M o r t a l i t y
all rights reserved, copyright 2011
thanks to underglass for being my cheerleader when the inspiration hits a pause.
Taking care of a baby was the last task on Earth Eli expected anyone to trust him with.
After all, it wasn't as though he was the role model of a well-trained lesser god - barely a century old (give or take), already kicked to the curb by a father who could no longer afford to sweep his son's mistakes under the rug (to be honest, maybe smiting Zeus' latest object of affection a year earlier than necessary might have been a war waiting to happen) and a mom who...
Well, he didn't want to think about Persephone's parenting methods at the moment.
The little bundle in question was squirming in his arms, a little blob of pink and frizzy blonde hair that just poked from beneath the dirty blanket. One thing was for sure, she definitely wasn't the highest priority on her mother's list. That was something Eli could sympathize with.
"Sorry, kiddo," he mumbled, leaning his head against the train window. "We're stuck together from here on out."
None of the other passengers looked at him suspiciously, or whipped out their cell phones to report the strange Hispanic-looking kid with a baby, possibly kidnapped or worse...his own. That was the good thing about being banished to the Mortal Plain. Humans were just so easy to tamper with; a little bit of glamour, some mind control, and they ate out of your hand like mindless goats. By the time they got off at their station, Eli and the baby would be nothing more than a distant memory.
Just the way the Gods wanted it.
Adding the little girl into the equation definitely was going to complicate matters for Eli. For one thing, she was female - not his favorite species to work with, especially when it came to the bloodlines of the Gods. He couldn't say no, though, not if he wanted to live to see another birthday minus his immortality, and to be honest, when he saw the scraggly little bundle that was meant to be another of Olympus's princesses, he felt kinda sorry for the little monkey.
Either way, she was dependent on him now. That meant responsibility, which meant work. And if there was a guy who knew how to put his head to the grindstone, it was Eli.
As the train slowly grinded to a halt, he pulled up his hoodie and kept the baby clutched to his chest. The other passengers shoved by him, not even seeing him, already eager to resume their cow-like lives - TV, girlfriends, stuffing their mouth with America's plenty. Typical.
Eli gave the girl another glance. She stared up at him inquisitively, as though she were trying to memorize every inch of his face.
"Look hard, kid," he muttered. "This is the last time you're going to see these looks in your life."
He gingerly grabbed hold of the medallion around her neck. For a moment, the air between them was filled with the smell of fresh roses, a distant melody floating past his ears, the hint of peace and tranquility sinking down into his black little heart the most unpleasant emotion he ever wanted to feel. And then it was gone. A few passengers nearby fell into a hushed silence as the rather dangerous looking kid pushed past them.
Kinda odd, how he seemed to appear out of nowhere.
Hey, wasn't there a baby?