Loquaciousness Fandom Magazine Volume 2, Issue 5 (January 2017) - Page 5

The thirteenth Olympian was Forestis, goddess of the forest, which was named after her. She was the child of Demeter and Zeus. She ruled the forest, and everything in the forest. But her favorite forest was Lefka Ori, on the island of Crete. Crete had a special meaning to her, because her son, Galen, had been born on the island. Galen was her only child, a child of a Cretan king, who was a son of Apollo. Galen had golden hair and bright blue eyes, a peaceful boy who preferred cooperation rather than a fight. Forestis was tending to a tree sapling when Galen ran to her, panting from the run and fury.

“Mother!” He called angrily. She stood up. “Mother, a boy who lives near me told me that he’s better than me! He claims he is the son of Zeus!”

“Hush, Galen. Your grandfather is none other than Zeus himself. You are far more worthy to brag than him.”

“But he is the son of Zeus! I am merely the grandson of Zeus.”

“No, my dear. Zeus is your grandfather, but Demeter is your grandmother. And your mother is me. Your father is the king, and your other grandfather is the lord of the sun, Apollo. Your family ties are far more better than his. He may be the son of Zeus, but his mother is only a poor mortal, lucky enough to have caught the eye of Zeus. But you, you are only maybe an eighth of a mortal. He is half a mortal.”

“But he is still the son of Zeus, the king of the sky and gods himself! That counts for a lot.” Forestis thought for a moment, then nodded.

“Yes, my dear. But even if he is a son of Zeus, he should not be so arrogant. After all, if he is the son of Zeus, he is meant to be a hero, and heroes must know how to be humble. If not, they’ll just get into trouble, like Achilles.”

“Hmph!” Galen grumbled. “He may be the son of Zeus, but he is no different than any boy in the city. I can beat him in any combat.”

“Yes, you can. So why don’t you challenge him, and silence him once and for all.”

“Do you mean kill him?”

“Well-no, but if you defeat him, that will show him, and everyone else, that he has no right to gloat, that the son of Forestis can be the greater man!”

“Alright, mother.” He agreed uncertainly. “I’ll show them.”

“Then go now.” Galen walked away.

The next morning, the local city was buzzing about Galen and Vulteren, the son of Zeus. Vulteren was confident about winning, but Galen was not so sure. He went to see his bride, Linnaea, a beautiful local village girl, a child of Aphrodite.

“Linnaea,” He said, “how can I win this? Vulteren is Zeus’s son. Surely he has been blessed by the king of the gods himself.”

“Remember, you have been blessed by Forestis. Does it matter who blesses you?”

“Well...no.”

“See? You’ll be fine. Just remember, I’ll be there watching.”

“I know. Thank you, Linnaea. I’ll see you at the challenge.” He rose, and went to the square, where the event would take place. The day was stormy, and the clouds appeared to be red as blood. The odor of rotting carcasses of starved cows lingered in the city. Galen looked up to the sky and silently prayed to Nike, the goddess of victory, and he would emerge from battle victorious. As if in answer, a freshly blown green laurel leaf fluttered down to the ground lightly. Galen’s confidence rose, and he stepped into the square, where Vulteren was waiting for him. The son of Zeus sneered.

“The great son of Forestis. Let’s see how the son of a forest goddess will cope with battling the son of the king of the skies, Zeus himself!” He unsheathed his sword, and Galen did the same.

The two boys battled like no other pair of boys had fought before. Galen slashed and blocked with all of the power he could summon, but Vulteren was too powerful. Vulteren backed Galen up against a house and took out a dagger.

“No!” Galen brought up his sword and deflected the stab with his hilt. Vulteren grinded his teeth together and grabbed Galen’s wrist with his own free hand and twisted it, making Galen drop his sword.

“I am Vulteren, son of Zeus! Forestis is weak, therefore her son is weak. Forestis is useless, and I can be a much better god than her. No Greek needs the forest very much. I deserve to be the god of the forest, and cast the forest and make something brand new!” The dark-haired boy’s eyes gleamed hungrily, like a lion about to make his kill. Galen ran, running with the strength of a deer until Vulteren wildly threw his dagger, and Galen ran faster still, diving to avoid the sharp blade. He heard it flying towards him, making a high, sweet whistling sound.

“Run! Faster! Run!” The crowd screamed. Galen dove for the ground desperately for his own sword, which had landed far from where it had been knocked away. He closed his hands around the hilt.

But it was too late.

The deadly weapon embedded itself into Galen’s back. Galen collapsed, dead. The survivor laughed and approached and approached the body, but was suddenly blinded by a glow of white light.

“You dare kill my son?” A goddess towered over him. Vulteren looked up and saw a dangerously beautiful woman with long black hair and leaf green eyes glaring coldly at him.

“Galen!” Linnaea wailed, dropping to her knees. She wept next to the fallen boy’s body. Forestis waved her hand at Vulteren.

“You have killed my only child, and you have insulted me. Your pride must be punished. For that, you will always be thought of as a bad omen, a foul creature that makes many feel disgusted. You will eat the dead, rotten carcasses of dead things, bringing more dishonor about them. And people will frown upon that. You will befoul yourself.” Vulteren looked up at her, and at once the hair on his arms got bigger and longer, turning to black feathers. The feathers fell off of his neck and head, exposing pink skin underneath. His mouth elongated into a sharp, cruel beak. His eyes grew small and beady, and his body grew large while his head grew small. The people watching drew back in disgust at this ugly creature, which hopped to Galen’s body and tore away at it, devouring the flesh.

“This is not your time to feast, bird.” Forestis said. “Not on my son.” She waved her hand again, and Galen and Linnaea turned into two flowers that shared one stem. The were white, the color of Linnaea’s pale skin, and their insides were red, like Galen’s blood. the flowers were named after Galen’s grieving bride, Linnaea, or twin flowers. And the bird was named after Vulteren, the vulture, who feasts on the rotten dead bodies of other, more gentle creatures.