gods monsters

Heaven - Tommy Shelby

After two years in Manchester you’ve returned for the funeral of John Shelby. Seeing Tommy makes you nostalgic. Maybe even enough to stay a little longer. 

Heaven - Tommy Shelby | Part of the Gods + Monsters Series

It was in Manchester, two years after you’d boarded a train to London, that Tommy finally found you. But not Tommy, exactly. It was Johnny Dogs, who you honestly didn’t think would have remembered you. He had travelled to the northern city with some family for a reason you couldn’t recall and had seen you there, shopping in the market. He’d called your name and when you turned he’d happily come over to say hello.

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anonymous asked:

*shyly whispers* do u think u could do another Greek Mythology story~

“Your tapestries are so fine,” the merchant says in wonder, “that you must be blessed by the goddess Athena.”

Arachne tosses her head, braided hair falling over her shoulder like an obsidian waterfall, “What’s Athena got to do with it? My hands wove these, not hers.”

The merchant blanches and looks to the sky, as if expecting Zeus himself to smite them for blasphemy. Personally, she thinks the king of the gods has better thing to do with his time. “Ah,” he says weakly, “I suppose.”

He pays her for her wares and she leaves, almost immediately bumping into a hunched old woman with grey eyes. “Do you not owe Athena thanks for your talent?” she croaks, gnarled hands curled over a cane.

Arachne is not stupid, but she is foolish. They will tell tales of it. She looks into those grey eyes and declares, “Athena should thank me, since my talents earn her so much praise.”

She pushes past her and keeps walking, ignoring the goddess in humans skin as she disappears into the crowd.

They will tell tales of her hubris. They will all be true.

~

The next day she bumps into the same old woman at the market. Everything goes downhill from there.

“Know your place, mortal,” Athena says, grey eyes narrowed. There is a crowd around them, and Arachne could save herself, could walk away unscathed, and all she has to do is say her weaving is inferior to that of a goddess.

She will not lie.

“I do,” she says coolly, “and in this matter, it is above you.”

She is not honest as a virtue, but as a vice.

Athena challengers her to a weaving contest. She accepts.

~

Gods are not so hard to find, if you know where to look.

“It’s a volcano,” the baker repeats, looking down at her coins, as if he feels guilty for taking money from someone who’s clearly not all there.

She grabs her bag of sweet breads and adds it to her pack before swinging it over her shoulders, “Yes, I know. Half a day’s walk, you said?”

“A volcano,” he insists, as if she did not hear him perfectly well the first dozen times.

“Thank you for your help,” she says. He’s shaking his head at her, but she knows what she’s doing.

She walks. She grows hungry, but does not touch the bread she paid for, and walks some more. The sun’s begun to set by the time she makes it to the base of the volcano. It’s tall, impossibly large, and for a moment the promise of defeat threatens to overwhelm her.

But Arachne does not believe in defeat, in loss. They will tell tales of her hubris. Those tales will be true.

She ties a scarf around her braids then hikes her skirt up and ties the material so it falls only to her thighs. She fits work roughened hands into the divots of cooled magma and begins her slow ascent.

~

The muscles in her legs and arms shake, and her hunger pains are almost as distracting. Her once white dress is dirt smeared and torn and sweat makes her itch as it covers her body and drips down her back.

“What are you doing?”

Arachne turns her head and bites back a scream, looking into one giant eye. The cyclops holds easily to the volcano’s edges, even though her hands are torn and bleeding. She swallows and says, “I heard you like honeyed bread. Is it true?”

The creature tilts his head to the side, baring his long fanged teeth at her. She thinks he might be smiling. “You’ve been climbing for hours. What do you want?”

“Is it true?” she repeats, refusing to flinch.

“Yes,” he says, looking at her the same way the baker had, “it’s true.”

“There’s some sweet bread in my pack, baked this morning,” she says, “it should still be soft.”

His hands are big enough and strong enough that it could probably squeeze her head like a grape. Instead he gently undoes her pack and reaches inside. The honey buns look comically small in his large hands, and he swallows half of them in one bite. He licks his fingers clean when he’s done, and his smile is just as terrifying the second time around. “I am Brontes. Why are you climbing my master’s volcano?”

“I’m the weaver Arachne,” she takes a deep breath, “I need your master’s help.”

~

They tell tales of Hephaestus’s ugliness.

They are not true.

He’s got a broad, angular face and short brown hair. His eyes are like amber set into his face, and his arms are huge, and he’s rippling muscle from the waist up. He has legs only to his knees. From there down his legs are bronze gears and golden wire, replacements for the legs destroyed when Hera threw him from Mount Olympus.

“Had your look, girl?” he asks, voice rough like he’s always a moment away from breaking into a coughing fit.

“Yes,” she says, and doesn’t turn away, keeps looking.

His lips quirk up at the corners, so it was the right move. The heat is even more oppressive inside the volcano, and all around him cyclopses work, forging oddly shaped metal that she can’t hope to understand. “You’ve gone to an awful lot of trouble to find me, girl. What do you want?”

She slides her pack off her shoulders and holds it out to the god, “I have a gift for your wife. I have woven her a cloak.”

He raises an eyebrow and doesn’t reach for the bag, “You believe something made with mortal hands could be worthy of the goddess of beauty?”

They will tell tales of her hubris.

“Yes.”

They will all be true.

With a gust of wind the oppressive heat of the volcano is swept away, leaving her chilled. In its place stands a woman – more than a woman. Aphrodite has skin like the copper of her husband’s machines and hair dark and thick and long. Her eyes are deepest, richest brown, piercing in their intelligence. People don’t tell tales of Aphrodite’s cleverness. That is because people are stupid.

“Let’s see it then,” she says, reaching inside the pack and pulling the cloak from its depths.

It unrolls beautifully. It’s made from the finest silks, and it shimmers in the light from the forges. The hem of the cloak is sea foam, speaking of Aphrodite’s beginning, and up along the cloak is intricate patterns it tells of her life, of her marriage and her worshippers and escapades, all with the detail of the most experienced artist and the reverence of her most devoted followers.

Her lips part in surprise and she slides it on, twirling like a child. “Gorgeous,” Hephaestus says, though Arachne knows he does not speak of the cloak. She doesn’t take offense.

The goddess smiles and Arachne’s heart pounds in her chest. She does her best to ignore it – Aphrodite is the goddess of love, after all. It is only expected. “Very well,” the goddess says, “you have my attention.”

Arachne swallows. Aphrodite’s attention is a heavy thing. “I have offended Athena,” she says, “She has challenged me to a weaving contest.”

Their faces somber. Hephaestus rubs the edge of a sleeve between his fingers and says, “Athena will lose such a contest, if judged fairly. She does not take loss well.”

“I know,” she says, “you are friendly with Hades, are you not?”

There are no tales of their friendship. But she’s staking her life on its existence, because why wouldn’t it exist – both of them even tempered, both shunned by Olympus, both happily married.

Gods hate being made to feel lesser. It is why they say Persephone was kidnapped, why they say Aphrodite cheats with Ares. It is why Athena will crush her when Arachne wins the weaving contest.

“Clever girl,” Hephaestus says, smiling.

Aphrodite stares at her reflection in a convenient piece of polished silver. Arachne assumes Hephaestus left if lying there for that express purpose. “Very well!” the goddess says, not looking at her, “when Athena sends you to the underworld, we will entrench upon our uncle for your release.” She turns on her heel and points a finger at her. Arachne blushes for no reason she can think of. “In return, you will weave me a gown, one equal to my own beauty.”

A gown as exquisite as the goddess of beauty. An impossible task.

They will tell tales of her hubris.

“I accept.”

They will all be true.

~

The contest goes as expected. Athena’s tapestry is lovely, but Arachne’s is lovelier.

The goddess’s face goes red in rage, and her grey eyes narrow. Arachne stands tall, ready to accept the death blow coming for her.

The blow comes.

Death does not.

~

She is an insect. Even if she can make it back to Hephaestus’s volcano, even if they can help her, they will not know it is her. She has no hope left, no course of action, she should just give up. But –

She doesn’t believe in defeat, in loss.

It was a terribly long journey on foot, that first time. It is even longer this time, although now she has eight legs instead of two. She makes it to the volcano, and creeps in between crevices, until she finds out a hollowed room, one with a sliver of sunlight and plenty of bugs to keep her fed.

Athena’s cruel joke of allowing her to weave will be her downfall. Her silk comes out a golden yellow color – it will look exquisite against Aphrodite’s copper skin.

~

It takes seven years for her to complete it. She hasn’t left this room in the volcano in all that time, and as soon as it’s done she scurries out back toward the village. She’s a large insect, but not that large.

She arrives just as the sun begins to rise, and leaves before the first rays have even touched the earth, her prize tied to her back with her own silk.

Arachne doesn’t return to her room. Instead she goes to the more popular parts of the volcano, hurries and runs around terrifying stomping feet until she finds who she’s looking for and scurries up his leg and onto his shoulder.

“Huh,” Brontes looks onto his shoulder and blinks. “What on earth are you?”

She cautiously skitters down his arm, waiting. He bends closer and lightly touches her back. “Is – is that a piece of a honey bun?”

She looks up at him, waiting. It’s her only chance, if he doesn’t remember, if he doesn’t understand –

His face slowly fills with a cautious kind of wonder. “Arachne?”  She jumps in place, being unable to nod, and Brontes cautiously cradles her in his massive hands, “We must find the Master immediately!”

She jumps down, landing in front of him and running forward. “Wait!” he calls, and she makes sure he’s running after her before skittering back to her corner of the cave. It’s almost too small for him to enter but he squeezes inside and breathes, “Oh.” He stares for several moments, and Arachne climbs her web and waits. Brontes shakes himself out of his reverie and uses his powerful wings to bellow, “MISTRESS APHRODITE!”

There’s that same breeze and she’s in the crevice with them, “What was so important, Brontes, that you had to yell?”

Arachne sees the exact moment that the goddess sees the gown, golden yellow and glimmering, made entirely of spider silk. “Beautiful,” she says, reaching out a hand to brush down the bodice. Her head then snaps up, “Brontes, where’s Arachne?”

She warms at that, that Aphrodite knew it was her weaving even though she hasn’t been seen in seven years.

They’ve told tales of her hubris.

They are all true.

Brontes points at the web, and Aphrodite steps over and holds out her hands. Arachne crawls onto the goddess’s palms. “Athena is more powerful than I am, I cannot undo her work,” she says, “but I know someone who can.”

Then they are in front of a river. A handsome young man stands there waiting with a boat. “Goddess Aphrodite,” he says, “we weren’t expecting you.”

“Thanatos,” she returns, “I need to see Persephone.”

The man’s face stays cool, and for a moment Arachne fears they will be refused and she will be stuck in this form forever. Then he smiles and says, “My lady is of course available for her favored niece.” He holds out a hand to help her onto the boat, “Please come with me.”

~

Arachne weaves a dress for Hades’s wife as a thank you, and returns to her volcano.

“I can take you somewhere else,” Aphrodite says, “you don’t have to hide here.”

Arachne pauses at her loom. She has lived in this volcano for seven years. It’s her home. “Would you like me to leave?” she asks instead.

Aphrodite scoffs, “Of course not! How could I dress myself without you here?” She’s wearing the spider silk dress Arachne spun for her, and she’s working on another for the goddess now. Aphrodite runs a gentle finger down Arachne’s cheek and for a moment she forgets to breathe. “You are the finest weaver to ever exist.”

She looks up at the goddess, “Then as the god of crafts and goddess of beautiful things, where else would I belong besides with you and Hephaestus?”

To declare your company equal to that of gods is the height of arrogance and blasphemy.

They tell tales of her hubris.

“An excellent point,” Aphrodite murmurs, and tucks a stray braid behind Arachne’s ear.

They are all true.

gods and monsters series part iii

anonymous asked:

What's your take on the world ending for the Greek Gods? Or when they cease to be relevant to mankind, and what happens to them? Would Athena, Aphrodite and Artemis take the streets and march for Pride? Would Demeter be the manager at a zoo?

Time passes. The world changes. Temples fall. People now speak their names as if they are fairytales.

The gods are dead.

~

Apollo’s chariot lies broken and forgotten in the ruins of a city no one knows the name of anymore. He watches the sun crawl across the sky of its own volition, without him to push it forward.

“Do you miss it?” Artemis asks him, appearing by his side.  They stand at the top of a sparkling glass building, almost the same as ever. She walks among the mortals more than he does, she always has, and She’s dressed like one of them. Tight clothes and half her head shaved, sparkling gems curling up the delicate shell of her ear. She looks like one of the teenagers that fill his concert stadiums.

He thinks of the way his chariot threatened to escape his grasp every morning, the oppressive heat of the sun beating down on him, the burns and the undercurrent of fear that one day he would lose his grip on the reins and plunge the world into darkness.

Apollo leans his head on his sister’s shoulder. The sun rises slower without him, but it rises just the same. “No. Not really.”

~

Hephaestus’s workshop has evolved with the times – from a volcano base to a modern lab, but always a workshop bursting with creation. The cyclopes are still his best assistants.

Aphrodite steps over discarded parts and expertly walks around frantic cyclopes carrying bubbling concoctions. Her dark hair is swept up in a bun and she wears chunky glasses and a blood red pantsuit that almost hides the fact she’s the most beautiful woman to walk the earth. “I have a client, try not to blow up the house. Again.”

“Yes dear,” he says, but doesn’t looks away from his soldering. She hadn’t expected him too. His prosthetics are off and on the floor besides him, and he’s seated on a too-tall chair to compensate for the loss of height.

She reaches out and carefully touches the corner of his eye. Crow’s feet have started to work their way onto his face. They’re getting old. “It’s the couple that’s fighting because he wants kids and she doesn’t want to carry any kids but doesn’t want to say that. It would probably be easier if I just told them to adopt and threw them out the window.”

“Yes dear,” he repeats, sparks flying. A few land on her, but she doesn’t burn. Of course.

She moves her hand up and pushes it through his hair and resists the urge to pull him from his work and abandon her own so they can make out on his worktable. “I love you.”

Aphrodite turns to leave, but Hephaestus grabs her wrist and pulls her back. He holds up a single copper lily, the edges of the petals still glowing with heat it had taken to shape them. He carefully slides the stem into her hair so it sits at the base of her bun. He grazes her bottom lip with his thumb as he pulls his hand back to his side. “Yes dear.”

~

Demeter rages.

She makes imprudent deals to control an earth that no longer falls under her domain, and she enacts her revenge against the mortals in whatever way she can. They have forgotten her, forgotten the earth, and in their ignorance they seek to destroy it.

She shakes the bedrock and splits it open, but still they do not learn, and as the temperature of the earth rises so does her temper.

The sea is not hers to command, her power is of earth and of earth alone, and even now she gave more than could afford to lose to keep her grasp on it. But these mortals do not learn.

Demeter goes to the sea and makes an inadvisable bargain. She goes to the crumbling remains of Olympus and makes an even worse one.

Typhoons and hurricanes whip across the land. If they seek to destroy her, she will simply destroy them first.

~

Hera sits on a pure white couch in an elegant mansion, smiling for the journalist seated across from her.

“What do you think is the most influential decision you ever made?” he asks, “If you could pinpoint the success of your business to one moment, what would it be?”

She tilts her head as the light of the camera flashes. “Why, divorcing my husband, of course.”

“Would that be your advice to young women hoping to be as successful as you?” he asks, “To not get married?”

Hera thinks of thousands of years by Zeus’s side, and how little it got her. She thinks of Hestia’s men, and Artemis’s women, of Hephaestus’s love for Aphrodite, of the way Hades softened the sharpest of Persephone’s edges.

She says, “Do not get married to someone who makes you less than you are. If you are not a better person for being together than apart, then do not be together. It’s as simple as that.”

Simple, but not easy.

Leaving Zeus was the hardest thing she’s ever done.

~

Persephone isn’t forced to spend half the year on the mortal earth anymore. She goes when she pleases, which isn’t often.

Sometimes she’ll sit by Artemis’s side while she brings a new life into the world and holds the warm, wriggly child first. She visits hospitals and makes the flowers bloom out of season, and spends long hours sitting under the sun and feeling it’s warmth touch her face.

Hades left his realm rarely before, and even more rarely now. More people are being born than ever, meaning more people are dying than ever. Their realm is massive, comprising of all the dead of several millennia. Hades and Hecate spend their days as always – desperately trying to expand the realm so that they don’t all have to live on top of each other.

“Have you heard?” she asks one day, seated on his desk and leaning across it so he can’t work on the latest draft for another level of their realm. “The gods are dead.”

He gives up on attempting to tug it out from underneath her. “Are they? That’s odd, none of them are here.”

Persephone doesn’t bother to hide her smile. They haven’t figured it out yet. Maybe they never will. But when death comes for them, as death does for all, it will be to Hades and Persephone’s door they are brought. Hades himself will usher Gaia and Amphitrite into the underworld, when the time comes.

That time is not today.

“Darling, I really do need to work on this,” he ineffectually tugs on the map again.

She pushes him back into the chair, climbing on top of him and pressing their foreheads together. “No, you don’t.”

“No, I don’t,” he agrees, and obligingly moves his head so Persephone can nibble at his neck. He manages a whole thirty seconds before going, “I mean, I really do, Hecate said if I didn’t have a plan by the time she leaves for the mortal realm tomorrow, I’ll either have to wait until she gets back or do it by myself, and I’d really prefer to do neither–”

Persephone kisses him to shut him up, twisting and pushing them through the realm so they land on their bed. “I’ll help you finish it later. Focus on me now.”

Hades doesn’t answer, but he does flip them so he’s above her and reaches below her skirt, so she’ll take that as agreement.

~

Hestia sits around a bonfire, watching a group of teenagers get drunk and dance around the flames. They’ll never be younger than right now, never feel as much love for each other as they do right now.

She is besides an old man who warms his hands from the fire coming from an abandoned trash can.

She lies on a bed as a girl lights two dozen candles around it as a surprise for when her lover gets home.

She watches a young man make dinner for his boyfriend for the first time and burn the chicken on both sides. They eat it together anyway.

She sits on the kitchen counter when a sister takes out a pie from the oven, made special for her little brother’s birthday.

She is there when a father ticks the thermostat up high in freezing dawn of morning so it will be warm by the time his wife and children awaken.

Most people don’t have hearths anymore. But there is warmth, and love, and for Hestia that is enough.

~

As their names fade from existence, as his name is called less and less on the battlefields of mortal men, the more Ares sleeps.

He falls asleep in too tall trees and on park benches. He sleeps in seedy motel rooms and naps in every one of Athena’s libraries. He sleeps curled up on a chair in Aphrodite’s office, and on the floors of a lot of veteran resource centers. As fast as he can tell, that’s the most they help any veteran.

Still, his favorite place to sleep is the underworld.

He goes knocking on Orpheus’s door, who is always willing to play for him. “Hades is here,” Eurydice says, “Would you like to me to go get him?”

He shakes his head, “Persephone is home. I wouldn’t want to intrude.”

Eurydice and Orpheus share the same look of faint disapproval, but neither of the say anything, for which he is grateful.

He lies in the soft grass of the garden Persephone made, and lets Orpheus’s playing lull him to sleep.

Later, he’s woken by strong arms picking him up and holding him against a familiar chest. He doesn’t even have to open his eyes to know who’s holding him. “I can go,” he yawns, his actions at odds with his words as he pulls himself even closer the warmth coming off the king of the underworld.

“No,” Hades says. “Stay.”

Ares lets out a content sigh as Hades presses his lips to his forehead, and he’s not great about touch, about people laying their hands on him and getting in his space. But Hades has always felt safe, felt like home.

He stays.

~

The gods are dead.

Long live the gods.


gods and monster series, part xiv

read more of the gods and monsters series here

don’t you just love it when jungkooks eyes go : ✨🌠💫✨💫🌠✨✨🌠💫✨⭐🌟✨💫🌠🌟✨💫⭐🌠💫🌠✨🌟🌟⭐✨💫🌠⭐⭐💫💫🌠🌟⭐🌠💫✨

wingardium-letmefuckyou  asked:

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

Apollo has many sons.

He only ever has nine daughters.

~

He has his first when he’s young, too young to know better.

Daphne 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.

Her 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.

Apollo 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 it?

He cuts 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.

The child is still warm.

The child is still alive.

He 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.”

He calls her Calliope. Their daughter weaves laurel leaves into her hair every day of her life.

~

When he 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.

This 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.

Months 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.

“I am 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 is Terpsichore.”

She 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.”

Calliope is fully grown now. Apollo leaves Terpsichore in her care, and promises to come when called.

“Yes, 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.

He kisses both their foreheads before leaving.

~

Apollo 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.

Then Hyacinth is killed.

He 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.

They clean him and care for him and settle him to bed, although he cannot bring himself to sleep.

Less 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.”

Apollo 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 loss.”

“As I 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.”

Apollo flinches. He knows such things are done, but – she is Hyacinth’s daughter. “I will take her.”

She smiles. “I thought you might.” She kisses the girl on both cheeks, hands her to Apollo, then leaves as quickly as she’d came.

Urania 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.

When she is fully grown, he begs a piece of ambrosia off Hestia and feeds it to her.

Urania is his daughter as surely as if his blood ran through her veins. He cannot bear to watch her age and die.

~

Marpessa 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.

But she 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.

There’s 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 lifetime.

“Have the child, and give it to me,” he commands, “and I will leave you to your life.”

Ida is 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.

Artemis delivers the child to ensure it goes smoothly. She’s beaming as she holds her niece. “What will you call her?”

“You choose,” he says, running the back of his finger over the babe’s soft cheek.

His sister considers the squalling child for a long moment before she says, “I think you should name her Thalia.”

“Thalia it is,” he says.

She’s 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.

He gets 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 expected.

She’s hallway 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.

Apollo hasn’t seen the tormented god of war this carefree since he was a child.

Thalia finally notices him, and cuts herself off, paling. “Oh, uh. Hi Dad.”

Ares is 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.

It might have worked, if Apollo hadn’t taught her that look himself.

He sits 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 going.”

Thalia 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.

~

Because 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 will.

One of 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 crazy?”

“It … it was a good time,” he says faintly.

“Obviously,” 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.

Apollo gives him a clumsy salute and steps through.

Roughly 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.

“Lady Styx,” he says, voice higher pitched than normal. “Is there something I can help you with?”

The 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.”

Improbably, 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.

A child of Apollo and Hecate can only be a mistake, something that will never fit quite well among others of her own kind.

He sighs and take the baby. “Very well.”

“I like the name Clio,” the child goddess says before leaving him.

Thalia 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.

As Clio 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.”

“You’re 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.”

“Of course they are,” he says, nose in the air, but grins when Hephaestus elbows him the side.

By the 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.

She stays strange, and too smart, and Apollo loves her utterly.

~

Apollo 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.”

He has no idea what she’s talking about. “Excuse me?”

Amphitrite 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.”

“Is it?” he wonders. He really hopes she doesn’t kill him.

“Quite,” 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.”

“Uh,” 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.”

He’s deposited back on the shore the next day, feeling oddly used.

If Poseidon has any opinions on Apollo knocking up his wife, he doesn’t voice them.

Amphitrite 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?”

“I call her Erato,” Glaucus says, “I’ve raised her since birth. It’s time for her to join her sisters.”

Erato 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.

Erato 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.

Calliope 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.

His daughters’ home is a place of constant music, poetry, and literature. He thinks he’s starting to suspect what Amphitrite was talking about.

~

Not all hunts are easy things.

Apollo 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.

“Father?” she asks, huddling into him and away from the sun. “What’s going on?”

“Artemis is hurt, I have to help,” he says urgently, and places the reins into her hands. “You can do this.”

She pales, but steps forward, keeping a white knuckled grip on the chariot. “Go.”

He 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!”

The god 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.

He 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.

Thalia 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.

Terpsichore 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.

He 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 nothing.

Ares 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.

The 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

“They – 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.

“I’ll 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.”

“I think it’s time you became a big sister,” Thalia says, and Erato looks stricken. “Right Dad?”

He 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.”

“Very well,” he sighs. “Does she have a name?”

The girl attempts to hide behind Erato’s hair, then says, “I am Euterpe.”

“Welcome, Euterpe,” he says.

It’s 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?”

“We have a new sister,” Thalia says brightly, even as Clio rushes forward to tend to her burns.

Euterpe, 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.

He 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.

~

For a while, all is well, is quiet. His daughters are all fully grown, accomplished and beautiful.

Then 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.”

At 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.

“Fine,” she snaps, “Now get moving.”

He’s 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.

Nine 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?”

“Polyhymnia, my lord,” the wood nymph says, then bows before fleeing.

He brings her to the home where all his daughters live.

She 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 measured stare.

Polyhymnia 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.”

Persephone 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.

~

Cassandra 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 Hyacinth died.

She’s 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.

They don’t leave her house for five days.

She is 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.”

He’s never take a bride before. He hasn’t wanted to.

Cassandra 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.

That’s when everything goes horribly, incredibly wrong.

It’s 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.

He 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.

Artemis helps deliver their child, but halfway through her face goes pinched and worried, and Apollo knows that Cassandra won’t make it.

“I’m 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.”

She 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.

Apollo wonders if she saw this coming.

She 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.”

He kisses her, his last chance to do so.

She’s dead before his lips leaves hers.

Apollo 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.”

He 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.

Time passes.

Melpomene 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 her mother’s.

She, like her sisters, is his pride and his joy.

~

Apollo has nine daughters

Calliope, who reigns over written epics.

Terpsichore, who reigns over dance.

Urania, who reigns over astronomy.

Thalia, who reigns over comedy.

Clio, who reigns over history.

Erato, who reigns over love poetry.

Euterpe, who reigns over song.

Polyhymnia, who reigns over hymns.

Melpomene, who reigns over tragedy.

They are known as the Muses.


gods and monster series, part xxi

read more of the gods and monsters series here

Here’s a quick rundown of everything Namjoon is doing in these English language interviews:

  1. Translating the questions for the whole band 
  2. Translating the members answers back 
  3. Making sure that questions are sufficiently answered (often going above and beyond by replying with complex concepts)
  4. Monitoring if a question should be answered by the whole group, directed to a certain member, or answered by himself 
  5. Making sure to get as many members as possible speak up throughout the interview
  6. Pushing members to speak in English if he knows they can do it
  7. Doing all of this live so it is in real time, no hesitation
  8. Doing all this alone

So please don’t forget that not only the band but the fandom owes a lot of gratitude for the attention and dedication he has given to international fans for years :)

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CHOOSE YOUR FIGHTER MONSTER

monster factory is what introduced me to polygon and the mcelroys and i am so very grateful for that. in honor, i spent,, a little too much of my time to make this

★  reblogs are greatly appreciated ! ★