As I do, my hand brushes against something. It tickles my skin and stops me in my tracks. I stare down, taking in the sight of a single, out-of-place weed. It is a hideous, useless wildflower, and it reminds me so much of myself.
I want to cry and can feel the pinpricks of tears behind my eyes, but I won’t give them the satisfaction. Whoever those bastards are, they won’t win. They will pay, though. I mean it. Revenge will be mine. As I sit up, my shoulders slump, failure a bitter taste in my mouth.
I seethe at my reflection, my chest rising and falling in sharp, ragged movements. I grind my teeth together, knowing full well the voices are getting to me, and I’m only making it worse. I am in control. I am in control. I utter my supposedly soothing chant, trying to ignore the cackling it invokes from my unseen tormentors.
“The name is Moxie, you arrogant ass, and I’m going to show you what good girls can do!” she said and threw herself into him, sending them both crashing through the window. The glass shattered, and the pair tumbled through the air, racing toward the ground.
Maxine watched him scramble out of the room, smiling placidly, then spoke in a slow southern drawl, “Gerard, darlin’, you simply must learn to mind your manners. When a lady says no, she means no. I could do with a nice cup of tea, however.”
Once my muscles loosened up, I leaned back and closed my eyes, letting the water lift my legs and carry me around. With my head half-submerged, all I could hear was my own breathing and the gentle trickle of water bouncing every surface around. I loved floating like this. It made me feel like I was part of the water. Like seafoam on a gentle wave. Seafoam!
Eris doubled over, cackling loudly, their energy and hunger pulsing out and dancing along my spine. I shivered for a moment, wondering if they’d heard the voice. Accepting that wasn’t possible, I allowed my mind to wonder…what would it taste like to pull their truth? What would I see? What would I learn?
“If you leave, you terminate this program. If you fail with me, you terminate this program. If you refuse to engage, you fail this program. I have strict orders from your father, Zeus, yes? If you fail, you return to Tartarus,” she said with a smile that sent a chill up my spine. “Also, no mind games either.” She shrugged, still sitting and still smiling.