All tagged naples

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 31

In the amber firelight, my forearm gleamed with the Mark. It was so exquisite and refined with its gentle, looping lines, I almost forgot its true purpose. Beautiful as it was, the Mark was a reminder that Apollo had cursed me to be the Muse Warrior, the one who would use the Oracles to defeat the Sibyl and save Olympus. He had sacrificed me long before I was born. Apollo had marked me to die.

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 28

The Sibyl’s threat rang in my ears the rest of the school day, overpowering everything else. I didn’t hear Daria’s lunchtime chatter and couldn’t recall Nyx’s pettiness on the volleyball court. As I left practice to meet Bax at the front gate, the Sibyl’s words continued to torment me.

I will send everything you love to the Underworld!

Since the day Troy disappeared, I’d thought Pluto had kidnapped him and taken him to the Underworld like my mother. But it was the Sibyl who haunted my dreams, who said I was the only one who could release her.

She had Troy. I knew it in my gut.

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 26


I squeezed my eyes tighter, waiting for Mercury to grab me, for the weight of my punishment.


The voice wasn’t as deep and gravelly as Mercury’s, but still I shivered as I opened one eye, shoulders lifted in fear.

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 24

I don’t remember how long I stood in front of the faded vision, grasping for my mother’s soul, or how I stopped crying. Eventually, Mercury landed the bus with a bump in front of Franco’s produce stand and reversed the calming spell with a wave of his hand. The other students woke as though from a long nap and lazily gathered their things.

As I stumbled off the bus behind Alessi, my earrings vibrated and I looked back at the messenger of the Gods. With a humble tip of his driver’s cap, Mercury said, It is your destiny, Eden, not your burden.

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 23

As the bus soared in and out of clouds on its magic autopilot, Mercury gathered a ball of gold dust in his hands, just as my grandmother had done, and released it into the air.

A vision appeared between us…

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 22

My heart was still pounding as I entered the gym and expected a major backlash from Nyx. The team was in the middle of warm-ups and everyone looked up when I jogged to the back. Nyx and I made eye contact, but her ice queen glare held no hint of our locker room confrontation or of the arrow she’d barely missed. Somehow, that made me even angrier. For a split second, I wished that my arrow, gold dust or not, had pierced her heart…

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 18

By the time Monday morning rolled around, I was hardly enthusiastic about going back to school, but there was no reason to stay home. My grandmother had stayed in her room all weekend with her mysterious silence, avoiding my questions. Meanwhile, my dad was a shadow, walking around the house with his phone attached to his ear, muttering, “How can a six-foot-tall kid just vanish?”

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 17

Unable to sleep but equally unable to wake up, I tossed and turned in a purgatory of dreams. The black robes swarmed my brother and pulled Troy into the fiery pit, then Calliope and Apollo flirted without consequence, and on and on, in a maddening loop. The firefly’s taunts buzzed around my head like a soundtrack, and each dream was rounded by more restless slumber…

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 15

I peered through the back window at the entrance to the Pozzuoli amphitheater. The school bus was gone, replaced by navy blue polizia sedans, red-striped carabinieri cruisers and camouflaged Humvees. Armed military guards were positioned evenly around the property, rifles in hand. A helicopter circled overhead, casting shadows over the limbless statues and decrepit arches of the coliseum.

Cruel reality seeped in:

They’re looking for Troy.

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 14

The Whim knocked the wind from Cleo’s lungs. She staggered backward, onto the bed where her suitcase lay open, strewn with clothes. Her heartbeat throbbed in her ears as she watched its golden words explode from her forehead into the morning sunlight:

The child has been taken.

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 13

We looped around the coliseum, past countless ancient columns lying on their sides. In our big group, I would have missed the details. Instead, everything inspired me: the architecture, the decay, the moody light of the hallway, the packs of tourists snapping photos every few feet. I swept my fingertips across the crumbling tufa walls, imagining a collage spackled with red tempera paint and striped with pearl-gray watercolor columns, paper ripped and glued sideways…

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 10

At lunchtime, I stumbled into the cafeteria, backpack hooked over one elbow. I felt a massive headache brewing at the front of my forehead from information overload. All those new names and faces, teachers, classrooms, languages… I needed a nap.

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 9

When I got to third period – art, thank god – the chalky fragrance of spilled paint and charcoals wrapped its arms around me like an old friend. My shoulders eased away from my neck as I settled into a seat at the back of the room, beside a paint-splotched counter littered with old brushes. Finally, something familiar…

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 8

Naples American High School was just a stack of three narrow hallways shaped like a horseshoe. Nearly impossible to get lost, Mr. Fazio, my counselor, said.

My homeroom class was a mini United Nations, about two dozen kids, half of them speaking languages other than English. Apart from saying “here” when Signora Garibaldi called roll, I didn’t talk much, just hunched down over my desk and doodled in Notebook 19, waiting for the bell to ring…

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 7

The rest of the summer was pretty uneventful. We took road trips up and down the coast, we set up a guest room for Grandma Cleo. We made lists of the best pizzerias and ate our weight in mozzarella di bufala. I started to understand why people love Italy…

MUSE WARRIOR - Chapter 4

That night, my dad and Troy walked me down to the lobby with my art supplies and Notebook 19.

 “Sure you don’t want to come to dinner with us?” Dad asked.

“Nah, I’m okay,” I lied…