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The Battle of the Labyrinth

The Battle of the Labyrinth

Titel: The Battle of the Labyrinth
Autoren: Rick Riordan
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    The last thing I wanted to do on my summer break was blow up another school. But there I was Monday morning, the first week of June, sitting in my mom’s car in front of Goode High School on East 81st.
    Goode was this big brownstone building overlooking the East River. A bunch of BMWs and Lincoln Town Cars were parked out front. Staring up at the fancy stone archway, I wondered how long it would take me to get kicked out of this place.
    “Just relax.” My mom didn’t sound relaxed. “It’s only an orientation tour. And remember, dear, this is Paul’s school. So try not to . . . you know.”
    “Destroy it?”
    Paul Blofis, my mom’s boyfriend, was standing out front, greeting future ninth graders as they came up the steps. With his salt-and-pepper hair, denim clothes, and leather jacket, he reminded me of a TV actor, but he was just an English teacher. He’d managed to convince Goode High School to accept me for ninth grade, despite the fact that I’d gotten kicked out of every school I’d ever attended.
    I’d tried to warn him it wasn’t a good idea, but he wouldn’t listen.
    I looked at my mom. “You haven’t told him the truth about me, have you?”
    She tapped her fingers nervously on the wheel. She was dressed up for a job interview—her best blue dress and high-heeled shoes.
    “I thought we should wait,” she admitted.
    “So we don’t scare him away.”
    “I’m sure orientation will be fine, Percy. It’s only one morning.”
    “Great,” I mumbled. “I can get expelled before I even start the school year.”
    “Think positive. Tomorrow you’re off to camp! After orientation, you’ve got your date—”
    “It’s not a date!” I protested. “It’s just Annabeth, Mom. Jeez!”
    “She’s coming all the way from camp to meet you.”
    “Well, yeah.”
    “You’re going to the movies.”
    “Just the two of you.”
    She held up her hands in surrender, but I could tell she was trying hard not to smile. “You’d better get inside, dear. I’ll see you tonight.”
    I was about to get out of the car when I looked over at the steps of the school. Paul Blofis was greeting a girl with frizzy red hair. She wore a maroon T-shirt and ratty jeans decorated with marker drawings. When she turned, I caught a glimpse of her face, and the hairs on my arms stood straight up.
    “Percy?” my mom asked. “What’s wrong?”
    “N-nothing,” I stammered. “Does the school have a side entrance?”
    “Down the block on the right. Why?”
    “I’ll see you later.”
    My mom started to say something, but I got out of the car and ran, hoping the redheaded girl wouldn’t see me.
    What was she doing here? Not even my luck could be this bad.
    Yeah, right. I was about to find out my luck could get a whole lot worse.
    Sneaking into orientation didn’t work out too well. Two cheerleaders in purple-and-white uniforms were standing at the side entrance, waiting to ambush freshmen.
    “Hi!” They smiled, which I figured was the first and last time any cheerleaders would be that friendly to me. One was blond with icy blue eyes. The other was African American with dark curly hair like Medusa’s (and believe me, I know what I’m talking about). Both girls had their names stitched in cursive on their uniforms, but with my dyslexia, the words looked like meaningless spaghetti.
    “Welcome to Goode,” the blond girl said. “You are so going to love it.”
    But as she looked me up and down, her expression said something more like, Eww, who is this loser?
    The other girl stepped uncomfortably close to me. I studied the stitching on her uniform and made out Kelli . She smelled like roses and something else I recognized from riding lessons at camp—the scent of freshly washed horses. It was a weird smell for a cheerleader. Maybe she owned a horse or something. Anyway, she stood so close I got the feeling she was going to try to push me down the steps. “What’s your name, fish?”
    “Uh, Percy.”
    The girls exchanged looks.
    “Oh, Percy Jackson,” the blond one said. “We’ve been waiting for you.”
    That sent a major Uh-oh chill down my back. They were blocking the entrance, smiling in a not-very-friendly way. My hand crept instinctively toward my pocket, where I kept my lethal ballpoint pen, Riptide.
    Then another voice came from inside the building: “Percy?” It was Paul Blofis, somewhere
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