The Black Balloon Contest
Your pen name: punkfarie
Disclaimer: Twilight & it's characters belong to Ms. Meyers.
This is based in Greek Mythology. I tried to be as accurate as possible, but I did make some minor changes. Also, please click that little ½ button. It makes this look much better.
I am the son of Zeus and I am cursed.
I was born two hundred and seventeen years ago to a mortal woman, Elizabeth. Zeus had seduced her, tricked her, and impregnated her much to the surprise of her husband. I was born during a lightning storm; Zeus was celebrating.
Of course, Hera knew. She always knows when Zeus goes philandering around and she has quite the temper. Hera cursed my mother, so that she was never to see my face. She was never to bond with her special child.
Poor Elizabeth died during my birth. She never saw my face. Her husband, whom I was named after, fell into a deep depression after losing the love of his life. After it became clear that he no longer had the mental stability to care for me, he was directed by Hermes, the messenger of the gods, to let me be raised by another family. Knowing I was not his son and was the cause of his wife's death, he was all too eager to let me go.
Carlisle and Esme took me in. They were human, but granted immortality for as long as the god's needed them. They had been alive for close to a thousand years when I was dropped at their door.
I had a happy childhood. Esme was very loving, always ready with a hug or a sugary treat. Carlisle was a stern father but never abusive and always willing to help. I can sincerely say I loved them. I grew up thinking they were my actual parents. They took care of my every need and never had a complaint.
My bedtime stories were always the great myths. Hercules, Perseus, Jason. By the time I was ten I could recite them by heart. Their importance was always stressed, I did not mind. It gave me a chance to pretend in the yard, waving around a wooden sword Carlisle had given to me.
When I reached puberty, my days of blissful ignorance were over. Carlisle woke me up in early morning and led me down a trail to a small meadow. It was peaceful in early morning. Esme was nowhere to be seen. Carlisle did not speak to me during the trek or give any indication what it was about.
I thought perhaps I did something wrong, that I was being punished. Tears bubbled up and spilled down my cheeks. I felt I had disappointed Carlisle somehow and that broke my twelve year old heart. I was terrified they were going to get rid of me.
"Edward, Edward, there is no need to cry." Carlisle laid a hand on my shoulder. "You have done nothing wrong."
"Y-y-you aren't g-g-getting rid of me?" I asked through hiccups and sniffles.
"Of course not. I brought you out here because there is someone I'd like you to meet." For the first time I noticed there was a man in the meadow. He was tall, powerful. He had a graying beard and looked like he should be old…but was not. He smiled at me. It was somehow familiar, welcoming.
"Hello, Edward." He stuck his hand out and I shook it cautiously. "Do you know who I am?"
"I am your father." I was thoroughly confused. I had always assumed Carlisle was my father.
"I do not understand." I looked to Carlisle for assistance. He just smiled and nodded.
"Edward, those stories that Carlisle and Esme told you. They are all true. I am Zeus, leader of the gods, and you are my son." The news hit me like a tidal wave. Questions raced through my head. My brain could not comprehend. I was still a child after all.
"So, I am…a…god?" I asked. Zeus chuckled slightly.
"No, my son. You are more like Hercules." This disappointed me. Hercules was a hero, yes, but he also crazed. He murdered his entire family. Everyone romanticized the old myths, but Carlisle had always told me the real story. It wasn't until later that I discovered Carlisle had actually seen these stories happen.
"But I do not want to kill anyone." I was on the verge of tears, again. Zeus bent down on one knee, so that he was eye level with me.
"Edward, every child of the gods has a different Fate. Every one wields their powers differently. I have seen the Oracle; you are destined for great things." Something about his tone gave me comfort, knowing that my future had been determined put me at ease. "Everything Carlisle and Esme have told you is true. There are monsters, evil beings in the world. As the son of Zeus, you are to help me defeat them but you have to accept this. It cannot be thrust upon you unwillingly. If you accept, you will develop great powers, be trained in every combat technique, and learn everything in the world that you wish."
"If I accept, will I have to leave Carlisle and Esme?" I was reluctant to let them go. They were the only family I knew.
"No. You may stay with them for as long as you wish. Your training can be done here." I glanced up at Carlisle. He was smiling and it was then I realize he had been subtly preparing me for this moment. I would not disappoint him.
"Then, Father, I accept." Zeus stood up and began to glow. It was a brilliant light, it should have blinded me but then again, I was not entirely human. I was engulfed in the light and the next thing I remember, I woke up in my bed with Esme next to me. She was laying a cold cloth on my forehead. She had tears in her eyes but a happy smile. "Are you alright, Esme?"
"Yes, Edward. I'm fine. I'm very proud of you but it's always difficult to watch the children change."
"There have been others like me?"
"Oh yes. Carlisle and I have been foster parents to children of the gods for a long time. I have loved every one of them. I just know you are going to be a magnificent hero." Esme leaned down and kissed me gently on the cheek. "Today is your last day as a normal child. Tomorrow you will start your training." She patted my hand gently and left the room. If I had not been so young and overwhelmed I might have noticed the worry lines on her face and the sadness in her voice.
My training began just as Esme said. I was joined by two other demigods; Alice, the daughter of Athena and Jasper, the son of Ares. They were older than me and would be helping me train. Jasper was like me, fathered by trickery, his mother died during childbirth, his 'father' handing him over without question. We bonded instantly.
Alice, on the other hand, was created solely by her mother. She was a thought, a dream that burst forth, much like Athena herself. She was meant to be a full god but Zeus wouldn't allow it. As a punishment to Athena for creating another god, Zeus cursed Alice. He banished her to a human existence. It was only after she fought the Furies and made it through alive that Zeus partially removed the curse and granted Alice her powers.
Alice's history was just the start of my real education about the gods. During the day, Alice, Jasper and I were trained in hand to hand combat, various weapons and basic battlefield medical techniques. My trainers consisted of centaurs, satyrs, and nymphs. Occasionally we were blessed by the presence of Ares and Athena.
At night, in Esme and Carlisle's house, Alice and Jasper would tell me what the myths that Carlisle had never shared with me. I learned there were other demigods out there; wandering the world, insane and homeless. Their powers were too much for them and their godly parents abandoned them.
My days passed quickly. I learned I was excellent with a sword but mediocre with a bow and arrow. I learned ambrosia could heal a battle wound quickly but too much could kill me. I learned the Kraken, Medusa, and the Chimera were very real.
My powers grew and Zeus rewarded me. I was sent on quests and given riches beyond my wildest dreams. More demigods came to train with us. Rosalie, a daughter of Aphrodite joined just after my fourteenth birthday. She and I clashed on more than one occasion. She wasn't comfortable with us until Emmett appeared, several months after her. Emmett was the son of Dionysus and he was the most intimidating demigod I had ever met. He was huge and in mock battle, he defeated us easily. Thankfully, he was always in good spirits and was able to keep Rosalie at bay. I considered them my siblings.
As I grew older, I became disillusioned. When I was child, I had always thought the job of a demigod was to fight evil. I discovered that wasn't the case. It was our job to basically clean up the messes of the gods. Tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes; they were all works of the gods. They were childish and impetuous. Holding a grudge for a thousand years was nothing to an immortal. They cursed other beings constantly. Someone was always after Zeus's throne. The demigods were expected to protect it, no matter the cost.
After a particularly hard battle against Hades, my fellow demigods and I were granted the chance for immortality. The five of us had proven our worth. Our powers had not driven us mad and we had defeated our enemies on numerous occasions.
I was hesitant to accept this fate. Over time, I had become angry with the gods. Mortals meant nothing to them. They played with their lives like toys. I had seen millions of innocent bystanders killed because Hades threw a tantrum. Men and women suffered because a god had mated with them and were caught by their immortal partner.
I felt I was destined for a long and lonely life. Jasper and Alice, Rosalie and Emmett, they had found their partners. Though gods remained in their marriage forever, they strayed often. The mixture of human and god had granted us with the lasting love of a god but the morality of a human. In short, demigods mated for life.
I wanted it, the happiness, the feeling of being in love. I watched my siblings and my foster parents and I was jealous. Accepting immortality would mean the only mates I could choose from would be other immortals or mythological beings that lived on Olympus.
I was desperate for advice and I went to the one person I knew I could trust. Esme. I went to her shortly before my seventeenth birthday. She knew why I seeking her company in private.
"You cannot decide if you want to be immortal."
"How did you know?"
"Edward, I've been a servant of the gods for a thousand years. I've seen many demigods come and go. You have been primed for this, practically since birth."
"What should I do?" I pleaded for her help.
"I am not able to make that decision for you. I know that you doubt the gods. They make mistakes. They act rashly. Even if you were to refuse, you cannot change who you are. Edward, you will always be the son of Zeus. You will always be called upon to fight his battles. Perhaps if you were immortal…you could help the humans. Protect them in ways you are not able to now."
"Esme…what about….what about love? What about a wife and a family? I have always entertained the thought of having my own son." She gave a gentle smile and grasped my hand.
"Would you want that life for the woman that holds your heart? Always waiting for her husband to come home? It would be difficult for you to be with a human woman even now. You have controlled your powers to this point but there is always that chance, that spilt second and you would be like Hercules." The comparison to Hercules was what stuck with me. He had never been a hero to me and I had no desire to be like him.
"I suppose you are right, Esme. Thank you…Mother." I kissed her on the cheek before I left. I could feel the wetness of tears. I assumed they were because I would soon be leaving. Being immortal would mean living on Mount Olympus. I would still see Esme and Carlisle but not nearly as much as I would like.
After leaving Esme, I went straight to Zeus. On the day of my seventeenth birthday, I became immortal. I would live forever, next to my Father and my siblings until the end of days, as a lesser god.
I was bored and lonely. I had nothing but free time and I spent most of my time preventing innocent humans from being causalities of the gods' arguments.
There were always children of gods to be trained. I volunteered to help. I would go to earth with Jasper, Alice, Emmett and Ares and prepare the children for their new lives. Most of them were fostered by Carlisle and Esme. Seeing them again and fighting, even though it was mock fighting, was the highlight of my new existence.
Fifty years passed and it felt like nothing. Time no longer held the same meaning for me. Most of the demigods I had trained to this point had either gone mad or were killed in battle. Once again I was beckoned to train new ones. I specifically worked with the ones fostered by Carlisle and Esme. I wanted them to have some sort of chance at happiness.
Jasper and I were in the meadow, the same meadow that Zeus had showed himself to me for the first time. We were discussing the likelihood of these new children actually succeeding. The meadow was supposed to be protected from mortal eyes. Occasionally though, a mortal would slip through the magic surrounding the area.
I was the first to see her. She was clearly confused. The meadow resembled a small arena, weapons were scattered about. Wherever she had previously been, it was vastly different from this place. She was holding a small basket filled with apples. Her dress was torn at the bottom and she had twigs in her chestnut colored hair. Her eyes were wide and scared like a doe.
She was, without a doubt, the most beautiful being I had ever laid eyes upon.
"Another lost human." Jasper muttered. In the years since we became lesser gods, his tolerance for humans had diminished. They were forgetting the ancient stories and chalking them up to tall tales. He was angry that they so easily dismissed the gods that had controlled their lives for centuries.
"I will help her." I went to her slowly, masking my true god form. She took a defensive stance which made me chuckle. I walked toward her with my palms up, showing her I wasn't going to harm her. I stopped about fifteen feet away. "Hello."
"Stay away." She was obviously frightened but her voice was strong.
"I am not going to harm you. Are you hurt?" I asked gently.
"No." She glanced around the meadow. "What is this place?"
"It is for training…soldiers." I lied.
"Soldiers?" She was skeptical and with good reason. There was no war going on in this particular country.
"How did you get here?" I changed the subject.
"I was picking apples and I got turned around…" Watching her eyebrows scrunch together in confusion was adorable.
"May I escort you back to your path?" I was eager to get her away from the meadow. Since this area was supposed to be for use of the gods, many other mythological beings came here and not all of them would be friendly to a lost human.
"I guess that would be fine." She still seemed nervous. I wished I could have put her at ease. I wanted nothing more than to see her smile. I guided her out of the meadow, always keeping a safe distance from her. We were silent for most of the walk.
I did not want to leave her when we reached the path. I wanted to stay by her side until she was safely at home. I wanted to protect her.... love her.
"Thank you. I probably would have gotten turned around and lost again." She blushed slightly.
"You are welcome. May I ask your name?"
"Isabella. And yours?"
"Edward." She smiled then, making my heart skip a beat.
"Thank you, again." Isabella hesitated like she was going to say more but she turned and left. It took every ounce of strength I had not to follow her.
Instead, I watched her. I watched her from above. Making sure she was protected. I visited her in other forms. I felt disgusted that I was resorting to the same tricks I had previously condemned the gods for but I reasoned that at least I was not seducing her.
This went on for over a year. Occasionally, we would meet as she knew me, as Edward, the strange boy that helped her home. Isabella smiled and giggled as we spoke. Modestly of course, she was still a maiden under her father's roof. No matter my other responsibilities, I was never away from her side for more than a day. I rarely spent time at Olympus.
I noticed she had the sensitivity that allowed her to see through some of the magic the gods used to keep things secret. This made her life very dangerous. I tried to shield her from my world as much as I could. I would not let her become some causality. I never revealed what I really was.
The other gods took notice of my behavior. They wanted to know why I had not just had my way with her and moved on. I could not do that to my Isabella. She deserved better. She deserved to be treated with respect.
She soon became an obsession. I wanted her, desperately, but I could not have her. I refused to deceive her. To use her and just toss her aside.
I loved her. I never told her how I felt. I tried to let her know with little acts what I felt for her but we could never be. Zeus would never allow me to give up my immortality and he would never grant it to her. She always grew so angry when she would tell me how she felt and I did not reciprocate but she continued our 'relationship' anyway. It was not the ideal situation but as long as she was there I was content.
Until Ares decided he wanted her for himself.
This was not unusual, for a god to covet what another god had. Ares should have been happy; he had Aphrodite when Hephaestus wasn't looking and his choice of beautiful mortal women. But he held a grudge against me for a battle that ended badly for him because I intervened to save the humans.
He had been watching Isabella as well. He watched our time together and knew how we felt about one another. He picked a time when I would be busy with training, took a form similar to mine and went to my Isabella claiming to be my brother. Ares told her there had been an accident in which I had died.
He lied to my precious Isabella and took advantage of her in her state of grief. He thought I would no longer want her if she was tarnished. Of course, he didn't count on Aphrodite watching him. She flew into a rage at watching her lover be with a mortal girl instead of her.
Aphrodite cursed my love. She cursed her beauty, cursed her to a horrible death. Alice had tried to prevent her but once a god makes a decision it's very hard to sway them. Alice came to me, explaining what had happened. I dropped everything and rushed to Isabella.
She was broken; used and tossed aside. The same thing I had tried to prevent. The goddess's curse worked quickly, her beauty was already fading. Warts grew on her face; clumps of hair fell from her scalp. I loved her still. I vowed revenge on Ares and Aphrodite.
The curse was killing Isabella. I never left her side, trying to make her as comfortable as possible. I called upon hundreds of doctors, healers, witches and magicians to try and break the curse. It all failed. The Fates themselves came and cut her string before my very eyes.
I begged my Father to do something, anything. I did not care about her beauty, I just wanted her. He refused. I raged at him, collapsing the throne room down around us.
"Son, you destroy my home again and you will die along with your human girl." Zeus warned, his voice shaking Olympus. "You knew the risks of loving a mortal. You reminded yourself everyday not to get close to her and you failed to heed your own warnings. She is a human; they are supposed to die, to pass into the Underworld. I will not prevent her life from living its course." He dismissed me with a wave of his hand.
The mention of the Underworld gave me an idea. Hades was always willing to bet and bargain. I made Alice and Jasper swear to stay by Isabella's side as I made the journey to visit my uncle. I had to be quick; she did not have much time left.
I swore on the River Styx as I passed, that I would do anything to save Isabella's life.
"I have been expecting you my dear nephew." Hades's voice sent a chill down my spine. Before him was an image of Isabella, lying in her bed, dying. Alice was wiping her face with a cool, damp cloth trying to break the fever. He broke the image with a snap of his fingers. "So sad. Such a waste. At least Ares got some use out of her first." I growled at my uncle and he laughed. "Peace, Edward. Now tell me, what can I do for you?"
"I'm here to prevent you from collecting her soul."
"To prevent me from collecting her soul?" He roared with laughter. "What exactly would you have me do to with it? Her string has been cut. She is going to die."
"You can stop it. You can reincarnate her. You are a god, Uncle; you can do as you please."
"Edward, do you think I have not been watching you all these years? Do you think I do not know of your disdain for the gods playing with mortals lives? You have barely been able to hide your contempt for our actions, yet now you beg me to do just that. To intervene."
"I cannot lose her!" I screamed, my voice breaking. I dropped to my knees. "Please, Hades. I will do anything."
"Anything…" he trailed off.
"I will pledge you my soul in exchange for hers." I said softly.
"You are immortal, did you forget?"
"Yes but I still have my human soul. You can have it, do whatever you want with it but please just spare Isabella's." He contemplated this for a brief moment.
"I accept your soul." Hades reached his hand to me, and a wispy substance left my chest. I suddenly felt hollow. His black lips formed into a wry smile. "However, it is too late for your mortal girl. Her soul is crossing the River Styx as we speak."
"You tricked me!" I drew my blade and held the point to his throat.
"Did you expect any different from me, nephew? You are smarter than that, Edward."
"I will destroy you, Hades." I hissed. "If it takes me until the end of days, I will. I will throw you into the Tartarus with your Father." This hit a sour note with Hades. After his many attempts to steal Zeus's throne from him, he knew my Father would be all too willing to assist me.
"Now, now. I'm sure we could work out a deal of sorts."
"Reincarnate her. Now. Give her a happy life. Do not let her keep any memory of her previous life."
"That takes time Edward. She has to wait in line. Aphrodite's curse will still be with her, do you realize that? It sticks to the soul, not the body. Do you want her to go through the pain of death again?"
"I do not want her to suffer. I will…bear the weight of her pain. I am a god, it will not affect me in the same way. "
"Submit to me, Edward. Become my slave and I will do this for you. I shall give her life over and over. You will suffer her agony every time the curse takes hold of her. Her soul shall be joined with yours in this curse until the end of time. However, you are never to face her again. You are to remain in the Underworld as she walks among the living; you are only to visit the earth or Olympus when she is here, waiting for a new body."
"Swear on the River Styx that she will always be safe, that she will always be happy. Only then will I submit."
"I solemnly swear on the River Styx that for as long as you remain my slave, Isabella will be protected. She will feel no sadness in her life. She will never have any memories of her previous lives, or of you. Though her beauty will always fail at a young age, she will feel no pain. Her deaths will be quick, as will her wait in the Underworld." He waited patiently for my vow.
"I solemnly swear on the River Styx to be your slave in the Underworld." As soon as the words left my lips, ghostly shackles formed around my ankles. I could hear Zeus's roar from this throne. Above me, the earth was plagued with the worst storms in a hundred years. I was now cursed for an eternity.
For a hundred and fifty years I have watched my Isabella die repeatedly. I did Hades's bidding. I reaped souls, I laid down punishment. Each time the curse took hold of my love, I suffered. The pain was so great, I was immobile for days.
But I did it all for her. My love for her never ceased.
I watched her from afar. Growing into a beautiful woman. Always the same gorgeous chestnut hair and brown eyes. Always the same sweet smile.
I knew Alice and Jasper protected her. They stayed in her life for my benefit. Alice was still trying to convince Aphrodite to overturn the curse. I had faith in Alice. She was, after all, the daughter of the Goddess of Strategy and Wisdom.
For now, I waited, suffering but happy that occasionally I could glimpse the smile that filled my heart with joy.
A/N- This story came about because a) I love Mythology b) I recently read the Percy Jackson series and c) MissSnazzy encourages every idea I have, no matter how craptastic it may be.
Thank you to MissSnazzy, larin20 and beckaboo.
Thank you for reading!