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Artemis-Why? (Virtual's Greek myth contest)

Short story By: Rhensis
Fantasy


*Won second place! thanks so much V.W* Artemis, the Goddess of the moon hates her twin. He's an annoying little pest, but what happens when he is ripped away from her? sorry for the terrible summary I am rubbish at them lol


Submitted:Sep 25, 2010    Reads: 67    Comments: 2    Likes: 3   


Lauren Fletcher
lauren.fletcher2@hotmail.co.uk
Coundon, Coventry, West Midlands, England

Bathing in the cool, comforting moonlight rays, I settled on a smooth branch, eager to start the night that I would spend alone, without the trauma of having my twin brother present, or the responsibility of watching over the ungrateful little girls below. I stroked the wood of my bow unconsciously, while watching for any signs of restless creatures below in the deep, mystical forest. The intimidating branches of the giant trees sheltered the animals, deep in their dreamless sleep, and protected the unfortunate souls that occasionally wondered into the wilderness in which I, and the other Gods, dwelled. The outskirts of our land were the most amazing, fascinating and dangerous place of all of our occupied lands. I often found my way here when I was alone...

The harmonious sound of a lyre reached my particularity sensitive ears, and I scowled as I realised my pest of a brother had followed me to my place of freedom, freedom from the men who harass me and the nymphs who worship me. I took one last look upon the bright, luminous moon, and swiftly jumped from the branch which I regularly sat upon.
"Show yourself you annoying little bug!" The only thing that prevented me from shooting him on the spot was that insane sibling affection I felt toward him. Apollo bowed slyly as he revealed himself, slipping out from behind a slumbering bear, that, due to his almost irritating clumsiness, he awoke and frightened. I shook my head toward him and gracefully stepped over the numerous obstacles of the forest, desperately trying to shake Apollo of my tail. To my extreme displeasure, he was able to trace me through the complicated tangle of trees and plants, as I dashed here and there, searching for a secluded spot that he wouldn't be able to uncover. The childish thrill of such a ridiculous game hit me, and I allowed a laugh to escape my soft lips. I flung myself down onto the ground, giggling uncontrollably from the unmatched feeling of childhood fun. I held my breath, waiting for Apollo to catch up with me. The waters in front of me reflected my features perfectly. My wild, silver hair was tangled and knotted, yet it still reached my waist. My blue eyes burnt bright against the pale skin which I had inherited off my mother, and my usual grave expression had been replaced with a smile that had lit up my face and put colour in my cheeks. Only then did I realise how similar I looked to my brother Apollo. His own hair was too silver, and his skin bore the same colour as mine. The only difference that had always been commented on was his eyes. They were a deep, emerald green, and stood out amongst the rest of his gentle face. My reflection shimmered as a crimson coloured drop of liquid fell into the naturally cool pool of peaceful water. I was bemused so as to where it came from, yet I did not ponder it. Yet then the drop was followed by another. And then another. A drop of the blood stained my palm, and it was curiosity that begged me to look up. An indescribable sight lay before my stunned eyes, and I was unable to do anything but scream until every single animal in the forest came to see what was happening. The source of blood was a horrific scene of mashed up flesh that had once belonged to the God I had always despised and loved. A pest who I had always felt affection for. A message for me and me alone...

I sat, sobbing quietly, on the branch that I had heard my brother from so many hours ago. The sun's scorching rays made it impossible to return home, and my mind made it impossible to move. I felt numb, unable to do anything but cry for my lost twin. His lyre lay beside me; I was connected to it through his usage. It had all been my fault. If I hadn't run off then he wouldn't have followed. If I hadn't yelled at him then he would not have dropped the lyre out of fright and he would have had it to guard him. I felt like screaming to the heavens but I had to control myself. My untamed temper was boiling and me head was pounding with guilt as I stood, shaking, on the misty ground. If only the moonlight was there, I wouldn't have thought twice about hunting down the cold blooded killer for revenge. The forest appeared to be mourning alongside me, and attempted to cool me down as I pleaded my weak legs to keep moving, so I could reach the home of my Mother. A twig snapped. I knew there and then, that the source of that small noise had killed my brother I knew that it was here to kill me. At this moment, I smiled. Why? That is the question that you will probably be thinking to yourself right now. I dropped the lyre down beside me. The sky darkened as it knew what I was about to do. The terrible roaring of thunder filled the forest, and a swift flash of lightning struck down the tree which I had so recently sat on. The predator that had killed Apollo revealed himself, yet I held my nerve. The lion sensed how calm I was and was angered by the fact that he was not able to force fear upon me. His magnificent roar filled the air just as the thunder had done, yet this time even man could hear it from so far away. I was glad of this. Maybe they will stop and think for a second when they are about to commit an act of murder or treason. I jumped toward the lion, and felt only a split second of searing pain before I fell to the ground, the warmth leaving my body. I watched the forest grow fainter and fainter as I was pulled closer and closer toward nothingness. Gods could not die, we could only be transported. My sacrifice meant that the closest person to me was given a second chance at life. Apollo bent down and kissed my forehead for the last time, before I was pulled away from my life, and entered the world beyond...

Apollo lifted Artemis' corpse from the floor. His sister had made the ultimate sacrifice for him. She had given up her immortality to save him, despite the fact that it was his entire fault. Apollo himself had angered the spirits of the forest, and the lion was sent to take him when the time was right. He hated himself, yet he knew that he should respect his sister's wishes. She wanted him to live, and now he would respect that. However, never again could he bring himself to enter the forest where it all ended. He muttered something to her everyday when he woke up. It almost killed him that she would never reply.
"Artemis. Why?"




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