Hey, I love your gods&monsters series, could you write something about Apollo? ^Preferably something with a positive vibe, something romantic... But that's totally up to you, anything about Apollo makes me happy
has many sons.
ever has nine daughters.
his first when he’s young, too young to know better.
is beautiful and coy, and leads him on a merry chase. He catches her, and finally
silences her laughing mouth with his own. They sleep together, and she leaves
bite marks up his neck.
father, the river god Peneus, finds out about them. Apollo had not known it was
secret. Peneus is a hard, selfish god, and he slits Daphne’s throat for her
impurity. Better a dead daughter then one who does not listen.
finds out too late. He arrives to Daphne dead on the side of her father’s
riverbank, stomach swollen in a way Apollo doesn’t remember it being the last
time he saw her, which was – which was – it couldn’t have been that long, could
open her stomach, throat too tight to call for his sister’s help, heart too
tight to bear anyone else looking at Daphne’s slack, bloody face.
child is still warm.
child is still alive.
cannot bring himself to bury Daphne, to sentence her to an afterlife beneath
the earth. Instead, he transforms her into a large laurel tree, so her beauty
will remain eternal. He presses a hand against her trunk and says, “My hair
will have you, my lyre will have you, my quiver will have you.” Apollo looks
down at the baby, too small, tucking into the crook of his arm. “Our daughter
will have you.”
calls her Calliope. Their daughter weaves laurel leaves into her hair every day
of her life.
is older, but not wiser, he gets drunk on the top of Olympus. It is not the
first time, nor the last, but this time it is different.
time Hestia, goddess of the hearth, of warmth, of family, places her delicate
hand around the back of his neck and leads him to her rooms.
later, he lands his chariot, the sun finally set. His arms are shaking, and his
legs are covered from burns when the sun grew tired and tried to consume him,
but could not. Hestia stands before him, something held in her arms. “What’s
wrong?” he asks roughly, throat dry and the skin of his lips cracking. Hestia
rarely leaves Olympus.
no mother,” she tells him, and he doesn’t understand until she places a warm,
squirming bundle in his arms. He holds it to his chest automatically. “Her name
leaves before he has the chance to question her. He looks down, and the baby
has his golden eyes and her dark hair. “Hello, little one.”
is fully grown now. Apollo leaves Terpsichore in her care, and promises to come
Father,” Calliope says, rolling her eyes as her little sister grabbing fistfuls
of her curly hair. There’s an ink smudge across her face, and her home is
bursting with books. He should really talk to Athena about letting Calliope use
one of her libraries.
kisses both their foreheads before leaving.
falls in love with a Spartan prince, graceful and strong and with a wide,
pretty mouth. He falls in love with a mind that can match him, with a smile
that leaves him breathless. Hyacinth captures his affections and attentions
utterly, and for a few short years Apollo is enchanted, for a few short years
Apollo feels a love deep in his chest that is only surpassed by the love he has
for his sister.
Hyacinth is killed.
shows up at his daughters’ door, and Calliope and Terpsichore take one look at
him and usher him inside. He can’t bring himself to speak, but he’s covered in
blood that isn’t his own, is pale and shaken and mourning.
clean him and care for him and settle him to bed, although he cannot bring
himself to sleep.
than a week later, there is a mortal woman there looking for him. Her eyes are
red, but she stands tall and her lips are pressed into a straight line. A
toddler who shares her dark coloring clutches her skirt. “I am the Princess of
Sparta, and wife of Hyacinth.”
hadn’t known Hyacinth had a wife. He hadn’t asked. Surely he would have noticed
– but then again, perhaps not. Love makes people stupid. “I am sorry for your
am sorry for yours,” she says in return, which surprises him. “Sparta must have
a prince. I am to be remarried.” She brings the little girl forward, and she
can’t be more than a couple years old. “This is Urania, the child of myself and
my husband. I have been ordered to kill her.”
flinches. He knows such things are done, but – she is Hyacinth’s daughter. “I
will take her.”
smiles. “I thought you might.” She kisses the girl on both cheeks, hands her to
Apollo, then leaves as quickly as she’d came.
watches them with big liquid eyes that she got from her mother. He stays with
his daughters for a year after that, playing with Urania and watching
Terpsichore dance and listening to Calliope’s beautiful poetry. Urania loves
the stars. She stares up at them each night, and Apollo patiently explains the
name of each one.
she is fully grown, he begs a piece of ambrosia off Hestia and feeds it to her.
is his daughter as surely as if his blood ran through her veins. He cannot bear
to watch her age and die.
chooses Ida over him, but it is too late. She already swells with his child,
and he could use that to keep her. He could force her to stay at his side, she
loves him, she said so, it would not be such a cruel thing.
is not wrong in her assessment. Apollo is immortal, and will not grow old with
her, will not change with her, will not die with her. Ida will.
fear on her face, and he thinks she deserves it, for proclaiming to love him
and choosing another. But he is not interested in keeping her captive for a
the child, and give it to me,” he commands, “and I will leave you to your
furious in his jealousy that Marpessa will bear a child for Apollo before she
bears a child for him, so there is that comfort, at least.
delivers the child to ensure it goes smoothly. She’s beaming as she holds her
niece. “What will you call her?”
choose,” he says, running the back of his finger over the babe’s soft cheek.
sister considers the squalling child for a long moment before she says, “I
think you should name her Thalia.”
it is,” he says.
mischievous, and reminds him of himself on his worst days. She grows, and pulls
pranks on nymphs and deities. Her older sisters are constantly straining to
keep her out of worse trouble.
a frantic message from Calliope that Thalia has gone missing, and he eventually
finds her at the edge of a scorched battlefield, the soldiers long gone but the
bodies and stench remaining. He’s furious at her for going to a place so
dangerous, but when he marches up to her he sees something that he hadn’t
through a story about pranking a wood nymph that he knows is at least half lies
and a quarter exaggeration. Curled up on the ground, clutching his stomach as
he laughs so hard he can’t breathe, is Ares.
hasn’t seen the tormented god of war this carefree since he was a child.
finally notices him, and cuts herself off, paling. “Oh, uh. Hi Dad.”
downright giggling. “Hello Thalia,” Apollo crosses his arms and glares,
“You shouldn’t go wandering away from your sisters.” She winces and nods,
ducking her head to look up at him through her eyelashes, doing her best to
look contrite and innocent.
might have worked, if Apollo hadn’t taught her that look himself.
down on the ground next to Ares, who doesn’t acknowledge his presence beyond
shifting enough to use Apollo’s thigh as his pillow. “Well,” Apollo says, “keep
lights up and launches back into the story, and when she finishes she continues
into another which is mostly true and somehow even more ridiculous.
he’s an idiot with a death wish, Apollo ends up spending a month
with Hecate in the underworld. He stumbles out one night when she falls asleep,
because he feels if he doesn’t leave now there’s a possibility that he never
the most horrifying moments of his life is looking for the way out, and finding
Hades instead. The god of death looks to him, walking around naked in his
realm, to the direction he came from, and says, “That was you? Are you
it was a good time,” he says faintly.
Hades shakes his head, and slices his hand down in the air in front of them,
creating a doorway for Apollo out of his realm.
gives him a clumsy salute and steps through.
a year later, he’s playing his lyre when a little girl with black skin and grey
hair and eyes appears in front of him. It’s terrifying enough that he
accidentally snaps one of his strings.
Styx,” he says, voice higher pitched than normal. “Is there something I can
help you with?”
child snorts and reaches her hands into absolutely nothing and pulls out
a baby. She holds it out to him. “Hecate says this is your problem now.”
the babe already has a mouth full of too-sharp teeth. Her eyes shift between
every color, unable to decide, and there is something a little too knowing
about her face for one so young. Artemis says he too was born knowing too much.
of Apollo and Hecate can only be a mistake, something that will never fit quite
well among others of her own kind.
sighs and take the baby. “Very well.”
the name Clio,” the child goddess says before leaving him.
tells him it’s too small and to give it back. Urania is fascinated, and takes
over most of the child’s care, which is likely for the best since Calliope is
neck deep into a new epic, and would be cross if she needed to pull her
attention from it to rear a child.
ages, she stays just as unsettling and strange. Hephaestus shows up around the
time she starts breaking into Athena’s libraries, even though stunts like that
get people worse than killed. “I don’t know why she gave her to me,” Apollo
says as they watch the teenager devouring a stolen tome on the history of the
Persian Empire. “Hecate raised you, I don’t understand why she didn’t want to
raise her actual daughter.”
a better parent than she is,” he says thoughtfully. Apollo gives him an
unimpressed look, but he says, “I’m serious. Your girls are turning out to be
quite lovely – all of them.”
course they are,” he says, nose in the air, but grins when Hephaestus elbows
him the side.
time she’s an adult, Clio is easily one of the most accomplished scholars to
ever exist. She and Athena regularly get into academic debates that last weeks,
and scare off anyone from daring to come closer.
stays strange, and too smart, and Apollo loves her utterly.
is lying on the beach when a large wave overtakes him and drags him into the
sea. He struggles for the surface, but can’t seem to shake the waves, and is
dragged to the sea floor. He’s a god, so he won’t suffocate, but he’s terrified
when the water drags him down to Poseidon’s palace and deposits him in front of
his wife. “Apollo,” she says, “I can see what your daughters will become.”
no idea what she’s talking about. “Excuse me?”
grabs his jaw and pulls him closer. He doesn’t dare resist. She looks into his
eyes, then smirks. “The god of prophecy doesn’t know that which he has wrought.
How … ironic.”
it?” he wonders. He really hopes she doesn’t kill him.
she smirks, and with a flick of her wrist she’s naked before him. “I wish for
one of your daughters to be mine as well. Lay with me.”
he says eloquently, because Amphitrite has never given her husband any
children, he hadn’t even known she could. If he sleeps with her, Poseidon might
kill him, regardless of how many people the god of the sea sleeps with that
aren’t his wife. But if he refuses her, she
might kill him, and it’s not like having sex with Amphitrite is any sort of
hardship. She’s as gorgeous as she is terrifying. “Okay.”
deposited back on the shore the next day, feeling oddly used.
Poseidon has any opinions on Apollo knocking up his wife, he doesn’t voice
doesn’t foist the baby upon him as soon as she’s born. Instead years pass, and
one day a dark skinned, amber eyed sea god shows up at his door. There’s a
teenager at his side, who has Apollo’s coloring and Amphitrite’s bone
structure, and hair that shimmers golden-green in sunlight. “Glaucus,” Apollo
greets warily, “and who might this be?”
her Erato,” Glaucus says, “I’ve raised her since birth. It’s time for her to
join her sisters.”
is not as terrifying as her mother. Instead there’s a sweetness about her that
she must have gotten from Glaucus. She’s shy at first, and spends many days
looking out into the sea. But his daughters are persistent, and soon she’s
laughing and joining them. There’s something dreamy about her, and she loves
love, writes romantic ballads and beautiful poems, so much so that Aphrodite
commends her talent.
is also the most like him in the area of her love life, meaning she leaves
behind a constant trail of heartbroken men and women.
complains about the constant wailing around their home, and Clio proves she has
some of her mother’s talent with magic when she casts an unplotable spell
around their home so former lovers stop following Erato home. Of course, she
forgets to tell both Apollo and her sisters about this, and it’s very confusing
for everyone until Clio remembers to tell them where the house is.
daughters’ home is a place of constant music, poetry, and literature. He thinks
he’s starting to suspect what Amphitrite was talking about.
hunts are easy things.
feels the moment his sister is wounded, the arrow through her abdomen as
painful for him as it is for her. He’s in his chariot, and he can’t leave it,
if he leaves his chariot unattended the sun will consume it, and then consume
the earth. “Calliope!” he snaps, and his eldest daughter appears by his side.
she asks, huddling into him and away from the sun. “What’s going on?”
is hurt, I have to help,” he says urgently, and places the reins into her
hands. “You can do this.”
pales, but steps forward, keeping a white knuckled grip on the chariot. “Go.”
kisses his forehead, and goes to his sister. Her huntresses have set up an
honor guard around her, defending and dying as cruel faced giants draws closer.
“ARES!” he screams, and he doesn’t know what they’re fighting for, what this
war is about, but it doesn’t matter. “WE NEED YOU!”
of war appears, and he’s clearly come from some other battle, covered in mud
and other worse things. He throws himself into the battle, but it’s not until
they gain more aid that the tides turn in their favor.
first sees Erato on the field, water swirling around her as she slices through
them all, the power of her mother making her golden eyes glow. Clio is at her
back, the glittering magic Hecate passed on to her filling her hands.
has long curved knives flying from her fingers, and all who face her don’t
figure out they’re dead until she’s already left them behind. Urania is letting
loose arrows against the giants and though she’s not his by blood, not a
goddess by birth, none would know it watching each of her arrows hit true and
take down another enemy.
uses her honed abilities of dance differently here on the battlefield, twirling
and ducking around enemies with her sword flashing as it slices through all who
go against her. Celestial fire licks up the sword, and the daughter of Hestia
and Apollo is laughing as she dances through the battlefield.
wants to yell at them, to tell them to get off the battlefield, to get to
safety. But it is thanks to them that the fight is being won, so he says
looks around, grimaces, and catches Apollo’s eye before he disappears from the
battle. They must be invoking his name. Apollo is only grateful he managed to
stay as long as he did.
giants are all dead by the time Apollo manages to make it to his sister’s side.
She’s pale and covered in blood, her huntresses seated around her and trying to
stop the bleeding. “What were you thinking?” Apollo demands, grabbing her hand
and pushing her hair from her forehead. Terpsichore comes forward and lays her
burning sword against the wound, sealing and cauterizing it at once. Both
Apollo and Artemis scream
took – a – child,” she pants, leaning in for his touch, for his comfort, and he
has never been able to deny her anything. He pulls her up, biting back a scream
at the pain that rips through them both, and props her up against his chest. “A
– nymph’s child. Zeus’s child. They killed – it’s mother. That – that sort of
injustice will – will not be – tolerated.” She lays her head back against his
shoulder, tears leaking from the corner of her eyes, and Apollo almost wishes
the battle were not over, because he wants to murder something.
get it,” Erato says, and a moment later she returns with a toddler in her arms.
She has the copper skin of Zeus, and pale blonde hair. “What do we do now? Zeus
does not care for his children.”
think it’s time you became a big sister,” Thalia says, and Erato looks
stricken. “Right Dad?”
looks to his sister, who nods. “I can think of no better place for her. She
cannot stay with me – a hunting party is not place for children.”
well,” he sighs. “Does she have a name?”
girl attempts to hide behind Erato’s hair, then says, “I am Euterpe.”
Euterpe,” he says.
then that the sun finally sets, and Calliope stumbles into existence next to
them. She’s covered in deep, bleeding burns, but it’s not as bad he feared it would
be. She’s certainly faired better at her first time driving the chariot than he
had. “What’s happening? Is everything all right?”
have a new sister,” Thalia says brightly, even as Clio rushes forward to tend
to her burns.
thankfully, seems to inherit none of Zeus’s madness. She has a singing voice
like a clear bell, and soon surpasses even Calliope’s talent with the lyre.
knows, technically, that Euterpe is his half-sister. But it takes him no time
at all to regard her as his daughter, to love her with same simple ferocity as he
loves her sisters.
while, all is well, is quiet. His daughters are all fully grown, accomplished
Demeter corners him when he’s walking through quiet city and pins him against
an alley wall. “If Amphitrite thinks she can one up me over this,” the goddess
hisses, “she’s sorely mistaken.”
least this time he knows what’s going on when Demeter starts pulling her dress
off. “You can’t raise the child,” he says. He’s not adverse to laying with
Demeter, although at this rate it looks like there will be less laying and more
standing against a rough alley wall. But Demeter only knows how to love in a
way that crushes all it touches. He won’t let her do that to his child.
she snaps, “Now get moving.”
vaguely terrified the whole time, and it mostly reminds him of his month with
Hecate. He’s left alone and naked in the alleyway an hour later.
months later, a baby is delivered to his door by a nervous wood nymph. His
daughter still has the squashed appearance of a freshly born baby. “She didn’t
waste any time,” he comments, settling her into the crook of his arms. “Does
she have a name?”
my lord,” the wood nymph says, then bows before fleeing.
brings her to the home where all his daughters live.
grows, and she’s the spitting image of Demeter, of Persephone back when she
answered to the name Kore. Her voice is lower than Euterpe’s, but just as pretty
and when they sing together it’s the most beautiful sound he’s ever heard.
She’s quiet, and thoughtful, her big brown eyes watching all around her with a
asks after her mother, something none of the others had done, and Apollo
doesn’t know what to say. The truth is too callous, but he can’t bear to lie to
her. Instead he begs an audience with Persephone, and says, “Your sister asks
after the mother you share. I don’t know what to tell her.”
has no advice to offer, but she starts spending some of her time outside of the
underworld with Polyhymnia. It is enough, and her questions stop, and Apollo
tries not to feel guilty that he never really answered them.
is unlike any woman he’s ever met, unlike any person he’s ever met, and the
flames of love and passion burn inside him in a way they haven’t since his
bull headed and irritating, and whenever he tries to complain about it Artemis
rolls her eyes and his daughters laugh at him. He supposes he’s not doing a
very good job hiding that he’s in love with her. Not even from her, because at
one point she crossly asks if he’s ever planning to do anything with her, or if
she should accept the offer from the butcher’s son.
don’t leave her house for five days.
curious, hungry for knowledge, hungrier for it then she is of him. She wants to
know impossible things, wants to be an impossible thing, and so Apollo laughs
and takes her hand and says, “I will make you a bargain. I will give you the
gift of prophecy, if you will grant me the gift of your hand.”
never take a bride before. He hasn’t wanted to.
is screaming and laughing, and she throws her arms around his neck and kisses
him until she’s breathless. He takes it as a yes.
when everything goes horribly, incredibly wrong.
too much, all the horror she sees is too much, and Apollo tries to tell her to
focus on the good, to see the happiness of the future. But she can’t, gets too
caught up in too many wars, and she wastes away in front of his eyes even as
her stomach swells.
tries to take back the gift, tries to save her, but he can’t. It cannot be
ungiven, and his headstrong, vivacious lover fades before his eyes. He only
manages to alter it, to change it so no one believes the horrible things she cries
to prevent the horror people feel when she looks at them and screams the way
that they’ll die.
helps deliver their child, but halfway through her face goes pinched and
worried, and Apollo knows that Cassandra won’t make it.
sorry,” he weeps, kissing her gaunt face, feeling the sharpness of her
cheekbones under his lips, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t know this would happen. I didn’t
want this to happen.”
looks at him with glassy eyes, barely reacts when Artemis places their child on
her chest. There’s a growing pool of blood under her, but she can’t be saved,
she will die, here, now.
wonders if she saw this coming.
blinks, and meets his gaze with a sharpness and awareness he hasn’t seen for a
long time. “She is your last daughter,” Cassandra says, “Melpomene is the last
daughter you will have.”
kisses her, his last chance to do so.
dead before his lips leaves hers.
tries to flee, to run from the claws tearing apart his heart, but Artemis
doesn’t let him. She yanks him back and pushes Melpomene into his arms. “You
can’t leave,” she says harshly, “She needs you. Your daughter needs you. You’re
not allowed to run.”
crumples, leaning his head onto his sister’s shoulder as he sobs, and her
calloused hand grasps the back of his neck. Melpomene is stuck between them,
soft and warm and alive.
is Thalia’s other half, her best friend, and they do everything together. Her
dark hair is a mass of unruly curls just like her mother, her laughter is just like