Once upon a time, Chaos was the primordial void;The source out of which everything was created;
The origin of everything, including the universe and the gods.
Then out of the void appeared Erebus,
The place where death dwells, and Night.
Everything else was silent, empty, endless, darkness.
Then somehow Love was brought about, then Light and Day.
Once there was Light and Day, Gaea, the earth appeared.
This was only the beginning.
A baby was born.
Zeus, god of the sky, who
Had two brothers – Hades, god of the Underworld
And Poseidon, god of the sea, who married Amphitrite.
Together, they had many children
One of whom became the most notorious and vengeful siren
With hair as black as Hades’ heart and
Eyes bluer than the ocean, matching in mystery and depth,
The child was brilliant and striking;
She held herself with such pride and
All-knowingness that she seemed flawless.
She was the image of irresistibility, she did not age,
A halfbreed demigod;
Hades abducted Persephone and forced her hand
While Poseidon had an affair.
Then came a truly despicable water nymph
Conceived by a dangerous combination of fullblood Gods,
The naiad was the closest thing to Chaos anything else was.
With short pixie-cut flames for hair, red as the sun,
And emerald eyes so green you think of her
Every time you see the color.
Seduction came easy with this one, being a nymph’s forte.
She was a fantasy; cunning and manipulative and
More intriguing than her mother, Aphrodite, herself.
Finally, countries away, a banshee was born.
A banshee, descending from the deepest
Forests in Ireland, she was abandoned within minutes
Of her arrival on earth, and if her luck could only double,
A monster lurked in the woods, behind the trees, stalking.
With venomous snakes for hair and
Silver eyes that could stop a person dead in their tracks, literally,
Medusa was the most hideous gorgon to lurk Gaea’s lands.
Having once been a ravishingly beautiful maiden
Medusa was raped by Poseidon in Athena’s temple.
Enraging the goddess of wisdom, Athena transformed
Medusa’s hair into serpents and her pretty face into something
So terrible that onlookers turned to stone.
Medusa was created out of terror
And so terror is what she became.
When coming across the abandoned babe lying
Helpless in a wicker basket in the cold,
Medusa couldn’t help herself from approaching,
Like making eye contact wouldn’t kill it.
The child’s snow white hair was attention-drawing, but
It was the child’s eyes that stunned Medusa –
Eyes, white as ash, that seemed translucent yet reflected
Her own horrific image, making her cringe.
When Ava didn’t suffer from Medusa’s unintentional fate,
Medusa had only one thought:
“If the world is incapable of loving me, I’ll have a child who will.”
Three women; three wonders of the world that
Are traveling to one, same location that will ultimately
Unite them, however, for better or for worse is still
The women stood along the edges of the Balkan Peninsula
Marina, awaiting the vessel that would be guiding them.
The sky looked like murky water, filthy with
Black clouds that refused to cry, and the wind
Felt like glass shards cutting into your skin.
A girl with a black waterfall flowing down her back,
Another with short red fire for hair and
A paper thin ghost with wispy white locks hugging her shoulders.
Black, white, and red, like they were
The colors of a depressing rainbow, the three
Wonders stood to board the approaching ship.
It happened that day in the dead of winter that
In Greece, aboard The Trident, three young women
Ready to embark on a pilgrimage to Athens, to
The Parthenon, sat analyzing each other.
Sinikka eyed Fulbright suspiciously while
Ava fidgeted with her long fingers and
Fulbright sat rehearsing what she’d ask Hades…
None the less, before my story continues,
It seems a reasonable thing to say their business,
Their condition and their profession.
There was Sinikka, a most mysterious creature,
A siren, whose song takes effect at midday in a windless calm,
Whose song ends with death.
A demigod, whose father strikes the ground with a powerful
Trident when he’s offended or ignored and causes
Chaotic springs, earthquakes,
Drownings and shipwrecks.
Manipulative and clever, Sinikka’s voice is capable of
Murder, and she’s got a few under her belt.
Using her voice to lure men in, Sinikka manipulated and
Toyed with to get what she wanted:
More dead humans.
There was Fulbright, another aquatic deity,
A naiad connected to her body of water, a river,
who bathed naked and sang beautiful songs,
Luring naive men into her and seducing them
To kill and then steal from her victims.
Naiads were seen as necessary for human survival,
Yet dangerous for human interaction due to the
Severe jealous tendencies and odd fascination with
And then there was Ava, the living and the breathing,
The mysterious and the ominous and the misunderstood.
Medusa’s adopted child, Ava was a banshee that was
Condemned to live in an enchanted tower for
Most of her life, never able to leave out of fear that
Medusa would have nobody to love her.
The only being able to resist Medusa’s deadly stare,
Ava and her figure mother were incredibly close
Until Medusa was murdered, and Ava was released.
Gorgeous and sharp, Ava roamed the earth just as her
Mother did when she found her in the deep Irish vegetation,
Mourning the loss of the only person she ever knew
And the only person she was capable of loving.
Ava lost her life if she had one to begin with.
“Stories, ladies, are what the
Lads back in my home tell when ones got nothing
Better to do with his time. Eh?” Ava rested her
Chilling gaze on Sinikka and Fulbright, both sitting
Opposite her. “You,” a skinny bone is pointed at
Sinikka, “tell us what your name is, and a story.
And when you’re done, you’ll go.
I’ll sacrifice myself to the sea monsters before I
Sit in silence on this dismal voyage to go talk to some Gods.”
Prolouge: The Sirens
“My name is Sinikka, like the color blue.
I’m a siren and a demigod, and I murder for sport.
Don’t get me wrong; don’t confuse my intentions for my
Morals, no, no. I’m merely a hunter.
I hunt for humans. You see, a pack of wild humans
Attacked and brutally slaughtered my family, the only
People that could ever love a monster like me, with the
Exception of my merciless father, Poseidon.
Oh, my father… An interesting relationship dynamic, this one is.
When I was a child, I liked to roam the beaches of
Greece, collecting odd seashells that you could
Only find onshore. I was notorious for breaking rules, but
I had no intention nor desire to do so. Unfortunately,
By going against my father’s wishes of emerging from
His oceans without permission, I was spotted by humans,
And tracked. Sirens, at the time, were so hated and so
Feared that a single sighting would send the disgusting
Rats on a wild goose chase for weeks. This made my
Father incredibly antsy and persistent, being sure that I
Nor anybody else left the cove unsupervised or unprotected.
They invaded my father’s seas like they owned them,
Angering the sea god so greatly that many, many humans died,
Backlashing and creating more chaos.
When they tracked me back to my cove the day I was spotted,
The humans were able to resist the sirens’ voices and attacks
With the help of the Muses, our greatest enemy.
My father, who was away looking for me, returned to find me
Hunched over his dead wife, his entire army slain, and me shaking;
A ticking time bomb.
“Where were you! Where were you!” but one does not
Yell at Poseidon without being outdone and I
Cringed when he shouted back, “I was looking for you,
Child! You broke my rules, you ventured outside, you…
Lured them here. You lured them to your family.”
I tried to stop him. I tried to stop what he was saying.
“You no longer reside in my seas, child. Sinikka,
You will be banished back to the islands, back to
The shores that you love so dearly. You will walk
Amongst humans for the rest of your days.
You’ve proven to your cove and I that your love
For mortals greatly outweighs your love for
Family protection, and I, hereby, banish you.”
All the tears in the world couldn’t make him let me stay.
“You’re toxic to my seas. You’ll wreak havoc anywhere
You are, and you’ll destroy anything in your path to get
What you want. You’re poison.”
And with the strike of his trident against the crimson floor,
I was banished from my father’s seas forever.
I remember my dying mother’s last words still
Ringing in my ears, “Sweet child, do not let the
World make you hard. Do not let the humans’
Actions make you bitter and cynical. Do not retaliate.
Listen to me child – your parents know best.”
A relationship without rules is chaos. A rule without
A relationship is rebellion.
And I’ll keep killing until I am redeemed in my father’s light.”
The Siren’s Tale
There once was two brothers:
Epimetheus and Prometheus.
One day, Prometheus and Zeus got into an
Argument in which neither could agree on
Whether or not humans were deserving of fire.
Prometheus, because of his good heart, knew how
Much man needed fire for food and warmth and gave
Man the secret of fire, ignoring Zeus’s order. As
Punishment, Zeus chained Prometheus to a rock for
For Zeus, that was not enough punishment. Once
Prometheus was chained to a rock, Zeus went
After Epimetheus, the gentle and kind-hearted brother.
Then Zeus ordered the gods’ handyman, the maker of stuff
To make Zeus a daughter. Using clay, a beautiful woman was
Made and was taken to Zeus. Zeus named his lovely new
Zeus knew that Epimetheus was lonely. Epimetheus
Was kind-hearted and gentle and thoughtful, but he was
No fool. He knew that Zeus was up to something,
But he loved Pandora at first sight.
As a newlywed gift, Pandora and Epimetheus were given
A box that said in bold letters: “DO NOT OPEN” with a key
Attached to the note. It was all very curious.
Pandora’s curiosity got the best of her as she used the key to
Open the box, slowly raising the lid and allowing all the
Bad things in the world today – disease, sickness, hate
To exist. Pandora slammed the lid closed, but it was too late.
Hearing her weeping, Epimetheus came running to Pandora
Who held the empty box out for him to see. Before she could
Slam the lid shut, one tiny bug flew out. That tiny bug was named
Hope, and Hope made all the difference in the world.
Prologue: The Naiad
“I’m Fulbright; descendant of Aphrodite and a
God I never knew. I come from the coldest rivers and
The darkest of waters; the most dangerous of locations.
People, innocent and without knowledge of their fate,
Stagger into my territory, naiad territory, to meet their doom.
I’m necessary for humans, but one of the deadliest of villains
Because seduction is the most powerful weapon
That I am the most capable of distributing its abilities.
I don’t have to sexually seduce a person to mesmerize them,
Oh no, I simply flood their thoughts with beautiful music and dance
Wildly, like a carefree child. I’m a fantasy. I’m your worst nightmare.
My occupation is simple to understand and quick
To the catch – I seduce and I kill and I steal. Why?
Well, what else have I to do? An orphan, an unwanted
Witch with sociopathic tendencies. I’m wicked.
I don’t belong here in Gaea with the Olympians or the
Other odd creatures that roam freely. With Hades,
Deep down in the Underworld, is where I belong and is
Where I shall go. To ask entry into the Underworld to become
Intimately bound and connected to the waters there.
Underworld nymphs – Where the rivers of hatred, darkness, and
Insanity form physical embodiments of the abstract ideas themselves.
There, I will truly be loved and welcomed instead of shunned and
Feared and misplaced; misunderstood. Here, I’m an outcast.
Not normal. Unlike everybody else in the sense that I
Don’t come with a side dish of superficiality and blind worship
For gods too in over their heads to realize what they’re doing.
I collect beautiful things. My occupation is fed and kept
Thriving through the act of manipulating human men into
Having sex with me before I break their necks and rob their corpses.
But it is clean fun, I assure you. Blood doesn’t cake my hands
Or my beautiful face, and my forest is enchanted with mint; a
Funerary element used to offset the smell of decay
So that my, erm, hobby goes unnoticed and I continue my days
Prancing and dancing and having a merry time.
I am the last standing naiad in my forest, having frightened
The other nymphs away, or killed them.
My mother disowned me and my father never met me,
For I was the product of adultery, and sin is what I am.
I collect beautiful things, but Lust isn’t Love and
What good is a fine house if you’ve no one fine to put in it?
The Naiad’s Tale
The Underworld was hidden deep within Gaea;
The kingdom of the dead, ruled by Hades. Hades was a greedy
God, whose priority centralized on increasing the number of
Souls in his kingdom; at the time same, he was very
Reluctant to let any soul leave.
The Underworld was believed to have been surrounded by
Five rivers: the river of woe, the river of lamentation,
The river of fire, the river of forgetfulness, and the
River of unbreakable oaths by which the gods took vows.
Acheron, Cocytus, Phlegethon, Lethe and Styx all
Guarded the diamond gate that formed the entrance to
The morbid kingdom.
Upon death, a soul was led by Hermes near the
Entrance of the Underworld, where a vessel awaited to
Carry its passengers across the river of woe. The single vessel,
The only boat to take souls across the river, only those who
Could pay fare with coins placed on their lips when buried,
Were granted passage; the rest were trapped between worlds.
After the boat ride, the souls entered through the gates;
Everyone was allowed to enter, but none to leave. The souls then
Appeared before three judges – Rhadamanthus, Minos and Aeacus,
Who played fate based on the soul’s deeds during its previous life.
The good souls went to a Field of Dreams while the others were
Singled out for special treatment, or tormented for eternity.
A naiad, Minthe, was bound to the river Cocytus;
The river of lamentation; the passionate expression of
Grief or sorrow. She was dazzled by Hades, smitten,
And was about to seduce him had not Queen Persephone,
Goddess of the Underworld and Hades’s slave wife,
Transformed Minthe into the garden of mint; a plant similar to
Rosemary and myrtle, used to divert the scent of rotting flesh.
Had Minthe resisted her lustful urges and stayed away
From a married man, her fate may have been different.
Had Minthe appreciated what she already had, Persephone
Would not have accused her of stealing her lover and overall,
Trying to take what wasn’t rightfully hers.
If someone loves you, let them go.
If they return to you, it was meant to be.
If they don’t, their love was never yours to begin with.
Short Story by Jade
Cover artist x