My brain feels fuzzy and for some reason I can’t recall what’s happened over the last few days. Right now, I am at the museum, alone. Only a few of the lights are on, and at the end of the hallway, one light flickers. Something about the scene makes my hair stand on end. I think that the best thing to do is get out of here.
As I walk down the hallway, I feel another presence. I walk quicker, but the hallway keeps stretching longer, like it is endless. I feel myself begin to panic.
I hear a voice call out. Not just any voice. It’s the one I want to hear most. I turn and see Eros standing at the other end of the hallway. I breathe a sigh of relief. I run towards him, tears rolling down my cheek. I reach him, hugging him tight. My emotions are wild and difficult to control. What is wrong with me?
Eros pushes me away.
“I know about your feelings, Aren.” His eyes are cold and distant. My stomach twists.
“Y-you do?” I ask. I try to look away but he grabs my chin and forces me to look at him.
“You should know. I will never love you,” he says coldly. My heart feels like it’s been stabbed multiple times by those words.
He chuckles, darkly, “Did you think I could ever love you?”
I back away from him. My heart aching from his words. I want to run…hide…something.
“Eros-” I start to say, but the scene changes. All around me is a white fog so thick that I can hardly breathe. I take a few cautious steps forward.
“Hello?” I call out.
“Clio! Come here, my little Dewdrop,” a voice calls out from behind me.
My stomach twists uncomfortably. I know that voice, and only one person in my entire life has called me that. My heart stops in my chest, and I don’t dare turn around.
“M-mother?” I stutter.
“Now, Dewdrop. That is no way to say hello to your mother,”
I hold my breath, turning around slowly. In front of me stands my mother. The lady I have been hiding from for years. She looks the same as I remember her: blonde hair, slim face, and long legs. I feel all my old fears return as she steps towards me, embracing me in a tight hug. My body tenses, screaming at me to push her away and run for my life, but I can’t move. I allow her to hug me, even though it makes me sick. Mnemosyne tilts my head up to her, smiling down at me with her evil grin.
“We have work to do,” she says, playing with a strand of my hair. “I have something new to try.”
My heart thuds in my chest. Why can’t I move? I need to get out of here as soon as I can before she…
“Don’t give me that look, Dewdrop. This one won’t hurt,” she chuckles. “Now, sit down.”
A chair appears out of nowhere, and my mother forces me to sit in it. Her hands are on my shoulders, and she gives them a squeeze.
“Now, be a good daughter and help your mother out,” she whispers, walking around to stand in front of me. She places a hand on my forehead.
“Now, close your eyes,” she says in a soothing voice.
I do as I am told. Not that I want to, but my body is forced to do it. This is all part of her power. Manipulating memory to test her limits. I feel my brain scramble in my head as she reorganized my thoughts. It feels like someone is removing chunks of my brain with scissors. I hate the feeling. I feel myself slouch in the chair, her powers taking a toll on my mental strength. My eyes roll to the back of my head.
Suddenly, a memory returns. The museum. Ate. This is all just a dream. I push my mother’s hand away and let out a shaky breath.
“You aren’t real,” I say.
“Aren,” I hear a faint voice call out my name. “Please, wake up.”
I look at my mother.
“How do I wake up?” I ask her. She only laughs.
“You will never wake up, my little Dewdrop. You belong to me,” she purrs.
I shake my head. Closing my eyes, I whisper to myself.
“You aren’t real. You aren’t real.”
Suddenly, I feel my mind push my way through. My limbs…I can feel them, and I feel something heavy on my chest.
“E-Eros?” I ask, slowly opening my heavy eyelids.
His voice. This was him, not another dream. I lazily open my eyes, trying to sit up.
“W-what is going on?” I ask.
He grabs a glass of water and holds it up to my lips.
“Shhh, you’ve been out for awhile,” he whispers.
I take a sip of the water, not realizing how thirsty I was. I gulp the rest of it down.
“Out? What do you mean?” I ask.
He takes the cup from my hand and fills it up again.
“Not too fast,” he says. I pull the cup back and take smaller sips.
“Eros, I am so confused. Why are you here?”
“I came to pick you up from the museum, and when I noticed you weren’t there, I came by here. I saw that Duck was alone. I knew something was wrong,” he explains.
I look at him, confused for a second, before my memory returns, my eyes widening.
“I need to stop her,” I say, trying to get up. Eros gently pushes me back down on the bed.
“Ate, I need to stop her.” I say frantically.
“I…I know that name, but don’t?” He frowns at me. “How can I only partially know that name?”
“I-I don’t know. Our memories of her have been erased…”
An idea sparks into my mind.
“Before I was kidnapped, I was practicing returning memories. Can I uh…try something?”
He nods, leaning forward. “I trust you.”
My heart does a small flip at the close proximity I share with Eros. I try to remain focused on what I need to do. I place my hand on his forehead.
“Close your eyes,” I instruct.
“I’m usually the one giving the orders,” he smirks.
I roll my eyes before closing them. My mind pinpoints the memories I have of Ate, and I focus on transferring them to Eros. It takes a few seconds, but I can feel my memories transferring to him. The blocked memories he had of his own slowly fade away, allowing him to see his hidden history with the goddess. My nose drips golden blood as open my eyes.
“Did it work?” I ask.
“There was always someone there, something missing, like a dream out of reach.” His voice is a bit bewildered. “Mischief calls to mischief, so they couldn’t take it all, but imprints and blurs were left.”
Eros looks at me, reaching to wipe the blood from under my nose. “You’re bleeding.”
I smile slightly, proud that my powers worked. “I am glad it worked and don’t worry about the blood. It’s nothing.”
“It is never nothing. How much power did that require of you?” he frowns, continuing to wipe the blood away from my nose.
I shrug. “This is something new that I have never tried before. It can take a lot out of me, I guess.”
Eros sighs. “You’ve been out for a week.”
My eyes widen. “What?! A week? No, no, no, no. I must be too late.”
“Attie is back, no wonder the world’s gone to hell in a handbasket.”
“Has she released them? The Titans?” I look up at Eros, darkness washing over my features.
“She has,” he nods solemnly. “They’ve been running amok for the last week.”
“What are we going to do?” I ask, looking over at his pacing tigers.
“You know she gave them to me. They saved my life once. We have to help her. I owe it to her.”
“I agree with you. I saw her past, and I know she is hurting.”
“Papu is going to want her head for this. So will all the others. We have to intervene before they can.”
“What do you suggest?” I ask, attempting to stand up.
Eros pushes me back down. “Mischief calls to mischief. What would I do next after I’ve released the Titans? Well, I wouldn’t have released them without a reason.”
Eros turns to look at me. “She wants something. Something she can only get while everyone is off fighting Titans. She is heading back to Tartarus.”
“Why Tartarus?” I mumble. “She told me she wanted revenge.”
“Because the last place people are going to be is where the Titans recently vacated. With Attie, it’s never simple. There’s layer upon layer. This is more than just revenge. Did she tell you anything else?”
“Not that I can remember…” I shake my head. “We should head to Tartarus.”
He nods feverently. “I just hope we aren’t too late.”