XLVIII

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[KYRA]

THE PLAN WENT WRONG ALMOST IMMEDIATELY

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THE PLAN WENT WRONG ALMOST IMMEDIATELY. Piper scrambled along the ridge, trying to keep her head down, while Leo, Kyra, Jason, and Coach Hedge walked straight into the clearing.

Jason summoned his golden lance. He brandished it over his head and yelled, "Giant!" Which sounded pretty good, and a lot more confident than Kyra could've managed. She was thinking more along the lines of, "We are pathetic ants! Don't kill us!"

Enceladus stopped chanting at the flames. He turned toward them and grinned, revealing fangs like a saber-toothed tiger's, "Well," the giant rumbled. "What a nice surprise."

Kyra didn't like the sound of that. She softly nudged Leo and he stepped sideways, edging his way toward the bulldozer.

Coach Hedge shouted, "Let the movie star go, you big ugly cupcake! Or I'm gonna plant my hoof right up your—"

"Hedge," Kyra hissed, "Shut up."

Enceladus roared with laughter. "I've forgotten how funny satyrs are. When we rule the world, I think I'll keep your kind around. You can entertain me while I eat all the other mortals."

"Is that a compliment?" Hedge frowned at the others, "I don't think that was a compliment."

Enceladus opened his mouth wide, and his teeth began to glow.

"Scatter!" Leo yelled.

Jason and Hedge dove to the left as the giant blew fire—a furnace blast so hot even Festus would've been jealous. Leo and Kyra dodged behind the bulldozer. Leo would up his homemade device and dropped it into the driver's seat. Then he ran to the right, heading for the tree harvester while Kyra tried to get to higher ground.

Out of the corner of her eye, Kyra saw Jason rise and charge the giant. Coach Hedge ripped off his canary yellow jacket, which was now on fire, and bleated angrily. "I liked that outfit!" Then he raised his club and charged, too.

Before they could get very far, Enceladus slammed his spear against the ground. The entire mountain shook.

The shockwave made it harder for Kyra to balance herself on the large rock she had climbed. Through a haze of grassfire and bitter smoke, he saw Jason staggering to his feet on the other side of the clearing. Coach Hedge was knocked out cold. He'd fallen forward and hit his head on a log. His furry hindquarters were sticking straight up, with his canary yellow pants around his knees.

The giant bellowed, "I see you, Piper McLean!" He turned and blew fire at a line of bushes to Kyra. Piper ran into the clearing like a flushed quail, the underbrush burning behind her.

Enceladus laughed. "I'm happy you've arrived. And you brought me my prizes!"

Kyra's gut twisted. This was the moment Piper had warned them about. They'd played right into Enceladus's hands.

The giant must've read Kyra's expression because he laughed even louder. "That's right, daughter of Apollo. I didn't expect you all to stay alive this long, but it doesn't matter. By bringing you here, Piper McLean has sealed the deal. If she betrays you, I'm as good as my word. She can take her father and go. What do I care about a movie star?"

GOLDEN DAYS |JASON GRACE| {1}Where stories live. Discover now