“I knew it!”
This was how Annabeth greeted me a month after spring break – and my “fishing trip” with Tyson – had ended.
I felt my heart sink, but tried to play innocent. “Knew what?” I asked, my voice pitched too high to pull off nonchalance. I really did not like keeping secrets from Annabeth, but I liked it even less when she had a new reason to make fun of me.
And somehow I knew I was the one who’d get teased for this. Not Tyson.
“I knew something happened on that trip.” The smug tone in Annabeth’s voice was unbearable. “I knew you and Tyson were too quiet about it.”
“What do you know?!” I demanded, and was surprised when Annabeth shoved a newspaper in my face and ducked past me into the kitchen.
“You want to explain that?” she asked, opening the freezer door and peering inside. “I saw it in line at the grocery store."
I looked at the newspaper she’d handed me. It was a copy of the National Enquirer. There was a large color picture splashed across the front of it, taken on a beach early in the morning. The headline screamed: The New Montauk Monster Invades New York!
I groaned. That was undoubtedly me in the picture, soaking wet and gross, covered with seaweed and other plant-life, with a trail of flotsam and jetsam straggling behind me. I looked like some kind of horrible swamp-creature emerging from the water to feed on sunbathers.
“You didn’t tell me you had to walk home,” Annabeth called, still poking through the freezer. She gave me a sunny grin under the door. “Couldn’t hitch a ride with a sea turtle or something?”
“Hilarious,” I muttered under my breath, flipping through the pages to scan through the article as best I could.
Luckily, the only damage seemed to be to my reputation: when I lowered the paper, Annabeth was standing in front of me, holding the slim pieces of paper-wrapped fish that we’d so carefully packed away in the freezer. I was never going to live this one down; she was still smiling broadly at me.
“Tell me,” she asked in a quizzical tone. “Did your catch put up a big fight when you bought it at the fish market?”