I moved through my kitchen, frowning at the missing items. “Well, pomegranates, crisp apples, the right kind of cinnamon, what else is missing? Ugh, it’s going to take months to get this place right,” I huffed.
“Blueberries, oh, I know what I could do with these, and it might save my kitchen. Oh, who am I kidding? She’s so setting off the new system,” I said with a laugh as I started to bake. An hour later, I placed the fresh muffins in the pantry and taped a sign under them. It wasn’t like she’d see them, anyway. I thought again of blueberry pie. Yes, I’d have to make one for later.
I pulled a large beef brisket out of the refrigerator. I grabbed two large cast-iron rods and skewered the hunk of meat. Moving behind my brick oven, I set up a pyramid of mesquite wood. With a wave of my hand, the fire burst into flames. I took my time, carefully settling the meat over the flames.
With the meat cooking, I grabbed a stack of paper, envelopes, and a calligraphy set before sitting at the table. I started to write in my friend’s handwriting, at least as much as I remembered.
My dearest daughter,
It has been far too long since we’ve spoken in earnest. I need to hear all about the special someone in your life. Any grand-goddesses yet? Since Lady Hestia has returned, I am making her throw a dinner party for a few of us. I would like to have you join us.
I slipped the letter into an envelope and addressed it to Adrestia before tucking it into the vent above the brisket. I had several special things for her that I had collected on my travels.
As I sat back down, my stomach felt tight, and I wasn’t sure why. I ignored the strange sensation and started writing. My letters to my sisters gave me emotions, feelings of loss and longing that, frankly speaking, I didn’t like.
It has been far too long since we’ve spoken. This is a problem that I cannot bear any longer. As I have returned to the God Complex, I wish to invite you and your daughter for dinner with me and the other goddesses.
I wrote Demeter’s name across the envelope. A cold feeling formed in my stomach as I started the next letter. This one would be a lot harder to compose. I swallowed hard before I dipped my quill into ink. My hand hovered over the paper, leaving a few black drops before I started writing.
I have returned as requested. I wish to learn what you have been doing over the last two thousand years. I am sure you have excelled at everything, but I still wish to learn about your life since we last spoke. Please join the other goddesses and me for dinner.
Your Sister, Hestia.
I wiped a tear from my cheek, hoping that my sisters would say yes as I stuffed Hera’s letter and wrote her name on the outside. Drawing my hand a few centimeters in front of my face, I let out a long breath, trying to pull the raw emotions out before I started the next letter.
It has been far too long since we’ve broken bread together. I wish to hear about your victories over the last two thousand years over a dinner for the goddesses. There will be blueberry pie involved.
The next two letters gave me pause, as one of them loved to spike drinks, and the other hadn’t been treated well. I sighed before writing again.
There is a girls party I’m letting Dite throw on my floor. Be there, or I’ll call you a party pooper.
I wish to invite you to a welcome back dinner that I am letting Aphrodite throw on my floor. While I know we have not seen eye to eye in the past, I wish to put this behind us and get to know the real Medusa. Regardless of your decision, I wish to open correspondence with you as you are part of the family.
Lady Athena was constantly busy, but perhaps I could convince her to have a drink with us. Picking up a paper with a floral masthead, I wrote the Goddess of Wisdom a note.
I wish to invite you to dinner with your fellow goddesses to celebrate our return. I have missed you in my life, and I want to include you in it. We were caught up in our own worlds in the past, I wish to change this.
Love, Lady Hestia
I stood and stuffed the letters into their envelopes before labeling them. I glanced around the room, my eyes losing focus as I tried to get a feel for those who were not incredibly busy with pressing matters. I frowned as there were several goddesses that had their attention focused outside the Pantheon. I sighed, making a note to invite them for the next dinner. I wasn’t going to write a letter to Aphrodite as she’s going to crash my kitchen the moment she hears I’m back. I bent down and scribbled out one more note.
Scones, you, me, this afternoon at the Spitaki Café.
I felt a chill run up my spine as I felt a goddess return to the family. She was one that I hadn’t felt since she was a wee one. I wrote one last letter.
Welcome to the God Complex. I would like to invite you over for a pot of tea with some Palanga and Akutuq. I do hope that you accept as I wish to get to know you.
Lady Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth and Home.
Taking the stack of letters, I walked to my front door. “Hermes, I need you to deliver letters,” I said as I opened the door. I glanced at my watch and waited for a few minutes for the lift to open. “Took you long enough,” I said in jest.
“You know the big guy has stopped all god travel,” Hermes snapped as he held out his hand.
“Fastest man alive, and yet, you still are whining about being slow,” I said with a smile. Hermes shook his head as he departed with my letters. I grabbed a tote bag, waiting until I was sure he was gone. I really didn’t want to get hit on by him again. I swear Hera has a video of the last time he tried something, and it wasn’t pretty. She’d put it on Tick-Tock. It had thousands of views.
When the next lift arrived, I breezed my way out of the God Complex, heading to the local markets. Hopefully, I’d find what I needed there. The ocean breeze rushed over me as I found myself among the mortals. The last time I’d walked these shores, the buildings were much different, but the people remained mostly the same.
Men and women moved through the markets, buying and selling goods. Fresh fish from one vendor while across from him vegetables were being sold. I took my time selecting my purchases, checking the maize was at the right ripeness by partly shucking it. I was satisfied with the feel of the tomatoes and put a few into my basket.
“Oh, are those fresh peaches?” I asked, glancing at the older woman running the shop.
“Yes, miss. They were delivered this morning,” the shop owner said.
“Then I’ll have to get a few kilograms. I have pies to make…” My voice trailed off as I saw some berries. I felt a wide grin curve my lips as I grabbed several small baskets. There were a few goddesses that would almost die for berry pie.
A man pushed in a handcart stacked with crates of pomegranates. “Oh, I’m going to just need to buy that whole thing from you,” I said.
The shopkeeper’s jaw dropped for a moment before she nodded. “Of course, I’ll give you a bulk discount.”
“If you wish, but I’d rather pay full price. You need to eat after all,” I said with a smile.
The other woman nodded, her eyes slightly wide. “Thank you, miss. We’ll get this rang up. Do you need help getting them home?”
“No, I’ll have someone swing by and pick them up,” I said, moving to pick out the last few bits I needed for dinner. After paying extra for the food, I turned slightly. “Hermes, take these to my flat,” I said to the air.
The shopkeeper looked at me like I was crazy, but her face changed to shock when the messenger god appeared in front of me. “Really? Busboy? Is that what you are calling me for?” Hermes asked.
“It’s your job. Unless you don’t want me calling upon you anymore?” I asked with a slight eye flutter. The Messenger God huffed before disappearing with most of my items. I had a few samples to enjoy with my tea, and then left the market to meet up with another goddess.