The ancient name “Lilith” derives from a Sumerian word for female demons or wind spirits - the lilītu. The lilītu dwells in desert lands and open country spaces and is especially dangerous to pregnant women and infants.
Perhaps the greatest faculty our minds possess is the ability to cope with pain. Classic thinking teaches us of the four doors of the mind, which everyone moves through according to their need.
First is the door of sleep. Sleep offers us a retreat from the world and all its pain. Sleep marks passing time, giving us distance from the things that have hurt us. When a person is wounded they will often fall unconscious. Similarly, someone who hears traumatic news will often swoon or faint. This is the mind’s way of protecting itself from pain by stepping through the first door.
Second is the door of forgetting. Some wounds are too deep to heal, or too deep to heal quickly. In addition, many memories are simply painful, and there is no healing to be done. The saying ‘time heals all wounds’ is false. Time heals most wounds. The rest are hidden behind this door.
Third is the door of madness. There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.
Last is the door of death. The final resort. Nothing can hurt us after we are dead, or so we have been told.
The morning after Sarah Williams defeats the Goblin King, she gets up and makes toast. She has to brush some glitter off the toaster—it withers and vanishes at the brush of her fingertips, and she stares at her hand for a long time.
It mostly just looks like her hand. Even when she turns it over, and sees where she scraped her knuckles against the oubliette, where the shattered mirror cut the back of her wrist. It looks like she fell, or was playing in the street. That’s all.
The toast comes out burned, and Sarah stares at that too. Eventually, she slumps down against the cabinets and cries, wracking sobs that send her dad and Karen rushing into kitchen. They check her forehead for a fever, put their hands on her, and keep asking, “Are you okay? Sarah, please, tell us what’s wrong…”
Eventually, her dad drags her into his lap and cradles her against his chest, like he did when she was little. Her legs are too long to really fit anymore, but Sarah hugs him around the neck anyway. “It’ll be okay,” he says, keeps saying. “You’ll be okay.” And Sarah—doesn’t laugh, because she can’t, and doesn’t have the words to express what—how—
(None of her stories ever talked about this. What did Sir George do, the morning after he slayed the last dragon in England? Did Tam Lin eat breakfast, or did he sit there, shivering, wondering if his hands were different, having been claws and wings and scales?)
Afterwards, she leaves the burnt toast outside on the back porch. Not an offering. Maybe a reminder.
It’s Didymus she sees the most often, mostly because he’s the one who invites himself rather than waiting for an invitation. He comes for tea, but even if there’s no tea—which there isn’t, usually—he comes to tell Sarah stories. She learns to love poetry because there’s no escaping it with him. (She won’t read Idylls of the King until Brit Lit in college, but she ends up scrawling a lot in the margins; Didymus’ telling of events had been much more interesting.)
Once, she falls asleep like that, her hands tucked behind her head with Didymus curled up and sleepily reciting from the crook of her elbow. “So tender was her voice, so fair her face—though I don’t think he was looking at her face, my lady, pardon me for saying so—”
Sarah buries her nose in his fur. Didymus always smells of rosewater, and a crispness she thinks is just…the Labyrinth. She falls asleep trying to place it.
She wakes up with a wild fox in her bed, animal-black eyes frightened and flat, teeth bared. The fox is whining, and she’s tempted to throw herself across the room, to get away from this wild thing and its teeth. It takes a monumental will to keep herself still and her breathing slow, even; like she’s still asleep and unafraid.
It takes her longer to swallow, and start humming one of the songs he taught her—a knight’s round, he’d said. She’s shaky at first, but the fox’s ears flick forward. It cocks its head, and slowly, the teeth disappear behind its lips.
She almost laughs when noses at her throat curiously, butting its head against her jaw like a cat might.
Aries moon had feelings coming in rushes, like the water that crashed up to the shore. Their like batteries with loaders that don’t have limits. There’s a kid within every Aries moon, don’t kill it. Don’t you dare.
Taurus moon has feelings like the weather, the soft weather I mean. I’m talking about rain cascading down roof panes and snow melting to water. They always have their timing right, they know when to talk.
Gemini moon is like a little warrior, their words are their biggest weapons. Their feelings are like the wind, it’s hard to escape the wind. Sometimes their caught in whirlwinds, sometimes they’re biking and the wind doesn’t stand in the right direction.
Cancer moon is the ocean, the rush, the flow, the still. Feelings that will empower them, drown them. They’re so protective, with lunar dust in their hair and flowers engraved in their life. But sometimes their flowers wilt, and sometimes the ocean becomes wild.
Leo Moon is gracious, generous, their life is like a dance clip. With graceful hands and dramatic movements, their feelings take them over like a wildfire spreads out over forest trees.
Virgo Moon is the librarian, the quiet before the storm. The one with the secret knowledge, with books stapled onto each other. They know what they do, and can’t take it when they’re ignored. They have a huge eye for detail.
Libra moon is the harp, the piano, the instruments and the harmony. They’re love and they’re peace, with lacy voices and cute smiles. These people can make a great sensation in your home and private life.
Scorpio moon is an over-thinker, the type who doesn’t want to leave their bed. But also the type to hug you from behind, their feelings give rushes like water churns in rivers. And when they explode, trust me, they know, they don’t want to drown you in their problems.
Sagittarius moon is the archer, the one who chases the sun and escapes their own fires. They run from the feelings in their chest, change the subject. They’re adventurous, addicted to the thrills that life has to offer. They’re smart, philosophical.
Capricorn moon is a hard worker, a family person. Feelings of earth run through them, little earthquakes without time tickets may erupt. They push themselves a lot, often without second thought. They’re competitive, but often they’re also competitive to themselves. Because they want to improve.
Aquarius moon is part of a clan, a person with a friendly personality that often gets along with everyone. They’re their own person, and even though they belong to their group of friends- they don’t. They’re original, unique thinkers. They come up with solutions, ideas and thoughts no one ever dares to speak out loud.
Pisces moon is a dreamer, the kind you catch staring out of the window in class. Watching the birds. Or the kind plucking flowers to make something for a dear friend, a mysterious person. Manipulative on the inside, with feelings that can’t be explained, only imagined.
It was his idea, after this kid at his school was being followed by this woman who spoke with her hands to the boy every time the teacher spoke. Percy thought it was so weird and he asked the boy why he couldn’t talk
The lady was really nice to him about it, too. She told him the boy couldn’t hear and that this was his way of talking, even if he was in what he called a ‘hearing school’
Percy fell in love with the language instantly. He befriended the boy and the lady, and because of that everyone made fun of him for being around 'that weird kid’
By the end of the semester, Percy was able to talk to Jacob, the deaf kid, without having to used Amanda, the translator
When he went home for winter break, he eagerly showed Sally the new language he learned. Sally couldn’t believe Percy picked up on something like that so quickly, learning so much in only a few short months
Percy insisted that they learn, because 'Then Smelly Gabe doesn’t have to yell at us for being too loud.’
He taught her whenever he had the chance, which was those rare times they went grocery shopping or out buying new uniforms because Percy was afraid Gabe would pick up on this beautiful language
When Percy went back to school, he found out his deaf friend had to move. Heartbroken (platonically speaking) and alone, Percy’s grades stopped getting better and he went mute for the rest of the schon year, refusing to do schoolwork or activities. He buried himself into ASL, learning as much as he could before Sally got a letter shortly after April testing stating that Percy was not welcome back for the next grading cycle
As he got older, he used ASL more than ever. He went back to talking, but sometimes he found himself accidentally signing as he spoke. It started off subtlety, only being words like 'my mother’, 'wind’, 'let’s go’, and 'no/yes’
Sometimes he’ll forget he’s not deaf, or that “normal kids” don’t sign, and he’ll switch into ASL in an argument
Kids teased him for it
He won’t admit it out loud, but that was why he fired that cannon at that Revolutionary war memorial
He forced himself to stop signing when he went to Yancy. He couldn’t look his mom in the eyes for a week when she found out that those kids, the ones who teased him for learning the deaf language, were why he blew up a bus.
Grover met Percy and befriended him, not once learning of his hidden language ability
Percy secretly likes no one knowing about it. It felt kind of like a secret language a spy would use when she couldn’t talk to her partner
As he grew into his demigod life, he found ways to prevent the unintentional signing - spinning Riptide in his fingers, running a hand through his hair, crossing his arms, or simply tucking his hands into his pockets
When Gabe died, Sally and Percy stopped signing to each other. After all, they didn’t need to be secretive, right?
When Paul came around, Percy’s signing defense reactivated. He talked to his mom with his hands again, which had shocked the teacher
Sally reassured Percy that there was no way Paul would be like Gabe. Gabe was being used for his scent; Paul was here because he was sweet and kind and loving
Paul couldn’t understand a word of their conversation, and when he asked Sally what happened, she told him that ASL was Percy’s “escape” language
Percy was shocked when Paul asked him to learn. It proved to be very great bonding time between the 2 of them
Then Hera kidnapped Percy and wiped his memories
While he trained with Lupa, he found himself weaving strange hand gestures into his speech. He couldn’t understand how he knew what this one hand gesture meant, or how to say a certain phrase without having to talk, but he thought it was the coolest thing ever.
Something inside him told himself to keep the hand signals to himself, like a gut feeling
Lupa was always telling Percy to follow his gut
So he stopped signing, focusing on improving his battle movements
Sometimes, on the Argo 2, he would stand in front of the mirror and sign to himself
Once again, he hid his favourite language from his friends. This was his and his mom’s language, their special way of talking
No one was allowed to know it unless they had to
Not even his own father knew that Percy and Sally were ASL speakers
The quests fly by, Percy making a point to communicate with his mouth and not his hands
At the end of Saving The World Part Two™, the first thing he did was go see his mom and sign to her
Beautiful with an S is the name his friend Jacob gave her when Percy showed him a picture. That name was the first thing hr signed when he saw his mother again
The squeal Paul heard from the kitchen indicated that Sally had signed “I’m pregnant”
(Which, guys, totally happened to be all Percy’s fault. Don’t believe me? It took a month of travel to get to Rome. Apollo went MIA for 6 months, which means TOA took place 7 months after SON. Sally is seven months pregnant in The Hidden Oracle…)
Percy settled back down into his normal oral-only speech rule he made for himself
Then Annabeth called him and said that he needed to meet her in Boston
Percy packed up stuff and drove himself to Boston via Blackjack & Chariot taxi services
There he met Magnus, Blitzen, Sam, and Hearthstone
Annabeth cheerily introduced Percy to her 'mortal-not-so-mortal’ cousin
Magnus and Percy discussed stuff for a while before Hearthstone signed that he couldn’t understand what Percy was saying because his mouth formed words differently
Without meaning to, Percy instantly started signing an apology, explaining that New York City accents did that
And Annabeth nearly flipped the table
“What do you mean you’ve been signing since you were 7?!”
Percy was stuck trying to explain to Annabeth that him knowing another language like that was no big deal
But to Percy, ASL was a huge deal. It was his favourite and his secret language.
Annabeth was just mad that such an important piece of information about Percy was never brought to her attention
Percy reluctantly taught her ASL
Their wedding vows and were exchanged with ASL
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