Chapter 7b "Eris"
Eris was totally exhausted after her visit to the brunette boy; being so calm, sweet and gentle towards people was a real sacrifice for her. However, she decided to start her trip to Macedon again but her mind could not forget her encounter with the gifted boy, and so she promised herself to keep an extra eye on him in the years to come, he might need a hand and she would be there, ready to help the gorgeous brunette to unleash his chaos and achieve his goal in life.
She finally got to Macedon and decided to keep her goddess form. She snooped around the palace and she wanted to know what was so important about having a son with eyes of two different colours.
She met the little prince as soon as she crossed the main garden; he was playing and fighting with a wooden sword against a strong young man with jet black hair, at least fifteen years older than him. The little blonde boy was quite skillful in spite of his very young age and the young man was not doing things easier for him.
She stood nearby, looking at his movements when she caught sight of the boy's eyes, one grey and one brown and due to them her internal chaos reached unlimited measures.
That boy was chaos on legs and she would enjoy every single minute spent next to him, teaching how to make people kneel at their trail of chaos and destruction together.
The boy felt an intense gaze over his person and he looked around, getting distracted, and consequently obtaining a hard blow on his back by Cleitus's wooden sword.
The boy was about to protest against the unfair lost point when he saw Eris in all her glory; the naughty goddess, even though she was naturally gorgeous, she tended to boost her own beauty whenever she wanted to capture someone and bring them to the dark side.
So there she was, her long black bangs of hair were floating in the air, making spirals as if they were Medusa's snakes or his mother Olympias's; her eyes were two precious bright amethysts with a naughty sparkle in them and her slender and voluptuous body was covered in a pinkish peplos with only one shoulder covered while the uncovered one showed a kind of tattoo with the symbol of chaos.
Alexander gasped loudly and the unusual noise brought Cleitus immediately to his side, asking if he was still angry for the lost point. Alexander could not speak a single word so he shocked his head and lifted his still chubby hand and with his forefinger, he pointed at the goddess. Cleitus looked towards the place Alexander was pointing at but he could not see anything, just some plants moving due to the gentle breeze that was travelling along them.
When Alexander recovered his voice and his astonishment had finally been subsided, he told Cleitus what he had seen but the older warrior just laughed at him, telling him that the strong sunrays had fried his brain. Without waiting for a counter answer, Cleitus scooped the boy in his arms and set him over his right shoulder, carrying the little blonde as if he were a sack of potatoes.
Alexander tried to kick the tall man, asking him to put him down on the ground so he could go and speak to the beautiful lady. But it was a lost battle, Cleitus had a very strong personality and he had never surrendered to the prince's tantrums; he would not allow the prince any more wandering so he directly took the angry boy to Lanike, his sister and Alexander's nanny, so she could get him ready to have his lunch with his royal parents.
Lanike had to fight hard to keep the little prince under control and inside the tub but she did succeed. In the meantime, Alexander could not stop babbling about the beautiful lady that had been floating in his mother's garden. Lanike listened to him carefully and after testing his forehead and found it cool, she rejected the idea of a heat stroke. Alexander was well-known by his active imagination and so she associated his babbling with that.
While Alexander was having his evening meal with his parents, he retold them his experience and king Philip laughed loudly and started to make jokes about his little son trying to conquer grown up and gorgeous women. Olympias, on the other hand, smiled shyly at his anecdote and remained strangely quiet during the meal. Her green eyes showed a pang of nervousness, it was easily seen she was not comfortable about the ongoing situation but her husband had not realized about that fact. Olympias's mind drifted away and she repeated inside her head every single word Alexander had previously said and if her intuition was correct, the goddess of chaos had just casted a spell on her own son and everybody knew that she was a powerful goddess and it was almost impossible to get rid of her spells or overrule her caprices and meddling among the weak and easily manipulated human beings.
After his father's jokes were over, Alexander was quiet for the rest of the meal and as soon as it was over, he skipped dessert on purpose, he asked permission to go for a walk in his mother's garden. Philip nodded as his mouth was full with the sweet caramel figs and so Olympias offered her company that was distractedly accepted by Alexander who was deep in his thoughts.
The blonde five-year old- boy was walking towards his destination with a firm pace and his small feet took him to the exact spot where the goddess had been standing, floating more than standing, earlier that afternoon and looking at him while he was playing sword games with Cleitus.
To his surprise, he discovered a blackened drawing on the ground and he pointed towards it with one little hand while the other covered his mouth. He turned round to see if his mother was still with him and he saw her, right by his side, with her eyes wide open. Olympias had looked at the drawing and she had immediately recognized it; the drawing confirmed her suspicion; that was the mark of the goddess of chaos and discord and the description of it matched the tattoo Alexander had seen in the mysterious woman's bare shoulder.
Olympias got closer to his son and hugged him tightly and she whispered into his ear that she believed everything he had said during their meal and that he did not have to worry because she would always be there to help him. The young Alexander looked at his mother with confusion in his two-coloured eyes but as he trusted her with his life, he accepted her words.
That night, queen Olympias tucked her son in bed and stayed sitting by his side until his breathing told her he was deeply and calmly sleeping, in that precise moment, she started to pray to the Olympians to help her find someone who would be able to control the chaos that her beautiful but overactive son would cause. She also knew that due to her son's turbulent spirit, Alexander would never be able to control that chaos on his own and that the person able to control him and his chaos was due to suffer great pain and stress but this person might also get his son's love and loyalty, especially if the control did not interfere with his goals in life.
Olympias was so concentrated in her prays that she did not realize that a warm and faint light had enveloped her body. However, some minutes later a soothing feeling invaded her heart and she felt much calmer and so she realized that her prays had been listened and the gods were letting her know that the person able to control his son's chaos had already been born and would find its way to him as soon as they believed it was necessary.
Eris laughed loudly and naughtily again, provoking a cold shiver along the queen's spine but she shut up immediately. She left the palace because she had already achieved more than her goal. Not only had she seen the two coloured eyed boy, another gifted human being but also awaken his internal chaos. From that moment the chaos was awaken, it would show up in many varied ways during his life until it took his final form and in that moment it would be unstoppable and it would require a very strong person to control it and put it to rest.
The person able to control the chaotic situations Alexander would produce, would also be able to control the man in his calm state and in that way they could overtake his mind, his will, in a few words, his whole life and Alexander could become a mere puppet of that person, who would be able to shape and redefine Alexander's life to his own wishes, needs or will; if that was the controller's desire ….
While floating in the dark blue sky, Eris laughed again, this time louder than ever, so loud that she frightened away some doves in their flight, because the goddess had just realized that she had already met the controller of the royal chaos in a sweet brunette boy of five years old with the most amazing blue eyes people had ever seen.
But after a while, Eris quickly forgot about those important children, she was always involved in something, carrying and producing wars, fights and destruction wherever she went but she suddenly remembered that chaos had many stages and she should have to pay attention to those signs she knew would soon appear.
The first sign of chaos was possessiveness and the two coloured eye prince showed it as soon as he met his controller, still unaware of the important position that his blue eyed friend would have in his life. He made very clear through his words and actions that Hephaestion was his alone.
The second sign of chaos was jealousy; a feeling that had been awakened before during Alexander's early childhood but that had faded away without the direct intervention of Hephaestion's calm nature. However, jealousy struck again when both boys had turned into teens and the bonding of their souls was getting stronger. Alexander was jealous but he had never acted until the moment he realized that Cleitus was on the verge of offering himself as Hephaestion's erastes and Alexander, knowing that his Hephaestion had always had a soft spot for the brave warrior, knew that the moment to put things clear had just arrived. Alexander decided to take the bull by its horns before the problem escalated and escaped from his hands, so he calmly claimed Hephaestion as his in front of Cleitus, sealing his stake with a tender but possessive kiss on the brunette's lips.
When the stake was more than clear and Hephaestion requited his love for the prince, the level of jealousy went down to a more logical figure and due to that, it was more controllable and less harmful.
The arrival to new lands, exotic and rich, not only in possessions but also in peoples and customs, brought the third stage of chaos that was oblivion, especially of the king's Macedonian roots that had been the ones keeping his vast and ever growing Army together. So when Alexander started to turn more towards his Asian subjects and rave about the Asian customs, his own men started to criticize his behaviour and so the king became disrespectful and impolite, leaving in his own people a tang of deception and disloyalty.
Hopefully the king had a blind follower in his lover, who, in spite of feeling as much disappointed as the rest of his companions, stood firm beside his king while they listened to the old warriors shouting at him loudly his mistakes and failures. Alexander got crazy, he started to shout back but his shouts were covered by many others, much louder, and thrown at him as lethal arrows.
Alexander made a last attempt to bring his warriors to his domain and threw a threat and Hephaestion, who was standing covering his king's back with his own, held his breath for a while because he did not know if he would be able to calm the mob after that. Alexander told them that if they were so disappointed with him, he would gladly let them leave to go back to Macedon but that he would go on in his conquest of the east with his Asians, however, he added that whomever left, they would have to remember until the day they died that they had left his king alone in Asia.
Hephaestion, once more astonished by Alexander's bravery and arrogance, saw how the men started to gather closer as if they were on the verge to jump against the king's throat. So squaring his shoulders and standing in his full height by his king, he waited for the first blow to strike … but it never came. As usual his calm behaviour and unconditional support to the man standing beside him had gained his companions' trust again. The revolt was quietened down quickly, its instigators and prospective traitors killed and the army went on in his journey to the Far East.
The king was so intoxicated with his own pride by this victory that he did not realize that his men had accepted this not because of him but for the brunette and gentle General, who had secretly promised to talk to the king in their favour and in order to find a fair solution to their demands.
The common soldiers and most of the companions had long deposited on Hephaestion their full trust and that was one of the reasons why they continued travelling, they wanted to show their loyalty to Hephaestion and make him know that he would always count with their support.
Chaos was once more quietened down but the king continued with his erratic behaviour. What was totally unexpected was how the young king could move from one feeling to another so quickly and without showing any kind of remorse and they all continued marveling at the way Hephaestion had always been able to handle every single time their king threw himself into a tantrum.
Things seemed to get better so when the fourth stage of chaos broke out sooner than they expected, it was a nasty surprise for all of them, especially because they were not well prepared to deal with it.
Suddenly, Alexander began acting quite abnormally again and his consumption of uncut red wine had raised to uncontrollable limits; sometimes, more often than never, Alexander was already drunk since very early in the morning and that implied that he had not slept at all during all night or that he had passed out near a jar of wine and had started to drink as soon as he had opened his eyes. What was worse was that the man denied his problem, even when he could not stand or walk in a straight line all by himself, and he was always looking for lame excuses, such as he was celebrating a friend's birthday or that he had remembered he had not toasted in favour of such or such god for a while.
Hephaestion was finding more and more difficult to hide his king's faults from the rest of the people and also to control his volatile mood, even when they were alone. Alexander had started to space out and retreated to his own mind, without answering Hephaestion's questions or looking back at him with a vague look in his eyes, as if he was trying hard to understand what his lover was trying to say or explain to him. Hephaestion had sadly stopped trying to get a coherent response when Alexander was so absent-minded and so their alone time had suffered drastically. To put the matter worse, Alexander had told Hephaestion that he had found out that the brunette had become too serious and he was no longer cheerful and entertaining so the king had turned more and more frequently towards Bagoas, the Persian eunuch with a deep crush on the blonde king and who, in return, was getting more and more cocky in his answers and looks because he was taking Hephaestion's place not only in the king's bed but also in his heart.
The next stage of chaos was near and it was set free in a banquet that had been carefully organized to be a celebration but it ended up being a show of death and fear about their future.
The king's speech that had started as full of praise for one of his best and most loyal companion and General finished with blood and death when wrath took control of the king's mind and heart and the blonde young king, while being highly inebriated, killed Cleitus without hesitation by spearing him through his stomach.
Wrath was unleashed and took the form of an ugly and evil creature, all dark with sharpen claws and bloodied sharp teeth, floating above the presents and bringing with her chaos and terror. They had never witnessed before how the king's chaos take a shape as defined as it had taken that day and they could feel a frozen shiver running along their spines while they tried to run away and hide from that evil creature. Hephaestion, always feeling more prepared than the rest, looked upwards again and he was sure he had also seen, apart from the floating evil creature, another floating appearance, not as dark as the first one but he was totally convinced that it had a pair of sparkling amethyst eyes and he had also listened to a naughty laughter, bordering into a maddening fit.
Alexander was unrecognizable, totally changed, he sobbed and shouted for his fallen companion and friend and then, seconds later, he had to be held back because he wanted to kick the now cooling corpse because he had made him lose his temper. Hephaestion was one of the men holding Alexander back by keeping him against his broad chest, a gesture that he had always used to calm his king down.
But the royal wrath was totally unleashed and Alexander trashed inside the former comforting cocoon of his lover's caring arms until the brunette had to release him; Alexander in his moments of extreme chaos used to acquire and develop an extraordinary strength and he was now hurting Hephaestion with all his blows and kicks.
Eris was there again, watching with pleasure how her blonde friend had finally decided to untie his internal chaos and show the world what he was able to do to achieve his goals or what he would not fear to do to anyone who dared to defy his authority. And she laughed like a mad woman, watching as his faithful controller was frozen in the spot, trying to decide what to do to control him the best, trying to cope with the consequences his king's mistake would bring, trying to remain strong and loyal to a man who had turned into a beast.
As soon as Alexander was free of the arms holding him back, he looked around the banquet hall, his eyes completely dilated due to his extreme anger and he started to wander around the hall and insult the few people who were still there, demanding their loyalty and the approval of his latest action.
Seeing the disappointment of his own behaviour in the people's eyes, he turned to Bagoas and abandoned the place leaving the clean-up to his astonished lover who was looking at his retreating back with pain and for the first time, with anger in his cerulean eyes.
Eris, the goddess of chaos and discord, had done a very good and neat job with the gifted boy because Alexander, in spite of having lost many things in his life, had never lost his humanity … until now.
She was also pretty sure that she had seen tiredness in his controller's eyes, a feeling that had not been seen before in those blue eyes until today and maybe the controller had reached to his patience's limit, maybe the controller had been pushed too much out of his comfort zone, perhaps the controller was fed up of his constant cleaning after his king's messes; maybe the controller had reached the point of no return.
The naughty goddess patted her own chest, congratulating herself for a job well done and she left the banquet hall, whistling lowly a war song.