Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Mythology Files: Hera

I am Hera.
Don’t pretend like you don’t already know who I am.
Everyone knows who I am.
I am the queen.
Everyone else answers to Zeus. But Zeus… he answers to me.
I know what people say about me. That I’m a jealous, vindictive wife. That I am a vengeful witch.
People should mind their own business.
It’s never a good idea to poke your nose in where it doesn’t belong. Especially when it comes to how I deal with my husband’s… how should I put it? Shortcomings.
And he has a plethora.
As the goddess of marriage and fidelity, his philandering is more than just a broken trust and broken vows. It is a blasphemous offense to my divine nature. I deal with it accordingly.
Case in point.
Io. A mortal woman. I can honestly say I don’t know what he sees in any of them, but Io? Mousy brown hair, dull brown eyes, short and far too tan. And cankles. She had cankles. A hideous creature. She reminded me of a bumbling bovine — and not the sacred kind.
Not that I believe it was Io who started the whole affair. That was definitely Zeus. I know how persistent he can be. When he asked me to marry him I refused. I refused him over and over and over again. He would not give up. But I knew even then he would be unfaithful. He had a wondering eye and already was collecting a harem of immortal wives. Metis, the Titaness, for starters. She is no longer a rival, however. After an unfortunate incident during a shape-shifting game, Metis now resides in Zeus’s head. Forever relegated to advising the king of the gods from within.
Like a tiny little conscience.
Well, I use the term loosely, because either Metis turns the other way when Zeus is slumming it with mortal women, or his thought process bypasses his head altogether. My drachma is on the latter.
Like I said, he’s persistent. After I refused his proposal multiple times, he got creative.
He turned himself into a bird.
You heard me correctly.
The great god Zeus shifted into the form of a bird and hopped around pitifully like he had a broken wing. My intention was to help the bird.
Don’t judge. I felt sorry for the poor little thing.
I scooped it up into my arms and suddenly I wasn’t holding a bird anymore. It was Zeus. And I knew that he would never give up, so I agreed to be his wife. And his queen.
So yes, I know it probably wasn’t Io doing the pursuing. Zeus has always been the pursuer. It’s not new. But I can’t just go around punishing the king of the gods. It undermines both our authority. That leaves the pursuee. Always. And sometimes, I also punish their illegitimate offspring. And to answer your question… I sleep fine. Someone has to suffer the consequences. It is simply the way things are.
Zeus turned Io into a snow white cow in order to hide her from me. Fitting, considering the cankles. But I am very good at playing the game. I insisted he give me the lovely little cow as a gift. He thought he was getting away with something, and he didn’t want to give up his little secret, so he indulged me. I set my personal bodyguard to watch her 24-7. How can anyone do that, you ask?
Argus was no ordinary bodyguard.
He had one hundred eyes spread over his entire body. They were never all closed at once. Never. He was the perfect watchman.
Until Hermes—
I hate to even think about it. The little rat.
You may as well know the story.
Zeus sent Hermes to rescue Io. The coward wouldn’t do it himself. He was too afraid of me finding out about his torrid love affair with cankle-girl. Since Argus was on duty, she wouldn’t be able to escape, and no one would be able to help her. Except Hermes.
He literally bored Argus to death.
With the longest, most pointless, most stupid story ever. It went on and on and on. Argus fell asleep. Every last eye closed. Then Hermes used his wand to make it permanent.
I will never get over that. Argus was my favorite. Ever.
That was just one of a multitude of incidents. Zeus owes me big time.
And I. Never. Forget.
This beauty contest? Should NOT even have happened. Zeus should have just given me the apple and let life go on.
I’m the queen of the Greek gods. No woman — immortal or otherwise — can hold a candle to my power and beauty. And that is a fact. Zeus would never have chosen me as queen otherwise. So why is he hesitating now?
Cowardice. It’s disgusting.

Read more of the story on Wattpad.

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