Urania and I were window shopping for wedding dresses. I didn’t want to go, but she let me bring my new flask. Dion really came through. He plated it in gold with a big silver A on it. I finish it, give it a few seconds, and it fills back up. That was the good news, the bad news was he wouldn’t let me magically use his good stuff. I had to settle for whiskey. I’m not complaining, but I am.
The first stop was Mariee Paris…something or other. I don’t know, the words on the sign were kinda blurry. It was super fancy inside and one of the women kept staring at me. I caught her looking me up and down and flipped her off.
Urania took it very well. She stormed out of the changing room in just her bra and leggings. After I explained what the woman was doing, she walked over and punched her in the face. Those training sessions with Ares were really paying off. I downed the final third of my flask and laughed as I walked out of the store.
Urania was pissed. “This is supposed to be something fun. Something to take your mind off of…” She stopped, not wanting to say it. I let the flask fill up and took a drink off of it.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, but that was fun.” I shot her that half-smile that she loves so much. She tried to look mad, but she couldn’t hold it very long.
The second place wasn’t for the dresses in the store, it was because some fancy, wedding dressmaker was stopping by. Urania touched the handle on the door, whipped around, and pointed at me. “Don’t mess this up.”
I gave her the cross my heart sign and she kissed my cheek. This second place, I’m not even going to try to name it, was way more fancy than the first. There were three old women and some guy in tight, rolled khakis, penny loafers, and a pink blazer; excuse me, I have been told it is salmon, not pink.
He took Urania’s hand, kissed each cheek and twirled her around while saying, “Yes, oh yes, you’re giving me so much to work with.” He looked at his rack of dresses, to Urania, to the dresses. “Well, I certainly didn’t bring anything worthy of you.” He looked around the store. “And this place is,” he placed a hand to one side of his mouth and whispered, “so not chic.”
Urania looked at me and tried to stifle a laugh. Even depressed me had to admit, it was pretty funny. The man took both of Urania’s hands and said, “Listen, darling, I’m going to make you the most beautiful, no…radiant, no…ugh! I’m going to make you the most divine dress ever made.” He kissed her cheeks and moved for the door.
I saw Urania cover her mouth again as I heard a whisper of, “Hubba hubba.” And then the bell chimed, signifying that he left. Urania walked over to me and sat on my lap. She placed her arm around my neck and kissed me.
“I guess we’re all done shopping. Unless…” She gave me a playful look. This whole thing has got me off my game. I really didn’t want to do anything, especially touch on the feelings and emotions of sex. I just gave her a little nod. She slowly stood and I could see the pain in her eyes.
I felt bad for her, I was not the man she fell in love with. But I couldn’t, no, I wouldn’t, burden her with this pain. It was my problem and I needed to somehow fix it. I just wanted this whole Titan bullshit to be over. When they locked up the last one, things would go back to normal.
I hadn’t found sleep in almost a week. Yes, I had slept, but if I didn’t drink enough to pass out, I had crippling nightmares. I took a drink from my glass; this was the only thing that worked right now.
I would have preferred to just drink each day away in the apartment, but Urania had pulled me to a few things. She said the fresh air might be good for me. But it wasn’t. Even when I was out and about, I wasn’t really there. I felt like one of those depression commercials, where the person holds the drawn happy face, while they tried to hide any feelings.
I finished what was in my glass and picked up the bottle from where it rested next to my feet. I twisted off the top and drank straight from the source. Good thing Urania was asleep, she would be pissed if she saw me drinking straight from the bottle. I absently petted Frank and stewed in my chair while Dugo laid at my feet. I was thankful Frank was finally settling in. Dugo didn’t want anything to do with Frank, but one step at a time.
I shook my head as one of Urania’s stories tried to creep into my mind. I had enough of my own shitty memories, I didn’t need hers, too. My eyelids were getting heavy, one more swig from the bottle and I should be…
My eyes opened and I slowly stood. I glanced around and saw that I was in some kind of black room. I’m talking like super dark, get no darker, black. I turned my head as a glint of light caught my peripheral. I reached out and realized, it wasn’t actually the room that was black, it was some kind of ooze.
I smiled, the warm black ooze looked cute as it ran down my finger, like wax on a candle or honey on the comb. It slowly slid onto my hand and I moved my arm around like I was trying to cover an apple with caramel. It wasn’t until it started to consume my arm that I realized it was anything but cute. My heart started to race and I used my free hand to try and pry the ooze off of me.
Not only would it not come off, but it moved to my right hand. I felt like I was in a horror version of Spiderman 3. I clawed my nails into the ooze as it reached my shoulders. My breath came in short fast puffs, like a pregnant woman who was about to give birth. I felt weight start to pile onto my chest, the ooze splitting, one section going down and the other moving up to my face.
“You are a complete failure, Apollo.” The voice sounded familiar, but it was also deviant and had an echo to it. It hit me all at once as he continued, “You watched me die in your arms, even though you said you loved me.” I tried to scream out, but the ooze slid over my lips and nose.
“You chased a woman that didn’t want you. You forced her to turn into a tree, just to escape you.” I put everything I had into trying to break free, but it was to no avail. The voice continued, spewing more hate and anger. “You couldn’t save your son. Your own father cared so little for you that he took your immortality away from you twice.” The ooze from the floor moved upwards and formed a black oozy Hyacinthus. “Your mother is free and she didn’t come to see you.” The ooze stopped as He slid forward. I had one ear and one eye left to hear and see him. He leaned down to my ear, and whispered, “You’re such an asshole that you stole your sister’s one chance at true love.”
A stray tear slid from my eye. The ooze Hyacinthus scoffed as he said, “Tears are for the weak. The weak stray from their destiny. Your destiny is to be dark, not light. I will keep coming back until you destroy the light.” Hyacinthus disappeared from my sight and the room looked dark once more. It wasn’t dark enough though, because I could see my horrors dance in front of me like they were being moved by a puppeteer. The ooze began to tighten around me, slowly squeezing the life from my body. He was right, I deserved this and so much more.
I screamed as I thought about my eternity of loneliness. Dugo jumped to the top of the chair and hissed at me. I was on the floor, huddled in a ball. Moonlight shining through the star roof. Urania jumped off the bed and rushed to my side. She held me tight and ran her hands through my hair.
She softly sang a tune and I let out a slow, long breath. Don’t look at me like that, it’s soothing AF. On a good day, it took her about ten minutes to calm me down, this was definitely not a good day.
What did the ooze Hyacinthus mean? Destroy the light? It was going to take more than I had to fix me. I didn’t have any fight left in me…