Styxx and Stones
(continues from Tadhana)
By the frothing river Styxx she sat, stabbing its white-capped waves with a stick as her sister’s words battered her. Each one was a rock memory hurled at her, burying her under a pile of villainy: Rape. He’ll pay for this. War’s coming. She dropped the stick and rubbed her temples.
“Hullo there, you’re looking pretty miserable.”
Creeping around the rocks jutting into the river was a vision in white. Slim and straight as a grain stalk, the willowy Chthonic goddess tread with care. She was Queen of the Underworld. The turbulent sky parted its clouds so a sunbeam could illuminate Persephone’s wheat-colored hair.
Dalisay let her hands fall away from her face. Surprise glued her tongue to the roof of her mouth. She shifted her serpentine lower half into coils, discomfited by the goddess’ sky-colored eyes. What was she doing here and why was this powerful goddess talking to her?
“Not much of a talker are you? You’re Echidna’s daughter right?”
She nodded and continued to stare as the goddess perched on a rock, and let her dainty feet skim the river’s surface. An assessing glance followed as the goddess arranged her skirts around her.
“Man troubles got you down? I recognize the signs. Besides your family has quite the history of that sort of thing.” Persephone waved a hand dismissing the rape of Medusa, which she had referred to as casually as one commented on the weather.
Dalisay shook her head. Anger on her niece’s behalf boiled her bones. How dare this fair-cheeked princess speak so dismissively about an event that had ruined not just her niece’s life but that of her niece’s two sisters? For they were all cursed by Athena.
“Listen honey, men all want one thing be they god-born, mortal or other and they’ll abduct you for it. So take my advice and avoid them. Otherwise you might find yourself wed to one and stuck in a gloomy place like this for half the year.”
With that, Persephone picked herself up and padded away. The Chthonic enigma drifted along the river bank cursing the dead as she passed their wandering shades, leaving a dumbstruck Dalisay behind.
What had that been all about? Persephone had echoed some of the Gorgon’s rant or at least the salient points of it. Both women agreed that men couldn’t be trusted. And that brought her angel to mind; surely he could be trusted. He was an angel and close to his God, but what did his God stand for? Would his God condone her niece’s rape? Would He have consented to the forced marriage that Persephone had hinted at?
She didn’t know but it was time she found out. Turning kinder eyes upon the fleeing goddess, she sent a wordless thank you.
To be continued…