by Chris Breva
A writer's Cramp entry due 12-22-20166
Apollos the Sun god awoke to make his daily trip across the sky from east to west. he had noticed of late that his energy was dwindling. He wasn't sure what that meant. What he did know however was that he was tired of hauling his chariot out every day and driving it in a mad fury across the sky. His father Chronos had told him to do so from an early age and he had never questioned it. Now however he had been doing it day after day for months and there seemed to be no reward in sight. He decided he was going to start making his trips a little shorter each day. Maybe if the trips became short enough the other gods and the humans who lived on Earth would appreciate him more. Apollos knew that it wasn't in his nature to feel that way but for some reason he did. As far as he knew nobody had poisoned him with ambrosia but one could never be sure. He decided to have a talk with some of the other gods and see if any of them were feeling poorly as well.
"I've been feeling a little poorly myself", answered Adonis, god of agriculture.
"Of course you have", said Pluto, god of the underworld. "Each of you have been cursed and will die. There's nothing you can do about it. Once you're in the underworld you will be my prisoners for eternity and I will king of the gods!"
"We'll see about that", Apollos replied. "You seem to forget who you're dealing with. Even if we become your prisoners in the underworld, stripped of all of our powers, we'll still have all the knowledge and wisdom we've accumulated over countless eons. We'll escape. You mark my word."
The gods all succumbed to the curse placed on them by Pluto. Apollos could only manage to keep his chariot in the sky for a few hours each day. The day was much shorter as a result and the earth became very cold. Adonis also retreated completely and finally succumbed to Pluto altogether. Apollos knew there was only one thing he could do to save himself and the other gods. He had to feed them. Gods of course live on the worship they receive from mankind. So Apollos sent Hermes, the messenger god, to talk to all the leaders of mankind. A large feast was organized in honor of the gods and the people would worship for days. Apollos knew that Pluto would never quit trying. The best the gods could do against his evil was strike a balance. He would weaken them once per year and even kill some of them. The worship of man would revive them all. It would take Apollos some time to recover each time but he would once again warm the earth. Adonis would once again bless the earth with new growth. Life would start over.
Author's note: Though this is basically my rendition of the legends, it isn't my idea. Legends of the dying of the sun and the fertility gods with the passing seasons date back to the beginning of man. The winter solstice celebration is a pagan ritual thought to please the gods and encourage their return.