Η Αλλαγή του Χρόνου
“Losing him was like hearing
every goodbye ever said to me all at once.”
Time is a strange phenomenon. It’s like a wild river, the flow of which is already predetermined –it is not possible to ever change its way and turn it in the opposite direction. When the clock’s pointers turn, there is no way to go back in the past and there is absolutely no possibility to change what has already happened. The past is written into stone for the next generations to know in order to avoid previous mistakes.
Time is the main difference between mortals and immortals. Beginning from the last ones, they have plenty of time at their disposal; they watch as the seasons change and come back before their eyes and the world developing under their watchful gazes.
The mighty Titan Chronos, the controller of time, has no power over the divine deities. He does not affect their youth and beauty, but he does change their souls and thoughts making them more prudent and wise as the centuries pass by. It’s both a blessing and a curse to not be able to rest and to endure both the happiness and misery of this world.
As for the mortals, time is very precious to them and they do not underestimate him as the immortal Gods do. This is mainly because their lives have an expiration date, and they try to fulfill their purpose and manage to do everything that makes them happy before they run out of time.
Their beauty and youth fade, as they approach the end of their short lives. Time leaves behind only their distant memories. For this reason, they try to make every minute of their lives count and appreciate the simple things that it offers.
Still, mortals and immortals have something in common on this issue. There are moments that they both beg Chronos to move his clock’s pointers at a faster pace because they want to escape from situations that they are currently in.
And there are moments they are begging him to go slower or even come to a complete stop because in this case, they prefer to freeze the perfect situation they are in rather than return to the harsh reality.
Persephone knew that desperate feeling very well. She wanted to freeze time, whenever she and Hades had one of their meetings, and she wanted time to tick faster when her mother discovered the whole ordeal that had made Zeus banish him into the depths of the Underworld.
But Chronos was untamed and cruel. He never changed his ways no matter how many times you desperately begged him to. He ignored Persephone’s cries as he did to all others. He loyally followed his own rules, ticking neither fast nor slow. His pace was the same as always, never changing as the years and eons passed by. However, to some people, it appeared that it moved faster or slower than it did in reality.
Nine years had passed like water since the whole situation and although many things had remained the same, some others had completely changed. Demeter’s worry had not ceased since the day she found her daughter held in the hands of the Lord of Darkness. She had become even more protective than she used to be, scared that history will repeat itself
She was hesitant to leave her daughter out of her sight as she was worried she would disappear once and for all. She watched her every move closely and never let her out of the house unaccompanied by a person she trusted. They left every morning to do their chores together and then they returned straight back home.
Demeter never took Kore with her to any meetings in Olympus, although at the age of twenty-seven the Goddess was more than ready to attend the Olympian gatherings. The Goddess of Harvest had ended her dream of attending very quickly, making sure that she was safely inside of their comfortable cabin.
In her eyes, she was protecting her innocent daughter from the rest of the world -too scared that if she let her out of her sight they would have a repeat of the past meetings. In Persephone’s eyes, her mother was replaced by a brand new woman that she didn’t recognize anymore. She felt like a bird kept in a golden cage -captive against her will. She didn’t recognize the person in front of her anymore and she had stopped trying to understand Demeter a long time ago, accepting the fact that things would never be the same.
Time had changed the fair maiden too, not only the relationship she had with her mother. The young Goddess had blossomed like a flower during springtime, turning from a maiden into a gorgeous woman. She was a beautiful rose that had just opened its precious petals in a field filled with daisies -unique and outstanding from the rest of the meadow.
Her emerald green eyes could captivate anyone that looked deep into them. Her porcelain skin made everyone want to touch it wondering how soft it is. Her auburn hair that fell into elegant curls on her lower back ignited jealousy to all Goddesses for their beauty. She was not the tallest among the Goddesses, but she surely had more curves than them in all the right places, which immediately got every man’s attention once they saw her. Her round bottom and swelled breasts that were never seductively exposed made her everyone’s deepest fantasy.
Who wouldn’t want a taste from the forbidden fruit, especially when it looked so good?
Her relationship with her mother has tarnished thanks to her controlling antics. Persephone didn’t speak to her unless it was necessary for their work together and didn’t talk back to her anymore. She didn’t have anything to talk about with her -Demeter knew everything before she told her anyway.
Once she trusted her mother greatly. She was also her best friend -the person that she told all her secrets and worries to and was grateful for her advice. Now, she was the one that took her freedom away and had made her feel like a prisoner in her own home. She was suffocating under her watch -she was drowning in the utter feeling of despair and wanted a way out of the whole situation.
For her, she was the person who created her and her Superior Goddess, meaning she had to answer to her for her actions and follow her rules. Nothing less. Nothing more. Her hopes of her mother resurfacing had been shuttered long ago.
She wanted, no, she needed Hades with her to kiss her forehead and tell her that everything was going to be fine. But she had taken him away from her too.
Hades. Her sweet sweet Hades.
She felt a deep longing for the ancient God of the Underworld, one she had never felt for anyone else. She couldn’t explain how she could be possibly feeling this way for someone she hadn’t seen for the past nine years. She was feeling a deep connection with the God of Erebus like they were two pieces of a puzzle that matched perfectly together. She felt safe and content in his arms when everyone else was scared shitless just by being in his presence.
And who wouldn’t be scared of Death himself, of the God that was King of the Underworld where the dead souls lay? She wasn’t though. She wanted to spend more time with him, get to know him, and admire his beauty more. She wanted to be close to him, but her mother took that away from her too, along with everything else.
She felt so damn guilty about the curse that her father had cast upon him. She felt that it was her fault that he was trapped in the Underworld, unable to get out but for one day every nine years. If it wasn’t for her, he wouldn’t have to deal with all this drama or this cruel punishment. He would be free to roam the Earth and Olympus as all the other Gods did. Now not only was he banished, but she also could never see him again.
How could she, when they were worlds apart with a curse and a possessive mother in the between? She was filled with suffocating despair and her heart clenched in terrible pain at the thought. There was nothing worse than feeling guilty for something you have no choice over or feeling guilty for something that isn’t your fault.
She would give up her immortality, just to take a last glimpse of his flawless face.
“Try again, Kore!”
Demeter’s voice shook her out of her thoughts.
Hermes was flying a few feet away from them, watching her with worry in his black eyes. The divine messenger was aware of the whole situation and tried to comfort her as best as he could during the difficulties she was going through. He was her favorite brother, the one she had the closest relationship with and she trusted him with her life and her secrets.
Hermes had a soft spot for her too, unable to see her so saddened and suffering due to Demeter’s extreme measures. He was well aware of her feelings for the God of the Dead and the impact his disappearance had on her as well as her mother’s controlling behavior. However, he could do little to change the whole situation, but to listen to her and help her go on.
“I can’t do it, mother”, the woman confessed as her mother watched her actions carefully.
Her hands were touching the wet soil as did her knees, staining her perfect white dress with mud. Her auburn locks were falling into her emerald eyes and her whole form was trembling slightly from exhaustion. She looked up to her mother with emotionless eyes, having no more tears to offer.
“Try again”, Demeter ordered firmly, “You can do it.”
Persephone closed her tired eyes and tried to focus on the task at hand. She was kneeling on a field in her mother’s lands and was desperately trying to grow any kind of flower, which as the Goddess of Spring she should be able to do.
She tried to focus on her inner powers and hoped to create a beautiful yellow lily such as the ones that surrounded them in the meadow. Her hands trembled and sweat appeared on her forehead as she used her powers like she has done countless times when she was but a child.
But what she created wasn’t what she was hoping for.
Big black branches emerged from the ground without a trace of green leaf or beautiful yellow or white petals. The ugly branches were scattered with sharp and huge thorns able to pierce your hand and drew blood.
Persephone sighed as her mother began murmuring at her angrily as she had yet again destroyed her fields. After everything that happened in the last nine years, she had lost her ability to grow beautiful and majestic flowers and was only able to create those black monstrous branches. She couldn’t help but bow her head down in shame.
She had destroyed many of her mother’s fields in her tries to create life as she did before, but she was unsuccessful. Her mother had always blamed the God of the Underworld for the loss of her powers and never ceased to talk ill about him even after all these years.
What the Goddess of Harvest didn’t truly understand was that this was the result of her daughter’s grief and helplessness -a sign that the young woman was feeling empty and dead on the inside.
In order for Gods to use their powers, they have to have utter control of their feelings as their inner powers are connected with their emotions. For example, Zeus’ wrath is so terrible, because it is connected to his furry. Persephone couldn’t control her emotions anymore and therefore, couldn’t control life as she used to. However, Demeter seemed to only blame Hades for everything than anyone else.
“Do you understand what he did to you? He destroyed all your powers! How are you supposed to be the Goddess of Spring when you cannot grow even a small daisy anymore!? This is absolutely ridiculous!”
Persephone didn’t respond to her mother. She just kept looking at the black branches as she kept screaming and blaming Hades for her powers. She was so tired of listening to her, but she did not dare voice it. Her mother constantly reminded her of the fact that she was a Goddess that couldn’t use her own powers anymore, making her feel useless and depressed. She really tried to grow any kind of plant, but couldn’t. However, she blamed herself for it, not Hades of course.
“My Lady, Demeter!”
Demeter stopped all her screaming and turned towards Hermes’s flying form.
Letting a frustrating sigh towards her kneeling daughter, she turned her attention to the sky.
“What is it, Hermes? Can’t you see we are busy?“, she answered annoyed that the god interrupted their work.
“I am sorry to interrupt, my Goddess, but Zeus has summoned an emergency council meeting and your presence has been requested.”
Hermes bowed his head respectfully at the Goddess’ angry form.
The Goddess of Harvest rolled her eyes at the news.
“What is it about?“, she curtly asked.
The messenger caressed the back of his neck nervously. Truth be told, the Goddess of Agriculture knew how to ignite fear to the ones around her just by the way she carried herself. He was very often in her presence and every time, he was extremely careful not to get on her bad side.
“He didn’t really say, my Lady, but it has to do with the human world from what I have gathered. Something came up between the Greeks and the Trojans”, he replied after a moment.
The elder Goddess closed her honey eyes in silent anger, trying to calm herself down. These damn mortals had been causing too much trouble during these past few months, drowning the attention of the Gods to them.
She was sick and tired of attending yet another meeting and leaving the peace of her home for the stupidity of some ignorant human men. But what could she expect? Men always caused problems, whether they were humans or divine.
“Very well then!“, she decided after a while, “I’ll be taking my leave in a few minutes!“, Demeter announced.
The messenger bowed his head respectfully, not wanting to anger her even more. He gazed briefly at the young Goddess behind Demeter, flinching at the way she was looking into nothingness. She looked completely defeated. Her spirit shuttered. He wanted his joyful and giggling sister back. The one that was across from him was breaking his heart with her silence.
Persephone watched as her mother turned towards her still form and motioned for her to stand up. She whipped her dirty hands on her dress not carrying anymore about staining it and held her head bowed before her mother, not able to meet her gaze.
“You will stay with Hermes and you will keep practicing those abilities of yours, do you understand me, Kore?“, the Goddess informed her briefly.
“Yes, mother”, Persephone said in a monotonous voice.
“Until I come back, you’ll have grown at least a small daisy! This is getting ridiculous, child! What kind of Goddess will you be, if you can’t use your powers to accomplish the simplest of tasks?“, Demeter went on and on in anger.
“Yes, mother”, she whispered again cutting the rumbling Goddess off.
She put two hands under her daughter’s chin, forcing her to look her in the eyes. For a moment, she was stunned by their emptiness before she composed herself. This was necessary for her safety. It was what it must be done. She would appreciate it in the future.
“Am I understood, Kore?”
A flicker of anger flew through her emerald orbs, but it quickly disappeared before it could be recognized.
Demeter nodded her head after watching her with a narrowed look for a few silent moments. She turned to Hermes, who immediately nodded at her silent warning before she made her way out of the field and prepared to leave for Olympus.
As soon as she was out of sight, the messenger of the Gods landed on the wet ground and approached his trembling sister. She was crying silently with her gaze pinned on the black branches she had created, making sure no sound escaped her body.
“Are you okay, Seph?“, the messenger worriedly asked.
Persephone didn’t answer him.
She collapsed on the hard ground as the world started to spin around her.
End of chapter 10!!
Title Translation: “The Change of Time”
Chronos is not the same as Cronus. Chronos is the personification of time. Cronus was the leader and the youngest of the first generation of Titans in Greek mythology, and the father of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, and Hera.
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Until next time!!