Kenzie’s Failing School

Anna Xu, age 10
Kenzie’s Failing School

Now, before we begin, I think that you need to know some things about Kenzie. For one, she’s an A – A+ student. For two, her full name is Kenzie Marian Brian Albus Margerete Renaya Roberts. It’s quite a mouthful, we can all agree on that. For three, she goes to Wolf Creek High. Her homeroom teacher is Mr. Amnesee, a kind-looking man with a very wide smile. His hair is shabby brown, and there’s a long scar running down the side of his cheek, making him look like he had been attacked by a tiger or something.

~

Traveling Chapter

1

Now, before we begin, I think that you need to know some things about Kenzie. For one, she’s an A – A+ student. For two, her full name is Kenzie Marian Brian Albus Margerete Renaya Roberts. It’s quite a mouthful, we can all agree on that. For three, she goes to Wolf Creek High. Her homeroom teacher is Mr. Amnesee, a kind-looking man with a very wide smile. His hair is shabby brown, and there’s a long scar running down the side of his cheek, making him look like he had been attacked by a tiger or something. Even though Mr. Amnesee has a very kind face, it makes his appearance very eerie, or at least uncomfortable. Kenzie has seen Mrs. Sapphire (the school’s vice-principal) shiver when he was present. And the final thing that you should know about Kenzie is that her parents are divorced (she lives with her dad because her mom left her when she was only 1 month old), and that she has a very annoying brother who’s in the last year of high school, whereas she’s still a sophomore. But the most important thing for you to know is that Kenzie’s a demigod (an offspring who is born from a god and mortal). Though she doesn’t know it. Her mom is Aphrodite. 

Kenzie has a story to share with you, a story that she couldn’t bear to admit, but it was simply the truth. HER GRADES WERE DROPPING! I hope that you, my dear reader, will pick out an important message, no matter what land this train is bringing you across. Now let’s get started! 

I couldn’t think straight. The creaking of the train’s wheel’s sounds was so irritating. I was on a train off to a nightclub place with her best friend, Peyton Alora Fleur Aisling Bexley Emerson Garcia. She had never told her her real name until I had forced her to, threatening to make a bee sting her if she didn’t tell. Something touched my ear. Oh. Just Peyton’s long, blonde hair. I went back to trying to concentrate. In the midst of the super annoying train — wheel — creaking — sounds, I remembered what my dad had once said:

“Life unfolds in chapters, whether you like it or not. They come in varieties, meaning that they can be all kinds of wicked and mean. But some are nice. So just take the time to enjoy that particular (nice) chapter when you can, and absorb all the happiness that you can while it’s still there. Remember: this happiness can really keep you enthusiastic sometimes, even in the bad and horrid chapters.”

“Kenzie.” Maybe I didn’t hear anything because I was so engrossed in my thoughts. “Kenzie!” The sound was like a whip to my skin.
“What?”

“We’re almost there!” Peyton exclaimed. Her eyes were glistening, like the sun itself was inside each of them. As bright as the sun, I thought. Strange. Literally just as bright as the sun. The exact same gold, blaring light. Beaming outwards, from her eyes. 

She snapped loudly right in front of my eyes, making me have to cross-eye to see her blue-gradient painted nails. “KENZIE!”

I looked up, to meet those sunny eyes again. 

~

Understand Chapter

2       

I reluctantly looked up. The building was vast, making me look as if I were an ant compared to an elephant. The windows were all made of glass and clear. I put her hand to the doorknob, which, I noticed, had the word “ON” carved in. With a deep breath, I pushed it open, to be greeted with a strangely warm gush of wind. Looking around, I sucked in the view. There was a DJ with a load of gears set up on a table. There was a stage in the very front of the room, with a microphone set there. I wondered why they still needed one if the music was already played by the DJ.  Platters of a variety of assorted fruits were all fanned out around the room. The room was strangely hot, but it all made sense since a tinge of excitement hung in the air. 

“Hey, I’m going to the bathroom,” Peyton said. I nodded.

While I waited, I sucked in all of the people, some looking as if they had hoped their whole life to be here, some looking as if some had been forced to come. Someone walked right into me. I toppled off-balance, trying to find somewhere that I could hold to steady myself, but instead felt my skin meet contact with a sharp edge. 

“Ouch!” I could feel my finger bleeding freely. 

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to bump into you!” A middle-aged woman with albino skin exclaimed. 

“It’s okay,” I murmured. “Hey, do you have any idea why there’s a microphone up there? Isn’t the music already played by the DJ?”

“Oh, you’re new to this as well, aren’t you? My daughter’s also plenty confused. She still doesn’t know that her dad’s Apollo,” she replied.

“What? You mean Apollo, god of archery, music and dance, truth and prophecy, healing and diseases, the sun and light, and poetry?” My brain was filling with thoughts. “How could  somebody be an offspring of Apollo?”

“Oh, silly, you don’t know, either? Well then, you’re a half-blood; half-god, half-human! Well, I guess that today’s your lucky day! I’ll give you a history lesson, if you don’t mind. I used to be a history teacher as well, you know. Now, long before the Greek Gods came to power, millennials before, the world was ruled by titans, led by the evilest of all, the titan Kronos. He was evil enough to devour his own children, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus with a single gulp. Yet the three who were later to become the big three and ruler of the gods found a way out. They sliced Kronos to pieces and banished his remains to the depths of Tartarus. Kronos has been waiting all of these years to get revenge and be brought back to power. Yet only one demigod can defeat him — ”

“Hold your horses, what’s a demigod?”

“A demigod is the offspring of a god and mortal.”

“Oh, so that’s why my parents are divorced. My mom must be the god, then!”

“Yes, indeed.”

I was shocked, “Thank you very much. I have learned so much!” 

     ~

Mysterious Chapter

3           

I pushed past her without waiting for her reply. I needed to find Peyton. I needed to find her and tell her everything. Just as I was outside the girls’ bathroom, someone stepped out — an old hag with rotted black teeth with a hood over her head, but there were loose pieces of deathly white hair atop the black hood. She pushed past me without a glance. Weird. I opened the door, and called Peyton’s name.

“Peyton?”

No response. 

“Peyton, are you there? This is no time to play games!”

Still no reply.

“PEYTON?”

I knew that Peyton would have responded. She must not be here! But my eyes were pinned to this door while I was talking to the lady! The only way that Peyton could have gone out was through the pipes, which was a ridiculous idea. She had never been great at climbing, especially squeezing through tight, black places. 

But that’s when I spotted the old hag. I didn’t know why, but I decided to follow her. She wasn’t too far away, anyways. I dove behind, sliding between people, tailing the old hag. That’s when I noticed that she’d sat down at a table with the person I least expected to be here. I moved closer to eavesdrop, having a feeling that this would be good. The hag leaned closer.

“I’ve called her,” she whispered. Her voice was low, husky… and beautiful. 

“Thank you,” said Mr. Amnesee, nodding as he spoke. I slid under the nearest vacant table so that they wouldn’t spot me, though it didn’t seem to matter because they both seemed so sophisticated. 

“She will be very relieved once she hears,” the old had said. Rosmerta quickly opened her bag, revealing a photo of a woman with kind eyes, smiling, an aurora of power floating around. Thinking that I’d seen enough, I quickly moved between adjacent tables, making sure that I didn’t hit any of anybody’s feet. But only did I stop mid-pace when the old hag moved toward an abandoned hallway, near the entrance to what looked like a cellar. Looking behind herself, she scurried away, moving like death itself. I quickly debated with myself, wondering what I should do. I decided to follow the hag, maybe I could squeeze some information out of her.  I frantically looked back, making sure one last time that Peyton wasn’t here, or at least near, and tailed Rosmerta. I just noticed that, for an old lady, she scampered quite quickly. I was breathing heavily when I finally reached my destination, feeling as if I had already ran a mile.

I could feel something was going to happen. I looked around, searching for Rosmerta, but she was nowhere to be seen. Weird. My breaths grew ragged, my breathing frantic. Then I started to get nervous. WHAT IF ROSMERTA KNEW THAT I WAS HERE? WAS SHE JUST TRYING TO LURE ME INTO A TRAP? DID SHE KNOW THAT I WAS HERE AND WAS PLANNING SOMETHING? WAIT, WHAT IF SHE SAW ME THE WHOLE TIME? AHHHHH!          

Thinking about the possibilities, I shuddered. That’s when I spotted Rosmerta in the deepest part, cowering. That’s when she took out something. This something was very surprising indeed. It was a roll of tape. What could she possibly do with that? I wondered. But that’s when I heard a soft click. I saw the old hag take hold of a piece of tape, and stick it to a bare wall. I didn’t know exactly what she was doing, so I just watched. 

She was breathing heavily when she finally finished, so that the tape framed a small door big enough for her (and me) to fit in. I crouched behind a loose piece of wood, sweating for the unsureness. That’s when I noticed the tape had disappeared, so had the block of wall on where Rosmerta had framed the tape. I blinked several times, making sure that what I was seeing was correct. It was. I watched tentatively as the old hag stepped inside, took one deep breath, and changed right into Peyton. Wait, was I seeing right? Yup, I was. I WAS! I was so shell-shocked that I almost fell right out of my hiding place! I couldn’t believe my eyes!!      

I stayed still, listening. Then, with the whoosh of wind, a woman identical to the woman in the photograph appeared, looking around, eyes hard. Then, she stared at the exact spot that I was, eyes softening. 

Noticing my confusion, she said, “I’m your mother.” Her voice sounded soprano. I could’ve sworn that she would be a great female singer. “And you can come out now, Apollo. ”

A middle-aged white man appeared from the doorway. He waved his hand and left, hands in his pockets. 

~

Explanation Chapter

4

Aphrodite led me into the room where Apollo had transformed. 

“Why did you and dad divorce?” I blurted out. 

“It’s complicated.” Aphrodite fidgeted with her hands, which seemed very ungodly to me. 

It’s always been a sensitive subject for me, and I knew that, compared to being part of the chaos herself, Aphrodite may have a more specific reason. 

“Well, the simple explanation is that it didn’t work out. After I explained everything to him, you know, the fact that I’m not normal, and he freaked out.” Her eyes were like a portal to the past. I could almost see dad’s freaked face. 

“Anyways,” she took a breath and shook her head, the portal unwinded. 

I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful Aphrodite was. She wore a long robe, woven with exquisite silver fabric. Whenever she moved, it was as if the whole world bowed down to her. Every step she took, there was an era of power flowing around. Sometimes, there was an angry flash in her eyes whenever she was irritated. This warned the surrounding people now to deal with her. Not that any fool would want to without her signal. 

Her skin was a light shade of peach, not too dark, but not too pale. Her blonde hair, tied back into a perfect knot, was placed right splat at the back of her head. Her eyes were ocean blue, warm and kind, but also very stricken. Her lips were coated with sparkly red lip gloss, everything about her was so gentle, calm, yet at the same time powerful and forceful. You could tell that she wasn’t someone to mess around with, even if you didn’t know she was a Greek god. 

I looked up to meet those ocean blue eyes, sad.

“I have some questions to ask you,” I barreled on. Aphrodite immediately sat up straight, composing herself. 

“Anything.” Her face was warm, sadness long forgotten. “But, if these somehow reach out of my authority line, I cannot do anything to help you. Hera will be extremely angry with me. And when she’s mad, she’s MAD,” she said, her face suddenly serious. Shaking her head, she peeked at me. I couldn’t hold her gaze. 

“So… ” I stuttered for words. I didn’t know what to say. I mean, this is the first time that I’ve even spoken to someone with authority, let alone a goddess. 

“I want to know why you left daddy,” I settled with something straightforward. 

I knew nothing about being a god. That was probably pretty off since I was the daughter of Aphrodite, the god of love and beauty. But I still wasn’t her. AT ALL. Literally. 

“Oh.. ” She spoke as if she knew what was coming, yet she feared it. I couldn’t bear to admit it, but I liked the look on her face. It was a mixture of annoyance and overwhelmingness. It was quite unusual for a god to look like that. Yet there is a difference between reality and fantasy. And if you took a look at my mom’s face then, you would’ve guessed that she just got stabbed in the back with a dagger. 

“Well, I need you to know that we, well, separated because of the rules passed on through generations. I loved him very much. I wouldn’t have made the choice to divorce if I were a regular mortal. In fact, I love him with all my life. I might even die for him. But you need to know that things are the way they are, even if you wish that they weren’t. I always thought of playing with the thought of being normal. To be a typical mortal with a happy family, living a normal life. But when you’re, well, me, that would be a dream come true if it actually happened.”

A single tear slipped down her cheek. 

“Rules are rules, aren’t they?” She forced a sad smile, her voice trembling.

“Oh,” I said again. What can I say? I was preparing myself to hear my own mother tell me the real reason, but a wave of nausea still wrapped around my gut. I felt my nails bite into my hand. Then a strange thing happened. A smell of smoke. Then a flash of light. And before my eyes, Aphrodite was gone. 

“So, class, the answer to this problem is π^2. Any questions?!” Mr. Amnesee announced to the class. I looked up, deciding to stop picking my nails. The polish was peeling off, anyway. I was going to make mom proud. I was going to become an A+ student again. 

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