Appetite for Vengeance

     Otos towered menacingly over the grove of trees in which he paced.  His arms were stretched outward, bashing branches as he moved.  He could have been built of stone, for his solid, carved body did not possess a single polished, unshapened line.  He was growing restless and impatient, waiting for his brother to return.  His forehead dominated his face, shadowing his hateful dark eyes, and his lip was curled up into a snarl.  "Artemis shall rue the day that she ever refused me!  If it is done with the last breath I take --" he mused to himself, envisioning the event with twisted joy.  At the sound of trees falling and logs splitting, his bitter rant and trail of destruction abruptly ceased, and he prepared for his companion's return.

     Ephialtes stomped into the clearing, visibly amused with something not yet visible to Otos, tossed carelessly over his broad shoulders.  He moved closer, then, and displayed the struggling forest nymph to his brother.  A snicker took its place on his lips.

     "Look what I found galavanting through our woods, brother," Ephialtes greeted him.  He stood several heads taller than Otos himself, although he was younger.  His appearance was even more aggressive than his brother's, as the frightened nymph looked like a limp ragdoll in his brutal hands.  "I'm sure we could persuade her to help us."  While he said it, his prisoner shrieked and fought to break free; but he caught her about her tiny waist and threw her against a nearby oak to quell her once more.

     Otos looked about her in dismay, his grin fading.  "Well done, my brother.  She will serve our purposes just fine, but do keep her quiet; we don't want her sisters coming after her," he replied to Ephialtes.  Then, turning to address the still recovering nymph, "You will help us, won't you?" She nodded, numbly.  "Good.  Then we have no fight with you, woman, for now," at this she shuddered and he took notice.  "What is your name?"

     The prisoner was shaking uncontrollably, and her voice was faint.  "Adrasteia."  Her slender arms were crossed about her breasts, seemingly bare yet from bathing in the morning sun, and she did what little she could in attempt to cover herself.  She stared only at the ground as they mocked her. 

     The giants' roaring laughter was shortlived, as from behind they heard a twig snap and understood they had an audience.  Ephialtes ran blindly toward the sound and swept out of the way the brush that concealed the listener.

     Celestia leaped out of reach of the giant's hand and fumbled wildly to reach her feet before the next attempt to capture her arrived.  She was too late, and shut her eyes to the blow that she knew was coming. 

     Ephialtes and Otos were nearly to her.  Ephialtes wound up, and was startled by a wild stag that had entered the clearing.  The giants, distracted, unknowingly gave the girl her chance to escape.  She took it, tearing through the trees and thorns, headed straight to the safety of the village.

     Ephialtes made to run after her, but Otos halted him.  "Let the girl go, brother.  Let her return to her little village."  He began to argue, but Otos stopped him once again, "Don't you see?  She is protected by the goddess."  At this, the two giants sneered, and watched her enter Ephesus.

The End

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