Herc by Phoenicia Rogerson EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Status: Available for Free Download
- Author: Phoenicia Rogerson
- Language: English
- Genre: Mythology
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Price: Free
We wanted a girl. Alcmene, my wife, and I were born of heroes, which
sounds dramatic but mostly meant we had a family history of fire, glory,
and dying young. So it came up one night, our legs tangled around each
other. I’d like a girl, for our first, whispered, like it was something to be
ashamed of. But being born of heroes means nothing runs smooth and we
had twin boys.
The conception took place over three nights, and one.
Alcmene was an incredible woman. Smarter than I am, by half. She
could hold a thousand thoughts in her head at once and always know
exactly which one she needed. She was beautiful too. She stood tall and
straight, with muscles in her arms and with eyes that took in everything
around her, and she loved me. I defy any man not to find that beautiful.
Maybe, then, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when she attracted the
attention of a god – Zeus, the king himself – but it did, because when he
appeared to her, he was wearing my face.
There was a prophecy. It said a descendant of Zeus born around a
certain time would rule all those around him. I don’t know why this
particular prophecy was so important to Zeus – his progeny tended to grow
up to be kings anyway – but it’s best not to question the gods. He decided
this son should have a particularly impressive bloodline, so he turned to my
wife, born of heroes.
I’m older than I was. I’ve had time to come to terms with it. I’ve tried
very hard not to be angry with her. I know, logically, there’s nothing to be
done when the king of the gods appears looking like your husband, but I
have to wonder. Did he have my mannerisms too? My thoughts and my
words and my movements?
The night Zeus appeared to my wife – did he knock on our door? – the
world went dark.
I was away, trying to mint myself as a military leader before our family
grew. I wanted to be a father to be proud of.
Three days, it stayed dark. What should have been the first morning, we
brushed it off. We laughed that Apollo, who drives the sun, was being lazy,
distracted by some nymph, maybe. By afternoon we’d stopped laughing –
something about the utter blackness choked it off – and quietly speculated
that this was the end for man. We supposed the Titans had risen from their
prison in Tartarus and deposed their children, the gods, dragged them
someplace even darker than the world we inhabited.
By what should have been the evening, I was riding home. Screw war.
Screw honour. If this was the end, I wanted to spend it with my wife. By the
end of the ride, my steed, a warhorse from as long and splendid a lineage as
my own, was fit for nothing but pasture, but it didn’t matter. As our house
crept into sight, so did the sun, rising behind it. I didn’t stop to speak to
Alcmene, save fervent whispers of relief, as I scooped her up and carried
her to bed.
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