Aphrodite laughs, head tossed back with stars in her hair, ‘We are immortal. We are ageless. We will never die.’
How do you kill a God?
Hera sighs, ‘You rob them of love and loyalty. They will be alone and unhappy, and eternity will seem like a punishment, but it is not death.’
How do you kill a God?
Zeus declares, rather confidently, ‘You deny them their power. Poseidon nods his head in agreement. ‘They will be weak and defeated, perhaps even chopped up into pieces, but it is not death.’
How do you kill a God?
Apollo closes his eyes. ‘You strip them of their senses. Their eyes, and they cease to see. Their ears, and they are rendered silent. They will be in the dark, conscious and cut off for millennium, but it is not death.’
How do you kill a God?
Hades whispers, though still his voice carries, ‘With another God. An immortal for an immortal. Era for an Era. A celestial being to strip another’s soul. He pauses, the rest are silent. ‘A God for a God.’
Aphrodite:the bruises of love bites left by lovers on necks and thighs; smudged lipstick from hasty kisses; blood red roses with their sharp thorns still intact; the way you hug someone you love when you reunite after a lengthy separation
Apollo:polished instruments gleaming, held like the most precious of jewels by their owners; a sunny day with a clear blue sky where there are no clouds in sight; the rough script of poems penned out on scraps of paper or napkins before they're forgotten; when music is so loud that you feel it reverberating in your bones; the pale lines of fading scars
Ares:the hands of a fighter, short finger nails and bloodied knuckles; split lips that have scabbed over; the smooth and intricate lines of old weapons you see mounted on museum walls; deep trenches dug out from the earth; the way barbed wire contrasts against whatever it surrounds
Artemis:loose braids with wild flowers slipped in; the majesty of tall trees stretching up endlessly towards the heavens; the wide and captivating eyes of wild deer; cloudy nights where the moon is just barely peeking through; the colorful fletching of arrows drawn back to rest upon cheeks and along jaws
Athena:the straight and steady way a soldier stands at attention; fingertips smudged with ink; a stack of books to read piled on the floor or a nightstand; eyes gleaming with the glow of new ideas; the quiet and contemplative aura of museums and libraries
Demeter:the way sunlight catches dust motes in the air through the gaps in the leaves of the trees; the feeling of life you get from standing in the middle of an orchard with bees buzzing around you; crocuses and snowdrops peeking through the last dredges of winter's snow
Hades:the bleached bones of animals in the forest when moss has begun to engulf them; the way that graveyard angels look like they're weeping in the rain; the solemn aura of old churches, citadels, synagogues, temples, and mosques
Hephaestus:the pleasure of holding something you've created in your palms; the soft glow of heated metal; the intricate beauty of cogs and gears fitting together precisely and working in tandem; the smooth and polished surfaces of high-rise business buildings
Hera:the lacy white of flowing wedding gowns; the way a couple's hands look clasped together; pairs of old wedding rings that are scratched from years of use; the feeling of surrealism that comes from looking at old family portraits; getting used to sharing a space with someone else and then seeing the mannerisms you've unknowingly adopted from them
Hermes:the way that the low beam headlights of a car touch the roads that stretch ever onwards at night; old maps yellowed at the corners from their age; the way that things rush past when you look out the window of a car or train; quick hands slipping deftly into pockets and taking what they find
Hestia:the light and protection of street lights in an otherwise dark city; the warmth of your bed on cold winter mornings; the heat of a fire as you sit around it with people you love; the comfort of a home-cooked meal
Poseidon:the way light looks when you're seeing it shine down from deep underwater; the effervescent colors of cresting waves; the eery beauty of shipwrecks; the ripples created when you trail your fingertips through still waters; dust clouds kicked up by the passing of strong hooves
Zeus:the way that storm clouds darken the edge of the horizon; silhouettes framed against the sky by flashes of lightning; the splay of feathers of a bird's outstretched wings; the polished and tarnished brass of old fashioned scales
Zeus drinks himself half to death at the bar. He makes bedroom eyes at every pretty girl to walk in the room. They will clutch their cans of mace a little tighter as they walk home tonight.
Aphrodite helps a beaten girl to her feet, holding her tight as her young body is racked with sobs. Artemis stands nearby, preparing to hunt the thief of this young girl’s innocence. These are the only hunts she participates in anymore.
Athena glares at Ares as bloody knuckles and booted feet connect with battered bodies between them. The fight clubs are their temples now.
Dionysus stands behind a bar, serving drinks to rowdy men and pretty girls. Later, he will be found holding back the hair of girls, too young for the drinks they swallowed, as they vomit the concoctions they drank to forget the pain in the world. Dionysus understands and so he drinks more than anyone, if only to forget the suffering that has filled his immortal life.
Hestia mourns the numerous broken homes. She puts extra effort in protecting the scant few happy families left. So Hestia has created a home for those lost and abandoned, for she too knows how it feels to be cast out by the family who should have loved you unconditionally. She understands what it feels like to be adrift and homeless.
Apollo sits on a busy, crowded street, strumming his guitar and singing a song of loss and pain. He uses poetry and music to mourn the pain in the world. He berates himself constantly, because for every life he saves, ten more are extinguished. He has stopped visiting hospitals because he can’t help but feel his efforts are futile. He hasn’t seen his sister in years, and he misses her most at night, when he can see her beloved stars and moon.
Hermes slumps in a chair, exhausted from the horror gracing the human news. He decides he is no longer deserving of the title “messenger of the gods,” since he hasn’t delivered a message in centuries. Not when the gods no longer keep in touch. So he reverts to his favorite pastime: stealing. But what use is mortal money to a god?
Hera sits in the shadows of a bar and struggles to summon the dredges of the vindictive, jealous anger that used to come so easily to her when she saw her husband with another woman. Hera thinks that perhaps in this modern world, she would do better as the goddess of divorce. Because, really, how can she profess that marriage is the best gift the world has to offer when she can’t even keep her husband in her bed? When he doesn’t even bother pretending that he loves her? Yes, goddess of failed marriages has such a lovely, miserable ring to it.
Poseidon wanders the beach, picking up the scattered trash that poisons his domain. His tears mix with the salt water on his cheeks and he weeps for the suffering of his oceans. He feels the pollution like a phantom pain, and he scoffs at himself, full of loathing for the god of the sea who could not protect his oceans from mortals.
Hades lounges in his extravagant mansion, smiling at his lovely wife curled at his side. Blessed is he, for there will always be death, and mortals will always worship his riches. Of all his siblings, Hades, the scorned brother, cursed to rule the underworld, is the only one to still enjoy immortality.
Persephone is as beautiful as ever and she is happy with her loving husband who always joins her in her protests, right alongside her as she weeps for for the dying of this earth, as she cries herself to sleep at night when she thinks of all the loss of nature’s beauty and life. This world is suffering and she is the only one to hear its cries. They haunt her dreams.
Hecate flips the sign on the window to say closed. She longs for days gone by when people knew the truth. Magic is very real. Instead, she has to smile politely while customers come to her store to purchase items they know not how to use and religious men preach about how witchcraft is a sin, and she will burn in hell. Hecate does not care. She is as immortal as magic.
Cupid narrows his eyes with scorn every time he hears the word love fly from the lips of people who do not understand the meaning of the word. Though who is he to judge them when all his matchmaking attempts end in failure. Perhaps the mortals simple do not want him to decide who they love. Perhaps it is their turn to choose.
Athena prowls through college campuses, holding signs high in protect with the students around her. These fearless children are her people. She scoffs at the professors who are simply going through the motions, who fail to appreciate the brilliant minds all around them. She never fails to notice.
Ares picks his way across a battlefield and finds himself at the ruins of what used to be an elementary school. He no longer understands war, hasn’t for centuries. This was not brave, this was not heroic. This was senseless bloodshed. He sees nothing holy in this ruined world.
Aphrodite swallows the bile in her throat as she hears another rapist has been left free. She glares daggers at boys yelling obscene things at women. She’s long stopped romanticizing love. However, sometimes she sees a young girl handing over her baby to an older couple who tried for years, and she remembers what she once represented. Sometimes she sees Ares across the room of soldiers returning from the horrors of war, and as they embrace the loved ones they left behind, she smiles at him.
Artemis takes her role as protector of young women seriously. There’s a gun tucked into her waistband and a switchblade in her pocket. She can’t save them all, so she has also become an avenging goddess. She can be found in the streets or at battered women’s shelters, preparing for the next hunt.
The gods are dying. The gods wish they were dead. Is immortality a blessing or a curse?
The gods were always too human for their divinity (inspired by the writings of @crossroadsbela )