Categories > Original > Fantasy > Collision

Silence

by gailmarie13 1 Reviews

It's chapter one. That's all there really is to say...

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Characters:  - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2013/05/19 - Updated: 2013/06/19 - 4043 words

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I shrugged my backpack onto my shoulder to keep it from sliding off. My brown hair was plastered to my face, effectively covering my green eyes. I ignored the curious glances from people as I walked by. It must’ve been odd for them, a girl just walking out of the ocean in a white dress and sandals.

You’re probably confused. Maybe, I should’ve started from the beginning.

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“‘That moment, she was mine, mine, fair, perfectly pure and good; I found a thing to do, and all her hair in one yellow strand I wound three times her little throat around, and strangled her. No pain felt she; I am quite sure she felt no pain. As a shut bud that holds a bee, I warily opened her lids: again laughed the blue eyes without a stain.’” I stopped reading and looked up at the twenty-something sitting next to me. “Apollo, it’s beautiful.”

Apollo winked. “Original manuscript.”

“Where did you find it?”

“I have a lot of connections.”

I brought my face closer to his. “You are amazing.” I planted a kiss on his cheek.

I should probably explain. When I say twenty-something, I mean twenty-something thousand. Apollo is immortal. You know Apollo, of course. He’s a god. Greek god of poetry, archery, and whatnot. Quite the cassanova. Women love a man who has taste after all. Apollo and I are practically brother and sister. Well, technically, we are brother and sister. Half, anyway.

“So, how are things with Isabella?” I asked, folding up the piece of paper and rising from my seat.

“Well,” Apollo stood, running his fingers through his curly blonde hair, “she doesn’t really appreciate Hannah.”

“Did you really think she would? That’s like introducing your girlfriend to your wife.”

“Actually, nothing like that. More like my girlfriend to my other girlfriend, if even that. They both know that nothing’s going to come out of this. I’m hardly going to make either one of them a goddess. Then I’ll have to deal with them forever.”

I never understood Apollo. He always complains about the stupidity of the women he was with, but never decided to date someone who was intelligent.

I didn’t say what I was thinking and began walking to the palace.

Apollo ran after me. “What’s wrong with you?” he asked.

Do you ever get that feeling where it’s like your nerves go into overdrive and you suddenly get really cold? Well, that happens to me whenever something bad is about to happen, and the second Apollo said those words, the air around me turned to ice.

I crossed my arms. It looked casual enough, but I was putting a barrier between myself and whatever it was that I felt. I looked at Apollo. “Nothing’s wrong. Why do you ask?”

“You just seem… off.”

I faked a laugh. “Don’t I always? Besides, you have god things to do. Go do them.” I playfully shoved him away from me, which seemed to ease him some.

He kissed my cheek. “Give my love to Father,” he whispered. I waited until he was out of sight and collapsed onto a stone bench. I picked up a rock and threw it off the path, watching it fall for as long as I could see it.

I should probably explain a little more. I live on Mount Olympus, where the gods live. Nowadays, it’s just this mountain jutting out of the Arctic Ocean. It’s still the most beautiful and powerful place you can ever see in this life, but very few mortals know where it is, or even the fact that it does still exist.

I live here because I’m a demigod. A demigod is a child of a god or goddess and a human. Not all demigods live on Olympus. We only live here if we have nowhere else to go. Our mortal parent’s dead, they were irresponsible, we’re too powerful, whatever. For me, my mother died during childbirth. Don’t feel bad for me, though. There was no way that she could’ve survived giving birth to something as powerful as me. That’s not pride, it’s just the honest-to-Zeus truth.

“August! I have the best news – Oh. What’s the matter?”

I looked up to see Helena, my best friend. She’d straightened her normally curly white-blonde hair and then tamed it with a gold headband. Not like the color gold. Actual gold, probably magic. She sat down next to me, smoothing out the wrinkles in her brown pants. She leaned her head on my shoulder, looking up at me with wide eyes.

“What’s wrong, August?” she asked, her tone like a child’s.

“I got this feeling. Something bad is going on.”

“August, you get those feelings all the time. I mean, you get them when a deer gets hit by a car in the mortal world. Every time a deer gets hit. Every time.”

I looked away, not wanting to admit she was right. Sure, I was always colder than everyone, but this one had felt different, stronger even.

“I don’t know, Helena. I’m just worried.”

“Oh, you’re always worried. Just relax. Ease up a little.”

“Easy for you to say. You’re a daughter of Aphrodite. You’re gorgeous. Guys just flock to you and take your cares away.”

“Quit overreacting. You’re gorgeous, too.” Helena took my hands and pulled me off the bench. “Come on, we’ll go talk to your father. He’ll tell you.”

Helena pulled me all the way to the palace. As we walked up the steps, I wrenched my arm away from her. “Helena, what if he’s busy?”

“He’s your father. No matter how busy he is, he’ll want to talk to you.” She grabbed my arm again and pulled me past the pillars and through the archway.

The second we walked into the room, a gust of wind hit us in the face. It smelled like roses and cinnamon. A woman in a floor length red evening dress approached us, arms outstretched.

“Helena! August! So good to see you!” She hugged the both of us and kissed our cheeks.
Helena scrunched up her nose. “Mom. Come on!”

“Lady Aphrodite,” I said, curtseying.

“Oh, August.” Aphrodite sighed. “Always so proper.”

I ignored her, still trying to be respectful. Aphrodite wasn’t the wisest of the gods, but at least she was nice. And fashionable.

“Yes, milady. Father taught me to be that way.”

Aphrodite laughed and turned around, her black hair whipping around her as if she were a model for a shampoo commercial. “Your father’s discussing things with your uncles in the throne room.”

“Uncles?” I asked, barely hiding my excitement.

Aphrodite laughed. “Yes, uncles.”

I knew who it was, and I was dying to see him again.

I ran to the silver door at the other side of the room, pushing it open.

The three men in the room were all around the age of thirty. One was wearing a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt underneath a suit coat, another a pair of gym shorts and a hoodie, the last in sweatpants and a wife beater, sitting upsidedown on a throne made of seashell-imbedded sandstone in the midst of eleven other thrones forming a semi-circle.

The man in the suit coat was the one who saw me first. His dark eyes lit up and his hand went over his black, gelled hair. He held out his arms. I ran toward him and hugged him, not counting on him picking me up and spinning me around in the air.

“Uncle!” I shouted, laughing.

He put me down and ran his fingers through my hair. “Still as beautiful as a diamond.”

I blushed. “Thank you, Uncle.”

The man in the hoodie walked over to me and put his arm around. He kissed the top of my head.

“Hades, quit stealing my thunder.” He looked down and winked at me, his brown hair casting a mischievous shadow over his green eyes.

That was a joke. That’s my father, Zeus. God of lightning and weather and, you know, the rest of the gods. So the thunder thing… Yeah, it was pretty funny.

Father put his other arm around me and kissed my forehead. “I didn’t see you yesterday.”

“Sorry, Father.”

“Were you with Apollo?”

“Well, yes, but-”

“No ‘but’s. I’ll tell Apollo to make you his goddess.”

“No! No, no, no! It’s not like that. Father, please, I don’t want to be immortal.”
Zeus laughed. “It was a joke, August. Despite the fact that you would make a wonderful goddess of foolish decisions.”

“Father!”

“You’re a teenager. Teenagers make foolish decisions. It’s no insult to your intelligence.”

The man on the throne changed his sitting position. “Huh. August as a goddess. I could almost see that.”

“Posiedon,” I said drearily.

My uncle was immature and irresponsible. I’m surprised he could keep the ocean from intruding on, you know, the land. He’s not the god of earthquakes for no reason. He’s always breaking things. His children are no better, and he’s got a busload of them. Probably about fifteen or so. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’m talking in every year. As in he has fifteen seventeen-year-olds, fifteen sixteen-year-olds… Yeah, you get the point. On the bright side, only about ten of them are living on Mount Olympus. The rest of them are wreaking havoc on the shorelines, especially down in the Gulf of Mexico.

“August.” He grinned and patted his knee, inviting me to sit in his lap.

I glanced at Father, who nodded slightly. I rolled my eyes and walked to Poseidon. I gracefully sat on his knee, not looking at him.

Poseidon rubbed my hair, messing up my braid. I raised my chin, still ignoring him.

“Aww, come here!” He pulled me closer to him, leading to a one-sided hug. I groaned, looking towards Father for assistance. He wasn’t going to be of any help; he and Uncle were laughing at my predicament. I traced a symbol in the air and pushed it out with my palm, watching it fly across the room to Father. It hit him in the neck, a trail of lightning traveling to his face. He rubbed it and looked at me. That would’ve seriously hurt a mortal, or anyone who wasn’t a god of lightning. I widened my eyes and cocked my head towards Poseidon. He seemed to get the point: I was tired of this.

“Poseidon. If you would be so kind as to unhand my daughter…”

“Aww, relax, Zeus.”

“Poseidon, I do not guarantee your safety if you do not let her go.” Father winked at me, giving me the green light.

I drew a different symbol on my palm, wincing as it seared into my skin. I pressed my hands together and then pressed them against Poseidon’s chest. He flew back from me, sparks flying through his black hair, the wind, not just the shock, pushing him back and breaking the back of the throne.

I was pushed into the air because of the force. I flipped backwards and landed softly on my toes.

“Awh! That’s my girl!” Father picked me up and kissed my cheek. “You show that tyrant who’s boss,” he whispered.

I grinned, happy that I’d pleased my Father. When your dad is the king of the gods, it’s a little hard to get his attention. But since he only has two kids, it’s a little easier for us than it is for the children of a certain other god.

Father pushed me back and looked me in the eye. He grinned. You’re my daughter. I love you, and I am so proud of you.” He flicked my chin. “Don’t forget that.”

“Don’t you love me, too, daddy?”

I hadn’t even seen Shaun walk in. He had his bag slung over his shoulder and a fake pathetic look on his face.

Shaun’s my half-brother. Child of Zeus, just like me. He’s eighteen, only two years older than me, but he has the wisdom of a man with years of experience. He came to Olympus at age twelve when his mother married a man who had a drinking problem. He abused Shaun, which surprised me, because Shaun’s the sweetest person I’ve ever met. He never gets angry and he doesn’t hold grudges, the exact opposite of me. A few years back, his stepfather had been drunk and gotten into an accident, which put him into a coma. That’s the last I heard about him, but I know that Shaun didn’t go back because Father didn’t trust his mother’s decisions from then on.

Anyways, Father flashed Shaun a huge smile and grabbed his hand as if to shake it, but pulled him into a hug instead. (Father is really touchy-feely, in case you couldn’t tell.)
Shaun did everything he could to keep from dropping his bag as Father squeezed the life out of him.

Once Father let go, Shaun turned to me, holding his arms out. Despite the urge to wrap him in a bear hug, I hugged him gently, careful not to cut off his air supply. Shaun kept one arm over my shoulder as he told out father about his quest.

Basically, he had to find the yarn Theseus had used to navigate the Labyrinth. Not that anyone really needs it, but Hephaestus just wanted it for sentimental reasons. (And he wanted to make a few copies, and it’s easier if you have the original.) He faced some monsters and had one foot in the grave pretty much the whole quest, but Asclepius, the god of healing, fixed him up so he looked better than before he left. In fact, now that I remember, he was practically glowing. (Man, Asclepius does good work.)

Shaun dug through his bag until he produced a leather pouch, held shut with a chain and a padlock. He handed it to Father, who looked at it proudly.

Father laughed. “In answer to your question, yes, I love you, too.” He grabbed Shaun’s shoulder. “Now, greet your uncle before he thinks you’ve forgotten him.”

Shaun smiled and turned to Uncle Hades, completely ignoring Poseidon. Uncle clasped Shaun’s face and kissed his cheek. (I know that probably sounds weird to you, but it’s a Greek thing.)

“It’s good to have you back,” Uncle said, putting his hand on Shaun’s shoulder. “And congratulations.”

Poseidon cleared his throat. “Isn’t anyone going to say hello to me?” he complained.

“Hello to you,” Shaun said. It sounded kind enough, but if you really know Shaun, you could hear the bite in his voice, all but telling Poseidon of his distaste.

Let me correct something. Shaun hates one person. Poseidon. But not for the reason I do. Shaun had an older sister from his mother’s first marriage. Her name was Grace. She was practically his second mother and kept kids at school from bullying him. About three months before his mother had gotten remarried, the three of them, Shaun, Grace, and their mother, had gone on a beach trip. On the third day there, a riptide had caught Grace, and she was swept out to sea. They never found her. That’s the reason Shaun hates Poseidon, who, of course, is completely clueless.

Father handed the pouch to a servant girl of about twenty, who was passing through the room.

“Find Hermes and tell him to give this to Hephaestus, but do not open it,” he told her, sending her off on her way. He looked at us, realizing he interrupted a potentially awkward moment. He hid a smile and looked at Shaun.

“Son, you must be tired. You should go to your chambers. August, why don’t you accompany him?”

I bowed slightly. “Yes, Father.” I turned to Hades. “Good-bye, Uncle. It was a pleasure to see you.” He grinned at me and bid me farewell.

Shaun and I left the throne room to find the Helena was long gone, and had been replaced by Frederick.

Frederick straightened the golden laurel wreath on his head, struggling to contain his blonde hair. He had his tongue hanging out of his mouth in a look of concentration.

“Hello, Frederick,” I said, grinning at his face.

He tilted the wreath a little until it stayed on his head. A bronze chalice was floating in the air next to him.

I pointed to the goblet. “Wine?”

“Nah. Grape juice today. Dionysus has got me on drinking probation.”

“Well, you did break his wine bottle from 1032.”

“That’s not that big of a deal. That wasn’t that long ago.”

“B.C.”

“Ohh… That explains it…”

“Your father enjoys his wine. He was saving that for a special occasion.”
Frederick grabbed the chalice and took a long draw from it. He held it out to me. “You want some?”

“No, but Shaun might.” I turned around to find that Shaun had left, but a drachma was lying on the ground. Knowing what it was, I picked it up.

“Where’s Shaun?” Frederick asked, leaning over my shoulder.

“‘I’ve gone to my chambers. Find Trevor. He was looking for you when I came back. I’m glad I got to see my second favorite half-sister as soon as I got back. Tell Fred that I know that’s not grape juice,’” I read from the coin. I raised an eyebrow at Frederick, who gave me a sheepish grin and a shrug. I ignored it. “Have you see Trevor?”

“Why don’t you check his usual spot?”

I widened my eyes. “Frederick, you should’ve been a son of Athena!” I ran out of the room, calling out a “thank you” over my shoulder. I almost ran into another demigod, Regina, a daughter of Nemesis, goddess of revenge. (Yeah, I’m regretting that more and more.)

I ran on a narrow path around the perimeter of the palace until I reached the back. Along the wall were stones that stuck out farther than the rest, forming a sort-of repeated “Z” shape, leading all the way to the top. A pair of sandals was on the first “step”. I smiled, knowing that Trevor was up there.

I leaned down to unbuckle my sandals before I realized that my feet were bare. I climbed all the way up the stairs, realizing I was at the top right before I walked off the edge. Don’t think I’m some kind of failure. The stairs don’t run into the wall, they just end, and if you’re not paying enough attention, you fall to your death.

I stepped onto the roof of the palace. A gentle snow was falling, making the stone rather slippery. I was glad I was barefoot, otherwise, I could have easily lost my balance. (Despite the warm, sunniness of the rest of Olympus, the top of the palace – the highest point – is cold. Incredibly cold, I mean, it’s snowing.)

I spotted Trevor, sitting on the edge opposite me. His back was to me, his feet dangling over the side. I carefully walked to him and sat down beside him. I leaned my head on his shoulder and took a deep breath in. He smelled like cedar or oak wood and how it smells after a heavy rain.

“Are you smelling me again?”

I snickered and sat up. “Yeah, you always smell good.”

Trevor sniffed his shirt. “I always smell the same.”

“And that smell happens to be good.” I looked around. “How long have you been up here?” I asked.

“A few hours.”

“Anything exciting happen?”

“Well, Hedylogos tried to get Lethe to remember that they had a thing last year, but you know her.”

“She’s visiting?”

“Yeah, while Hades is in town at least.”

Lethe is the spirit of forgetfulness. She’s named after the river she comes from in the Underworld. She only comes to Olympus when Hades comes, and every time she leaves, she forgets ever being here. I guess you can’t really blame her though. She just picked the short straw.

“So, anything else?”

“Aphrodite took Lena and Marc to Olympus Outfitters.”

“Nothing new there.”

“Hermes’s caduceus broke.”

“What?”

“His caduceus broke.”

“Do you know how much trouble that’s going to cause? Packages won’t get anywhere, traffic will back up, people will have nightmares if they even get to sleep at all, thieves are going to get caught-”

“Zeus, August, calm down.”

“But… I ordered a pie.”

“It’s just a pie.”

“It was half chocolate, half key lime.”

“Okay, that actual sounds kind of good.”

“Yeah, and your dad was supposed to deliver it at,” I glanced at the sky, then down to the sundial in the courtyard in front of the palace, “three o’clock today.”

“Relax, August. He’ll get it to you eventually.”

“Eventually isn’t soon enough.”

Trevor sighed and put his hand on his forehead. “You’re so obsessed.”

“At least I’m obsessed with pie, and not a woman who doesn’t love me back.”

“Don’t bring her into this.”

I pushed Trevor’s shoulder. “Oh, Zeus. What was her name again?”

“August…”

“No, it wasn’t that. Beatrice, wasn’t it?”

“She goes by Trixie.”

“That sounds like a courtesan name.”

“Don’t call her that.”

“I’m sorry. What do the mortals call them now? Strippers?”

Trevor glared at me. “I told you not to call her that.”

“Fine. How is she, anyways?”

“She’s good.”

“That’s good.”

We sat for about an hour in awkward silence, watching the city of Olympus as it went about its day. The nine muses were in a small open air theatre. Euterpe seemed to be trying to teach Clio to sing, and Terpsichore was working on Thalia’s dancing. The rest of them, with the exception of Urania who was looking at the sky, were arguing.

Peitho, goddess of persuasion and seduction, was trying to sweet talk a caryatid and an epimeliad who were manning a fruit and nut stand into giving her some of their food for free. (Caryatids and epimeliads are dryads of walnut and apple trees, respectively. Contrary to mortal belief, dryads are both men and women.)

A few demigods, probably Poseidon’s kids, were walking along the streets, knocking over stands. Hestia, goddess of the hearth, was running behind them, trying to fix the stands as soon as they went by.

Apollo was walking with Artemis, most likely discussing the pros and cons of dating.

Poseidon was in the weapons store, trying to find a trident that was balanced. Of course, he was breaking almost everything in the store. As I was watching this, Trevor nudged me and pointed at someone walking quickly up the street, pushing aside Poseidon’s kids.

“Look.”

It was Hephaestus, god of blacksmiths and weaponry, walking with a slight limp, due to his lame foot. Towering over everyone with his seven foot height and his fire red hair, he looked like a giant. He burst into the store Poseidon was in, fire swirling around his face. He glared at Poseidon, who stopped moving and stood stock still, staring at Hephaestus. He ripped the trident out of his hand and pointed towards the door. Poseidon skittered out of the store like some sort of rodent while Hephaestus and the store keeper began putting everything back into order.

I smirked. “Zeus, Poseidon is such an idiot.”

“Come on, August. Give him a break.”

“Not anytime soon.”

The silence fell over us once more.

After a while, I leaned on his shoulder again.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

I smiled inwardly. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

Silence.




[**] AN: More to come. Please review so that I can improve. Thanks for reading!
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