(continues from Dalisay – Echidna’s Daughter)
“Don’t you pine over a man,” said her sister, the Gorgon, as she sipped a glass of wine. Dozens of snake eyes peered at her from her sister’s head.
She was too shaken to respond. Was she pining? Yes she adored a angel but… her troubled eyes fell to the empty plate in front of her. Not a crumb interrupted the roses twined on the china dessert plate. Neither did she want any of the baked goods arranged in baskets. She took a sip of water glad that she’d declined the wine because she would have choked on it at what her sister said next.
“Just look what happened to my beautiful daughter Medusa. That barnacle-balled freak of a god raped her and what does she get in return? Not sympathy, not retribution, hell fires no, she gets punished by an upstart goddess–”
“That bitch Athena,” put in their mother, Echidna, from the head of the table. They both looked at her in surprise. The mother of monsters had a strict rule about cursing–it wasn’t allowed under her roof.
Echidna shrugged off their stares and took a dainty bite of her scone before setting it down beside her cup of tea. “What? She is a bitch. I know one when I see one. Oh honey, don’t look at me that way.” Echidna reached across the table to cup her youngest daughter’s chin. Tipping her daughter’s head back, she frowned. “Dalisay, my dove, why aren’t you eating?”
“Because she’s pining over a man. Do keep up mother.” The Gorgon refilled her wine glass and sashayed back to the window seat where she sprawled. She ignored the hiss of the snakes she squashed when she thumped her head down on the silken pillows. “Your baby girl’s gone all gaga over an angel boy and not just any angel boy, but the claviger.”
“Is this true?”
Caught between sisterly interference and her mother’s concern, Dalisay nodded and bit her lip.
“Oh honey, if it’s a man you want, I’ll find you a suitable one.”
“You’re better off without one. Just ask my daughters. That bitch Athena believed Poseidon and cursed them all with stares that turn men to stone! Well that blue-balled, seaweed for a di–”
“Gorgon!” hissed their mother.
But her tipsy sister had worked up to a good passion, and she wouldn’t be deterred. “–will get it in the end. Oh you just wait and see. A war’s coming and you want to be on the right side of it my sweet little sister. Because Tahana is coming and it’s going to change everything.”
Sharp laughter burst from the Gorgon doubling her up; the wine glass slipped from her fingers and shattered on the mosaiced floor. The tinkling of glass sounded ominous in the stunned silence that followed.
Dalisay’s stomach clenched in dread and foreboding at her sister’s words. They weren’t the idle chatter of a drunk but the freudian slip of a schemer. And she, who had no power except to change her shape, could do nothing to stop this ‘Tadhana’ from coming. Let it leave her family alone and let it spare her angel–she prayed as her mother gave her a one-armed hug. Her family had suffered enough.
to be continued…?