We stood on the other side of the fire as we watched the nymphs and Artemis dance. I was looking at Arty, the huntress, and my nerves began to break. What was Mother going to think? Arty’s beautiful dress will be ruined by the chalk.
Nike held the detonator to set everything into motion. The smile on that godchild’s face, was full of malicious glee. Ride of the Valkyries started and my nerves trembled. She set the fireworks off and when Hyperion emerged from the depths, my nerve finally broke. I moved; the world seemed to move in slow motion. I leap over the fire while the others marveled at Hyperion; flapping my wings hard, I landed in front of the huntress when the first round of chalk bombs exploded.
For a moment, she looked confused by my sudden appearance in front of her. I smiled, hoping it looked reassuring enough, but I think it came off more nervous than anything else as the back of my suit, head and wings were covered in a cloud of chalk dust. I hear Nike let loose gales of gleeful laughter. I closed my eyes as the huntress grimaced and covered her mouth, taking in my white suit now covered in multicolored chalk.
“Oh, Than, thank…”
That was all she got out as I lurched forward. There was a sudden, sharp pain in my ass. She looked over to see what it was, but I knew as more golden arrows flew by in a volley. She winced and closed her eyes. I began to giggle as I looked over my shoulder to see the golden arrow sticking out of my ass.
“Oh, Than is going down,” I said as I collapsed.
Then I saw, from my vantage point, the huntress’ catlike reflexes as she caught one of lover boy’s arrows from midair. It was amazing! I had to tell her, so as I staggered to my feet, giggling like a schoolgirl. She made to move, but I stood to block her, grabbing her shoulders, and gazing into her most perfect eyes. Those magnificent heavenly orbs, so pretty, so bright! A god can drown in those moonbeam eyes.
“Than, I…” she began.
I placed my finger to her lips, shushing her. The light glowed brightly in her light brown hair; they had a hypnotic pull about them. Her scent, the damp earth after the rainfall, I think they call it petrichor.
“I know…I know this is 1945 all over again, but my feelings have never changed…say the word and I will be your slave, and you don’t have to tell the others, moonbeam lips.” I let out a fresh batch of giggles.
“Than, no, oh no, sweet Than…” I cut her off again with my finger.
“Shhhh! Moonbeam lips,” I started; there might have been more to say.
By this point, the air looked like water, everyone was stretching out and collapsing in it. I couldn’t stop giggling, then I heard the voices coming from the wood. I began to stagger in that direction.
“I have to go to the trees. The trees are calling me!”
“No, Than, come back,” the huntress said as the next round of chaos erupted around me.
The pandemonium sounded miles away as I stumbled and staggered to the tree line to the voices in the woods.
My unstable gait brought me close to the shoreline, when Urania came somewhere from my right side. I watched her move slowly in the liquid air, her arms outstretched. Her lips puckering with every air kiss as she made her way to me. She was speaking, but I couldn’t make sense of the words, just my name in a long, deep, distorted tone.
Then her head collapsed in and pulled upward, looking like a thin vase. Her lips left her face and made ten copies of themselves. They danced around her vase, head kissing and growing little wings. It was like staring at a beast from Tartarus. The Urania beast!
I grabbed her outstretched arms, she let out a tiny giggle, and I threw her into the water with a SPLASH! She made several indignant shrill cries. I barely heard them as I made my way to the trees. As I entered, an orange light turned on in the forest. All the trees were talking, laughing, and happy to see me.
They yelled, “THAN!” and I was all good as I giggled some more.
I even think I saw Hypnos, where the hell was my brother anyway?
Then darkness and forgetfulness that follows an arrow shot. The next thing I knew was water washing over me.
“I am wet!” I yelled.
I was laying the high tide line of Lake Aveinos. There was a fish slapping around in my trousers and Leopold, the wandering dead, who ran my sweet shop of Aveinos’ shore, stared down at me. I handed him the fish, salmon, which he took from me.
“Put that in my cottage; I will cook it up later.”
He took it and left me. I laid there, pulling out my phone and ordering three apology baskets from my sweet shop. The one we call “I am sorry I forgot our anniversary” basket. One basket for Mom, one for Arty, and one for Urania. The order was confirmed and I laid back, letting the lake water lap over me.