Rhea: A Greek Cinderella

February 20, 2012
The bright sun rose up from its hiding place as Apollo pulled it up to the sky. Thick clouds tried to block him from coming through but he fought them off. Athens woke up and in a few minutes, it was busy with people hurrying around in the markets, going to Athena’s beautiful temple or just going to work.

Megaera’s house was dirty from the festivities that took place the night before. It was messier than a landfill. She lay on comfy floor pillows and looked around at the mess. Straight light brown hair snaked in front of her middle aged face. She got up to wake up the person who was going to clean up the mess. Megaera crossed the large courtyard and entered a small room. A young girl lay sleeping on a tangle of black ringlets. The girl was her step daughter.
Megaera’s brave husband was at war and needed another servant, so she put the girl to work.

“Wake up, child.” Megaera ordered.

The girl’s turquoise eyes opened in alarm.

“Huh? What’s wrong?” Her step daughter, Rhea, responded.

“Get to work. Clean the big mess in the living room.” The elder commanded.

“Yes, Megaera.” Rhea replied.

She quickly put on a tattered tunic and raced across the courtyard like the wind and up a flight of stairs on the opposite side. She ran into her mean step sisters, Aleka and Tisiphone. Rhea curtly nodded to them and got to work in the messy living room.

A few hours later, Rhea was done cleaning. She sat on a wooden chair and rested for a few minutes. Hearing a knock at the gate, she ran out to the courtyard and then to the front door. Rhea opened it and found a tall man with brown hair and a bag filled with paper envelopes.

“Home of General Perseus?” He asked.

“Yes. May I help you?” Rhea asked warily. She hoped it wasn’t any bad news from the war.

“I bring four invitations to the ladies of this house. You have been invited to Apollo’s ball.” The man informed.

He handed her four white envelopes with a sun imprinted on a gold wax seal.

“Is this a joke?” Rhea asked.

“Certainly not. I am dead serious. Now, I must continue delivering invitations. Good day.” The messenger responded.

“Excuse me. I have a question. Are you Hermes?”

“Yes. I am.”

And with that, the god was gone.

Rhea stepped back into the courtyard and ran into Megaera.

“Who was that?” Megaera asked.

“Hermes. He brought the invitations to Apollo’s ball.” Rhea responded.

“Oh. Let me see those envelopes.”

Rhea handed over three envelopes and kept the one that was hers. Megaera eyed her with wonder.

“May I ask? Why are you looking at me like that?” Rhea demanded.

“What are you doing with that envelope?” Megaera asked.

“It’s mine. I was invited.”

“Who said you were going? You have to clean the house.”

“But I have to get a chance to dance with Apollo.”

“The only thing that you’re going to dance with is the broom. You are not going.”

“I beg your pardon!? That is not fair! I’m not the only maid here! The others need to do some around here too!”

“Hear me now. You. Are. Not. GOING! You’re going to have this house sparkling clean by the time we get home from the ball tomorrow night. No exceptions.”

“But, I?”


Megaera left the courtyard and Rhea started crying angry tears. She wiped them away and headed to her room. As she made her way up the stairs, Aleka stopped her and pulled Rhea into her room.

“Rhea. You have got to help me pick out what I’m going to wear for the ball. I have to look amazing. I want Apollo to see me and fall in love.”

Rhea sighed and helped Aleka.

The rest of the day was a blur for Rhea. After helping Aleka some more, Tisiphone called for help. Then, she went to the market. She got what she needed to make lunch for her step family and the other maids. Another maid, Penelope, helped her through her day. She was the only maid, along with Rhea, who did something around the house. They made lunch and ate in the kitchen. After that, they both cleaned the dining room and sowed some quilts for the winter. When they were finished, it was time to go to bed.

The next morning, Megaera, Aleka, and Tisiphone were getting ready to go to the ball. Rhea and Penelope helped them out by doing their hair or sowing their tunics when they were too big. In the afternoon, a chariot with horses came and picked up the three women.

Rhea felt sad that she wasn’t going and ran to her room to cry. Then a hand touched her shoulder. She turned and saw a graceful young woman with silky blond hair and light blue eyes.

“Don’t cry, Rhea. I’ll help you go to that ball. Now stand up.” The woman commanded.

“Who are you?” Rhea asked.

“I’m Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Alright, let’s see your wardrobe. Ooh! You can’t wear there… things to the ball. Hideous!” Aphrodite squealed while Rhea smiled sheepishly.

The goddess looked at Rhea thoughtfully, and then brought her hand to the girl’s ringlets.

Aphrodite touched the ugly tunic, then Rhea’s arms. A graceful white tunic wound around the girl’s slender body, gold bracelets dangled from her small wrists and her hair has styled up carefully into an up do. The goddess touched Rhea’s dirty cheeks, her small feet and her graceful neck. Beige leather sandals appeared at her feet, gold earrings hung carefully like feathers, and a gold necklace wrapped around her neck. Aphrodite smiled.

“Beautiful.” The goddess breathed.

Aphrodite snapped her fingers and a mirror appeared beside the door. Rhea barely recognized herself. The young lady in the mirror looked like a goddess.

“Thank you so much.” Rhea said as she wound her arms around Aphrodite. The goddess squeezed her then took her hand and guided her out to the courtyard. Penelope was there, staring at Rhea with her mouth wide open. Aphrodite took Rhea to the front gate and there, in front of her, stood a beautiful chariot pulled by gorgeous white horses. Penelope ran to Rhea and stood beside her. She gave her a big hug and smiled at her.

“Go on, Rhea. Go to the ball. But remember; be back before your step family gets here.” The goddess warned, and then disappeared.

Penelope stepped in front of Rhea and smiled.

“Go. I’ll clean what you were supposed to do. Don’t worry about anything. Now, head of to the ball and have fun.” Penelope commanded.

“Thank you, Penelope.” Rhea said while climbing the carriage. The horses, strong and tall, started walking, taking her to the ball.

When Rhea got to the building where the ball was being held at, she gasped. Many young women were there. How could she impress a god with this kind of competition?

She climbed out of the carriage and headed up the stairs to the entrance. A man directed for her to go to the right. She saw that others were going to the left. Why was that? Rhea entered a room filled with beautiful young women. Everyone stared at her. She kept a straight face, even smiled at some people, and took a seat at the corner of the room. A young man walked toward her. He was very handsome. His blonde hair fell into his sky blue eyes, framed with thick eyelashes. He was tall and had some muscle. His smile was dazzling. The young man now stood in front of her and she stood.

“Hello, young lady.” He greeted Rhea.

“Hello.” Rhea responded.

“I’m Apollo. You are?”

“Rhea. Daughter of General Perseus.”

“Oh. A fine lady I’m meeting. Rhea. Would you like to dance?”

“Of course, your highness.”

“Just call me Apollo.”

Rhea smiled and Apollo pulled her into his arms. She placed her hand in his and wound her arm around his neck. The god wound and arm around her waist and twirled her around the room. She smiled broadly and looked into his blue eyes. He smiled and brought his lips to her ear.

“Let’s go to the balcony outside. I need some fresh air.” Apollo commanded.

He pulled her outside and looked up to the sky. The moon was already up and a star shot across the sky.

“Hello, Artemis.” He called out.

Apollo intertwined his hand with Rhea’s. He looked at her and she smiled. He leaned in but that’s when she saw her step-mother and sisters leaving.

“I have to go. I’m sorry, Apollo. I really have to go.” Rhea excused herself.

“Wait! Rhea!” Apollo yelled.

Rhea dashed across the room and down the stairs. On the way, she dropped a bracelet. She ran to the carriage but it was gone. She sped through the streets and in a few minutes, she was back at her house. Luckily, her step family wasn’t there yet. She went to her room and changed into a dirty tunic and placed the beautiful tunic in the back of her wardrobe. She took of her shoes, necklace, earrings, and bracelets and put them under her bed in a box. She took off the head pins and put them on a table.

Rhea went back to the kitchen and found Penelope cleaning. She picked up a broom and started sweeping. Megaera, evil as ever, came into the room and looked at Penelope and Rhea. She looked around the room and found everything clean.

“Go to bed. Both of you.” Megaera ordered.

Penelope smiled at Rhea and they both headed off to their rooms to sleep. That night, she dreamt of Apollo.

The next morning, the clouds were covering the sky.

Strange. Rhea thought.

She continued her normal day. At lunch, Aleka and Tisiphone talked about the ball.

“Did you hear that Apollo is looking for a girl he danced with last night?” Tisiphone asked.

“Yeah. Apparently, she dropped a gold bracelet, and it will only fit her alone. He fell in love with her.” Aleka responded.

“Stupid girl. I would not leave Apollo like that. He could have asked for my hand!” Tisiphone exclaimed.

Rhea felt a tingle of joy. Apollo loved her! She felt her heart skip a beat. Aphrodite caused this. How could Rhea ever thank her?

In the afternoon, someone knocked at the gate. Penelope went to go answer it. Three men stood there.

“Hello, gentlemen.” Penelope greeted them.

“Hello. We would like the ladies of this house in the courtyard. Please.” One of the men ordered.

“Of course.” Penelope answered.

Penelope went to the dining room and told the ladies there to go outside. Then she went into the kitchen.

“Rhea, go to the courtyard. You have been called upon by some men.” Penelope informed.

Both of them went to the courtyard and stood in front of the men. They all had dark hair, brown eyes, and an athletic build. Rhea’s step family stood to her left and the other maids stood to her right.

“Hello, ladies. As you may have heard, Apollo, god of the sun, is looking for his beloved mystery girl. Now, if you would please, put your arms out.” One of the men commanded.

They started out with Megaera but it fit her too small. Aleka’s hand wouldn’t go in. Tisiphone’s fingers got stuck. It was Rhea’s turn now. The bracelet fit perfectly.

One of the men took a step forward.

“Rhea? Is that you?” He asked.

Rhea snapped her head up and saw the man transform into the gorgeous god she danced with yesterday.

“Apollo?” Rhea asked, looking very confused.

“Rhea!” The god exclaimed.

The god pulled Rhea to his chest and she wound her arms around Apollo’s neck. He twirled her around and she laughed in delight. Apollo put her down and put his hands around her waist.

“I thought I would never find you. I was thinking about you all this time.” Apollo informed.

“I thought about you too. I thought you would just take another girl and I would never see you again.” Rhea responded.

“Silly, girl. I fell in love the first time I saw you.”



Rhea smiled and he leaned in and kissed her. She kissed him back and he pulled away.

“Rhea. I love you. I can’t think about leaving you because I can’t imagine doing that.”

Apollo kneeled on one knee and took Rhea’s hand.

“Will you please marry me and live forever at my side?” He asked.

Everyone gasped. Rhea just stared at him in shock. She came back to her senses and smiled.

“Yes! I do! I love you, too. You can’t imagine how much.” Rhea answered.

Megaera stepped up.

“Wait. You can’t leave. I’m in charge of you until your father comes back.” Megaera stopped her.

Rhea looked up at Apollo and then at the floor.

“She’s right. My father is at war and left me with her. I can’t leave.” Rhea informed.

Apollo smiled at her and Rhea frowned.

“No worries. I already talked to Perseus and paid the dowry. He already let me have your hand in marriage.”

Megaera stared at him angrily and sat down in a bench. Rhea’s step sisters just left to their rooms.

Rhea hugged him again and kissed him with all her might. He smiled at her.

“Get your things. You’re coming with me to Olympus.”

“Can ask for one thing?” Rhea asked.

“Whatever you wish.”

“May I bring someone with me?”

“Of course.”

“Penelope. Pack your things.”

Penelope stared at Rhea in shock and threw herself at her. Rhea smiled and pushed her to her room.

A few months after, Rhea got married to Apollo and became an immortal. Penelope married Ares, god of war, and also became an immortal. Both young ladies had children and told them about a story of a girl, a god, a bracelet, and love at first sight.

Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback