The Breeze

The Old Gods are Dead; Ch. 2


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Upon Artemis’ approach, Zeus’ head turned to face her. He stayed silent, like a toddler in opposition of their parents. His face remained sour; the look in his eyes empty, dead. Artemis broke through the ambient noise of the bar, letting all fade to the background.

“Another heartbreaker? You should’ve stuck with Hera, my darling.”

“I’m in agony, daughter. Another has forgotten, another and another await. Who’s to say it will stop? We’re fading, Artemis, and the pain is simply too much to bear. How can I exist in this world when I am forgotten?”

“I’m afraid you simply can’t, father. We all have our limits… even time. We always fade in the end. Someone must take the fall of humanity, and if it is us… so be it.”

“Tell me, Artemis, do you feel the pain too? The agony?”

“No-”

“It is because a remnant of you will always exist in this world. What people call the moon… you will always have something to anchor you to this world, both yourself and your brother. Luck has taken hold of you. You will have the moon, and your brother the sun-”

“And you, when lightning strikes, or every time an owl moves, yes sister? Your ignorance has you blind, father. We all have symbols in this world, but none manifest themselves in the same manner. If you would’ve let me finish, I haven’t felt pain to such an extent to which I consider sacrificing my will to live. Such a weakness should never manifest in a god. Have you gone soft, father? I have felt pain beyond your imagination, and I still stand. So get up, and act like the millennium-old deity you are.”

Zeus stands. The bar is empty by now, as it always is. Artemis turns her gaze away. Dionysus, the barkeep, simply nods at her, and practically drags an entirely drunk Demeter to the bathroom. He’s become all too familiar with holding her hair as she retches in the stall, mourning the loss of her daughter. Winter has simply just begun, and the pain of fading has simply been too much for the goddess of flora and fauna. All gods have felt it, for being forgotten is the greatest pain there is.  

Reaching for Artemis’ neck, he stops himself and says, “You never fail to motivate me, but sometimes I wonder if you have regard for your own life in the process.”

Artemis remains unfazed, her hair has morphed from a faded lavender to a dark, wine-like color, still, with a tinge of purple. The wrinkles that age has bestowed upon her face have been restored to youthful skin. Her body shrinks into a far leaner figure, and her posture rightens. Now, a woman in her twenties faces the mighty Zeus, her gaze unfaltering.

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The Old Gods are Dead; Ch. 2