“Hey, I’m just being honest, Philotes. You, Nemesis, and even Thanatos, who’s out there somewhere collecting these poor fools, have tried to get me to see some good in this miserable species and look. This is what they are. Burning each other alive for no good reason, not even a sacrifice to one of us or their own god… they worship the same god.”
“Philomelus Arktos tou Samothrace!” I bellowed in defiance as it dawned on me that I remembered my son. The look of shock on my face must have been more than noticeable. Philo seemed pleased that I’d called out his entire name.
I looked over at the other side and found Kara’s mother, dressed all in black with a thin, black veil over her face. She raised it slightly and glared at me. My mother cleared her throat, and she looked over at her, her face turning pale when she saw Mother staring at her. She looked away and dropped the veil. I couldn’t help but grin. No one messed with Hera’s children.
Dear lords and majestic ladies, I humbly thank you for the bounty I received today. Thank you, that I, a humble servant, may bring honor to you all. Thank you, Nike, for this victorious day. My family will eat and thrive because of you.
I snort derisively and see her face change. I quickly explain myself lest I awake in a pigsty. “I mean you no disrespect.” In fact, I suspect that she is more than capable of doing what is required if the need arises. “But this business of sword fighting, it is something beloved of those like Ares. I have never been convinced of its utility.”
I think about that as I walk among my family, who have always hated me, betraying me at every opportunity. I think about all the memories I have of their behaviour. The memories I now know are true and that I will never speak of with them. I think about whether I will have to take action regarding this matter at some point. If I do, will I need help? Is there anyone who might support me?
I release my anger, directing it towards the table instead of my family is the only concession I can make. I melt the metal in the screws and the brackets. They fall to the floor as molten liquid, hissing as they hit the carpet. The table collapses with a crash, depositing some of my siblings on the floor. Moxie’s coffee falls and the cup bounces, sending her drink pouring out. Eris’s feet remain in the air as if the table is still in place. They look at the scene, moderately interested.
I could only shake my head in disbelief. “No, I’m not going to sue my family. I’m going to save my family, or at least I’m going to try. I need to find out what’s come over the complex. Something dark is around us, and now is not the time of year for this to be happening. We need to find some answers.”
Callie’s tears had slowed, and I could see her body was dragging her back into sleep. I stroked her hair again and whispered, “Rest. We will deal with everything else later.” And we would, but her ex just might not survive me dealing with it. I still had a little goddess wrath within me, and I had plenty of frustrations to take out on him.
I looked at Mini. Concentrating on her, I could see the joy, the happiness of my youth. I could feel the love that was in our family, and the sheer peacefulness that was childhood. Then a cloud came over Mini, a small sadness. I saw something no child should ever witness.
I wanted Phobos to yell back at me. Like Dionysos always said, our family was the most normal it could be when we were yelling and railing and fighting. It was when we all went silent that something was truly wrong. And when Phobos gave a hard glare but didn’t say a word, I knew that I had fucked up.
All three of us walked on in silence for a while. We were caught up in our thoughts, remembering these horrid things that I couldn’t fix or do over. I felt defeated, even more now that I saw all I could have prevented. It was a shame I would forever carry.