In this chapter, Archie and Atlanta travel with the others that are stuck in the dream world, but soon stop at a new campsite for the night. But Archie falls prey to the "water-demons" and Atlanta ...
Disclaimer: Again, as usual, so not mine.
Class of the Titans: The Land Of Dreams
Chapter Six: Wrath of the Water-Demons
By the time it was early in the afternoon, the sun had grown even hotter, and Atlanta was starting to feel sick. Archie, noticing her now much slower pace, slowed down so that he was walking the same speed as her. Andrew, Sarah, and Lizzy, were tired and hot, but they didn't say a word of complaint to Archie or Atlanta.
Finally, they stopped at a nearby river, so that they could get cooled off. For some reason it seemed as though they were never hungry or thirsty, but they still felt the heat. Andrew went off with the two girls to go into the river, and now with a chance to have a moment alone with Atlanta, Archie walked over to her and sat down.
"Are you feeling okay?" he asked her. Atlanta looked up at him, her eyes only half open. She turned her gaze back to the ground, and sighed.
"Yeah... no... I don't know," she cried, frustrated. Archie stood up and grabbed her hand. Atlanta stared at him questioningly, but said nothing. Archie led her to the water, and even he was standing in the more shallow parts without showing too much fear.
"You better cool off, you'll get a heat stroke if you stay in the sun so long, and you'll sweat to death from this heat if you don't do something." Archie explained. Atlanta knelt down in the water, splashing some of the cool water on her face and the back of her neck. Too bad I didn't bring a swimsuit... she thought, rubbing water on her arms. But I guess its not something you think of when you go to sleep... Atlanta realized then that Archie was still standing next to her in the water.
"I thought you were afraid of water," Atlanta commented. Archie flinched, and looked down at the flowing river he was standing in.
"I am, but friends come first... at least, if its only a small river." he added. Atlanta laughed and shook her head. She pretended to be wetting her face, but when Archie was distracted she splashed him, soaking him entirely. Archie wiped the hair back from his forehead and glared at Atlanta.
"That was on purpose," he accused her. Atlanta shrugged, splashing her face with water.
"Whatever Archie, we don't have time for your accusations." she scolded him. She grinned and flicked water in his face, walking past him. Archie shook his head, grinning. She never changes... he thought, sighing. And I hope she never does. He added in his mind. He looked around and saw that Atlanta had walked over to Andrew, Lizzy and Sarah. Archie jogged over to them, and stopped just beside Atlanta.
"We should move on, it's almost dark out now and soon there won't be enough light to travel," Archie told them. Lizzy, Sarah and Andrew groaned. Archie rolled his eyes and sighed. "What now?" he asked tiredly. Maybe we should have left them back there with Phaea, at least then we wouldn't have them dragging us down. I would have given them my Hephaestus Whip if I would have known they'd be this slow.
"Can't we just take a break?" Andrew whined. They heard a howling sound in the distance, and Sarah jumped, hiding behind Archie who had his Hephaestus whip ready. She blushed when she realized what she had done, and she went over to Andrew, coughing to cover her embarrassment. Atlanta growled under her breath, but she said nothing. She raised her arm, looking around for anything that posed as a threat. Seeing nothing, she lowered her wrist cross-bow.
"I think Archie's right, it's not safe to stay here. Until we..." Atlanta searched for the right word, "wake up," she decided, "it's best we keep moving." Lizzy turned to her suspiciously.
"Until we wake up?" she asked. Atlanta forced a grin.
"Uh... just a figure of speech." she told her quickly. "Now let's go!" she exclaimed, changing the subject quickly. She ran across the river, water splashing up to her pants. She turned around and saw Archie shaking his head. He knew about her super speed, but the others were completely stunned. Archie followed her across the river, but stopped half way. He turned around and saw that Lizzy, Andrew and Sarah still hadn't followed behind him.
"Come on." he told them. They still didn't budge, and he sighed, irritated. "As in, now." He told them. They grumbled behind him and started following. We better find some weapons soon, I don't think I can take them following us anymore... it wasn't so bad before, but now they're whining- we're all tired, but that's not going to keep us away from whatever's out there. Archie shook his head. I feel like Theresa suddenly... sensing something bad. Now I know why she can act like such a drama queen- it feels bad to feel as if something's going to happen.
Archie finally made his way across the river, and waited with Atlanta while the others caught up. Then they continued walking through the tall grass on the other side of the river. After an hour of walking (taking the odd break here and there, since Archie was still worried about Atlanta, and because they were still tired) they finally found a spot to camp for the night. It probably wasn't the safest spot, but then again, there was no safe areas here. They had no idea what else lurked in this mysterious land, and they'd only know when they encountered it. Besides... Archie thought, if I have to hear Andrew, Lizzy or Sarah complain one more time that they're tired- I'm going to have to go crazy on them. Better to stop now, and it is late.
"Okay, find a place you want to sleep tonight. Atlanta, do you want to stay here and work on the fire, or do you want to go scout the area and check out our surroundings so we know what's going on?" Archie asked. Atlanta grinned.
"I'll take... scouting the area." she replied finally. She stood up and walked past Archie, whispering on her way, "Sorry- you shouldn't have given me a choice." she added. Archie stood up and glared at the three teens lying flat on their backs on the ground, moaning and complaining.
"Oh no, please, don't hurt yourselves by helping me collect wood," Archie muttered sarcastically. "You just sit there and get comfortable while I do all the work, really I don't mind." They didn't hear what he muttered, which was a good thing considering it wasn't meant for them to hear anyway. Archie grabbed some wood from the bushes they had come out of and brought it back to the clearing. They'd have to start a fire if they wanted to live. Live from what? We seem to have been here forever, but... can we die from this? Or is it just a dream? Archie dropped the wood in a pile and returned to the woods to get more. Suddenly, he heard Atlanta screaming.
"Help!" her voice rang out with desperation evident. Archie dropped the wood he was holding in his arms. Atlanta! "Archie, please, help me!" she screamed suddenly and her voice was gone. Only dead silence could be heard, not even the sounds of the wilderness around them. Archie ran back to the clearing and looked around. Atlanta hadn't returned yet, and Archie knew that the others wouldn't be of any help.
"Has Atlanta come back yet?" he asked them quickly. They seemed surprised and shook their heads in unison. Archie groaned, running a hand through his hair. "... stay here, and be careful. I have to find her." Archie added.
"What's the big deal? She can protect herself," Andrew added lazily.
"I... I know she can, believe me. I know more than anyone... but I heard her cry for help, I thought maybe..."
"She was in danger?" Andrew suggested. Archie nodded and quickly left. "Wait, where are you going?" Andrew called. Archie turned around briefly.
"To find Atlanta!"
Atlanta stood on top of the hill, looking out past the thick jungle that lay ahead, and groaned. Why were they even traveling? They both were aware that they were asleep, and that... although this place was real in many ways, it was still nothing short of a dream. A terrible, seemingly never-ending dream they couldn't wake themselves from.
"Help!" Atlanta turned around, shocked. It sounded... like her! But I didn't say anything... she thought, reasoning with herself.
"Archie, please, help me!" the voice cried again. Suddenly, there was a scream, and then silence. Archie? But... it isn't me saying that... he knows that, right? She thought. Hearing rustling in the bushes, Atlanta looked around and saw nothing. She started running back to the clearing, but saw Archie talking to the others. She went to call to him and tell him that she wasn't in any danger, but the voice cried again.
"Archie, hurry!" Archie started running and all Atlanta could do was run after him. For some reason, she felt as if she was running her fastest, but it was taking her nowhere. Finally, she saw Archie wading in the water. In front of him was a lake, and an ugly creature he couldn't seem to see. Suddenly, it was pulling him under.
Archie stopped in the water, shocked at what he was doing. Here he was, facing his fear of water, to rescue Atlanta. How did he even know she was IN the water? It's where her voice is coming from... Archie told himself. It has to be her, she must be here somewhere. Archie started walking deeper into the water, which was now up to his waist. He heard splashing in front of him, and he called out.
"Atlanta?" he called softly. Suddenly, something was grabbing him.
"Archie!" he heard again- only this time, it was behind him. Archie turned just in time to see a worried Atlanta standing back at the shore before he was pulled under.
Not expecting a small creature to lunge at him and hold him underwater, Archie was running out of air, fast. He struggled with the creature, attempting to get his head above water even just long enough to catch another burst of breath before being pulled under, but he failed again. He was starting to have difficulty seeing, as everything tried to turn black. All he could do was fight and struggle and hope Atlanta, if it really was her, got to him in time as he was pulled deeper and deeper into the water he feared so much...
Suddenly he was pulled out of the grasp of the ugly creature, and he was gasping for air, trying to breathe. The next thing he knew, he was on the shore lying on the ground, trying to catch his breath, Atlanta sitting nearby.
"Are you... okay?" she asked, concerned. Archie coughed up a little water he had swallowed and sat up, feeling dizzy.
"I... think so. Th... thanks, Atlanta," he replied gratefully. He didn't know what he should say to her to express how grateful he was, or what he should do. He just sat there awkwardly, staring out at the water. Suddenly he felt Atlanta move closer to him and turned to ask her what she was doing, when she kissed him softly on the lips. Archie sat there with his eyes closed, trying to figure out what just happened. By the time he had opened them, Atlanta was gone.
A/N: Well there it is, sorry for the extremely long wait and the somewhat-cliffie at the end, but anyway as to what the water-demon was, you will learn more about it in the next chapter- but maybe if you have any knowledge of Greek mythology at all, or you are good at looking things up, you can check it out. Here's a hint: The water-demons hate humans and prey on travelers, mimicking the voice of the one the traveler held dearest to them, and then drowned the human. Anyway, R&R!