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   Chapter 33 A Reluctant Rescue

Blog of a Teenage Superhero By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 7645

Updated: 2017-12-05 19:05

Percy is sinking.

Max limpens, his last breath escaping him in a few pearly black bubbles, and Monet has become a dead weight in her other hand.

Percy doesn“t know what she expected, exactly. An easy swim? The bog isn“t so deep. The problem is that the sludge is more quicksand than tar-pit, and the more she swims against the choppy waters, the harder they tug her ankles, down, down, down into the artificial depths. But Percy won“t let get. She trails her fingers up the sleeves of Max“s costume, curls them in the stiff corners of his torn cape, rolls the hem around her wrist. She catches him by the small of his back and shoves his face up to the air. He“s still sinking. The sludge is now up to her mouth; she lost the air she“d tried to save by jabbering reason at Monet.

With her fingers curled in the cuffs of his sleeves, she reaches for Monet“s collar. The sludge now reaches her nose. Her shoulder is clicking. With the strain of pulling the villain from the muck, she figures it“ll pop out of its socket in a second or so. Shivering against the acrid chill, she snatches up Monet by the high collar of her super suit.

Come on, she wants to scream, come on. It can“t end this way, can it? The girl bursts through the choppy water from a single hard tug from Percy. She coughs and groans, spitting up the brine. Max“s body pulls Percy into the brine, fills her eyes with it, so all she can see is the bubbles in the water and the darkness around her. She struggles and wheezes and silently screams. Her fists come up with a sucking sound from the strings of goop, and in a desperate attempt at reviving her, she punches Monet in the assumed chest area. Hard. With her ears full of brine, Monet“s hacking sounds murky and far away to her, like a painful reality from a distant dream.

I“m sorry, she thinks to her mother. I“m sorry I didn“t inherit your superpowers, I“m sorry I couldn“t redeem the bad guy or get the girl. I“m sorry my noble sacrifice and plan failed. I failed you and everything you stood for, and for that, I“m sorry, I“m sorry, I...

Above, Monet sputters and screams.

Percy releases her, her grip on Max tightening still as she drifts toward the bottom of the bog with an almost peaceful indifference to the pain of her chosen death. Monet ga

raw, numbing tingle, the ebb and flow, ebb and flow, goop dribbling from the corner of her mouth. Max stirs. She squeezes him and he falls limp over her arms.

Percy bursts through the doors of the warehouse, where the heroes are tearing its insides apart chain by chain by chain. Most of the heroes don“t even look up when she enters. They“re intent, slipping through the crumbling building like bright, multi-color shadows. "Mon—Onyx needs backup. She“s got Masquerade." They abandon the warehouse like that. A few quick glances thrown in her direction, and they“re racing outside to help. Sirens wail in the distance. Monet stumbles up to the front of the house, edging against the siding, Max clenched in a death grip. Percy races toward her as she wheels back and slumps against the door. She“s shaking.

"Mo!" Percy races up to her, still woozy. Monet glances down at her. Her lips part into a half smile, and she slumps against Percy. Her side is crusted with sludge and blood. Her shoulders tremble, and at first, Percy thinks she“s crying. But then she hears the sound of laughter, a quavering giggle suspiciously resembling a sob. Percy tenatively braces her arm and her fingers sink into a rut of split bone. Monet doesn“t even react and Percy, afraid of bringing the injury to light, tries to chat her up to keep her distracted. "Uh, Mo, what are you laughing at?"

She sighs into Percy“s shoulder, still clutching Max in a strangling hold. "My gosh," she slurs. "This is going to make one heck of a blog post."

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