“Urania is where?” Malcolm asked Erato. His sounded as though he didn’t believe her.
Erato sat back in her seat. Tucking a curtain of pastel pink hair behind her ear.
“She’s been going to parties and balls in Paris.”
Eden looked out of the window of the Jet. The clouds moving slowly past in fluffy tufts of white.
“Are all of the muses just living it up?” Eden asked with a laugh.
“I guess so. We jump around from place to place. See how the people and world have changed,” Erato replied.
Malcolm sighed heavily.
“Paris is by no means nearby, we will be on this jet for around twelve hours.”
Malcolm looked to Eden.
“I will be in the cockpit, come get me if you need anything,” he said, pressing a kiss against the side of her head.
Eden nodded and watched as he got up and walked across the cabin.
Erato looked excitedly at Eden. Eden couldn’t help but to smile awkwardly.
Erato was wearing a fluffy white hoodie with cat ears on the hood. It suited her. She sat cross legged and her Carmel eyes sparkled with expectancy.
“So do you really not remember me at all?” She asked in fascination.
Eden furrowed her brow and shook her head.
“I’m afraid not. How many times have we met?”
“This is our fourth,” Erato answered.
“Erato can I ask you something?” Eden asked softly.
“What happened to the other muses?”
The sparkle in Erato’s eyes flickered and died.
“Pythia,” Erato said, pulling her knees into her chest and hugging them.
“How were you and the three remaining kept safe?”
“Only four muses are required to perform the ritual. On the first cycle we lost two muses as well as you. On the fourth we lost Polyhymnia. And during the fifth cycle, Calliope, and Euterpe.”
Erato’s voice was trembling. Her face pale.
Eden leaned forward and took her hand.
“I’m so sorry,” she whispered.
Eden suddenly felt overwhelming guilty. All of those muses had been murdered because they were trying to help her. They died for her.
“It’s okay. We will do whatever is asked of us by Apollo without fail. This time we will succeed. This time we will succeed and won’t lose anymore sisters.”
There was a brief silence that hung in the air around them.
“What powers do the muses have?” Eden asked. Trying to move away from the heart wrenching topic.
“We all have our different strengths and weaknesses, but in general we all have the ability to enact spells and rituals. We get our power from the sun. From Apollo.”
“Thank you. For helping me,” Eden said sincerely.
Erato gave Eden a half smile.
“You’re welcome. But you should know the only reason we help is because we are loyal to Malcolm.” Erato’s voice never failed to lose its gentle soft tone.
The confession was a bit of a sting. But what Eden had known deep down.
“If he’s happy, we’re happy. And if he needs help we help him,” Erato shrugged.
“You should rest. Your body is still mortal and it’s going to be a long flight.”
When the plane landed Eden had groggily gotten off the jet and into the car that had been waiting for them. She tried to keep her eyes open and take in the beautiful scenery of the city of Paris around her but failed. Her exhaustion overcame her and she woke up again in a large white canopy bed.
Eden sat up. A large window was open and the sheer curtains fluttered in waves with the light breeze. She didn’t know where she was and she felt incredibly disoriented. She guessed it was early afternoon by the pale sun that cast into the room.
Her ears perked. She heard muffled voices. Their tones heavy with what sounded like urgency and concern.
She walked across the room and opened the door to the other room.
Malcolm and Erato stood there. But now there were two other women with them. Edens brow furrowed in confusion and the four figures looked to her.
“Ah you are awake,” Malcolm said, a smile playing on his face.
The two strangers looked at her with slightly widened eyes.
“She looks the exact same,” one of the women murmured to the other.
“Eden this is Clio, muse of history.”
The woman, Clio, was quite striking. She had a mass of curly white hair that fell past her shoulders and contrasted beautifully with her dark skin.
Her eyes were light green and a sprinkling of freckles decorated her face.
Clio nodded at Eden in acknowledgment.
“And Urania, muse of stars and astronomy.”
Urania offered a smile.
“Pleasure be at your service, Ecaterina.”
Urania had deep violet eyes that had the appearance of glittering. She had black curly hair that draped her tall slender frame.
“I’m confused,” Eden said.
Malcolm looked at her.
“How did you manage to locate two of the muses in the time I was asleep?” Eden half joked.
Clio rose her chin slightly.
“You did not find us. We found you.”
Urania’s brow furrowed and a look of distraught overcame her features.
“They have Melpomene,” she said to Malcolm.
Malcolm’s lips hardened into a graven line.
“Who’s Melpomene?” Eden asked.
“Our sister, Us four are the only left alive,” Erato explained.
“Assuming she is still alive,” Clio corrected.
“Clio,” Urania chastised.
“We have lost six of our sisters. I don’t want to lose anymore,” Clio said. Her voice was firm but her eyes looked pained.
Eden couldn’t even fathom their loss. She had lost both parents from the plague. If she had lost Genevieve too-her heart ached at the thought.
“Where is she?” Malcolm asked.
A tense silence cloaked the surrounding air.
“The void,” Urania whispered.
“The void?” Eden asked.
“Is that like, hell?” She added.
Clio’s gaze was weighted with cursed knowledge as she looked at Eden.
“Worse. Hell is a heaven compared to the void.”
A chill prickled along Edens neck.
“There is no light. There is nothing there but the demonic screams of your own loved ones suffering,” Urania said. “At least that’s what we have been told.”
“How do we get her out of there?” Eden asked. Her eyes kept darting to Malcolm’s. He looked troubled.
“Someone must go in and get her,” Malcolm murmured.
“And it must be her,” Clio informed.
“Absolutely not,” Malcolm said, his glare growing.
“She’s the only one who can both enter and leave. Her soul has been there seven times before and because of that she is able to pass through.”
“I’ve been there before?” Eden whispered.
Erato looked at Eden with sympathy heavy in her Carmel colored eyes.
“Yes, every time your soul has left your mortal body it returns to the void until you are reborn again.”
Eden took a deep breath and looked downward.
“I am not letting her in there. I am not putting her in any type of danger do you understand?”
Malcolm was getting worked up and it slightly scared her.
“We have no other choice. Even if you did care about any of your muses we cannot do the ritual unless we have four,” Clio replied cooly. Her glare matching Malcolm’s.
“Of course I care! Do you assume that I only use you all for my own personal gain? It’s not just about Eden and I anymore. Pythia’s demons are terrorizing our people and won’t stop unless we do something.”
A vein was bulging in Malcolm’s forehead and his teeth were clenched.
“You fail to remember that every-“
“Stop!” Eden demanded.
“Stop arguing. We are not going to save Or stop anyone by bickering like this,” Eden fumed. She had grown extremely irritated.
“I’m going into the void and I’m going to get Melpomene.”
Malcolm’s brow furrowed further and he opened his mouth to argue.
“This is my choice to make. Do not take that away from me,” Eden warned, Her voice cracked with emotion.
Eden took a deep breath.
“Just tell me what I need to do.”