We Meet Some New Friends is the seventeenth chapter of The Gift of a Best Friend. It was first published on August 5, 2016.
Kika and Honey really did have super speed.
We’ve been on the run a few weeks now, and monsters were chasing us all over the place. And they’re fast. We’ve been able to handle them so far, thanks to Kika and Honey. Raylee really taught them to fight.
When the monsters caught up to us somehow and surrounded us, they charged at them with their fangs showing, and with us on their backs, which was scary. Well, to me it was. Jasmine would have her sword in her hand, and when Kika and Honey sank their teeth into the monster, she’d stab it and the monster would howl in pain.
I’m a little jealous that she’s not scared enough to not attack it, but I am. I mostly have my eyes closed until the monster’s dead and we continue running. I guess she’s been with her family her whole life, doing stuff similar to this, but I haven’t.
Kika and Honey used their super speed. Jasmine liked it, but I didn’t, even though I knew it was necessary sometimes. I asked them to stop, and they did, slowing down to their normal speed as cheetahs, but they didn’t seem to like it.
We’ve traveled to a few states, but didn’t stay in any of them long. Sometimes Kika and Honey would find a safe place to stop and rest for a while and Jasmine and I would use them as pillows to sleep while they kept watch.
One night, we stopped at a warehouse. There was a sign on the side of it: RICHMOND IRON WORKS. It took a moment for me to read it with my dyslexia, but I managed to without Jasmine needing to tell me.
“Where is Richmond, exactly?” I asked. “What state is it in?”
“I don’t know,” Jasmine replied.
“There are a few Richmonds,” Honey said. “But we should be in the most known one, which is in Virginia.”
“You two should get some rest and we’ll—” Kika stopped suddenly and looked off into the distance on our left.
Honey too. And they both growled.
“What is it?” Jasmine asked.
“Monsters?” I asked.
“We’re not sure,” Kika replied. “They smell familiar. But that could be good or bad or both.”
“I feel an animal close by,” Jasmine said.
“Which is all the more reason why you two should hide,” Honey said. “Go into the alley, and don’t come out until I tell you to.”
“Ok,” Jasmine and I both said.
We climbed down from their backs and ran into the alley and they ran off, leaving me and Jasmine alone.
“We need to hide,” I said.
“I know,” Jasmine replied. “But where?”
I looked around. There wasn’t much to hide under, but I spotted something big enough to hide the both of us.
“There,” I pointed.
It was flat and made out of metal. We ran to it, lifted it up and put it down on top of us. But it made a loud noise as a part of it hit the concrete ground. Jasmine and I were shaking.
We heard something at the entrance at the alley.
“It’s getting closer,” Jasmine whispered.
“I know,” I whispered back.
I held my hammer tightly, getting ready for a fight. I could hear the mysterious something getting closer and closer to us. It knew we were here. Where were Kika and Honey? They should’ve attacked by now. Unless whomever is coming toward us right now saw them and captured them. I really hope not. So where were they?
The thing got closer and closer. Then the metal on top of us was removed and I automatically jumped up and attacked what lifted it with my hammer.
“Whoa!” it shouted.
It was a boy, but I didn’t care. I was really close to his face, but he somehow managed to dodge it and grabbed my wrists, knocking my hammer out of my hand.
“No more monsters!” I screamed, struggling to break free and kicking his legs. “Go away!”
“Let her go!” Jasmine screamed, raising her sword high.
She slashed down at the boy, but he let me go just in time before she hit him. Jasmine stood between us, holding her sword toward him.
I could see the boy more clearly now. He looked like a normal boy, about twice my height with blond hair and blue eyes, and he was holding a knife. But he wasn’t alone.
Standing next to him was a girl a little shorter than him. She was wearing black everything, even her hair was black. The only thing about her that wasn’t black was her eyes, which were blue too, and her skin. She was also holding a spear in one hand and a shield with someone’s face painted on it and snakes coming out of her hair.
I didn’t know which looked the scariest: her or her shield. Either way, when Jasmine and I saw her, we both screamed.
“It’s ok,” the boy told us. Then he turned to the black girl. “Thalia, put your shield away! You’re scaring them!”
The girl, Thalia, tapped her shield and it shrank into a bracelet on her wrist. How did it do that?
Thalia dropped her spear. “Hey, little girls,” she told us gently. “It’s all right. We’re not going to hurt you. I’m Thalia. This is Luke. And that’s Black.”
I just noticed a small black lizard with wings on the ground between them, looking up at us. He flew onto the boy, Luke’s, shoulders.
“You look familiar,” Luke told Jasmine.
“I do?” she asked.
He nodded. “Have we met before?”
“Umm . . . Annabeth?”
“Uh, what?” I asked.
“Is he one of the boys that tried to hurt me?”
I looked closely at him, but he didn’t look familiar to me.
“I don’t think so,” I said.
“But he said I looked familiar to him. Why?”
“I don’t know.”
“Uh, you two do know that I can hear you?” Luke said. “You can put your sword down. We’re not going to hurt you.”
“Monsters!” I screamed.
“No. But we know about monsters. We fight them too.”
That surprised me. Even Jasmine lowered her sword a bit.
“You’re like me?” I asked carefully.
“Yeah,” Luke said. “We’re . . . Well, it’s hard to explain, but we’re monster fighters. Where’s your family?”
I became sad and mad thinking about my dad right now. Jasmine lowered her sword completely and looked at me with concern.
“My family hates me,” I said. “They don’t want me. I ran away.”
Thalia and Luke looked at each other, then back at us.
“What about you?” Luke asked Jasmine.
“My family loves me,” she replied. “And I love them too. I’m helping Annabeth on her journey.”
“You must really care about her.”
She nodded. “Uh-huh.”
Thalia tried to approach me, but Jasmine held her sword at her again.
“It’s ok,” I said.
“You sure?” she asked.
She sheathed her sword, and Thalia knelt next to us.
“What’s your names, kiddos?” she asked, putting her hands on our shoulders.
“Annabeth,” I replied.
“And I’m her best friend, Jasmine,” Jasmine said.
Luke smiled. “Nice names. I tell you what, Annabeth and Jasmine. You two are pretty fierce. We could use fighters like you.”
Our eyes widened. “You could?”
“Oh, yeah,” Luke said. He then turned his knife and offered it to me. “How’d you like a real monster-slaying weapon? This is Celestial Bronze. Works a lot better than a hammer.”
I took it and looked at it. It did look and feel better than the hammer.
“Knives are only for the bravest and quickest fighters,” Luke said. “They don’t have the reach or power of a sword, but they’re easy to conceal and they can find weak spots in your enemy’s armor. It takes a clever warrior to use a knife. I have a feeling you two are pretty clever.”
“We are?” Jasmine and I both asked.
Thalia laughed and tousled our hair, though Jasmine didn’t like it so much and pushed her hand away.
“We’d better get going, Annabeth and Jasmine,” she said. “We have a safe house on the James River. We’ll get you two some clothes and food.”
That worried me.
“You’re . . . you’re not going to take me back to my family?” I asked. “Promise?”
Luke put a hand on my shoulder. “You’re part of our family now. And I promise I’m not going to fail you like our families did us. Deal?”
I smiled. “Deal!”
“Yay!” Jasmine cheered. “Can I pet your pet?”
“Sure,” Luke replied. “Black—”
The black lizard jumped off of his shoulder and onto her head and wrapped itself around her neck like it was waiting to do that since we met.
“Black!” Luke yelled. “You can’t just—”
“It’s ok,” Jasmine laughed. “I like him. What is he?”
“Uh, a dragon. A baby dragon.”
“A dragon? So you can breathe fire?”
“Can you show me?”
He lifted his head toward the sky and shot a small blue fire into it, it breaking apart in about ten feet.
“Cool,” Jasmine said. Then she held her hands out and he dropped into them. “You’re name is Black?”
The dragon nodded.
“Do you like that name?”
He squeaked out something and she understood it.
“I don’t like it either,” Jasmine replied. “It’s too obvious and stupid.” She looked at Luke. “Why did you name him Black? He doesn’t like it.”
“Uh, it was the only name I could think to call him,” he replied, looking confused. “You can talk to him?”
She nodded. “Uh-huh.”
“How?” Thalia asked.
“I have an aura that I was born with and it has animals like me and I can talk to them with it. I can also feel them from far away and control them. Watch.”
She activated her powers, her eyes glowing orange, and Black’s eyes too. Jasmine had him fly onto Luke’s head, then Thalia’s, then mine and back onto hers.
“That’s awesome,” Luke said.
Jasmine smiled. “Thank you. Can I change his name since he and I don’t like it?”
She looked at him in her hands. Then she had him open his mouth for some reason and looked inside. I was afraid he would blast her with fire, but he didn’t.
“You have no teeth?” she asked him. “You’re teethless?”
“Toothless,” I corrected.
She glared at me, but then turned back to the dragon, looking like she had an idea.
“Toothless,” she said. “I like that name. Do you?”
The dragon nodded.
“Ok. Your name is now Toothless, not Black. Thank you, Annabeth.”
“Uh, you’re welcome?” I replied, sounding like a question.
Then the newly named Toothless did something surprising. He opened his mouth and, suddenly, he had teeth.
Jasmine gasped. “You do have teeth!”
He kept his mouth open and his teeth disappeared, then came back, and gone again.
“Cool! How can you do that?”
Luke laughed. “He likes to do that. I don’t know how it’s possible or why he keeps them down most of the time. Probably to keep his teeth from breaking.”
“He doesn’t know how he can do that either,” Jasmine said. “But I still think it’s cool.”
“How would you like him to be your official pet?”
Her eyes widened. “Can I keep him?”
“He seems to really like you, and you like him. Why not?”
“Do you want to be my pet, Toothless?” Jasmine asked him.
She hugged him close to her, careful not to crush him as she’s done many times before with other small animals. Then he wrapped himself around her neck.
“Aww,” Honey said. “Looks like you guys made new friends.”
She and Kika were watching us from the entrance of the alley.
“Kika, Honey, hey,” Thalia greeted them.
“What’s up?” Luke asked. “Where’s Raylee?”
“You know my grandma?” Jasmine asked.
He looked at her, confused. “Your grandma?”
“Yes, Luke,” Kika said. “Jasmine is Raylee’s granddaughter. Her daughter’s daughter. That’s why she looked familiar to you because their faces are similar.”
“Where were you two?” I asked them.
“Yeah?” Jasmine agreed.
“After we told you two to hide, we planned an ambush,” Kika said.
“But when we saw that it was Luke and Thalia,” Honey added. “We knew that they weren’t going to hurt you, and we watched to see how it would go with you guys. And I’d say that it went quite well.”
“Definitely,” Luke agreed.
“So you two are watching over them and keeping them safe?” Thalia asked, referring to me and Jasmine.
They both nodded. “Yes.”
“Just the two of you?” Luke asked. “I thought you and the others run in a pack?”
“We usually do, yes, but not this time,” Kika said.
“Well, we better get going,” Thalia said. “We can’t stay put for long.”
That settled it. Jasmine and I climbed onto Kika and Honey’s backs and Luke and Thalia ran in front of us, leading the way. After a while, we stopped and camped in the woods. Jasmine, Thalia, Luke, and I, and Toothless (Jasmine insists that I count him too, so I am) rested near the fire while Kika and Honey kept watch.
Later, I woke up and found Luke awake and sitting against a tree a few feet away. I got up and went over to him. He had a green book in his hand and was writing in it with a pen.
“What are you doing?” I asked him. “What is that?”
“It’s a diary,” he replied. “I promised a friend I would write my adventures in it. You should go get some sleep.”
“So should you.”
“I’m going to stay up a little while longer and continue to write in this.”
“Can I stay with you?”
“You need to sleep.”
“Can I sleep on you?”
Luke smiled. “Sure. Come on.”
I went to him, curled up in his lap, and went to sleep.
This was a great day. I got a new family that cares about me, Jasmine got a new pet that I’m sure she’s quite happy about.
This was the best thing that had ever happened to me. I hoped it would last forever.
Sadly, it doesn't, and we all know why, don't we?
I liked this chapter, as they've finally met Luke and Thalia! I love the interactions between them. They were so cute! Though when I got to this point, I had to make up the next situations that they talked about before they got to camp, which wasn't exactly easy, but a little fun. Either way, I'm so glad about finally getting to this part. What did you guys think about it?
- Annabeth and Jasmine meet Luke, Thalia, and Toothless (formerly Black).
- Luke gives Toothless to Jasmine as her new pet, and gives Annabeth a knife to fight better with.
- Luke and Thalia join Annabeth, Jasmine, Kika, and Honey in running away together.