Everyone pictures Zeus, or even Ares, as the deities with short tempers. But the truth is Hera could be just as impulsive as anyone. When his Aunt Demeter calls him in the middle of the night frantic, because Hera smited a mortal that displeased her, Dinlas knew better than to ask questions. Instead he high-tails it to the offices to find Demeter frantic, and Hera long gone. Leaving the others to clean up her mess.
Knowing her nephew was looking for new fugitives to track down, Demeter slips him information on an international fugitive with a large bounty on his head as her way of thanking him for helping to avert an incident with the dead body spread all over Hera’s office.
By Wayne Davids/originallyAugust 6, 2019
I left Aunt Demeter’s office, my head swimming. The girls stood beside me, still growling about being scolded by her. I scratched them both behind the ears and hushed them as I thought what in the world Hera was thinking when she smote a man in her office.
“Both of you stop being bitchy. We have a job to do.” They both yipped and half-ran to the elevator, then turned and looked back at me.
“I’m coming, I’m coming. Just settle down,”
We took the elevator up to Nana Hera’s office. The doors opened and Hermaphroditus stood staring at me. The girls growled low, then whined as I patted each on the side of the head.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” I said. One of my siblings, another child of my mother, whom I despised.
He answered, grinning, “We. What the fuck are we doing here.”
“We, I am we. When my old self joined with Salmacis, I no longer thought of myself in the singular, but as they. We are Hera’s personal assistant now. It’s been a long time, Dinlas.”
“You, I mean they… well look, I’m here to get the body.”
“Right this way then.” They led me to Nana Hera’s office and the body lying on the floor. Well, the remains of the body.
Hermaphroditus stood quietly while I pulled out a cigarette, lit it, and inhaled deeply. “So kid, did Nana Hera hit this guy with fire or lightning?”
Hermaphroditus responded, “Lightning, I believe. Does it matter?”
I took another drag on the cigarette, “Not really, just curious.”
I finished my smoke, then set to the business at hand. First, I found his left hand in the room’s corner, practically under her desk. Then I rolled it along with the rest of the body, up in a small rug. Hermaphroditus stood watching impassively.
“Okay,” I said as I wiped sweat off my face, “I need to call Aunt Demeter real quick, then I’m gonna teleport out of here. You wouldn’t have any iced coffee, would you?”
“We do,” replied Hermaphroditus. “We will be glad to get you some while you make your call.”
I was already dialing the phone. “Thank you, Hermaphroditus.”
Wait, thank them? I sighed. I’m gonna screw this all up.
Aunt Demeter’s voice on the phone brought me out of my thoughts.
“Yeah. Have you got him? Is it done?” she blurted.
“We’re getting ready to teleport out of here now. Did you dig up anything on him?”
“Oh yeah,” Aunt Demeter replied. “He’s up to his neck in debt. He gambles in the mortal game of chance called Wall Street. Apparently, he owes a significant amount of money.”
“Good,” I say, “he sounds like someone who might be ready to end it all.”
“No, not suicide. I want it to be an accident,” was her curt reply before she hung up.
Hermaphroditus returned and stood patiently with my iced coffee until I finished my call. When I put the phone away, they handed it to me.
“Here you are, Dinlas. May we ask what we are to do with the dogs after you leave?”
Both girls growled and my sibling took a half-step back.
“Oh hush, both of you,” I reprimanded them, “both of you need to meet me back at the warehouse.” They stood looking at me like they wanted to go with me, not back to the warehouse.
“Go,” I said, “take a stroll and hunt something.”
When they heard hunt, Jealousy yipped excitedly, causing Hate to lick her on the side of her face. Both flickered for a moment and the wolves morphed into two Mediterranean beauties wearing little black dresses. Hate gave me a coy wave. Then they locked arms and disappeared out of the office.
Hermaphroditus chuckled, “My, that was something we haven’t seen before.”
I shook my head and looked at them. “Wolves, promise them a kill or two, and they are putty in your hands.” I drained my iced coffee, and Hermaphroditus immediately reached out and took the empty cup.
“Go,” they said, smiling. “We will take care of cleaning up here.”
Aunt Demeter gave me the car keys from Mr. Franklin’s car earlier, and the parking space number they assigned him. I grabbed him and teleported down into the bowels of the parking garage under the building where I then shoved him into the driver’s seat, went to the other side, and got in the passenger seat.
Once in the car, I slid to the center and started it. With my left hand and foot, I drove the car out of the garage. We headed east out of the city until we hit a set of train tracks that ran along the edge of Olympus National Park.
I parked the car near the tracks, then turned off the engine to wait.
I dozed lightly when I heard the train horn. I sat up and saw the train, still several hundred yards away and coming fast. I reached out and grabbed Mr. Franklin and the car door.
“Waiting… waiting… waiting…”
The train was right on top of us
Okay, Mr. Franklin, I thought as I looked over at him for the last time. I’m sorry to do this, but I’ll be more sorry if I screw this up for Aunt Demeter and Nana Hera.
With all my will, I teleport the car, Mr. Franklin, and myself the last few feet onto the tracks. To the train engineer, it would look like the car just lurched forward.
An instant later, I teleported out, about fifty yards away. The train slammed into, then flattened, the car. Wedging it under the nose where moments later it exploded in a spectacular fireball. There wouldn’t be enough left of Mr. Franklin to scoop up and put in a small bucket.
I teleported back to the building in front of Nana Hera’s office. Aunt Demeter and Hermaphroditus were overseeing the cleanup in the office.
“Crap, I forgot the rug in the car…”
“Is it done now?” asked Aunt Demeter.
“Yeah, he fell asleep at the wheel after all that working late to make extra money, and had an unfortunate accident.”
Aunt Demeter held up her hand. “We don’t need to hear anymore. We can read about it in the paper tomorrow.”
I nodded and said, “Well, I’m out.” I patted the manila envelope under my coat she gave me earlier and added. “Thanks for this as well. I will take care of this problem. I will eliminate Anthony Santiago and his network of traffickers.”
She looked serious. “Don’t you take over trafficking his women. I won’t stand for it, nor will your Aunt Athena, Nana Hera, Artemis, well the list goes on and on.”
I hugged her and whispered in her ear, “I promise, no trafficking or slavery.”
She hugged me back. “Good. For all our sakes, try to be good.”
I laughed. “I always try to be good, Aunt Dem. It’s just that sometimes it doesn’t work out.” With that, I popped out and teleported back to the warehouse.
The girls weren’t back yet. Still on the hunt. Good for them.
I put my clothes in the closet and fell into bed. After spending all night disposing of a dead body for Aunt Dem and Nana, I was beat.