The Wrath of Aphrodite

Submitted into Contest #87 in response to: Write about a mischievous pixie or trickster god.... view prompt

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Fiction Funny Urban Fantasy

Mother doesn’t like it when you say, “Only fools fall in love.” She thinks it’s a challenge. 

From our home up on Mount Olympus, she keeps track of you hopeless romantics, the heartbroken pessimists, the in-between cynics terrified of finding that “special someone”—whatever that means. If there was ever an era in which Aphrodite reigned supreme, this is it right here. Every book, every film, every song is made for her and she revels in it. Sometimes, I’m mentioned too, by my Roman name: Cupid. You blame me for shooting my arrows at you, but these are only for special occasions. They’re only ever shot on mother’s command. Trust me, half of you have never even been romantically in love. You should thank the gods for that. If you were, you’d definitely know it. Love (in its pure, concentrated state) is not that gooey, sickly saccharine sensation you think it is. No, it’s something much, much worse. Mother saves it especially for those who oppose her and mother loves to make love feel like hades. 

Take Hector and Marea for example. 

It was a fresh, September morning when the first dreadful words rose up to Mount Olympus from a nearby high school parking lot. 

“Homecoming?! With you? Never!” 

Mother, who had been lounging on her salmon chaise longue, sat up immediately. Her face turned an impressive shade of scarlet and her eyes snapped in my direction. I obligingly flew down into a nearby apple tree to listen. 

A boy was kneeling before a beautiful girl, holding a bouquet of roses and a large sheet of paper that read, Out of all the fish in the sea, swim to Homecoming with me. He was definitely no Sappho but I thought the poor guy had tried his best. 

The girl thought otherwise. 

“You and your pathetic little sign can swim the hell away from me.” She said.

“Marea, I love you.” The boy said. Those three words were almost inaudible but I heard them crystal clear and so did Marea, unfortunately. 

Marea pursed her lips, preparing the cannon. She smirked, aiming for her target. And then, as if she were begging for mother to hear, she let the dreaded words explode. 

“Only fools fall in love.” 

I felt mother’s wrath from all the way down on earth. 

The boy’s face burned with shame and he concentrated on the scruffy toes of his shoes. “Marea, please.”

But Marea had heard enough. With a whip of her ponytail she walked across the parking lot, leaving the boy behind, his tears and sweaty hands ruining his paper sign. It was almost impossible to abandon such a poor, heartbroken creature but I had to. 

I flew back to mother’s sitting room and perched on the armrest of a loveseat, awaiting her verdict. She’d heard it all and was pacing to and fro, the heels of her sandals clicking against the marble floor. “Well?” She demanded of me after a few minutes. “I could use your assistance, Eros. Did you hear or see something I did not?” 

“No.” I grinned. “But there was something fishy about it all.” 

“Fishy?” Mother tugged at one of her curls, thinking. “Hmm.” 

“So?” I asked. 

The corners of her red lips tilted up into a smug smile. She walked to her desk, scribbled on a bit of parchment, and handed me a note she had sealed with a kiss. “Take this down to Poseidon. Hopefully, he’s willing to help me.” 

I rolled my eyes. “Why can’t you ask Hermes to take it? He’s the messenger around here.” 

“Eros.” She said, making my name a warning. 

I grabbed the note and flexed my wings. “Fine, mother.” 

The ocean wasn’t my favorite place. The waves always tried to get ahold of me, rising to grasp at my sandaled feet. It held a grudge. It knew I refused to shoot an arrow at the moon and make it fall in love. 

Finding Poseidon wasn’t easy. His domain was vast and there was no knowing where he could be. I flew over the ocean for two days before spotting him in human form, riding the waves of Bali. 

“Yo!” He bellowed when he saw me approaching. 

Others surfed nearby, a few families sat along the beach. I morphed into my human form and ran along the dunes to where Poseidon stood, wearing a wetsuit. 

“I’ve got a letter for you.” I said, handing him my mother's note. 

He whistled mockingly. “They’ve made you a messenger boy, huh?” He opened the note and scanned it. Once his eyes reached the bottom, he let out a roaring laugh that made the sand beneath my feet quake. “Boy, your mother’s really angry.”

I shrugged. “No one escapes Aphrodite’s wrath. So, what does the note say?” 

“She wants me to create something for her—or somebody, I should say.” 

“Somebody?” 

Poseidon winked. With a wave of his hand, an incoming wave immediately crashed, and when it rose again, it pushed a human shaped figure onto the sand. I stared. The figure walked our way. 

“Son,” Poseidon clapped me on the back. “Meet Hector Makris.” 

The figure stuck out his hand to me. I shook it, unable to look away from his face. The figure known as Hector Makris was a half-fish, half-human boy who unfortunately got the whole mermaid thing flipped. With the muscular legs and torso of a Michelangelo statue, his head was the scaly gray head of a carp. 

“Hi.” I said. 

“What’s floating?” He asked. 

“That means ’what’s up.’” Poseidon whispered in my ear. “This human lingo is really catching on down in the ocean.” He gestures at Hector. “Anyway, I’ve done my part. Now you have to take this creature to that girl who’s angered your mother and make her fall in love with him.”  

A woman on the beach screamed. 

“Uh huh.” I changed back into my normal body and grabbed Hector’s hand. “I think we should get going.” 

Poseidon glanced at the crowd of onlookers who were starting to gather around Hector, phone cameras at the ready. “Good idea, I’ll cover for you.” 

It took me an entire night to get Hector to the high school, mainly because he kept trying to go back into the water. When we finally arrived, it was early morning. I propped him up near the high school’s front steps and hid behind a rose bush, bow and arrow poised and ready. 

There was much screaming that day, lots of pictures, a near fatal car accident. Everyone wanted to know who Hector was and what he was doing at the school entrance. More importantly, they wanted to know why he looked the way he did. 

“Man, you for real?” Someone asked him, trying to touch his head. 

“It’s totally a mask!” Two girls giggled, looking directly at his six pack. 

All Hector could respond with was, “What’s floating?” Apparently, he couldn’t say much else with those fishy lips. 

“Ew, what is that horrible thing?” 

I heard her before I saw her. 

Marea appeared, her face radiantly beautiful even as it crumpled up in disgust. She stopped before Hector and pinched her nose with two manicured fingers. “Yuck. You stink like the seafood market. I am disgusted! Just look at—” 

I didn’t even have to aim. My arrow pierced straight through her heart. She shuddered, her pupils dilated, her mouth went dry. In an instant, she had thrown herself at his feet and was grabbing at his ankles, trembling with guilt. 

“Oh my god! I’m so, so sorry. Please forgive me! You’re absolutely gorgeous, you’re perfect. I’m stupid! I should never have said that. I love you!” 

There they were. The three words of the damned. 

Marea clung to his Bermuda shorts, soaking the edges with her tears. “Say you love me back, please. I can’t live without you! I’ll die without you! Just say it, just once.” 

“What’s floating?” Hector responded, trying to keep his shorts from falling. 

The boy who had asked her to homecoming arrived with another dude, his best friend. With one look at Marea on her knees, both of them burst out laughing. “Hey, Marea. So you’re literally going to swim to homecoming?!” The boy teased. 

Marea turned furious eyes on him. “This is the love of my life and he’s better than you’ll ever be!” 

That got the entire crowd that had gathered around cracking up. Everyone laughed at Hector and Marea, and she clung to his feet, desperately trying to get a loving word out of him. 

I couldn’t take it. Even when my victims are as cruel as Marea, there’s something so sad about the way they squirm and persist, jumping around desperately like a… well, like a fish out of water. 

I flew back up to my mother's sitting room, where she rested on a mound of down pillows, eating grapes straight from the vine on her windowsill, a gift of Dionysus. “Well?” She asked. “Has the fool fallen?” 

“Entirely.” I said. 

She grinned. “Perfect.” 

I tried to smile back but with one look out the window, down through the white clouds, I could still see the odd pair faintly. They were no longer standing where I’d left them. Instead, they were headed towards the nearest beach, Marea clinging to Hector’s arm.

“Don’t leave me!” She wailed. She had cried herself silly. Mascara ran down her cheeks in dark black lines, her eyes were red and puffy. “I love you! I just want you to say it back! Please!” 

I watched as Hector, upon seeing the water, broke out into a run. He ran like his life depended on it and then dove into the water with the style and agility of a dolphin. 

Marea stopped at the waters edge and stomped her foot in helpless fury. “I can’t swim!” She started crying again. “Come back! Please!” 

Mother heard her. She started laughing. 

I turned around, a little heartbroken myself. “Mother, must you be so cruel?” I asked. 

She shrugged. “I only proved her right. You heard her. She said only fools fall in love and now, she’s acting like a fool.” 

“Can’t you… do anything?” 

Mother frowned. “I have.” 

I looked back down. To my surprise, Marea had lunged herself into the water and was now a black head of hair within the unforgiving waves. I watched as she sank and bobbed, her hands grasping helplessly at the air. 

“Mother!” I screamed. “She’ll die!” 

“Fine!” She snapped. 

I looked down and where Marea had been, I saw the tiny sliver of a fin before it sank into the waves forever. Relief settled where panic had been. She had at least been turned into a fish. I looked back at my mother and managed a smile. “Thanks.” 

She ground the grape she’d been eating between her teeth. “I hate it when you start rooting for the enemy.” 

 *****

Although several years have gone by, Hector and Marea still live in the sea. I visit them sometimes. 

When I arrive, I sit atop a large rock and wait for Hector to appear. The first time he did, I was taken by surprise. He had switched back into a proper merman, with a green scaly fish tail and a face as handsome as Apollo’s. He waved at me and spoke properly. His conversations usually revolve around Aurora, his wife. 

It’s when he’s really deep in conversation and his eyes are all glazed over, picturing the love of his life, that Marea finally appears. If I’m not careful, I will sometimes fail to spot her. But she’s there, in the shape of a narwhal, sad eyes trained intently on Hector. 

I ache for those whom I have shot at. Forgive me, I know all too well what kind of pain I cause. Believe me when I say, I didn’t mean to break your heart. Mother told me to do it. 

Next time try not to anger the goddess of love.

March 28, 2021 10:08

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33 comments

Alejandra Medina
10:10 Mar 28, 2021

The Greek gods and goddesses are the epitome of tricks and mischief. So, I thought I’d write about them. Feel free to critique!

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Zilla Babbitt
16:10 Jun 01, 2021

Alejandra! Why did you delete your winning story?

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Keya M.
15:03 Apr 13, 2021

Excellent story Alejandra! My favorite thing about your writing is how you describe the character's actions. Most people describe the places or things in their stories, but your action descriptions are fantastic! I loved the modern take on Greek mythology, and how you solidly crafted each god/goddesses personality. Overall fabulous job! Can't wait for your next story!

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Claudia Morgan
12:53 Mar 28, 2021

Loved it! It was really well written, but can I suggest not describing characters by comparing them to celebrities? It feels out of place, might take readers out of the story if they don’t know the celebrity and also dates writing. Other than that, your writing is absolutely amazing! Well done!

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Alejandra Medina
21:46 Mar 28, 2021

Thinking like a true editor! Thank you for pointing that out!

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Claudia Morgan
05:30 Mar 29, 2021

No problem!

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Maraika!!! 😎
07:43 Jun 01, 2021

OH MY GOD THIS WAS SUCH A GOOD STORY!!!! The use of the prompt, the way it was written, the flow of dialauge, it was perfect. Like I'm not kidding. It was perfect. I love every minute of reading it and I love how you got idea of the characters, even though you only saw them a couple of times. I love how Eros works for his mom, but he doesn't love hurting others with the curse of love. And I love how you made Aphrodite the ruthless jerk that she is in the myths. It was just so amazing and I wish you had more stories cause I want to read mo...

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Nyx :)
17:00 May 24, 2021

That was amazing! you are very talented and I would love more storys on Eros!

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Angel {Readsy}
20:04 May 04, 2021

Nice one, next ?

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Mystic Darling
19:22 Apr 30, 2021

I love this story, it really made my day! I adore greek mythologic stories. I loved the plot line!

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Angel {Readsy}
04:22 Apr 28, 2021

Anxiously apprehensivly impatiently keenly enthusiasticaly, waiting for your NEXT STORY , NEXT STORY , NEXT STORY NEXT STORY STORY , NEXT STORY , NEXT STORY NEXT STORY STORY.

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Anna Ferguson
12:36 Apr 15, 2021

i like that its about greek mythology because thats one of my fav. topics so i really loved it i also loved that eros was so repelent of the things that his mother does and that he feels so sad about shooting people with arrows i loved this story

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Harry Rapheal
10:26 Apr 11, 2021

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Williwaw Puleon
09:30 Apr 08, 2021

Who would not think that Alejandra Medina would write such a prolific story of mysticism and wits? I like this story because Greek Gods and Goddesses are my favorite thing when it comes to Mythology.

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Delphine Hintz
21:24 Apr 07, 2021

I love how you had part of the conclusion being someone getting turned into an animal. Maybe I've just been reading select portions of Greek myths, but that seems to be a theme! "It was almost impossible to abandon such a poor, heartbroken creature but I had to." There should be a comma before 'but' because it is joining two independent clauses. Same with this sentence: "This is the love of my life and he’s better than you’ll ever be!" You had some really cool one-liners and some funny ones as well. I really appreciate the "It knew I refus...

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Charlie Murphy
16:56 Apr 07, 2021

I liked the explanation for tides. Poseiden saying “Yo” was funny! Great ending!

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06:11 Apr 06, 2021

What a fantastic story! Loved it!

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Holly Fister
23:44 Apr 05, 2021

Hilarious and totally enjoyable to read!

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Demi Oni
22:12 Apr 04, 2021

I love this story, it's is so well written and structured as well. Keep up the hard work Alejandra!

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Kirsty Ralston
15:49 Apr 04, 2021

Ah I love this! As a lover of the Percy Jackson books this brought me right back. I love the whole idea behind it and especially the way you portrayed Aphrodite. I think we forget that sometimes love is cruel and therefore the goddess of love would be too.

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Leo Valdez
17:59 Apr 11, 2021

OMG I WAS JUST WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO SAY PERCY JACKSON!!!! Leo valdez am I right lol. He's my fav character.

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Fiona English
05:19 Apr 04, 2021

I love it!

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Angel {Readsy}
05:12 Apr 03, 2021

I like the starting sentence , mother as I have lived without a mother since three years of my age ,so I do not know what is that for, your story is good keep it up sister

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Alejandra Medina
00:14 Apr 04, 2021

Hi, thank you so much! I'm so sorry about your mother, my condolences.

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Angel {Readsy}
00:03 Apr 23, 2021

Kindly read my new story I need to talk to a fairy

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