war games

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"They're not talking. Ciarda didn't even sleep in Ares cabin last night," Whispers of the La Rue sisters' feud had spread along campus. "Ignore them, they don't understand," Luke glanced at Ciarda, somewhat intimidated by her calm exterior. She'd woken up early and taken her braids out. 

Her dark eyes were lifeless and cold, the look of a warrior. Jaw muscles flexed under her bronze skin when Clarisse and Eros came into view. "Ciarda-" Clarisse called over, guilt washing over her features. 

Ciarda didn't acknowledge her only sister but sat with Luke instead, letting him grab her usual breakfast and a cold drink. People stared at her face, a black and purple bruise blooming across her face, and her shins which were bloodied and scabbed. 

Summer had dawned and the mornings became sick with sunlight.  Her colourful beads clattered as she placed her hands on the wooden table, closing her eyes when Percy sat down. The boy had caused her nothing but trouble - why was she paired with him?

His hair was as curly as hers, knotted from sleeping on the floor. Not being claimed had its effect on demigods - Ciarda had witnessed first-hand the raw emotions which came from their Gods' abandonment. 

Percy placed his tray of breakfast opposite her, forming the beginning of their conversation with: "What do you know about Annabeth?" 

Ciarda looked up, her dark eyes shining golden in the sunlight. "Annabeth Chase?" Ciarda's neck twisted to look at the petite girl who was munching on salted bread while staring back at them. 

"Athena's kid, why?" Ciarda turned back to Percy who was gulping down his juice. "She's stalking me." She rolled her eyes at Percy's accusation. "She's sizing you up, not that there's much of you."

"Are you guys ready for Capture The Flag?" Luke grinned as he set a tray of food in front of Ciarda and himself. The wooden table was isolated from the rest of the chattering communal area. It was the one, days prior, Ciarda stood on as she heard Grover screaming for help. 

Moss crumbled off the edges of the wood, falling into Percy's lap. He brushed it onto the floor before falling into a habit of munching his food.

His eyes begged Ciarda to get back on track with the conversation, but he and his stalkers were not her problem. Ciarda stood suddenly, grabbing the food she would miss most from her breakfast: the crusty bread which flaked off into the pot of beans and eggs.

She stood in the centre of the tables, her feet relaxing against the comforting sensation of dry pine needles. Nobody looked as Campers got up to sacrifice their food - showing the meaning of their prayer to the gods. 

"They like the smell of burning food?" Percy asked the La Rue as he scrambled up, dumping his fried egg in the fire dimly. "They like the smell of begging," Ciarda huffed. Percy retreated when he felt her hard tone. 

She tore off pieces of her bread and threw them into the fire with attitude. There was nothing she liked less than begging for her family's attention. She hated feeling inferior. Watching her bread curl into ash and embers brought her a sense of peace. She angrily prayed to her Dad, like always. 

"Cici-" Clarisse appeared, grasping onto her sister's wrist. It was harshly jerked from her hold. Ciarda turned to look at her sister. Clarisse's eyes widened when she saw the injuries on her sister's face. Ciarda let it speak volumes before she made her way back to her breakfast with a quiet, "Don't talk to me." 

"So, Annabeth? Do you know anything more about her? I saw her yesterday after the bathroom and your sister-" Percy's rant was severed when Ciarda angrily interrupted.

𝐖𝐀𝐑 𝐎𝐅 𝐓𝐈𝐃𝐄𝐒  | percy jacksonWhere stories live. Discover now