Arcadia. My nose fills with its sweet ambrosia, its aspen and cypress perfumes. I’m not sure how I got here, but here I am, laying by a brook I visited often when I was young. I hear giggling and my heart skips a beat…nymphs. The gods, how I miss their voices, their forms, and their laughter. Quickly, I stand to my feet and begin running towards the sound. As I make my way through the thick trees and overgrown vines, the sound seems to be growing fainter, father away, but I could have sworn I was running in the right direction. I look around to see where I am, and close my eyes for a second.
“Where are you…” I think to myself, trying to find the voices again, my heart still racing at the thought of being reunited with such magnificent creatures. I adjust my pants a little, sweat beginning to accumulate around my brow.
My eyes shoot open and instinctively, I look up to the sky. I know that voice, but I can’t remember where I have heard it before. I turn around and head back to the brook. I take it in steps, wracking my brain for where I may have heard that voice before. I get back to the side of the brook where earlier I was laying, but everything’s changed…in the few seconds I’ve been away. The brook has filled with sludge and the water has nearly receded. I look up and flakes of brown and black are slowly falling down on my face. I remember…ash.
That day, there were screams unlike anything I had heard before, I was so jealous, and the others were there: Ares, Hades, and Dinlas. I don’t remember what they saw or what they were doing as the city burned. I just remember her.
She had me completely enthralled, but wouldn’t take me. She claimed she did not want any mortal or god, that all she wished was to continue singing, but I had seen her with Narcissus and knew she just fed me those words to sooth my emotions. Enraged, my animalistic fury boiled in my mind, reaching out and affecting men nearby, and that’s why they tore her apart. I did not ask them to do it, and I still to this day wished they hadn’t, but like feral beasts, my emotions bled out from me and caused them to destroy her.
“You returned, go, you…” her voice drifted away, and returned in perfect tempo, “you have a second chance…” Her voice continued across the mountains and drifted northwards.
“Echo, I’m sorry.”
My voice reverberated back to me. I couldn’t help it; I held my face and wept. The sludge began to dry, and up the stream, through my tears, I saw the magma rolling slowly through the valley as smoke began to rise above the trees.
I sat up straight, sweating. It was 4:00 a.m. and my alarm was going off. I had a plane to catch.
“A second chance?”
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