So I came up with this whilst writing "Amnesia", and I just had to do it-so here it is.
And yes it's another Artemis/Orion piece- I like the sentimental edge to the story.
Disclaimer: I do not own Percy Jackson (that's Rick Riordan) nor do I own Greek Mythology.
A Painful Memory
The moon had been so beautiful that night. For she had been restless with anticipation and excitement at the prospect of seeing him again. Indeed, she had told herself frequently that it wasn't the hunter who she relished seeing but something else. Anything else.
Of course- she inevitably realised- she was lying.
It was him, or rather the man who had stumbled upon her those months ago, when she had been hunting alone. It had started as a game, a short game yes- but how she loved to play with the male mortal minds. The lady of the hunt had prodded him with the usual questions; do you know who I am? Who are you? What are you doing here? She remembered her amusement at his witty remarks, and how she had mused over what animal to turn him into.
Why had she saved him?
She would come to ask this question many times over the following weeks, months, years- time meant little to a god. Perhaps it was his smile or his dark piercing eyes. Or more likely it was his passion for the hunt, a passion she had rarely witness within a mortal. Regardless this man flared a certain…interest in the moon goddess, and she had felt it prudent to observe him. That first meeting had gone without incident- he had been utterly and completely oblivious to her true identity.
So she concealed herself beneath a guise. For a time she did not choose to adopt her pre-adolescent form but one of a young woman. Then the goddess hid herself under the name of Diana, a name she chose for its obvious allusions. Yet he remained ignorant- oh, how she had joked over his ignorance after the numerous meetings which followed. The shared laughter of her hunters when she would regale her humorous anecdotes of the intriguing mortal around the camp fire.
Slowly- so slowly she did not notice the transition- the huntress realised with horror her feelings had changed. No longer did she tell her stories with a callous, critical tone- that acerbic edge had been lost and instead she held a fondness for the man.
She, the immortal and eternal virgin, had fallen in love with a man.
The goddess had made this revelation whilst preparing to fire an arrow at a passing buck. Her hand froze and her breath hitched in her throat as she deduced the cause of her perplexity.
That plague which had persisted in tainting her every thought. When she had been sitting watching her hunters around the camp fire and their jovial conversations, the man would always appear and overwhelm her thoughts. When she was on Olympus, she tried to maintain her focus on the menial discussion at hand -but eventually her mind would drift to him .Her own personal demon. The goddess remembered as she lowered her bow, her hands were trembling too much to make the shot. The buck would live for another day.
Zoe, her ever-observant lieutenant would ask of her troubles many times. She would merely answer with a shake of her head, denying the battle which had raged inside of her. Yet, foolishly she continued to visit him; her guise had served her well.
Of course he eventually followed the trail of bread crumbs she left in her wake. He had been so silent when he'd discovered the truth, his face a perfect mask of indifference. But that was just it- a mask. The hunter's true feelings flowed from him in waves.
"You're Lady Artemis." He had whispered. His frame trembled- he had heard the stories which surrounded the virgin goddess, the stories which relayed in detail exactly what she does to mortals who witness her hunt.
She had inclined her head, there was no use lying to him now- he would only make her swear on the River Styx. The man's next move had surprised her completely.
He bowed to her and spoke in a tone which dripped in reverence, "It is an honour to be in your presence my lady."
Her eyes pooled with the tears she would not permit to escape. Her tale was permeated in pain and suffering from that moment. The memories much more excruciating.
The moon had been so beautiful that night- that night her entire world came crashing down.
She had been reduced to a childish eagerness. Her laughter rang from the halls of Olympus as she rushed out of the council and to the man who had been waiting for her. Her brother, Apollo was there to greet her. He spoke of a petty challenge and she,in a move the goddess would come to regret for the rest of her life, accepted.
It was a simple task, a task which had involved hitting a target which floated on the surface of the vast ocean just below the horizon.
She had aimed her bow, so sure of her talents. Negligent of her target, of who her target was. If only she had looked closer, if only she had checked to see if the hunter was there, if only her skills had failed her that one time...
If only …..
She slackened her grip on the bowstring and the arrow was sent on its destructive journey. It penetrated the skull- a clean kill. Immediate and pain free.
Oh how she would tell herself he hadn't suffered- that his journey to Hades was swift. It made no difference. The pain would never lessen. Never.
She remembered she had turned to Apollo. And in that moment she had realised who her target had been. Apollo and his smile, superior -as if he was protected by some higher force from her wrath.
That smug smile was quickly replaced with an expression of pure horror…and agony.
She had made sure it had remained that way for some time. She dragged out his punishment for perhaps longer than was required, it had fuelled the darkest parts of her soul, that desire to hurt.
Just as she was hurting more than anyone could possibly imagine.
Everywhere she looked, he would be there. Haunting her. Tormenting her.
How many nights had she spent screaming into the starry sky? How many nights had she begged him to stop? How many nights had she spent alone?
She had lost count centuries ago.
The moon this night was small, its glow somehow diminished. Artemis pulled her knees up to her chest and sobbed quietly to herself. Now she let her golden tears flow freely; the small droplets ran down her cheek and collected on the silver fabric of her tunic.
It had been over 2000 years since that day, and not a day had gone by without her thinking about it...about him. She had brought herself to this place on this day to force herself to confront her demons. The goddess stared out across the ocean which even now seemed stained in red. The ground around her was crimson with his blood, and so were her hands.
She refused to look up at the constellation-at him. She was sure it would taunt her.
You killed me
You killed me
You killed me
"I'm sorry," she moaned into the folds of her tunic which were clenched in her fists.
But he could not hear her, he never would.
Artemis would never look up at him. Her guilt and torment would never allow her.
But he will always be looking down at her. Looking with disgust, hatred, disappointment- it mattered not. What mattered was that Orion would always be remembered as being the one man who had managed to steal her heart entirely.
The goddess whispered those forbidden words which no man, indeed nobody would ever hear from her lips;
"I love you."
The words floated on the wind, lost forever- just like the hunter himself.
This is practically crying out for a re-write so expect one-soon.
And yes, I am still working on both "The End of the Gods" (about 40,000 words long now) and "Amnesia" so expect both to be updated soon :)
Any CC or reviews are welcome - I need to improve my writing skillls so feel free to CC escpecially.
Oh and the main reason this needs a re-write is because I'm pretty sure the tenses are messed up but anyway...
Thankyou for reading :)