I was certain that my mother had her hand in this somehow. Very little gets by her. Odds were that she was the reason for my summons. I needed to get to the bottom of things before I made the trip to The Mount — before I spoke to Zeus. So, I parked my human host beneath a shade tree, gave her a happy dream to keep her occupied and reached out.
“Mom, what’s going on?” I asked.
“Is that how you greet your mother? No hello? No hugs?”
I let her draw me close. We embraced, “Sorry,” I muttered.
“Didn’t I teach you that Goddesses don’t apologize? What do we do?” she poked me causing me to giggle. Insisting on an answer, she poked me a second time, “What do we do, Moxie?”
I sighed. “We fix it. Hello, Mother.”
That made her happy. She really is so easy to please.
I tried again. “Why am I being summoned? I assume that it’s your doing.”
“Hephaestus will be there,” she said with an all too transparent air of nonchalance.
I groaned. “Smooth segue, Mother. Let’s not get into this again. What part about him being married to Aphrodite isn’t sinking in?”
She waved off my point dismissively. “You spend too much time in mortal form, child. That marriage was arranged to avoid a war, nothing more. His fire burns hot like ours, you know.”
“Oh, Lord. Here we go. Yes, Mother. He’s strong and skilled and underappreciated and blah, blah, blah. I get it. He’s also insufferably egotistical and grumpy.”
“Umhm. But, imagine that union!” She was getting excited. “The earth would tremble! Volcanoes would erupt spewing forth hot molten lava…”
I did the disembodied equivalent of an eye roll.
“I saw that,” she said and continued undeterred. “You two would make amazing children. Think about it. His raw power and brilliant metalworking skills paired with your abilities…”
“Mom…Mother!” I interrupted before she went off on a tangent. Once she starts visualizing we would be there for days, weeks or even years. Also, strange things start happening. I mean, that’s quite literally how I was conceived. “Mother. That’s not why I’m here, though.”
“It’s not, sweetie? Why are you here?” she asked. I never really know if she’s just an endearing flake or if she’s screwing with me. I suspect the latter.
“I’m asking why I’m being summoned to Mount Olympus.”
“Oh, yes. That…” she chuckled softly. “Zeus has another scheme, and I want to ensure that we are kept in the loop.”
“Okay? Can’t you just tell me what hair-brained idea he’s come up with now and save me the trip?”
“No, precious. I need you to go in person and get the details from Zeus himself. I want your reaction to be natural when he tells you so that he doesn’t become suspicious.”
I groaned, “Mom…”
“You know I hate the drama, the court intrigue. It’s all so tedious.”
She drew me close. “I know you do, Moxie, but I need you to do this for me. For us. For humanity. Besides, you need to spend time with family so that they remember who you are.”
I hugged her, “Fine, Mother. I’ll go.” There is no point in arguing. One way or another, she’d see to it that I ended up there. It’s best to go on my own accord rather than being snatched up by a giant eagle and unceremoniously dropped onto the lawn like the last time.
She squeezed me. “That’s my good girl.”
“All right, Mom. I need to get going then. I have to rearrange my schedule, make phone calls, etc.” I gave her one last hug and slipped back into my mortal.
She called out after me, “Make sure you are nice to Hephy, dear. I think he likes you. Grandchildren, sweetie. I want grandchildren.”
I sat up, stretched and rubbed at my eyes, poking myself with the tiny bundle of flowers she left in my hand.
~*~ Moxie ~*~