Welcome back and Happy New Year! This week we`ll continue the story of The Silver Box.
Since we`ve been gone for a few weeks, why don`t we recap? Hera asked Libby to find her chest, the same chest that was given to Pandora by the gods. Libby and Harmonia set off on one of Ares` war horses to the land of the Amazon`s. They encounter a tiger then meet the fabled warrior women. After being led to their city Libby`s relationship with Ares is discovered by the queen of the Amazon`s, Otrere. The queen wants to kill her rival. Harmonia argues and gets Otrere to agree to a fight to claim the war god and his attentions. And that`s where we`ll pick things up today!
Libby, Ares, and the gang are the stars of my Gods & Goats trilogy. The word prompt this week is ‘Gift’ 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.
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
You`d think a woman going into battle would at least cover her tuppie.
After being led into a round area behind the palace that greatly resembled the Coliseum only made of native material, I caught sight of the Amazon queen. Otrere obviously thought I would be a pushover, since she wore no armor of any kind. Her boob was bouncing about free and her tight dark rump was uncovered. She hadn`t even covered her lady parts. She stood about twenty feet away from me with nothing more than a very angry sneer. I adjusted my helm as the crowd of Amazon`s gathered in the seats surrounding us trilled.
That sound must be a starter`s gun in Amazonian culture. Otrere ran at me, her lips drawn back in a fearsome manner that made her look like an insane panther or Grace Jones, take your pick. Both are equally scary. She was fast, I`ll give her that. I danced aside to avoid her charge. Then I slapped her naked ass with my celestial bronze sword as her bare feet kicked up dust in an attempt to stop.
Oh the things she said. I didn`t need an English-Greek translator to know she took great offense at my playful swat. Okay, it wasn`t a playful swat. It was a shot hard enough to crack like a wet towel. The woman lost her mind (or what little she had left) at that moment. Her eyes grew wide, her nostrils flared, her body gleamed in the sun, and then she screamed like a drunken banshee and made another charge at me. I got my shield up. Her forearm slid under the circlet of silver. The heel of her hand clocked me under my jaw. I went down hard. My helm tumbled to the dirt. I nearly dropped my sword.
Otrere dove on me as if I were a pot roast and she hadn`t eaten in weeks. The first punch got me beside my left eye. It hurt like a bitch. I mean, it really rattled my cage. The women in attendance screamed in glee. I could just hear Harmonia shouting at me over the din the Amazon`s were causing. Tossing my arm up to block the next right, I jammed the hilt of my sword into her stomach. She snarled and clobbered me soundly with a left that opened up my lip while tossing my brain like an endive salad.
The woman shrieked in my face. “What did she say?!” I shouted.
Harmonia replied quickly. “She said you are not worthy of his spittle let alone his seed!”
That statement made me mad. I spit the blood pooling in my mouth into her leering face. She went totally berserk, which was a good thing for me. Ares once explained that there are two ways to hinder an opponent. One is brute strength and godly powers which he has but I do not. The other is to befuddle them by invoking their wrath. Once a warrior is beyond reason he – or she in this case- makes stupid mistakes.
In her bloodlust Otrere raised both arms over her head – her fingers woven together to make a huge fist – and I took the open shot she offered me. Using the hilt of my sword I lambasted that bitch right between her glowing golden eyes. I heard the crack of her nose breaking. It was still echoing around the palace walls when she toppled to the right, rich red blood streaming from her nostrils. I staggered to my feet and threw my sword arm into the air.
“I came, I saw, I kicked her ass!” I screamed like a wild woman. The Amazon`s were deathly still. Harmonia gathered me up from behind, her strong arms lifting my feet from the packed dirt. She swung me in circles until I begged for a respite. The goddess pecked both my cheeks then grabbed my hand and held it over our heads.
“You all have seen this woman defeat your queen. As daughter of the god of war, I pronounce that from this day forth no female shall claim to be property of Ares save this mortal!”
The Amazon`s, knowing they had best cheer or possibly invoke the wrath of a god, clapped politely. Otrere came around as Harmonia was lowering my arm.
“Now that you have been shown who has claim to my father, I would ask you a question. I warn you, Otrere, to reply truthfully. I am weary of your temper tantrums,” Harmonia warned the queen.
I would have called trying to kill me a wee bit more than a tantrum, but I wasn`t going to split hairs. Sorry, poor choice of words given the company we were keeping at the moment.
“Ask of me what you will, daughter of my beloved battle god,” Otrere mumbled contritely, her fingers dancing under her stately nose to catch the running blood.
Harmonia walked over to the queen, sharp green eyes boring into amber ones. “Where is the box of the all-gifted?”
Otrere`s finely plucked brows knotted.”We have not had possession of the silver box for many seasons. It disappeared at the same time Penthesilea left our ranks in shame. We assume she used the box to secure safe passage across the great sea.”
“Wait,” I interjected when Harmonia looked ready to slap the ruler of the Amazon`s into next week, “She might be telling the truth. I remember your father telling me about one of his daughters being cast out of the Amazon`s for killing her sister accidentally. Penthesilea left her country – this land and her people – and somehow ended up participating in the Trojan War. Trying to alleviate her sin, the Amazonian tried to kill Achilles while wearing a mask. Of course he easily defeated her and removed her mask. When he saw the beauty she possessed he instantly fell in love with her as she lay dying in his arms. To honor her beauty and courage he handed over her body to the Trojans and ordered she be buried with royal honors.”
“And this means what in relation to our quest?” Harmonia asked. Otrere had stalked off, her shame sending her into the arms of handmaidens. Most of the others who had come to see me get killed had shuffled off in disappointment.
“Achilles is the son of the sea nymph Thetis. It makes sense that if you were crossing an ocean you`d seek out the favor of the Nerieds, right? Maybe Hera`s box was given to the nymphs as payment for a safe trip.”
“Aye, perhaps.” Harmonia said thoughtfully, “`Twould be sensible to call upon those who include Amphitrite, the wife of my great-uncle Poseidon. If this is the case, we must journey to the silvery cave of the Nerieds and call forth the female spirits of the ocean. You are quite intelligent for a mortal woman, Libby! I can see why father is drawn to you!”
“Thanks,” I smiled then bent over to retrieve my helm. “I`m more than just a pretty face,” I said jokingly.
“Oh aye, father often says that he loves you not for your substantial breasts or rump, for you have none, but for your skills in cooking and banter.” She whistled loudly around two fingers. Fear came galloping into the open-air stadium, all white tail and mane and stinky horse cloud.
I thought about commenting but let the idea go. What was the point? “Okay, let`s go see if we can find a little mermaid! Think she has a hot crustacean band?”
Her bewildered expression was a gift that would keep me chuckling for hours.
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See you next week for more of The Silver Box!