Gods, Fame and Murderous Tendencies

Submitted into Contest #113 in response to: Start or end your story with the line ‘This is my worst nightmare.’... view prompt

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Fiction Fantasy

This is my worst nightmare, Amara thought as she strutted down the runway, slightly swinging her hips, a glacial look on her face.

Bright lights flashed around her, capturing her essence for the entire world to see. Cameras were her favourite thingamabob invented by mortals. They could bask in the beauty of a goddess for eternity.

“Amara, honey. You did so well up there!” cried the designer, stripping her off and into a new gown before Amara could blink.

She suppressed a growl as he brushed past her chest. It was by no means an accident but was so fleeting that Amara would look like a lunatic if she called him on the issue.

Kick his ass! her father screamed in her head.

No. Make him undesirable, her mother countered.

Amara looked up to the heavens. Or rather the ceiling. She could do both. Revenge and beauty being her forte, but she had a reputation to protect for the time being.

She was rushed to the nearest makeup table, the smoky eyes wiped off to be replaced by a slightly smokier look.

The mortal artist wept—actually wept—when she completed Amara’s face. “It has been such a pleasure to do you, Amara. You’re like a Greek Goddess.”

Amara chuckled coldly, standing up to give the mortal a weak hug, cringing in her confining form at the liquids she was seeping.

“I thank you, dear,” Amara sighed. A vision took over the goddess. “She’s been sleeping with her ex, you know. Shred her grandmother’s dress into pieces.”

“Wh—what?”

“Oh, I know you want to do it,” Amara said. “After all, she has been unfaithful.”

The mortal blinked as she began to see things Amara’s way. “Yes, Unfaithful. Shred the dress.”

Amara patted her pitiful shoulder. “Good talk, honey.”


****


“Get out of my bed,” Amara ordered, dismissing her latest conquest. “You say a word to anybody of this and I will personally oversee your early meeting with Thanatos.”

The man was conventionally beautiful. He had millions of worshippers and a kind soul. Fame had not corrupted him. And that bored Amara.

“Amara, baby,” he started, turning on the charm. Perhaps he was a descent of Peithos, goddess of persuasion and seduction, because if Amara was mortal, she wasn’t sure that she’d be able to resist those forest green eyes of his.

Thankfully, she was immortal and immune to such charms.

“You call me a child?” she said, her tone gentle but sharp. “You are not the first man to be graced by my presence and you shall not be the last. Leave before my boredom turns to irritation.”

The man scrambled to his feet, picking up his clothes as he apologised profusely. Amara rolled her eyes. Pathetic. Utterly pathetic.

Mortal men were as weak as they were five millennia before. As for satisfactory? Amara could’ve tickled herself and felt more fulfilled.

“Hey! Hey! Put that back, Hermes!” Amara shrieked as a sudden bright presence filled the room.

“What? This?” Hermes asked, a stupid grin on his impish face. He held a blood diamond necklace between his sticky fingers. “This is mine.”

“It has my aura on it,” Amara argued, throwing her duvet off and marching over to him. “See?”

“Oh, so it does.”

Hermes scoffed, putting the necklace on the dresser. Amara didn’t doubt that he had stolen at least three more items in the space that it’d taken her to get out of bed.

“What are you doing here, Hermes?” Amara demanded. Her peplos returned to her body, straightening up her bedhead.

“Straight to business. What happened to the Amara that . . . encouraged Narcissus to look into that lake?”

“She got a cell phone. Now, tell me the message and I will consider letting you survey the area.”

Hermes twitched. So many rich people, so little security. Why he needed to steal was beyond Amara. Though, why she decided to slum it with mortals, nobody could understand.

“Oh, okay,” he relented, succumbing to his greedy nature. “The big Zap wants you up there. Something about training the next generation. Kind of stupid since he’s immortal.”

“So soon,” she whispered to herself. “Did he say why?”

“Nope,” Hermes popped, unabashedly shoving the diamond necklace back into his pockets.

“Hermes, you tell me why Zeus has summoned me.”

“Ahhh, look at the little goddess, demanding answers from the God of Messages. You know more than anyone that it is against my vows to divulge secrets.”

“That is Fury dung!” Amara shrieked. “You are a bigger gossip than Pheme.”

Squaring up to a major god like Hermes was a suicide mission. Anybody who opposed the will of the gods were not favoured well by the universe.

But her time on Earth made Amara . . . reckless.

Her hair began to float, taking on a life of its own. Her voice filled the room as she said, “Hermes, Son of Zeus, God of Messages, I demand that you divulge the nature of Zeus’s summon lest I obliterate your puny visage to the deepest depths of Tartarus!”

Hermes stumbled backwards, lost for words. He tried to grow, to assert dominance over his rebellious niece, but he couldn’t seem to muster the juice required.

Unbelievably, he began to speak, his mouth a separate being to the rest of him. “Zeus means to round up all of the new Gods into Olympus and remove them.”

Amara smirked. It was their time after all. “You know, Granddaddy Zeus is right. Me and my brethren have been galivanting the globe for too long. I’ll be glad to return home for a nice family murder.”

Amare sucked in her bottom lip. “But, umm . . . I can’t have you – how do the mortals say it? Ah yes, spilling the tea.”


****


Aphrodite was at the gates to greet her sons and daughters. She pulled Amara into a tight grasp. Every being on Mount Olympus knew that Amara was the favoured of her offspring.

“Ah, my beautiful girl,” the goddess cooed, fixing the laurels around Amara’s head. “That show in Paris was truly inspired. Oh, where is your Uncle Hermes? He never comes to these on time, but even this is a bit brazen.”

Amara blushed, instantly changing the subject. “You do flatter me, Mother, but I could never live up to you.”

Aphrodite patted her shoulder as if to console her. “It is okay, Amara. It is hard to live up to the mother of all love. But you do get more and more like myself every time we meet.”

“I should hope not!” a voice boomed, causing the children of Aphrodite to scatter, feathers dropping everywhere. “That would mean she would have to abandon her sword and shield in favour for magazines and fashion designers.”

Amara smiled, running up the steps of Olympus to engulf Ares into a suffocating embrace.

“Father!”

She wasn’t so sure that she’d be able to pull it off. She wasn’t sure that she’d want to. Especially because of the way that he took in her presence, like her return to Olympus was the best thing since sliced ambrosia.

“Father, I—”

Fanfare interrupted her, announcing the arrival of Zeus. On instinct, Amara kneeled, keeping her head down until the King decided to speak. The very act of submission boiled Amara. She was a goddess. She was not meant to bow for anyone, no less a man who laughed in the very face of her existence.

“Amara, Daughter of Ares, Goddess of Love and Strife!” Zeus’s voice boomed, shuddering Amara to her very core.

Now she wasn’t sure that her plan would actually work. Not when she cowered under his voice.

“Zeus, Your Highness. It is an honour to be in your presence,” she said, keeping her head down, her eyes on the marble steps in front of her. “How may we and my lower family be of service?”

“You may start by looking up.”

Amara hesitated. Even her mother did not know the extent of Zeus’s powers. Could the King of Gods know her next moves before even she did? She hoped he didn’t because she was far too beautiful and brutal to be hunched over, doing something as back-breaking as holding up the sky.

Zeus stood at top of the steps, a malevolent, yet trusting smile on his face. Amara really wished that’d he’d put a shirt on or something.

Hera was beside him as always, her face contorted like she just found out about Zeus’s most recent affair with a mortal while in animal form. She scared Amara more than Zeus ever could. Her cold eyes examined Amara like she was the most disgusting thing she’d ever witnessed in her eternal life. Though, seeing as though Amara’s father was not her mother’s husband, and Hera was the goddess of marriage, the contempt was understandable.

The next few seconds were tense. Zeus looked at Amara like she was the next head he was going to stuff and display over his mantle.

Suddenly, his face softened. “Let’s convene!”

Amara stayed back. “Eros,” she whispered as her brother flew up the steps.

He fluttered down, a cruel look on his face. “What?”

“Has it been done?”

Eros walked a couple of steps ahead. “Yes.”

Amara straightened her posture. “Our time.”

“Our time,” Eros echoed before he launched himself back in the air, flying the rest of the way up the steps.


****


Amara thought she’d at least get dinner before Zeus tried to smite her off the face of existence.

The second everybody was in the throne room, the Furies descended, locking her, her siblings and her cousins in. Zeus and the other Olympians sat on a balcony, guarded by mortal misery; an almost indestructible forcefield.

Aphrodite stepped forward reluctant to look her favourite daughter in the eyes. “You must understand, sweetie. Your influence on the mortal world is dangerously close to overtaking ours. It cannot be allowed.”

Amara shifted her weight onto one foot. “I bet Athena came up with this ambush,” she guessed. “Where is she?”

“You need only ask,” said a smooth voice.

Amara and the others swung around, trying to find the source of it.

“Show yourself!” Eros demanded. “If you’re going to condemn us to Tartarus, the least you could do is show us your cowardly face.”

Agreements spread through the group like wildfire. Never had a group defied, scoffed, at the gods as bravely as they had.

Athena did indeed reveal herself. She hid behind Zeus. “This plan was far too barbaric for me. No. This is the workings of your father.”

Amara wasn’t even surprised. Her father was always the ruthless one out of the war deities. His betrayal still cut deep.

“You bastard,” she spat, throwing energy at the misery, only for it to bounce off, hitting a passing nymph in the chest, disintegrating her instantly. “So, what’s the plan? You’re sending us down to Tartarus like Great-Grandad Kronos? How predictable.”

Zeus smiled warmly, a gesture that chilled Amara. “No, grandchild. You and your consorts are far too resourceful for Tartarus.”

“There’s too many of us for you to punish eternally!”

The King’s smile did not falter. His jaw was tense despite his body being loose. He was trying to portray ease while in actual fact, the room of godly children made him nervous. And it had been a while since the King of Olympus felt anything other than boredom.

A golden birdbath appeared in front of Zeus and Hera.

Amanda couldn’t help the squeak that came from her mouth. Even her father’s children squirmed uncomfortably.

“Not the Bath,” Amara pleaded. “Not even the Titans deserved such a cruel fate.”

Her plan was slipping. The Bath water, spewed by the most hateful water nymphs, had the ability to destroy any living thing it came into contact with. One drop was more destructive than the entire mortal arsenal. It not only destroyed a physical being, but their essence too.

Amara looked to Eros. His wings twitched but he wouldn’t make a quick escape this time.

“Okay,” Amara said, turning on her charm. “I think we’ve gotten a bit too excited here. None of my generation want to die, do we? I mean, that kinda defeats the purpose of immortality. If you want, we could step down from our positions in the mortal world. Say a few disagreeable things and they will curse us to the Edge of Existence. How does that sound?”

“This girl is charming you, dear brother.” Hades emerged from the shadows; his cheery bride clung to his arm like a leech. “You do realise that I, one of the most hated figures in our Parthenon, am one of the most powerful. Attention, brother, is still attention. They grow more powerful by the second. We must use the Bath and then dissolve their clutches on the mortal brain so they will not be able to regenerate.”

Amara sucked in her lips. She really hated her granduncle.

The Olympians muttered to each other, exchanging ideas with Athena. Amara glared at her father. Her mother, she could believe. But her father? Letting her very memory be wiped from existence? It was a cruel fate, even from the god of war.

Amara held her siblings’ hands as Zeus and Hera turned back to them, their noses high in the air.

“Let it be decided: the children of the gods shall perish under the Bath, forgotten by all history and by all mortals.”

Before Amara could react, the misery opened, and Zeus threw the Bath over them all.

The shrieks were horrendous, the smells indescribable. The weaker gods died immediately. Their faces caved in until it burst, splattering ichor onto the marble floor.

Amara winced at the unpleasant tingling sensation it gave her. Eros just seemed to shrug it off even though his singed wings were beginning to smell like burnt chicken.

Dozens of gods perished until there were only six remaining: Amara, Eros, Anaideia, Eleos, Kotys and Plutus.

“Our time,” said Amara, gaining courage.

“Our time,” the others replied, shaky from the Bath scare.

“Our time!” Amara shouted; her eyes fixed on Zeus.

“OUR TIME!”

Amara chuckled, pointing at her family in the pit of the throne room. “Your time is up, grandfather,” she sneered. “The Olympians had their shot like the Titans had theirs, and now it’s our turn. Step down or feel the wrath of your betters.”

“The—The Bath,” he stuttered in spite of himself. “How did you survive the Bath?”

Amara pulled a cell phone from thin air and threw it to the god. It passed through the misery like it was wet paper.

Zeus turned grey as he looked at the screen. Mumbles erupted from the Olympians, worry taking over for the first time in millennia.

“You know, I think I might be a child of Athena,” Amara boasted, snapping her fingers. She forced the Olympians to materialise in front of her, chained in their own weakness. They struggled futilely. “Your pride is your weakness. The Almighty Olympians, brought down by minor deities and a trending hashtag.”

Amara pulled the cell phone from between Zeus’s teeth. She waved her hand over the screen, magnifying the image for all of Mount Olympus to see.


Six celebrities found dead in Malibu mansion: Shooter killed on scene


Amara laughed, swinging her head back, finally letting her hysteria take hold after millennia of being a D-List deity.

“Don’t you see my genius, Auntie?” Amara said, glaring at Athena. “I finished a war before it even started. Unfortunately, I did have to shoot the messenger.”

Amara zoomed in on the article’s photo of the “shooter”. The Olympians instantly recognised Hermes’s mortal form.

“Hermes cannot be killed!” Persephone shrieked from the back of the God Hostage pile. “This is all illusion. She is nothing but a liar—”

CRACK!

Amara threw Persephone’s heart across the throne room, feeding it to her three cats, ignoring the howls of agony from Demeter.

“Anyways, we studied the mortals. Do you know how much more fame a celebrity gains after they’ve been brutally murdered? We became more powerful than you months ago. The deaths of our mortal bodies pushed us over the threshold. Not even the Fates could foresee our ascension. Nor their deaths, actually.”

Apollo spoke up. “You killed the Fates? You stupid girl! Do you realise—”

CRACK!

Eros rolled his eyes, using the remaining Bath to clean his blood-soaked arm. “Who wants to be third? Hmmm?” he asked, ignoring the wails from Artemis.

 Amara answered the question, kneeling, looking her father in the eye. She wailed as she plunged her arm into his chest.

His body burst into a firework of golden dust and disappeared from existence. Her gods followed suit, killing Olympians until only Zeus and Hera were left.

Eros stepped forward, looking down on Hera as if he pitied her. Amara shivered at the Queen’s cold gaze.

“You do not have to die,” Eros said softly, cupping the Queen’s face. “You can live on as my wife.”

“I have a husband,” she said calmly.

Amara nodded at Anaideia.

The goddess of ruthlessness marched up to Zeus, King of the Gods, and snapped his neck with such ferocity that his head came off his shoulders. Amara picked up Zeus’s head and handed it to Eros.

Hera smirked, not a bit upset that she was widowed.

“I am Queen,” Amara said before Hera could get too cocky.

Eros shrugged. “That is the deal. You may die as a Queen or live on as my wife.”

Hera’s smile dropped. She spat at the ground where Amara stood.

 “Eros, dispose of her,” Amara said as if her grandmother’s presence was the most boresome thing imaginable.

Eros did not hesitate, ending the Queen’s life just as the King’s was ended. Amara clapped her hands, summoning the nymphs.

“Quickly,” she ordered, pointing at the mess scattered across the throne room. “Clean this up. Ew, all this marble.”

She turned to her council of gods and goddesses as she sat on Zeus’s cracked throne. “Kill the demigods! They’re so bothersome.”


September 27, 2021 22:06

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