“Is this some new kinky game you’ve got going on? Man, you must be lonely. Where have you been? It’s been like… a year since Atë left. You just disappeared, no word, no note, nothing. Feeling guilty for running her off?”
In the meantime, I’d stopped restraining my shadows. They’d been wreaking havoc. Imagine kids loose in a candy store. Now you know what my shadows could do. The news had been riddled with mysterious power outages and car lights having mechanical failure, all of which led to car accidents on the highways. But that was just child’s play.
One glimpse of my reflection, and I barely recognized myself. My usual carefully manicured coiffe was disheveled. Bags were under my eyes that had never been there before, and my clothes were rumpled. I lifted my arm and smelled. I was vile and looked like shit. Who asked you? I rolled my eyes and staggered away.
I looked at what little remained of the orb and frowned. “Yeah…Oh well.” I shrugged. “It was a nice thought. But it’s just a material possession.” I tried concealing how bummed I was, but I knew Clio could tell. “But do you know how hard it is to find good friends?” I winked at Clio.
I rush around my kitchen, putting spices on the fresh fish I just cooked. The pig I got from the market squeals at my feet as I chop up the vegetables. I push a few beans over the counter, allowing them to fall to the ground. The pig snorts them up, and I giggle.
“Get me the Tartarus out of here, Charon.” I went to step aboard, but he thrust his oar in front of me. “Oh, the bloody greed of you knows no bounds. What do you do with these coins, anyway? You never bloody go anywhere to spend them.” I thrust a coin at him and pushed him aside to get on board. He never answered me, as usual. He just pushed us away from the foggy bank and took us across the Styx.
Closing my book, I tuck my writing utensil behind my ear. I think I have gotten everything I need from this. I look up at the stage and feel my eyes widen. The next animal is a little piglet, and my heart instantly melts. I have a weakness for animals, and I know that this little one doesn’t stand a chance with a bunch of hungry mortals.
“She told me she loved me.” My actions were almost trance-like. My shadows took over, and darkness washed over me completely. I let myself dive deep into its belly. There was no turning back now. My shadows swept up every last dead bee, swirling them around and around before finally shoving them down Melisseus’s throat, muffling the last of his screams.
I decide to plant my feet, force my blood to pump and pound, my muscles to constrict and contract. There is an ache in my knees and weight in my head, throbbing pains. My physical body has not been used in some time, and it howls for me to continue to drift amongst the shadows.
The image of when he left me plays through my mind. My back was against the cold stone tiles as he stumbled from the cell and out of my life for a thousand years. The silent cries I tried to hide for years afterward. The feeling of being completely alone and knowing he wouldn’t come back, and he hadn’t. I had said damning things there too, and this was just the same. I had pushed and pushed, and it worked. He will no longer be here if I keep this up, and it breaks me. It hurts me more than I want to admit.
I can do this. It is only temporary, right? I survived trying to destroy Olympus and a thousand years in Tartarus. This will be easy. I’ll just live with the man I am in love with but can’t have, try to hunt down two mad titans, avoid my enemies from my past, and control my powers. Piece of cake.
I raise a brow at her. “Come again, Miss Shrink Lady? It sounds like you just asked for my help in locking Atë up? I guess you didn’t find in your research, that while I may have helped contain Atë, as you say, I took no pleasure in that. In fact, it tore me apart.”
It took me the better part of the morning, but I found her. It looked as though she had been on a shopping spree. She was carrying half a dozen bags. Retail therapy, really? Murder spree, epic fight, sex, and shopping. I shrugged to myself. Yeah, that sounded about right. I didn’t want to interrupt what seemed to be a carefree morning for her. Now that she was out, I had all the time in the world to figure out what she was up to.
There is a chill of anticipation in the room, like how you feel in a horror movie when it’s too quiet. Dash can almost hear someone screaming, “Don’t go in the basement!”. The sudden and completely unsubstantiated idea that he is not alone, now consumes him.
My chest tightened at the very thought of her. My hands immediately loosened their grip on the winged creature. This thing in front of me missed her too. “Yeah, sorry little guy. I can’t help you. She’s gone.”