That Which is Unknown

As we began our ascent, I felt a euphoria envelop me. The feeling of being drawn upward, being uplifted, being free. I allowed my mind to wander as I embraced my trance-like state. The roar of the engines became a soft hum in my ears, like the sound of the waves lapping the shores of Crete.

I boarded the plane with Lana close behind. I momentarily marveled at the opulence within. I hadn’t been on a company jet in a long time and had forgotten how plush they could be. 

Lana stopped in her tracks, taking in the high-end ambiance. It was obvious she’d never flown first-class before. She took a seat, and the lone flight attendant came out to announce our departure. 

As we began our ascent, I felt a euphoria envelop me. The feeling of being drawn upward, being uplifted, being free. I allowed my mind to wander as I embraced my trance-like state. The roar of the engines became a soft hum in my ears, like the sound of the waves lapping the shores of Crete.

As I danced inside my head, a retched explosion brought me back to reality. My head snapped to the left in time to see my little assistant spewing violent flows of nausea into a tiny paper bag. Though I found it hard to watch, I did find it a bit funny.

Once we reached cruising altitude, I slipped off my shoes and leaned my seat back. The flight attendant brought me a drink and a warm, lemon-lime soda for Lana. She’d leaned back as far as she could, her face as white as a sheet. I was sure she’d sleep for the remainder of the flight.

As I lay in my seat with closed eyes, I began to think of Iason. His dark skin glistened in the summer sun, his perfect locks clinging to his muscled neck. His radiant blue eyes sparkled in the firelight. My heart both filled and broke at the same time. 

I remembered that I’d brought the book of our lives and reached down to pull it out of my bag. As I did, the letter from Hesta fell onto the floor. I picked it up and once again drew in the aroma of her personal scent. 

I opened the letter, smiling as I read her words.

Dearest Sister,

It has been too long since we last spoke, so it’s time that we corrected this problem. Shall we do dinner soon? Perhaps a place in Japan or Spain? Oh, we could try to rope Hera in. That is, if she’s not terribly busy doing all the work of Zeus. 

Regardless, we need to catch up. Might have to pick your brain about some legal things with the mortals if my lawyers can’t handle it. 



P.S. Enjoy the tea.

The thought of having a magical dinner with my sisters melted my heart. I held the letter close to my chest, imagining the three of us dining as we had in our heyday. I missed Hestia’s wisdom and craved Hera’s wit. I made a mental note to have Lana accept Hestia’s invitation when we returned to the complex. I’d call Hera myself as I didn’t think my assistant was ready for the queen.

I put the letter away and picked up the book, running my fingers across the words Iason and Demeter. A smile crossed my face, and I opened the book to find it contained three sections. The first one was titled That Which is Told, the second was titled, That Which is Believed, and the last was titled That Which is Unknown. It was this final one that grabbed my attention.

I flipped to the third section and began reading.

In those days, men still worked to find favor with the gods. Though many gods lived high on Mt. Olympus, one lived among the mortals in rhythmic harmony. Demeter, mother of the fertile fields. 

It was as she visited one of her fields on the island of Samothrace that Demeter came to see the prince, Iason, working in his own fields. She was said to ask this powerful mortal why he did not have his slaves do the work. His reply was that he so loved the goddess that he worked the fields in order to be closer to her. 

His response so moved Demeter that she took him as her own. The goddess came to love Iason and went unto her brother for a marital blessing. However, he refused and forbade the union. 

Demeter, ever defiant, rebuked the king of the gods and came to reside with the Samothracian prince. Their union brought prosperity to the island of Samothrace, as well as two strong sons. Zeus came to see the prince as the reason why Demeter refused to take her place among the gods. 

During the annual harvest celebration, Zeus went unto Iason. He offered to make Iason the king of a great nation should he turn his attentions away from Demeter. The King of the Gods promised Iason riches beyond his most vivid dreams and an army that would keep even the Titans themselves at bay. It was an offer Iason found hard to refuse.

In the darkest part of the night, Iason gathered his belongings in haste. Demeter woke to find Iason leaving. She ran to his side, begging him not to go. He stroked the goddess’s face, kissing her softly upon her brow, claiming he had to do what was right for his children. With that, he left the home he’d shared with the goddess for many years.

I couldn’t stop the flow of tears that escaped from my eyes. He’d left me. Why couldn’t I remember that? Why had my brother worked so hard to keep us apart? And why was this part of the story not told? Something didn’t feel right.

My next thought turned to my two sons. I hadn’t thought of any of my other children since returning. How many did I have? Did they remember me? Did they know I was missing? Did they even care? It seemed I had more questions than I did answers. 

“My boys,” I whispered to myself, leaning back in my seat and trying to remember their faces. I mentally wandered through my former life as images began forming in my mind. I could see two little boys, then two young men. My sons.

My elder son was Philomelos. A hard-working young man who’d invented the plow. He was known to work with the mortals in their fields, helping them find ways to make their labor a bit easier. He was loved by all who knew him. 

The younger son was Ploutos, God of Agricultural Wealth and Bounty. He was so smart. He was also a bit ruthless. Though the mortals prayed for his blessings, they secretly detested him. He came to pick and choose those he was willing to help, leaving others without a thing. Though I never approved, I’d always been quite proud.

As I worked to remember my children, the plane hit a pocket of turbulence, causing the aircraft to jump. The sudden movement threw Lana into another fit of nausea. She reached for one of the bags the flight attendant had placed on her table. Something told me this was going to be a very long journey.

As the turbulence subsided, Lana quieted down and went back to sleep. I laid my seat back once again and closed my eyes. It didn’t take me long to drift off into sleep and into the arms of my beloved Iason, and this time with our sons.

Demeter (Christine Graves)
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