Storm-grey clouds appeared above him, warping into long arms that scooped up Skiron and Khione. They disappeared as the clouds twisted into a small tornado. The roar of the storm and the rush of wind down the tunnel of the cave kept me from hearing anything.
The harpy’s shrieks pierced our minds, and the echo bounced around in our heads. I hate fighting with anything that addles my senses, and I’d had enough of that recently. I shook my head and pushed on.
I tried to rise but crumpled. The blisters burst where the flames had touched, the air stinging the open wounds. My charred, dry skin was taut, pulling against itself, flaking off. I pushed through the physical pain. It was something I had lived through for years, tormented by the monster I had been. I tried again. The tears were tiny ice pellets, cutting my skin as I rose.
I let out a long breath as I remembered the politics of family. Why could we never just get to the point? As I pushed all the air out of my lungs, I looked at her face for the first time and saw Hestia. Her sweet face was full of hope and love. Memories of playing in her kitchen flooded my mind. That soft voice yelling at us to stop getting underfoot as she cooked was never angry. This was the one person in the family that always made me feel loved and wanted.
The cooking fire pit burst into flames and my hair followed suit. Someone stole from me! What was worse, I had no idea that it had happened. They managed to steal from my sanctum. My trophy room. My safe room. I was going to need help.
The metaphor rolls oddly around my mind, the Americanism harsh against my thoughts. But that’s what I’ve got to get used to from now on. I’ve left good old England behind and removed any temptation to walk into a former accomplice’s business and ask for help. I’m alone in unfamiliar territory. I have to, want to, do this properly.
I walked down the road with my eyes scanning every direction. I wanted my car back, but I was more concerned that the Keys to the Underworld were missing. That could be very bad. I needed to find the human stain.