Jamieson Wolf Villeneuve
Up high on Mount Olympus, the air was sweet with honeysuckle and filled with warmth. The Gods went about their days, dispersing justice and watching over the mortals below them. Sometimes, if the mood struck them, they would wander down in animal form to cause mischief and friendly havoc. A God had to have fun after all.
On the day our story starts, Mount Olympus is a hubbub of frenzied activity. The God of War can be seen talking with the God of Peace, laughing over something a mortal had done. The God of Pestilence can be seen deep in conversation with the Goddess of Health. There are no enemies on Olympus that day.
For Zeus and Helena, King and Queen of Olympus, it is truly a special day. Their first child is about to be born, and no one, especially Zeus and Helena, could be happier. The Royal Seer was in attendance during the birth. She waited in ready to write down what the child's Gift would be.
Since before time began, each God or Goddess displayed adherent talents, or gifts, that would shape their life. For instance, when the Goddess of Joy was born, everyone could feel a great happiness building in his or her hearts. Everyone waited in anticipation to see what Zeus and Helena's first born would be gifted with.
When the child came, she was a beautiful girl. She had long blue hair streaked with silver and crystal blue eyes. She looked up at her parents with the love and adoration that only children are capable of.
"What shall we name her, Zeus?" Helena asked.
"She shall be named Blue, for her hair. Such a darling!" He smiled down at her as she giggled and pulled at his beard.
"Now if you'll step aside, Zeus." Jocasta, the Royal Seer, said. It is time to see what the Gods have gifted her with." She picked up Blue with the casual indifference she was known for and looked into the child's pale blue eyes.
There was a pause. Barely a whisper was made, though the crowd surrounding the King and Queen almost reached the thousands. The Seer brought her eyes closer to the child, an odd look spreading across her face.
"The child," She said, "has been Gifted with nothing."
A murmur rippled through the crowd. "Nothing?" Zeus said, "Are you quite sure, Jocasta?"
"Quite sure, my King. I am never wrong. I see no Gift in that child's soul."
"I have a gift for the babe, my King." Said a new voice. It was a deep baritone that seemed to come from the Earth itself. He was tall, with long black hair that seemed to brush the ground with delicate curls. His face was pale, and black eyes looked out at the world. An aura of resentment surrounded the man, and all close to him shuffled further away.
"Hades..." Zeus whispered. "How nice that you could make the Birthing."
"Yes," he said, "seeing as how I wasn't invited. But I thought to myself, why I am Zeus's brother! The uncle of their offspring! Though he banished me to the pits of hell for insubordination, surely he won't mind if I, by chance, drop by with a gift for the wee babe? And, here I am." He smiled, cold and cruel. The Lord of Hell was not known for his gentle nature.
Hades approached Zeus, a globe in his hands. He held it in front of the child, and shook it. Unlike a snow globe, the glass sphere held water. There was a woman held prisoner on a rock in the middle of a choppy blue-gray sea. She had tears running down her face. Not all was paradise upon the water.
"Why...it..it is beautiful.." Helena said. "But the woman, she looks so sad."
"Hell is not a happy place, my Lady. Now that I have given my gift, I will take my leave. Farewell, sweet Blue." He ran a ringer across her cheek. "May you bring much... Joy to your parents. I bid thee well." And he swept away in a cloud of black.
The years passed. What happened during those years is nothing of importance, save for a few things. Blue loved her water globe, carrying it with her almost everywhere. She was not told of how she attained it.
More years passed, and still no gift was evident in her. The child was talented enough in a lot of things: poetry, singing, horseback riding. But she was not Gifted.
We return to the story on the eve of Blue's wedding day. She is now no longer a child, but a young woman of twenty. Her hair hung down to the ground in a cascade of blue and silver waves, a soft whispering of beauty that fell around her.
She was dressed in a dress of pale blue silk, silver flowers embroidered along the bodice of the dress. She felt like a Queen, and told her mother so.
Helena smiled. "Someday you will be Queen, my Child. This will all be yours."
"But how can that be, if Gods cannot die?"
"We grow tired, just as mortals do. Sometimes it is good to give your body a rest." She smiled and picked up the small bouquet of baby's breath. "Now let's see, you have something old, that's my silver necklace; something new, that's the diamond bracelet that your father gave you. Something borrowed, that's the pearl earrings that Athena lent you. And-" she laughed, "you don't need anything blue. For you are Blue. That will do quite nicely!"
"Oh Mother! I'm so happy!"
"Well, you should be! Its not every day a woman gets to wed the God of Lust. There will be many empty bed from now on, and many upset ladies to be sure."
Mother and daughter laughed, savoring the moment, unaware of what was taking place across the clouds on the other side of Olympus.
"My Lord?" a deep baritone voice said.
Herodeous, the God of Lust, turned to see a tall slender man with a long mane of black hair enter his chamber. "Yes?"
"My Lord, I bring a gift. From your beloved. She wished for me to present it to you."
"How marvelous! And who are you kind sir?"
"No one of importance. Ah, but the gift! Are you ready for it? You're going to love it, my Lord. It's to die for." The man smiled, slowly, letting the smile spread across his face like a lake freezing into ice.
The man pulled a long, thin knife from his robes. It was forged from black steel and shone like Obsidian in the light of dusk.
"It is beautiful!" Herodeous said, "Truly, I have never seen it's equal."
"And you never will again." Said the man. And with that, plunged the knife deep into the God of Lust's heart. He did not suffer, but died instantly. His body fell, splattering blood across the bleached stone of the chamber.
The man with the long mane of black hair smiled then. A true smile. One of hate. And of vindication.
How could Herodeous be late for his own wedding? Blue thought. She was beginning to get worried. Throwing away all pretense of the blushing bride, she ran to his chambers.
The sight that greeted her drained the blood from her body. In fact, she felt as if she had lost her soul.
Her love, her husband, lay dead on the ground in a pool of his own blood. She could scarcely breathe, feeling that if she did, she might scream. Her glass globe that she held in her hand slipped from her fingers and shattered on the stone floor. It sounded loud, like a thunderclap in the room. Water soaked into the stone leaving it's own dark stain.
Slowly, she approached her love, and knelt beside him. She heard a noise, and looking up saw her parents. Zeus and Helena stayed silent. There was nothing they could say.
Then, softly at first, Blue began to cry. Her tears ran down her face in waves, choking her sobs and cries of a soul in torment. But the tears did not stop there.
Blue continued to cry, the tears filling the chamber and spilling out onto the clouds of Mount Olympus. Still, Blue continued to cry, the tears forming rivers and puddles in the hills and valleys of the clouds. Soon, engorged with the tears that they had soaked up, the clouds had no choice but to release their bounty onto the land below.
The mortal plain had always been one of heat and sand. Deserts and dunes that stretched as far as the eye could see. For as long as anyone could remember, there had been no water to grace the mortal plain. Everything changed on that day.
For forty days and forty nights it rained. The water soaked into the ground and trees and plants grew where it fell. It filled the valleys and the meadows, creating rivers and lakes. Dunes became submersed in water, creating islands and riverbanks. Water had been Gifted to the mortal plain.
But at a price. Water had been sprung from one woman's love and her own sorrow. So the story goes....
Jamieson Wolf Villeneuve is an Ottawa based writer who has had his work published in a variety of magazines, including Slow Trains Literary Journal, Twilight Times, Mytholog, Clean Sheets Erotica and House of Pain.
He has also had his work published in Susan Sarandon: A True Maverick and Fantasies: A Collection of the World's Greatest Short Stories.
You can find out more from his web site - Jamieson Wolf Villeneuve: an online portfolio.
Published by permission of the author.