The Truth Be Known

I sit here, reading through some of the old texts, and can’t believe the things ancient scribes wrote about us gods. I mean, come on. We may have had our faults, but a lot of the fodder that came out about us was either an exaggeration or an all-out fabrication.

One such tale comes from a poet called Nonnus. Now, some say he’d written the greatest epic poem about Dionysus ever created. Satyr-Spunk! He did no such thing. Nonnus was a drunkard who lived in Egypt at the end of the Roman reign. All he did was get smashed on Dionysus’ brew, then started spewing all kinds of stories about his favorite god and how he was the one that saved the world. Please!

What galls me most is his accusations in Book 6 of his manuscript, Dionysiaca. He claimed I was concerned with the attention Zeus had been paying to my sweet baby, Persephone. He says I went to Astraeus, God of Prophesy, who told me that Zeus was planning to rape the girl. That is NOT what happened. Zeus is Persephone’s father and believe me, she’s a total daddy’s girl. I know she runs to him rather than talk to me.

Here’s what really happened. Yes, I did pay a visit to Astraeus. I knew there was something going on with Persephone, but I had no idea what. I went to visit the prophet for some answers. However, like all oracles, he left me with more questions than answers. I wanted to know why it was that my baby girl seemed to be avoiding me. She’d been spending a lot of time with her father, or so she said, but I wanted the truth. All he said was “Persephone will always be safe in the dark.”

I was a bit disheartened by the vague answer, but there was some good to the visit. As an Olympian, I have always been afforded a few perks. One of those is that many of the Titans and minor gods will put on quite a banquet in our honor. This night was no exception. The prophet put on a feast, served by his sons, the four Cardinal Winds. Each had a specialized job in putting together the meal.

The eldest of the boys was Boreas, God of the North Wind. It was obvious that he was in charge as he kept yelling orders at the other three. They, however, paid him no mind. I found him to be a bit harsh and he seemed to be a little too cold-hearted for my liking. However, he did make a mean roasted boar.

Next in line was Zephyrus, God of the West Wind. He was such a kind-hearted lad. I can see why Lady Chloris chose to become his wife. He repeatedly asked me if I was comfortable, if he could get me anything else before dinner, or if I’d like him to sing while we waited. The last request caused all of his brothers to yell “NO!!!”

Astraeus’ third son was Notus, God of the South Wind. He was kind of a hot-head, but had an air of confidence that radiated throughout the room. As Zephyrus ran around trying to make this goddess happy, Notus poured a nice cup of warm mead and set it down beside me. He glanced over at his brother, looked back at me and snickered. Astraeus shot him a threatening look, to which Notus went on about his business.

The youngest of the boys was Eurus, God of the East Wind. He was basically running around, doing all the jobs the other three refused to do. He swept up around Boreas’ feet, straightened the dinnerware set by Zephyrus and mopped up the mead Notus had dribbled across the floor. I felt sad for the poor boy.

As the meal was served, Astraeus ensured my comfort and that I was served first. He was a very gracious host and the meal was outstanding. Boreas carved the roast boar and placed a nice portion on my plate. Zephyrus poured me a fine glass of wine from the prophet’s personal stock. Notus refilled my mead cup, setting it in front of the wine glass and giving me a wink. Eurus ran around cleaning up any messes that would arise. It was amazing.

After the feast, the boys set about cleaning up. I paid them my respects and Astraeus walked me to the door. As I was about to leave, the prophet took me lightly by the arm. “Goddess,” he began, “there is one more thing I must say. There will come a day when you will be faced with personal trauma. Remember to choose your words wisely and that love is the answer to all your questions.” I had no idea what he was talking about, but I thanked him and went on my way. By the time I’d come to understand his prophecy, it would be too late.

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Demeter (Christine Graves)

Demeter (Christine Graves)

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Christine Graves is short story author, writing prompt master, research junkie and ancient history fanatic. She’s been writing online for over 20 years, having been published in both fiction and non-fiction. She’s been an avid history buff since childhood and knows more about the ancient world than the modern. Christine is also a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves to crochet, finds adult coloring pages relaxing and rides motorcycles with her husband. You can find out more about Christine at her blog Graves Publications or at her writing prompt publication, Enticing the Muse. Want to make her day? Follow her on Twitter. She’s a sucker for that.
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