I arrived at Eventide Island before dawn. I wanted to be sure that Thanatos and I could work on setting up the bonfire teepees before anyone else arrived. 

In the weeks leading up to the party, I planned out the supplies I would need for the bonfires. I went into a fireplace store, and they had a fire burning with purple flames. In my head, I thought it was witchcraft of some kind, but my cousin was in Las Vegas, so I knew the magic did not belong to her. A  salesperson approached me as I stared at the flames, trying to determine how it was done.

“Hello there. I see you are admiring our purple flames.”

“Yes, I just wanted to know what kind of magic this was.” 

He laughed at me, obviously not knowing who I was. 

“It sure seems like magic. It’s actually chemicals. And when you combine them just right, the flames will change color.” 

“Can you show me?”

“Well, we have these tablets that you add to your small fireplace. How big is your fireplace so I can tell you how much you’ll need?” 

I explained to the salesman, Ron, that I was building one eight feet high and five feet wide. He looked at me and asked where I planned to hold such a fire. I told him it was for the Goddess Nyx, and explained that I was the Goddess Nike. 

He was so surprised at my admission, he left and brought back his manager. The man also asked who I was and where the fire was being held. It felt very strange having to explain things to these mortals. 

“So how many pellets do I need?” 

They told me that the amount I needed would be a special order. 

“I need it by Friday.” 

They said that they couldn’t have it by then. 

Another saleswoman, Susan, saw my disappointment over the information. She suggested that I learn how to make my own. I was very excited about that idea. She showed me a website that would instruct me on producing my own pellets. I asked her if she would like to help me. She agreed, and I told her I would pay her for her time.

“No, you don’t need to do that. I am honored to serve you, Lady Nike,” she answered.

I was very surprised by her response. “All right, Susan. Thank you.” 

I waited for Susan to get off work. The manager let her leave early because she was going to help me. Being a Goddess has some great perks. 

We went shopping to get the wood mulch we needed as the base for our pellets. Next, we went to the OA building, found an empty floor and went to work. I used a cement mixer to mix the chemicals, making sure Susan wore protective gear to keep her safe. We mixed up hundreds of pounds of mulch in a variety of colors, laying it all out to dry on the plastic-covered floor. We ended up with 300 pounds of garden mulch. Susan was a great help, and I was glad to have her. I thought I might ask if she was interested in working for me. 

Lady Nyx said no mortals were allowed at her party, so that meant I had to plan out every single thing. I asked Kratos, Bia, and Zelus to come and help me, as I wanted everything to be a surprise for those in attendance. I ordered the fireworks and the other supplies to be brought to the airfield so that they could be flown to the island on Friday. The plan was to start to set things up early on Saturday.

The first thing we did was cleaned and cleared the beach. Then we dug a 24’L x 6’W x 6” deep rectangle. My brothers and sister carried the supplies to the beach while I dug the holes. Thanatos helped me stack the wood into the centers, and I planted the pellets in the heat-protected cover, which could be ignited later.

“Nike, I don’t think this is a good idea,” Thanatos said as he handed me the box with the canisters. 

“What’s that, Than?”

“I don’t think you should blow up my mother’s party.”

“Ah, come on, Than, she’ll be fine.” 

“Nike, her wrath is not like your father’s, trust me on this.”

“Oh, Than, you worry too much. It will be fun! I planned it out perfectly.”

“But do you have to ruin everything?”

“Look, Than, quit being a momma’s boy…you worry too much.” 

I hovered over to him as he grabbed another box. I placed my hands on his shoulders. 

“All I’m doing is trying to cause a little mischief. No one will get hurt, I promise. Besides, don’t you remember all the pranks we use to pull in the old days?”

“Yeah, but Mother won’t be happy, Nike, and I do want her to be happy.” 

“Okay, I’ll place the canisters, and you just help build the fires. That way you won’t be blamed if there is any ‘wrath’ from your mom, all right?”

“Nike, you better be sure about this.”

“Hey, I didn’t tell my older siblings, either, because they wouldn’t let me do this.”

“Then don’t do it. Please, Nike?”

“Than, it will be all right, just relax. They will all start laughing; you’ll see.”

Thanatos walked away from me. I knew I shouldn’t have let him in on the plan. He better not rat me out, I thought to myself. The three of us – Than, Eros, and I used to play some really fun tricks on the elders. 

I continued to build the fire poles for the teepees. 

Bia and I looked around for the barge where the fireworks were to be ignited, and flew the supplies there before continuing to set up. From the barge, you could see the island, and the bonfire teepees looked great. 

After we were done, I wanted to watch Aunt Hestia and the satyrs’ hunt, so I flew to the other side of the island where they were. My siblings went to shower and get ready for the party.

There was something so primal in watching a pack of satyrs hunt. I watched them until they finished and were on their way back to prepare the beast they caught for the party.

As I was flying back to the beach, I noticed Eros in a tree. I floated closer and very quietly came up behind him. 

“Nephew, what are you doing?”

Nike (Nikki Crump-Hansted)
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