Book 6 - Mystery of Shadow Mountain - Chapter 2: The Will to Survive

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httyyd
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That took a few hours longer than I wanted.  Nonetheless, here is the next chapter.

 

What the mystery will be is still technically a mystery to me too. XD.  I'm not sure what I want it to be, but I am giving myself clues aka the suggestions I get to set up an over arching mystery/plot to follow.  More than in the past, you guys are finding out things in the story that I just thought of or found a place for a suggestion.  Every book prior, I had a general idea for what I wanted to do. For this book, I do want it to be a real, true, and pure mystery, I just need to find one.  Just as Jarl and his crew want to find one, I'll fit suggestions and my ideas together as he would his clues to make they mystery.

 

You could say this is a mystery inside a mystery.  "What will I do for a mystery that will be a mystery to Jarl?"  What a mystery!  XD

 

Hope you guys enjoy the chapter.

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Links to my latest chapters below.

Links to my six other Fan-Fics and one Fiction stories down further.

I currently have eight stories altogether, two of which are currently being written.

 

The Crimson Storm

Chapter 17 - Everything Comes Full Circle

The Crimson Storm, my seventh fan-fic in four years!  Updates every Monday Night!

 

Destiny in the Dark

My book for National Novel Writing Month.

Chapter 2 - Arcadia Station

Updates whenever I get a chapter done!

 

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Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic series.

The books go in chronological order.

 

The Clue of the Missing Socks.

Chapters 1 and 2                         Chapter 3                                       Chapter 4

Chapter 5                                      Chapter 6                                        Chapter 7

Chapters 8 and 9                        Chapter 10                                     Chapter 11

Chapters 12 and 13                     Chapters 14, 15, and 16             Chapter 17

Chapter 18                                    Chapter 19                                      Chapter 20

Chapter 21 and 22                      Chapter 23                                     Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26 - There is a hidden surprise.  Can you find it?

Chapter 27                                   Chapter 28, Part 1                         Chapter 28, Part 2

Chapter 29                                   Chapter 30                                       Chapter 31

Chapter 32                                   Chapter 33                                       Chapter 34

Chapter 35                                   Chapter 36                                       Chapter 37

Chapter 38                                   Chapter 39                                       Chapter 40

Chapter 41                                   Chapter 42                                       Chapter 43

Chapter 44                                   Chapter 45, Parts 1 and 2

 

Here are links to my sequel fan-fic:

The Mysterious Frozen Fire

Chapter 1         Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4         Chapter 5         Chapter 6

Chapter 7         Chapter 8         Chapter 9         Chapter 10       Chapter 11       Chapter 12

Chapter 13       Chapter 14       Chapter 15        Chapter 16       Chapter 17       Chapter 18  

Chapter 19       Chapter 20      Chapter 21        Chapter 22, Part 1       Chapter 22, Part 2 

Chapter 22, Part 3

Epilogue/Preview for my Third Story!

 

Here are links to my Tri-quel fan-fic:

Thoughts of Guilt

Chapters 1 and 2          Chapters 3 and 4          Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7

Chapter 8          Chapter 9          Chapter 10          Chapter 11          Chapter 12, Part 1

Chapter 12, Part 2          Chapter 13         Chapter 14         Chapter 15         Chapter 16

Chapter 17 and 18         Chapter 19         Chapter 20         Chapter 21         Chapter 22

Chapter 23         Chapter 24         Chapter 25         Chapter 26         Chapter 27

Chapter 28         Chapter 29         Chapter 30         Chapter 31         Chapter 32

Chapter 33         Chapter 34         Chapter 35         Chapter 36 and 37

Chapter 38, Part 1         Chapter 39, Part 2         Chapter 40, Part 3         Chapter 41

Chapter 42, Parts 1 and 2         Chapter 43         Chapter 44

Chapter 45, Part 1         Chapter 45, Part 2

 

On the Edge of Mystery

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3        Chapters 4 & 5    Chapter 6, Parts 1 and 2   

Chapter 7          Chapter 8         Chapter 9            Chapter 10       Chapter 11        Chapter 12

Chapter 13        Chapter 14       Chapter 15          Chapter 16        Chapter 17       Chapter 18

Chapter 19        Chapter 20       Chapter 21          Chapter 22       Chapter 23      Chapter 24

Chapter 25        Chapter 26       Chapter 27         Chapter 28        Chapter 29 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 30       Chapter 31       Chapter 32 and 33                         Chapter 34 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 35 Part 1         Chapter 35 Part 2        Chapter 35 Part 3        Chapter 36

 

The Secret Symbol

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7     Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21   Chapter 22   Chapter 23   Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29 and 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39

Chapter 40 and 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43, 44, 45, and 46

 

The Legend of Shadow Mountain

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16   Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23    Chapter 24    Chapter 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29    Chapter 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39    Chapter 40

Chapter 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43    Chapter 44    Chapter 45 & 46

Chapter 47    Chapter 48    Chapter 49    Chapter 50    Chapter 51

 

Teaser "Trailer" for Book 8 - Conquest of the Truth

 

The Crimson Storm

Chapters 1 and 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6

Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapters 10 and 11    Chapter 12

Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15    Chapter 16    Chapter 17

 

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My book for National Novel Writing Month.

Destiny in the Dark

Chapter 1    Chapter 2

 

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httyyd
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Mystery of Shadow

Mystery of Shadow Mountain

 

Chapter 2

The Will to Survive

 

         The thunder nearly scared the living hair off my skin as I felt it stand up just before the lightning flashed.

         As we rowed, occasionally a wave would splash over the side getting us all wet.  But that is okay, as soon as the rain hit, we basically became instantly soaked.  The rain is coming down that heavy.  If the heavy down pour is not enough to be a distraction, the constant “pinging” noise of rain off the sound of my helmet and anything else metal is annoying as Snotlout opening his mouth.  Even now though, I would take having to put up with Snotlout over going through this.  But a challenge is a challenge needing to be conquered.

         Combine the with the waves and wind, you can barely keep your eyes open to see anything.  If I am not rowing at the moment, I would be shielding my eyes from the rain.  The ship is also built to let any water that gets into the bo… ship to drain down below and then off the side of the ship.  Still, we are taking on some water, yet the ship is still at maximum strength.

         “Keep together!” encouraged my father.  “We will make it!”

         Those who are rowing and at alert to secure any ropes are busy doing a job.  The rest are just trying to stay on the ship and keep my father on the correct course.  Mother took over that for the other girls.  This does not look like mother’s nor father’s first or last tangle with a storm.  Each remained calm and did their jobs.

         The visibility is extremely limited.  If not for the flashes of lightning, could we truly see where we are going.  I could barely see anybody in the front or the back of the ship.  I nearly called it a boat, but in this situation, you let formalities slide like calling a ship a boat.

         Wave after wave came, each larger than the last.  After the first wave, the waves were considerable smaller.  However, they have a sharper angle making maneuvering over them more difficult than the first.

         It is taking all my dad could handle to keep the ship pointing at the island.  The wind blowing, or should I say flying, directly west to east; the waves trying to knock us back to the east; and the current of the water pushing us that way because of the win; they are all factors all against us.  Somehow, they all do not matter.  The ship now is less than one hundred yards away from the island.  With the flashes of lightning, we could see a large mountain in the center of a massive island.  The island at first glance is probably twice the size of Berk.

         The closer we got to the island, the dangerous the waters became.  Not only did we have to deal with the now tall waves but even the sea stacks and jutted rocks; of which, we then crashed into a few times because of the waves knocking us onto them.  This caused inconsistences in our rowing.  At this point, we just need to make land.

         The rain picked up even more.  Now it is raining sheets of rain.  We can barely see the island even though we are so close to it.  I suddenly saw my mother run past me back to the rear of the ship.  I could not see from where she started, nor could I see where she is going.  The rain is squeezing out the visibility.

         Wondering why my mother was in such a hurry, I began to look around me.  Lightning is flashing every few seconds now giving us some light to work with.  I am looking around in the near vicinity of the ship.  Not until I finally looked out do I see what is wrong.  It felt like my heart stopped for a few beats and a chill ran down my spine.

         Mother came back over to us on the left side, “We’re abandoning ship!  It’s too dangerous to stay in the ship.  We will have to swim to shore!  Gather at the front of the ship.”

         See.  I know mother knows the front of the ship is the bow.  But who cares when the wave of all waves is going to capsize your boat!

         My parents gathered all of us in the front of the ship; father made sure each of us knew what we are doing, “When the wave reaches us and just before the ship reaches its peak, jump over the wave and into the water and swim to shore!”

         The wave is barreling down on us, now starting to arc over the top of the wave and fold back in on itself!

         “Wait for it!” announced my father as the wave began to lift up the ship.  “NOW!!”

         All sixteen of us, including my parents, all jumped off the ship and into the water.  A lighting struck nearby and I glanced at what would have been our path had we stayed in the ship.

         Then came the sound like two Gronckles grabbing a thirty-foot tree at each end, pulling away from each other, and splitting the tree in two from the diameter of the tree.

         The question now is, “Who’s going to tell Stoick we disintegrated one of his ships from a wave launching it into a sea stack?”

         Once we jumped, the wave went under us and we dove down what seemed like ten feet until we hit water; had the water just been level with the bottom of the ship, we would have hit water almost immediately.  The water is very cold, only because of the cold front moving across the ocean.  If the season was different, the water would have a much colder temperature than it does currently.

         We all swam to shore.  Thankfully, we are only fifty yards away from shore.  This is also good because the island will act as a wave breaker.  No wave as huge as the one we just witnessed will come in this close to southern shore.  The island sticks out enough on the southwestern side to accomplish this.

         With the water much calmer, in comparison however still very choppy.  The choppiness makes it difficult to catch our breath as we swim.  We, finally, made swam our way and crawled on to “dry” land.  At least it is solid land.

         I want to roll over on my back and rest for a second, but the rain is still coming down in sheets, so, I would be staring up into it.  I heard footsteps come over and saw it to be my father.

         He offered his right hand to me and said, “Thankfully, nothing on the ship was of valuable except for us.  Reason why we told you guys to pack light.  All I viking needs is their wits and their weapon.”

         “And now a dragon,” Hannah remarked.  “Of which we currently don’t have.  How are we supposed to go get help?  We are shipwrecked.”

         “Now don’t worry,” assured my dad.  “I told Stoick that if we are not back in three days to send a terror mail to Mystery to tell those looking after your dragons to come and find us.”

         Mother added, “We may have to survive for longer than three days as it may take them a while to find us so far out here.”

         Once we took a head count to make sure everyone is here and safe, mother suggested, “I don’t know about you men here babbling on, but I want to get somewhere warm and dry off.”

         “Good idea, Svana,” answered father.  I noticed a lot of us, are starting to slightly shiver; mother is one of them.  “Now we just need to find a cave.  That alone will take a while.  Everyone?” He addressed, “Group together and stay close.”

         Grouping up, father then led us into the nearby tall forest in search of a cave.  The base of the mountain is close, so finding a cave some place should not be the problem.  Finding dry kindling and wood for a fire is.  With no dragon to automatically light it, we will have to light even a fire the old-fashioned way.

         We all feel like we are soaked through to our bones.  Our clothes feel like weights at this point.  The only part of me that is dry is the top of my head, and that is just because of my helmet.  Everyone is feeling the struggle of walking drenched in water, and it is not getting any easier.  Even with the overhang of the trees, the leaves on the trees our pooling up the water and dropping larger, heavier drops on us.  As I walked, I grabbed Annabeth with my right arm and kept her tight next to me.  Annabeth, Asvord, Abbie, Explod, Meen, and mother all have their arms folded in close to them and slightly hunched over to try and stay warm.  The rest of us are very close to doing the same.

         The moment I am about to open my mouth to say something about, “Are we there yet?”, father then said, “I think we’re here.”

         Moving around my father, I see that we stand at the mouth of a small cave.

         Hannah sighed heavily, “I guess it is better than nothing.”

         Father added, “You guys go in, I’ll go look for something to make a fire for.  Svana, go in a find a spot and then look in there for something.”

         Father walked off as the rest of us entered the cave.  It is nice to finally get out of the rain.  Thinking it would be colder in the cave, it is actually the exact opposite.

         “Yak burgers,” I declared.  “It is actually warm in here.”

         “Either that,” Annabeth said.  “Or we are just so called, any improvement in temperature would make a big difference.”

         “Guys,” mother then stated, even while she herself is shivering holding her arms around her waist.  “Let’s stay together and search for anything that can be dry enough to burn.”

         Walking into the cave, it is hard to see, but the cave is small enough we can at least kick the ground to see anything is worth to start a fire.

         Cazi questions, “Do you guys feel that?”

         “The feeling of regret of coming on this trip?” Dawn responded.

         “No,” Cazi slowly said.  “The feeling of warmth.”

         Asvord agreed, “I feel it too.”

         The feeling we are talking about is warm air.  Not just because we are cold and anything warmer but still technically cold would make it warm, but we actually feel a warm draft in our faces.  Walking a few more feet, we see the answer to our problem.

         I announce, “Hot springs!”

         “Well,” Annabeth smiled.  “We’re soaking wet anyway, why do not be soaking wet and warm?”

         Mother nodded in approval.

         If we could use what happened next to start a fire, we could probably start a wild fire.  As if we were shot out of a cannon, we all basically cannon balled into the hot springs.  It is quite the contrast to go from jumping into a cold ocean after being soaked with cold rain, to jumping into a warm spring.  We all seemed to have the exact same feeling of initial shock as if we jumped into freezing water.

         “Aw…,” we all sighed.

         The hot springs are only about three feet deep.  There are six… no, seven hot springs in a fairly small cavern.  Hyrith, Garth, Explod took one.  Hannah, Dawn, and Meen, in another.  Abbie, Elsa, and Asvord jumped in theirs.  Angie, Ali, and Cazi dove in another.  Annabeth, mother, and me in one.

         We stayed in the hot springs for well over ten minutes.  We are now starting to feel warm again, all be it though still wet.  Then in came my father.

         He has something in his arms and then dropped it all and spoke, “Well, I go and trudge through the forest, barely scrape by and find some halfway decent driftwood and some twigs.  Here you all are warming up.”

         Feeling warmed up myself, I stood up out of the hot springs; with the water pouring off my clothes, I walked over to my dad, “I’m alright now.  How about you jump in and warm up to while I go get this started.”

         “Thank you, son,” father appreciated the offer.  “I have a spot all ready for a fire.  I was coming in here to see if you guys found any.  Once you get it started, double back and through the caves to see if you can find anything else to keep the fire going.”

         Making sure most of the water had drained off me from getting out of the spring, I then picked up what my dad had and started walking back in the cave.  I saw my dad join my mother, but also Annabeth got out of the spring.  Annabeth volunteered to go in search of some more firewood to use.  Annabeth did that as I got the fire started.

         After five or so attempts to create a spark to light some half dry brush, got a light.  Shielding the small flame with my hands, I let it burn through the brush some and then set it next to the wood dad had found.  Once the light grew into a decent flame, I blow on it to encourage it to grow.  As it did, Annabeth came back after ten minutes to bring some dry moss, dead weeds, and quite a handful of dead twigs and sticks.

         “There is some plant life further in next to an underground stream,” Annabeth reported.  “This stream is just as warm as the springs we were in.”

         I pointed out verbally, “There must be a lava bed somewhere to heat those springs and stream.”

         My dad had found some larger pieces of drift wood and some logs, if the bark is stripped away, would be good for burning.  Another ten minutes later and we had a good fire burning.  Shortly thereafter, the group joined Annabeth and I around the fire to continue to warm up and dry off.

         Hardly a word is said while we sit for an hour.  The guys just stare into the fire while the girls continually twist and squeeze out the water in their hair.

         Hannah with her red hair, Abbie with her blond hair, Annabeth and her purple, mother and Asvord also with blonde hair… While I watch these girls tend to their hair, I thought it is just because of either personality or hair color.  It did not matter if they had brunette, blond, red, purple, or various shades of any of those, the girls made sure their hair is dry.  Several of them even have brushes.  However, I do not take for granted a girl’s hairbrush.  There has been at least one time where a certain hairbrush has come in handy.  One never knows when a hairbrush can turn into a deadly weapon.  Any enemy that crosses any of these women and all they have to defend themselves is their hair brush, my advice to whoever the women are face would be… Run!

         By now, most of us are yawning and worn out from the whole ordeal of getting here.  Father decided for us that we should get some sleep and be ready for a lot of work tomorrow.  Even though it is still early evening, I think we are tried enough to sleep through breakfast.

         Taking off the gear that we had, we set our weapons, shoulder pads, helmets, and utility belts to the right side of the cave; right side from the entrance.  We all spread out evenly around the fire, lay down, and try to get some sleep.  Laying on a rocky dirt floor is not the most comfortable.  At this point, we do not care.  Just give us some rest and some sleep.  Father and mother are staying up to keep the fire burning longer.

         I lay down on the side of the fire towards the inner part of the cave.  Everyone else took a spot around the fire.  There is enough room for two rows of two on the left and right sides of the fire; and then, three to four rows of two in front and behind the fire.  We used shoulder bags, rocks with a second tunic around them, or our arms as pillows.  I took my tunic vest and wrap it around a rock for a pillow.  I am going to have one whale of a stiff neck in the morning.

         Staring up at the ceiling, I catch my breath to take in what had happened today.  Rolling to my right side I see the right side of the cave, but also Annabeth lying about three from me.  She is laying on her left side with her right arm out stretched on the ground.  Just before my eyes closed in exhaustion, I reach over with my left hand and grab Annabeth’s right.  I did not open up my eyes, yet I felt her right hand tighten around my hand.  I could not testify about this in court as it would be hearsay or something, but I felt Annabeth’s eyes open up and look at me.  I would guess she smiled too, so I returned the same.

 

         Next morning, I woke up to none other than a stiff neck and a joking jab at me sleeping in.

         Asvord quipped loud enough for me to hear but acts as if she is talking to father, “Man, I cannot tell my brother from the rock.  They both lie there the same and sleep in.  He must have a beef with the rock for a pillow, he did not even use the thing.”

         “Figures,” I said.  “If I don’t prop myself up at night, I find myself not using a pillow at all.  I just roll off of it.”

         I stand up and stretch. While doing so, I see basically every is gone except for father and Asvord.

         “Where is everyone?” I wonder at loud.

         “Well, they are not here,” retorted Asvord.

         I smirk, “Thanks Captain Obvious.”

         Dad chuckled and answered, “Your mother, Elsa, Abbie, and Meen are out setting some traps for small game food.  Garth, Hyrith, and Explod went out to see if they could salvage anything from the wrecked ship as well as survey the damage to the island to see how bad the storm actually did get.  Dawn went lone wolf exploring on the island.  Hannah, Angie, and Ali are exploring both the caves and outside.  Asvord came back to get some extra gear to set some more traps for small game.  And I’m here ‘holding down the fort.’  Annabeth woke up about an hour before you did, spent some time in one of the hot springs, and then went out exploring by herself.”

         “What do you want me to do?” I ask my dad.
         “Come to think of it,”
father said standing up to poke the fire.  “We need someone to hunt for some small to medium game.  Since you have the only medium to
long ranged weapon, we were going to have you mainly hunt.  Your sisters, Cazi, Hannah, even your mother wanted to wake you up two hours ago, but I told them to let you sleep.  If they were not making such a fuss over waking up Annabeth, why did they pick on you.  ‘Because he’s Jarl, not to mention he is a boy,’ was the consensus.  But I pushed them out of the cave to get them out of here.”

         “Thank you for that,” I nodded once.

         Oddly enough, the edges of my shirt and pants are still wet.  The rest of my is dry.  Dirty and dusty from lying on the ground, but dry.  I do a few pre-workout stretches to make sure my body is ready to hunt after sleeping on the rocky ground, grab my gear, and head out to hunt.

         I spend the next three hours hunting.  The game I collect is as follows:  Four squirrels, three ducks, and a large warthog.  The latter took an hour to track and a half hour to bring down.  That thing took five Gronckle Iron arrows to take it down.  But I finally do.  Dragging my game back to the cave took the last half hour.

         Upon arriving back, no more than three minutes after I return, does a distraught Dawn run up with a young wolf pup right behind her.  The rest of the group had returned shortly before I did and we all are starting to wonder where Dawn and Annabeth are.

         “Where’d you get him?” I questioned.

         “I’ll explain later, you have to hurry,” Dawn frantically answered.

         Father stood up asked for clarification, “What’s wrong?”

         “It’s Annabeth,” Dawn simply stated.

         My heart stopped beating for a second while it felt like the rock I used as a pillow sucker punched me in the stomach, “Is she alright?”

         Dawn’s only reply is, “I don’t know.  You guys have to come.”

         Everyone quickly dropped what they were doing and follow Dawn to a location and her new pup runs beside her.  Dawn relays that the wolf pup has to do with Annabeth, but it is not the wolf pup’s fault.

         “What do you mean, ‘fault’?” I remark very concerned.

         Dawn answers, “While I was returning back from exploring, I find Rogue here being cornered by its pack.  The pack for some unknown reason is trying to turn on Rogue.  Annabeth and I had met up shortly before to continue exploring.  As soon as we saw what was going down, we knew we had to do something.  Annabeth threw some rocks to distract the other wolves while I rushed in and scooped up Rogue.”

         I asked another question, “What happened to Annabeth, Dawn?”

         “I’m getting there,” Dawn replies with a slight hesitation in her voice which told me Dawn is worried.  “As I start to run away, I stop to see what I could do to help Annabeth get away.  When I turn around, I see that an unseen wolf that was behind a rock to flank us from nowhere, I yell to warn Annabeth.  She turns as the wolf jumps on her.  Screaming, Rogue jumps from my arms and starts barking.  Annabeth whelps in pain as the flanking wolf bites Annabeth’s right arm.  Thinking the wolf would just latch on, it actually let go as soon as it bit Annabeth.  The same wolf seemed as if Annabeth is something bad and it looked scared.  Rogue then bolted and barked to scare off the other wolves.”

         “I start to scramble over to Annabeth as she rolls to her left to tell me in a very weak tone, ‘Go get help!’  So, that is when I ran as fast as I could back to the cave.  Rogue came back with me,” Dawn finished up.

         Father very seriously asked, “How much farther?”

         “Just up ahead,” came Dawn.

         We had run north by northwest from the origin of the cave entrance.  Four minutes later I see a small clearing with a large boulder on the opposite side and Annabeth right by it.  I am in the lead with Dawn and my father.  But I bolted directly to Annabeth and slide next to her.  She is on her right side pointed away from me.  I instantly roll her over and start to reach for her head.  As soon as I see her head, I instinctively pull my hands back and my hands jerk as I flinch.

         “Oh my…,” I could not finish.

         Several gasps came as we see Annabeth’s very pale face, her eyes closed… And foam coming from her mouth!