I watched as Eros snuck off during the dancing. That was my cue to get into position. Earlier this morning, I had rigged things on the beach. Now it was time to ignite the color change in each of the bonfires. 

A loud BOOM and a POP, a sound like wet wood hitting flames, caught the attention of those closest to the fire. One by one, the colors changed. The first teepee changed to blue, the second one purple, then turquoise, and for the last, a reddish-orange color appeared.  

As everyone stood in awe and wonder over the color changes in such a large bonfire, I watched as the nymphs Iphigenia, Hyale, and Britomartis got closer to the ring of fire. 

“Closer…closer…come on, girls, just a little more.” 

I set off a small rocket that pierced the sky, sending stardust particles everywhere when it burst. I needed the nymphs to move in closer so they would hide one of the triggers that had been bumped and moved during the dancing.

As everyone looked at the sky, I set off another rocket. This one burst into the shape of heroic God Orion, his drawn bow shooting an arrow to burst just over my sister Artemis. The next rocket formed the shape of Lady Nyx blowing a kiss to all on the beach. Everyone cheered for each burst of gunpowder I shot into the sky. I was ready for the final one.

I had been hiding behind a hill, but moved out to get into position. I needed a clear sight of the barge. I cued my siblings: Bia was underwater, Zelus flew high above us, and Kratos was hidden in a cave nearby. 

As the final firework dust settled, the ocean glowed. A strip of Atlantian sea kelp, full of varying colors of pinks and blues, lined the way to the barge. There was a moment of dead silence, and then the music swelled. Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries blared. Everyone turned to watch the ocean. There was a rumble, and the ground began to shake. The water receded away from the beach, and a giant whirlpool appeared. Even the sea kelp got caught up in the whirlpool. 

Faster and faster the waters churned until the barge was caught and whipped into motion. With a great and thunderous BOOM, the barge exploded! 

And from the explosion emerged the biggest and most badass punisher of all, the Great TYPHON himself! Everyone on the beach stood. Typhon, a very loud and boisterous creature, screamed as he made his way to the beach. Many who were there remembered the first time the gods encountered this beast. As Typhon made his way toward the beach, I cued Zelus, and with his mighty wings, the winds picked up around the whirling punisher. The creature bellowed again.  

“Where is Zeus?” 

I tried so hard not to laugh at my brother, who was doing a fine job as the evil one’s voice. Bia had churned and twirled the waters below, pushing the glowing sea kelp into form to act as our watery beast. 

The gods and goddesses standing on the beach looking at the sea with fear. None of them had any idea that it was a show. 

There was another round of fireworks. One fired from inside of the whirlwind, and I fired another from the beach. The two collided and an image of the mighty Zeus appeared. Typhon and Zeus battled: a zap from a lightning bolt here, a rush of air there. The audience on the beach cheered the battle until Typhon knocked into Zeus, sending him crashing to the water below. 

Next, Typhon turned his attention toward the beach, but transformed into the mighty Hyperion, a fire titan. He hurled a fireball at the beach. At that precise moment, Eros sent out an arrow that ignited the first of the chalk bombs. One by one, the chalk bombs went off: BOOM. BOOM. BOOM.  CHAOS!!! 

The mighty Hyperion shone ever brighter. He burst into a million pieces,  sending my finale up in the grandest of spectacles to watch. I turned another switch and BOOM BOOM BOOM…a symphonic synchronization of sounds. Forty-seven carefully-placed chalk bombs, plus chalk canisters, popped off and chalk exploded everywhere. No one was safe. 

I took out one of the rocket launchers I “borrowed” from my brother Ares’ armory. I’d modified it so it would launch chalk balls. Taking aim, I fired the first dozen off, hitting the nymphs first because they were screaming the loudest. Knocking them over was hilarious. Then I turned my attention to the satyrs. All of their neighing and rushing to shield my aunt with swords drawn…I just couldn’t stop laughing as I watched all that haute couture get color swamped…it was the most fun I’d had in such a long time. I watched as Aunt Hestia got hit with two pink splashes, and Aunt Dem got a shot of yellow right in her face. Oops, sorry, aunts, I whispered to myself. 

Than wasn’t fully aware of the scale of my plan. I knew I wanted to hit my sister Artemis because she kept going on and on about her dress and how beautiful…blah blah blah. I had a chalk ball in my hand, and I tossed it right at her, but Thanatos got in the way. I was so mad I turned and tossed another one at Dinlas, who was running to the beach to see what was happening. Once he realized what was going on, he turned to see where Nyx was, but he was too late. I sent three yellow balls hurling through the air that landed on her head, on her chest and her…oh my, that must have hurt. Dinlas got hit by both blue and pink balls. No one’s outfits were recognizable. 

Eros was posed, perfectly firing his arrows into the crowd. I could just make him out up in the tree. One by one they flew through the air. I couldn’t stop laughing. I suddenly felt a hovering feeling and turned. There was Lady Nyx, glaring at me. It was not the face of a happy primordial. I took my final shot of the night. It hurled towards Artemis, who oddly didn’t see it coming because she was turned around. BAM. Right on her backside. 

Realizing this would be a good time to escape, I rose above the chaos that continued below me. Now everyone was laughing. I heard Nyx’s voice,  “NIKE! Get back here!”

There is no way in Hades I was going back down there. I saw Eros running away too, but what was causing him to run? Oh my, he pissed her off. 

I was cracking up. There was more shouting below me. 

“So that didn’t go so well.”

“I had to try…”

“You know, if you had your wings…”

“But since I don’t, I learned something new…” And just like that, he poofed away.

“Oh no, you don’t.” 

I shot through the sky so fast there was a loud pop, and I was gone.

I took my place at the table after ordering a milkshake. I overheard Jacob tell the cute guy at the bar, “From the lady.”

The young man approached me.

“I just wanted to thank you…”

I turned to face him.  “Beat You!” I said with a smirk on my face.

Eros just stood there, stunned. “HOW?!”

I laughed and laughed.

Nike (Nikki Crump-Hansted)
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