I was in a tiny strange room. There was no furniture or windows. Not even a door. A woman wearing a hijab laid on the ground, weeping. “Let me go!” She cried out to no one. I reached out to her but a couldn’t reach her nor could I move.
A dream. This all was a dream.
“Let me go!” The woman cried again. Who was she?
I tried to speak but my mouth wouldn’t open. I felt someone grab me. I turned to see Hades. The Hades. I only had ever seen him from afar but I could tell it was him based on the dark black eyes and the fact he had on a black toga and a golden crown. Was I dead? Was this death? Wouldn’t I have seen Thanatos? Or that hot goddess lady?
“I can’t save her. I’ve tried but her soul is stuck here. Her body is in the palace, kept well and alive by my and Persephone’s magic. I’ve never seen a demigod reach here. Though she did reach out to some last night, Bobbie Flora and the Nassar siblings.” He said.
I stared at him. Who was she? Was she? Was she Ms. Nassar? I thought she was dead. She should be dead. But maybe she wasn't fully dead based on what Hades just said.
“You’ll probably forget about this when you wake up since Zeus doesn't people to know what he's up to. Well mortals at least.” Hades frowned. I wanted to ask what he meant but I couldn’t.
“Looks like you’re out of time here. As am I. Good-bye, Reina. Good luck and be strong. You seem like a good kid. Poppy told me what you were doing for her. I hope our path cross on better conditions.” He chuckled before I felt the floor disappear below me. I fell down, surrounded by darkness. Was I dead?
I fell into another room. This one was familiar. It was my room from Higüey, my hometown in the Dominican Republic. A chill went down my spine. I hated this place so much. I want to burn it down to the ground. I want to blow it up. I want it to be no more. I want this room; this house to be gone. I looked over to my old bed. I, well little kid me, was lying on my racecar bed. My forehead was bloody.
The door opened and in came my step mother. She had bruises on her face and arms. Her long curly black hair was loose in a bad attempt to hide some of them. She went to my side. “Estara bien. Lo siento, no lo detuve. Sammy, te prometo que te salvaré a ti y a tu hermano. Y recuerda que serás un gran hermano en unos pocos meses. Todo será mejor entonces.” She said.
My father hadn’t known about the baby when she tried to leave with us the next month. And when she did tell him, it was bad. She killed herself three months after that.
I was going to have a little sister. I wanted her name to be Bella.
My step mother hugged the little me that was lying on the bed.
“Por favor, no me dejes, Regina.” Little me said. Regina. She had only been nineteen when my father married her. She was only twenty-two when she died. I had been only five. My father got worse after she killed herself. He blamed me and Alex for being terrible children. The image of Regina hugging me faded and I found myself in a field of flowers.
I was alone. The flowers were poppies. I smiled. I hoped Poppy was okay. I hoped she didn’t blame herself. Especially if I was dead. All Poppy wanted was to give a gift to her great grandchild who she loved a lot.
“Hey you!” A voice yelled behind me. A hand grabbed me and turned me around. A small girl with long black hair looked up at me.
“Who are you?” I asked. I was surprised I could speak.
“Adsila. My Ma calls me Addie. I see you with a person. Someone related to me. Silly eyes. I have silly eyes.” She giggled. Adsila. As in Adsila Flora. Fuck me. It was considered a bad thing to dream of the dead oracle.
“Well I’m Reina. You are well known because of your special eyes.” I said. Dear Gods what was this dream about? Why was I seeing the dead Oracle?
“I know. Ma always tells me that we are special. She says our family was once great. She says until her father died. Her and her brother went into foster care. I don’t know where he is. Ma hasn’t seen him in years.” Adsila said.
“Oh. Uh, what else do you see?” I asked. Did she see her own death?
“I see a god. A fire.” Adsila’s face went blank. Then she started crying, “Ma. Ma. No. I’m in the poppy field. Don’t go back into the house. I’m in the poppy field. I’m not in my room. No! Ma! Mama!” She screamed. I stared at her. She fell to the ground and the whole world went dark and grew hot.
Flames burst to life in front of me. They whipped around me, almost touching me. A woman was screaming, “Athena! Lady Athena, my goddess! Please save my daughter. Please!” The smell of burning flesh filled the air.
Smoke covered my vision but it cleared soon and I was in my Mom’s palace. She sat on a bench with Artemis.
“Arty, please watch over my children while I’m gone. Me and Ares are going to find Athena and Bobbie Flora.” My mom said before she kissed Artemis on the lips.
“Okay. I will. Good luck. And tell Athena I miss her. We’ve always been so close and her being gone for so long and I always wanted to meet her daughters. And tell her to give birth to her seventh daughter on Delphi. The island is one of the only places Zeus cannot touch. It would be the safest place.” Artemis said. I stared at them. My mom just kissed Artemis. The goddess most believed to hate romance. Holy shit. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Or my ears. Athena was pregnant? I always thought the seven daughters was a rumor. But I guess not. And if that was true that meant the end of something was coming.
“Of course. Listen, things are going to get bad. Zeus is getting angrier every second Bobbie Flora is alive. I know you have your champion and your brother’s other children to worry about but my babies, sure they are strong but-”
“Sweetie. I will protect them as if they were my own.” Artemis hugged my mom.