A teen becomes entangled with the gods of Mount Olympus when one of them falls in love with her. Some give her magical gifts. Others try to kill her.
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Eva Pohler teaches writing and literature at a university in San Antonio, where she lives with her husband and three kids.
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“Stay down! Someone’s shooting at us!” her father shouted.
The car swerved, slowed, and turned. The smell of burned rubber permeated the air. Therese’s head whipped back as her father gunned the accelerator. Her fingers trembled so wildly, she was barely able to punch the correct numbers on her phone. She messed up twice and had to start over. Finally she pressed them in slow motion: 911. It seemed an eternity before a woman answered on the other end.
“Nine-one-one, is this an emergency?”
“Someone’s shooting at us! You’ve got to help us. We’re leaving Fort Lewis College. Dad, where are we?”
“Heading toward Huck Finn Pond.”
“Huck Finn Pond!” Therese screamed into the phone as the car swerved, her seatbelt digging into her hip. Then she noticed the blood dripping down the back of her mother’s neck and onto her mother’s silk scarf. “Oh, my God! Mom? Mom, are you okay?”
“She’ll be okay, Therese!” her father shouted.
“Oh my God! I think my mom’s been shot! You’ve got to do something! You’ve got to help us!”
A crushing sound shot through the car, and Therese felt herself jolted hard to the right. She hit her head on the window and dropped the cell phone. When she bent over and tried to pick it up, the back end of the car lurched upward like a seesaw, and her head hit the back of her mother’s seat in front of her. She sat up and saw they were sailing through the air over the lake. The front end of the car hit the water, causing her head to flop forward and back. She heard the air hissing through the airbags as they inflated in the front end. She was so stunned, she couldn’t speak. She watched in silent shock as water crept into the front end of the car, up to her father’s neck, the untied bowtie of his tuxedo floating around him. The front airbags pressed against her father’s cheek, her mother’s face. Water spilled over the front seat and onto the floorboard in back where she sat elevated higher than her parents.
She unfastened her seatbelt and leaned over and looked down at her mother in horror. A bullet had put a hole in the back of her neck, and blood rushed from it. Her head lay against the airbag turned to one side, toward Therese’s father. Her eyes were open and she was gasping for air, but blood was pouring from her mouth and choking her.
“Mom! Oh my God! Mom!” Therese’s teeth chattered uncontrollably as her mother strained to look at her. She reached down and caressed her mother’s hair. “Mom! Oh my God!”
She realized her father had been shouting her name for several seconds. “Listen to me, Therese! Therese! Try to open your window. Therese! Try to get out of the car!”
His voice sounded like it did when he was cheering her on from the deck of the pool at her swim meets. “Keep going, Therese! You’re looking good! Kick! Pull!”
Except now it was tinged with desperation.
“I’m not leaving without you and Mom! I’m scared! Dad, please! Can’t you get out?” Her teeth continued to chatter.
The water level rose to his mouth. He shook his head. “I’m stuck!” He shouted through the water. His eyes widened as the water crept to his nose. He was drowning right in front of her.
In a state of frenzy, he turned from side to side, only the top of his head visible.
Therese watched in silent shock.
She looked at her mother. Her mother’s eyes met hers briefly, then closed as the water washed over all but her red hair. Unlike her father, her mother didn’t move, but simply relinquished herself to the water. Her hair danced like seaweed, like long veins of blood.
Therese became aware of the coldness of the water that had been sucking her down. Its cold fingers crept up to her shoulders. Her white gloves floated beside her, pointing at her. You! Do something!
She took a deep breath and went underwater toward her father. She couldn’t see in the dark, so she pushed against the airbag and felt around for the harness. The belt was undone, but the steering shaft was crushed across her father’s lap. She pulled with all her might on the steering wheel. It didn’t move. She tried to puncture the airbag but without luck. Then she yanked on her father’s lifeless arm. She couldn’t lift him from the seat.
Another memory shot through her mind: She was pulling her father’s arm, coaxing him from his recliner. “Come see the deer,” she was saying. She was small—maybe six.
“Come on, Dad. Come see.” He had laughed and made a comment about her chipmunk cheeks and dimples, that he’d do anything to see those dimples. She pulled at his arm and he laughed and climbed out of his chair to follow her outside.
But now she could not get her father to follow her.
She felt her mother’s hand and flinched. She found it again. It was as cold as the water and as limp as a dead fish. She hugged her mother, held on to her for dear life till her brain hurt and she needed air.
Therese popped back up near the top of the car for air, but there was none. She hitched her body up and hit her head on the roof of the car. She then noticed a bright light shine on her through her backseat window. She thought she saw someone swimming toward her. She heard another crash and a surge of water, but she needed air! Panic overtook her like a wild beast, and she opened her eyes as far as they would open, writhed her body against every molecule in reach, and strained her mouth wide open. Her lungs filled with burning water, the cold water burning her like fire. She gagged on the water, gagged, kicked, went wild with fear, and then stopped and gave in to the darkness.
Margery Walshaw works with writers to promote their projects to consumers and entertainment entities. Via Evatopia, she has created a networked world of creative, female entrepreneurs and markets them to a targeted audience of women. She has worked on publicity campaigns for internationally recognized companies and taught P.R. at Pepperdine University in Malibu, also providing private instruction to countless professionals. Margery holds a dual BA in Communications and Social Sciences, and a MA in Professional Writing from USC (go Trojans!). Stay in touch with Margery via Evatopia's social media links along with this site's newsletter.