“Is this-is this what I think it is?” Aura’s hand trembled as it gently felt the contours of the treasure. Her sweaty palms washed away the thick covering of dust and revealed the golden staff of the arrow. She gingerly felt the very tip of the arrow and drew back as drops of blood flowed from the pad of her index finger. “You found my arrow, demigod. Now return it before I grow even more impatient.” Aura closed her eyes and sucked on her finger. The blood left a metallic taste to the roof of her mouth. She pulled her finger out of her mouth with a Pop and glanced back at the arrow, the arrow of Ares. Her reflection stared back at her from a puddle on the cold stone floor. Her deep violet eyes merged with the indigo of the dead dragon’s blood. It was there when she found the chamber deep beneath Hades own quarters. Her father’s castle lay upon the chamber Zeus had made to protect the only weapon with more power, with more ferocity than his own thunderbolt. She knew the story well. She was one of the only people besides Zeus and Ares to know of the arrow. Ares had told her when she was young, when he first started talking to her. The son of Zeus resented humans. He wanted war against the creatures that inhabited the land under Olympus. So, for years, he searched the world for dark powers. He stole snakes for Medusa, snippets of his father’s thunderbolt, pearls Persephone, and the blood of Poseidon. He constructed the arrow and threatened the human race in it. A single cut and within an hour, you would become mad, killing everyone around you with a glance. The victim would stare into the deadly gaze of the infected and their blood would turn to stone. After that, the infected would have its blood turn into stone. All that from a single cut... Aura’s heart stopped and she looked at her finger. The blood had turned gray. She fell to her knees and yelled. She had no pain, but she was terrified. “Persephone! Persephone, please hear me!” No answer. “Ares…” she said as fatigue settled in and she felt her finger hardening, “How do I stop it?” “You don’t, demigod. You were destined to destroy that arrow long ago. That’s why Zeus made you” “What? No, I am Aura Averenga, daughter of Hades! Zeus is not anything but a scoundrel who banished my father to hell!” “That’s what you think... But, who cares what you think? The stone is spreading; soon you’ll be just another pretty face of a prophecy gone wrong.” The click of heels came closer and closer. Aura stopped breathing and her eyesight blurred, but she could see Persephone’s gown as she fell to her knees, grasping Aura’s face. She felt her cold hands feeling her cheeks as her vision blurred. She was in side herself now. She saw her heart beating. She rooted it on as it fought to keep the stone back. Finally, it gave in. Stone covered her heart and Aura drifted into sleep. That’s what it felt like, sleep. Death wasn’t bad at all; death was bitter sweet to Aura. She saw flickers of white light sometimes, but it was mostly darkness. Eternity went on, day by day. And nothing pulled her out of her dream.
May 24, 2012