluto, your food will be there in a minute.”
Felix courageously jumped into the dining hall and shouted, “Pluto, I have come here to stop you. You will not overthrow the other gods and goddesses”
Pluto jumped back in surprise. Then he replied, “AH, ANOTHER ONE TO DESTROY. I REMEMBER WHEN JUPITER SENT ONE LAST YEAR AND I DISINTEGRATED HIM.” Felix thought, disintegrated? Without thinking, Felix got a firm grip on his sword handle and charged. He jumped up stabbing Pluto in the knee. Then he rose up causing Pluto’s robe to tear. As he came in for another attack, Pluto snapped his fingers and Felix couldn't move. Pluto then screeched, “I HAVE LEARNED A FEW TRICKS FROM MY FATHER, SATURN. SINCE HE IS IN TARTARES, I RELY ON MY GRANDFATHER, OURANUS.” Pluto clapped and his robe sealed itself up and all his wounds healed. Then he snapped his fingers and Felix was running again. Felix then stopped in his tracks. Crack! The floor split open suddenly. Felix jumped over the crack and stabbed Pluto in the stomach. Then Felix had a huge urge to try something he didn't even understand. He tried to unleash his secret power, lightning. CRACK SNAP WHACK. Pluto was thrown back to the edge of Tartares. Then Felix threw his blade, hoping that Pluto would disintegrate. Instead, the flat of the blade hit Pluto in the face. Pluto tumbled into Tartares screaming. “AGHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhh…” After a few minutes, the screaming ceased and Felix was left alone on the flat Underworld plateau. Felix picked up his sword and trudged away. Near the exit, a Spartus started chasing him, but Felix spun around and quickly chopped its head off.
He was tired, hungry, and cold, but he managed to crawl into the real world from the tunnel. He checked the time. It was 10:43 PM, October 4, 2012, three days after he had left. He pulled out his return ticket and headed towards the airport.
As soon as Felix opened the front door, his mom smothered him in hugs and kisses. Tears of joy were dripping from her face like rain. After getting herself together she asked Felix to walk to the kitchen. His mom opened the door. There, it was the Pegasus! Felix jumped with joy and happiness. She told him that he needed to go to Olympus by Pegasus. He jumped on the magical beast and kicked his heels. Pegasus flew out the window and zoomed to Olympus. As soon as the horse landed Felix looked around. He was bewildered by the spectacular sight! There were golden statues and marble buildings. A fountain sprinkled water to the trees and flowers. There were many minor gods and goddesses walking around in milky white togas. He knew he didn't have long so he walked to the throne room and knocked on the door. He heard the familiar booming but now friendly voice. “HELLO FELIX, I SEE THAT YOU HAVE SUCCEEDED. PLEASE TELL US EVERYTHING.”
Felix told them everything. A goddess with misty gray eyes-Minerva started to speak. “PLUTO WAS NOT ACTING BY HIMSELF THEN.”
Jupiter then looked at Neptune. They exchanged nervous glances. “WE MUST GO” boomed Neptune. In a clap of lightning and thunder, they disappeared. Minerva then sternly told Felix, “YOU HAVE DONE WELL, DEMIGOD. WE WISH YOU WELL. THANK YOU FOR DOING AS A GOOD DEED. WE WON’T FORGET YOU. GOOD BYE!!!” Mars, the god of war who liked all the glory for himself than spoke in a rude manner, “GO. SHOO. I HAVE PREPARED A RIDE FOR YOU.” Felix rushed out the entrance. Outside was a crimson red chariot drawn by a fiery horse! Felix jumped on, and was whisked away.
Felix was proud of what he did and had more self-confidence. He started making new friends. Gradually, he started to talk with his new friends on the bus. All his worries were carried away...