The message was to take these folders to his ungrateful son. I wasn’t sure who he was talking about until the messenger mentioned that Zeus’s portrait had a hole in it again, and I realized he was referring to you.
It is unfair. Why must I be the one to endure this? Why must I live in pain, alone, ugly, and unloved? Why do others get to enjoy existence? I am so tired, in every sense. So very tired. At last, I feel the pills take effect unless it is my imagination. The pain still seems to be there, but I find I care less. Perhaps I can sleep.
“Are you serious?” I said, flabbergasted by his blasé attitude. “They caused us nothing but trouble the first go ‘round. They disrupted the forge, spied on you, killed a woman in your office, and they murdered Cassie in cold blood. Anything to do with them is urgent.”
“Because the past has affected what happened on your wedding day, which in turn had a part in what happened to Katharina in the other reality. And it plays an important role in what is to happen soon. You need to learn from it to move on.”
I find myself admiring its ingenuity, but there is something else. Something like disappointment. A sadness that the mortals should make such an effort to kill each other. Did we teach them that? Did they learn it in the phalanx while they prayed to the gods?
He nodded and left. I walked over and looked out the windows behind my desk. The sky was cloudy, the tree branches swaying in the wind. I heard a roll of thunder, followed by a lightning flash, and then it started to rain. The weather seemed to match my mood. Sighing, I turned around and stopped when I saw someone standing in the doorway.
The past few days, I had struggled to hit my daily word count. The story seemed elusive, unwilling to come to life. But today, for some reason, I didn’t seem to have that problem. My fingers flew across the keyboard as the battle raged on the screen. Swords clashed, blood spilled, men died. When I finally took a break, I noticed it was late afternoon.
“My family? Not all of them give off nice, relaxing vibes. Murderous vibes, yes.”
“What family doesn’t make you want to commit murder? I have the same problem. Get over it.” He pulled me to my feet and shoved me toward the door. “Go upstairs, find a fabulous suit to wear, and go have a little fun. First thing in the morning, we’ll start looking for her again.”
“Regroup and expand our search parameters. It will take longer, and we’ll be gone for extended periods. I can’t keep sending crews out. It’s detrimental to the business. If I had concrete evidence that Kara was in one particular area, then I’d take every single person with me. We’d raid the place, rescue her, and then deal with the perpetrators appropriately.”
“You mean go into full God of War mode and kill them all?”
I had loved many women over the centuries, but this one was different. She brought out something in me I hadn’t felt with the others—a sense of being complete. A rather odd statement for the God of War to make, but it was true.
I stood up and looked at the hundreds of graves in the cemetery. “You were all brave men,” I said. “It was an honor to go into battle with you. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. May it not have been in vain.”