Welcome back! This week we`ll continue the story of The Silver Box.
Libby and Ares are the stars of my Gods & Goats trilogy. The word prompt this week is ‘Silent’ so the story will reflect the prompt. As these are original stories written in a week, some errors may be found. I do apologize for those in advance. Try not to let them boggle you down though if possible.
Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thank you for stopping in. May the gods smile upon you!
The Silver Box
I in no way condone violence against animals. I`m an animal lover that even goes so far as to embrace Minotaur`s, although they`re technically only half-animal. That being said, I also will protect that which is mine. I have, on occasion, had to dispatch a raccoon or opossum or weasel that thought my chickens would make a fine midnight snack. It is not a pretty thing but it is part of being a woman alone on a farm. After Matt died it was up to me to take the baseball bat out and dispatch the nocturnal raiders trying to kill my poultry.
Now that job belongs to the war god. That`s one of the reasons we women keep men around: To kill things, to lift heavy stuff, and to make love to us until we`re too worn out to whimper. And to love us as well, but if you`ve got a spider the size of a roasting chicken sharing the shower with you all you want is the man to kill the damned thing. Romance and roses takes a backseat to squishing spiders.
All that being said, and skipping the part about the spiders in the shower because I get the creeping willies when I think about that miserable arachnid of a week ago, I had no choice but to take on the tiger. I didn`t want to. To my knowledge this species is extinct - was extinct - would be extinct. Killing just one of the beautiful cats seemed terrible. But the tiger killing Harmonia was unthinkable. The horse was on his own, the farting nasty hay bag. I crept forward until I could get my fingers on Harmonia`s dropped shield.
With a bellow to rival that of any charging rhino I ran at the tiger. He stopped his silent stalk. His ears twitched and his amber eyes widened. I charged at the huge cat, screaming like a banshee and hammering my shield with my sword, hoping the tiger would bolt. The cat took off like a scalded hare thank Hera. No, scratch that. Thank Zeus.
I watched the feline melt into the Turkish landscape feeling rather good about not having to poke anything with my sword. Something jabbed me in the middle of my back. I spun around and found a bunch of very tall and formidable women surrounding me.
They all carried bows and quivers on their backs. Each woman was powerfully muscled. Also, each woman wore only a makeshift skirt crafted from an animal skin low on their rounded hips. I noticed that lack of a top quickly. I also noted as I lowered my sword and Harmonia`s shield gingerly, that each warrior woman had only one breast. I had read about this but it seemed to be fact. Removing the right breast made it easier for archery you see.
I allowed my weapons to hit the lush ground. Harmonia had been hauled from the freaked out nag and pushed rather rudely into my side. She threw her helm to the ground, whipped her long dark hair from her face and glowered at the Amazon`s intimidating us.
“How dare you touch me!?” the goddess snarled like a wet tabby. I took a step back and let her have center stage. “Do you not know your betters?! Do you not know the daughter of Ares when she is in your midst?! Heinous vile females! You shall not lay a hand upon me and my father`s-”
“Slave,” I offered with a weak smile.
“My father`s slave again, or I shall bring the wrath of the war god and Olympus down upon you!” she shouted, her tiny hands rolled into tight fists. Waves of godly power rolled off of her and it was not serenity this time. It was pure aggression and one-hundred percent her daddy`s gift to her. “Now, you shall take us to Otrere with speed or I shall peel open your skulls and feed your brains to the scavengers!”
Yep, that sounded just like her papa. The Amazon`s stared at the goddess for a very long minute then one - a tall dark woman with flowing red and black hair - barked out an order. The women lowered their heads then laid their hands over their breast. Harmonia nodded at the show of deference. Fear was led to the daughter of Ares and we mounted PDQ. The scouting party – brought in by my noise no doubt – kept us surrounded as we made our way through the thick woods of their homelands.
“Uhm, question,” I whispered beside Harmonia`s pretty ear. Fear tossed his head. “Would you have really opened their skulls and fed their brains to the scavengers?”
“Aye, if needed. I am not fond of vulgar bloodshed, but if they had harmed you I would have killed them all and taken their spines home to father as proof of vengeance,” she explained, her fingers loosely wound in Fear`s white mane. “Thankfully I need not call upon father`s gifts often. I much prefer using my mother`s gifts of love, harmony, and tranquility.”
“I`ve never seen this side of you,” I confessed. She made a worried sound. “No, I don`t find if offensive. Trust me, if I can live with your father and his daily threats to pull someone`s spleen out through their nose, I can certainly deal with you showing your sassy side on occasion,” I hugged the young immortal and she reached back to stroke my cheek. My whole body grew spongy with accord.
We broke from the woods at that moment. Fear paused and snorted when faced with a rift in the landscape that gave me vertigo. Sparks and flame erupted from his nostrils sending the nearest Amazon`s a few feet to the left and right. Harmonia steadied the nag. We dropped down into a gorge, the earth having been sliced open by the river that was flowing under our steed`s large hooves centuries ago. Up ahead was a small waterfall. Since no-one was moving up the wet, rocky sides I assumed we would go through the tumbling water.
“I take it that will lead us to Themiscyra?”
Harmonia bobbed her head. “Aye, to the city of the Amazon`s and home of their queen, Otrere.”
“Super,” I sighed, all my mellowness and tranquility disappearing like the flocks of green and blue birds soaring over the vale. “Well, in for a penny as they say. Tally ho!”
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See you next Tuesday as The Silver Box continues!