The scenery passed by in a blur on the journey from London. I was finding it hard to concentrate, my brain often blurred into unconscious day-dreaming, and I had to shake my head to clear my mind multiple times. Patrick (it would be hard to call him ‘dad’, but I would try) looked over at me quickly.
“Are you alright?” He asked me. I smiled and nodded my head lazily.
“I’m fine; just tired. I haven’t slept in a long time.” I told him, deciding to concentrate on braiding, then un-braiding my shoulder-length hair, to keep my brain active.
“Oh, I see. Don’t worry, we’re almost there. You should be able to sleep soon.” He told me, and I hummed a noise in acknowledgement. He was right, as we soon came to a familiar place, where he stopped the car. I squinted into the distance, and soon realised where we were.
“Stone Henge!?” I asked, surprised. “This is where the ceremony is taking place?” Patrick laughed.
“Of course; who do you think put it here?” He said. I paused for a moment for my sluggish mind to comprehend the information, my mouth still slightly open. I shook my head again, and closed my mouth and looked at my father, who was studying me. “Are you ready?” He asked. I sighed, smiled and nodded.
We walked slowly up the hill, and as the stone formation came into view I noticed that there were many people standing around it; a lot more than I had expected.
“Who are all of these people?” I asked quietly.
“Some are our family, but a lot of them are followers who have been loyal all of these years. They are here to watch the ceremony, as they will be the ones who will worship us, after all.” He told me. I blinked a couple of times. People worshipping me? I was just a lonely thief whose aim in life was mostly to remain invisible, and yet here I was. A Greek goddess.
As we approached the crowd, people turned to stare, and I grew uneasy. My father placed his hand on my back to comfort me, but it didn’t help. A man turned and came towards us with his arms out.
“Ah, brother!” He said to Patrick, slapping him on the shoulder in a greeting. My face probably resembled that of a deer caught in the headlights. He then turned to me. “My young niece! It’s lovely to see you.” He said to me.
“Nice to meet you...” I said, holding my hand out. The man laughed and shook it.
“And you, Kyria. I am Zachary.” He said.
“Oh.” I said, and he smiled.
“Let me look at you.” He said and looked me up and down, so that I felt like a horse. “You have the beauty of your mother.” He said to me, and I flashed a look at my father, who looked a little irritated. I think that Zachary realised this, so said, “Well, I have last minute preparations to attend to, but please do meet everyone.” He said to me, and left. There was an awkward silence.
“That was weird.” I said, accidentally out-loud. Patrick laughed.
“It was indeed. Would you like to meet the rest of the family?” He asked.
“Do I have to?” I asked, laughing but not really joking. Patrick looked at me, then rubbed my shoulder. “Come on. Let’s get it over and done with.” He said and directed me through the crowd. A woman with chin-length blonde hair walked towards us. She was smiling warmly.
“Patrick!” She said, embracing him. Patrick was a little stiff, but allowed her to. She then turned to me. “You must be Kyria.” She said. “You are so pretty! Your father must be proud.” She said to me. I smiled shyly.
“It’s nice to meet you.” I said to her. She put her hand up to her face.
“Of course! Forgive me, my dear. I am Maria, also known as Hera.” She said to me. “Goddess of motherhood and marriage. It’s tough work.” She said and laughed. “Well, I must dash... Patrick, may I speak to you?”
“Of course.” Patrick said. He looked at me. “Are you okay on your own?” He asked.
“Sure.” I said unconvincingly. Patrick smiled, and then Maria took him away. I stood at the edge with my hands in my pocket, looking at the ground. I wasn’t the sort of person to start a conversation.
“You look how I feel.” A voice said to me. I looked up. He wasn’t much older than me, with black hair that slightly curled and bright blue eyes. He was super hot. I smiled at him.
“Is it that obvious?” I asked. He laughed and held out his hand for me to shake. I took it.
“I’m Hayden, but friends call me Hayd.” He said, grinning.
“Kyria.” I replied.
“Pleasure to meet you, Kyria. May I ask why you are here?” He asked me. I shrugged.
“My dad brought me here. There’s supposed to be some ceremony or something.” I held up my hands in an ‘I-don’t-know’ gesture and he laughed.
“Indeed there is.” He said.
“Sorry, I’m a bit of a social retard. Foster homes do that to a girl. And I’m really tired.” I said to him, rubbing my sleepy eyes. What a great conversation topic, Kyria...
“I thought that you said..?” He started, looking a little confused.
“Oh, yeah. I’ve only just met Patrick. He and my mother gave me up for adoption.” I told him.
“Wait... your father is Patrick?” He asked me. I raised an eyebrow at him.
“So you’re Persephone..?” I shivered at my name.
“Yep.” I said. He grinned at me.
“I thought you were one of the worshippers...”
“I know... I’m not really ‘goddess’ looking, eh?” I said, laughing but a little hurt. Was I really that not cut out for the ‘job’?
“Oh no! I just assumed. Let me re-introduce myself. I’m Hades.” He said. There was a spark of recognition in the back of my mind, but it was foggy.
“Oh, cool.” I said, my mind not really connecting with my mouth so that I sounded really stupid. Hayden went to say something, but I heard Patrick calling my name and turned to see him coming towards me.
“Kyria, I’ve been looking for you.” He said. He put a hand on my back and looked at Hayd.
“Hayden.” He said curtly.
“Patrick.” Hayd replied with a slight inclination of his head.
“It’s time.” Patrick told us.