I've decided to write three more one-shots before I post the next chapters to both "Amnesia" and "The End of the Gods." No idea why - but all 3 are nearly finished...
Anyway, I've decided to alter my writing style slightly...so if you like/ don't like tell me, so I can alter it accordingly.
Disclaimer: The usual
It's nearly summer, which means I will have more time to write, which in turn means faster updates :) So be on the look-out for them.
This idea just came to me...halfway between unconscoiusness and consciousness...so
Percy Jackson Fanfiction: Snowflake
She stood poised, stoic; eyes roaming her glacial surroundings with an intensity that only a fierce determination could bring.
Winter had plundered the scene with greedy hands, stripping the land of its splendour and reducing it to a spectre, a ghost of its former beauty. She reviled the long months which marked Persephone's absence from the world of the living, Demeter's wrath had always cost her dominion greatly.
For her nature stood still, waiting for her command- should she choose to give it. Birds became suspended in mid-flight, their wings stationary and waiting with anticipation. A bear's paw lingered in the air before it made the deadly swipe into the river- the river became glass in its inactivity, a solid surface and seemingly frozen. A fox eyed its prey greedily, counting the seconds to its next meal. The prey meanwhile counting its last seconds, savouring its last living moments before its demise.
This was her domain, her realm to control. But for that moment, the machinations of the wild were not her concern. Her purpose was drawn elsewhere.
Realising that her destination was near, she resumed her expeditious pace. Her feet whispered along the frozen earth, her strides were long and her breath even, unburdened despite her inhuman speed.
The wind rained soft kisses upon her alabaster skin, which as the trees swung their skeletal limbs in compliance to reveal the ethereal glow of the full moon shifted from a pale white to a shimmering silver. The icy breeze entwined its fingers in the young girl's auburn hair, softly caressing her scalp and sending the red tresses cascading behind her. The trees embraced her body in their now clawed hands, ravaged by the unforgiving bite of winter. Perhaps when her brother's radiance once again ruled over the land she would permit their advancements, when their rough carapaces were once again warm and their branches tipped with green vegetation. But now she ignored them, instead focusing entirely on her task.
As she ran, shadows danced along her skin, their movements perfectly synchronised, perfectly choreographed. They revelled in the half light which bathed the area, celebrating the arrival of the night. The night painted the earth in regal purples and blues, and cloaked the sky in a misty fog, which was only penetrated by the moon- which tonight hung solitary. The stars were invisible, hidden from view- their light was unable to gain entrance to the world below.
A solitary snowflake floated down from the heavens and landed gracefully on the girl's cheek. She brushed it off with a cruel, harsh hand and continued the silent vigil of her surroundings as she ran through the undergrowth.
Using a fallen tree as a rudimentary springboard, she launched herself into the air and onto a small knoll which was in the centre of a small clearing surrounded by colossal evergreens. Satisfied with her location, she addressed the reason for her journey, the reason why she had travelled so far out of the sight of prying eyes. Or prying gods.
She plucked at the velveteen cloak-which was draped over her shoulders with certain, strong fingers which betrayed her quavering demeanour, revealing the bundle cradled against her. Exposure caused the bundle to flinch and recoil in shock. It's face nuzzled against her chest, seeking shelter. But its search offered no warmth, and the child's face started to scrunch up in despair.
She could offer no warmth. She could not love. After all …she was cold.
"Cold-"Aphrodite paused, a smile tugged at her perfect, voluptuous lips, "-Like your heart."
The goddess had gritted her teeth, forcing herself to ignore the insult. She clenched her fists, whether to amend the situation with violence or another attempt at restraining her rocketing anger – she did not know.
"Do not pretend to know me Aphrodite." Her tone was laced with malice and threat; the tendons in her hands were beginning to protest as she continued to tighten her fists.
The love goddess laughed- it was the chime of a bell which cut through the tangible air and shattered it. "So you are capable of emotion!-" The laugh echoed around the room, filling Artemis's ears with its vindictive peal. The huntress clamped her eyelids shut, causing a spectrum of colour to dance in front of her eyes.
"-I never would have guessed."
Aphrodite's barbed words which when flung, pierced her heart with cruel intention like daggers launched from the love goddess' silver tongue. Each stabbing blow made its mark, each made their permanent scar upon her. A scar which – over time- had begun to burrow deeper and deeper until, inevitably it reached her core. Her heart. A heart which in its haste to protect its owner, had encased itself in stone. She no longer angered over Aphrodite's malevolent abuse. She was above it. The daggers found no purchase in her fortifications.
However, the shadow of the old wounds still remained. These wounds had often reduced the goddess to tears, the scars exposed…the injuries remained unhealed, festering and raw.
A stone heart, cold… unfeeling. But stone does not bleed and such wounds bled warm blood. Time had only worsened the hurt and pain which accompanied those archaic grievances. It was an endless cycle she quickly tired of.
She was brought out of her despondent reverie by a tender, warm touch of a child's hand upon her arm. It's pudgy fingers, unblemished and soft- the gifts of virtue and purity and all that she stood for, wrapped around her wrist. Artemis' startled expression was quickly replaced by the slightest of smiles which danced across her features.
"I was going to kill you…but I now find that I cannot." Artemis spoke, not for the child's benefit- but for herself. She observed the child's face as it remained unaware of its threatened existence…. It would never know how short its life could have been.
"You look like your father," You look like me, " You have his nose." She gently poked the tip of the child's nose in a playful manner.
"Do you want to hear what your father has called you?"
The child merely answered with wide, innocent eyes. Eyes which remained untarnished by the ventures life, chaste and uncorrupted.
She tasted the name on her tongue, "Aurora."
The child blinked, its long eyelashes coated in wintry deposits which framed her eyes. Eyes that were a deep blue with flecks of gold peppering the rim -eyes which brought to mind the warmth of a simmering flame on a cold winter's night. The held an intrinsic geniality that was her brother's influence- the blue had been inherited from the mother. The mother that had only been spared because of her own mercy…and Thalia's persuasion.
"Milady-it's Cynthia-it's her child!" Despite Thalia's efforts an edge of desperation had entered her voice, and her voice was gradually getting louder.
"I'm aware of the circumstances Thalia." Artemis spoke quietly, yet somehow her voice was louder than her half-sister's. The goddess was seated, eyes fixed on the enchanted flame which hovered between her lieutenant and herself.
"You're the goddess of childbirth! You can't just kill her and the baby…"
"It matters not… and if you recall I'm also the goddess of chastity. Cynthia broke her oath; the consequences of such an action are severe."
"She's been a hunter for centuries-" She let the truth hang in the air for a moment, scrutinising the huntress' face for the slightest flicker of recognition. The slightest flicker of emotion. "-She's my sister."
"As she was mine." Artemis lifted a hand towards the fire in front of her, watching as the flames licked at it- embracing it in warmth.
Thalia's shoulders slumped forward, and a defeated sigh escaped her slack lips. "Was?"
"I cannot ignore the dishonour she has dealt me…" The dishonour my brother has dealt me. She withdrew her hand slowly, and placed it by her side. The warmth lingered on the appendage for a few seconds before returning to its original icy temperature.
Thalia knelt down, her electric blue eyes trained solely on the frigid silver ones opposite her. "Please Lady Artemis-" She bit her lip, and then exhaled slowly. "- I'm begging you."
Artemis' eyebrows descended into a frown, her eyes now settled firmly on the floor. Thalia had begged her to spare her hunter's life. Had actually pleaded with her. Then again Thalia would go to any lengths to spare a sister's life…and so would she.
"Thalia….I…. "The goddess raised her gaze and placed a hand on the lieutenant shoulder, "I'll talk to Cynthia, that much I can promise. However, her continuing association with the Hunt is debatable." Her tone retained its formality, despite the warring emotions that lay beneath.
"Thank you milady." Thalia left the tent with a grateful bow and a slight smile playing on her lips.
Artemis had cried herself to sleep that night, comforted in guilt and self- hatred.
Had she really considered taking Cynthia's life? She would tell herself frequently she had not..even for a second. But the truth was…the truth was that she had convinced herself that it was the only available option. She had been completely willing to kill one of her hunters.
She truly had a heart of stone.
A single, moist tear welled in her eye, and her lip trembled as she struggled to maintain her armour, her defence. If the ancient wounds discovered a weakness- a chink in the armour they would pounce, and attack in earnest. She recovered her façade, her fortifications once again impenetrable- but not before the tear could escape its confines and run down her face- cleaving a path as it went. As she stood- observing her destination, another snowflake landed, but unlike its predecessor it was allowed a respite from its journey.
It melted, the warmth of the tear track proving too much for the fragile structure to maintain its crystalline form.
Artemis raised a diminutive hand to her cheek, and touched the remains of the snowflake which rested contently on her skin. She moved the hand in front of her eyes. A water droplet clung to the fingertip for a moment before dropping to the ground. Artemis watched it for several eternal moments, spinning in the air, occasionally catching the light which filtered through the trees.
Perhaps she wasn't as cold as they believed.
Apologies for the lack of fluidity between sentences...it, like all my fanfics needs a rewrite and congrats to anyone who spotted what I was trying to achieve with the "nature is her lover" angle.
What I will say is that when I started writing I had little to no idea where it was going to end- it was spontaneous in that sense... hope you enjoyed :)
Admit it ..for a few seconds you thought I'd done the unthinkable and given Artemis a child….. :D
Oh and if anybody is getting fed up of the plethora of Artemis one-shots I'm doing, please tell me and I will stop. Or better yet if anybody has any ideas... tell me.
Until next time...