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Frostbite

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Mariah turned a slow circle as white powder fell from the sky in sparkling fragile ice sculptures. It was amazing, how the tingly snow felt as it brushed her face. 

She wanted to stop and scoop up snow in her arms, it had been a long time since she'd felt the coolness of the half way frozen water. And gods of Olympus, how long had it been since she'd thrown a snowball?

Mariah sighed, stooping down to let her fingers brush the newly fallen snow then stepped through the doorway to her barrack.

"Soldiers!" She barked.

Every demigod in barrack 2 and cohort 3 snapped to attention, standing taller and facing her with steady eyes. 

"After we dig through this drift, we are assigned to help the children of Vulcan build a bridge over the lake." She glanced at her clipboard. "All other chores and lessons are cancelled, other than that."

"Anything we like?" One girl, who's Camp Jupiter T-Shirt was cut so low Mariah had a hard time focusing on her face spoke up. "Say for instance, something like skinny dipping?"

Mariah shrugged, as if she wasn't sure. "Praetor never said no, so I suppose so."

"Can we play Truth or Dare?" Jonathan asked from the back if the eager faced crowd. His hazel eyes shine with anticipation.

"That's like so Greek!" One of the pretty brunette girls laughed as she mockingly mimicked Camp Half-Blood. Her golden breast plate was crooked, Mariah noticed.

It was odd, the way everyone could joke after this. Not after the blizzard, the one only a week ago. She still remembered the thousand tons of snow that had hurled itself at her, only to be bounced back by Anderson. He was the son of Neptune, his water shield was the only thing protecting Mariah from the dangerous storm. The only problem, as Mariah had opened her lips to say thank you, Anderson had been swept away into the midst of the swirling storm. She'd yelled for him, 

The barrack leader caught herself smiling but quickly took back command. "Everyone find a shovel! Dig a path to the lake!" She ordered and tossed a few people in the front row their own snow shoveling tools. 

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