Natalie Bartley is a 32-year-old author from Oshawa, Canada. She hopes to one day open her own Pagan store with her partner. Natalie has been writing for most of her teenage and adult life but has only recently started putting those stories out to the world. Natalie’s faith as a polytheistic witch leads her to many different storylines that involve the gods around her. Her first book, Love and Pain in Zion, was a labour of love and heartbreak, and it took her many years to complete it. She lives with her partner and step-son in Oshawa and is also completing her clergy status with the Correllian Nativist Tradition.
Why Rome? Why did I head to Rome, and why didn’t I return? The question was vexing me, and I turned from the figures haunting me as I tried to suss it out. I don’t think they liked it too much that I wasn’t paying attention to them, and the figures started to circle me, chanting that I wasn’t worthy, I wasn’t good enough, I was barely a goddess.
And that was when I realized I was angry. At myself, at Poseidon, at Atlantis…I was mad at everyone. At the mortals for destroying my seas and forgetting the gods had existed, that I had existed. They would rue the day. Rommel’s eyes grew wide with fear. “Everyone, get out of here. Tell the king his lady is in distress. I fear he may be the only one to bring her out of this.”
“As they do me,” I kept Sel’s gaze a moment longer and kissed her forehead. “You and I are bound, we always have been. I am sorry for being away for so long. But hopefully, we can now work to heal the oceans of the world. And not all mortals are ruining us.”
I was alone. And that was something I had feared since Poseidon and I parted ways. I debated contacting him. I missed him so very much right now. I had my phone out, and his number dialed when I stopped and put it down.
I just hoped sooner rather than later. I had to admit that his kiss, even if it was on the cheek, got me a little hot under the collar that I wasn’t wearing. I flung myself back into the pool and rested there, floating on the surface like foam on the sea. “I hope you find me again sometime soon, Dionysos,” I whispered as I watched the sunset.
I would switch from bright and bubbly, to calm and docile, to violent and stormy. We called it Maelstrom, and the mortals took it as the name of a sea storm. Most of the gods I’d met didn’t know how that felt, to be containing such a force at all times. Feeling her build until she broke and took everything with her.
“No, I am,” I coughed gently, “technically single for the first time in, oh gods…30,000 thousand years? Something like that. I don’t even know what year it is right now. So no, I am going to enjoy myself, the massive bed, and have all the room to move and sleep where I want.”
When I exited the portal, the devastation surprised me. Sure, Poseidon had warned me about it, but to witness the lingering carnage? I felt tears well up, and I had to wipe them away. It would be no good, going before the King of the Gods crying.