Authors: Lola James
“Dearest Circe, why have you summoned me to a dungeon?” He frowned at his words and scrunched his face in distaste. He looked around, his head almost hitting the ceiling.
“Lovely to see you too, Hermes.
I have summoned you here to find Hades for me,” Circe said in a soft voice.
Hermes’ blue eyes halted on Dawn who appeared awestruck as she took in the bare chested man. The cloth that covered his waist hit mid-thigh and the sandals he wore were tipped with wings.
Dawn’s heartbeat began fluttering stirring my vampire instincts to kick in making my mouth salivate. The longer she gazed at him the more the hypnotic sound allured me. They were locked in an intense eye lock.
You want me to find Hades?” Sarcasm laced his words and his stare broke from Dawn to Circe.
“Yes, and please do hurry. A mortal’s life is in danger,” she said with urgency in her voice.
Hermes cocked his head to the side and eyeballed us individually. “None before me are mortal.”
“It is none here that I speak of. Please find Hades and return. I will wait here with my daughter and her friends,” she stated.
I anticipate the story upon my return dearest Circe.” A smirk touched his lips as he nodded Circe’s way. “And If I do not find Hades, I will return with my father, Zeus. I am sure he could also be of some assistance if a mortal really is in danger!” Hermes' winged shoes flapped, and he disappeared into thin air.
“So, was that a threat or help about Zeus?” I asked, unsure as to his meaning.
“Both, but mostly a threat for me because of my half-mortal child here,” Circe explained.
“You’re my momma?” Dawn asked. A tear fell down her cheek as Circe nodded her head. “But my daddy said that my momma died…and you’re a goddess. How is any of this possible?”
A smile crinkled Circe’s nose as she flung her hand out in front of her. An iridescence dripped from her finger as the dust on the ground began to stir and a picture came into view. The dark dungeon illuminated with light as a vision formed in the dust. A blond haired man came into view, as did the women that stood next to Dawn now, her belly round and cheeks rosy.
“That’s my daddy.” Dawn was in awe as the picture dissolved when Circe moved her hand. Another immediately replaced it—this time of the same pair in the hospital. Circe gently held a baby and kissed her head before handing the child to Dawn’s father. She kissed him softly on his lips, took a step away from father and child, and vanished. The soundless vision spoke volumes. “That baby was me,” she stuttered in between sobs.
Circe’s petite arms wrapped around Dawn as she pulled her close.
“Yes. You are my daughter. Only those who have witnessed this vision know,” Circe said in a small but calming voice.
Dawn sniffled as she wrapped her arms around her mother.
“That means that you are not an ordinary witch, Dawn, but a demi-god,” Joanna pointed out.
“Yes, it is true. Your power is greater than any who possess dark magic,” Circe said as she nuzzled Dawn closer.
“But what about Annie?”
“Who is this Annie that you speak of?” Circe asked.
“She is the witch who bound Dawn and the witch you warned of dark magic,” he explained.
“Yes, goddess, she is also the witch who released my daughter from the spell placed on her centuries ago by Zelma.” Bion stood with his words.
“Zelma, you say? She is my daughter, as well,” Circe smiled. I froze in wonder at Circe’s confession of Zelma. She, like Dawn, was a demi-god among humans. “I can summon her for more insight on this witch, Annie.” Her hand flung in the air. Nothing happened.
“Unfortunately, you can’t, goddess. You need to know Annie drained Zelma of her powers, and left her for dead in her home.” Kevin stepped forward and closer to Circe as the jovial expression on her face changed to one of heartbreak.
“No!” she screamed sharply, making us all cover our ears. “The witch killed one of my
?” The ground shook angrily, and everyone but Circe fell to the ground. The goddess stood with her head tilted back and her arms lifted as the ground shook beneath her bare feet. A high-pitched scream bellowed from her mouth as fog filled the area, and the walls of the dungeon crumbled around us.
Each of us quickly huddled around Dawn where no debris seemed to be falling. “What’s happening?” Dawn shrieked with fear in her eyes.
“She seems angry,” I whispered.
Then, as suddenly as it had begun, the shaking stopped. The screams quieted, the earth stilled and the fog evaporated, as Circe stood motionless, a scowl on her face.
“It was Eris’ work,” she stated through gritted teeth, her tiny hands balled into fists. How she came to that conclusion, I had no clue but I trusted her instinct as a witch and a god.
“I will have words with her. Please do tell Hades I am sorry that I missed him, but I will return once I have remedied this Eris situation. Come, Dawn.” She proffered her hand to Dawn, and the young witch eyed it cautiously before she took it. Within seconds, they disappeared before our eyes.
“What the hell was that?” I looked around at everyone that was just as puzzled as I was.
“And Eris, who’s that?”
“The beseeched goddess of strife.
She is the troublemaker of the gods and gets into trouble all the time her brother
usually cleans up after her,” Kevin offered. He had become our “god go-to person.”
“But how did she—what does this—let’s just stick to our plan. These gods and goddess are so damn unpredictable. Appearing then disappearing, talking in circles and speaking in Greek!” I fumed. It seemed like all the help we asked for showed then disappeared as quickly as they came.
Everyone nodded in agreement and we waited for Annie… again.
As we prepared for Annie to jovially walk down the stairs, we surveyed our surroundings of crumbed stone walls. We noted that the sunlight was peeking into the dark dungeon. One more of those Dawn/Circe quakes and we might be buried alive. Confusion and anticipation was thick in the air. Time seemed to move slowly as we waited for Dawn, Circe, or Hades to return. Black smoke filled the dungeon as Hades suddenly appeared.
“I was summoned by Circe. Where is she?” he demanded looking at the stone pieces from the wall. “And what is the meaning of this?” he flared his arms out over the room.
“Master, I am afraid she has gone. She did, however, say that she would return once she remedied an Eris situation. And this was her reaction and anger over the situation.”
“Eris? Oh, for chaos sake, she just needed to stay out of it and leave Eris and her strife far away from this situation,” Hades mumbled under his breath.
“Master, I do believe goddess Circe said that Eris was the cause of the situation,” Bion offered.
“Yes, well while she works her angle, I will go and visit with my beloved Antonia.” He directed his statement at me, and I could only growl in response. He disappeared in his black smoke as the creak of the door opened.
Annie happily bounced down the stairs, whistling and catching us un-prepared for her arrival. “What the hell happened down here and where did the witch go?” Annie’s face went pale when she realized that Dawn was gone.
“She left,” Kevin shrugged.
Annie faced him with fury on hers and she turned the color of a stop sign.
“How did she leave? She couldn’t. She was bound!” Annie shrieked as her eyes scoured each of our faces and flames formed in her palms. “She was bound by an Olympic god, there’s no way
she is strong enough to remove the bind. Is she?” she mumbled to herself as she slowly walked towards me. I cringed at that fire that she placed an inch from my face. She gave the crumbling room
once-over before she spoke again, “Upstairs, let’s go. We are off to the underworld!”
Our moment for our plan of attack was gone we had no chance against her we resigned to go upstairs.
She ushered us up the stairs and out into the dark hallway. Annie looked spooked as we walked into the passage. “Don’t look so frightened,
you’ll be able to come back!” Annie laughed malevolently looking at me. The door to the room in which Antonia lay before was opened and Hades was there by her side.
I paused, adoring the woman I loved as she suddenly sat up. Her now green eyes met mine. She had changed so much from the brown eyed, ginger-haired doctor that I had met and fell for without realizing that was what happened. She was absent of fear or any of the grief that I felt. I darted my eyes toward Hades and his were as fearful as mine were. I felt he was giving up too easily if he loved her as I did. I still planned to take Annie out and hoped Circe and Dawn returned before Persephone killed her. I just didn’t understand how he could give up and let Persephone dictate what would happen to Antonia!
I was pushed past the door and by Annie. I looked over my shoulder as Hades walked out of the room hand in hand with Antonia. Envy filled me. I wanted more than anything to run to her, wrap her in my arms, and kiss her everywhere possible. I wanted to scream to her that if she died, I would too. I wanted her, no, I needed her. I had noted that Persephone joined the parade to the underworld, walking just ahead of us.
A large door greeted us at the end of the long hallway, along with a woman with dark hair who shared the beauty of Persephone. The woman shone proudly, as though she were at her daughter’s piano recital. She extended her arms toward Persephone.
“Mother, you’re here but you cannot go into the underworld.” Persephone embraced her mother with glee.
“Ah, Demeter, I should have known that you played a part in this,” Hades scoffed.
I used the distraction to try to get to Antonia. I shuffled past Joanna, but she reached out and grabbed my hand.
“Ben, what are you doing?” Joanna asked, appearing alarmed.
“I am just going to tell Antonia that I love her, and that I will never leave her side.” I felt surprised when Joanna smiled.
“I have a plan, but you must first know that everything that I do will be for you,” she said cryptically.
“What do you mean?” Joanna would say any more and her plan worried me.
“Go to your love. I will sort the details out with you later.” She released my hand, freeing me to go, but Kevin stopped me next.
“I said the same to her many years ago,” he said. “Don’t count on her loving you back.”
Words of a truly bitter man.
I brushed off his warning and moved past him, meeting Bion’s eyes.
He smiled and said, “Let me speak with her first.” I nodded and waved my hand. His hand touch her shoulder as she turned her eyes lit up and a smile spread across her face before she pushed past Annie.
Antonia’s voice was soft and sad.
,” Bion responded in a thick Greek accent that shrouded the word.
She wrapped her arms around him as he did the same and they both began to cry. I was moved by the moment. The angry hissing words in the background pulled my attention to the conversation among the gods.
“Yes, Hades, I want my daughter back with me on Mt. Olympus where she belongs, since you and the underworld have left her underwhelmed…not to mention your little mortal consort!” Demeter snorted as she folded her arms over her chest.
“Your daughter chose this life. I forced none of it on her. She cried to me that she was only a minor god at Olympus with no power of her own so she—” Hades words were cut off by Persephone’s finger to his mouth.
“That’s enough arguing. We have plans, and this conversation in unwarranted.” She smiled at her mother, then up at Hades.
“Very well, daughter.”
Demeter extended her arms toward Persephone as I felt Antonia’s warm hands touch mine. My attention retreated from the bickering gods and back to the woman whose life hung in the balance.
“Antonia,” I whispered as I took a step closer to her.
“Ben,” she responded breathlessly.
We stood motionless as we stared into each other’s eyes. Her forest green irises bore into mine as they clouded with tears. Not a word was spoken between the two of us, but the look spoke volumes: she loved me. She slowly tipped her head back and my body leaned forward as my lips moved to meet her beautiful crimson lips. As our mouths touched, everyone around us seemed to disappear. My hands caressed her shoulders as her arms cradled on my neck. The heat from her body and the kiss warmed me in a way I hadn’t felt since I was human. Her tongue teased me as she slowly opened her mouth and mine met hers in an erotic dance. The ground shook under our feet, attesting to the magnitude of our passion. I knew then I would be and go wherever she was, whether it
the earth or the underworld.
Reality brought us back to the situation as the ground continued to shake violently. Reluctantly, we pulled away from a kiss that felt like it could have gone on for eternity. We slowly turned our heads as our audience gaped with raised eyebrows and opened mouths. Suddenly, Dawn appeared with Circe and another woman who was unfamiliar to me near where the gods bickered.