Zeno 'entertains' the imprisoned, Styx, recounting how they met from his perspective
“There you happy now?” Zeno asked
He lifted Styx’ head from his lap and approached the bed chamber fireplace. He picked up the fire iron and poked around in the ashes, stoking the dying flames.
Styx’ temple, a marble rotunda outlined with a circular colonnade of Ionic order columns, was where she had been imprisoned for the past eight centuries. During that time, she had used what little magic she still possessed to retrofit the portico into a lavish bedchamber as shelter while her immortality faded, and she became increasingly susceptible to Mother Nature’s unrelenting wrath.
The remainder of the building remained open to the elements. A pedestal inhabited the center; it was the base of a statue chiseled with her divine magics from a chunk of marble removed from the portico It was shattered from a previous conflict, much to the goddess' chagrin, as she had dedicated it to herself. Her temple resided on an island within the mouth of a wide river with sheer cliffs on either side. The water was corrosive in nature, it was corrupted by dark magic; as most water on the globe had become after the Gods’ great conflict centuries prior.
“With what?” Styx counter questioned “I did not order you to stop.”
“Order…me? Nobody orders me Styx.”
“I am your goddess, child. You will provide me your obedience.”
“Like hell I will.”
“By Zeus child, you are a most rebellious lout.”
“That’s why you ‘married’ me.”
“…’tis one reason I suppose.” Styx relented “I grow tired of this banter. Entertain me, child.”
“You need to get naked first…”
Styx stood up and slapped Zeno, glaring at him with a disapproving scowl. As usual he laughed dismissively at her attempts to discipline him, enraging the goddess even further. He clutched her shoulders and pecked her forehead however, Styx murderous glare was unabated. Zeno guided her down with him as he sat back against the bed chamber wall.
“I’ll keep going,” he relented “but you already know what happens next.”
“Petulant child, I want it from your perspective!” she countered
“Fine, you ass.”
Locks of hair brushed across her face as Zeno combed his fingers through it affectionately. He sighed and began recounting how he met…
“Well, back to my story. death wasn’t in the cards for me that day. I must have passed out during the fall; I awoke to something prodding my chest. I struggled to focus on the figure poking me. He was tall humanoid, slender and dressed in a raisin a colored cloak. It wasn’t a man, at least not a normal one. He had blue skin and a long grey beard that protruded from a hood that obscured the rest of his face. His skin was wrinkled and liver spotted; with stringy, vascular hands. I freaked out and scurried backwards, hitting the edge of what I soon realized was a boat. I muttered and swore as my head darted back and forth.
“Charon” she informed softly
“You wanna tell the story?” Zeno scoffed
“No, you are doing an absolutely wonderful job.”
She made no attempt to hide her sarcasm.
“I swear you drive me up a fuckin’ wall woman…” Zeno griped
With a devilish smile she remarked “I love you too, Zeno…” and blew him a kiss playfully.
Styx knew when her ribbing struck Zeno in just the right way, and as per her usual when she knew she was in control, she smirked confidently
“…smartass.” Zeno countered as he returned to his story.
“Charon turned his back to me and raised his hand; the fog parted and formed a path from the shore where we docked.
There was a building in the distance. I didn’t recognize the architecture, but it seemed like some kind of temple. Whatever it was, it obviously did not belong. It was circular, with a round base and a domed top, held up by numerous pillars around the edge, with what looked like a room to the left. A statue of some kind sat in the middle.
I looked up at him and asked ‘What? You want me to go there?’
He didn’t respond, but I got the picture.
I didn’t know where I was, but it was eerie. The place didn’t feel right; I was unnerved, so much so I forgot what I set out to do. I set out to die. Or maybe I was already, maybe this was the underworld. Maybe this was hell. It damn sure wasn’t heaven.
It was freezing out, black clouds as far as the eye could see. Enough light bled through them to let me know it was some time during the day, but not enough for anything green to live and grow by. This place was dead and barren, hell even Baptista had patches of greenery, at least few parts I saw. Our ‘God’ was generous enough to bless us with enough water for that at least. A pungent aroma permeated the air, the smell of lightning, a storm was coming.
I climbed clumsily out of the boat, the sensations upon hitting the water let me know I was still alive; the weakness from hunger, the struggling to breathe, and the stinging.
That damn stinging.
I screamed ‘Arrggggh!!! What the hell is this shit?!’ as I stepped into it.
The water was unlike any water I had ever seen before; it was corrosive, felt like it ate away at your skin, and your soul. It reminded me of the shit that infected Baptista, the Rot. I climbed out as quickly as I could, collapsing onto the bank. Luckily it didn’t stick, it took a few seconds, but it seemed to evaporate without doing too much damage. My skin felt a little raw afterwards, but left me none the worse for wear.
Then I heard a voice calling out in my head.
‘Come to me child…’ it said.
‘what the…who’s there?!’ I responded.
Startled, my head darted back and forth searching for the source of the voice. Inside I knew it was an exercise in futility, because the voice wasn’t audible. But I had never experienced anything like that before. I felt like I was losing my mind.
‘Who the fuck was…’ I asked, turning to the boatman
He was gone. I checked my side, I was surprised the blade that dame gave me was still there. It glowed faintly as I drew it from my belt. I returned it to my side and began my trek towards the temple in the distance. As I approached, I could see the toll the years had taken on it. The cracks and chips missing, it was in disrepair, but still quite hardy. There was a headless statue in the middle, a slender female with a missing left hand. It was dressed in a flowing himation, and held a wreath of some sort in the air as if to present it to someone above.
Behind it was a large steel double door that was rusted to high hell. It looked like it was still functional and saw regular use though. A faint scent of incense wafted past my nostrils as I approached. It was faint though, almost undetectable.
I crossed the threshold into the temple and my pace slowed, I scanned my surroundings, unsure of what to expect. I approached the statue when a sudden feeling of unease washed over me, like someone was there with me. I drew the knife, bringing it up ready to strike. Then I heard her voice again.
‘Fear not child, I mean you no harm.’ She spoke again.
Her voice was soft, almost calming. I understood her words, but her accent…it was unfamiliar.
‘Who the hell are you?! Where are you?!’ I asked again
I scoured the temple, looking left and right, checking the ceiling the floor and the pillars. Not like anyone could have hidden anyways, the place was mostly open; except for the bedchamber, but that door was locked tight.
‘I am here…’ she said again, almost in a whisper ‘Behind you…’
Her arms wrapped around me and embraced me sensually. I froze, unsure how to react. I noticed her left hand was missing.
In a soft sultry voice, she whispered ‘I saved you child, I…need you.’
I could feel her breath against my ear, it sent a chill through my body and I shuddered. She held me tighter in response.
I hissed back at her combatively ‘My name is Zeno damnit.’
Not going to lie, even though I wanted to die, I was scared shitless.
‘I don’t even know who…or what you are. Why would I help you?’ I continued
‘Because I saved you.’ Then you responded softly ‘I am the Titaness Styx, Goddess of Rivers, Oaths, and hatred.’
“No no no no Child!” Styx protested “I do not want a mere recitation of my actions! Do you not know how to tell a proper story?”
“What…why? Jesus, fuck you’re impossible woman!” Zeno lamented with an exaggerated face palm.
“I want the details and all of your thoughts and feelings! Through your words, I want to experience your lust for me, and become entranced by my beauty. Recount your thoughts about me as you did with that Catolican floosy.”
Zeno’s face deadpanned and he commented in an equally expressionless tone, irritated with Styx asinine request. “Oh…I see. This is about you.”
“But of course.”
“It’s always about you.”
“Well who else would your story be about?
“As I was saying, ‘Styx’ responded softly ‘I am the Titaness Styx, Goddess of Rivers, Oaths, and hatred.’
Hatred? I thought to myself That’s one hell of a combination, doesn’t make any damn sense either.
It made absolutely no sense to me then, and it still doesn’t.
‘Goddess? No, no no no! you’re some kinda demon!’ I said, ripping myself away from you…er her, ‘you work with that bastard
Satan…Cause there’s only one God that I know of. And all three of you can kiss my ass!”
I turned to face her during my little diatribe and my jaw damn near hit the ground. She was fuckin’ beautiful. Her hair draped well below her belt line, and her face was a work of god damned art. It looked like she lifted it from that statue sitting in the middle of the temple, perfectly chiseled features, and flawless skin. And her eyes, they glowed like nothing I had ever seen, an unnatural crystal like blue.
I assumed the statue was of her. She was dressed just like it with a white top secured by a gold ring in front that wrapped around her breasts, her midriff was completely exposed. Her white silk dress billowed in the gentle breeze that whistled through her temple, and on each arm was a…sleeve…I guess. I didn’t know shit about female high fashion, but she had these strange drapes of silk the wrapped around a portion of her upper arm just below the shoulder and hung downwards almost to the floor. Her exposed flesh wrapped tightly around a defined athletic frame. And through one of the slits of her dress, her leg protruded, with a thick, well defined feminine thigh…
I was disarmed instantly.
“Yes, my beauty has been known to have that effect on people” Styx commented pompously.
“…I should have seen that coming.” Zeno remarked.
“How long has it taken you to finally admit what we both already knew, child?”
“Oh my god Styx, really?”
“I know I am beautiful child, I knew you would recognize it eventually. I am a goddess after all.”
Zeno shot her a sideways glance and sighed at her smug arrogance. Still, it should have occurred to him how such a comment would invoke her ego. Zeno knew she was beautiful by most standards of measure, but her arrogance was absolutely unbearable.
I should have known better than to make her think I was kissing her ass…he lamented inwardly
“I must admit however, such admiration holds far greater value coming from you.” Styx admitted
‘Ha ha ha ha, so naïve child. There is not just one ‘God’ child, there are many. One stands before you,’ Syx replied, amused at my naïveté.
I snapped back to my senses, figuring her to be some kind of succubus intent on stealing my soul. Yeah I was ready to die, but I wasn’t going down without a fight.
‘You can’t fool me demon…’ I said priming my knife to strike.
I thrust at her; I made contact but knife barely made a dent in her skin, much to my dismay. She inhaled with a look of satisfaction, as if she was absorbing the divine blessing into her body. The light faded from the knife and I dropped it in disbelief. I retreated, completely gripped by fear.
I fell back on my ass as she drifted towards me, her face lined with a curious half grin. She calmly laid a hand on my cheek, and gazed into my eyes.
‘I realize this must be new to you,’ she explained ‘I will show you.’
Before I could finish asking I could feel, what I could best describe as, a shift in my consciousness. It felt like I was hyper aware of everything around me to the point where space itself began to warp, and time seemed to stop. Reality collapsed around me, drawing my surroundings in closer, and the colors all distorted until everything went black. My sight returned, and I found myself in a totally foreign location; the ‘ground’ beneath me was dark and resembled a solid fluid. I could stand easily enough, but it rippled around me like I was a stone in a pond. The ground plane extended, seemingly into infinity.
On the horizon, a strange iridescent light undulated upwards into the ‘sky’. It provided a dull twilight illumination. It was more than enough to see by, enough that I noticed my feet were translucent. I quickly scanned the rest of my body and noticed it was as well. I panicked, and in response, the waves surrounding me increased in frequency and intensity as they radiated outward.
‘Where the fuck am I?!’ I panicked.
‘We are in the astral plane; ‘tis…a world within a world. Only souls can interact with it.’ She explained softly, ‘We can feel each other’s emotions and intentions here…can you feel me?’
‘Yes…’ I said quietly.
I wouldn’t have minded feeling some more of her too. I looked down at myself, and grasped my pants.
‘I have clothes…’ I noted. ‘Why the hell do I have clothes? If this is some kinda spirit plane, shouldn’t I be like…naked or something?’
‘Your consciousness is here, including your memories. You are presenting yourself as you last remember being. ‘‘tis a bit of an involuntary reflex if I am to be completely honest,’ she responded.
I just couldn’t get over her accent, her choice of words, how she spoke so properly was completely foreign to me.
But damn was it sexy…
“Awww Zeno, I never knew my manner of speaking aroused you so. That is absolutely adorable.” Styx interrupted.
Zeno bemoaned the fact that he had given into feeding her ego once more. He had become so captivated in recounting the details of his encounter, it had gone unnoticed.
“You know, I’ve always been meaning to ask…” he attempted to deflected, “I haven’t heard anyone else talk like you…do the other gods of your pantheon talk the same way.”
“‘tis irrelevant.” Styx dismissed.
“Then I guess the rest of my story is too.”
Styx at up, pushing away from Zeno. She never did like revealing information about herself, but she also knew Zeno could be just as stubborn as she was; and he wouldn’t budge until she gave him answers.
“By Zeus child…very well. I fancied this particular accent from the aristocracy of a country that existed from long before the destruction of earth.”
“From the…aristocracy…figures.” Zeno scoffed.
“Well Zeno, you know that I am—“
“Yeah, yeah… I know you’re a ‘goddess’.”
“And your goddess orders you to continue distracting her.”
“Bewildered I asked ‘Why did you bring me here?’
‘I am imprisoned, and I need your help to escape.’ She explained ‘I require…a champion.’
‘Yes, like Samson.’
She looked down at me and strangely, I could feel her patronizing condescension through that ‘astral plane’ when she smiled. I didn’t trust her, but I’m sure she could feel that already.
‘And these Gods…there are more?’ I asked as I pressed my head back against her bosom.
Still didn’t trust her, but her flesh felt amazing. Besides, if I was going to die…if she was going to kill me, I could think of worse ways to die.
‘Yes, many more. Some of them banded together to imprison me.’ She explained
‘And you want my help?’
‘I realize what I am asking is a lot, but I am willing to compensate you handsomely.’
‘With what? I didn’t see much in the way of money in your temple’
‘What I offer is beyond earthly riches.’
I paused stunned, as if my worldview hadn’t been thoroughly destroyed enough already. I drew away from her; I wanted to see her face as she prepared her next lie. It was stupid of me though, since I could already feel her intentions. But the ways of these supposed ‘Gods’ were still new to me. The idea that there even were other gods was new to me.
‘And power, a portion of my own, that you may manipulate reality…to a point.’
‘Yes, just like the gods’
‘How?’ I don’t know how, but I began to levitate. I quickly realized it was her doing, and reality warped again like it had previously. I awoke back in the temple shortly thereafter. Styx floated towards me again, our bodies touched and I relaxed a bit. I was becoming quite familiar with her feminine embrace. It felt good, it distracted me. My mind drifted away from the hopelessness of my situation as I found comfort in her arms. I let my guard down; it didn’t feel like she wanted to hurt me.
At least not yet.
I looked into her eyes, and the last bit of tension melted from my body. They were glowing a crystalline blue, I assume from her activating whatever ability it was that dragged me into the astral plane. She closed them as she laid her head on my shoulder.
‘I have a weapon, with the potential to slay a god.’ She finally responded.
Her breath gently caressed my skin as she spoke, she traced her finger across my chest as if to tease me.
‘I was betrayed, trapped here in this temple by the other gods. I was erased from the minds of men, forgotten, banished! They took my power, and my immortality. I do not have much longer left,’ she continued.
‘That’s all well and good, but what the hell do want me to do about it? I’m just a man, one man,’ I asked.
‘You will become my champion; wield my Warhammer, forged by the greatest engineering mind of the gods, Hephaestus’
‘And do what with it? Bludgeon the curse to death?’ I asked sarcastically, ‘And who is Hephaestus?’
Styx chuckled at my ignorance.
‘By Zeus, you amuse me child. Ha ha! But no, you will wield it and be my champion. I need you to retrieve the key to restoring my god hood, and then together, we break my curse. I sent a messenger to retrieve it prior, but…’
‘Ha, that’s some plan. So I fetch this ‘god hood’ and then what? We fight the gods? Or you fight them? Just how many are there?’ I interrogated. ‘What makes it so damn special any…’
She shushed me with a finger on my lips, then held my hand with interlaced fingers and guided me towards the steel doors behind us. They creaked loudly as they lumbered open under her telekinetic influence, revealing a lavishly decorated bedchamber within. The heavy aroma of incense assaulted my senses, and I almost sneezed. There was an ornate hammer resting against the bed which she levitated towards our hands. It had a wicked claw opposite the head and looked like it could do some damage in the right hands.
I gripped it, as it made contact and she removed her fingers. The center began to glow; it resembled a dying ember, and pulsated with a dull red orange light. There was an insignia etched into the bottom of the handle, some weird letter I had never seen before. I felt energy emanating from it and coursing through my body. I stared at it awestruck.
‘This weapon has the power to slay gods. ‘tis weak however, and must be activated with the soul of a god.’ Styx explained softly.
She took notice of my confused expression as I ran my thumb across the strange insignia.
‘The symbol on the side ‘tis the letter ‘sigma’.’
‘This…this power…I’ I stated dumbfounded.
I struggled to find a word to express what I felt, what meager power contained within was overwhelming to me.
‘Oh child’ She uttered
She was clearly amused with my naïve admiration.
‘Come’ She ordered, grabbing me by the wrist. ‘Let us bond, I want to familiarize myself with new champion.’
Styx guided me to her bed chamber, the shadows of furniture danced along the walls as the candles flickered. The smell of incense was almost too much to bear; I don’t know how she could stand it. The Titaness motioned towards a table off in the corner; she levitated it towards us and it stopped just short of my feet.
Releasing my arm, she placed her hand just above the table and conjured a large plate of food. A massive cut of meat, various fruits, a large loaf of bread and an ample cask of wine appeared. It had been days since I had eaten and the sight of all that food had me salivating. I dropped the hammer and buried my face in the food with the enthusiasm of pig in a trough. She spoke something to me, but I didn’t hear a word, I didn’t care. I was ravenous.
I ate for what seemed like an eternity while that goddess just watched, standing over me like she was my mother or something. Then, I saw her shudder out the corner of my eye; I didn’t pay it any mind, until she collapsed. Her knees buckled as she attempted to stand. Instinctively I raced over to catch her; but I was too late and she fell against the bed, narrowly missing the edge. I guessed she couldn’t handle the use of her godly abilities much anymore, and the glow of her eyes faded to reveal a very distinct, very human hazel.
I don’t trust this ‘Titaness’…‘goddess’ or whatever the hell she is, I thought to myself. Immortality…pfft…I don’t need that shit, I wanted to die. I should be dead. But this food, and…her. Fuck, she’s beautiful. Damn it! I don’t want anything to do with this, I know she’s up to something. She has to be. But I wanted to die right? I guess either way I win…right…right?
I was so fucking confused; I had no idea what to do. My head spun with everything going on around me, it was like she threw me into a deep lake and I had no idea how to swim. Styx regained herself well enough to labor her way onto the bed with my help.
‘Are you ok?’ I asked.
‘Yes,’ she responded.
I looked her dead in the eye, she could tell by my expression I knew she was lying.
‘No…no I am not,’ She admitted after a lengthy silence.
‘I guess conjuring this food cost you…’ I remarked as I continued eating.
‘I would love to help…but I don’t exactly know what a god needs to survive.’
I choked on my food, I looked back at her perplexed; after I had finished coughing up my turkey that is.
Confused, I barked, ‘What?! Is that some kind of joke?’
I don’t know why I asked that, I wasn’t even sure gods had a sense of humor.
‘We gods…we need man, just as man needs us,’ she explained cryptically.
‘I don’t need you.’ I countered, venomously. ‘And how the hell do you need me?’
‘Worship, Adoration, ‘tis from whence we gain our power. Surely the god of Icthys demanded worship of you, yes? Did you think it was purely to satisfy his ego?’
‘Yeah actually, that’s exactly what I thought, that he was the ultimate narcissist.’
With a halfcocked grin Zeno remarked “Oh how wrong I as.”
“What do you mean child?”
“I wasn’t worshipping the ultimate narcissist…I wouldn’t marry her until much later.”
Styx sat, contemplating Zeno’s remark with a bewildered expression. He mused, swearing he could see the gears grinding in her head. Her confusion shifted to ire upon realizing she was the target of his caustic remark
“Oh you…petulant…” she grunted while peppering him with bottoms of her fists. He laughed while halfheartedly defending from her frustrated assault, They wrestled to the bed and she mounted him. Zeno rolled her over playfully and grabbed her hands, their faces coming to rest mere inches from each other’s’.
Finally able to contain his laughter, Zeno teased “A ‘goddess’ can’t handle a little joke?”
“Your ‘jokes’ are not funny, child,” She replied venomously.
Zeno pecked her on the lips and smiled, she responded by heaving him off with a blast of telekinesis. Zeno was launched backwards and crashed against the bedchamber wall. She levitated up to her feet and adjusted her himation.
“ha ha ha ha…*cough*…you’re so cute when your…*cough* angry Styx.” Zeno remarked with a chuckle.
“Enough of your nonsense, child. Resume your story!” She chided
“Now where was I? Oh yeah…
I paused briefly to think back on Styx’ explanation of how the divines operated, then I erupted in laughter.
‘What is so funny child?’ she asked me with a quizzical look
‘The gods...ha ha…they need us,’ I chuckled, ‘…so…so what you’re telling me is, all I have to do is hate a god hard enough and they’ll die? That’s rich.’
‘If only it were that simple,’ she responded, her voice stern. ‘I would have long been free of this wretched prison if that were the case.’
She clutched her left hand and seemed almost as if she would cry; I was blown away that an actual goddess’ could display very human emotions. I started to feel regret for being so rotten towards her, especially after she had just fed me. The fact that she was so damn beautiful made me feel even worse about it. I knelt before her as she sat on the bed; I touched my severed hand to hers. She raised her attention, locking her gaze to mine.
‘What…what can I do to…’ I sighed hesitantly, ‘How can I help you?’
She smiled genuinely and placed her hand over top the stump that used to be my left hand gently, and caressed it.
‘Have I finally broken through your gruff exterior? I had begun to lose hope that any compassion remained within you,’ She remarked still smiling. ‘No one has worshipped me for centuries; I have been forgotten by man. I have no power, and as I stated previously, I need you.’
Styx patted the bed beside her, motioning for me to join. I sat next to her as she placed her hand on my shoulder. She guided me to lie down, and proceeded to mount me. Honestly, I was more than a little excited, and I think she could tell. She brought her face in close to mine, our noses were almost touching; her soft breath caressed my lips.
‘Worship me child, love me,’ she whispered seductively. ‘Love me.’
She kissed me softly, my heart raced, my breathing deepened. I couldn’t believe I was about to have my way with an actual goddess. It would have been something brag to my friends about …if I had any. My excitement was short lived though, ‘cause it wasn’t an ordinary kiss. It felt as if my soul, the very essence of my being was being drawn out through my mouth. I watched in horror as she threw her head back and consumed a faint wisp of some kind of energy. I threw her off me and stumbled through the room, knocking over the table and sending food flying everywhere.
‘Nnnngh it has been a long time indeed…so very very long,’ Styx exclaimed passionately. ‘Thank you child, ‘tis not much, but it should buy me a bit more time.’
‘What the hell did you just do?!’ I screamed
Styx didn’t respond her head simply turned to me like creepily towards me, her eyes illuminated and when she smiled it was twisted and demonic. She tracked my movements as I crept with my back against the wall, inching towards the door. She slunk towards me when it dawned on her that I was trying to escape, I paused to try to figure out my next move.
Styx stepped down off the bed and that’s when I noticed in my periphery, the hammer by her feet. It got knocked over in the commotion. It would be my only chance at survival, cause my knife was fuckin’ useless. I drew it anyways, hoping she would buy the diversion. Drawing her shoulders in and arching her back, she crouched in response like a cat about to pounce. Something was off about her, not that I trusted her to begin with, but this was far from normal.
The color of her eyes changed from a blue to a deep crimson, and she rushed me, grabbing me by the throat and slamming against the wall with inhuman strength and speed. I was not prepared at all. Then she spoke, and it was terrifying.
‘Love…me,’ she said.
Her voice became distorted, low, baritone…demonic.
‘Ackkk…I…don’t…even…’ I attempted.
‘I said love…me!!!’ she screamed again.
She squeezed my throat so hard I thought my brains would explode through my ears. I couldn’t breathe, I could barely think. I motioned acknowledgement as best I could, and cupped my hand and nub together in a faux prayer. She turned me around and slammed me to the ground, then climbed on top of me again. Jamming her nub into my mouth she pinned me to the ground and ran her manicured fingers down my chest with a wicked sensuality.
I grabbed whatever was near me, trying to escape. Plates, jugs, a fork, I broke them against her in a desperate attempt to release myself from her grasp. None of it fazed her; her legs tightly held me yet she just sat there with a demented look on her face. Her mouth sat partially agape, and her eyes drooped, like a teenager in love, yet they glowed crimson with hatred. This bitch was crazy. Then finally, I found it in my desperate scramble.
Then she felt it too, against her face. Embers mixed with blood flew from the point of impact, dancing away on invisible air currents. Styx fell to the ground next to me, and I rolled away as quickly as I could. I scrambled to my feet as she struggled to hers. She recovered faster than I expected and charged me again, but the hammer had taken its toll. I was actually able to track her movements this time, and I countered. I drove the claw down into her, lodging it in between her neck and left shoulder.
Then I ripped, hard. Snatching the hammer, I tore a chunk from her body. The wound showered me in her divine vital fluids and painted the immediate area crimson. I cocked the hammer back to strike one more time, and she brought her arms up in surrender. Her eyes faded back to normal as she retreated from me.
‘I…I am sorry…please forgive me!’ she begged. ‘I do not know what came over me!’
‘I’m gonna need a damn good reason why I shouldn’t cave your god damn skull in after that shit!’ I barked.
I grew up with nothing, I ran with thieves scoundrels and prostitutes. Survival was all I knew, and I knew better than to hesitate and bargain with killers. I should have spilled her brains all over the marble, I knew I should have, and yet…I couldn’t.
‘I can make you immortal…remember!’ she continued pleading ‘I was not going to kill you I just…I needed your soul…for sustenance.’
‘You ate a piece of my soul?!’ I asked, surprised. ‘And what the fuck do I need with Immortality, you realize you rescued me from suicide right?!’
Her wounds began to seal as she backed up against the bed. In a surprising display of arrogance she scoffed, turning her head, she raised her nose in the air like some kind of snooty noble.
‘I am a goddess child, I know more than you realize.’ She spit arrogantly.
I obviously had her at a disadvantage, and yet she still had the gall to cop an attitude with me. I almost dropped the hammer in disbelief. These ‘gods’ were something else.
‘If you truly sought death, why did you fight me? You would have let me have my way with you,’ she continued.
She winced, as if she was suddenly embarrassed. ‘Still, I am not proud of my actions…’
She climbed onto the bed and crossed her legs. Taking the sleeve of her himation in her hand, she examined the damage from our scuffle, and then flung it away with frustration. She huffed. I just sat there dumbfounded, hammer still gripped tightly.
How the hell is she so nonchalant after what just happened? I thought. She almost killed me, almost died herself and she’s worried about her fuckin laundry!
‘You can put that thing away,’ she ordered dismissively. ‘I do not possess the energy to continue fighting with you. I had to use what little I took from you to heal my wounds.’
‘Like hell I am putting it away. You’re going to call that boatman and I’m getting the fuck out of here.’ I retorted.
‘I am afraid you shan’t. I told you before, I need you. Besides, you have proven to be surprisingly resourceful.’
‘What the fuck makes you think I want anything to do with you?!’
‘I have one more offer for you, something you want.’
The gumption of this woman was unbelievable. But I had to admit, she had me by the balls, I was trapped on that island, no way was I swimming in that soul burning shit surrounding it. I had no clue how to call that boatman, and without her I couldn’t eat. I was fucked.
Angrily I asked, ‘What offer?!’
Without a word she stood and removed the straps of her himation and let it fall to the floor. Damn, she was even more beautiful naked, and I lowered my hammer.
Well one of them anyways…
‘My offer…is me,’ she said.
And just like that, she figured me out.”