"No way..." I muttered absently. It read "Nectar of the gods".
So naturally I tried it. It was a flat carmel color liquid that reminded me of apple juice, But when I tried it it was nothing like that. I checked again-yep, no bubbles. But I could have sworn...
"Well, what do we have here?" A girl's voice from behind me. I turned to see a girl of about 16 with dark hair and green eyes wearing a lotus print dress and holding a cluster of red berries.
"Obviously a half-blood, or the nectar would have burned you to ashes."
I hastily set down the glass. "Does that happen often?"
The girl laughed. "No, the Mist conceals that option from our mortal guests. Tell me ,what did it taste like? "
"Coca-Cola." Coke was, in my opinion, the greatest invention of all time.
She laughed again. "What's your name?"
"Stella" I answered. "And your godly parent? "
"The youth goddess. Youth is valued highly here. You may have noticed that no one in the Hotel is over the the age of 19?"
I hadn't, but when I looked around I saw it was true. "How? "
"There is a time freeze spell in the Hotel, no one ever ages , and we only admit ages 7-19"
I liked that idea- a kids only world. The only adult I'd ever gotten along with was my dad. All the others were too condescending for my taste always thinking that they're better than everyone else just because they're older . It disgusts me. Maybe I got that from my mother.
The girl wasn't done talking. "No one can enter our Hotel with out permission ,not even the gods."
"How?" I asked again. She seemed to enjoy talking. " Because we're protected by the most powerful diety of all" She answered. "Ra?" I guessed. She frowned. "No. I thought you were Greek? "
I looked at the ground. "I'm both. My dad is-was- a magician, and my mom's Hebe."
When I looked up the girl was smiling at me with hungry eyes that made me wish I hadn't said anything. "Come with me" she said.
I didn't really want to, but I figured there was no choice, 'cause I was pretty sure that this was her Hotel. I followed her up a set of stairs into a lounge like room. The only difference was the big tree in the middle. It was covered in clusters of red berries and lots of spiky pink blossoms. There were some blue and black too but mainly pink. Lotus flowers.
That's when I realized where I was-
"the Lair of the Lotus-Eaters." I said. The girl smiled in recognition.
"What's this, Ridley? " asked a boy about the girl's age with dark skin and black hair but the girl's same green eyes, which now that I looked closer were unnaturally bright, like acid. The boy was wearing a black suit with a Lotus flower pinned on it, like the one who'd given me my LotusCash card. In fact, he might be the same one, I wasn't sure. The time in the Hotel was sort of fuzzy, up until I'd entered this room.
The lounge contained about 7 Lotus-Eaters, with various skin and hair colors, but all with those acid green eyes. Wait, the girl's name was Ridley? That didn't strike me as a very Lotus-Eater-ish name.
"This is Stella. " Ridley said. "She"s a Half-Blood Magician."
The room froze. "You mean..." the boy started.
Ridley nodded slowly. All of the Lotus-Eaters turned on me with that hungry stare.
I took a step back out of instinct.
Ridley put a hand on my shoulder. "We have a problem. A problem we think that you can fix. "
"You know our myth, yes? "
I nodded. "You were addicted to lotus fruit. So much that you for got everything else. "
The Lotus-Eaters groaned. "That scoundrel Odysseus, spreading his lies again! We are not addicted to anything. We eat lotus a lot, true, but that is simply because the tree fuels our immortality. It is a gift from our mother. But the tree's life force is sustained by the life forces of those inside the Hotel. Now, the Hotel is desighned so that you'll never want to leave , and we have a faint spell in place, but people still tend to leave. They have things to do, places to be. We need a unique spellcaster, such as a magician who can work Greek magic, to put a spell in place that makes people forget about those things until they leave the Hotel. "
"as in, forever. " I said.
Ridley grimaced. "Not nessesarily. Sometimes gods arrange for their children to be sent here temporarily, usually to protect them from the wrath of other gods."
"But how can you be protected from all the gods? " I asked.
"I've told you. We're protected by the most powerful of all the deities, feared by Zeus and even Gaea- our Mother, Lady Nyx."
I didn't remember that from the Lotus-Eaters myth, but I remembered what she'd said about Odysseus and let the subject drop.
"So are you in? " Ridley asked.
I thought about it, then said the words that would change my life forever-" I'm in."