Paranormal Women’s Fiction Sample Story

Setup for the story…

My working title for the story is Midlife Muse. It is Book 1 of the Nine Heirs and a Spare series. It is loosely based on Greek mythology crafted with a Donna twist. In essence, I made up a new goddess–the Goddess Atlanta–who no one knows about because she’s been Zeus’s best-kept secret. Zeus is her father and she hates him for killing her mother, keeping her twin Athena, and sending her away at birth.

All secrets surrounding Atlanta are slowly being revealed because the God Realm ejected all the Greek gods and goddesses. They now have normal jobs in the Mortal Realm and are turning into actual mortals per prophecy (aka a curse that the Goddess Nyx put on Zeus for hitting on her when she was married).

Atlanta is their predicted savior and the one person who is supposed to be able to reverse what’s been done. But now that she’s become a forty-year-old mortal woman, all she wants is a peaceful life and to be left alone to age gracefully.

But that’s not the destiny the Fates have in mind for her.

*****

WARNING: This sample has not been edited. Also, it is written in first person POV which is a new venture for me as a writer.

Chapter 1

“Atlanta, what are doing?”

“Getting ready. I’m almost done.”

Kal snorted as he stomped away from me. When my trainer got to the other side of the dirt circle he called a training area, he stopped and glared at me as if I was ruining his entire day.

Kal’s patience with me was not unlimited, so I quickly shoved my muscle rub, aspirin, and B-12 vitamins back into my workout bag, hoping they didn’t break the glasses that had gotten tossed in there first. I normally left my reading glasses behind in the office. When I grabbed my workout bag earlier, I’d forgotten the glasses parked on top of my head.

We’d been following the same routine since my exile into the Mortal Realm. It had worked fairly smoothly for the six years I’d been forced to live here. I kept a ready bag with all my stuff at the office with me. When Kal opened a portal, I grabbed it and leapt through into his tiny part of the God Realm. We would spend an unpleasant hour keeping my fighting skills as sharp as possible before he sent me back.

“Atlanta? What are those Gaia-forsaken things covering your knees?”

He’d yelled the question across the distance now separating us. Surprised by Kal’s observation, I looked down at my stretchy knee supports and sighed before yelling back my answer.

“They brace my kneecaps and keep my joints warm. I don’t want stiff knees after working out.”

It wasn’t a total lie, but to be fair, it wasn’t the whole truth either. If Kal suspected that, he refused to show it. Precautions were necessary now that I had aged so much. Healers in the God Realm were powerful, but healers in the Mortal Realm couldn’t instantly heal injuries, especially body parts like knees.

My body was around forty-years-old in mortal years. A serious injury might not speed up my aging spiral, but I couldn’t take any chances. Everyone needed to eat, and I ran a business that currently employed my whole freaking family.

Not that my trainer had sympathy for my situation. How could Kal understand? Demi-gods were a grumpy bunch with their inferiority complexes over being a half god instead of a full one, but at least no one was running them out of their native realm. The Fates, for whatever reason, had left them in the God Realm.

Kal was a burly Minotaur with enough face piercings to start his own shop. He was also the most loyal friend I had next to Duff. I didn’t know if Kal thought his piercings raised his intimidation factor or that he looked sexy with them. Whatever the case, he stared at my knee supports a moment more before turning away to shake his head. After six years of getting those looks, I couldn’t tell the difference between disgust and pity on his bull-like face. Either way, I refused to dwell on Kal’s nuances.

I cupped my hands around my mouth to yell again. “I’m good. Come at me with all you got.”

Why was I here facing down a Minotaur who had very real intentions of hurting me? Well, if I had to live as a Mortal for the rest of my life, I wanted to be a kick-ass one. At least, I wanted that until I got too old to lift my leg into a round-off high enough to loosen someone’s teeth.

“Am I going to damage you?” Kal asked loudly. He stared hard at me while he waited for my answer.

“Only in your dreams,” I yelled back with a smile. Fake it until you make it was my motto.

His bullish bellow filled the air as he picked up his mace and started toward me. I looked around and realized I’d neglected to choose a weapon. Great. Just great. I clenched my fists and sighed.

Once upon a time in the God Realm, I’d been a powerful goddess. Though I’d never found my Goddess specialty, which was a big deal in the God Realm, I developed all the talents I discovered in myself over the centuries. After Kal trained me to fight, I discovered that I excelled at war. Kal even admitted I was a natural. Unfortunately, no one wanted to hear about how good I was in battle because my father had forbidden me to raise a weapon against anyone.

My name is Atlanta and I’m a Goddess of nothing specific. Or at least, I used to be a Goddess. Every moment I spent living as an aging midlife mortal made it even more unlikely that I would ever figure out the true purpose for which I was born.

There were no grand stories about me in Greek Mythology. No one would ever read any true stories either, not on papyrus, scroll, or inscribed on a marble column of a majestic Greek temple wall.

No, but everyone will forever remember my powerful twin—Athena, Goddess of War. Athena got to stand proudly in the Greek spotlight. I didn’t. To this very day, Athena denies both my existence and being my twin. We’re only semi-identical, but the resemblance is definitely there once you see us together.

I couldn’t hate my sister back, no matter how much she probably deserved it. My adopted mother said Zeus had spelled Athena to forget me after our birth. Sometime over the many centuries of our existence, my twin shook off the magical constriction that kept us apart. However, meeting me didn’t change the fact that we were strangers to each other. Despite how magical it works with mortals, Goddesses can’t miss a twin they never knew about.

However, I detested my father. Shortly after our birth, our father killed our birth mother. The way my adopted mother explained it, he almost killed me too. Apparently, Zeus decided that he didn’t need both of his firstborn children. Since Athena was born a few seconds before me, Zeus made her his champion.

Me, though? Zeus sent me to live with Mnemosyne, the Goddess of Memory, who at the time was the size of the entire island of Santorini because she was carrying his next nine daughters. Growing up too quickly, I soon discovered my father had knocked up a lot of Goddesses who were back then milling about in both the God Realm and the Mortal Realm. Despite my physical acceleration to near adulthood, I was mentally limited to what a Goddess teenager could understand. With an adopted mother who controlled memories, I also had other disadvantages as well. Mother did what Zeus told her to do. Controlling me seemed to stay at the top of her to-do list.

“You came here to fight, Atlanta. Stop Musing and pay attention to me,” Kal roared.

Kal was right. I hadn’t been paying attention, but no way was I admitting that to His Snorting Grumpiness. “How can I not pay attention to you, Kal? You snort like a bull and are as big as one.”

The mace swung at me and I adeptly dodged the first swipe. Muscle memory was excellent. The second swing got closer, but I missed connecting with that one as well. A twinge in my left knee caught my attention, so I wasn’t so lucky with the third swipe. The pointy head of Kal’s weapon hit me in the stomach and sent me flying across the training area.

My scream of surprise filled the air. Luckily, Kal paid a coven of witches to keep a ward around the boundary of his training area, so I didn’t end up going into some other demi-god’s territory. Instead, I hit Kal’s warded wall and fell face-down into the dirt.

Seconds ticked by until I finally could bring myself to roll over and groan. Then I felt the ground shake as Kal jogged over to me with his mace still in his hand. My blurring eyes traveled up a set of extremely manly and muscular legs until I got a full view of what the Minotaur was hiding under the sparring kilt covering the bottom half of his body. Seeing enormous man parts dangling above my still spinning head had me crawling away and scrambling against my dizziness to get back on my feet.

“That’s it. No more training for you, Atlanta. I will not bring you here again until you get your power fixed. Contact me when you are less mortal.”

“My mortality may not be fixable,” I reminded him with a frown.

“Then may the Fates be kind enough to kill you quickly when you challenge your destiny,” Kal said with a shrug as he scooped up my broken and tossed me away.

“No, Kal, please don’t send me back yet…”

But it was too late for pleading. I shot out of the portal into the Mortal Realm and landed as hard on the floor of my office as I had against Kal’s warded wall. Groaning, I rolled to the side and pushed myself up. Seconds later, the workout bag hit me in the back of my head.

If Kal broke my reading glasses, I was going to kick some serious Minotaur ass next time I saw. Or at least I’d try really, really hard. Those were my favorite pair, and I’d lost all my others.

When I’d climbed to my feet, I dug into my bag and popped a couple more aspirin before stumbling to my desk to work. I tried not to dwell on whether Kal got lucky or if his fears about damaging me were justified.

I heard a knock, and then Clio’s head appeared through the door she’d cracked open.

“I heard a thump, Atlanta. Are you okay?”

“Yes. I was working out.”

“Oh. Okay,” Clio said with a smile. “See you at the meeting. I brought cookies—the kind you like.”

“Thanks, Clio.”

Working with my nine half-sisters was a pain sometimes, but other times they brought my favorite cookies. It was sad how happy the thought of cookies made me. Some Goddess I was.

The nine Muses and their memory-controlling mother were the only family I’d ever known and the only family I wanted to claim among the rest of my father’s widespread seed sowing dominion. I’d interacted with my birth sister, the renowned Goddess of War, about the same amount of times I’d visited with my birth father, which was only eight times in what added up to be a lot of centuries over in the God Realm. The Fates had cautioned me away from the others—both legitimate and illegitimate siblings.

One day a few centuries ago, all the resentment I felt toward Zeus and Athena caught up with me. Or maybe it was all the wars in the world and all the chances for glory I had missed because of them. I forget what I was thinking at the time, but I did something that the Fates specifically warned me not to do. The Fates are like crazy maiden aunts to all of Zeus’s progeny. Both mortals and gods are typically afraid of them, but resentment has a way of canceling out normal common sense.

And I admit I blew them off partly because they hadn’t technically forbidden me to get involved in what was happening in the world. Zeus had done so, but by that time I no longer cared what he wanted. I’d been quietly rebelling for years, and nothing dire had come of it. I don’t know what Athena thought about me. I doubt she knows what I did anyway.

Angry and hurt, my focus was on getting revenge. And I wasted no time getting to it.

Yes, I was younger—younger and stupider. I considered the Muses to be my pseudo-siblings instead of my real ones. Being abandoned and shunned by Zeus and Athena hurt me in ways I can’t explain. With my mother gone before I got the chance to know her, it wounded my sense of self that what remained of my real birth family wanted nothing to do with me.

Now don’t get me wrong. My adopted family treated me well, but I never fit in with them. The Muses spent their time doing crafts and learning to write, sing, or dance. I spent my days practicing with all the swords and all the weapons I could beg, borrow, or steal from everyone willing to sneak behind Zeus’ back to loan them to me.

Once I even stole my father’s famous thunderbolt. He still doesn’t know I took it because I returned it after he destroyed several Mortal Realm cities looking for it. Neither Athena nor Ares ever got as close as I did. I know because they would have used it to make a grab for the Numero Uno God seat. But I didn’t want the responsibility. I just wanted Zeus to admit he’d made a giant mistake about me.

Anyway…

When my regular weapons training was far enough along, I assumed a Roman Goddess name in the Mortal Realm and started secretly helping the ambitious Romans do their world-conquering thing. Really, what did I care about the Greek cities and landmarks that the Romans ransacked? Alexander the Great, my twin sister’s pet project, turned out not to be as great as he thought he was. That story is a long one.

It took quite a while for me to wreck all the havoc I wanted to wreck, but in less than a century, I made the Greeks and their arrogant Gods thoroughly pay for shunning me. They assumed I was a Roman Goddess and petitioned the Roman God Pantheon to stop me. I don’t think the Romans cared who I was or why I was pretending to be one of them. But… and there’s always a but in every epiphany… eventually my beloved Romans fell to other badass mortals with gods from pantheons that made both the Greeks and Romans pantheons look weak.

If Mother hasn’t messed with my memories lately, I think that was around the time I realized my crazy aunts weren’t as crazy as I thought they were. I still haven’t figured out why they didn’t kill me for messing up their BIG PLANS for the Mortal Realm. Maybe it was because I truly had learned my lesson about revenge not being worth the cost of so many mortal and immortal lives.

I definitely learned that one lone Goddess, no matter how angry and motivated, should never try to conquer the world. At least, not without permission from the Fates. I knew for a fact that my father had never learned that lesson.

My interference had consequences. Everyone knows that after the Romans got conquered, the world got crazier. Mortals developed technology, which those from the God Realm still blame as the beginning of the end. It makes sense when you think about it. Who needs a God or Goddess when anyone can find all the help they need on the Internet?

I knew we were all in serious trouble when the God Realm pushed all but a few Gods and Goddesses out of it. Portals instantly opened in front of thousands of us, and we all got tossed into the Mortal Realm by some of Gaia’s people. My Gaia-sent tosser delighted in telling me it was all my fault as he sent me through the portal harder than even Kal had.

A few Gods and Goddesses went back to the God Realm and fought to stay, but that didn’t work out well. Trained in war strategy, I knew better than to try, especially with so much guilt weighing on me.

However you want to view what happened, believe me, there are far worse destinies in the God Realm than the destiny we found in the Mortal Realm. Most of us weren’t harmed much by relocating and being a God or Goddess back then wasn’t so bad here. The power loss happened to most of us so slowly that it took several years to even realize what was going on.

I glanced in the mirror only to make sure buttons and zippers were closed properly. I only noticed what was going on when the Muses went from looking like teenagers to looking like soccer moms. My adopted mother developed worry wrinkles across her forehead and started having migraines with her hormone shifts every month.

My birth father, who still considers himself the God of all Gods, even started turning gray. At least this is what my adopted mother told me because she still talks to the creep all the time.

Anyway, it wasn’t long before I noticed that all the gods and goddesses were undergoing the same changes. I got conservative and stopped using the remaining goddess power I possessed. I saw no point in fighting the inevitable physical changes. A need to survive forced me into rethinking my selfish life.

Talk about the apple not falling far from the tree.

I definitely became my father’s daughter during my Roman Goddess days. My regret is that by helping the Romans, I set into motion the doomsday prophesy the Fates had slapped on my birth father.

So now I look and think like a forty-year-old mortal woman because in the Mortal Realm I actually am one. I’m struggling with the physical indignities that come with mortal aging, but my concern is not for what the mirror tells me each day. I still don’t care how I look. I mean, men still want to sleep with me, or at least last time I indulged in online dating that was the case. Sure, it might be nice if my knees didn’t hurt so often, but lots of mortals contend with that daily.

In my mind, any Goddess of War—even an unknown one—should be above whining about every body part that aches. Truthfully, though, I didn’t need Kal’s confirmation that I was no longer fit for any challenge harder than yoga for seniors.

The Fates warned me every year on my birthday. Time was running out for all of us.

Whatever that meant.

Chapter 2

My personal cell phone rang and interrupted my Musing.

Getting older in the Mortal Realm had not improved the bad temper I tried to keep hidden from everyone. Everyone knew, though, that I hated being bothered when I was Musing. It’s how I make a living. I may not have been born for this kind of work, but money doesn’t grow on trees outside the God Realm. It took a lot of moolah to live well in the Mortal Realm.

So, every day I shoved my goddess dreams away and spent all my time matching mortal clients with the perfect Muse.

My sisters assist mortals in becoming the God-like beings most mortals dream of being. We don’t grant them physical immortality, nor would I even if I could. Immortality is controlled by the Fates, but I’ve heard many stories about my father doling immortality to his favorite servants. Most of those my father converted to immortals ended up having to be killed eventually for reasons of insanity. Not that the boundaries of morality ever stopped the almighty and incredibly selfish Zeus.

Despite my propensity for fighting to the death on battlegrounds, my body count remains at zero among our clients. All my clever sisters and I did was help mortals become people who would always be remembered. Like many gods and goddesses, fame was what those in the Mortal Realm sought beyond what was logical.

Rock stars? New York Times Bestselling Authors? Award-winning actors?

Yes, creating them was what we did, but it was a lot harder to accomplish than you might think. In the Mortal Realm, I called myself Atlanta Spears. I didn’t like my mortal name, but I’d get laughed at for calling myself Goddess Atlanta.

Since it wasn’t the office phone ringing with new business, I ignored my cell when it rang again. A couple of years ago, my powers would have told me who was calling without me having to answer it. But like my once perky breasts that now sagged because of gravity, my goddess power was losing its own battle.

Mortals considered being forty ‘midlife’ as in it was considered the middle of their short lives. I had learned for some of them turning forty meant they were already headed to their graves. I didn’t feel that way myself, despite the reading glasses I used for reading client contracts.

Anyway, the real bane of my mortal existence was that everything wrong was not my fault, like Gaia said. No. It was my no-longer-omnipotent father’s fault. Sure, I may have set the downward spiraling prophecy in motion while I was going through my revenge phase, but I hadn’t been the one who brought the prophecy into being.

According to my adopted mother, shortly after my father got the job of being Numero Uno, he screwed up with the Fates. Or maybe he refused to screw them—they were related to my mother, a woman he hated enough to kill. If he had refused them, that would have been a unique first for my father because restraining his libido didn’t seem godly possible for him.

Despite my determination to ignore the caller, my cell continued to ring and ring. Only the adopted mother I loved or the loathsome father I detested dared to torture me with that kind of persistence during business hours.

I finally snatched the phone up to see which annoying parent it was. “This better be important or you’re dead.”

“Why aren’t you answering your father’s calls, Atlanta? Zeus’s been trying to reach you for three whole days. You asked him to call before he stopped by. What good is setting that parameter if you don’t answer your phone so he can tell you he’s coming?”

I frowned at my adopted mother’s chastising tone more than her logic. How old did someone in the Mortal Realm have to be before they stopped getting fussed at by a parent? Surely forty should be a sufficient age for people to leave you alone. I wish I knew who I could ask these kinds of questions, but I didn’t cultivate mortal friends. If I guarded my power wisely, I would still live two or three times as long as mortals did, which meant I’d be forty for a decade or two. No, all I needed was a handbook on mortal traditions. Maybe I’d add that to my next research list.

“If Zeus is coming by just to complain about how terrible his life is, I don’t want to hear it. My life’s no picnic either.”

“Atlanta, you’re forty in mortal years now. Act like a dignified mortal adult instead of a petulant young Goddess who’s still mad at her father.”

I lifted the hand not holding the phone and shook it in the air, which now vibrated with the power my anger was releasing. Only my parents could make me this mad.

“Why do you always defend him, Mother? No man that selfish could be good in bed. Zeus is a horrible, loathsome god. He killed my birth mother and foisted me off on you without a single look back over his shoulder. Am I supposed to cut him slack just because he chose not to kill me when he killed my mother?”

“The situation was far more complicated than you make it seem, Atlanta. Clotho was involved and so were the other two Fates. All Gods have to bow to those three just like the mortals do.”

“Who do you think told me the truth? I’m quite aware of how much the Fates control our lives. Clotho visits me every year on my birthday to recite the doomsday poem about the prophecy. Why isn’t my twin sister getting a doomsday warning? None of the Fates are visiting Athena because she’d come to see me simply to brag about getting that sort of attention from them.”

“Clotho’s trying to be helpful in the only way she can. You have to be the one to figure out the prophecy. That’s how prophecies work.”

“Well, not for much longer. The Fates are aging too. You know, I thought my breasts were bad, but Clotho’s breasts have practically dropped to her knees. She needs to wear a support bra instead of free boarding it in those sheets she insists on draping around her. Sheets fashioned into togas are not a good fashion statement in 2020.”

“Atlanta…”

My rant and roll had too much momentum now to stop.

“And why can’t the Fates offer me something truly helpful? I have wrinkles on my forehead and my chin is disappearing in the loose skin on my neck. Do you know why this is happening? It’s happening because I wasted my Goddess abilities trying to be what other people wanted me to be. I never even got to use my powers because the almighty jerk who created me forbade me to and you made sure I followed his rules.”

“You need to embrace the life you’ve been living and let go of the one you didn’t get to have. Feeling sorry for yourself is beneath your birthright as a goddess. I raised you better.’

I frowned and closed my eyes. My adopted mother was convinced that I was some kind of fated savior of the gods but she was wrong. I was barely saving the mortal business I created for my silly sisters so they’d have a way to feed themselves. I could have made a living as a soldier or an assassin. Turning mortal had only made the nine of them ditzier. They needed a keeper, and I’d been doing the job for most of our immortal lives. It seemed fated that I’d end up doing it for the rest of our mortal years.

Sighing into the phone, I tried to end the call on a better note. “Look… I’m sorry we keep having this same argument, but I have a right to be bitter. What memories do I have from my goddess life to keep me warm in my old age as a mortal? I’ll tell you how many, Mother—none. Athena trained as a warrior while I was babysitting nine women who can barely tie their own shoes without help. You and I both know that I’m nothing but a spare heir, and I’m not even your heir.”

“You may never see yourself as my daughter, but for better or worse, you’ll always be your father’s daughter. That is a fact that can never be changed.”

I ugly grunted into the phone like a man would. “It’s definitely a for worse situation, trust me. Athena has medals and achievements. Her temples in the Mortal Realm may be in ruins, but some of them are still standing. I had one small temple in Rome—only one—dedicated to me, and a religious group built a church over it. I didn’t dare stop it from being erected and do you know why? Because the temple only honors my secret Roman identity, which is more invisible than my Greek one. No Greek living or dead knows that Goddess Atlanta exists.”

“Stop whining, for Gaia’s sake. Your fate was never to become a Greek myth in the Mortal Realm. We all have hard enough roles to play in actual life, Atlanta. I know because I’m Mnemosyne, Goddess of Memory. I forget nothing, which is why I reminded your father two years ago that to beat the curse of mortality he’s brought down on us, he was going to have to make amends to all the females he’s wronged, including the Fates… and you. He finally believed me this week, so I need you to release your resentment and do what you were born to do, which is to fix this. Now is your time to step up. Do not spit into the wind because you’re angry. All you’ll get for it is a face full of your own spit.”

“How can my dreadful father make amends to all the females, Mother? He can’t and do you know why? Zeus can’t raise my birth mother from the dead and apologize for murdering her.”

I glared at the stack of bills on my desk. My secret desire to kill my father for what he did to my mother was something I didn’t share with anyone. Only my adopted mother knew that truth.

Then it hit me. “Let me guess what really happened this week. The once-mighty Zeus finally aged so much that he can’t get his man junk up.”

“Atlanta…”

“Go ahead. Tell me I’m wrong.”

The silence on the other end of the call was so loud, I could hear my adopted mother’s nervous heartbeat. Why should I bother to listen to a man who’d abandoned me to a destiny that I always knew wasn’t mine? He’d never cared one bit about me or my life or the emotional scars he’d given me. I didn’t even consider him my father, and I got along just fine without him.

At my age, I didn’t want any kind of connection to him, because I intended to go to my mortal grave never caring about him.

“I took you in because I knew you would one day be the key to the survival of the God Realm. He created it and you will save it. You’re like Zeus far more than you know, Atlanta.”

“No, Mother. I’m nothing like him. All men suck. Even the one I loved.”

“The man you loved was a mortal soldier who loved his cause far more than he could ever love a female. You must accept that the past cannot be changed and move on.”

“I get it. Cleopatra lured him away from me. She won. I didn’t. End of story. See? I have moved on.”

“You grieve him still, which is an enormous waste of energy. I don’t enjoy pointing out your petty revenge to you, but who else is there to do it? As a goddess, especially the Roman one you were pretending to be, you could have saved Mark Antony’s life if you’d wanted to. You might be happier with yourself now if you’d helped him live out his short mortal life as a Roman patriot. But you didn’t do that, which is why you watched him die in another woman’s arms.”

“I tried to save him. Mark told me very clearly that he didn’t want to live without Cleopatra, so I stepped out of the picture. Face it, Mother. Men suck and love sucks too. That’s the sad end of Goddess Atlanta’s one and only story.”

“It’s time to put your pain away. Everyone alive—mortal or god—is living with some mistake from the past. Your story is far from over, child. You haven’t even begun to live yet.”

Atlanta laughed. “That’s not the truth, Mother. In the mortal realm, I’m forty and half-dead already. Stop cheerleading. It’s not helpful. Neither is reminding me that the only man I ever loved didn’t love me back.”

“The mortal you loved was simply the wrong person for you, Atlanta. When the right person comes along, he’ll be devoted to you.”

“Are you aware of the statistics concerning mortal women falling in love and marrying once they’re over 40? No one is coming along to love me at this age, Mother.”

“You’re being ridiculous. I still take lovers.”

But I don’t.” Oh, I used to get the urge to bed a man now and again, but I’ve lost even that now. Gaia’s retired owl and a leprechaun from a different pantheon are the only creatures who share my life, thanks to the man you’re still trying to protect from suffering the consequences of his selfish actions.”

“Please… just talk to your father, Atlanta. Talk to him before it’s too late for all of us. If he dies, all the gods die. You understand that, don’t you?”

“Yes, and thanks for that additional serving of guilt. It was exactly what I didn’t need today.”

“I’m sorry I wasn’t better at helping you understand your life’s purpose. One day you’ll thank me for what I’m telling you now.”

“Okay. Sure. Someone just came into the office, Mother. Talk to you soon,” I promised before quickly disconnecting.

I was forty in mortal years and looked it. My adopted mother was one of the original gods, so her power was hanging in there better than the gods and goddesses of my generation. Mnemosyne, the Goddess of Memory, looked no more than fifty, and some days lately she looked way younger than me.

Mnemosyne kept an assortment of men in her life who willingly entertained her when she was in the mood for a bed partner. She’d never lacked for male company that I could ever remember. Gaia knew, when the nine Muses were still small children, I did a lot of babysitting during Mother’s evenings out.

If she’d moved on from her past, why was she always defending Zeus who’d got her knocked up with nine babies and then merrily moved on to fill up the next womb he found empty?

Putting my face in my hands, I groaned at the unfairness and the craziness of my family. There was nothing sadder than a forty-year-old mortal woman who couldn’t stop feeling sorry for herself, except maybe an aging Goddess losing her power.