Disclaimer: The sources of information used in this short story were originally plays and epics, therefore not mine. Please don't plagiarize!
Written By: Wicked
Yes, it's a new story from Wicked! I've never posted anything here about the Greek Gods and Goddess before, but I've always been intrigued by them, all the adultery and incest. I would have to say it's funny, but sometimes it's much darker. It's my job to let you see that side, especially in this one–the myth about the marriage of Hera, The Lady, and Zeus. Enjoy!
You call me bitter, jealous, horrid, and all in all a bad goddess, but have you ever wondered why I became this way?
Yes, I know some of you understand why I am so bitter, why I always seem to be the one spoiling the celebration, but that is not all true, all because of my husband's infidelity.
No one really understands why I chase away the other women that my unfaithful husband run to. No one really understands why I don't just 'divorce' him. No one ever... Listens.
Do you want to know my story? Then sit at my feet; my daughter Hebe will pour us juices from the first fruits of harvest, not nectar of the immortals, and here, you can hear my story...
I was a young goddess, only a few thousand years old, when I first met Zeus, my younger brother and soon to be husband.
My name back then was different, not Hera, not The Lady, as they all call me now, but a name that meant beauty and youth. Oh, I forget it now, but I do remember those days I spent in my girlhood, how young and pure, so naive of the world then...
I lived in eternal spring back then, my days were spent of just picking flowers and entertaining myself with woodland spirits, who were my handmaidens and friends.
How would I know that my happiness would soon be destroyed? How would I know that...
To be truthful, I did know that something would happen soon. I was born with the gift of foreseeing, and although it came and went, I could tell that something bad would happen soon enough.
I would have never expected it to be in the form of a cuckoo, though.
Do you want to know what happened? I will tell you now.
The sky grew dark, the clouds rumbled with thunder, and flashes of lightning were seen, like flickering lights. The wind blew, tearing the leaves on the trees, making them flutter across the ground. It was then that I saw a small bird, my special bird, the cuckoo, shrieking with terror on the ground. I cupped it in my hands and pressed it to my bosom, trying to warm it. It quieted immediately, and then... I was lifted into the air, into the sky, into a cave of dark clouds.
I saw him there, his blue eyes flashing with lust and want, his handsome face chiseled into a leer. I was frightened then, so scared. I knew something bad was to happen, and it did.
He ran to me–I backed away, and then ran. I ran but he was faster, and he tackled me to the ground. I cried, screaming, trying to struggle away, but he was, he is a powerful god. He tore at my toga, pulling it over my head while trying to subdue me. Tears ran down my face as he used my body, as if I was just a slave girl, and not a goddess, not his honored older sister. Horror shook me as I tried not to think the action.
After he was finished with me, after I woke up alone and sore, after I saw the bruises and markings of his actions, that was when anger finally took its form inside of me.
It was a complete surprise when he proposed. It turned out that everyone, all the gods, had heard my screams, and he would be cursed if I didn't agree to the marriage. His curse was not eternal damnation, as I wished, but rather that his station as a god.
I was not selfish, although shamed. Rather, I wished to protect the other women that he had hurt.
After the forced intercourse, a new me had risen. No longer a goddess of just childish things, flowers and such, I was now the protector of all women, of mothers and infants. This new goddess I had become was one that had always been destined for me–so I guess the rape wasn't all for nothing.
You are surprised to see me speak of these things so easily? It has been tens of thousands of years already. I am now older, wiser, and I forgive more easily.
Let them see me as the jealous wife. I know the truth, and that is what matters most.
Those women you see me chasing, pestering, are all women who have been raped.
Take Leto for example. Yes, she is beautiful, wondrous, and it would be easy to be jealous of her, but instead I helped her. She doesn't know Zeus as well as I. Even when she was pregnant with twins, Apollo and Artemis, he would still come after her, his lust burning a hole in his mind, and he would have raped her again and again. She would not, did not, believe me, so finally I did what I had to do as the protector of women and infants–I sent a dragon to chase her until she could find a place where the sun had never shone before, and was barren. She found that place on Dhilos. I didn't let Zeus know–I feigned jealously and even sent the thought to Apollo's head that I sent the dragon so his mother couldn't give birth in peace.
My priestess, Io, was taken by Zeus after he ordered Eros to shoot lust arrows into her chest. To hide her from me, he changed her into a cow, hoping that, after I left, he could continue what he had started. Not so. I took Io, now a heifer, from him, and sent a gadfly to chase her to Egypt, where she would have a new start in life as a new goddess there, Isis. But did she know? Of course not.
Much like I, Leda was fooled when Zeus changed himself into a bird, this time a swan. To protect her from the rage of her husband, I sent Iris, the rainbow goddess, my messenger, to convince Aphrodite that Tyndareus was in need of love, who then impregnated her again, making it look like all four were his children and not just two.
Europa, the poor girl, was taken by my unfaithful husband after he seduced her onto his back in the form of a white bull, and thus took her away from her beloved home. She was filled with hate and would have killed herself–until I erased her hate with the joy of childbirth.
Do you remember the poor boy, Ganymede? He was carried away by Zeus in the form of a giant eagle. He was so young, only twelve, when Zeus set his eye upon the boy. Although beautiful, he was still a child. I could not bear to see him hurt. I convinced Hebe to give her duties as cupbearer up to Ganymede, so he would be seen at all times and free of my husband's wandering hands and eyes.
Thetis was a partial failure of mine. I tried my best, telling that old man of the sea, Nereus, also a prophet, that any son born of her would be stronger than his father, a fear of Zeus', and Poseidon's. Instead, I caused the king Peleus to chase after her. She bore eight children, of which only one, Achilles, lived. The other seven were killed by her because of her forced marriage. See? To protect her, I had to will her to be married to Peleus, and now seven innocent children are dead.
Do you see now, child? Do you see what a horrible person Zeus was, and is? Do you see why I am always so angry, and hated because of it?
Pity is not something I take to easily. I am far too prideful for that, so do not try to make me laugh with your thoughts of 'that poor woman'. Do not try that with me...
I am old now, and not worshiped any longer, or at least not as profusely. Zeus has gotten more clever, erasing memories after he is done with his new victories, and I am tired. I may look as young as ever with the help of my magical spring, but inside, I am old, far too old. I feel tired, and I am immortal as ever...
Child, understand this, and then blame me if you must... But know that I did those things I did out of fate, out of the will to protect those I should.
All I ask is to be remembered... Please, little one, tell my story to others, and let them know, too, that I am not just a woman driven by jealousy. Know that I wish to help, as a goddess should.
I will forever be the goddess Hera, consort of Zeus, eternally faithful, eternally the protector. My fate is unchangeable. It is up to Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, forgotten as they are.
See, child, that you can change things. See that you can be the one that, although seeming wrong, is right. Just believe... And embrace your fate.