Twilight’s Maidens

“Dispose of the body, Sayeh. And don’t feast on it, Zeus wouldn’t like that,” I ordered Sayeh looking at the charred remains of the mortal. She picked up the body and flew out of the cave. 

I had a few more things to do before my move to the OA building. Like, speak to my brother Ares about installing security cameras at the entrance and exits to my cave and the park. Recently, I noticed Dinlas with his girls near the cave; it looked like they were chasing something. While I adore his wolves, they were dangerously close to the cave, and that was not something I could easily let go. 

I smiled at Sayeh and gently rubbed her face; she tilted her head and rested it in my hand. She pulled me into a hug with her serpentine-like tail and pointy wings. This was her happy place; she wasn’t too keen on the move to the OAB. Neither was I, but Father was already complaining about the vaults of Olympus and it was time I did something. It made me think, would a ranger job be enough?

Moxie had very kindly arranged for this job so I could use it as a façade for the mortal world, and it also gave me a reason to spend time at the park. However, if my contribution to the vault were to make any impact, the moolah had to come in bulk. After much thought, I decided that the best way to bring in the big bucks was to start a charity like those rich mortals. Through the charity, money would find its way to the foundation giving me enough to fill Father’s vaults and also for my own plans. For this reason, having a fully functional office at OAB was vital.

“Sayeh, tonight’s our final night here,” I said from behind the waterfall, taking a deep breath to smell the damp earth and enjoying the mesmerizing view of the landscape. A gush of breeze blew in, carrying droplets of water that gently kissed my face. I heard the flutter of wings and turned to look at Sayeh, who told me telepathically that she wished to dance.

“Of course! We are celebrating. Perhaps, I should summon my nymphs?” I asked, eyeing for her reaction. Her ears perked up, and she jumped, lifting me onto her back.

“No, we are not flying to Olympus, Sayeh. I will summon them here.” She let me down, and we walked to the opposite side of the cave that opened to a small clearing in the woods. This area was not accessible to mortals. It was saved from human touch for my own particular use. 

I kicked off my shoes and undid my long, wavy hair from its braid. I took light steps, moving in a circle, carefully laying the sacred stones with each step. I muttered a spell for each stone. When I finished putting the stones and setting the pyre, I looked at Sayeh and said, “καίω!” I heard Sayeh’s familiar rumble and growl before the heat from her gut lit the pyre at the center of the circle of stones.

The luminous glare of the fire cast a warm glow on the stones just as Selene ignited the night sky in her splendor. I listened intently for the music of the night forest to begin, and begin it did with the chirping of the crickets. It intensified with the creaking of tree trunks as they rubbed against each other, with the ruffling of leaves in the wind, and the flutter of wings unseen. The splattering water cascading down the stream, and the crackling of embers from the fire was all music to my ears. My body swayed in tune with the echoes of the forest, and I was transported to another realm. Sayeh swayed with me, matching my steps and casting a protective shield around me with her wings. 

At Nyx’s darkest, Selene, in all her might, cast a silver radiance that collided charmingly with the incandescence from the campfire to create a perfect ambiance for me to begin the ritual. I chanted a spell that brought forth music with a base of drums and converted the sounds of the forest to a beautiful tune. Then, I chanted the first spell of the summoning ritual:
Dancing under the moon
In an endless forest
Raising stones in circles
I call upon you
I summon you
my nymphaea Communis

The spell, along with the swaying of my body around the stones, summoned my hunting nymphs. All twenty of them arrived with a pop, indicating they teleported from Olympus to join us in our dance. I moved around the stone creating another formation, this time with my nymphs and chanted the next spell:
Dancing at Nyx’s hour
Where the water whispers
Raising stones in circles
I call upon you
I summon you
my nymphaea Oceaninae

Unbeknownst to me, the birds left their nest, peacocks unfurled their feathers, deer, stags, and other animals of the forest joined us, hypnotized by my dance, as though pulled into this ritual by a mystic force. At the end of the spell, twenty of my water nymphs arrived through the stones. I chanted my final spell:
Dancing under the stars
When Comets surf the wind
Raising stones in circles
I call upon you
I summon you
my nymphaea Artemisiae

The end of that spell summoned the remaining twenty of my nymphs. We danced in unison as one until Nyx bid us goodbye, and the first rays of the Sun shone through the trees until the flames from my fire started to dwindle. 

I looked at my nymphs, all sixty of them. They stood mesmerized, happy, smiling at me.

“Goddess, My Lady Artemis, we are so happy you’ve summoned us. How can we be of service?” Iphigenia, one of my favorite nymphs, asked.

“Yes, My Lady, we await your command,” said another.

“No, my dear nymphs. I have no commands for you now. I summoned you because I was missing you. You may return to Olympus.”

They looked at me and then each other with sadness in their eyes, “My Lady, are you staying back? Don’ t you need us?”

“I will have to stay for a while to help Father. We shall all be together soon, I promise. But for now, you must return to Olympus.”

“Yes, My Lady. As you command!” Britomartis said.

I waved them goodbye and waited for them to teleport back to Olympus. Just then, an idea struck me. “Wait! Iphigenia, Hyale, and Britomartis, I’d like the three of you to stay. I may have something for you to do here after all.”

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Artemis (Rashmi Menon)

Artemis (Rashmi Menon)

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Artemis is a Writer, IT Project Manager, and a Single Mother with an unbreakable passion to live the life. She is currently busy writing her debut novel, a mystery thriller titled Buried Deceptions. When not hunting as Artemis, you will find her writing for her personal blog: Confessions of a Writeaholic. In case you are feeling generous, you could buy her a cup of Ko-Fi or following her on Twitter, Instagram, and her Facebook page.
Artemis (Rashmi Menon)
Artemis (Rashmi Menon)

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6 Comments

  1. I could keep Sayeh as my pet provided it doesn’t gobble me up. What does she have in mind for the three nymphs. I can’t wait to read the next part.
    Love the vivid imagery in this one.

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