Demeter flipped on the lights to her bedroom and exhaled loudly as she sat on the bed. The sun had finally set less than an hour ago, and the goddess was mentally and physically exhausted. The entire day had been an emotional rollercoaster. She had planned on sitting in her law office all day, but instead, her boredom prompted her to visit her cottage, which only led her to find her legendary garden completely destroyed by a Cyclops. After thousands of years of hard work and sacrifices, only a few of her dear plant friends remained—the roses, mint, and a blackberry bushel.
I guess Marsha isn’t that bad. She did save the blackberries after all, even if it was close to drowning.
After her neighbor stopped by with a small part of the blackberry bush, the goddess had used her lifegiving ability to stabilize it successfully. The plant was able to fill in more details about the garden incident.
What an emotional rollercoaster, she thought as she flopped back onto the mattress, yawned, and closed her eyes for a moment.
She was back in the Bennington Triangle. A shiver ran down the back of her spine, and she couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling that she was being watched. It was almost dawn, and a thick haze continued to linger over the ground. Demeter grasped her Sickle of Harvest firmly as she scouted the area. Nothing but the fog covered the forest’s terrain for as far as she could see. The mountains were shrouded by the forest trees so that she couldn’t tell which direction she was facing. She felt a light tug on the back of her jacket and whipped around to find nothing was there. A wave of goosebumps formed on her arms, and then she could hear a little boy’s laughter in the far distance.
Demeter jolted straight up from her bed onto her feet. The lights were still on in her bedroom. It was just a dream, Dem. She let out a curse, and a wave of anger washed over her. Even her dreams haunted her with the failure of the mission.
Looking over to the clock, it was only a few minutes past midnight. She had only been asleep a few hours, and now she was wide awake as the child’s laughter continued to ring in her ears.
Forget about it. Think about all the good things today. Roses are trimmed for regrowth. Blackberry bushel is stable. And mint…well, mint did kind of explode everywhere. Who knew it had it in them to do so. Demeter started chuckling to herself, which then turned into a burst of contagious laughter. From an outsider’s perspective, it would seem like she was a little delirious, which she partly was, but it was her way of trying to cope with the events of yesterday.
I need some dreamless sleep, she thought after she keeled over from the pain of her insides from the laughter.
She walked outside her bedroom and started closing all of her blinds and windows that she left open hours earlier. She did not need another visit from her nosey neighbor, Marsha, especially this late of night. The cool night air filled the cottage. Demeter took in a deep breath as she walked up to the kitchen window, which overlooked her garden. Frowning, she knew that it would be on the agenda for tomorrow.
While crossing the living room, she saw the history book she was reading earlier about cyclops still lying open on the armchair. I am going to need more research before tackling a cyclops. One book will not be enough. Perhaps I should consult the GC’s archives for more leads…
She picked up the book and headed back to the bedroom. She took off her Emerald of Brightness, a necklace that stores sunlight, and placed it on the windowsill to recharge. Even though she had spent a lot of time in the sunlight, she had a lurking feeling it would need to be at full strength for tomorrow.
The last item that the goddess picked up was her cell phone from the coffee table. While she did enjoy the technological advances humankind had accomplished over thousands of years, she did not like the idea of always being available for others to contact. That is, except for her beautiful daughter, Persephone. However, Dem did enjoy her privacy and solidarity, especially when she was staying at her cottage. She tapped the screen of the phone and first glanced towards the letter icon, in which she saw the red-numbered notification that she still had thousands of unread emails and several texts. I am sure it is just work-related stuff. Aegis needs to get himself a girlfriend. She sighed and then clicked the screen off.
She was finally getting settled in bed, and there was a soft green glow illuminated from the curtains from her necklace. Just don’t think about the Bennington Triangle, and you won’t dream about it again. Just think happy thoughts. Her mind drifted to thinking about her daughter, fine dining, and then back to her garden.
I am going to need to get my garden in order before Persephone comes to visit. She would be so distraught to see how it is in this current state. She let out a deep breath. Positive things, Dem. Positive things. You can deal with the garden tomorrow. And within a few moments, the goddess started to drift back to sleep.
Leave us alone, you big bully, the blackberry bushel yelled out to the cyclops even though it could not hear.
The goddess stood frozen at the kitchen window while watching the scene unfold in front of her. The cyclops was almost sixteen feet tall, stomping all over her garden whilst swinging his spiked club through the ground. Its ragged clothes were still barely hanging on to its bony body.
Demeter winced as she saw it knock over the pot full of mint and then fixated on the blackberry bushes next. It slumped over its body, mouth drooling, and tried to pick some of the berries.
“OOF! OUCHIE!” it screamed out while wincing in pain. “WHY YOU HURT ME?”
It scooped up the bushel in one swift scope and tossed it across the meadow. Dem could feel tears hitting her cheeks and could feel her whole body shaking. This must be a dream. The Cyclops continued to kick up dirt and stomped all over the vegetables and flowers.
“You need to wake up. Wake up! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!”
Her body was still rocking as she opened her eyes, only to be faced with her daughter leaning over her.
“Mom, are you okay?” Persephone said with concern. Her daughter knelt next to the bed but didn’t take her hands off of her arm. She had her long, golden-hair swept into a braid with flowers interlaced between the strands, and a single crease formed over her brow line. “I have been trying to wake you up for a few minutes. You were talking in your sleep. Are you okay?” She gripped Dem’s arm harder.
Demeter slowly blinked her eyes several times in disbelief while slowly sitting up against the headboard. “Do my eyes deceive me? Are you actually home?”
Persephone leaned over, and the two embraced just as a beam of light just started to shine through the curtains.
“Yes, momma, I am home. I promise I didn’t mean to startle you. I tried to get a hold of you yesterday. Aegis said you were going to work from home for a while, but then you didn’t take any meetings he scheduled yesterday after you left, so he grew worried and contacted me.”
Dem tilted her head to her side and began to feel guilty that she didn’t let Aegis know what was going on, or that he should have canceled everything. That’s not going to look good for me with new clients. I’ll have to do some damage control later.
“I did send you a couple of messages I was on my way, but you didn’t respond, so I grew worried about you, too. I had used the hidden key to get in and was just so pleased to see you, even if you were tossing and turning in your sleep. I’m sorry to have startled you, Mom.” Her daughter released her from the tight bear hug to see her eyes filled with tears.
“I am sorry to have worried you, my sweet daughter. I have just had a few minor issues to take care of since I have visited the cottage, but it doesn’t matter now. You’re here!” the goddess exclaimed excitedly and started to smile with genuine joy. Persephone beamed at her mother and clasped her hands together in relief.
My daughter is home. I can’t believe it! Spring is finally here.
Demeter pushed the worries of the Bennington Triangle, the missing boy, her garden, and the cyclops out of sight in her mind. She instead decided to wrap her arms around Persephone again and wiped away joyful tears before she could see them.
I will worry about it later. It is time to just enjoy this moment with my daughter.