Saturday, March 9, 2013

When She Takes A Lover

Leto rose from the bed and turned to look one last time at the sleeping form of the young woman who lay there, barely covered by a white silk sheet that followed the curves of her body. She's beautiful, Leto thought, putting on a robe and walking out onto the balcony.

A silvery path shone across the broad expanse of ocean, causing Leto to stare dreamily out at the water and into the moonlit night. An old man in a white suite sat on a balcony chair, silent and waiting for this reverie to pass. Eventually he cleared his throat and Leto turned towards him without haste, as if unsurprised to find him there.

"So," the man said, rising and pressing out the wrinkles from his suit. He went to Leto's side, and turning to look into the bedroom he nodded with a deep appreciation for what he saw there. Just a slight hint of jealousy coloring his gray eyes.

"She is quite stunning," he said, leaning back against the railing. "Why have you taken her here?"

"How did you find me?" Leto asked, shifting the conversation away from the inevitable.

The man in white grimaced. "I admit it was a bit more difficult this time. Your protections are quite powerful, and I'm afraid I may have mistaken one of your dogs for a bear..."

Leto looked up at the stars and said a silent prayer for the animal who had been both friend and foe.

"More than the strength of your spells and your hounds," the old man continued, "I truly appreciate what you've done with the place."

"You compliment your own craftsmanship," Leto said with a slight laugh, regardless that the old man would or would not hear it as an insult.

"Hmmm, yes. It's a lovely thing that you've transported here. And your choice of location is spectacular." He turned away from the bedroom to look out over the wide expanse of water.

The "location", situated on a high cliff, was not on any map. Far and away from the chaotic comings and goings of brightly lit cities, it was well hidden by majestic forests of Redwood, Elm, Monterey Pine and Cypress. Unless one looked very carefully, one would think this a desolate place and pass it by with nary a glance. But if you directed your gaze just so, through the coastal fog and thick growth of grasses, you might just find the tracks of a dirt road that peeked out now and again, leading away from the Pacific Coast Highway.

If a wanderer chanced to make their way down those tracks to its end, they would shed a little blood as they made their way through the brambles, and then hike another mile down an even steeper path. Most any human out walking on this path, day or night, would have been too frightened by the dark wilderness, the howls of unseen beasts, and may not have dared to tread the whole way.

Still, if they had, their perseverance would have been rewarded with a large clearing encircled by a snow-fed creek, and filled with olive trees and the sweet fragrance of fruit blossoms and flower gardens. Just beyond the gardens, a majestic mansion towered above the sea, it's thick pillars and walls of gray and green limestone appeared as if carved out of the very cliff itself.

Said human, having finally made their way to this wondrous location, would be utterly overpowered by the grand architecture and nature herself. They would fall to their knees in worship, and gladly sacrifice their hearts upon the stone steps.

But the man in the white suit was not human.

"My dear, dear Leto," Zeus said softly, eyeing the surroundings one last time before finally turning back to the bedroom scene. "You're not making this very easy."

"I never intend to," and Leto reached out as if to caress the sleeping woman's cheek.

The young woman slowly woke and rubbed her eyes, yawned and stretched her arms, then rose up out of the bed. The two on the balcony caught their breath as the sheet fell away, both thinking her beauty was that to rival a goddess even as they knew another truth for her. She looked out to the sea and seeing nothing out of the ordinary, walked into the bathroom and stepped into the shower to bathe.

Leto turned, and when a cup and pitcher appeared from nowhere, poured the wine and knelt before the man in the white suit, offering him the cup.

"Husband," Leto said.

"Wife," the old man replied. He drank the wine until it was gone, and then let go of the cup over the railing, listening as it crashed and broke into pieces on the rocks far below.

"This is not where you belong," he finally said. "Why do you continue to play with these beings?"

Leto shrugged her shoulders, then moved into the bedroom, letting the robe fall to the floor as she walked. She turned for a moment to look back at the old man in the white suit, her own beauty shining as that of a goddess.

"Because they make me feel..." she began, and then decided best not to say what she knew the old man had given up on, so many moons ago.

Zeus sighed to himself as he watched her go into the bathroom, step into the shower and join with the woman there. He turned back to the sea to watch the silver light inch across the horizon, wondering how long it would take for Leto to reach the same, sad conclusion as he.

Then he rose into the sky, determined to chase her no more. Rather, he told himself, he would be at the ready to comfort her when she finally left these humans to their own shenanigans, and returned to her rightful place. In the Pantheon of the Gods.

<word count: 987>


Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if how I read this was influenced by knowing some of it came from a dream? I may have actually imbued it with that warm hazy feeling you get from a wonderful dream. Did enjoy it and it left me a little sad.

Have a great trip. Look forward to pictures and stories when you get back.

Parabolic Muse said...

I am just now seeing your new entries. I didn't know you had a dream that inspired this. Nice.