Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters from the Slayers series, nor do I wish to gain any profit from writing this story.
Author's Note: Yes, it's a new story, however it won't be nearly as long as "When Spells Go Wrong." It will most likely be only about 5-7 chapters long. Surprisingly, for once I have all the chapters already written. It's just finding the time to sit down and type them.
I'm basing this story on the myth of "Cupid and Psyche." I'm not quite sure how the idea came to me, but I've always liked this myth and well......I thought this would be fun to write. It was!
For all those folks out there who don't know the myth, or haven't even heard of it, you can easily find it on the internet. If you type in "Cupid and Psyche" on yahoo, google, or whatever kind of search engine you use, I'm sure you can find a ton of links to sites that explain the story.
You can also search for it on Encyclopedia Mythica - It's a great website that has information on myths and folk tales from around the world.
Well....I think that's enough babble from the author. Onward to chapter one!!
"Wings of Love"
by Earth Star
"Once Upon A Time......."
"Mom I don't want to go to bed!!" Val protested, in the whining voice all mothers pray to never encounter, but do.
Filia sternly stared down at her son. She set aside the objection and continued to tuck her young son into bed. "Val honey, it's your bedtime. You HAVE to sleep."
Stubbornness rippling through him, Val sat up and huffed.
Filia was losing control on the reins of her patience. She was tired, her mind exhausted and her body worn out. It had been a everlasting hard day at the shop. Vases and maces were all set at half price. Not many people came to buy maces, but dozens swarmed in like bees to honey to purchase vases.
The sales had been good, but now Filia only desired to sleep. She dreamt of slipping under her blankets and falling asleep. Unfortunately, Val did not yearn for the same thing. "Val PLEASE...." she said, controlling her temper. "Not tonight."
"But what's the point of sleeping when you're not tired?"
A voice broke in before Filia could argue. "The boy does have a point Filia."
Dreading who had just arrived, unannounced as usual, she whirled around.
Xellos was leaning against the door frame. Hands neatly tucked behind his head, he smirked.
"Go away Xellos!" Filia snapped. "I'm not in the mood."
"You mean you have other moods besides being violent and angry?"
Filia glared, ready to reach for her trusty mace, but then remembered it was in her room. What could she hit Xellos with now?
"Mom? Can I stay up now?" Her son's voice summoned Filia's attention back.
"No Val." she said firmly.
The boy pouted. "Then can you at least tell me a bed time story?"
Filia massaged her weary eyes. "Val, I'm really too tired to tell you a story....."
"In that case, I'll tell him one!" Xellos popped beside Val, grinning from ear to ear. "I know the perfect story for you, my boy! A favorite of mine. Goldilocks and the Three Prostitutes....."
Quick as a lightening strike, Filia grabbed a stuffed toy from Val's shelf and threw it at Xellos. It didn't hurt, but it stunned him enough to fall to the floor. Unfazed by the sneak attack, Xellos peeked over the bed. "Do you not like my taste in stories Filia?"
"I don't like your tastes in anything?!!" she bellowed. "You are not telling my son anything! UNDERSTAND!!"
Val felt the tension. The heated glares between the adults could melt an iceberg. "Um.......so are you going to tell me a story Mom?"
Defeated, Filia surrendered. "I suppose so.." She sat herself on the edge of the bed.
"Just please don't make it a mushy love story."
Filia cocked her head, annoyed and tired. "Sorry, but I'm not promising anything."
Xellos scoffed, taking a seat on the other side. "This should be interesting to hear. I'm always ready for a good laugh."
Filia glared, but regained composure. Clearing her throat, she spoke. "Let's see.....how do most stories start.....Oh yes! Once upon a time....."
In a land far away and long ago,......well...actually it happened in an era that would be considered ancient, not just long ago, but let's not get technical! Anyway, there lived a king who had two daughters.
The eldest, Naga, was bold and beautiful, but had a laugh that could rattle mountains and shake the sky. As the time drew near for her to wed, the king found it difficult to find a suitor, but was finally successful. One that was almost deaf, so Naga's laugh wouldn't frighten him like it would a normal man.
The youngest daughter, Amelia, had also been blessed with beauty like her sister, but she had a sweet and kinder manner. Her childish smile was enchanting and her eyes sparkled like morning dew on a rose petal.
The king had no such trouble locating suitors for her, as he had for Naga. From miles around, suitors came to claim the princess's hand in marriage. Too many, in fact, for Amelia's liking. Every single man would fond over her beauty, but would not listen to what Amelia had to say.
The princess found this most troublesome, but that was to only be the small teaspoon of her worries.
On a particular morning, one suitor was hoping to win her heart by flattery. A foolish thought, but most plans concocted in the mind of a hormone driven boy are. "Oh princess, you are so beautiful!"
Amelia smiled politely. "Thank you. You're very kind."
But that didn't stop the suitor. "In fact you are the most beautiful girl in the world......No, even that does not do you justice....You are more beautiful than the Goddess of Love herself."
An eerie hush descended upon the group of suitors and Amelia. Comparing, or even imagining oneself to be equal to the Gods and Goddesses was a mad man's death wish.
They did not take disrespect lightly and would punish those foolish enough to challenge their wraith.
Amelia stared, at a loss for words, horrified that the suitor dared to say such a dangerous comment. She tried to redeem it. "Oh......you don't mean that. I'm no where equal to the Goddess of Love....."
She failed. "You are too modest!" the suitor replied, unaware of the deadly game he was playing. "In fact, I'd say you are more popular than her, as well."
Another suitor, who refused to be out smarted in any way, performed a foolish act. He tried to be more dangerously flattering than the other suitor. "I quite agree! You are ten times more popular than the Goddess of Love!"
Thus, a lethal chain of flattering was cast. "I agree to!" yelled another.
"As do I!"
"You have a far bigger chest as well!" A couple of glares were thrown at that particular comment , leaving Amelia sweat-dropping and worrying even more.
High up in the far reaches of the sky, a place no mortal could venture, the Goddess of Love, Martina, hovered. She had been watching and listening to the young princess for some time.
Martina was furious and jealous (not that she would admit it) at all the attention Amelia had received. Never the less, she saw no reason to act upon these strong feelings.....until the foolish suitor spoke those everlasting, devastating words. The sentences were engraved in Martina's mind.
She hunched above the magical pool that was used to spy on the mortals and smacked the watery image.
"HOW DARE THEY!!" she screamed. "How dare they claim a mere princess is more beautiful then me!! The nerve of that girl! I'm a goddess and they would rather worship her over me!!"
Martina stomped along the edge of the pool, plotting a suitable punishment. "Amelia must pay for her insolence!!" She laughed evilly. "And I'll have my son to carry it out. It should be a simple task for him."
This son Martina spoke of was no ordinary man. Yes he was an unique person indeed, and his name was Zelgadis. Now Zelgadis, being the son of the goddess of love, had arrows that contained an extraordinary power. One prick of their sharp tips and they could cause anyone to fall in love with the first person they saw. Having such a gift, people would assume Zelgadis was happy and jolly, but they couldn't be farther from the truth. Zelgadis was the opposite. He was not lively. There was not much pleasure in shooting arrows of love. In fact, he thought it was annoyingly bothersome. In the world of the gods, he was considered the most anti-social, depressing, angst god you could encounter.
Why you might ask? It was his appearance that was the source of all of his problems. A strange sight he was to a human's eye, but even among the Gods, he was considered abnormal. It was due to his bizarre body. He had been born with a pair of enormous wings on his back that allowed him to fly as swiftly as any common eagle. His body was covered in a smooth blue stone. Dark blue pebbles coated various areas like spots on a leopard.
His freakish appearance made Zelgadis sensitive to stares and he kept to himself. Yet, this person caused people to fall in love? Fate had an odd sense of humor.
On this day, the young god was relaxing. He had been lying on a cloud and soaking in the warm sunshine. He was half asleep and ready for a nap. The moment of tranquillity and bliss was ruined and shattered. A shrieking voice rang through the air more destructive and massive than a volcanic eruption and a tsunami slammed together.
Shaken half to death, Zelgadis slid off the cloud. At the last second, he seized the fluffy edge like a lion digging its' claws in the dirt to stop from tumbling down to the far, far below ground. Kicking and dangling, Zelgadis succeeded in climbing back onto the cloud.
Blowing away mangled hair, he grumbled sourly. "Oh wonderful! My insane mother is calling for me!"
Strapping on his arrows and bow, Zel spread his wings and flew to his mother's home. He found her stomping in her garden, ranting to the flowers. "That girl will pay dearly!!"
"The nerve of her claiming to be more popular than me!"
"She will be punished!!"
"She will suffer, and so will her family, her dog, even her goldfish!!"
Martina spun around. "Zelgadis when did you get here?"
Zelgadis twitched and felt the comings of a giant headache. "You called me here! What do you want? I've got better things to do then listen to your ranting all day and all night!"
Martina stared at her son seriously. "I want you to use your arrows."
With a swoop of her hand, Martina cast the image of Amelia in the pond. "On this girl!"
Zelgadis crossed his arms on his chest and threw a doubtful glare.
"What?" she asked, not seeing why her son appeared so irritable.
"Last week you ordered me to shoot my arrows on an old woman and a cyclops. The week before that, a thief and a priestess and the week before that a dog and a chicken, which I still don't understand, nor do I wish to!"
Martina blinked. "So......what's the problem?"
Zelgadis slapped his forehead. "Why do I bother?"
Martina returned to her mission. "This is different! They claim this.......this girl is more beautiful and popular than me! Can you believe that?!"
Zelgadis snickered, but held back from laughing aloud.
"I want you to punish her!"
The laughing halted. "How?"
"Have her fall in love with some unworthy evil creature!"
"I don't know! A monster, a murderer, a lawyer, it could be a rat for all I care! Just as long as it brings her enough disgrace and shame for her to be shunned for the rest of her life!"
Zelgadis sighed. "Aren't you over reacting?"
Martina fumed and the warning signs of another rant flashed, forcing Zelgadis to retreat. "Alright! Alright! I'll do it!" he yelled. "The last thing I want is more screaming!"
Val stared suspiciously at Filia. "Mom, is this a love story?"
"I don't think that matters right now."
"But I said I didn't want a love story!"
"I prefer a tale with blood, violence and some naughty business on the side!" Xellos chirped.
"Would you two settle! Now where was I....."
As night fell, Zelgadis summoned his invisibility spell, to not be seen by mortals. He arrived at the palace quickly and landed outside the princess's window. He peeked in.
Amelia was brushing her slick black hair in front of her mirror.
She was a beauty. Before, he hadn't had the chance to have a good look at her. Amelia was a tad short for her age, but her delicate frame was appealing. She had a cute round perky face and blue sparkling sapphire eyes. It wasn't until Amelia moved, that Zelgadis realized he'd been holding his breath and blushed madly.
"Stop it!" he scolded himself. "I'll just shoot her and leave! That's it!"
Patiently, Zelgadis waited for the girl to go to sleep. For what seemed like an eternity, Amelia eventually crawled into her bed and dozed off. "Bout time!" Zelgadis climbed through the window.
He stared at Amelia's still form. "Sorry about this. It's nothing personal." Zel mentally told her, loading his bow.
Silently, he aimed at her heart. His fingers twitched, prepared to let go of the string.
Then Amelia's eyes opened. The sudden action caught Zelgadis by surprise and he stumbled, dropping his weapon. Steadily breathing, Zelgadis reminded himself that Amelia couldn't see him. But the princess's eyes drowsily locked onto him.
She stared straight at him! Zelgadis's heart beat like a drum. He couldn't move! Couldn't breath!
Then, Amelia's eyes shut and she returned to sleep.
Zelgadis collapsed. "What is wrong with me?! She's just a normal mortal girl!"
A girl that can also make your heart beat a mile a minute, his inner voice argued.
Grunting, he loaded his bow again. "I just have to shoot her!" Yes, and ruin the poor girl's life!
His muscles tensed. He was sweating? Why was he sweating?! None of the other people he shot made him nervous!
Although none of them were this girl! Zelgadis pulled back the string.
The bow quivered.
Just shoot her! Let it go!!
Zelgadis stared at the girl, sleeping helplessly like a new born innocent babe. The bow was lowered and the arrow dropped from his fingers.
Zelgaids grumbled. "I.....can't do it!" Never! Never had a person, mortal for that matter, caused him so much anxiety!
Catching one more glimpse of Amelia, he went to the window. "You owe me big!" he told her. "I'm never going to hear the end of this from my mother!" Zelgadis flew into the night.
"I knew it! It is a love story!" Val cried.
"Yuck! Love stories are so gross!!"
"Honey, it's either this story or none at all!"
"WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!!" Martina screamed.
Zelgadis's ears were throbbing from the constant ringing. That girl owed him BIG TIME!!
"I gave you a simple assignment and you failed to do it?!!"
Zelgadis sat brooding under his mother's glare. "There were unexpected.....complications..."
"Like what?! Your bow snapped?!"
"Then what?! You never had trouble before!"
She moved in so close, the rancid smell of Martina's over expensive perfume made his eyes water.
Zelgadis shifted awkwardly. Martina was giving the glare. The glare all mothers inherited, goddess and mortal mothers alike. The glare children trembled in fear of receiving when misbehaving. "Are you hiding something from me?"
"NO!" Zelgadis snapped, but his blush gave him away.
"You are! But what........" Martina's eyes widened, and her jaw dropped. "Don't tell me you've...... got a crush on that princess too!!"
"Of course not!!" Zelgadis protested, scrambling to his feet.
"You do too! You have the look!"
"The look all people have when they are in love! I should know, I AM THE GODDESS OF LOVE!!"
"I'm not in love!!"
"HA! You've admitted it!!"
Zel felt like yelling till his lungs broke. "Fine! I'll admit she's..........appealing to me."
Martina snarled. "Falling in love with the enemy! You traitor!!"
"Since when is she the enemy?"
"That's not the point!! Do you actually think a mortal girl will love you back!!"
Zelgadis stiffened, flexing his wings. "You know how mortals are! One look at your stone skin and wings and she'll run screaming for the hills!"
"And everyone wonders why I have social issues." Zel thought grimly.
"She would only like you if she found out you were a god!"
The winged god glared. As usual, his mother's behavior was maddening to listen to, but this time his blood was boiling. "At least I'd be a better choice then half of those stupid suitors that have been following her around like sick dogs!!"
Martina's lips pursed. Her body trembled and shook with rage. She was going to explode. Strangely, the goddess relaxed.
A firm bitter sweet smile formed. "Go ahead! Try to win the princess's heart! But don't come crying to me when it crashes down on you!!"
A smirk was thrown, then the goddess of love stormed out form the garden, crushing the flowers beneath her feet.
Zelgadis ran his fingers through his hair, the weariness sinking in like a stone. What just happened? Did he just declare he was going to attempt to win Amelia's heart?
"I must be insane!!" Aimlessly, he walked around the edge of the pond. The image of himself shone perfectly in the water, as the light bounced off his stone skin. He hated to admit it, but his mother was right.
Amelia was not going to want a freak like him as a husband. Even though he was a god!
Zelgadis sat and pondered the dilemma. "It's too bad I can't meet her, without Amelia seeing me."
The thought brought him to a halt. He next did an uncharacteristic action for him. Zelgadis smiled.
"Perhaps there is a way....." A plan rooted itself and the god flew to put it into action.
Author's Note: So what do you think? A good start? I really hope Zelgadis wasn't too out of character and I do realize that he probably wouldn't fall in love with Amelia that quickly, but that is how the myth went.
Cupid saw Psyche just once and he fell in love. Actually, he also accidently poked himself with one of his own arrows too. The speed of the original myth is rather fast paced, so I knew I would have to speed things up a bit with the story too, including Zelgadis's reactions to Amelia.
Also, I am writing the next chapter to "When Spells Go Wrong." I haven't been able to update because I've been starting my new summer job and my muse had tied me up and wouldn't let me go until I wrote this.