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Last Daughter of the Gods - 1

Forbidden Love - Part 1

By John CoxPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

An impossible choice is still a choice. Love or leave. Obey or defy. Pick up the sword or die by it. As the years have slowly passed, I tried to pretend that our love did not really matter, that I could continue to live this lonely existence without grieving your absence.

But I have not lived.

As the years passed, the pain that I should have felt in my heart slipped like a creeping illness into my flesh and bones till my every waking moment was filled with physical pain. The thought, ‘I never really had a choice,’ followed me each day like an invisible shadow. ‘I never really had a choice,’ became a mantra, a defense against the darkness of my life without you. ‘I never really had a choice,’ became an excuse relieving me of responsibility till it walled up my heart like a compact with the devil.

But a conventual rebellion was never an option for me. Children with my pedigree do not run away or take unapproved lovers. At least not without unthinkable consequences. My Father’s house has many monstrosities. One at least, that made it impossible to ever leave without Father dying first.

But Gods do not die conventual deaths. They perish in cataclysms. The Titans cast into the abyss following the catastrophic war with the Olympians, the old Norse Deities burnt to ash in Ragnarok, ancient orders overthrown by newer and stronger gods till one day they are cast down as well. But through it all one God remains undiminished by time, his realm a byword for the fear of death and eternal flame, his throne the place of judgement from which no one living returns to tell the tale.

I have walked the fields of bones from the upper reaches of His kingdom to its still and horrible depths. There I visited the final resting place of Kronos and the other Titans, the boulders marking their graves surrounded by a circle of ash where the fires they had once lit were swallowed by the terrible darkness of Tartarus’ ebony halls. It was Zeus who cast them into those awful depths, but it was not Zeus who killed them. Eons spent in that cruel darkness did that work for him.

But where is the mighty sky-Father, wise Athena or warlike Ares now? Where are the twelve whose thrones in a brighter age ringed the amphitheater carved from the stone at the top of Olympus? Why did the God of darkness and judgment continue to live and rule millennia after the last of the beautiful Olympians disappeared from the Earth?

Did they flee their mother Gaia once she roused herself from her long slumber and remembered the loss of her beloved children? Did they fade away when humanity tore down their altars and temples? Did the absence of the savory offerings that men made in days of old rob them of their power or simply break their hearts?

Their ever-wrathful brother Hades endured, every death an offering that only he received, the fear of his cold halls outliving the faith in the old gods when the God's of Isaac and Ishmael cast them down like the golden idols of man's naiveté.

Sired in darkness, I do not belong in the bright open spaces of this world. I am betwixt and between, a shadow at the boundary between light and the outer darkness, not fully God nor wholly beast.

Humans call those with pink or sallow complexion white. But my flesh is fairer than the lily – as bloodless as a drained corpse on a mortician’s worktable. Curling through my white hair at the top of my head are two dark horns, the only parts of my anatomy not bleached by my patrimony. But you never saw me in the light, my love, since we only ever met at night.

And without you night has lost its magic.

Full of hidden life and mystery, night was our private playground – hide and seek, flashlight tag, ding dong ditch. It was a secret wish made upon a shooting star, a scary short-cut through the woods as black and devoid of illumination as the grave, the euphoria of true love’s first kiss.

You and I had known each other since childhood and loved each other since our bodies took on the outward manifestation of adulthood. Once Father discovered that we were lovers He told me I could never see you again. “It is forbidden, child,” Mother whispered as my body wracked with sobs. “You come from incompatible worlds.”

And where are you now, David? Do you yet live or are your bones scattered among the tens of thousands piled around Father’s terrible throne?

Or did He simply tell you what I really am?


About the Creator

John Cox

Family man, grandfather, retired soldier and story teller with an edge.

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Comments (9)

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  • L.C. Schäfer28 days ago

    I've been holding off on starting this series until I could give it proper attention! The temptation to binge it is real!

  • Heather Zieffle 29 days ago

    An epic beginning and now I'll have to read them all!

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    Great beginning. My curiosity is piqued. Off to the next.

  • Christy Munsonabout a month ago

    Brilliant work, John. Powerful, provocative, enticing opening. I'm excited to discover what your character Last Daughter plans to do (I have a few ideas!). You create such depth and emotional heaviness throughout allowing you to brightly lift all the intensity, creating a heart-wrenching juxtaposition, with these lines: "Full of hidden life and mystery, night was our private playground – hide and seek, flashlight tag, ding dong ditch. It was a secret wish made upon a shooting star, a scary short-cut through the woods as black and devoid of illumination as the grave, the euphoria of true love’s first kiss." I feel Daughter's joy, innocence, and hope for unending elation and dare I say "love," and now as your reader, knowing all that Daughter said leading into those lines and how deeply her heart is shattered (ahem), I eagerly anticipate the story's next chapters. Daughter (and a few others) will be more than "wracked with sobs", methinks. Thrilling send off... Bring on Chapter 2.

  • Rachel Deemingabout a month ago

    I'm trying to wrack my brain (feeble thing) to see if I can come up with who I think this might be, if there is a mythological entity who you have based this character on and nothing has sprung to mind immediately. I love mythology, and ancient history and myths so I'm off to part 2 to see if we can find out what happened to David and who exactly Mother and Father are. Forbidden love - never ends well, does it? Liked this, John!

  • Bonnie Bowerman2 months ago

    Oh settling in for another great series read! Thank you!

  • Oh no, it's so sad that they can't be together. I just hope he's not dead though 🥺

  • Andrea Corwin 2 months ago

    Oh no, god-crossed lovers! What a cruel father with destruction surrounding him. This entity drawn in the photo is a cross between Stevie Nicks, Debbie Harry, and Harley Quinn, but perhaps she is a dead ringer for TWIGGY!!

  • Mark Gagnon2 months ago

    You paint a picture of one confused ... something. I liked how you delved into the deities of the past to create the trepidations felt by this being. Well done!

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