Silver Bow

I open the door and see a teenage boy with messy black hair and black eyes.

"Uh...Can I help you?" I ask.

"Can I come in?" he asks, playing with a silver skull ring on his right middle finger. "My name's Nico di Angelo."

•••

When fifteen year old Celeste Arya is introduced to the world of Greek mythology by a strange boy with black eyes, her life is completely switched around. What happens when she finds out she was never meant to be born? Will Celeste live until her sixteenth birthday or will she die saving her mother's skin?

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8. Zeus

Every head, every eye turns to us. I feel them staring at me, judging me.

 

"I imagine you know what you've done," is the first thing the guy in the pinstripe suit says. Must be Zeus.

 

"I was born?" I ask, crossing my arms. "But that wasn't my fault."

 

"She has her mother's guts, I'll give her that," a blonde guy that looks about seventeen points out, grinning. To me, "Hey! I'm Apollo. Your mom is my twin. You ever need anything, come to me. Got it?"

 

"Yeah. Thanks," I reply, smiling slightly. He shoots me a thumbs-up.

 

"Yes, well, we must decide the matter of your punishment," Zeus continues, clearly annoyed at being interrupted.

 

"Wait," a very calm voice says. I freeze when I realize it's my mother's. "Why is there a boy with you?"

 

"His name is Nico di Angleo," I reply, slightly ticked off.

 

"di Angelo?" she replies, recognition crossing her face.

 

"Yeah, my sister died because she joined your Hunters," Nico replies bitterly, crossing his arms.

 

"I still haven't forgiven you for getting my daughter killed," a guy who I assume is Hades says angrily to my mom. Under his breath, "Jerk." To me, he says, "By the way, you like the tattoo? Thought it was fitting."

 

"Yeah. Thanks for claiming me as your granddaughter and blessing me," I say, unable to hide my smile. I like Hades already.

 

Artemis doesn't speak again.

 

"Will you all stop interrupting me?!" Zeus yells while deafening thunder booms throughout the place. "Honestly! I just want to talk to the girl!"

 

"You told me you wanted to smite her down with lightning," Hera reminds him, confused. "Were you lying to me? Your own wife?"

 

She looks so angry that I almost laugh, but then I realize that laughing at the queen of the gods may not be the smartest idea.

 

"Of course not, dear," Zeus laughs nervously, looking to Poseidon for help.

 

"You're on your own," the sea god laughs, so obviously amused. Apollo's videoing the entire thing with his solid gold iPhone.

 

"There it is everybody," he narrates. "The all-mighty Zeus, king of the gods, ruler of Olympus, is afraid of his wife."

 

"For good reason!" Zeus quickly interjects, hopelessly trying to defend himself.

 

"Yeah, yeah, whatever," Apollo chuckles, rolling his eyes.

 

"Anyway!" the lord of the skies yells, fed up. "I am going to threaten the girl now!"

 

"You will do nothing of the sort," Artemis threatens, an angry look on her normally serene face. "She is my daughter and I will take any measure necessary to protect her."

 

Huh. So she does care about me, I think. I smile to myself, pleased. At least I'm not a total waste of space.

 

"Fine, fine. But the girl will be sent on a quest," Zeus decides. "Bring two companions of your choice. You are to retrieve...uh..." He looks to Hera. "What needs retrieving?"

 

"Oh, I lost a ring a while ago," Aphrodite announces, taking only a second to glance away from her mirror. She daintily twists more lipstick out of the tube. "She could get that." After a knowing smile at me, "As long as she brings the boy, of course."

 

"Then it's settled," Zeus nods, pleased. "You have a fortnight to reclaim Aphrodite's necklace and bring it back here by midnight on the fourteenth day. If you manage to survive and arrive back on time, you will get to survive. If you get yourself killed on the quest, well, that makes my life easier. And should you survive, but return even a moment late, you will die. Understood?"

 

"A moment is technically a minute and a half," I point out. "So, technically, I could come back at 12:01 on the fifteenth day, but it would have to be almost exactly on the dot."

 

"Technically, yes," Hera nods.

 

"No! No, no, no! You return late, you die!" Zeus yells, his face red in frustration.

 

"Where will we find this necklace?" Nico asks Aphrodite, speaking for the second time since we got here.

 

"Oh, I believe I lost it in...Hawaii? Possibly?" Aphrodite muses. "Try Honolulu. I love Honolulu." She smiles lovingly at a buff guy across the room. "Isn't it just divine there, dear?"

 

"Yeah," he says gruffly. "It's divine alright."

 

"That's Ares," Apollo tells me. "Don't mind him. He's just always mad that Dad married Aphro off to ol' Mountain Face over there."

 

Ah, yes. Hera through Hephaestus off of Mount Olympus when he was born. Right.

 

"It was very amusing," Hermes agrees, high-fiving Apollo.

 

"Yeah, well, off you go," Zeus mutters. "Shoo."

 

"Your quest begins tomorrow," Aphrodite reminds us. "I suggest rising at first light."

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