He opened the access panel in Festus’s neck. The astrolabe was humming away, the crystal pulsing like a neon heart. Leo checked his compass and GPS, and a grin spread across his face. “Festus, good news!” he shouted. “Our navigation readings are completely messed up!” Festus said, Creak?
“Yeah! Descend! Get us below these clouds and maybe-”
The dragon plummeted so fast that the breath was sucked out of Leo’s lungs. They broke through the blanket of white and there, below them, was a single green island in a vast blue sea.
Leo whooped so loudly they probably heard him in China. “YEAH! WHO DIED? WHO CAME BACK? WHO’S YOUR FREAKIN’ SUPERSIZED McSHIZZLE NOW, BABY? WOOOOOOOO!”
They spiraled towards Ogygia, the warm wind in Leo’s hair. He realized his clothes were in tatters, despite the magic they’d been woven with. His arms were covered in a fine layer of soot, like he’d just died in a massive fire… which, of course, he had. But he couldn’t worry about any of that.
She was standing on the beach, wearing jeans and a white blouse, her amber hair pulled back. Festus spread his wings and landed with a stumble. Apparently one of his legs was broken. The dragon pitched sideways and catapulted Leo face-first into the sand. So much for a heroic entrance.
Leo spat a piece of seaweed out of his mouth. Festus dragged himself down the beach, made clacking sounds that meant Ow, ow, ow.
Leo looked up. Calypso stood over him, her arms crossed, her eyebrows arched. “You’re late,” she announced. Her eyes gleamed. “Sorry, Sunshine,” Leo said. “Traffic was murder.”
“You are covered in soot,” she noted. “And you managed to ruin the clothes I made for you, which were impossible to ruin.”
“Well, you know.” Leo shrugged. Somebody had released a hundred pachinko balls in his chest. “I’m all about doing the impossible.” She offered her hand and helped him up. They stood nose to nose as she studied his condition. She smelled like cinnamon. Had she always had that tiny freckle next to her left eye? Leo really wanted to touch it.
She wrinkled her nose. “You smell-”
“I know. Like I’ve been dead. Probably because I have been. Oath to keep with a final breath and all, but I’m better now-”
She stopped him with a kiss.
The pachinko balls slammed around inside him. He felt so happy he had to make a conscious effort not to burst into flames. When she finally let him go, her face was covered in soot smudges. She didn’t seem to care. She traced her thumb across his cheekbone.
“Leo Valdez,” she said.
“The Blood of Olympus” by Rick Riordan
This is an excerpt from the fifth and final book in the Heroes of Olympus series, “The Blood of Olympus” by Rick Riordan. It shows how Leo Valdez, son of Hephaestus, managed to break Calypso’s curse by returning to Ogygia, an eternal island created to imprison Calypso, Atlas’s daughter.
According to Calypso, she was doomed to stay in Ogygia for eternity, with the gods sometimes sending her a hero in need for her to help. However, there is a catch. Calypso falls in love with the heroes sent to her, and sadly, these heroes always have to leave Ogygia, breaking Calypso’s heart. To quote Calypso:
“They send a person who can never stay. Who can never accept my offer of companionship for more than a little while. They send me a hero I can’t help… just the sort of person I can’t help falling in love with.”
According to her, four people have been sent to her by the gods: Odysseus, Sir Francis Drake, Percy Jackson, and Leo Valdez, who succeeds in taking her from Ogygia.
Well, my point here is… uh… sometimes, impossible things can be done. That is, if you believe it is possible.