|Life Among the Gods
Author: Brooke ORiley PM
Who knew that America had its own pantheon? Lena certainly didn't. Sure, a few of the people at her new high school were a bit strange, but could they really be deities? And just how did she manage to get caught up in their private drama and vendettas?Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Humor - Chapters: 5 - Words: 20,653 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 09-17-11 - Published: 11-08-10 - id: 2863158
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
So you're looking for an interesting story, are you? I imagine that's why you opened this book. Well, I've lived a good long while, and I've experienced some interesting stories. For instance- have you ever heard about the time the gods almost made New Jersey implode? And yes, I mean a literal implosion. We have the power to do that, you know.
And just so it's clear, by we, I mean the gods of Mount McKinley. The American gods. Oh, I know you've never heard of us. That's not surprising. When your lovely patriots, rebels, colonials, or whatever you care to call them, managed to gain independence for their little land, we sprang into existence. Oh, not all of us, mind you; there were really only two at the beginning, descendants of a few Welsh and Roman gods. They don't like to be associated with us, though, so we refrain from naming them out of professional courtesy. We understand that we're the bastard children of their great pantheons. And really, a lot of the time, we're embarrassed by ourselves. Though not a lot of people believe in Zeus, Odin, or Lir anymore, at least people have heard of them. As for us… well, we've been here since the country began, but unfortunately for us, most early settlers believed in their One God and never gave us any credence. Any demonstrations of power we've made over the years have always been attributed to different gods, or passed off with some scientific balderdash. It's extremely frustrating.
But let me tell you, that frustration has led to a lot of good stories. Because we don't have to worry about the mortals constantly nagging us for blessings and what have you, we get the time to do whatever we like. Granted, a lot of the time we're bored, but think about it- what does a bunch of bored supernatural beings lead to if not a hilarious story or two? Even you mortals manage to cause a great deal of trouble without anything worthwhile to occupy your time; the damage we cause is exponentially worse. And that, I assure you, is always enjoyable.
Coming back to the story- I mentioned the near-implosion of New Jersey. That was thrilling, it's true, but there were a great many events leading up to it. And it started, as all the great stories do, with a mortal. Ah, how you lot entertain us. I don't know if I'll ever be able to properly thank you for that.
This particular mortal was a tiny slip of a thing, trying hard to blend into a high school lunch table. You could tell she didn't really know what she was doing there, and also that she was angry about the experience. I'd first noticed her in our history class, and thought the hostility radiating from her might just be as a result of the absurdly vague lecture. But when I noticed it again at lunchtime, I couldn't help but be intrigued. Normally when I encounter angry mortals, it's because of something I've done. Or rather, it's because I exist.
It's not that I try to make people hate me. But it is, unfortunately, one of the hazards of being an unnaturally beautiful supernatural type. Many mortals have this misguided notion that any supernatural being will be preternaturally beautiful, but that is not the case. Yes, many among our pantheon are good-looking enough, but that's because we breed rather selectively. Good looks are important to us, yes, but we don't come by them without effort. Or rather, most of us don't. I, however, am not most of us. My name is Kalysta, and I am this nation's goddess of beauty. Thus, I am unreasonably attractive. Julian, the god of youth and virility, is the same way. There are plenty of people, both mortal and immortal, who hate us for that.
And I was prepared for that. I've dealt with jealous humans before, so I tried everything I could think of to diminish my beauty before I waltzed into high school and made an enemy of every girl there.
Oh, perhaps I should explain what I was doing at a high school. I was enrolled as a student, you see, along with a few friends of mine. Now we didn't do this because we needed the knowledge, though every so often it was helpful to catch up on what mortals were teaching their children. And it had nothing to do with needing to blend in with the mortals around us. Our bodies can appear any age we choose, and we only donned teenage forms when we wanted to. No, this was strictly about entertainment. Nothing interesting had happened to me for the last ten years, and that was just too long. I remembered how much fun mortal teens were, and decided to go back to high school, just for kicks. And that is how I came to meet Lena.