Mocking Icarus, Part II

When you’re flying above the world, little else seems to matter. That’s why I like it. From place to place, all you have to worry about is the drink in your hand and the book you’re enjoying. You can forget about all your mortal problems for a couple hours and just gaze out over the horizon. 

It works for godly problems, too.

I spent a lot of time on planes back when I lived overseas. It wasn’t uncommon for me to jet off to a new country every weekend. Sometimes on an actual private jet. A-Harmony Europe made great money, and I could usually get a discount rental with a little flirting. Pierre’s an old friend of mine; he often flew me from France to wherever I wanted to go. Very reliable man, my Pierre. Never hesitates to change his plans around to accommodate me.

I’m glad Pro invited me up here. I’ve been so caught up with moving into my new apartment and the office that I haven’t taken any time to just sit down. Gotta keep up appearances with all the parties, but I admit, there’s been a couple times I just wanted to stay home and take a nice deep soak in the new Jacuzzi tub. Maybe it’s not too late to back out for tonight. Red wine, candles…mmm, this sounds nice.

A cough jars me from my thoughts. My eyes narrow at Moxie, who’s not-so-secretly glaring at me. “What now, Moxie? Care to go for another round?” I roll my eyes and silently curse Prometheus and Nike for leaving me here with the she-devil to go up to the cockpit. “Do us both a favor, and keep your mouth shut for the rest of the flight. It’s only another hour.” 

Moxie scoffs and shakes her head. “You really think you’re something, don’t you?”

“What’s new?” I chuckle.

“You don’t even know where Heph is right now, do you?”

“I don’t need to keep track of my husband whenever he moves to a different floor to fix another problem. He doesn’t keep tabs on what I do; I don’t keep tabs on what he does. That’s how this marriage works.”

To my surprise, Moxie just laughs, a sly smile spreading across her face. I narrow my eyes. “What do you know?” I ask slowly.

She smirks. “I thought you wanted me to keep my mouth shut.”

“Oh, just spill it. You clearly have something you want to say.”

“Heph left a week ago for Crete. He hasn’t come back.”

“A week ago?” My jaw actually drops. I knew Hephaestus hadn’t been around for a while, but I assumed he was busy with work. Normally when he’s gone for a long time, it just means he’s had a bunch of assignments or he’s been holed up doing paperwork. He’s in Crete?

Moxie grins and gets up to pour herself a drink. “Rumor going around Olympus is that he needed to get away to think.”

“Think about what?”

“You.”

“Me? Why me?” I’m honestly confused.

“Why do you think?” Moxie sips her drink. “You came back out of nowhere. Went directly to Ares. Kissed him. And Heph found out about it, and he doesn’t believe you at all that you want to change. It’s disgraceful, what you’ve done to him.”

The glass I’m holding is sloshing tequila back and forth around the rim as my hand shakes. I don’t realize it’s happening until the glass hits the floor. Moxie’s head pops up in surprise. Nike and Pro come around the corner quickly and stop just before they get to us. Nike cringes at the broken glass and looks to Pro nervously.

“I…am only going to say this once.” I stand up very slowly from my seat, towering over Moxie with a glare that could kill.

“I came back to Olympus for one reason and one reason only. To reconcile with my husband or to divorce him. Whichever he decides. I gave him that ultimatum when I arrived. Yes, I kissed Ares. It was a moment of weakness, I will admit. Old habits die hard. But I have not brought a single man into my bed since I arrived. I’ve gone home alone for the last two weeks, and trust me, it was a struggle. But I am trying, Moxie, for Heph’s sake and for mine. And you mean to tell me he up and left?”

Nike steps forward behind me. “Aph?”

“No, Nike, this is ridiculous. I’m tired of being blamed for everything that goes wrong in Heph and my marriage.”

“You make him so unhappy!” Moxie interjects.

I whip around and shout at Moxie, “Well, he makes me unhappy, too, darling! I’ve been married to that bastard for centuries, and not once, not even in our early days, did he make ANY effort to be a husband. I waited almost ten years for him before I had my first affair, did you know that? I bet no one’s ever mentioned that part of the story!”

Chest heaving, I walk over to the bar and pour myself another drink. But I can’t bring myself to drink it. I can only lean against the bar on my elbows, face buried in my hands. I hate rants. What happens now?

A hand lands on my shoulder, patting lightly. “Hey,” Prometheus says quietly. “You’re gonna figure this out.”

Nike pipes up. “I know where Heph is staying. You could go there and see him!”

What an idea. Showing up on Heph’s doorstep? Is that something I could really do? Would that do anything? I take a look at Moxie. Her eyes don’t give anything away, but she does grant me a small nod. The tiniest bit of hope burrows its way into my heart.

I hold my head up high and shout out to Pierre. “Pierre! Take us down. Then stick around. I’m gonna need a ride to Crete.”

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Aphrodite (Cady Hammer)
Aphrodite is written by Cady Hammer, currently revising her debut YA fantasy novel, Chasing Fae. She is also the author of Fluff About Fantasy, a blog to aid fantasy writers in the writing process and to get people excited about her work.
Aphrodite (Cady Hammer)

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3 Comments

  1. Poor Mommy – You can dish out the cheating but the moment you get a hint that Uncle Heph is dipping his poker in someone else’s hot forge then you flip out.
    LOL – and no, that doesn’t mean “Lots of Love”.

  2. Dearest Sister:

    I know we don’t always see eye to eye, but I agree that people need to stop blaming you alone for the condition of your marriage. That’s like blaming Hera for Zeus’s infidelity. And both Hephaestus and Ares have made pretty large contributions to the state of your present (communal) unhappiness.

    You know how I feel about independence. Let me know if you desire any tutorials in living without a man and achieving happiness and fulfillment in self-sufficiency. (You can always make modifications to include lovers.)

    Life’s too eternal to suffer more than a few thousand years,
    XXOO,
    Pallas Athena

  3. Sister, this time I agree with you! The state of your marriage is not yours alone to blame. Heph holds an equal share of that blame. All I will say is that if you both are unhappy then it is best you did something about it and went your separate ways.

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