Chapter 3

The 9 hours of restless sleep, didn’t do good things to prepare him for Capture the flag today.  He crawled out of bed, put on a dark blue shirt, a pair of jeans, and his green converse that were worn and stained, and left Hermes cabin. As he left he grabbed the pendant hanging from his neck and rubbed it three times with his thumb. This was a habit he has done ever since coming to the camp. It was symbolic for the four years he forgot. He walked to the dining pavilion and grabbed some food. He scraped some off into the fire in the middle and said a silent prayer to anyone who was listening.  He sat down at the Hermes table where some of his other cabinmates were sitting.
“You ready for Capture the Flag today? We can’t without you, you know that?” Hunter looked up to see Will, a Hermes cabin resident. Will was a year older than Hunter, but he showed up about 4 years ago.  Will has yet to be claimed by a god.  “What do you think, Hunter?”
“Hmm…Oh yeah. I’ll be ready to go.” Hunter was still half-asleep. “What’s the game plan?” 
“Well, this year we’re up against Ares, Aphrodite, Dionysus, all of the big three, and all of the minor gods. They’ve got a good amount of heavy-hitters but to be honest we’ve got numbers. I think if we play it smart we’ll win.  I’m not really much of a strategist though. That’s why we have the owl kids.” Will called the children of Athena ‘owl kids.’ The owl being a sacred animal of Athena. “They always have some sort of plan. I’m sure we’ll get a job right before the horn.”
Hunter chuckled. “Yeah that’s usually how it works. We need to make sure that none of us end up in a one-on-one situation.”
Will thought and then said, “Yeah, except you or me.” Will was possibly the best swordfighter in the camp. Ever since he came here he had been training with a sword.  It didn’t take long for him to become one of the best in the camp. Strangely enough, he was also the best spear fighter in the entire camp. He was better than Hunter and Hunter was one of the best.
“What do you mean? I mean I understand you. You’re one of the best fighters in the camp but, why me? I’m no good with a sword.”
Will smiled. “Oh come on, dude. I saw you demolish a dummy with a thrown spear the other day. And you’re the best knife fighter I’ve ever seen. Not to mention your pinpoint accuracy with a bow and arrow. With skills like that your ability with a sword is irrelevant.”
“I guess. I’m not sold that I could hold my own if it really mattered.”
“Trust me. You’ll do fine.” Will said that, then got up turned in his dishes and then left.
Hunter sat there, finishing his meal.  He thought about what Will had said. Will wasn’t wrong. Maybe being talented with a sword wasn’t as important as Hunter made it out to be. Hunter finished his meal and then left the dining pavilion.  Hunter walked back to his cabin and retrieved his bow and his quiver.  He was about to leave when he remembered what Will had said. He went back to his bunk, reached under for a few seconds then came out with a very dusty looking hunting knife.  It was the knife issued to him from day one. He rarely used a knife, anymore.  Hunter held the knife and blew off the dust.  He wiped the remaining dust off of its sheath and then pulled out the blade.  The 18” hunting knife felt light in his hand. It was light but it wasn’t perfectly balanced. A problem in the forging, most likely. He tossed the blade from hand to hand as he reacquainted himself with his knife.  He slashed at the air a couple of times to test his grip.  He examined the blade. There a few notches in the blade and dulled places where it hit a shield a little too hard.  Then near the tip there was a stain. A discoloration on the blade.  Hunter’s mind fogged over as he remembered how that stain got there.