Back up at HQ

Taking a deep breath, Aristomache readied herself for the brief discomfort that inter-realm travel always gave her. She shut her eyes tightly. Feeling the pressure build in her ears, she pinched her nose to blow it, trying to equalise the pressure in them. A blast of cold air straight up the skirt blew the cobwebs away. She felt sorry for the Celts who needed to travel between realms, they didn’t even wear underwear…

The different sounds told her she was home. Well, not ‘home home, but back in her own realm. How would a War Spirit describe this realm to a human, who had only a limited concept of time and space in the first place? Every kind of Spirit inhabited the realm, but for the most part kept themselves to themselves. The majority of War Spirits seldom made themselves known to humans, they just couldn’t be bothered with the long winded explanations, time after time after time… Some had become well known alongside other members of the realm though, the Spirits who were more extrovert. There was Kali, who had become the Hindu death goddess, who always won the flower arrangement contests every year. Everyone knew who Mars was. He couldn’t set foot on Earth now, what with all the statues and paintings of him everywhere. Seth had been worshiped by both Egyptians and Greeks at different times, under slightly different names. All in all, most of the ancient Gods of War, be they Norse, Celt, Greek, Roman, Incan, Mayan, or any one of the other hundreds of religions that needed a warlike deity would be found here. Some of the older families had loads of deities in their family tree. Religions came and went. Aristomache wondered if she would ever have her own statue, or even her own religious sect. That would put Garfield’s nose right out of joint, and her father would have to sit up and notice her then! There would be no denying her success as a War Spirit with her own religion named after her. Maybe even a religious holiday thrown in too.

Walking out of the arrivals square, Aristomache bade Adam and the dead human farewell.

“I’m off to see Guinevere, and tell her about my little fight. You make sure you don’t lose that human, you know how much of a mess they make when they go off. Two days and you will be able to find him by the smell. “

“Don’t worry, I am off to the temple now to see about fixing him up. I have a good feeling about this one. Give my love to Guinevere for me will you, and don’t forget you’re singing next week!”

Aristomache scowled under her breath and pulled her jumper back up her shoulder. Watching Adam wander off with the dead human over his shoulder, she had been hoping that he had forgotten all about the bet. No such luck. It was a certainty that the news of that would spread like wildfire.

As she walked off to where her best friend would be found at this time of day, she looked towards what had been the basis of the  Mount Olympus stories. A huge mountain, the top covered in perpetual cloud. Old man Zeus still lived on the top, banging away in his forge. Gone were the days of making thunderbolts, he now made ornate wrought iron gates for driveways and the like. Did a good deal for her dad a few years back. Her house was about half way down. Not in the posh part at the top, where all the ‘Gods' lived, but not on the bottom slopes either, with the ’hoi polloi’ as mum called them. Her house was in a rather nice valley. Good sunbathing weather in summer, good skiing in winter. When Guinevere and her parents had moved in to the other side of the valley, she had found life a lot more fun with another girl the same age to hang around with. That had been what, nearly a thousand years ago? Time flies when you can live for ever.

Rounding the corner she trudged up to the park where they usually hung out. Kicking leaves aside, she wished she had asked Adam for more cake before he had left.

“Hi ‘Mache, where have you been? You wont guess who has been asking about you! Go on, guess!!”

Guinevere was what would be called a Wood Spirit. Or an Elf. Not a fairy, she hated being called a fairy. Did she have wings? No. She did have the ethereal beauty that you would expect of Elves though. Long slender limbs, long slender body, slim slender face, long straight blonde hair, and no matter how she tried, her pointed ears always poked though.

“Oh I dunno, was it one of the Viking boys again? All they want to do is drink and fight. I don’t mind the fighting, but after three horns of mead, they start acting like they're ‘Mr Cool‘. You cant take someone seriously who is trying to chat you up wearing a horned helmet, I’m sorry.”

“Nope, even better than a Viking. Marcus!, the Spartan who moved here last decade!”

Aristomache stopped in mid stride. She stopped so suddenly, her barbed wire crown fell off her head. Her heart skipped a beat. MARCUS!! She didn’t want to appear too eager, so instead of doing her first instinct of asking ‘what was he wearing, what did he say, how did he look, how many times did he ask about me?” in a rushed manner, she forced herself to appear nonchalant. The fact she was blushing from just the mere mention of his name though…

“Oh? Really? Umm, so, what did he have to say for himself then?”

“Not much, you know the usual sort of stuff. ‘How’s the family? Doing anything over the holidays? Did I know if Aristomache is being accompanied by anyone to her birthday party next week?

Aristomache could have jumped for joy and screamed to the heavens. But, the last time she had screamed to them, she ended up grounded for waking the neighbours. Instead, she let a small smile creep onto her lips. ‘Marcus wants to know if I am going to my party with anyone!’ Suddenly, she let out a groan of frustrated anguish.

“Awww, come on ‘Mache, you cant be upset that Marcus wants to ask you to your party, can you?”

“No, its not that. I lost a bet to Adam earlier. I have to sing at the party.”

Guinevere looked Aristomache straight in the eye, which was no mean feat as Guinevere was almost ten inches taller.

“Oh ‘Mache, I’m so sorry to hear that!”

The End

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