Astrid and her mother

Astrid pursed her lips together and offered a sympathetic smile at the woman sitting across from her. She folded her hands neatly in her lap and looked down at the pale blue arm chair she was sitting in, in a bid to break eye contact.

The woman with dark blonde hair, grey eyes and a vacant expression rocked a little quicker backward and forward on the bed.  Astrid had been here time and time again. She had been in this situation more times than she could count. She was a psychologist and she had heard every delusional story in the book. But it was the fact that she knew this woman on a personal level that hurt her more than she could take.

Listening to blatant ramblings about Zeus and the Greek Gods making a return over and over every time she came to visit her was growing very thin. Astrid took a breath, she needed to treat this encounter strategically…
“Mom, have you eaten?” She asked, doing her best to bring up a lighter conversation.

“You’re not listening to me, Astrid. He’s coming. He’s coming for you especially! You’re his revenge for what they did.”
Astrid bit down on her bottom lip and brushed her hand through her hair in frustration. Her mother was growing impatient, the volcano was preparing to erupt. She needed to keep the peace.
“Okay, so how do you know this?”

One glimpse at her mother’s backed down demeanor was all Astrid needed for reassurance. Her mother looked to the window and then back to Astrid before she spoke. “Hermes told me in my sleep. You need to be ready.”

Astrid could feel the tears willing themselves to come. Knowing that if the many years of medication and treatment hadn’t worked on this woman, nothing else ever would.

Hermes Manifesto 2#

Throughout time, stories are chopped and changed until there is nothing left but lies surrounding a single element of truth. When it comes to the gods, these stories are no different. When you add in a charismatic, though somewhat deceptive god into the midst… It certainly complicates matters.

Prometheus was a titan, who possessed the gift of foresight and he loved the mortals even more than he did the gods. His gift of foresight showed him all that the mortals would achieve. They held such great promise, but they would need a little help along the way. To help them advance, Prometheus stole fire from the king of the gods, Zeus.

And of course, my father was furious. His fury caused him to enlist the other Olympians to create a woman, so beautiful, so tempting and yet so curious. He gifted her with a pithos which contained all the wickeds of man. Zeus knew that this woman’s curiosity would force her to unleash the curse upon mankind. Her name was Pandora and as the tales go, she was supposedly mortal.

But one should know better than to believe everything they read in fairy tales, because even fairy tales are filled with lies. Now you see, Prometheus had a brother named Epimetheus who held the gift of ‘afterthought’. Prometheus knew that his brother could be somewhat foolish, so he warned him not to accept any gifts from the gods.

But when Epimetheus saw Pandora, he instantly fell in love, just like an old love spell. Pandora brought with her the jar that she was never supposed to open and, as the fairy tales go, her curiosity got the better of her. The moment she opened it, she cursed the world and unleashed chaos. Panicked, she was out of ideas on how to fix her mistake, so she did the only thing she could do. She reopened the lid, this time letting out the last element… Hope. This made everything right again… or so the story goes. 

Zeus, the great and powerful king of the gods ruled with an iron fist. He also loved a lot of women. But he was also the object of anger for many gods who felt powerless to take out their vengeance on him. Hera, Hades, and even Poseidon had his reasons, to seek vengeance.  Now, I know you know all of this… These are the stories you read about in literature… But I must confess, they didn’t happen in the exact way you were taught… and there is a reason behind that.

When it comes to the gods, the truth can cause so much unnecessary destruction and I don’t just mean in an Olympian Game of Thrones like way… But in a way that might become irreversible affecting even time and space. This brings me back to the subject of the charismatic but clever-tongued, Hermes. Well, just like Prometheus, he loved the mortals. He could play the lyre like nobody’s business, he escorted souls to the underworld… until Hekate took over.

Did you know he could even travel through alternate dimensions? You probably doubt the truth to that, because your science hasn’t yet taught you about alternate dimension just yet… But it will, I promise. Regardless, there were certain actions that he… Correction, that I took. There were certain allegiances that I made… and there were reasons behind those lies that have buried the truths throughout time. I owe it to humanity to confess the truth. 

You see, Pandora never opened the pithos. It was kept safe. While we’re on the subject of Pandora, do you really believe that she was the first human woman? The equivalent of Eve in Christianity? Because no she wasn’t. Her true identity was kept a secret for the safety of her descendants.

That brings us to Zeus. Well, let’s just say, that he got what was coming to him by the one’s he hurt the most. But now the time has come. The pithos is about to be opened and the ancient curse is about to be unleashed. I apologize that I couldn’t prevent it forever. I am just a mere messenger carrying out my duty.  There will be chaos, but there will also be hope. There will be torment, fear and death, but there will also be a new beginning. Remember, to always have hope.

Tash’s Trauma

Tash stepped into the entryway of her parent’s home and set down her luggage bags. Every six months she would make the eighteen-hour trip up north to visit them, as per their request. She had moved to Chicago to get away from them as soon as she had graduated from high school…That was a decade ago… But their constant phone calls and their frequent invitations to stay made it seem like just yesterday.

Sure, she loved her family with every ounce of her being. But they could be very suffocating when they wanted to be. It was great that they were finally accepting of the fact that she loved women. But that didn’t mean it made life any easier… Especially when every six months meant instead of going away on romantic getaways, she was expected to visit. That had been the reason that her last relationship had ended. Her girlfriend had gone away on the romantic getaway… only with somebody else.

Nonetheless, Tash considered herself over it. She was just a little frightened of putting herself out there again. Actually, lately she seemed to be feeling frightened of everything. Maybe this trip would do her a world of good. Maybe she might stay a little longer… And quite frankly, she was a little excited to meet up with her brother… He barely ever called any more.

Tash closed the door behind her and looked around. Nobody had come to greet her, which was a little odd. “Mom? Dad? Antonio? It’s me, Tash! I’m here! Hello?”
As she stepped into the extravagant living room, she continued to call out until she heard the familiar raucous of argumentative voices that she had been waiting on. They were coming closer. Clearly, Antonio was bragging about his successful business and his mother was pestering him about marriage and grandchildren.

She saw first, the short-cropped black hair and broad shoulders of her thirty-year old brother and heard his large booming voice as he backed into the living room arguing with his parent. But it wasn’t the argument, nor the parent that Tash was expecting.

“Dad, you’re just jealous that I’m making more money than you!” Antonio yelled at the man twice his senior. Tash was astonished, and slightly afraid. It wasn’t like her soft-natured father to be arguing with anybody, not to mention his son. That was her mother’s job.
“Don’t you dare talk to me like that, Antonio!” her father spat, neither of them noticing her arrival.
“Hey guys,” Tash nervously spoke up. “Look who’s here… It’s me, Tash! Hello! Can either of you even see me? Am I invisible?”

But the men were enthralled with their own argument. Then Tash’s dad did something that she would never expected in her whole life. He brought his fist to Antonio’s jaw, bringing him to the ground instantly.
“Oh my god, dad!” Tash groaned, buckling under her weight. Antonio got to his feet and launched onto their father. Tash fled the living room in search of her mother, whom she found in the kitchen searching through a draw, mumbling. But it was the words that her mother was mumbling that made Tash freeze. “I’ll kill them! Pride son, jealous husband! I’ll kill them both!”

Tash felt her fear welling up inside of her. She needed to do something. She needed to intervene… No, she needed to run and hide!
She turned quickly on her feet and ran toward one of the bedrooms as she heard a loud gunshot ringing out in the living room. She was too frightened to scream out. She found a closet and sat down on top of the pile of shoes. She pulled the doors closed in front of her and gave into her own sobs. She could hear more gunshots, along with screaming and yelling out in the living room.
Tash could only imagine the chaos unfolding. It was her fear that kept her there… Her fear that kept her safe.      

Samuel gets the order

Samuel was in his dorm, sitting at his desk. He was drained from another exhausting session of training. But that wasn’t new for him. In fact, he felt it to be the only thing he had going. He received an SMS on his phone from Alecia, a pretty recruit who he had spent a remarkable night with, but that was all. Without reading, he deleted the message just as there were three firm knocks at the door. General Sutherland.
Samuel tilted his head toward the door. “Sir?”
“Can I come in, Sergeant?”

Samuel got to his feet and opened the door to his superior, who seemed a little disheveled. He was holding a cream-colored folder against his chest. Samuel had known the man for years. He had been like a father to him even after his own had died.
It was because of this man that Samuel was still alive. But the look of frustration on the General’s face meant one thing, and one thing only. General Sutherland’s daughter had to be in trouble.

“Is everything alright?” he asked.
General Sutherland stepped in and closed the door behind him, as Samuel eyed the folder curiously. The General handed it over and confirmed his suspicions. “It’s Astrid.”
Samuel opened the cover and stared down at its contents in confusion. “What do you mean? What’s a bunch of old myths got to do with your daughter?”
“Read it, Sergeant. I need you to maintain a 24hour surveillance. Keep her safe… please!”

Samuel pursed his lips together as he stared down at the photo, pinned to the very top of the documents. The picture that he himself had seen hundreds of times before of the woman whom he had loved from afar for a very long time. The one reason that had kept him alive for a number of years. But that ‘reason’ didn’t even know he was alive. Of course, he would protect her with his every breath, but the question was ‘why now?’  
“Sir, what is all this? Pandora’s Box? What’s it got to do with your daughter?”

“If these myths are indeed accurate… than Pandora’s Box is about to be opened… and she will be the key to our salvation.”

Cruz gets the email

Mario Cruz sat at the bar in a quiet jazz club, in the heart of New York City. An ice-cold glass of scotch resting against his knuckles and his phone in his hands. He stared down at the screen, just as he received a message from his mom. It would just be another update of his parent’s most recent trip. They were always traveling.  He turned over his shoulder just in time to see Joey arriving, he was late as usual… and of course, he was checking out the scantily clad women on the dance floor… clearly deciding on his latest conquest for the night. Cruz smirked at his friend, who saw and walked over with his head held high in a typical Joey fashion.

“I came as fast as I could. You said you needed me?” Joey sat beside him and gestured for the waitress to bring him a drink.
There was a childlike excitement that danced in Cruz’s eyes which he could no longer conceal.  “Dude, we’re goin’ to Greece!”
Joey’s scotch was placed in front of him, but Joey’s eyes did not leave his friend’s face. “Greece? Why Greece?”
Ignorant to Joey’s level of disinterest, Cruz opened the email congratulating him on his position amongst the excavation team. Cruz showed it to Joey. “You said you had family in Greece and I’m sure your parents would pay for you to join me… Man, you’re my best friend, I need you with me on this.”

Joey took the phone from Cruz’s hand and read the email nervously. The dark-haired waitress tapped her fingers on the counter, waiting for Joey to pay for his drink. Joey’s eyes closed for a moment, knowing he couldn’t delay the inevitable any longer.  He opened them again and smiled, improvising his next moves. “Sure man, Greece! When do we leave?”