This isn’t all of it, just the part that struck me as sort of funny so I wanted to share. I’m gong to, of course, do some rewrites once the beta readers and my editor get a read through of the whole manuscript. It’s just nice to finally have the lesson / ending in my head. Now that I have that, Aphrodite’s Twin should be back on track for a September release. My printers are amazingly fast and getting it ready for ePub doesn’t take but a quick few hours now that I know what I’m doing.
Anyway, hope you enjoy this little snippet. :-). Now off to find cover art.
(Deep in the gardens of the Great Hall’s courtyard, Kingdom Olympus)
CJ’s jaw hadn’t quite come unhinged, but she certainly found herself having to snap her mouth closed as each astonishing sight registered with her brain. Colors brighter than any that existed on Earth blossomed on thick vines, robust bushes, and stately trees. Bird song echoed from the branches. Every where she looked, she was more and more convinced she was suffering from the world’s most vivid drug induced hallucination. The three Goddesses took seats on a large bench. CJ had to be guided to take a seat as she was so distracted by the view.
“You’re no doubt confused. That’s to be expected. You also seem to have suffered an injury. My healer will see to that.”
As if by magic, a woman dressed in robes resembling the habit of a nun, the difference being the gown was a blindingly bright white, appeared walking down the path the four women had just tread. She carried a small basket of poultices, fabric strips and such. CJ stared, mouth gaping open once again. The healer made quick work of swabbing the contusion on CJ’s forehead. The soothing cream relieved her of the headache almost instantly.
“Is that better?” Hera gently grasped CJ’s chin, raising her head to get a better look at the healer’s handiwork.
“Um, yeah, I guess so. Thank you.”
“You’re more than welcome. You’ve done me a great service. Just as many had done before you, you bore the spirit of my daughter, carrying her safely…”
“Yeah, yeah. Sorry to interrupt, but um, since this is some kind of drug dream, and I’m sure I’m being robbed, raped, and probably murdered in that old ladies little office deal there, I’m goinig to ask you to work a little of that magic or whatever and wake me up. Please. I’d like to at least be conscious for a few minutes before they kill me which I’m sure they will when they discover all I had on me was less than a hundred bucks American….”
“What a wonderful imagination you have. But no, I promise you that is not the case. You see, I have watched over my daughter’s spirit through each incarnation. Waiting for the one spirit bearer would finally allow herself to open up enough for the ritual of return to take place.”
“Wait? What? Open up? Are you saying that lady did some surgery on me? Oh great, I’m going to wake up in a bathtub full of ice and my kidney missing.”
“Um, I’m not sure what exactly you’re talking about. If you’ll just be still for a moment and listen. You were chosen at your birth to be this generation’s spirit bearer. Oshun’s cursed spirit was placed in you for safe keeping. Since then, you’ve kept her safe from harm. Eventually, the Fates lead you to the Oracle who has been waiting for centuries to perform the ritual. You were the first spirit bearer to finally agree.”
“You have got to be kidding me. ”
“I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean.”
“No, wait, I’m sorry. This is all a bit much to take in. What you’re saying is, when I agreed to the meditation, I was essentially saying I was on board with this trip down the rabbit hole?”
“If that last part is the same as saying ritual, then yes, and we’re so grateful that you did.”
“So, what now? You’ve got your daughter back. I get to wake up and go back to my vacation?”
“Yes, but not without a token of my appreciation.”
Hera performed a sleight of hand magic trick, causing a diamond the size of a pea to appear in the palm of her open hand.
“Here, take this.”
Cj pinched the stone between her forefinger and thumb, noticing how smooth it felt to the touch despite it’s faceted appearance and the way the light bounced off of it’s surface.
“It’s pretty but I’m not sure it’s going to be worth much. A touch on the tiny side.”
“Oh great. More drugs. What is it with you people?”
“You were looking for something when you met the Oracle, this is it.”
“Ha! That’s almost too cliché. Bruno. I’m guessing you know who he is since you’re a Goddess and all. He utters some Zen, Buddhist crap, sends me on vacation to find my ‘shine’ as he called it and here you are offering me a diamond pill, which I’m guessing will have me all glow in the dark in no time.”
Hera’s perplexed expression finally shut CJ up. It had been obvious each time CJ spoke that most of what she was saying was not in Hera’s realm of comprehension. She sighed in exasperation. “Okay, question, if I swallow this, will I wake up finally?”
At last, something Hera understood. “Yes, you will wake up in your world, safe and sound with the Oracle.”
“Great. Do you have some juice or something. I’m not so sure I can dry swallow this puppy.”
Another magic trick produced a crystal glass filled with a sparkling liquid that resembled ginger ale. “Thanks. Alright, here goes another trip.”
CJ popped the ‘pill’ into her mouth and took a large swallow of the liquid. The taste of it made her forget the pill completely. It was as if she’d sipped champagne made from the smell of rose petals. It was amazing, stimulating her senses of taste and smell like nothing ever before.
“Oh my God that was good. Wish we could sell that at the bar.” Before the last syllables had left her throat, CJ was gone from the garden.
“Now my daughter, let me get a good look at you. So beautiful. We have so much to discuss. Your lessons must begin as soon as the feast is done.”
“Mother? How can you be my mother? I am so confused. Zeus, your husband, has some right to be shocked, I’d gather.”
“Heaven is made up of several Kingdoms. As humans developed belief systems, more of us sprang into existence. There aren’t many rules governing how we’re created so for whatever reasons, no matter what tribe on Earth, there seemed to be common beliefs resulting in multiples of us being born. You’ll find Gods of War, Goddesses of Love, tricksters, and Death in each Kingdom; each born to represent and serve His or Her tribe. It was so we could be a part of each culture, each branch of the human tree was to be guided, protected, but we let our power go to our heads and the humans lost their faith in us. Eventually, we lost the ability to interact with them. Which, given how often we abused our power, is how it should be, I suppose.”
“So what do we do now?”
“Oh, there are still festivals, rituals in our honor; humans who still live and believe us so it is to them that we send dreams, whisper guidance, send signs. There’s still use for us. And now that you’re home, you will learn how best to serve your tribe. Oh my daughter, how I have waiting for the moment to bring you into your Goddesshood.”
What’s Love, this is just the beginning
“…sell that in the bar. We’d make a kill…oh, wow” CJ was sitting in the same comfortable chair she’d started this meditation in. The light streaming through the windows indicated that no more than maybe an hour and half had passed since they’d begun.
“How do you feel?” the Oracle asked. She slid the tray of goodies toward CJ, a fresh mug of the delicious tea sat steaming next to it.