Child of Magic

“Why are we here again?” Riff Lorton asked his friend Tony Wyzek. “We’re here because they have a new Greek and Roman exhibit that I want to see,” Tony replied. “Why are you so interested in this stuff, anyway?” Riff asked him. “I don’t know. I’ve just always liked it. There’s nothing wrong with that,” Tony replied, irritated. “Whoa. Calm down. I didn’t say there was,” Riff said, in an attempt to pacify his friend. His best friend stood very tall and muscular, but not bulky, with dark brown, almost black, hair and brown eyes. He got them from his mother, who’d abandoned his family when Tony was a baby. They’d also discovered that Tony was dyslexic and had ADHD. Tony explained that he’d been diagnosed with the ADHD since he was a little kid and they’d discovered the dyslexia when he entered kindergarten.

Just then, Riff thought he saw something move in the shadow of one of the nearby columns. “W-what was that?” He stammered, looking at his friends nervously. “I didn’t see anything. You’re seeing things. Hey look, it’s a statue of Heracles taming the Nemean Lion!” Tony called out. “How can you tell that?” Riff asked, puzzled. “Because it says so right there,” Tony said, pointing. Riff looked and saw where his friend was pointing. “Tony, that’s not even in English. There’s no way you could read that,” he protested. “Well, it was in English to me,” Tony told him, shrugging. Riff couldn’t believe it: first Tony had trouble reading, yet now he read something that wasn’t even in English with no problem? Something funny was going on.

Unfortunately, they didn’t have time to wonder about it, as suddenly the thing Riff had seen earlier burst out of hiding and started attacking them. It was a huge serpent and everything it looked at, bugs, people, etc. were instantly frozen in their tracks. Nothing seemed to pierce the serpent’s hide. Its scales were harder than titanium. Tony was the first to figure it out. “Don’t look in its eyes or you’ll be frozen where you stand, and for heaven’s sake don’t let it bite you!” Tony called out. Just then, Tony heard a voice behind him. “Tony, take this pen and click it,” the tour guide he’d seen earlier, Aaron, called out, tossing something to him through the air. Tony caught it and clicked it as he’d been told. To his amazement, it turned into a sword in his hands! “Whoa!” Tony cried in surprise. Just then, Tony heard a voice whispering in his mind, telling him words, and without thinking, Tony said them aloud. Without warning, the drakon caught fire, much to its surprise, Tony’s, and that of his friends. “Okay, what just happened?” his friend Riff asked. “I have no idea,” Tony replied truthfully.

Riff was astounded by what he’d just seen. Aaron knew that Tony would not be safe in the outside world at the moment, so he took Tony home and just simply told his father, “Jack, Tony needs to go now — like right now.” Tony didn’t know what was going on, but he drove with his dad, Aron, and his friends toward some place in upstate New York. While they drove, his dad explained about where he was going, “a camp for special people”. He also told his son about how he met his mother, only saying that she seemed very mysterious when he first saw her. When they got there, Jack told his son to head for the camp. Tony wanted to ask questions, but realized now was not the time, so he ran for the camp he could see in the distance. He made it inside the barrier and breathed a sigh of relief as he got there. Just then, he saw a guy coming toward him who seemed to have the upper body of a human teenager and the lower body of a goat! “What the heck?!” Tony exclaimed in surprise. “Hi, I’m Grover, one of the satyrs here at camp. What’s your name?” the guy asked. “I’m Tony Wyzek. What kind of camp is this, anyway? Also, are you really half goat?” Tony asked, puzzled. “Yeah, I am. Welcome to Camp Half-Blood, camp for young heroes-in-training. You must be the guy my friend Aaron mentioned,” Grover said. Tony was surprised that Grover knew Aaron, but assumed that Aaron must also be a satyr based on the conversation they’d had when Tony met him. “Camp Half-Blood? ‘Half’ meaning what, exactly?” Tony asked. “I think you know. You remember what I mentioned at the museum about how the gods came down to earth and hooked up with mortals, and then they had kids”, Grover said, putting deliberate emphasis on the last word.

“No way,” Tony said unbelievingly. “Yep, you’re a demigod. Two points for you!” Grover whooped. Tony couldn’t believe it — he was the child of a god? “So who’s my parent, then?” Tony asked. “We won’t know for sure until you’re claimed. Once you are, then you move into the cabin of your respective parent. Until then, you stay in the Hermes cabin. Whoa guys! Watch out! Newcomer coming through. Hello! Gosh!” This last comment was directed at several campers with bows and arrows who’d almost shot them full of arrows by accident.

After that, Tony was shown to a field near the lake where a bunch of centaurs were running. One camper was already there visiting with one of them. Grover told Tony his name was Percy Jackson. The centaur turned out to be named Chiron, and he excused himself and trotted over when he noticed Tony and Grover’s presence. “Welcome young demigod. Who are you, young one?” the centaur asked. Tony didn’t know quite what to make of the creature who stood before him. From the waist upwards, he was a man, but below the waist, he had the body of a large white horse! “Holy crap, a centaur! I’ve heard of them, but I never dreamed they existed! I’m Tony Wyzek,” Tony told the centaur. “Hello Tony. Do you know who your godly parent is yet?” Chiron asked him. “No, I don’t. All I know is that Dad says she was very mysterious,” Tony replied. “Well, hopefully she will claim you before too long,” Chiron said.

They began to walk toward the cabins where a girl with long blond hair and gray eyes who had a Yankees baseball cap tucked in her pocket waited for them. “Hi. I’m Annabeth Chase. So I heard you’re Tony. Okay, you’re in the Hermes cabin. That’s where all the unclaimed kids go. Whether they stay in there for good or not depends on whether their god parent claims them,” Annabeth explained as she led him over to it. Tony moved his things in and attempted to find a place in the severely overcrowded cabin. He met the head councillors, Travis and Connor Stoll, and learned quickly to keep an eye on his things, since Hermes was also the god of thieves.

Tony remained in the cabin for about a month, until one night at the campfire. Grover and the others had mentioned being claimed and Tony wondered what that could mean. He found out at the campfire that night. They were sitting around the fire when suddenly everyone backed away from Tony in shock. “What is it? What’s wrong?” Tony asked. Then he saw a fading symbol over his head — a pair of crescent moons facing different directions back to back. “Hail Tony Wyzek, son of Hecate, the goddess of magic and sorcery,” Chiron said, bowing low as all the other campers did the same. After the campfire was over, Tony was led to one of the newer cabins, number twenty. It was a cabin with magical writing on it. According to what Tony was told if one of the stones fell from the cabin, it would explode or cause everyone within a half-mile radius to turn into a tree.

The cabin’s interior was decorated with magical symbols and there were magic books all over the place. Apparently they were used by the Hecate kids to brush up on their magical abilities. The only other occupant of the cabin was a girl named Lou Ellen, hence she was the head counsellor. From what Tony learned from her, Hecate was a lover of solitude, spent lots of time in the Underworld, and was close friends with Hades and Persephone. She had resented not being honored by the demigods since she had supported Cronus in the Second Titan War (the war between the Gods of Olympus, their demigod children, and Cronus’s forces). But after the war was over, Percy had demanded that the Olympians claim all their demigod children by the age of thirteen. This had resulted in the Hermes cabin becoming less crowded and a lot of new cabins being built at Camp. One of them was Hecate’s cabin, in which Tony now stood. Since the building of the cabin, Hecate had given up her grudge against Olympus, but was very protective of her children since many of them were lost, captured, or embittered by the experience of the second Titans’ rule.

Gradually, Tony got absorbed in the activities of Camp Half-Blood. He had Ancient Greek, taught by Annabeth, archery, metal forging, sword practice, and many other incredible activities around the camp. He got to play capture the flag once, teaming up with the Aphrodite kids and the rest of the Blue Team to capture the flag of the Red Team, which included the Athena kids, meaning that Tony had a hard time beating them. Percy’s cabin won, though. The capture the flag game allowed him to meet some of the other campers, including Clarisse La Rue, daughter of Ares. Tony was both taken with her and intimidated by her at the same time. She would definitely give Bernardo a run for his money, he thought. Clarisse was very tough and she dunked some of the weaker campers’ heads in the toilet frequently. She knew how to use a sword, despised the Apollo campers because they thought they were better than the Ares campers due to the fact that they could use ranged weapons like bows and arrows. Tony personally didn’t think any cabin was better than another in general, but he did concede that each cabin had certain qualities another didn’t in battle. He definitely did have to admire Clarisse’s guts, though. She was a formidable opponent if you had to fight her and a great ally if she was on your side. He definitely hoped he wouldn’t have to fight her in a real battle to the death.

Tony soon discovered he had his own powers as a child of Hecate. The ADHD and dyslexia he already knew about, but he also discovered he could perform spells by speaking in either Latin or Ancient Greek — creating effects such as creating fire, protecting himself, and shielding himself from the tracking abilities of monsters. He also learned that he could control the Mist (a supernatural force controlled by his mother that twisted mortals’ sight and prevented them from seeing monsters, gods, Titans, and various mythical creatures as they were, and instead replacing them with things the mortal mind knew about and could understand). This allowed him to alter mortals’ perceptions and memories. Tony wished he’d known about those last two earlier. They certainly would have been useful when he was with his friends. Oh well, at least he knew about them now.

Tony spent the rest of the summer participating in camp activities and studying magic in the cabin with Lou Ellen, occasionally visited by Hecate, who wanted to see how their studies were coming along. Tony soon became quite accomplished with his powers and was almost sad to see the summer come to an end. However, they had forms to fill out so the camp director, Mr. D. (aka Dionysus) would know who was staying at camp year-round. Tony chose to return home and lived a very different life after that. He lived his life as normally as he could and frequently used his sword to battle the mythological monsters and other creatures that came into his life, while balancing time with his non-demigod friends, school, and Camp too. He made a name for himself as a hero and left behind a legacy that would last a lifetime.