I took the gourd and looked between my friends, stopping my gaze at Artemis. I would do anything for my love, I thought, and took a large gulp.
Let’s make something clear. As the secret keeper and a nocturnal deity, I do not sleep, and therefore, I have never dreamt. This was going to be a ride. Though I was hesitant, I was not afraid, merely cautious.
A warm wave washed over me, and I was brought back to a dream-state similar to the one Morpheus had put us in at the party. Everything seemed to gloss over, and I vaguely remember falling, unable to catch myself.
When I sat up, I was in the lounge of the God Complex, and I wasn’t alone. I was seated by the large window, and my presence had been forgotten again. The other gods and goddesses were all yammering about old times and memories together. My stomach churned as a scowl crossed my face.
“Of course, they reflect their memories off of me, and I’m not in them. I am a Titan, after all. Why would I be in any of their happy memories?”
The location changed again, and I was flying high above the mortals in my chariot, hearing their secrets and watching their lives pass them by.
A beautiful family walked down the beach as laughter rose. The young child played in the surf as the parents linked fingers and smiled.
I rounded the bend and came across a field where several mortals in matching shirts are playing and having a picnic. I believed the mortals called this a reunion.
My face tightened, and I was thrown back to another time and place.
“Dreyla, please!” I was pleading with my oldest daughter Endymion and I had together. “Where is your reason? Can we just talk? Just…” I reached for her, and she pulled away, stomping away a few feet and crossing her arms.
“Just go away, Mother! I am never speaking to you again!”
“Drey! He made that choice. What do you expect of me?”
My head ached, and bile rose in my throat as my location changed again.
A father and son sat at a bus stop, suitcase at their feet. The young man, dressed in fatigues, turned to his father. “I’ll make you proud, Dad. I promise.”
Searing pain shot between my temples as memories of my father flowed through my head. Hyperion wasn’t exactly the warmest father before the war. Then after spending centuries in Tartarus, I shouldn’t be surprised he never tried to contact me after the second Titan rising.
My mind took me back to the recent party we had in Olympus. The family all together, laughing and celebrating. Selene’s getting passed around like a bathroom key. Rang true as jealousy and envy turned me dark and cold within.
A soft red and orange glow came from behind me, drawing my attention. Eos’ screams echoed in my head, Selene! How could you? You chose them over your own blood?
Closing my eyes, I shook my head, trying to get Eos’ voice out of it. I sat down in the empty expanse of my mind, holding my face in my hands.
Cold, dark, full of envy and longing. A pale silver light shone down on me. I glanced up and found myself in a cave, one I had never seen before.
“Artemis,” I breathed. “Artemis, my love. I remember now.”
Standing, I looked around the cave and saw a pool reflecting the moon’s glow. One by one, my friends stepped out from the shadows as the light filled the cave.
Artemis stepped forward and tucked a stray hair behind my ear, brushing my face with the back of her hand. The ice that surrounded my heart cracked.
Persephone stepped into the light before she rushed towards me and gave me a surprisingly strong hug. The crack grew, and I felt warmer already.
Morpheus was close behind Persephone, as was usual of late. He placed a firm hand on my shoulder, squeezing slightly in support.
Athena, Medusa, and Urania all came from the shadows, but it was seeing Morpheus that I remembered.
“The dream!” my voice echoed in the cave, and the apparitions all puffed out of existence. “This is a dream. I must find the clue!”
I looked into the pool at the reflected moon and caught my face looking back at me. In the darkness, beyond my image, the words to my clue illuminated in the depths of the pool.
“Lay beneath the caverns
dim the darkness
shine thy glow
the item you seek
is but one you must steal.”
I recited it to myself to commit it to memory as it faded. Darkened over and cold, I realized what must change…me. I closed my eyes and exhaled, a cold breath of air rushed out in a cloud. I have a home, a family. They are here with me. Now, what do I need to know?
I woke, face resting on the sand. Sitting up, I looked around for Artemis. She was still lying on the ground, and deep in her dream, Athena was the only one stirring.
I scooted myself up against a tree, looking around at the small group of us gathered. Athena knelt in front of me, setting her spear down. She placed her hand on my shoulder.
“Sel, you’re so dark…are you ok?”
I nodded in silence. Still reeling from the dream, I turned away from her.
She sat beside me for reassurance, but in her wisdom, didn’t press for more.
A little while later, as the others stirred, Artemis awoke. I rushed to her side and helped her sit up. My phase must have still been apparent because as she searched my face, creases of worry crossed her forehead. She took my chin in her hand. “Seli, look at me.”
I looked into her eyes as a wave of pure nirvana poured into me.
“Akti?” The dam broke, and my light returned. “Akti, my light, my love.” I glanced around at the immortals around me. A renewed sense of belonging filled me.“My home. My FAMILY! Yes, my love, I am fine. Better than I have been in a long time.”