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7 / Percy

Right next to him, a familiar voice jolted him back to the

present: “There you are!”

Percy stumbled away from the gorgon, almost falling off

the edge of the hill. It was the smiley one—Beano.

O k a y , h e r n a m e w a s n t r e a l l y B e a n o . A s n e a r a s P e r c y

could figure, he was dyslexic, because words got twisted around when he tried to read. The first time he’d seen the gorgon, posing as a Bargain Mart greeter with a big green button that read: welcome! my name is stheno, he’d thought it said .

She was still wearing her green Bargain Mart employee vest over a flower-print dress. If you just looked at her body, you might think she was somebody’s dumpy old grandmother

  • until you looked down and realized she had rooster feet.

Or you looked up and saw bronze boar tusks sticking out of the corners of her mouth. Her eyes glowed red, and her hair was a writhing nest of bright green snakes.

The most horrible thing about her? She was still hold- ing her big silver platter of free samples: Crispy Cheese ’n’ Wieners. Her platter was all dented from all the times Percy had killed her, but those little samples looked perfectly fine. Stheno just kept toting them across California so she could offer Percy a snack before she killed him. Percy didn’t know why she kept doing that, but if he ever needed a suit of armor, he was going to make it out of Crispy Cheese ’n’ Wieners. That stuff was indestructible.

“Try one?” Stheno offered. P e r c y f e n d e d h e r o ff w i t h h i s s w o r d . W h e r e s y o u r s i s t e r ?

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