They say the Greek gods are just myths. Lies. Tall tales. Well they're wrong. So very wrong but I wish they were right.
My name is Bobbie Flora. I didn't mean for all of this to happen. I didn't mean for them die. I feel like it is all my fault. In a horrible way, it is all my fault. And I didn’t mean those awful things to happen to them.
But sadly it all happened, all because of my cursed blood. The blood of the gods and the blood of something else. Something so powerful I can’t speak of it right now. I guess I should start telling my story. Listen carefully. I don’t want you to miss anything important. Any important detail missed can lead to death.
A prophecy. A goddess. A knife. A death. A night in a temple. An event that will haunt my life. Where to begin? I guess before all of that would be the best place to begin.
I was raised by my aunt, Ellen from a very young age after my birth mother’s death and when I was sixteen Ellen died. Her funeral was small, the only people who came were me, Ellen's few friends, the preacher, the workers who carried the coffin, and a strange man. His hair was blonde, almost white. It covered his eyes so I couldn't see them at all.
He walked towards me before the funeral started.
"Hello, dearie. I'm Apollo, a friend of your aunt's." He said, his voice sounded like he was singing. I didn't trust him.
"Really? Didn't know Auntie Ellen had friends I didn't know about," I snarled at him.
"Oh well we were special friends. Ellen had some great talents," Apollo chuckled. I wrinkled my nose. Was he implying they slept together?
"So what do you want?" I asked.
"I knew your birth mother too. And I know your other parent," he said. Panic rose in me. Most of the people Ellen talked to knew me as her kid.
"Who are you?" I asked, stepping backwards away from him. Could he be my father? He looked nothing like me but that didn’t really mean anything.
"Well your other parent, your other mother, well I guess you could watch she's my aunt," he said.
"So you're my cousin?" I asked. Okay he's not my father but I have another mother? Instead of a father?
"In a way yes." He nodded. In a way? Maybe he was adopted or not my cousin but a cousin’s cousin on the other side of the family.
"Is my fa- I mean other mother alive?"
"Yes. She even asked me to get you. She wants you to be safe." Apollo smiled.
Did I trust him? No. But did I have any other choices? Not really. I had no home now. My other choice was foster care. I wasn’t quite old enough to live on my own and foster care could take me far away from my home.
"Okay. When do we leave?"
"As soon as Ellen is buried we will go." Apollo smiled at me.
All I did was nod.
After the funeral Apollo lead me to a gold vintage car. I took a deep breath and got in. What's the worst that could happen? If he killed me at least I wouldn't mourn my aunt anymore. I thought about what Apollo had said about my other parent. I wondered if she knew that I was nonbinary. I wondered how much she knew about me.
I fell asleep in the car. I woke up when the door opened and I fell out on top of grass. Apollo laughed as I got up off the ground. In front of me was a large building that looked like a southern plantation mixed with an Irish castle and a Greek temple. I counted at least twenty stories based on the windows, there were four towers on the corners and several smaller buildings stood near it.
"Holy sh-" "Don't fucking cuss. There could be small children around," Apollo interrupted me. I glared at him. That was rude. I really hoped I wasn’t really related to his ass. Also he just cursed!
"Ladies first." He said, pointing at the building. I rolled my eyes. I was not a lady. I wasn't a guy either.
“My bad, enbies first.” He said like he could read my mind or at least tell I was about to tell him off. Or maybe he just realized his mistake, after all he did know Ellen.
I stepped towards the buildings. Apollo followed, watching me like a hawk. He had brushed the hair away from his face and now I could see his eyes. His gold eyes. Literally fucking twenty-four karat gold colored. I stared. They had to be contacts. It was impossible for a human to have golden eyes. It should be impossible.
"Oh, there's my twin! She'll take you to where you need to go." Apollo pointed at something- someone -behind me. I turned away from Apollo and his strange eyes.
A young woman wearing a Greek style dress was walking towards us. If she was his twin they must be like that one pair of twins where one is white passing and one is more black looking. Or maybe they had different fathers. Apollo looked Asian while his sister looked black. I also noted that she had dyed her dreads a dark silver color which was a very interesting contrast between the two of them.
"Artemis, baby sister! I've got good old Demeter's kid!" Apollo said as he pushed me towards her. I glanced up at her face. She had a moon tattoo across her face and her eyes were silver. Her lips were painted like a small night sky. Damn. She was hot. If I wasn't already a lesbian she would have turned me gay. Wait. Artemis? Like the Greek goddess and she’s wearing a Greek style dress? And Demeter? My mother was also named after a Greek goddess? Well she probably choose that name. Maybe they all did. Maybe they were all transgender. Maybe Apollo and Artemis were just joking around with the twin stuff.
"Apollo, I am the older twin, don’t call me baby sister. And I'll handle getting the kid to Demeter." Artemis smiled at me. She seemed so welcoming and warm like someone who would bake cookies for every child in the world. Yet at the same time she seemed like someone who would literally gut someone alive.
I followed her in silence to a small building that looked like it was made out of mud. The door swung opened, a young Arabic woman walked out. She looked only a few years older than me.
"Hello, Bobbie? Yes?” she asked and I nodded, “I'm Persephone, Demeter is inside. Goodbye now, Artemis you must come try my newest blood pudding recipe." She said, then she grabbed Artemis's arm and the two ran off; leaving me on my own to face Demeter, one of my biological mothers. I noted her name as well; another Greek goddess. Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, the queen of the Underworld, and the wife of Hades. I loved that myth, Ellen had told me it at bedtime when I was a small child.
In the version she told, Persephone had went into the Underworld to hide from Zeus who was coming to meet her for the first time. She knew what Zeus did to pretty girls. So off she ran, until she found a cave. She went into it and kept going until she found it was a tunnel to a dead yard in front of a palace. Inside was Hades who was surprised to see her and when she told him she was hiding from Zeus, he gave her a room. After days went by and Zeus was long gone, Demeter couldn’t find Persephone so she grew worried and went on a rampage. Months went by but Persephone was enjoying the Underworld and Hades too much to notice until Hermes showed up. Hermes was just there to try to get back his job as a guide for the dead. When he saw Persephone, he told Hades and her about Demeter. But then Persephone grabbed a pomegranate and took a few bites so that she had to stay before Hades could take it away from her. Hermes than went to get Demeter and Zeus. Persephone was annoyed with Hermes for bringing Zeus. Then she said she ate food from the Underworld and sat down on the ground. In the end she agreed to go back for a part of the year if she gets to go back to the Underworld to be with Hades. And that's how the seasons came to be. Also she got married to Hades and they had two daughters.
I loved that story so much.
With that story running through my head, I stepped into the mud house. A black woman sat on the dirt floor. Flowers were stuck into her thick coily hair; her dress looked as if it was made out of wheat.
"Um hello?" I said, unsure of what to say. So this was my other mother? She looked like a crazy hippie or something.
She looked up at me. Her eyes were shockingly bright green. "Bobbie, my dear child. Oh how you have grown. I haven't been able to see you since you were four!" She said. Her eyes were a bright happy green but extremely tired looking.
"So Greek god names are common in the family?" I asked still unsure of everything.
She smiled, "Oh Bobbie-pin, no one told you, did they? Apollo can be such a lazy brat sometimes. The Greek gods are real. I'm the goddess Demeter. You meet Persephone, Apollo and Artemis. We are truly the gods." She smiled more.
I looked at her, waiting for her to laugh and say that that had been a joke. But she just smiled and the flowers in her hair grew wildly and reach out towards me.
I'm pretty sure I fainted because I don't remember what happened next.
I woke up in a hospital room. A fat guy was sitting in a chair next to the bed I was in. He was wearing a toga over scrubs. Strange.
"Hi." I said.
"Oh good. You're awake! I'm Johanna Ravi! Daughter of Apollo! Welcome to Little Olympus!" She said, her accent was British and she had short curly blue hair. And her roots were blonde. Not to mention blue eyes. Which was rare for a non white person but hey if gods were real well who am I to question things? Also I felt bad for thinking she was a guy.
"Okay..." I said, I looked around the room. My eyes stopped at the door where another girl stood.
"Finally, you're awake. I'm Josephine Ravi, daughter of Apollo, champion of Artemis." She said. She looked just like Johanna expect she had long black hair and brown eyes. Twins, maybe? And apparently Apollo's kids. They looked so different kind of like their father and his twin but not as much as them. And Josephine was Artemis's champion? What did that even mean?
“I have a chiton for you to wear. It’s the standard outfit for dinner time, it’s a silly rule but harmless. We can get you a toga tomorrow if you want. The rest of your clothes and your personal items will be delivered to your room tomorrow.” Josephine said. She tossed me what looked like a tan sheet with holes.
“Toga would be better, yeah.” I said.
"I guess we should explain somethings, Bobbie do you mind not talking for a little while, the less questions you ask the faster we can get this over with," Josephine said. I nodded.
Johanna and Josephine explained how that all of the Greek Gods were in fact real and still around. And that they were the second oldest living children of Apollo and I was one of the few children of Demeter because four hundred years ago the gods swore that there will be no more demigods for some unknown reason. But then they ended that oath about twenty-ish years ago for another unknown reason. The oldest demigod alive was a guy named Allen who was nineteen and was turning twenty in about five months, he was a son of Zeus, the god of the sky, thunder and the king of Olympus. The youngest that was known was a three-year-old named Lexie, they didn’t say who her parent was and I didn’t think to ask. Looking back maybe I should have.
And I just sat there. You would think I would have a hard time processing this junk but something in me told me it was all true. All real. Familiar. It was just bedtime stories that were real.