The Guilt of the Gods

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic


Peter is a kind generous soul, who goes out of his way to help improve people's lives. One day Zeus and Athena happened to witness his exchange with a homeless boy, and decided to change his life,
forever.

Submitted: April 08, 2018

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Submitted: April 08, 2018

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“The Guilt of the Gods”

-by Leo Petridis-

 

The oil sizzled and spat angrily in the pan, charring the capsicum and giving off a smoky, tangy aroma. Orders, yells and laughter flew through the air with a joyous chaos and the gentle hubbub of the diners a pleasant reflection of the fine food he cooked. Peter Breadbaker rotated the spitted vegetables slowly and calmly, completely at ease compared to the red-faced, jerky chefs beside him. ‘Oi Pete, take these to table number 5, Wendy’s dun er ankle’ yelled Marcus, the head chef, thrusting two plates of grilled chicken and avocado roughly into his hands, making him stumble slightly and  struggle to recover his balance. ‘You got it boss, he replied, walking shakily in the direction of the two middle aged men who had ordered. ‘Oh and Pete, the Head chef said, his voice rising dangerously, If you—don’t worry boss, I won’t feed the homeless again’ Pete said, a slightly apologetic note in his voice. Marcus stared at him for a moment longer, as if about to say something, then abruptly turned on his heel and stalked away. Peter breathed a sigh of relief. Nearly two weeks ago a homeless shelter had set up not far from the restaurant, and Pete had taken it upon himself to bring choice cuts of meat and bread from the supplies cupboard.

 

As Peter walked towards the table he was serving, he couldn’t help but notice a little homeless boy crouched by the window, dirty rags barely covering his stick-like body, a hungry, animal-like look on his brown face, as he watched a nearby couple eat. The couple were eating with almost indecent enthusiasm, eyes bulging wildly as they shovelled fried egg and mushroom into their mouths.

 

As Pete watched, the rotund pair seemed to realise the little boys presence, and started to make angry, shooing gestures. It hurt Pete to see this behaviour in his own restaurant. Pete had always been hugely generous, a quality Head chef Marcus certainly did not appreciate. But it was hard for him to stand by and watch less fortunate people suffer when it was easily within his power to help them.

 

 

Pete handed the two plates to table five, and made a split second decision there and then. He walked purposefully back to the kitchen, and grabbed a steaming bowl of pork and noodles, that was supposed to be for a rich couple on table seven.


He walked quickly and confidently out of his restaurant, around the side, to where the little boy was still watching the couple eat their lunch. Pete made no move to frighten the little boy, but knelt down, and presented the food to him. The little boy was suspicious at first, but soon gave in to temptation and grabbed the food and slurped it down.

“What’s your name, young fella”?, Pete asked brightly.

The boy took several seconds before replying.

“Owen”, the boy said eventually, “My name is Owen Kakau”

“Good to meet you mate, Pete said, a warm smile now appearing on his face.

“My names Peter, but you just call me Pete”.

Pete dropped his voice suddenly. “Sonny, if you or your mother ever need something, I’ll always be there.

“Thank you Pete”, Owen said simply, a small smile now spreading across his little face.

 

 

+

 

 

Unbeknown to Pete, the goddess Athena and the god Zeus had watched his exchange with little Owen.

“See what I mean, my lord?, Athena said triumphantly to her father, “The man qualifies to be a god”.

 

Athena and Zeus had been watching Pete for several months from Mount Olympus, and had experienced his warm and generous lifestyle in great detail, thanks to Hephaestus’s new GD (Godly definition) technology.

The King of the Gods frowned, fingering his long beard. He was inclined to agree with his daughter, who had wisdom and intellect far beyond his own.

But still, was it enough? Zeus took godship very seriously. He wasn’t about to hand immortality out to any old fool.

“You know who did deserve to be a god?” Zeus said slowly, “Hercules, the strongest and most powerful mortal to ever walk the earth”.

“Indeed my lord, said Athena patiently, but do you think that Hercules would have done what that man did? He went against his superiors orders to feed the little homeless boy. Not only that, he made friends with the boy. Tell me, my lord, could Hercules have done that?’

Athena pressed on quickly, aware that her words were having an effect on her father. “My lord, try to adjust your way of thinking. Peter Breadbaker has learnt his right to godship not through power and might, but through being a truly warm and friendly human being. He has effected people’s lives in a more positive way than any other hero, even Hercules”.

 

Zeus thought about his daughters words for several minutes longer, before making a decision. “Very well’, he said, set up the final test.”

 

 

+

 

 

 

Pete hopped on the train to get to work, as he did each morning. After giving up his seat for a pregnant women, a cloaked man seemed to appear in front of him, his face completely hidden in the shadow of his cloak. It didn’t register to Pete to be cautious around a man who didn’t show his face. Pete simply saw the best in people.

“Would you come with me please, Mr Breadbaker,? the newcomer asked, his voice low and hoarse.

“Am I in trouble? Pete asked, keeping his voice light and friendly, ignoring the part of his brain that was panicking over the fact that the man new his name.

“I will explain everything if you would accompany me into the next train carriage, the man said.

“Very well, Pete said, lead the way’.

 

The man’s tight grip on Pete’s arm made him slightly uncomfortable, but he nonetheless allowed himself to be carried into the next carriage, cluttered full with people.

 

 

The hooded man released the grip on Pete’s arm, and stepped back three paces. He stood up, and shrugged back his cloak. Instantly, great beams of light seemed to pierce through the train carriage, into Pete’s eyes. The people on the train vanished like smoke, and the newcomer spoke. “Greetings Pete, I am Zeus, Lord of the sky.

 

 

  +

 

Petes eyes were blurry, and he could only see a vague outline of the figure who was speaking. His vision gradually focused, and he could see the man who had talked. An immensely tall figure in flowing red robes was looking down on him from his great height, his bearded face expectant. Pete realised the man was waiting for his response. “Im sorry..I don’t’, Pete mumbled, trying to force his brain to comprehend what was happening.

The man smiled. “Perhaps I should let Athena explain”.

 

Suddenly there was a loud a crack and a woman appeared in front of Pete, next to the tall man. She pointed a petite hand at Pete, and suddenly his head was clear, and his mind sharp.

 

“Pete”, the woman said quietly, “welcome to the place of the choosing”. Pete looked around, and he was no longer in a deserted train carriage. He was on-top of a massive mountain, standing on the edge of a cliff. In front of him there was a table, set on the very edge of the cliff. A black and white flower lay on one side of the table, and a multicoloured flower opposite.

“What is this place”, Pete breathed, his breath taken by the beauty of his surroundings. The cliff overlooked fields and mountains and valleys below, and Pete could see a small glistening lake under a massive tree.

 

“It is here Pete, that you make your’e choice”, the woman’s voice brought him back to earth.

There were many questions that Pete wanted to ask, but he refrained himself, and picked the first and most sensible question.“Who are you people?

 

The woman inclined her head, smiling slightly. “I am Athena, goddess of wisdom and warfare, and I believe my father has already introduced himself to you as Zeus”.

 

 

 

“You’re,.. Athena and Zeus?”, Pete croaked, unable to believe what he was hearing. “From the Greek myths?

“Not myths my friend”. This time it was Zeus who spoke. “I am afraid they are a reality”.

“We have been watching you, Pete," Athena said, and we like what we see in you. In fact, we like you so much we have decided to change you’re life, forever.

Zeus and I have decided to offer you immortality. Living forever. We feel you have learnt this through you’re hugely generous actions.

 

“Immortality’, Pete repeated, hearing how ridiculous the word sounded. “Me? No, you’ve got the wrong man. I work in a restaurant for god’s sake”, he finished weakly.

“I don’t want immortality anyway”, Pete continued, speaking his mind now. “Iv’e got a nice quiet life and I’m very happy with it.

He didn’t allow his feelings of slight anger to creep into his voice, but Zeus and Athena seemed to see through him.

 

The two gods exchanged glances.

 

“Your’e special Pete, whether you know it or not. It is you’re destiny to become a god. Besides, you can use you’re platform as a god to help people, even more than you do.

 

 

 

Athena’s carefully chosen words hit home, and he thought about all of the people he had helped. Pete had stopped to help many people in his life, but there was always people that he couldn’t. Perhaps, as a god, he might be able to improve more people’s lives.

 

“It is time now to choose”, Zeus’s low voice boomed.

“The two flowers. The black and white one symbolises the mortals. Pick this one, and you will go back to your’e normal life. You will have no memory of this, and you will continue living the way you do”.  Zeus paused.

“The colourful flower symbolises the gods. Pick this, and you will have more opportunities and experiences than you can ever dream of, as well as the chance to help more people than ever”

 

“You must choose now”

 

Pete walked towards the table, his footsteps taking seemingly forever. The two flowers were quivering slightly in the wind. His hand wanted to reach out to everything he had every known in his life, everything that was ever familiar to him, but he stopped himself. His hand changed direction, and he grabbed the colourful flower, feeling the rush of immortality pass through him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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