As I sat at my reading table, perusing stacks of law books in search of something to help my little sister with her right’s inquiry, my office door flew open. Standing there before me, was the oddest creature I’d ever encountered. It was escorting a very distraught mortal, who seemed to have the proverbial “deer in the torchlight” look in her eyes.
“Excuse me,” I spat, glaring at this thing standing in my office. “I’m not sure who you are or why you believe you have the right to just walk in here, but polite society knocks first.”
“My apologies,” replied the strange creature in the most monotone voice, “but I’ve been sent by the Lady Hera. I am her assistant, Aphaid. She has charged me with bringing this human to you in hopes you could help her with her situation. Is there somewhere I can place her?”
A deep sigh escaped my chest as I waved to the leather sofa on the other side of the room. Aphaid guided the woman to the couch and helped her to sit. It was obvious that the woman was in a serious state of shock, though I wasn’t sure why. I wondered if it had something to do with that phone that went whizzing past my windows a bit earlier. Or perhaps it was that deafening CRACK! that reverberated throughout the entire OA building.
I’d asked Aphaid to stay with Hera’s client while I made my way to the coffee lounge. I had a special relaxation tea I thought would help ease this woman’s mind. When I came back into my office, I found Aphaid sitting beside the woman, one hand on her arm and the other patting her on the back in an attempt at sympathy. Though the creature’s face showed no emotion, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of gratitude for their thought.
I handed the woman the tea and Aphaid introduced her as Mrs. Franklin. She barely looked up at me and I could tell that something tragic had taken hold of her. Aphaid took me aside and explained the whole thing. They said that this poor woman seemed to have no voice of her own and that her husband had done all her talking for her. Aphaid told me about how the human male had gone so far as to threaten Hera with physical violence and how she’d handled it. We’ve only been back a short time and Hera’s already smiting mortals for their ignorance.
I looked back at Mrs. Franklin and noticed that she had not touched her tea. I walked to her, took her gently by the chin, looked into her eyes and whispered, “Drink the tea, dear”. She drank it back as though by order. It didn’t take long for the relaxation herbs to take effect and she was looking to lie down. I waved my hand and the couch stretched itself to fit her frame. I removed her shoes and draped a small throw across her shoulders.
When I stood, Aphaid was watching me without emotion, as though studying me. I found it a bit unnerving, but now was not the time. I had to find a way to fix this situation and quick. I told Aphaid to go back to Hera and tell her to lock up her office and not to touch the body for any reason. I stressed how important it would be for Hera to stick around, as we’d need to work on the official clean up.
“I am sorry, Lady Demeter, but I cannot disturb the Lady Hera for any reason. She and Lord Zeus have made it clear that they intend on performing a mating ritual in celebration of the power of the female.”
“What the hell did you just say to me?” I screamed, losing the ability to control my temper. “I don’t give a satyr’s ass what Zeus and Hera intend to do. I want that office locked up, the body secured, and Hera needs to be briefed. Just because Sacred Law dictates that the gods have every right to smite any mortal who believes themselves more powerful, modern laws do not.” The glare I shot at Aphaid spoke volumes. The creature simply closed their eyes and bowed as they left my office.
It had been centuries since I had tried to summon an immortal, but I needed Moxie and her thought-provoking abilities. I raised my hands and closed my eyes. “Moxie, mysterious goddess of the misted realm, I need your assistance.” As I stood, giving over all my energies, I felt a vibration in the air.
As I waited for Moxie to appear before me in all her radiant glory, my office door once again swung open. Standing there before me was a slender, golden-haired woman. It only took me a moment to realize that it was Moxie in one of her human hosts. “Doesn’t anybody knock anymore?” I asked out loud, more to myself than her.
She giggled a bit. “Sorry, but it’s not often that my Aunt Demeter calls on me for help. And what’s with all the pomp and circumstance? You could have just called out my name.”
“Not in this case, child. We have a situation and I can’t take any chances on defying Universal Regulations. You see that woman lying over there?” I said, motioning to the sofa. “She’s just witnessed your mama smiting her long-time, abusive husband. He had it coming, no doubt about that, but she needs to have that memory wiped from her mind and replaced with something she’ll deem as normal.”
I recounted the entire event to Moxie and explained how I planned to fix the situation. Mrs. Franklin needed to believe her day was as normal as possible in order for it to work. I needed to devise a way to get Mrs. Franklin back into her own home before she woke up and I needed to find a way to dispose of Mr. Franklin’s body.
“That’s not really my thing,” Moxie quipped with a snort. “I might put a thought into someone’s head once in a while, but changing memories is Mnemosyne’s thing.”
“I am well aware of that, my dear, but I need you to do this. I need to keep this as under wraps as possible and you’re the only one I can trust with this. I suppose, if you have to, put the thought into her head that the whole thing was just a bad dream. I don’t care how you do it, just do it.”
As Moxie began to shed her human host, I grabbed my phone. There was only one god I wanted to help me with the rest of my plan. I pushed the speed-dial button and waited impatiently. “Imagine that,” I muttered to myself upon hearing the words, “Leave a message at the beep.”
“Dinlas, this is Aunt Demeter. I don’t know what, or who, you’re doing, but drop everything and get your ass into my office. Now! I’ll explain everything when you get here. This is an emergency!” I hit the disconnect button, sorely missing the days when we could slam down a receiver.
I looked over to see Moxie’s sparkling glow hover over the woman’s head. She was an image to behold when in her true form. I marveled as she worked her magic, floating in and around Mrs. Franklin. It didn’t take her long to finish her task and replace her human host. She turned to me and smiled, “I did what I could, although her normal is anything but pleasant. When she wakes, she’ll believe it all just a bad dream. However, there will be some residual emotions.” She gave me a kiss on the cheek and left the office.
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