I was small for my age, and I hated it. It meant, like what was happening to me now, that people mistook me for my youngest sister, never the older one when she stood a head above Euphrosyne, and more than head and shoulders above me, but always the youngest. I could have understood it if the rumours had not been what they were, "ghost child," "white princess", and if my antics and tricks had not made me infamous. The king had a devil for a eldest daughter it was said, often I wondered whether those people spoke true. When they were politely and gently informed of their mistake, as my little sister looked on, horror struck that her golden beauty had yet again been mistaken for my white ugliness. The looks on their faces would be enough to show exactly what they thought of the thin, small, young, ugly white child standing in front of them, that everyone believed to be the Goddess Aphrodite incarnate. Well… I can tell you that this man in front of me would no longer be offering his prayer to me!
"So sorry my lady, your beauty is told over the land, and I am struck by it. Forgive me." I grimaced at the creep, and hastily covered a disbelieving snort with a cough; the man was talking to me!
My little sister, jealous of the attention shown to me looked around for our other sister, Thalia, who was dancing and laughing, and receiving the attention that she wanted. Both turned their backs to me, Euphrosyne smiled at the man and continued to talk with the creep.
"Is not my beauty renowned also?"
I moved away from them and towards my father, hoping to beg his permission to escape from the party. Since I was thirteen, my life had been like this, for three of the most boring and useless years. Telling my father that when he allowed me out into formal occasions without them, he favoured me above them, my two sisters pleaded their way into escorting me everywhere, I nearly told that they would have the parties, the dull and lifeless men, the boring conversation, they would have fainted from shock if I had though.
"Sir…" I whispered in his ear. He stood up and excused himself from the people about him, growled at me and led me from the room angrily.
"Might I not leave now? It is nearly finished and I am weary of talking to men who think me Euphrosyne. It is more than irritating."
"How am I ever going to find you a husband when you insist on being so unsociable and uncooperative? Do you not want to be married?" As if any girl in her right mind would! "Am I to give my throne to a dead line?? You are my eldest daughter, what must I do?"
That was an extremely good question, I liked children, I wanted a family, I simply was not so keen on having the required husband. I am not, readers, as innocent as to believe that I could have one without the other, it was just that finding the other in the crowd of fools who insisted on asking me to prove that I was her Lady Aphrodite, seemed a little bit more than impossible at the moment. The things they asked me to do! It was shocking, and would have horrified the Goddess of love herself! Besides that, Hypermnestra had married when she was six and twenty, and great deal older than a sixteen year old girl, she knew how to handle Lynceus, and make him do what she wanted, I did not see why I could not do the same, rather than giving up my freedom to then next idiot that asked me what things I did to relieve the stress of making people fall in love. I nearly replied to that one by telling the man I took out a knife and killed people.
"I want a family father, I am just a little unsure about the husband part though." I offered up to him hopefully. He looked as if he was going to laugh for a moment, but no, father never laughed at me or at the things that I did.
"How are you going to provide yourself with children, wench, without having a husband first? Foolish girl, get out of my sight, dance first with your sisters, then go before you say something even more foolish than that."
I very nearly told him exactly how I could have children without a husband, and walked away smiling to myself while he pondered female follies. I am mischievous I know, and a little spoilt, but I could help neither one of those character traits.
Father wanted a husband for me more than ever since that day in Argos, not only were men either too scared to touch the Goddess Aphrodite, or much to eager to do so, they neither wanted their children to end up like her, nor wanted retribution for marrying a Goddess, a sacred immortal. He also wanted to dispel rumours of me marrying a monster who would control his lands after him, personally I do not think it would have made that much of a difference, but I never told him that!
I collected my sisters and we moved together to the centre of the room, where low tables had been cleared for us, and a musician in the corner nodded at me. I wore white; the name "ghost" was more than appropriate at this moment. Colours made my sisters jealous, they might always be brighter and more brilliant than the ones my sisters wore, they had been both fiercely jealous and almost affectionate towards me for years. I would say it began when I was six, and a prophecy marked me out as destined to spend the rest of my days with a monster who would probably feel like eating me for one of his snacks, it made me different to them, and that they could not handle. They would, if you could believe it readers, say that the attention I received was attention that they wanted and did not have. It was my father's fault, he had spoilt them.
Being smaller it was somewhat easier to dance, my head was closer to my feet, I loved moving with the music, in the beginning we were tentative, both my sisters watching me for confirmation that they were doing it right. I nodded at them slightly and all three of us let ourselves go.
I danced for no one and as if none watched me, my middle sister was confident now and glowing, she loved it and danced for all the men in the room who were currently drooling after her, she had a whole line of men that were, at the moment, asking father for his permission to marry her, mother looked on proudly at them. My littlest sister smiled sweetly and winked occasionally at a few younger men. She too would not be a maiden for much longer. This was what my father wanted for me, and I for one could not see the appeal in parading in front of men like cattle, waiting for the highest bidder. Despite my grace and dainty and delicate wit, I was sure that my highest bidder would not be attending tonight's party, and that however much he paid for me, it would be considerably lower that the price of Euphrosyne and Thalia.
When it came to dancing, I was the best; I almost felt the music as it swirled about me, and so it meant that I moved with it and not to it. Yet another thing for them to be jealous of me for. My veil that failed to hide anything moved when my head moved and I counted two rips that I prayed no one else, especially my father could see. They must have happened when I had walked down from my rooms, curses! Father had seen them and was scowling at me again. I did a back flip and two cartwheel, my sisters following with equally graceful, although less spectacular moves.
The walls, covered in tapestries spun, and music stopped and started somewhere in time with our dance, when I could not tell you and what it was I never knew, all I knew was movement and action, I never paused long enough to listen to the music. My sisters linked their hands together and I leapt onto them as they pushed me up into the air where I spun, twirled, and rolled, deliciously weightless. The music ended and so did our dance. I breathed heavily, panting, I still loved to dance.
Other people joined in dancing now, most keeping their distance, and only fools keeping too close, I could have sent hell fire, or heaven light at them, most never made up their mind, demon or angel, most remained undecided and therefore cautious. I myself felt like a butterfly, flitting about in a breeze and dancing, flighty and quick, until my gown tripped me up in its ridiculous length, I swear father thought that if people saw less of my white skin then it would not exist. I am sure that that was the philosophy he had applied to my clothes.
"Wait," the man himself roared, then smiled graciously, gesturing to myself and my sisters to come to him, "My daughters, beautiful, graceful and delicate females." It was a shame that that description was applied to me; it made the lack of some of those virtues very obvious. We bowed and the crowd clapped and cheered us, then went back to dancing as if they had never been interrupted.
"Wait," again the host and king paused the frivolity, and stretched out an arm to his wife, my mother; she took his hand and was drawn closer to him, "My beautiful wife and hostess." Again the crowd dutifully clapped and cheered while mother smiled shyly with pleasure. She was everything that I should have been, and everything father wanted me to be, demure, quiet, beautiful, something that I would never manage to appear as, and she was never clever. I had been educated with my sisters until the age of eleven when we were supposed to have been handed over to mother, who no doubt, would have politely tried to ignore my undeniable presence in her rooms and quite possibly my very existence in her life.
But, my tutor objected and asked father if he could have a few more years with me, to; as he put it, turn my mindless folly into a brain worthy to run a kingdom. I had no objections, mother certainly could see no reason why I could not avoid her even more that usual. It was father who worried that such an education would not only change me from a girl into a sort of mannish-female, but also make me undesirably un-marriageable. I mean, nymphs and sphinxes, who like a girl who can tell her husband when he is wrong, why exactly he is wrong, and can tell him the right answer also! Apparently no one.
I persuade father though by telling him that the education would help me to recognise the monster that I was apparently betrothed to, and while I almost told him that I, tiny and weak as I am, would kill it, I quickly changed that sentence to then I would tell some one else to kill it for me, and thus avoid marrying the thing and having it rule father's lands. It was not surprising that he agreed after that, on the basis that if he thought that I was turning into a man, then the lesson would stop. I failed to tell him that Psyche, a girl, reputed to be a Goddess, however talented would find it extremely impossible and distasteful to turn into a man, who would want to after all?
But, going back to the subject that I have wandered off, my mother is the one person that everyone thinks that I should be like, and the ideal of a wife, mother and female that I will never be able to copy. My sister though, save for their cheekiness and occasional spirit, are well ont heir way to being exactly like her.
A creepy, old, bald man watched me as I danced a little, it made me wonder precisely what the riddle Hypermnestra had told me meant. I mean "monster" could be so many things, he could be the monster for all I knew. "More powerful that Zeus" could be a bad thing, Zeus was a lecherous snake, something with more power was bound to be twice as bad, an old perverted, rotten letch, exactly the description of the man staring at me at the moment, brilliant! I kept as far away from that man as I could, I mean why tempt the Fates? They plague me enough as it is. His stare unnerved me so much that I made a quick exit, father glaring as I did so.
I ran down the court yard, past a few trees to my set of rooms, twirling and spinning until the floor moved beneath me and I had to sit down to steady myself. The stars zoomed above my head and I said a silent prayer to Artemis that wherever Greer was, she was one of those stars looking down on me. I refused to say any sort of prayer to Eros, knowing my luck, and his memories of my kicking him, he would probably make me fall in love with the horrid old man from the party.
Voice from the front gate made my heart heavy, as they begged for Aphrodite incarnate to take away their pain and suffering, how could I tell them that the mortal girl could do nothing?
I slipped back into the house and into a busy kitchen when the cook caught my eyes and gestured to a basket at the beck of the room. He knew what I did with it, he softly as I past him by, "Gods keep you white princess". Picking up the basket I raced out before anyone else could see and recognise me and walked to the gate, passing the basket to the guards, who I knew would distribute it to the people.
"Bless you my white lady." Was all the response I received as I slipped back to my rooms and to my bed. Memories of the people who had followed us from Argos fileld me, some with dead children, begging for me to raised them to life, others thin and dying asking for my help. I have never forgotten them and I wish that I could have helped them then as I try to do now. However sweet and blissful sleep is, I never forget.
2, 486 words, sorry, not that much, but I promise more later on, what do you think, better than the last or worse!!!!!