Ancient Greece- circa 507 B.C
The nightmare began like any other.
She walked down the cobbled street, tired from her day's work. The sea air was warm, balmy even and the sound of the waves crashing against the distant shore seemed to add to her lethargy. The air was thick with the scent of hyacinth and laurel entwining with the faint scent of the olive trees. It was a heading mix.
All of this combined to weary her mind and dull the rest of her senses. She didn't even notice the soft moans echoing through the small thatch house. She entered her house and removed her sandals, just wanting to collapse onto her bed, and drift into the land of Hypnos surrounded by her husband's arms.
She walked to the threshold of her bedroom, and her plans for the night were shattered into a thousand tiny bits, like a rock thrown through glass.
She stood in the shadows of the threshold to her own bedroom, watching, tears inexorably falling from her eyes, her heart breaking a little more each second. How could he do this to me? She cried silently, begging Aphrodite to let this all be a dream.
My husband, my beloved… how could he, how could the goddess allow this, after we had honored her so for letting us find each other?
She had sung her praises every night while with him.
How could the goddess allow this?
How could he allow this?
A rage born of hurt filled her, mindless in its fury, a rage worthy of Hera herself. And her fists clenched, her tears turning hot with anger and shame.
She stepped forward, an unconscious move on her part, the cold, almost harsh light that had illuminated the scene falling on her, making her eyes seem like hard, cold pieces of jade, a rare stone from the east, her tears each a brilliant diamond, falling from her stone-hewn eyes.
Her husband, having finished his adulterous work, pushed himself up, the light illuminate the well-known body of the man she thought she had known so well. Even under such circumstances, she had to admit, he was beautiful. His pale skin, something that had made him stand out against the rest of the olive-hewn people, something which had troubled him so, seemed to be made of white marble, the statue of a minor deity as he stood under the moon.
He heard her gasp, and his head turned, the moon highlighting the streak of red in his hair, and the flash of the ocean in his eyes. Those ocean eyes met hers, confused, as if he was waking from a dream. He looked in her eyes, seeing the pain in them, looking as if he was wondering why she cried!
Her own eyes narrowed, and his widened. He looked at the woman beneath him and then back at his wife. He seemed to finally realize the gravity of what he had done. Of what she had witnessed.
A thousand questions bubbled to her lips, the chief among them "Why?", but she couldn't seem to speak. The silence hung in the air.
"Eumelia…" He whispered to her, his porcelain hand reaching out for her, as if to comfort her, his voice tender, echoing the way he had spoken to her a thousand times before. Her disloyal body shivered in response.
She stepped back into the darkness, hot tears falling in a torrent down her amber cheeks, but her voice was filled with rage. She had given up her sword for this man. She had given up everything for this… this man, but apparently it wasn't enough. She held her hands to her face, her entire soul screaming with the same hurt of every betrayed woman in the history of the world. Why!?
She found her voice, as fleeting and hoarse as it was, but the words were spat out with the same deadly accuracy of any javelin. "Do not touch me." Her voice rose, then cracked and broke as she went on, not daring to even look at him. "And do not dare say my name like that. You do not have that right anymore, not after befouling our marriage bed with that… that… harlot!"
He winced at her language, but his face was still filled with pleaded, wanted to speak- to use his silver tongue to justify his adulterous act. He would not get the chance, she swore.
Her hands fell down to her sides, shaking as she restrained herself against the desire to strike him. If she had only listened to her aunt and trained in the arts of magick instead of the arts of weaponry- then she could have turned her faithless husband into the swine he was!
"Get out." She said finally, the words soft, but still as deadly as an arrow. "Get out… and take your harlot with you. Do not let me see you, ever again. For I swear, here by the moon and the stars who have witnessed everything this eve, that I will see you dead if you cross my path again."
She stood firm, facing the wall, refusing to gaze at the man who had betrayed her- refusing to see anything that could abate her anger, instead replaying the scene of him standing over that… woman, over and over again in her mind.
There was the sound of abrupt movement as the two people left the room, not willing to face her anger again. She remained a statue until she was sure they were gone.
She wanted to collapse… to let the anger, hurt, frustration, shame and sadness, this bundle of emotions like a weigh stone in the center of her chest take over, to cry herself to sleep for a reprieve, if only for a little while. But she couldn't stand to even look at that bed, much less surrender to a dreamless sleep upon it.
Suddenly, without any of her will behind it, her feet began to move, running away from the befouled bed, away from the house and the lives they had built together, until he had so cruelly torn them down. She ran without even stopping for her sandals.
She ran for the sake of it.
She ran so she could forget that horrible scene, or at least forget it.
If only for a little while.
A/n: As always, reviews are love. Tell me what you think, and critism is always appreciated.