Chapter 1: Friendships Renewed
Dr Martin Richards sighed as he slipped his laptop back into his bag, and glanced around the now empty lecture hall one last time. Students could move pretty fast when they wanted to, he thought. His dismissal had signalled the start of their lunch break and so, within seconds the room had emptied. Martin stood for a moment running a hand through his thick black hair. He was slim, and shorter than most men. Standing there in his shirt and dark trousers he appeared much younger than his thirty years. He looked more like a student than a lecturer. With his chiselled features and deep blue eyes he had never been short of female attention, but somehow he had never really connected with any women. Not since her, and that hadn't exactly ended well. He pushed the thought of her aside. He couldn't stand here all day feeling sorry for himself, not while he had assignments to mark.
As he walked towards his office past students in the hall, he remembered his own time as a student here. He had come to the university at the age of 18 eager to throw himself into his classes and forget his broken heart. He had replaced one obsession with another as he delved deeper and deeper into his studies. By the time graduation came he was planning his doctorate, when that came to an end there had been an opening for a lecturer so he had stayed on to teach. With his enthusiasm for the subject and his phenomenal grades he was an obvious choice for the newest lecturer in classical mythology and civilisation. Deep down he knew that he wouldn't have done any of it if it hadn't been for her. She had been in his thoughts so often recently and he wondered why. As he entered his office however he stopped wondering, because he knew the answer.
Martin had been deep in thought as he opened the door, and for a moment he thought he was dreaming. With the way his thoughts had been going it would be no surprise for him to imagine her standing there, and so when she spoke it took him a moment to adjust to the fact that she wasn't an illusion.
That voice. He stared, stared into that face from his past, from his childhood. It couldn't be.
She flinched at the use of her old name. Her adoptive parents had meant well, but it had never really suited her. Martin hadn't been surprised to learn from her brother that she had changed it when she moved away. She had always hated it. Once, all those years ago, he had told her that she deserved a new name, a name as unusual as she was. But that had been over a decade ago, 12 maybe 13 years since they had last seen each other. 12 years ago she had walked out of his life and now she was standing in his office.
"It's Chimera now, Chimera Medusa."
He grinned as he took the seat behind his desk.
"Yes I heard, Dennis told me."
Chimera had been one of Dennis' nicknames for his sister. They had always been close. She smiled back at him from the window across the room and his heart skipped a beat. After all this time he was surprised that she could still affect him so much. In her presence he was a school boy again. She was the same as always, the name may have changed but the person was the same. She was older than he remembered her, but he supposed she was thinking the same about him.
Standing there by the window to his left he couldn't stop looking at her. He mostly black hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail; from there it cascaded down her back in a rainbow of different coloured pleats ending just above her waist. One shoulder was bare, the other draped in tie dyed silk from her neck to her painted nails. No doubt the top was one of her own design. It fitted her perfectly and coupled with the tight black jeans she wore it emphasised her curves expertly. How could he not stare? Dennis had told him that she was a designer now, and judging by the excitement from the students concerning her possible arrival, she was a successful one at that.
"You seam surprised to see me Martin, I thought it was common knowledge about my little shop opening up on campus"
She said it as if seeing the progression of his thoughts. Yes, he had heard the rumours; he had seen the anticipation growing. But he hadn't dared to believe that it was her.
"I thought you would have called, to let me know you were coming"
That was a lie. In truth he had expected Dennis to call and give him a heads up. When the call hadn't come, he had told himself that she wasn't coming. But he had hoped secretly that it was her, isn't that why she had been on his mind so often recently.
"I was going to call" she said "But to be honest, I wasn't sure whether you would want to see me"
She stared at him with her dark chocolate eyes and suddenly he knew that this was as hard for her as it was for him. He stared straight back into those eyes so that she would know that he was telling the truth.
"Chimera, of course I would want to see you"
The worry vanished from her face and she took the seat across from him. He was surprised at how easily he had adjusted to her new name. It suited her, she had never really been Christine MacMillan, somehow she had always been Chimera Medusa.
"So, what brings you to my office?"
It wasn't the question he wanted to ask. That would have to wait. He wanted to enjoy seeing her. He wanted to savour every second, in case she decided to vanish again.
"I'm here to see you of course"
She said simply, as if it were obvious, as if he should have known. As if them seeing each other after all this time wasn't both surprising and incredibly painful. As if they had never been apart.
"When the opportunity arose to open a shop here I took it. Expand my business and renew an old friendship at the same time."
Inwardly she cringed. She couldn't tell him the real reason, not yet. For now she just wanted to see him, to forget for a while just how much she had missed him, how much she had wanted to see him, if only for a moment..
For the next half hour they sat and talked, talked about nothing. Neither one daring to say what needed to be said, neither asking the questions they wanted to ask.
"Have dinner with me"
She said it suddenly, as if on impulse.
"I'll cook something and we can catch up properly"
He had always loved that about her, she was almost childlike the way she could jump from one topic to another. For a moment it almost seamed like they had never been apart, Almost. The awkwardness was still there between them. Martin knew it would stay, at least until they talked about what had happened that night. But he couldn't bring himself to mention it.
"Nothing healthy I hope, I'm in a couch potato mood."
They could talk tonight. Wasn't that what she had really meant by catch up?
"It's a deal"
As she spoke she stood up to leave both releaved and reluctant to go at the same time.
"Nachos, chocolate, crappy horror films and a couple of bottles of wine"
But they both knew that wasn't all. They would have to talk, really talk, and soon. She scribbled her address on a scrap of paper and handed it to him.
"I'll expect you at eight"
It sounded like Martin's idea of heaven. He had really missed her these last 12 years; they had been so close once. They had been friends through primary and secondary the three of them, Martin Dennis and Chimera. By the end of secondary school he had finally admitted to her that he wanted more. They had gone to the prom together, but then she had left. She had needed the time away, he knew that. Maybe now that she was back they could finally work things out.
"I'll be there"
His mind was full of possibilities as he watched her leave. He picked up his pen to start his marking when he remembered. He remembered unlocking the door before she had announced her presence. The door had been locked and she had been inside. He looked over at the window and grinned. It was open; it couldn't open far, only an inch or so. But that was enough for her wasn't it. And hadn't he seen a flash of green in her eyes when their hands touched a moment ago. She really hadn't changed.
Chapter 2: Martin Remembers
Martin decided to change before calling. Chimera's appearance hadn't been a complete surprise, but he wished that Dennis had said something. They didn't talk as often as they should but Dennis had been Martin's lifeline these past 12 years. He had never been able to let Chimera slip away completely and Dennis had been more than happy to keep him up to date.
On his way to the bedroom Martin picked up a CD. It was the CD Dennis had sent him as a joke one birthday. It was Chimera's demo CD. 'Chimera and the Daemons' Chimera had formed the band, her band, the first year in college, and according to Dennis they still played occasionally. As he slid the CD into the Hi-fi he made a mental note to ask Chimera about it at dinner. It seems that she had never been short of things to write about. She had been so tormented when she left; it was only natural that she would pour herself into something creative.
Chimera had never been an ordinary child. As far as Martin knew she was unique. As a child Chimera's abilities had never seemed odd to him. Even as an adult it didn't seam out of place. Maybe that was why he had chosen to study classical mythology; Chimera wouldn't have been out of place in the ancient myths. No one knew where her powers came from. It was just who she was, who she is. Deep down however, he knew that they were probably the reason her birth parents had abandoned her. It must have been a terrible shock to discover that your new born daughter can change shape on a whim. For as long as Martin could remember, Chimera had been able to transform herself into a cat or a serpent. She was also telekinetic, which she had always found infinitely more difficult to control, So much so that an emotional Chimera was often accompanied by levitating knick-knacks and broken pottery. And yet, the MacMillan's seamed un-phased by their adopted daughters eccentricities. As a result she had grown up with an understanding family and a very protective older brother.
Martin had lived next door to the MacMillan's his entire school life, and as Dennis was only a year older than both him and Chimera, the three of them had been very close. Chimera had done what her parents urged and kept her abilities a secret, but she thought nothing of using her powers in front of her brother and best friend.
As he tossed aside his work clothes Martin laughed recalling how often she had cheated at hide and seek when they were children. She would let her feline senses lead her to the boys as they hid, or she would transform herself into a snake and slither into some impossible space. As he pulled on his jeans Martin remembered how she would jump out at him and laugh. He used to love the way she laughed.
As he slipped his T-shirt over his head he imagined her face, the way it changed whenever she was excited or scared, whenever she lost control of her appearance. Her usually brown eyes would become a brilliant feline green and her canine teeth would lengthen ever so slightly. It had been so long since he had seen that side of her. He had seen that face so many times in his dreams. His fantasies revolved around that face. They were the emerald green of those eyes and drenched in the loss of control they represented.
He shook himself mentally. He shouldn't think like that. Tonight he had to control himself, at least until he found out how she felt. He had no idea how she felt or what she was thinking. They had been able to read each other so well once. Had he really seen that flash of green in her eyes today? What if he had imagined it? Would they be able to get past what happened that night?
Martin's face dropped as he remembered the prom. It should have been the best night of their lives. That's the way it's supposed to go isn't it. They had finally admitted to each other how they felt. The rest is supposed to fall into place. It almost had as well.
They danced, they ate, they drank, they laughed, it had been perfect. But that was the problem wasn't it, life isn't a fairy tale. That night Martin had finally realised that life isn't simple, you don't end up with the princess at the end living happily ever after, no matter how much you love them.
They should have waited, but they had waited so long already, or so it seamed at the time, they had waited their whole lives. His parents had been away that night, so with their arms around each other they made their way to his house. They couldn't keep their hands off each other as they climbed the stairs. Neither of them had noticed how the ornaments and pictures shook as they passed, or maybe they didn't care. He knew that he should have stopped it then, he had seen her eyes then, green and slitted, brighter than he had ever seen them and when they kissed her fangs grazed his lip. He should have stopped it, but he didn't want to, he was 18 and he was in love.
As they entered his room, she had become a feline predator pushing him down onto his bed. The posters on the wall flapped and strained against their pins as she straddled him, fighting with the buttons of his shirt. His hands pushed up her slinky dress as she caressed his chest. As he pulled the dress up over her head the bookshelves rid themselves of their burdens. One book narrowly missed them as she bent down to kiss his throat. As she moved down his neck and chest the door threw itself open and the windows rattled, but he didn't care, they couldn't stop now, she was the only thing that mattered.
She moved to lick his left nipple but he sat up determined to take the opportunity to remove her bra, as he sat up her tooth caught him. It was a deep cut, he still bore the scar, but that was not the worst of it. Suddenly she sprang away from him. She was standing in the middle of the room in her underwear hyperventilating, but he couldn't reach her. He could barely even see her. Books and paper, ornaments and trinkets, even the scattered clothes, everything that wasn't bolted down, swirled around her. The furniture bucked and reared, he had to grip onto the sides of the bed to prevent himself from being catapulted across the room. She screamed and shouted as his possessions whirled faster and faster around her. "NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!" "Stop it! Stop it! Stop it" Hysterical and crying she dropped to the floor. She changed and a small black cat and ran from the room, leaving behind only silence.
It had finished them. Up until her appearance in his office this afternoon, he hadn't seen her since that night. He had tried, but she wouldn't see him, wouldn't see anyone except Dennis. Dennis had come round a couple of days later with a note. She couldn't see him she said, she had to learn to control herself she said, and evidently she couldn't do that with him in her life.
Martin shuffled down the hall into the living room and picked up the phone. He threw himself onto the couch and dialled Dennis' number. As he waited for the ring he worried. He'd always denied it to himself but he'd been waiting for today since he had been handed that note all those years ago. That's why he hadn't had a successful relationship in all that time. He had never really gotten over Chimera, and now she was back in his life and he had no idea how he was supposed to react.
"Dennis Hi, its Martin"
"Mart, It's been a while. How have you been mate?"
"I'm Ok I suppose, all things considered"
"Why didn't you tell me Denny. She must have told you, she's your sister for fuck's sake"
"I wanted to mate, you know I did. But she made me promise I wouldn't. I think she wanted it to be a surprise"
"It was a surprise alright, she was in my office when I got back from class"
"And what? We didn't exactly get to talk things out"
"So, who needs to talk. You guys are meant to be together Mart. I know it"
"I don't know Denny, it's been such a long time"
"Yeah 12 years, I know, and I know that you're still in love with her"
"Come off it Denny. This isn't a fairy tale, this is real life"
"Well, I know you two better than anyone, and I know that she's missed you as much as you've missed her"
"So you keep telling me"
"Anyway, I'd better go. I'm meeting Chimera for dinner at eight"
"Alright, but promise you'll phone me tomorrow"
"Why? There's something you're not telling me"
"I can't Mart, it's better that you hear it from Chimera. I'll speak to you tomorrow And Mart…"
"Tell Chimera I said Hi"
Martin hung up the phone and sat for a moment. What was Dennis hiding? Eventually he reached for his trainers. Well he couldn't put it off any longer, they would have to talk. He grabbed a bottle of wine from the kitchen and headed for the door.
Chapter 3: Anticipation
Chimera paced back and forth, again and again. Everything in her apartment raised itself into the air a couple of inches as she passed. Why was she so worried? Seeing Martin had been wonderful. Nervously she looked at her watch. 7:30 half an hour. She had to calm down. Everything was going to be OK. He hadn't thrown her out of his office as she had expected. She had been dreading today for so long, dreading and anticipating it. She had longed to see him as much as she had feared his possible reaction. She hated how she had left things with him all those years ago.
That night she had completely lost control. It was then that she had realised that she couldn't be around him. He brought out the animal in her. As appealing as that sounded, she couldn't let it happen.
She had panicked that night. She had locked herself in her room, sitting on the floor clutching her knees and rocking back and forth, waiting for the control to return. She had wanted so much to go back, to finish what they had started, but it was too dangerous. The thing that scared her the most was the taste of his blood. She had liked it. She craved it, almost as much as she craved him. It was then that she had known. She was a monster, and monsters don't get a happy ending.
Dennis had knocked on her door not long after she had come home. Was she OK? Why wasn't she at Martin's? So through a shower of tears she had explained, knowing that Martin had done the same over the phone. After all Dennis hadn't been due back for hours. Martin had phoned him, knowing that she wouldn't want to see him yet, but worried, wanting to check that she was OK. Poor Dennis had been stuck in the middle ever since.
Chimera had written to Martin before she left for college. She wanted to explain why she couldn't see him. Why she had to leave. But there was so much she hadn't said. It was too hard. She couldn't explain how much she wished she could stay, or how much she really wanted him. She had relived that night so often in her dreams and each time she had been in control. Each time in her dreams they ended up together, they had their happy ending.
When the buzzer sounded, Chimera jumped. She ran to the entry phone with her heart pounding in her chest. Why had she let her thoughts wonder? There was no happy ending. She couldn't allow herself to think like that. "Hello" she breathed into the phone, trying to banish her fantasies. "Hi, It's Martin" His face exploded into her thoughts. She saw him as he had been that night as she pushed him onto his bed, his eyes wide and his mouth hungry, wanting her. She pushed the image aside cursing her visual memory. "Come on up" She hung up the phone and collapsed against the wall exhausted. How was she going to get through tonight? How was she going to tell him why she was here, why she needed his help?
Martin climbed the stairs fighting to gain control of his emotions. His heart pumped harder as he neared her door. How was he going to get through tonight? It was one thing in his office where nothing could happen, but tonight they would be alone in her apartment. He leaned against her door for a moment, trying to collect his thoughts into some sort of coherent structure before he knocked.
Chimera opened the door and looked into his eyes. Those deep blue eyes filled with promises that made her pulse race and her control waned. "Come in" she said as she opened the door wider.
They walked together into the kitchen, neither one of them knowing how to start the conversation. "So…" Martin hazarded as he put the bottle he was holding onto the kitchen counter. "Em…" Chimera responded searching desperately for something to say. "Nachos?" It had been so much easier in his office, but now they knew they needed to talk, they couldn't. As he watched her retrieve the tortia chips from a cupboard above her head a topic revealed itself to Martin.
"I was listening to a great CD today" he said watching her closely for any sign that she knew what he meant. "Yeah" was all she said as she got the plates out. "I think you'd like them" he teased, knowing she hadn't caught his meaning. "They had some Greek Mythological name" Chimera stopped in her tracks and stood up slowly. It couldn't be, how could he have that CD. "What?" She said turning to face him. "It was Gorgons, or Fates, or Daemons, or something" He leant against the kitchen table, his grin widening and his eyebrows rose. "Mart!" she exclaimed punching his arm. "What did you think?" she added nervously. "I told you, I liked it! Now where are your wine glasses? I'm going to need some alcohol if you plan to beat me up"
Everything is going to be alright, he thought as he poured the wine into two large glasses. Everything is going to be great.
Chapter 4: Secrets Revealed
They had spent the majority of the evening on the sofa eating their nachos and drinking their wine. They told each other stories, Chimera talked about the band and her flourishing design career while Martin talked about the university.
They reminisced about their time at school and about Dennis. Slowly it seemed that they were edging their way back to the way things used to be. Martin began to hope that maybe they didn't have to talk about what happened that night. Maybe they could get past it without the pain of bringing it up.
Chimera drained her glass and stood up. "I think it's time to open another bottle." She said leaning over to pick up the plates and she made her way towards the kitchen. Martin picked up his glass and followed her.
As he watched her open another bottle of wine, Martin lost what was left of his resolve. He couldn't stop himself anymore. He put his glass onto the counter behind her positioning himself to block her in. "Martin?" she protested as he took the bottle from her. It was now or never.
He leant in brushing his lips against hers, softly at first and then hungrily as she gave in pushing her body into his. He moved his hands up her back enjoying the taste of her again. But then she stiffened pushing him away with her mind. She pushed him so hard he banged painfully into the kitchen table.
"We can't!" she said breathing hard. Her eyes sparkled like emeralds, but Martin couldn't tell if it was from his kiss or from the buzz of using her powers. Either way it made him want her even more. "Why not?" he asked, as much the predator as she was "You can't tell me you don't want to".
No she couldn't deny it. Their minds had been working on the same track. "That's not the point, we can't, I can't." She had heard his thoughts when he kissed her. How could she explain it to him when all she wanted to do was finish that kiss. "Why not?" he asked again grabbing her shoulders to stop her retreat. "Damn it Chimera, talk to me! Don't keep me out of your life!" It would just be easier to show him. It had to be, anything was easier than trying to explain what she felt. "Sit down" she said finally "And I'll tell you why".
Chimera sat across from Martin at the table and wondered how to start. She would have to give some explanation. It wouldn't do to scare him too much. Eventually she took a deep breath and began.
"I've changed a lot since I left" she said "I know you don't think so, but I have. When I left I thought I was a monster, but now I know it's true. No, Martin please, just listen. Recently I've been having rather disturbing dreams. And since the dreams started I've become stronger than ever and I've developed some new talents."
Chimera stood up with the intention of retrieving the open wine bottle when she remembered where she was. She was at home with no one to see but Martin. She sat down again and simply lifted her hand. The bottle propelled itself into her hand and she took a swig.
"New talents?" Martin asked still amazed by the precision her levitations had obtained over the many years they had been apart. Chimera reached out and touched Martin's hand. She had to show him what she could do.
"You marked 17 papers this afternoon after I left. Then you taught a class on Homer's Iliad. When you got home you changed, phoned Dennis and thought about the prom. Now you're wondering how I know all this and hoping like hell that I can't see your developing vampirism fetish."
She grinned broadly displaying her fangs. Martin yanked his hand away, but he looked straight into her eyes. Had she really just read his mind? Her eyes were still green, but not as green as before. She was calm, she was serious, and she really had been reading his mind.
"I'm telepathic now" she said "But only with human contact and I can only read what's on the top. I can't force myself into someone's mind if they don't want me there."
Now it was Martins turn to stand up. He walked back and forth a couple of times trying to absorb what he had just heard. "Anything else?" he asked not sure he wanted to know the answer. With a move of her hand, a candlestick migrated towards Chimera from the middle of the table. She made to blow air across it and Martin jumped. He had been watching her closely, but he had not been expecting the stream of flame that issued from her mouth lighting the wick. "I don't think they have a scientific name for that one" she said smiling up at him.
"Are you alright" she asked as she handed him a glass of water. Martin nodded his head but he couldn't bring himself to speak. "I knew you'd freak out" she said sitting down heavily. Her eyes were now their usual chocolate brown. The buzz of power had faded and now Martin could see that she was worried.
"I'm fine" he said catching her eye "Really, I'm fine. This doesn't change anything between us." She shook her head standing up to pace the floor. "Yes it does Mart. I have no idea what's happening to me. I'm not even sure that I know who I am anymore." He stood up and grabbed her arm. "I know who you are, and no matter what you may think at the moment, you are not a monster". She looked straight into his eyes then "Yes I am, or at least in my dreams I am."
"That's why I came back" she said freeing herself from his grip. "You're the only one who can help me understand what's happening." As soon as she said it she wished she hadn't, she could see the hurt in his face then. She wished she could be there the way he wanted her. A couple of years ago, before the dreams, she had been ready to come back. She had been in control then, but she had been scared. Scared that he had moved on and forgotten her. Apparently her fears had been unfounded. She wished so much that she had come back then. "You're the only one I trust" she added.
They stood for a while in silence, just looking at each other. "Why do you need my help?" he asked eventually sitting down. "The dreams I've been having" she said "I need to know if there is any truth in them." Martin was still confused, "What are these dreams?" he asked. With a lot of effort, Chimera made herself sit down and made herself say it. "I've been dreaming about The Chimaera, the Greek monster. I think she may have been real. I need you to help me research her."
Chapter 5: Destruction of Lycia
Chimera opened her eyes and looked around. She was in a small hut. Oh no, not again. She stood up and walked towards the window. She was dressed in a loose linen tunic but her feet were bare. Looking out of the small window she recognised her surroundings.
The hut was on the side of a volcanic mountain. All around volcanic springs and geothermal vents were spurting into the air. Chimera walked to the door and stepped outside. The ground beneath her feet was warm and oddly comforting. This whole place was oddly comforting. She knew this dream wouldn't end well, she knew that she would wake up screaming, but still this place felt right. Here she wasn't confused, here she knew who she was, here she felt more like herself than she ever had.
Chimera walked slowly down the hill towards Phaselis. She didn't know why she was heading towards the town but she couldn't stop herself. Further down the hill Chimera reached a dirt track. She followed it towards the town in a day dream.
As Chimera rounded the corner she spotted him, a soldier, by the looks of his uniform, a Lycian soldier. Probably one of King Iobates personal guard. The realisation awakened something inside her. She had no idea what made her do it, but she couldn't stop herself. Chimera strode towards the soldier with a grin on her face. If she was going to do this, she was going to enjoy it.
Chimera felt the fire building up inside her; the heat started in her stomach and rose up through her chest and into her arms. Her head swam with the power surging through her and she knew that all it would take was a push.
Chimera pushed. She heard the man's screams but she didn't care. She saw him writhing in pain as the flames consumed him. Faintly she heard herself laughing. Was she really enjoying this? She couldn't believe how powerful she felt. There was electricity coursing through her. For the first time in a long time she felt in control. She was beautiful and powerful and it felt right.
Chimera walked away from the pile of ashes and continued towards Phaselis. She knew what she had to do. She had no idea why it felt so good but it compelled her towards the town.
There were no survivors as she left the newly created ruins of Phaselis. Flames ravished the once great town as Chimera made her way home. The buzz was still running through her and she felt fantastic.
Chimera woke up drenched in sweat and screaming. She really was a monster. She turned her head slowly and looked at the clock on her bedside table. 6:30. There wasn't much point in going back to sleep now. She lay back and stared at the ceiling.
Eventually Chimera reigned in her thoughts and grabbed the phone. "Martin? Hi, can I meet you for lunch today; I had another one of those dreams." When she had put the phone down, Chimera forced herself to get out of bed.
As she stepped into the shower, Chimera broke down. She couldn't take it anymore. The tears overwhelmed her and she collapsed onto the floor. It wasn't just what she had seen in her dream; it was what she had felt. She had to keep telling herself it was only a dream. She shouldn't feel so guilty for something in her subconscious. But then, why was this in her
subconscious in the first place. Was she so insecure that she needed to destroy an entire town so that she could feel powerful? So that she could feel in control?
Eventually she dragged herself out of the shower cubicle and tried to control her emotions. How could things have gotten this bad? She couldn't allow her emotions to get the best of her. She had spent the last 12 years learning to control herself, for her own safety and the safety of others, she had to control herself.
Chapter 6: Chimera Remembers
Chimera made her way to the kitchen. Time to get back into a routine. She had a lot to do today. Had to get to the shop. There was a lot of remodelling to be done before she could open, which was due to happen in a few weeks. Luckily her friends would help. The rest of the band where arriving today to help her with her business.
As she made herself a quick breakfast, she tried to remember the details of her latest dream. Martin would want to know. As she ate she took her notebook and wrote down what she could remember.
Getting into her car she made her way to the university. She was looking forward to seeing her friends again. They had been there for her all the way through college. They had soon learned the truth about her, but they had stayed with her anyway.
Chimera walked towards her shop. It was still felt weird calling it her shop. As she neared the shop she recognised Anita standing outside waiting for her. Anita had been her roommate in halls at college. She had been so worried that first day.
How was she going to manage living with a complete stranger when she couldn't control herself around people she knew? She unlocked the door to her flat with her new key and looked inside.
"Hi, you must be Christine, I'm Anita" She looked up to see a slim brunette on the sofa across the room. "Actually, I prefer Chimera" she said extending her hand. She didn't know what made her do it, but this was a new start, why not a new name as well.
They got on well. It turned out that Anita was a bit of a new ager who helped Chimera learn to control her emotions through meditation. She had learned so much from Anita and they had been friends ever since. It had been Anita who had encouraged Chimera to write music, she had been the instigating force in the formation of 'The Daemons' and it had been Anita who had suggested Chimera pursue a design career. She had been right every single time.
Chimera brought her thoughts back to today and called out to her college roommate. "Hey, you found it ok then." Anita looked up at her and grinned while Chimera opened the door. "I couldn't wait" she replied "I wanted to get here early and hear all of the gossip about your lecturer friend." Chimera heard the innuendo in Anita's voice and sighed. "Nothing happened Annie, you know I can't go there right now." Anita frowned back at her, but there was sympathy in her eyes. "Yeah, and dancing around your feelings for this guy is so much better for you."
Anita dropped the subject after that for which Chimera was very grateful. She busied herself with checking the place over. There was so much to do before she could open. "This place is great Cai" Anita was in the back room, the room that would be used as Chimera's studio. "Yeah" she replied joining Anita as she inspected the closet bathroom in the corner. "Do you know what you're going to do with the space yet?" Chimera opened her mouth to reply when she heard the front door opening.
"Anybody home, I brought coffee!" Chimera turned to see Don coming in. Don had been in class with Chimera and Anita. Unbidden Chimera's thoughts went back to the first day in class when they had met him.
Chimera and Anita had been close from the start. By the time classes started they were fast friends. They walked into their first class arm in arm giggiling. As they surveyed the lecture theatre Anita elbowed Chimera in the ribs. "Look, that guy in the first row is totally hot." Chimera looked up to see an athletic goth with long dark hair and a beard looking straight at them. He grinned at them moving his rucksack aside indicating two seats next to him. Anita had steered a protesting Chimera over towards him and introduced herself. "Hi, I'm Anita and this is my roommate Chimera" He looked up at them extending his hand. "Hi, I'm Don."
"Chimera!" the voice brought her back into the present day. "You want this coffee or not" Chimera looked up from her thoughts. "Huh? Oh thanks Don" She took the coffee gratefully. "Sorry, I was miles away." Anita shook her head. "Chimera's been having the dreams again." It was then that Don started to look concerned. Chimera looked up at her two friends with defiance. "I'm fine, seriously, I'm meeting Martin for lunch so we can talk about it, find out what's going on" Don's eyebrows rose sarcastically "Really" Not again. Why did all of her friends have such one track minds?
By the time Will arrived Chimera had her sketchbook out. She was going over ideas for the shop floor with Anita while Don was investigating the attic storage. Anita had glanced up at the shop window and Chimera could almost hear the grin spread across her friends face, and knew he had arrived before she said anything. Will and Anita had been together for a long time now. Will had been Don's roommate, and ever since they had met, Will and Anita had been inseparable.
Chimera looked up to see Will coming through the door followed by Len. Len had been a bar tender at the College bar. Now everyone was here they could start with the plans. Chimera couldn't help falling back into her memories.
After their first week of classes Don had suggested that the girls meet him and his roommate for a couple of drinks. Chimera and Anita had made their way to the bar wondering what this elusive roommate would be like. As soon as they walked into the bar they could see the boys at the bar. Will had turned around to greet them when Chimera heard Anita's breath hitch. "Hi, I'm Will" Anita would have swooned right there if Chimera hadn't nudged her sharply in the ribs.
The four of them had spent the rest of the evening by the bar laughing together. Chimera couldn't believe how great this was. She had really landed on her feet. However, the more Chimera had to drink, the less control she had over her abilities. She really had to focus when speaking to the barman. If she wasn't careful the bottles behind the bar would move on their own, as if to make Chimera a cocktail without his intervention. "Are you alright?" the barman had asked, he was a tall slim blonde by the name of Len. "I'm fine" she had replied trying to slow her breathing the way Anita had shown her on their first night. "You sure, because I can see those bottles your trying so hard not to move" It was then that Chimera let go of the bottles and they smashed onto the floor. Her friends looked up at her then, and they were all ushered into the storage room by Len.
So Chimera had had to explain to her friends, and the until now unknown bartender, about her unusual abilities. Anita had already know of course, but it hadn't made it any easier. They had been so understanding, though that may have been partly due to the alcohol they had all consumed that night. Later Chimera had pulled Len aside. "How did you know about this?" He shrugged at her before answering. "My grandmother was telekinetic, not as powerful as you, but it taught me to deal with this kind of thing."
Chimera brought herself back to the plans for her shop. Her day had started so badly with her nightmare, but now she was with her friends discussing her new business. Still, as great as this was she wished that Martin was here.
Chapter 7: Meeting the Monster
Martin checked his watch as he sat behind his desk. Nearly one. She should be here soon. He stood up and made his way to the bookcase. He took some large volumes of the shelf and placed them on his desk. He was worried. Chimera had sounded so scared this morning. She had tried to hide it but he could hear it in her voice.
Sitting back behind his desk Martin began sorting the volumes on his desk. "Tuna Salad?" Martin looked up to see Chimera leaning on the door frame. "What?" Chimera sat down on the other side of the desk and produced a couple of sandwiches from her shoulder bag. "Do you want Tuna Salad? It used to be your favourite" Realisation spread across his face. "Yeah, it still is."
As they ate Chimera described her dream to Martin. He listened intently, making notes, with a serious expression, which didn't help Chimera to keep her cool. Martin obviously thought that her dreams were serious business, which made it difficult for Chimera to dismiss them in her mind, and that's just what she wanted to do at the moment. She knew that she had to get to the bottom of these dreams, but she hated thinking about them. At the back of her mind there was always the nagging thought that maybe she was just crazy.
"I think our main problem is going to be finding anything definite about Chimaera. The written accounts of the legend are sparse. She is depicted on vases and wall paintings more than she is in actual literature." Chimera listened carefully to what Martin was saying, as well as taking a peak at the notes he had been making. She noticed that in his notes, Martin referred to her as 'Chimera' as she spelt it with the band and on her business forms, but when describing the mythical Chimaera he used the more formal 'Chimaera'. She also noticed that in a couple of Martin's books the name was spelt Khimaira. But of course none of that was really important.
"So where do we go from here?" Chimera asked, not sure whether she wanted to hear the answer. "Well, we compare your dreams to what we know about the legend. Anything that is in your dream but not in the mythology we research, see if we can find a connection. You mentioned that the town in your dream was called Phaselis. That's a town near what is now thought to be the starting point of the legend. Then there is King Iobates. You mentioned him as well. He was the king who supposedly sent Bellerophon to kill The Chimaera." It seemed they were in for the long haul. There was no way she was going to get her answers quickly or easily, not that she had ever expected to.
They spent the whole of Martin's lunch break looking through the Myths of The Chimaera. There seemed to be a few things that tied up with Chimera's dreams. Some of her previous dreams had involved her part in natural disasters, Earthquakes, floods, droughts, volcanic eruptions, storms and shipwrecks, all of which were listed as consequences of seeing The Chimaera. She had also dreamt about being a three headed fire breathing creature, part lion, part goat and part serpent. That of course was not a surprise. Everyone knew about that part of the legend. In fact it was that dream that had convinced Chimera that she was dreaming about her namesake. After the first dream she had remembered a quote, from Homer or something describing the Chimaera: 'She was of divine race, not of men, in the fore part a lion, in the hinder a serpent and in the middle a goat, breathing forth in terrible manner the force of blazing fire.'
Eventually they packed their books away, The first of many research sessions at an end. Martin said that he would contact some people he knew in Turkey, Archaeologists in the region of what is thought of as Mount Chimaera. He wouldn't tell them the reason of course, but they may be able to shed some light on some of the details in Chimera's dreams. Chimera promised to keep Martin informed, and then she left.
As Martin watched her go he let out an exhausted sigh. This whole thing was obviously tearing Chimera apart, but he knew he couldn't get to close. They had to keep things professional. It was the only way he was going to get through this and help her. Only then would they be able to get back to the subject of them. He knew that she was just as worried about their relationship as he was. They would just have to deal with it.
Chimera made her way back to the shop. She still had a lot of planning to do before they could start decorating. She had left her sketchbook with Anita. No doubt there would be a pile of sketches for her to look through. She couldn't let her bizarre dreams get in the way of her business plans. She wished that she didn't find it so difficult being around Martin. She didn't know how long she could push her feelings down. Yet again Chimera had to control her emotions for the good of those around her. It was so frustrating.
Chapter 8: Chimera Clothing
Chimera looked at herself in the mirror again. She was a walking advertisement for Chimera Clothing. Everything she was wearing had started life as a doodle in her sketchbook. The thought gave her comfort. Today was a big deal. It had taken weeks of hard work to get to this point. The shop was finally opening. Why was she so nervous. Everything was going to be OK.
Turning around to find her keys Chimera realised how nervous she must really be. Her living room was a mess. It's a good job that she had given up on ornaments years ago, at least fragile ones. Her tastes, dictated by her abilities, favoured chunky furniture and decorations. However as her powers had developed, she discovered that no sofa would stay in one place for long. With a sigh Chimera called her keys to her and left. She would have to deal with this mess later. Why did she keep getting in the way of her own life.
It was still quiet when she reached the shop. She still had a couple of hours before opening and she was really nervous. She would feel better when the others got here, she always did. Chimera did one final check of the shop floor before retreating to her studio. She knew she wouldn't be able to get any sketches done today but there was a sofa back there and that's what she needed right now. Somewhere to sit and calm down.
Len arrived soon afterwards with the electronics that still had to be set up. The security cameras and monitors where all set up, but Chimera wanted another monitor set up on the shop floor so they could play music videos. "Morning Cai, Where do you want this?" Making her way through to the shop floor Chimera took the TV from Len with her mind. "Morning" She manoeuvred the monitor up onto a shelf and plugged it into the wall.
By opening time Anita and Will had arrived but there was no sign of Don. No time to think about that now. There were people, students mainly, waiting outside. Chimera took a long deep breath and nodded for Anita to open the door. Well this is it, now we find out whether it has all been worth it. Now she would finally find out what people really thought of Chimera Clothing.
By lunchtime the shop was mobbed. It was more than Chimera could have ever hoped for. For once it seemed that everything was going well. Don arrived then with lunch, a peace offering no doubt for being late. It was then that she saw that Don wasn't alone. It seems Don has met someone and that made Chimera smile.
"Hey Cai, I brought lunch, sorry I'm so late." Don made his way through the crowded shop to the studio with his date in tow. "That's alright, give me one of those Panini's and we're even. Aren't you going to introduce me?" Chimera indicated the slim brunette now wondering around the studio. "Oh, right. Chloe! Chloe this is Chimera" Chloe walked towards them her face pulled into a fake smile. "Hi, I'm Chloe. Don has told me so much about you." Chimera looked at Don. Told her so much about me, huh, I wonder how much he left out, Judging by the look on Chloe's face not a lot.
Chloe hung around for the rest of the day. She seemed to have an instant dislike for Chimera which was rather disconcerting for her. On the whole though the day was a great success. As she opened the door to her apartment Chimera remembered the mess she had made that morning. "Crap!" If she didn't deal with it now she wouldn't do it for days, but she had one thing she had to do first.
Chimera picked her way to the phone and dialled.
"Hi Dennis, It's Me"
"Denny I told you not to call me that!"
"I know Chimera, but it drives you crazy, and what else are big brothers for. How was the opening, that was today wasn't it."
"Yeah, it was today. It went really well actually, loads of people turned up..."
"Come on Cai, your upset about something, I can tell, what is it?"
"There's nothing, nothing's wrong really."
"It's nothing, it's just Don came in with this new girlfriend of his, and I don't think she liked me very much."
"Does that matter?"
"Not really, she just made me uncomfortable."
"Well kick her out, it's your shop."
"I'm sorry Cai, it's just I never liked Don much and..."
"I wonder why that could be"
"What I'm your big brother, I'm not supposed to like the guys you date. It's like a rule or something."
"What about Martin then?"
"That's different. I like Martin, and he's like my best friend. I wish you guys would hurry up and sort things out already."
"Denny, I'm not having this argument again."
"Yeah, yeah, I know. I just think you two are so right for each other."
"That's not the point Dennis. I want to find out what's going on with me and these dreams before I start dating again. It's not that I don't like Martin, I do, It's just I don't trust myself with anyone just now."
"I know Cai, I know. Anyway I've got to go I'll phone you tomorrow."
"OK, I'll speak to you tomorrow."
Chimera hung up the phone and sighed. She loved her brother to bits but when he got an idea into his head he couldn't let it go. As she tidied up the living room Chimera thought about Dennis. He lived in their family home alone now. Ever since their parents had moved to Australia in their retirement, he had run the family business. She wondered how he managed sometimes, there on his own. She made a promise to herself then. She would go and visit sometime soon.
Chapter 9: Seduction of Daphnis
Chimera opened her eyes and looked around. Mount Chimaera. Crap. Looks like she was in for another sweat drenched awakening. She walked over to the door and stepped into the now familiar scenery. Instead of her usual route however she found herself propelled towards a stream on the other side of the mountain.
As she approached the stream Chimera heard the musical lilt of a voice. "Swear to me Daphnis, swear that you will always be faithful." Chimera tried to suppress the laughter rising in her throat. Nymphs. She knew this nymph. It was Nomia. She was rubbing Daphnis in Chimera's face. Why else would she be here, on her mountain, making him take this oath.
"I swear it, may I be blinded if it is not so." Daphnis sat by the stream looking up at Nomia as she stood in front of him. Chimera felt rage build up inside her. Somehow she knew deep inside her that Daphnis was meant to belong to her. And here on this Mountain Chimera got whatever Chimera wanted. Right now Chimera wanted Daphnis.
As she watched them she was overwhelmed by memories that only came to her in this place. Daphnis was one of the many sons of Hermes. He was a writer of poetry and beloved of the gods. Pan had taught him to play the pipes and he was often seen hunting with Artemis. Nomia and Chimera had been competing for his affections for some time now. But Chimera had one advantage over innocent little Nomia. Chimera was willing to play dirty.
Chimera made her way back to the little hut and found the bottle she was looking for. It was a bottle of Dionysian Entheogen. She took the bottle and a couple of glasses and made her way back outside.
She had been sitting on a large rock watching the geothermic vents spurt steam into the air for some time before he appeared. "Chimaera" Without looking round she replied "Greetings Daphnis, I see you have made your choice." He sat down next to her sadly. "I am sorry Chimaera" She laughed "No you're not Daphnis, but I wish you nothing but happiness." She poured the golden liquid into two glasses and handed him one. "Drink with me Daphnis, to your happiness."
It did not take them long to finish the bottle. Chimera sipped while Daphnis swallowed glass after glass. As she stood he struggled to get to his feet. "You cannot travel now Daphnis, the wine has greatly affected you. Stay with me a while." He took the arm she offered and they made their way to Chimera's hut.
Daphnis sat on her bed while Chimera sat on a chair across the room. "Won't you sit here with me Chimaera" It was just what Chimera had been hoping for. "I did not think that would be allowed. I am sure Nomia would not approve." She made her way across the room while she waited for his reply. "Just because I have made my choice does not mean we cannot be friends" She sat down next to him on her bed and knew that she had won.
Chimera moved closer to Daphnis and put her hand on his thigh. "I cannot deny Daphnis that I was greatly disappointed when I learned of your choice." He turned towards her and looked into her eyes. "Chimaera?" She stopped his thoughts placing her finger over his mouth. "ssh" She leaned in and kissed him. She fought hard to suppress a smile as he kissed her back.
The secret to seduction, Chimera knew is to let him hang himself. That's why she wasn't surprised when Daphnis pushed her down onto the bed. Suddenly his hands were everywhere. It always amazed Chimera how men could go from nothing to full on desperate hands passion in an instant. In no time she was naked beneath him, waiting. It had to be his move. He leaned in kissing her as he entered her. Chimera felt the power flowing through her knowing she was in control. Knowing that she could have whatever she wanted. No one could get in her way. No one could stop her.
When Daphnis pulled out he collapsed beside her, and almost instantly he was asleep. The sun was setting as Chimera lay there in his arms. She always got what she wanted, and that was a wonderful feeling.
"Daphnis!" Chimera woke with a start as Daphnis jumped out of bed. Slowly she reached down to get the blanket from where it had fallen onto the floor and then she sat against the wall with her knees pulled up to her chest grinning like a cat. Daphnis tried his best to calm Nomia down, but as he was still naked it wasn't going very well. "You Swore! You Swore!" She shouldn't have rubbed it in my face, Chimera thought as she watched the scene unfold before her.
Nomia was pacing now. Back and forth, back and forth. Chanting something under her breath. Daphnis fell to his knees screaming. Chimera just sat there watching. She knew what was happening. Nomia was blinding him. Chimera knew that and she just sat there grinning, her eyes a flash of green.
Chapter 10: A Woman Scorned
Chimera woke up drenched in sweat. Well that was different. She could cope with the other dreams, at least she knew what to expect now. But this was different. Before in her dreams she was power hungry, but now she was jealous and manipulative with it. Could she really think like that. Was that what was behind her distrust of Chloe? Was she just jealous? Had she imagined Chloe's instant dislike? Was she that unstable?
She forced herself out of bed and made her way to the bathroom. She washed her face in the sink and looked at herself in the mirror. There was no way around it. Things were getting worse. She couldn't go on like this much longer. At least it was a week day. She could talk to Martin about it today. Although, she wasn't sure she could talk about this sort of thing with Martin yet. There was still a lot of sexual tension between them.
Chimera was so distracted as she got ready to go into work that she had to change several times before she was anywhere near coordinated and she burned her breakfast several times. In a way she missed her old dreams. They had become so much a part of her routine that she barely noticed them. She hoped so much that this new dream didn't go the same way. The thought of waking up from that every morning didn't appeal at all. It was strange to think that her murderous dreams disturbed her less than her dream last night, but before she had felt somewhat detached from her actions, now she had felt so certain, she had been completely behind her vindictive decisions, and that scared her more.
Eventually Chimera pulled herself together enough to make her way to work. She had forgotten however that Don was working today. "Chimera, are you alright? You look dreadful." Don was putting a music DVD into the machine as she entered. "What? No I'm fine, I didn't sleep well." Don frowned at her from across the room. "The dreams again?" Chimera made her way to the studio as she spoke. "Yes...No...Sort of. It wasn't the usual dream. What have you told Chloe about me?"
Don sat next to Chimera on the sofa and looked at her thoughtfully. "What do you mean? I told her about 'The Daemons' and about the shop and college" Chimera's head snapped up. "What about College? You didn't talk about us did you? Because I got the feeling she doesn't like me much." Chimera knew the answer as Don squirmed in his seat. "I may have mentioned something about it, she wanted to know about my ex's..." Chimera dropped her head into her hands. "Great!" An arm fell across Chimera's shoulder when he replied. "Chimera I couldn't just miss it out, and besides, it's not as if I'm ashamed or anything. It's not like anything is going to happen between us again. I'm with Chloe now, and you're so hung up on Martin." That earned Don a glare but, he was right of course. They had nothing to be ashamed of. Sitting there, they couldn't help but reminisce.
The three of them had been studying most of the day; Chimera, Don and Anita. They had an exam the next day and nothing seemed to be going in. Anita had given up when Will appeared, she left with Will in pursuit of a drink while the other two kept at it. Eventually they too gave up and sat on the sofa together, each with a beer in their hands watching some nonsense on the TV. Unconsciously they moved closer together on the sofa. Eventually they ended up lying together on the sofa with Chimera's head resting on Don's chest.
"Chimera get me another beer, I can't get up" Chimera flicked through the channels looking in vain for something interesting. "I'm not getting up, I'm comfortable" Don snorted and took the remote from her. "Who said you had to get up, come on you won't get any better at controlling it if you don't practice." So Chimera turned her head towards the fridge behind them, she still had to see things to move them back then. She managed to open the fridge door without difficulty but the beer bottles gave her more trouble. Eventually they each had a fresh beer in their hands. "See, I knew you could do it." Chimera opened her beer with her key ring. "How come the only time you encourage me to do that is when you want a drink."
Chimera hadn't expected it, but it was then that Don leaned down and kissed the top of her head. "What was that for?" She asked looking up at him. "For getting me a beer of course." But then he leaned down and kissed her properly. After a moment of shock, Chimera kissed him back. Their beers sat forgotten on the coffee table while Chimera manoeuvred herself onto Don's lap. What the hell was she doing? She had no idea but she wasn't going to stop now. She hadn't even been interested in anyone since Martin, but now she was here with Don and she realised that she wanted him. She had gained so much control over the last few months. Why should she stop. She had told Martin to get on with his life, it was about time she did the same.
"Chimera, we should stop." Don said as he pulled away. "Why?" Chimera asked confused. "Anita could be home anytime. We should probably move this through to your room." He looked at her hopefully and Chimera grinned. She stood up and held out her hand leading Don to her bedroom.
Back in Chimera's studio they looked at each other for a long time. They hadn't dated long. Chimera had felt guilty because she still wasn't over Martin. Something she had never quite managed to achieve and they had decided it was best to go back to being friends. It had been an easier transition than either of them expected. But at that moment, they had both been remembering that day. They both leant in at the same time for a kiss they would both regret.
"Don!" Oh crap. The sound brought them both back to the real world at lightning speed. They jumped away from each other and looked towards the door. Chloe was standing there full of rage. Chimera backed away as far as she could as Don moved towards his girlfriend. Chloe ran through to the main part of the shop before Don managed to catch her arm. "Chloe wait!" Chimera moved slowly towards the doorway dreading what she would see. Chloe was screaming at Don but Chimera couldn't hear the words.
Chloe broke away from Don and picked up as many things as she could throwing them at him. Chimera saw everything in slow motion as a pen struck Don in the face. "Shit! My Eye!" Chloe ran crying from the room then as Don crumpled onto the floor. "I can't see!" Chimera moved towards him tentatively. "Don are you alright?" As Chimera went to put a hand on his shoulder he shrugged her away. "I'm fine! Just give me a minute."
Chimera left in a panic induced silence. It was too much of a coincidence. How could this have happened. Now she was ruining other people's lives as well as her own. Had she seen this coming or had she caused it. She couldn't wait till lunch. She had to talk to Martin. She had to know if what she had dreamt was from the legends or a product of her deranged subconscious. She just had to hope he was in his office.
Chapter 11: Confessional
Martin was sitting behind his desk when the door slammed open of its own accord. "Hello Chimera" he said without looking up, but then she strode in screaming. "They're coming true! They're coming true!" Martin looked up from his desk, trying hard to read her expression. What he saw in her face terrified him. "Wait a minute Chimera. Start from the beginning. What are coming true?" She took a long deep breath trying desperately to control her emotions. By the looks of things she wasn't doing very well as Martins papers rose haphazardly into the air.
Eventually Chimera was calm enough to begin. Martin was very worried now. He had never seen her so upset. "I had a different dream last night. I was still on Mount Chimera. But it was different..."
Martin waited patiently for Chimera to finish. He had some vague feeling that he had heard this story somewhere before, not in any great detail, but he knew it from somewhere. When she had finished he poured her a glass of water. She seemed calmer now but he could see the vein of panic running just below the surface.
As Chimera drank her water Martin scanned the bookshelf. Eventually he found what he was looking for and stood up to retrieve it. Pulling the volume down from the shelf he looked over at her, noticing for the first time how fragile she looked. Fragile, it was strange to think of her like that. She had always appeared so strong, at least physically. Now he saw how emotionally vulnerable she was.
Martin flicked through the book for some time before he found it. Just a small reference. Nothing much. He read it out loud to her. "This book mentions Daphnis briefly, it says that he was the son of Hermes. But it also says: Nomia made him swear never to be unfaithful to her, on pain of being blinded. But her rival, Chimaera, contrived to seduce him when he was drunk, and Nomia blinded him in fulfilment of her threat."
Martin explained that the story of Nomia and Daphnis was taken from a phallic pillar at Cephalenitanum and nowhere else. It was unlikely that Chimera had heard the story and locked it into her subconscious. This meant that she really was channelling The Chimaera. It wasn't all in her head. Chimera sighed with relief. She wasn't just crazy. Now she just had to come to terms with the fact that she was dreaming about a woman who had been dead for thousands of years, and that by some strange coincidence these dreams were beginning to happen to her.
"There is still something I don't understand Chimera. When you came in you said 'They are coming true' What did you mean?" Oh great. There was no avoiding it. She had to tell Martin about Don. All about Don. No point in leaving anything out now. She took a deep breath and began.
Martin sat in silence for a long time. What had he expected. Did he really think that Chimera had waited all this time. He hadn't waited. So why was he so upset. He knew it was irrational, but he was jealous. Maybe it was the fact that Don was still in her life. He was still her friend. That made it worse, but why.
Chimera tried to explain why she and Don had broken up in the first place. And he knew it shouldn't, but that made him feel better. She hadn't been over HIM. She still wasn't. She had ended a possible relationship with someone else because she couldn't forget about HIM. God he was the most selfish man on the planet. Wasn't she allowed to be happy? The answer, he knew, was No. He didn't want her to be happy with anyone but him. He really was not doing either of them any favours thinking like that but he couldn't stop. When had he become so possessive?
Chimera stood up. She had told her story. She had confessed it all and now she just needed to get out of here. She had so much to think about. And she couldn't sit there any longer with Martin staring at her like that. She had upset him, she knew she had. "I'm going to go home and lie down." Without another word she left his office. Why did she have to wreck everything. How could she justify being around anyone else when all she did was break people apart. What kind of Monster had she become.
Martin sat looking at the door for a long time after she left. He had spent twelve years wishing that Chimera was back in his life, but now that she was he realised that this was harder. He had managed to survive when he knew that he couldn't have her because she wasn't there, but now he had to see her everyday and know that he still couldn't have her. It was torture. He didn't know how long he could keep doing this. But he had to. She needed his help.
He picked up the phone on his desk. If he was going to do this he had to know everything. No more surprises. He had to find out everything that had happened to Chimera in the past decade.
"Hi Dennis. It's Martin. There's some stuff I Need to know so I can help your sister. Why didn't you tell me about Don?"
"Please Dennis. I need to know everything"
Chapter 12: Brotherly Love
Chimera looked at the empty bottle in her hand. She knew this wasn't a good idea. She had known that when she opened the damn bottle, but she didn't know what else to do. Right now all she wanted to do was drown her sorrows in a wave of alcohol. So far it didn't seem to be working to well. She felt worse now rather than better
She had received a phone call from Anita earlier in the day. Don was fine. He had taken himself to the hospital not long after she had left. He would have to wear a patch for a while and Chloe wasn't talking to him, but apart from that he was going to be fine. That didn't make Chimera feel better at all. It didn't matter that Don was going to make a full recovery eventually, it was all still her fault. She didn't know how she was going to face her friends tomorrow. Everyone was going to be so mad at her.
The phone rang bringing Chimera out of her thoughts. Damn phone. The only reason she had left the bloody thing plugged in was because Dennis had promised to phone. She picked up the receiver trying desperately to keep her words from slurring.
"Chimera? Are you alright?"
"Don? I'm surprised your still talking to me"
"What! Why? This wasn't your fault."
"Of course it is. If it wasn't for me you wouldn't have got hurt, and Chloe wouldn't be mad at you."
"Ok, this self pitying crap has got to stop."
"Not everything is your fault. So stop taking the blame. It's not like I don't have a mind of my own. There is such a thing as free will."
"Don, you don't understand. That dream I had..."
"Martin came to see me this afternoon. He told me all about the dream."
"Then how can you not blame me for all this."
"Because it's not your fault. Don't worry, Chloe will get over it eventually, and I'm fine. I'll see you tomorrow afternoon. Alright... Chimera?"
"Alright. Ok. I'll see you tomorrow."
Chimera hung up the phone and went to get another bottle. OK so maybe not everyone was mad at her. Things would have been so much easier if they were. Then she could wallow in self pity, drink herself to death, and not worry about the crap her brain was spilling out in her dreams. She didn't want to have to think about that right now. There was so much she didn't want to think about right now. Like Martin. That was one topic she had to avoid.
As she started to make a dent in her second bottle the phone rang for a third time. If that wasn't Dennis she was going to scream.
"Chimera, are you alright?"
"Yeah Denny I'm fine, everything's peachy."
"Chimera have you been drinking?"
"Just a couple of Bottles"
"A couple of bottles of what Cai?"
"What? I'm an adult. Aren't I allowed to drink in my own apartment now."
"It's just not like you."
"Maybe that's a good thing."
"Chimera. What are you talking about."
"It's just... Maybe being unlike me is a good thing. Maybe everyone would be better off."
"Christine MacMillan! Shut the hell up right now!"
"I am not going to let you talk about yourself like that!"
"No Chimera I'm serious!"
"He called you didn't he."
"Martin, he called you."
"Of course he did. He was worried about you. He said you weren't dealing with this whole thing too well. He says he's never seen you this upset. Not since that night anyway."
"Denny please, I don't want to talk about this right now."
"You never want to talk about it."
"No, you're not going to get round me that easily. You can't keep hiding from him. He is trying to help you, and you won't even acknowledge how you feel about him."
"Denny. I can't, I can't think about that."
"Why not? Because then you might have to talk to him about it? Because then you might have to talk to him about that night? Because then you might have a chance at being happy?"
"You don't understand..."
"Like hell I don't! You're my sister! And I know you better than anyone. You won't talk about it because you don't think you can handle it. But you're still thinking about it. You're thinking about it all the time. And you say you can't deal with this until you can control your abilities better, but until you sort this out your emotions are going to be so up in the air there's no chance of you ever gaining control."
"Don't you Denny me. I'm saying this for your own good. Now when you hang up this phone I want you to put the rest of that bottle away and take yourself to bed. I know you're planning to stay awake tonight so that you don't have any more dreams, but you need some sleep."
"Hey, what are big brothers for. Now get some sleep."
Chapter 13: Good Dreams Gone Bad
Chimera didn't dream that night. She was too tired, and she slept too deeply. Things went back to normal after that, at least as normal as they ever had been. Her old dreams returned, but they didn't have the impact they once did. They almost seemed like good dreams compared to her dream about Daphnis. She never wanted to have that dream again.
A couple of weeks passed without event, until the night that would change Chimera's life for the better. That night she had the worst dream of them all, but they do say you have to walk through the darkness to reach the light at the other side.
Chimera opened her eyes to find herself on Mount Chimaera, but she wasn't alone. There was someone in bed with her. A naked someone? It wasn't Daphnis. She couldn't find the name in her memory, but she knew it was someone she loved, someone she trusted. Could it be she was actually having a good dream for once? She lay there for a while just enjoying the warmth of the body next to her.
Eventually she realised she would have to move. She needed to fetch some water from the stream to wash her face, but she didn't want to leave the warmth. The body beside her turned around in his sleep, so she got up then. She grabbed her tunic from the floor, dressed and made her way to the door.
The sun was climbing up over the horizon as she filled her clay bowl from the stream. She made her way back to the hut and placed the bowl onto the windowsill gazing at the scenery around her. She saw her surroundings in a different way now, before this place had filled her with dread. There had always been an association with destruction in this place, but now she saw the beauty of it.
As she gazed out of the window Chimera let her mind wonder. Could it be that The Chimaera had been peaceful here once? Had she been happy once, without the lust for power, the lust for control? She must have been normal once. She must have been happy once, Content.
Something didn't make sense to Chimera. She knew that her dream was not from a time before the others. This dream had happened after the destruction of Phaselis and the seduction of Daphnis. Somehow she knew that, and she felt as if she had been given something back. She had found something she had lost before all the destruction and manipulation. Had this man been in The Chimaera's life before she became a monster? If so why had he come back? What had changed? Why had she become a monster in the first place? She had so many questions. The answers seemed to be on the edge of her memory, just out of reach.
As she stood contemplating, two long muscular arms wrapped around her waist. A strong body pressed itself up against her back and a head rested on her shoulder. "Hail Chimaera, Goddess of the mountain" he chuckled into her ear. His breath sent shivers up and down her spine and she knew that she was happy. She knew that she had found something precious that she had lost a long time ago. "Hail Warrior of the king" she laughed. This was a good dream.
Then the arms moved away from her waist. The body against her back moved away and she started to turn. To find out what was wrong. It was then that she felt it. A sharp Pain in her lower back as one hand grabbed her waist to keep her still. She fell to her knees with one thought ringing in her mind. She deserved this. She was a monster. She deserved to die. But then she felt the rage built in her chest. She felt the fire building inside her. All it would take was a push. One push. But she couldn't do it. She couldn't hurt him. She deserved this. He was saving her from herself. But still the fire burnt inside her. She tried to scream but something was pushed down her throat. She felt it there, melting in her rage, choking her. She knew she was going to die. She looked up at him, he was still naked and his eyes were sad. "I'm Sorry" he said as he watched her die. One name echoed through her mind as she fell into darkness. "Bellerophon?"
Chimera woke up choking and terrified. She reached out for the glass of water on her bedside table and downed the whole thing. By the time she finished she could breathe again, but the blood was still pumping too fast through her veins. At least it was still pumping she thought, but that didn't make her feel any better.
Chimera looked over at her clock. 02:00. Great. How was she ever going to get back to sleep now? On impulse she picked up the phone by her bed. What was the worst that could happen? He could yell at her, tell her to go back to sleep, and tell her to call him at a more sensible time.
"Martin it's me."
"Chimera? What's wrong? Are you hurt?"
"I had another dream."
"It was horrible. I... I was dying, choking on something."
"I'll be there in 10minutes"
"Martin, you don't have to, I'm fine..."
"Chimera, you wouldn't have called if you were. I'll be there soon. And you can tell me all about it."
Chapter 14: Fantasies
Martin dressed in a panic. Chimera hadn't even tried to hide the fear in her voice over the phone. Had she really dreamt about dying. She had said something about choking. Hadn't Bellerophon suffocated The Chimaera with a lead pellet. Is that what she had seen. What she had experienced in her dream. If so, no wonder she was terrified.
He broke all sorts of speed limits on the way to her apartment. He didn't care. He just had to get to her. Make sure she was alright. He parked in the car park outside her building. He pressed her buzzer and the door clicked open immediately. She must have been waiting by the entry phone he thought as he ran up the stairs. Everything was going to be alright. It had to be.
Martin pushed Chimera's door open with such force that it banged against the wall. "Chimera? Are you alright? Chimera?" Then he saw her. She was sitting on the sofa with her knees pulled up to her chest rocking slowly back and forth. "Chimera? What happened?"
It took a while, and a big pot of tea, but Martin eventually managed to get her calm enough to talk about it. She recounted the dream in as much detail as she could while he listened. What terrified her the most it seemed wasn't the realisation that she was dying in her dream, it was the feeling that she deserved to die. It terrified her to feel like that. It was one thing to feel like a monster, it was another thing to want to die.
"How did she die?" Chimera looked at Martin. She was a lot calmer now, not so terrified. Talking about it, it seems, really did make it easier to deal with. "What?" Martin had drifted off into his own thoughts when she had finished talking. "In the legends, how did she die?" That was the problem, Martin thought. There were so many versions of the legend. Some said that Bellerophon shot darts at The Chimaera from the sky as he rode Pegasus. Some said that he thrust his lead tipped spear into her mouth. And some said that he shoved a lead pellet down her throat. Chimera's dream seemed to indicate the latter, but what about the great battle. The legends all talked about the epic battle between Bellerophon and The Chimaera. No legend had ever suggested that they were Lovers.
Martin described the death of The Chimaera as he knew it from legend. He talked about all of the different versions he knew. She sat quietly for a long time mulling it over before she said anything. "Huh, The weird thing is, with all the details I can remember, there was no flying horse. It's the sort of thing I would remember right." He couldn't help himself at that, Martin laughed. "Yeah, I would think you would remember something like that." She smiled at him then and stood up. "I think I need some more tea."
After she refilled the teapot Chimera sat back down next to Martin and sighed. "I suppose I just have to make sure no one shoves a lead pellet down my throat." He looked at her shocked. "Chimera, don't talk like that." He took her hand before he continued "I'm never going to let anyone hurt you." And she believed him. This was Martin. She had known him almost her entire life. In reality there had never really been anyone else. What did she have to lose? Dennis was right. She couldn't hide from this forever. She leant in and kissed him before she lost her nerve.
Martin pulled back when he realised what she was doing. "Chimera? Are you sure about this? You're upset." She smirked at him making his heart jump in his chest. "I've never been more sure of anything in my entire life" she said pushing him down onto the sofa. Damn, that was the sexiest thing he had ever heard. This time there would be no stopping them.
Suddenly they were both wearing far too many clothes. That was soon fixed in a tangle of frantic limbs and breathless kisses. Martin looked up into Chimera's now emerald eyes and realised that all of his fantasies were coming true. Well, all except one so far. He leant up and whispered in her ear. "Can you still read my mind?" He leant back down and looked up at her. She grinned back at him and he knew she still could as he watched her fangs extend. He closed his eyes and felt her move on top of him. As he entered her he felt her sink her teeth into his neck. "Fuck!" That was about it for coherent thoughts. The problem with fantasies is that more often than not real life cannot live up to it. This however was not the case with them.
"Fuck!" Martin exclaimed and Chimera giggled. "Is that all you can say?" she asked although she felt it to. "Pretty much" he replied running his hand across her back. He looked across the room then and realised how preoccupied they must have been. "Um, Chimera? Has your living room always looked like a bomb site?" She looked up noticing the room around her for the first time. "Crap! I must have been levitating. I'll clean it up in the morning." She stood up and held her hand out to him. "I think we could both do with some sleep." Now that sounded like a plan.
Chapter 15: Morning After
Chimera woke up with a feeling of contentment she couldn't place. Then she remembered. That's why she felt so good. Suddenly she had everything she had ever wanted because of one night. One wonderful night and one bad dream. She could feel the warmth of Martin behind her. One arm was draped across her waist so she leant over to kiss it. "Hmmm" he said waking up. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you up. Go back to sleep. Its Saturday" He tightened his hold around her waist and she felt him kiss her shoulder. "I'd rather stay awake with you." She smiled to herself hearing his thoughts. She wished she could make them come true but she had to get ready for work. "I can't, I've got to get ready for work. Have a lie in and I'll meet you for lunch. OK." Martin sighed heavily. "OK"
Reluctantly Chimera made her way to the shower. Only when she stood up did she realise that she was still naked. Oh well, that should save time. She climbed into the shower cubicle accompanied by thumps and crashes. What the hell was going on. She didn't seem to be able to stop levitating this morning. She shrugged it off and continued bathing.
Things were no better in the kitchen. She couldn't keep anything on the counter for long. "Are you alright?" she turned around and had to stifle a laugh. Martin was standing there in her dressing gown and slippers, all of which appeared to be far too small for him. "Very attractive" she said glad of the distraction. "Shut up, my clothes are still in the living room." He made to go and get them when a jar smashed down onto the counter. "Seriously Chimera, are you alright?"
She sat down at the kitchen table with a couple of slices of toast and sighed. "Yeah I'm fine. I just can't seem to control myself today." Martin smirked at her, one eyebrow raised. "Really?" She rolled her eyes "Not that kind of control Gutter brain. I mean I can't seem to stop levitating." Martin handed her a cup of coffee and then he poured his own. "Oh. I'm sure it will pass. How about you get to work. I'll tidy everything up here. And then I'll come and get you for lunch". That sounded like a very good plan.
Chimera would have left earlier but she couldn't seem to stop kissing Martin. "You're going to be late for work." He said, but she knew he didn't mean it, he still had his hands on her waist. "So what? I'm the boss remember. Ok... I'm really going this time. I'll see you in a few hours." She kissed him one more time and walked out of the door. No wonder she was having trouble with control today, her heart rate would not slow down. Part of her couldn't believe it had happened. It was almost as if she was dreaming, but her dreams never went this well.
By the time she got to the shop she was whistling. As she walked in the door she beamed at Will behind the counter. There was no music playing in the shop, and Chimera was in a singing mood so she flicked the monitor on with her mind. "Good-morning Will." Chimera hummed along to the music as she made her way into the studio. It was only when Will spoke that she realised he had followed her. "Chimera? Are you feeling alright?" She turned round to face him. "Of course I am. Why?" He shook his head at her but he was grinning. "Because that TV isn't plugged in. Len was going to take it away and get it fixed this afternoon."
OK something was going on. She had never been able to do anything like that before. "What happened last night?" Will asked again from the doorway. "Huh?" She had been so lost in her own thoughts she had barely heard him. "Well something must have happened, something's different. You were whistling when you came in. I don't think I've ever heard you whistle before. And then the TV. What's going on?" Chimera was about to answer when another voice interrupted. "I've heard her whistle before. It was a long time ago but I've heard it." Oh no Chimera thought. Anita had just walked in. "Last time I heard Chimera whistle was back in College" Crap! Damn Anita and her perfect memory. "Whistling means Chimera got laid."
Chimera sat on the sofa in the studio surrounded by her friends. She had refused to say anything before but now everybody knew that something had happened. Anita had taken immense pleasure in declaring Chimera had had sex knowing fine well that they would all rally round to force the details out of her. Fine. She had to tell them. She would definitely have to say something before Martin came to pick her up for lunch.
"Who was it?" "Come on you have to tell us or we'll start guessing" "Well I know who my first guess would be" They were all laughing now. "Alright! Alright! It was Martin OK! It was Martin! I had another dream last night, he came round to talk about it and we ended up in bed together alright!" She stood up trying to escape the sea of beaming faces. "About time!" Anita exclaimed. "Alright! Gossip session over, we have a shop to run remember." Well that was easier than expected. And it made everything real somehow. Maybe that's the reason she hadn't wanted to say anything. Telling them had meant admitting to herself that she was happy. And that was one emotion Chimera really wasn't use to.
Chimera only realised what time it was when the wolf whistling started. She had been sketching for most of the morning overcome with inspiration. "I'm assuming they know." She looked up from her desk to see him standing in the doorway. "I couldn't keep it in." She said standing up to greet him with a kiss. "Let's go get some lunch"
Chapter 16: Tomb of 'The Chimeara'
Martin sat behind his desk daydreaming. Things were actually going well. It had been a couple of months since that first night with Chimera and they were now inseparable. Chimera hadn't had any more dreams recently and she was starting to cope with the sudden increase in her abilities. Their research had come to a dead-end though. They still had no idea what was happening to Chimera or why she was the way she was.
He sat tapping his pen on the open textbook in front of him. He had contacted everyone he knew in the field but nothing had come of it as of yet. They had been over every volume on Greek Mythology in the University as well as the more obscure books in Martin's own collection without learning anything. He was pretty sure now that The Chimaera was a real person and that his Chimera was channelling her memories somehow but they had no idea why.
The ringing of his phone brought Martin out of his daydream. "Hello, Martin Richards." It was an old friend, Dr Percival Dart. He was on a dig in Turkey and one of the professors Martin was anxious to hear from. It turned out that Dr Dart had discovered a tomb near what is now known as Mount Chimaera. The tomb looked like it could be the final resting place of The Chimaera. Martin could hardly believe it. This could be the answer to everything. This could be their chance.
Martin put the phone down in a state of shock. Dart had asked him to come and see the tomb. He had been interested in Martin's research on the possibility of The Chimaera's existence and wanted his opinion on the tomb. He would have to leave in a couple of days and he could be out there for months.
Chimera was sitting in her studio at the shop sketching when the door opened. "Hey" Martin walked over and kissed her. "Hi, what's up? I thought you weren't coming to get me for another couple of hours. Not that I'm complaining." She said putting her sketchpad down. "I just got back from seeing the head of department." He said sitting down next to her. "I'm taking a leave of absence for a couple of months."
That got her attention. "What? Why? Is something wrong?" He grinned reassuringly at her. "No, Nothings wrong. It's just I got a phone call from Percy Dart today." Ok, now she was even more confused. If he didn't tell her what was going on soon Chimera was going to have to pull it out of his head. "Who?" Martin sighed, he had told her before, but he knew she hadn't been listening. "He's one of the professors I told you about, out in Turkey." Ah, that made more sense, so this was serious talk. "Yeah, I remember." She sat back. "Well, he thinks he found something. He thinks he may have found The Chimaera's tomb. He wants me to come and see it. It could be just what we are looking for."
Chimera sat there for a long time trying to assimilate everything that Martin had just said. Found The Chimaera's tomb. That meant that she had existed. That Chimera wasn't just crazy, she really was seeing the past. Another woman's past. It was one thing to suspect it, but it was another thing entirely to know that it was true. If this tomb existed, she would have to come to terms with what was actually happening. She couldn't put it to the back of her mind anymore. Not that she was doing a very good job of that anyway but she could mostly distract herself. And now Martin was saying that he wanted her to come with him to turkey. He wanted her to see the tomb. Maybe she could learn something from the site that he couldn't. It was a lot to take in. But it could be the answer to all of the questions she still had about herself. "OK, I'll do it. Just give me time to sort everything out."
In reality there wasn't a lot Chimera had to sort out before she could leave. The shop could pretty much run itself what with the Daemons and all. If she took her sketchpad with her she could come up with new designs on her trip and send them to Anita to produce. Now that the business was set up she didn't even have to be in the shop at all, she just liked being on campus, being around her friends. She could do this. She could go to Turkey, find her answers and still come back to a normal life afterwards.
Martin sat in his apartment trying to get his head together enough to pack. He had phoned Percy back after speaking to Chimera. Their travel arrangements were all sorted. He hadn't told Percy about why he was interested in The Chimaera, he knew he would have to, but that would be a lot easier face to face, with Chimera there to prove he wasn't just crazy.
Chapter 17: Dr Dart
Percy Dart was a short quiet man of about fifty with sharp features and small round glasses. Chimera shuffled her feet as she stood behind Martin with her suitcase, being introduced to the Archaeologist. He was nice enough, it was just that Chimera felt uncomfortable with historians, well historians who weren't Martin. Chimera was more comfortable around arty creative people, or at least people she knew weren't going to freak out when they found out what she could do. The fact that Martin hadn't explained the situation to this man didn't help her enthusiasm. Martin had introduced her as his Girlfriend, the designer, and that was all. She knew the airport wasn't the ideal place to discuss her interest in The Chimaera but she wanted that conversation to be over so they could all get to work. And of course, so she could go back to being herself without worrying about peoples reactions.
The plane had not been fun by any stretch of the imagination. Chimera had been very aware of the fact that she couldn't use her powers. There were too many people around. The realisation had made Chimera more stressed than she already was, which meant that she was more likely to cause spontaneous levitation. She had survived the ordeal only because Martin had been sitting next to her, holding her hand, talking to her, distracting her. But now she was standing in a crowded Airport itching to get to the hotel so she could burn off a little of the pent up energy swirling through her. The longer she had to stand there playing nice, the more likely she was to cause havoc.
Eventually they were shown to a waiting car and were on their way to the hotel. When they reached the hotel Chimera rushed her way to the room. By the time Martin arrived with the bags Chimera was sitting on the bed twirling two armchairs above her head. "Chimera!" She looked up at him innocently. There was a laugh. Martin had first hand experience of how 'innocent' Chimera actually was. He flinched slightly when the chairs came crashing to the ground. He sat down next to her and sighed.
He really shouldn't have been surprised, he had seen how agitated she was on the plane. She could go hours without using her abilities, she had done so on numerous occasions, but the stronger she got the more difficult she found being without them, and when she knew she couldn't use them she got herself really worked up. He should just let her blow off some steam, but she could easily do so much damage. His presence probably wasn't helping any. He may be one of the only people capable of calming her down, but he had also noticed how much stronger she was when he was around. Since their relationship had progressed her abilities had seemed to almost double. He sighed and stood up. "I'm going to have a shower" he said finally leaving Chimera to her levitations.
That night they met Percy for dinner at his apartment. As much as Martin wanted to put it off he knew that now was probably the time to tell him the whole story. Chimera was silent throughout their conversation watching the Archaeologists reactions. Every now and then she would demonstrate her abilities to back up Martins story, but mostly she sat still watching them. She knew that they had known each other for a long time, but that didn't mean she had to trust the older man.
Martin was surprised by his friends reaction. All in all he seemed calm. He just sat there nodding along with the conversation. Asking questions and watching as Chimera demonstrated. Percy had spent the majority of his life studying Mythology and excavating supposedly mythological sites proving their existence. This, Martin presumed, had left him an open mind towards the supernatural. They agreed to meet early the next morning so that the three of them could visit the tomb.
Chimera collapsed onto the bed with a smile on her face. That went better than she had expected. She turned her head towards Martin still grinning. "You look better" he commented sitting next to her. Yes she was better, a lot better. The worry had been lifted from her shoulders. Now she could sleep looking forward to tomorrow and the possibility of answers. She pushed herself off of the bed and started to change. Yes, a lot better. They both got under the covers and turned out the light.
The next morning they went with Percy to see the tomb. An entrance had been found in the side of the mountain. Inside there was a small cavern room with writing on the wall as well as carvings and a few pots littered over the floor, but what caught Chimera's attention first was a large relief taking up the entire Northern wall across from the entrance. "Chimera, are you alright?" She looked over at Martin then, "Yeah, I'm fine. I just... I've seen this somewhere before.". Depicted on the wall was a burning city, a city Chimera recognised from her dreams. In front of the city stood a young woman overlaid with the traditional depiction of The Chimaera.
"We believe that the relief depicts the destruction of Phaselis, often attributed to the Mythical Chimaera." Percy was saying. "The writing on the other walls, we believe to have been written by Bellerophon himself, although the narrative is quite different from the legend of The Chimaera that we know from antiquity..." At that moment Chimera reached out and touched the woman's face, and instantly fell to the floor unconscious.
Chapter 18: Bellerophon
My name is Bellerophon, and this is the story of how I killed The Chimaera. I killed her because I couldn't save her. I couldn't save her from them, and I couldn't save her from herself. I am writing this so that one day someone will know the truth. I am no hero. If I were I would have stopped her before it got to this. I would have saved her and she would still be alive. She would be here with me.
Before Chimaera my life was a mess. I left Corinth after the death of my Brother Bellerus. It was my fault, I couldn't save him either, so I changed my name from Hipponous to Bellerophon. A new name for a new city and a new life.
I saw her sitting by the River Xanthus on my way to the house of King Iobates of Lycia. I caught sight of her bathing in the waters of the river and my life was changed forever. If it hadn't been for Amisodarus and his priests we could have been happy.
Chimaera was different from everybody else. She was always powerful. But some months after we met she became more powerful than ever. Together we went searching for answers. Answers to the strange dreams she was having. Dreams about a snake bodied woman and a temple. We toured the country looking for answers when we found Amisodarus.
He told us that Chimaera was the mortal incarnation of the Goddess Echidna, the mother of Monsters, and that if the ritual wasn't performed right she could be lost forever. He took her to the temple of Echidna, but he betrayed us.
It was weeks before I saw her again. She was different when she came back, manipulative and cruel. She terrorised the Lycian countryside for months controlled by Amisodarus and his priests. When she destroyed the town of Phaselis, King Iobates asked me for help, but I had no idea what to do.
I went to the temple of the Goddess Athena to ask for guidance. I waited long into the night for inspiration. Eventually I fell asleep in front of the altar and dreamt. I dreamt that Athena took me by the hand and led me to a mirror. The mirror clouded over and cleared on a wedding party. To one side away from the guests sat a cloth sack. Then the scene shifted, the same cloth bag lay on a stone altar out in the wilderness. Then I saw him, the god Poseidon. He walked towards the alter with tears in his eyes and opened the bag. From it he withdrew the head of the Gorgon Medusa and with a large sickle he removed her bronze tusks. Again the scene changed. Then I saw the tusks being melted in a large smelting pot. The metal was forged into a sharp dagger, decorated with the image of a horse, an animal sacred to the God Poseidon, a horse with wings. I was seeing the forging of the Pegasus blade.
When I awoke I was lying by the alter in the temple of Athena with a golden key around my neck. I knew then what I must do. I travelled to the Pirene Well back in Corinth. The well was decorated with winged steeds, the largest of which had its mouth open. I thrust the key into its mouth. Suddenly the fountain opened up and the Pegasus blade was revealed to me. I knew that I couldn't save my beloved then. She was being controlled by a spell that I had no chance of breaking so I must put her out of her misery.
I visited her one last time. She seemed almost herself, but I knew that it would be short lived. When I awoke she was looking out onto the mountain. There would be no better opportunity. I stood up from her bed and walked towards her. I wrapped my arms around her from behind while I prepared myself for what I must do. When she leant back into me I took the Pegasus blade and thrust it into her back. Her agonised scream nearly broke my resolve but then I saw the change in her. Her eyes darkened and I felt the heat radiating from her in her rage. I took a pellet of lead I had left near the window on my arrival and pushed it into her mouth. The Goddess Athena had told me that this was the only way to stop Chimaera. I watched as she choked on the melting metal. When she finally lost consciousness I gave in to my grief and collapsed weeping onto the floor.
She has been gone nearly three weeks now. King Iobates has rewarded me handsomely for "Killing the dreadful monster". It seems Chimaera will be remembered only for her destructive powers. The king has announced that I shall marry his daughter Philonoe and become heir to his kingdom. I will do as he asks but I am numb inside. I will regret what I have done for the rest of my life.
Chapter 19: Goddess Revealed
As soon as Chimera collapsed Martin was in a panic. He could hardly remember anything from when she fell lifeless onto the floor until he and Percy arrived at the hotel carrying an unconscious Chimera. That had been three hours ago. Now they just sat there watching her. She hadn't moved an inch in all that time.
Then she had started to twitch. Hardly anything at first, but in no time she was convulsing. Martin jumped up from his chair and ran over to the bed. He grabbed her arms and held her down. Her eyes snapped open and Martin gasped. Her eyes were not their usual chocolate brown or even the emerald green they became when she was excited, although they were similar. Her eyes were bright yellow and menacing.
She yelled at him, looking straight into his eyes. He let go and she collapsed back onto the bed. Martin and Percy looked at each other for a long time. They both knew what she had meant. There was no escaping it. They had both studied Greek mythology for a long time, and you couldn't do that without learning evan a little of the language. Chimera had just shouted them in ancient Greek. What she had said translated roughly to "You killed her once, you will not kill her again".
"What did Chimera study at college?" Percy asked finally as he watched his friend struggle with his emotions. "She studied Art Percy, she never took any languages." Was the answer he knew was coming. There was definitely no getting round it, Chimera had spoken Greek.
Chimera's words combined with his knowledge of the tomb told Percy exactly what was going on. He knew that he had to tell Martin, but how could he. It was one thing to accept that your girlfriend was different, but to be told she was the reincarnation of a dead women who was herself the incarnation of an ancient Goddess was stretching things a bit. Maybe it would be easier to let him come to his own conclusions.
"Martin, how much of the inscriptions in the temple did you get a chance to look at." Martin sat down on the bed and ran his hand through Chimera's hair. "Not a lot Percy, I was a bit distracted you know." Great, he would have to tell him the story.
As Martin listened to Percy tell Bellerophon's story realisation slowly crept in. It was almost unbelievable. "Is it really possible?" he asked finally when Percy had gone quiet, but they both knew he didn't expect an answer. He looked at Chimera again and sighed. "She knew all along, deep down, I think. The dreams were trying to tell her all this time, I just didn't see it." He wondered how long it would be before she woke up. He would have to tell her. They had come to Turkey looking for answers, and they had found them, however strange they may be, they were answers. He wondered how much the realisation would affect their lives.
Two days later and Martin was in the same chair watching Chimera sleep. She had been in and out of consciousness randomly for the last couple of days and now she had a fever. Percy had gone into town to contact a doctor but neither of them thought it would do much good. The first time Chimera had woken up Martin had told her everything they had figured out. She had been relieved and shocked, it seemed a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders.
Martin was worried, Chimera had never been ill a day in her life. He supposed it was part of her divine nature. Just another thing that hadn't seemed unusual when they were kids, but highlighted just how different Chimera actually was from other people.
Before he left Percy had given him all of the information he had on the tomb as well as the research he was doing into the possible location of the Temple of Echidna. It was complicated reading but it kept his mind off of Chimera's failing health.
On his way to the doctor's office, Percy made one stop. Near the tomb there was a small lock up where they kept all the finds from the excavation. He wanted to be optimistic but he suspected that finding the Temple may be the only way to help Chimera. If they were going to do that he was going to need something from the dig just in case. Martin wouldn't like it, but they had to be careful.
After unlocking the door he went straight towards what looked like a pile of rags sitting on a shelf at the back. He unwound the fabric from the item revealing an exquisite bronze dagger decorated with a winged horse sacred to Poseidon. It was the Pegasus blade. He hoped it wouldn't be needed, he really did.
Chapter 20: Temple of Echidna
Martin sat there by the bed reading through the same papers over and over again. There had to be something. These papers where all they had. Translations from the tomb. He'd been over them so many times, but still he had found nothing.
The doctor had just left, Deliades his name was, and said that he could find nothing wrong with Chimera. He had given her some pills and then left. Their only hope now was the temple. They had to find it. Chimera was conscious most of the time now, but she was weak. Since Deliades had left Martin and Percy had been going over everything yet again trying to find some trace of the temple.
Chimera stirred just then. Martin dropped the papers he was holding and ran to her side. "How are you feeling?" he asked as Percy lent over to pick up the crumpled papers. "I'm fine Mart. Stop fussing". She sat up and took a drink from the glass of water on the bedside. It was then she saw Percy looking curiously at her and she decided something. "Actually I'm kinda hungry, do you think you could get me something honey."
As Martin left the room, glad to finally have something he could do, Chimera beckoned Percy over to the bed. "I want to ask something Percy, and I want you to tell me the truth" She had to know what to expect after all. "Do you think I'll end up like her, the other Chimaera I mean." He looked down at his feet and she knew the truth. "Have you got the blade?" she asked finally "It would have been in the tomb and I'm sure Martin won't have thought to get it." Still avoiding eye contact Percy answered her. "It's in the closet by the bathroom." Chimera grinned. "Thank you Percy. If it comes to it you might have to be the one to use it, I'm not sure Martin would understand."
Just then Martin came back carrying a tray laden with Chimera's favourite foods. After she had finished eating she grabbed her sketch pad and started to draw aimlessly, as she often did for something to occupy her hands. "So, any news on the temple?" She asked knowing the answer and dreading to hear it. "Nothing yet Cai."
For hours they sat there the three of them in silence. Then Percy spoke his mind. "Chimera, I've been thinking, If you're the reincarnation of The Chimaera. And you're reliving her life in your dreams. There must be a part of you that remembers the temple. Not consciously, but in your subconscious you must know something." Chimera looked down at the sketchpad in her lap and burst out laughing. "I think you may be right" she said as she traced the lines on her pad, a small section of which resembled the Turkish coastline visible in the shading of a skirt.
Within minutes there were pages flying through the air. Chimera spiralled the pages around herself trying to see a pattern, anything that could tell her where the temple lay. Eventually when the papers settled onto the bed spread there was clearly visible a crudely drawn map of the area around Mount Chimaera spread out before them.
A Couple of hours later Percy went home and left the couple for the night. They were going to try and find the temple in the morning and they had some things to talk about. The door had barely closed when Chimera couldn't wait anymore. "You know this might not work Martin. At least not the way we want it to." She pulled herself out of bed and made her way slowly to the closet. "Of course it will work Cai, it has to." Martin didn't even believe his own words. He knew what she was scared of and it terrified him as well. "I want you to take this tomorrow Mart. I need to know you have it" She turned around handing him the Pegasus blade.
"No! Just No Chimera! I can't" As scared as he was he didn't think he could do it. There is no way he could live with himself. He wasn't as strong as Bellerophon, he couldn't kill her. "You might have to!" she said angry now. "I won't become a monster!" Martin sat down on the floor with his head in his hands and then looked up at her. This had been her fear all along. Since their childhood she had been afraid of losing control, of slipping up and hurting someone. Now it was a real possibility. He could understand how she felt but he still didn't know if he could actually do it.
In the end he realised that it didn't matter what he thought or what he felt, he couldn't let her become a monster. He couldn't sit back and watch her hurt. With new resolve he stood up and took the blade from her. "I promise if it comes to it, if I can't save you, I'll do it."
In the morning they gathered together their stuff and slowly made their way down to Percy's car. It wasn't far to the location hinted at by Chimera's sketches. During the journey Martin held on to his one comforting thought. Back then The Chimaera was betrayed by the priests who took her to the temple. There were no priests now. How could Chimera be tricked by an order that no longer exist. He looked down at Chimera's head leaning on his shoulder and then down at the blade in his hand. He wouldn't have to use it. Please don't let me have to use it.
Chapter 21: Ritual of Argus Panoptes
When they finally stopped driving Chimera slowly got out of the car and made her way to a desolate rocky area. While she sat and concentrated on finding the temple Percy drew Martin aside. "Are you going to be OK" It had been agreed that Chimera and Martin should enter the temple alone. Percy was going to sit out here in the car and wait for them. "We'll be OK"
Within minutes rocks began to move around revealing a small entrance. Martin stood up, it was now or never. He thought that it would take her a bit longer to find the entrance, but there wasn't much that surprised him anymore. Chimera however was a little shaken. That had been a lot easier than she had thought it would be. Something was wrong.
They walked slowly down the passage, Martin taking most of Chimera's weight, while swiping torch light across their path. "That won't work for long" Chimera said referring to the torch. "Cai don't be ridicules, I changed the batteries before we came out." Just then the light went out and Chimera started to giggle. "Cai did you do that?" Martin asked as he tapped the side of the torch. "Of course not." She replied blowing into her hand, creating a small fire ball and lighting their way.
As they walked further through the tunnel they looked at the walls. Carved into the walls were scenes depicting Echidna's birth, her life with her consort Typhon and their banishment to Mount Etna. "What does it mean?" Chimera asked as Martin ran his hands over the carvings. "It's a retelling of Echidna's Mythology" he said pulling her further down the passage. "Echidna and Typhon were two of Gaia's children by Tartarus. When Zeus imprisoned the Titans, Gaia sent Typhon to destroy Zeus. However Zeus trapped Typhon under Mount Etna. The story goes that he allowed Echidna to reside with her mate and survive so that she and her children could act as a challenge to future hero's."
As they entered the main chamber Chimera's attention was caught by a statue at the far end. The statue was a giant depiction of Echidna in marble. She reached almost to the roof of the massive chamber. Her lower half comprised of two coiled serpent tails. Her upper half that of a beautiful woman. Her arms were outstretched as if she was reaching out to her. The hands had claw like nails and her teeth massive fangs. Slowly she walked towards the figure, feeling stronger with every step.
Martin's attention however was drawn to a relief near the entrance. On it was depicted Echidna's death at the hands of Argus Panoptes. As his eyes looked over the wall in front of him Chimera reached the statue. She reached out and placed her hands into those of the Goddess.
Martin turned when he heard Chimera gasp. She was surrounded with a golden light. No not a golden light he thought as he looked closer. She was surrounded by living flame. But then he saw her face contort in pain and around him he heard chanting. All around them men in robes stepped out of the shadows. There must be a hundred of them Martin thought as he saw them move towards Chimera. No. A hundred, and the symbols on their robes, he knew those symbols. Argus Panoptes the hundred eyed giant. The order that had tricked The Chimaera.
As the leader stepped towards her Chimera growled. Deliades. She never had trusted doctors. The chanting around her continued, she couldn't move. Looking over towards Martin she saw him take the Pegasus blade out of his jacket. Come on Mart, don't let them do this to me, don't let me become a monster, Kill Me!
Martin took the blade in his hand and went to move forward but stopped suddenly. Next to the relief he had been looking at, on the next panel, was the Pegasus blade. Or rather an indentation in the wall of the same shape. Just below this was an inscription to Hermes the messenger god. Of course, Hermes could walk between worlds, he could enter dreams, and the priests were putting Chimera into a trance like sleep, like Argus Panoptes had done to Echidna.
Placing the blade into the spot on the wall Martin, took a breath and recited the words written for him. It took only a moment to translate the words carved in front of him. It took hardly any effort at all, as if he was meant to understand them. "Hermes of many shifts a bringer of dreams, a watcher by night, a thief at the gates, one who was soon to show forth wonderful deeds among the deathless gods. Cross the barrier, let her sleep no more"
Chimera opened her eyes, the pain was gone, she could breathe again, she could move. Looking up her eyes had changed. Yellow cats eyes looked out from her face and her fangs extended. They felt different. They were sharper, longer, more like a serpents than a cats. Looking up at the priests now standing in shock, she felt the heat rise up through her body. It was as powerful as it was in her dreams, but still it was different, this time she was in control.
Martin stepped back when he saw her eyes. He did not want to be them right now. Simultaneously they all burst into flames. Martin closed his eyes, When he looked up again they were all gone, there was nothing left. Chimera was walking towards him but stopped. Her eyes were still yellow. She moved her hand up to her mouth and felt her teeth. The fangs were still there. She took a step back shaking her head. "No" Flames burst around her. Martin looked on in shock as she transformed into a large falcon and flew off and out of the temple.
Chapter 22: Phoenix Flight
Martin slowly made his way back to the surface where Percy was waiting for him. As long as he stayed underground he could pretend that Chimera would be waiting for him in the car, but he knew she wouldn't be. She had taken off when she had not been able to change back. He hoped that she would be waiting for him at the hotel, but he doubted that to. He had seen the look on her face before she changed. He had seen that face before all those years ago, The night she left him. And now she was doing it again, she was a phoenix flying off to another life. Another life without him.
Holding his breath he stepped out into the sun light. Percy was standing there leaning against the car waiting for them. Chimera wasn't there. Without saying a word Martin threw the Pegasus blade onto the back seat and made his way to front passenger side door. "Martin, what happened? Martin" Still he said nothing. "Martin? Where is She?"
It wasn't until Percy got into the car and turned on the engine that he got his answers. Staring straight ahead and speaking with no emotion Martin told him everything that happened. "She's probably back at the hotel." Percy said when his friend had finished. "It was probably all very overwhelming. She'll be back at the hotel fast asleep" but even Percy didn't believe his own words.
When they reached the hotel, Percy helped Martin up the stairs to his room. He didn't want his old friend to be alone when they finally arrived. When they got to the room Martin stood for a long time just looking at the door. If he went in there she would really be gone. If he walked into that room he would see that all of her stuff was missing. He didn't think he could do it. He didn't think he could go through that again. They had both fought so hard to be happy. Was this really going to be the way it ended. If he opened that door he would have to come to terms with her leaving. If he opened that door he would have to go home without her.
Eventually Percy took the key from him. He opened the door and guided Martin through it. When he reached the bed Martin stopped and opened his eyes. He had closed them as he crossed the threshold, hoping to stave off reality for just a while longer. His bags were sitting on the bed, all of his belongings folded neatly, and nestled between them were two envelopes. There it was, another letter. Just a piece of paper, a piece of paper that would shatter everything in his life, just like the first one had. What would he do now. He had no studies left to throw himself into. All of the classes he taught would have some reminder of her. Walking through campus he would pass the shop. He would see her everywhere. But then again, he had always done that.
Picking up the envelopes Martin noticed that only one was addressed to him. The other was addressed to 'The Daemons'. So she was leaving them behind as well. The letter no doubt contained instructions for running her business. He put this letter into his bag. No matter how much he wanted to he wouldn't read it. They were her friends, they deserved their privacy.
The second envelope shook as he held it in his hand. He vaguely registered Percy's voice in his ear as he looked at the square in his hand. "Martin? Aren't you going to open it?" Eventually he realised that he couldn't put it off anymore. Carefully he turned it over and pulled at the flap. His mind flashed back to the last time he had done this. At least he knew what to expect this time.
"Martin. I can't believe I'm doing this again. I shouldn't have come back. I know that now. I should have left the past where it was. History has always been you're thing, not mine. It seems that some questions are not meant to be answered because all they cause is pain. As you've probably guessed, I won't be coming back with you. Please pass my letter on to my friends. I know you will. You always were good to me. I know it's difficult but I can't be around you, I can't be around anyone right now. The last time I left I promised I would be back eventually, when I learned to control myself. I don't think I can make a similar promise this time. I can hear her in my head now, in a way I never could before. I'm so much stronger than I was before. Stronger even than I was in my dreams. I want you to keep the blade, just in case. Don't worry, what you did in the temple worked. I just don't trust myself. Even though I know now that I shouldn't have come to you for help, I can't regret it. We were happy for a time weren't we. I'm sorry however, that I've hurt you. Know that I'll always Love you and will think about you every day. Love Chimera.
Percy caught his friend as he fell to the floor. Still gripping the letter tightly it crumpled in his hands. This was it, she was really gone. There was nothing he could do. He would have to go home without her. And that was it, he couldn't keep it in any longer. He cried hysterically on the floor for hours.
Chapter 23: The Aftermath
It had been two months. She had been gone two months. Anita watched as Martin walked past on his way to his office. He was miserable. She could understand that. But it couldn't be healthy. He hadn't been into the shop since his first day back when he had delivered the letter.
Chimera's disappearance had been a topic of conversation for the Daemons ever since Martin had come back alone. None of them however really believed that she was gone for good. The letter to them had been full of apologies, and had instructions for the running of the shop, but it had not seemed final. Occasionally packages would arrive containing new designs and short notes explaining how much she missed them all. She was obviously still working and trying to stay in touch.
Anita doubted that Martin had received any such letters. It would be too painful for both of them. And yet neither her, nor her friends truly believed it was the end for the couple. Anita was sure that Martin would be able to find Chimera if he tried. She also believed that if he found her, she would come back.
Anita watched as Martin climbed the few steps into his building looking like his life was over. Thinking enough was enough she gathered all of Chimera's recent correspondence from the back room of the shop and made her way to his office.
Martin unlocked his office and stood in the doorway for a couple of seconds. Every time he came to the door now he thought about the time he had found her there after a decade of missing her. "Hello Martin" he heard her voice in his mind as he walked towards his desk. "Christine?" he asked the empty room almost seeing her over by the window as she had been that day "It's Chimera now, Chimera Medusa." He sighed as the vision faded.
Martin made his way over to the desk and sat down. Had it been this difficult last time. He didn't think it had. Was she having as much trouble as him. Everywhere he went he saw her face. He couldn't sleep at home, there were too many memories of her there. He had been over to her apartment a couple of times, which obviously didn't help. He just wanted to be near her. Somewhere at the back of his mind he wondered why she still had the flat, but he often pushed the thought aside as wishful thinking.
He hadn't spoken to anyone since he came back. He taught his classes with as much enthusiasm as he could, trying to throw himself into his work. Outside of the lecture theatre however he had become very withdrawn. Everyone assumed that he would get over it eventually. Some of the university staff commenting on how withdrawn he had been during his first year or so of study. Most of his colleagues knew that his recent girlfriend had been an ex he had been distraught over back then, though none knew why.
He often wondered what they thought of her now. Most had been fond of Chimera on the occasions that they had met her. No doubt they thought it all her fault considering how badly Martin was taking it. When asked Martin would say that Chimera had been informed of a family crisis while they were away and had gone to live with her parents in Australia indefinitely. He tried to convince them that the split had been a mutual one, that was necessary. He didn't think they were convinced however.
His thoughts were interrupted when Anita put her head round the door. "Martin?" She asked as she walked towards his desk "Can I talk to you." Why not he thought, it's not like I'm going to get any work done today. "What is it Anita?" he asked rubbing his hands over his face. "I thought you should see these" She handed him the pile of letters they had received from Chimera.
Martin flicked through the pages. He realised what they were immediately. "I don't think she would keep in touch if she really thought she would be gone for good Martin" Anita said as he read them through. "There was no return address, but I'm sure you would be able to find her if you tried." He looked up at her, and there was hope in his eyes. "And I'm sure if you found her she would come back." Before he could answer she left closing the door quietly behind her.
Martin finished reading the pages and leant back in his chair. There were several letters in the pile, and in everyone he was mentioned at least once. Every-time talking about how much she missed him. Could he really bring her back. Could he find her and convince her to come home with him. Anita was right. Why would she keep ties with the shop and her friends if she didn't want to come back. Why did she still have the apartment. But if it was true then why hadn't she contacted him.
Wait a minute he thought. Why hadn't he tried to find her. Why had he given up. He had given up before he had even gotten her letter. He had given up the very second she had flown out of the temple. Was that why she hadn't contacted him. He had fought so hard to see her last time, and it hadn't worked. Was that why he hadn't even tried this time around. Why spend all of your energy fighting when you couldn't win. But things were different this time. He had so much more to fight for. He wasn't a teenager anymore. He was going to fight, and this time he was going to win. He had to win. He was going to find her and bring her back with him. He just had to figure out where to look.
Chapter 24: Chimera Medusa
Martin stumbled into his room and collapsed onto the bed. He had tried for hours to locate Chimera. He had phoned everyone he could think of and no one had told him anything. Dennis had refused to tell him anything, which is what he had expected. If anyone knew where she was it was her brother. He had phoned several times begging for information, but had gotten nothing out of him. Well he would try again in the morning. He would phone his old friend every day until he told him something. With Chimera's smiling face in his mind he fell asleep.
Martin opened his eyes to find himself at home. Not in his apartment but back home in his parents old house. He was in his old bedroom as it had been when he still lived there. This is a dream, he thought and then rolled his eyes at his own stupidity. Of course this was a dream. He stood up from the bed and walked over to the mirror on the back of his door.
Looking at himself in the mirror he was surprised. He had expected to see himself as he had been then, but he didn't. He was looking just the same as he had yesterday when he had shaved. The only difference was his clothing. He was standing there in an outfit he hadn't seen in years. It was the suit he had worn to the prom. He would recognise it anywhere. Well to be more accurate he was standing there in just the trousers from his prom outfit, as if he were in the middle of dressing or un-dressing. For a moment he wondered whether he was going to relive that night. But as he looked around the room he knew he wouldn't. His shirt was on the floor and ripped exactly where it had been that night after she had left, and he was bleeding.
Not even bothering to dress he walked downstairs, noticing how the pictures were skewed on the walls. What was he supposed to do now. Was he supposed to phone Dennis like he had that night. Was he supposed to sit here and cry while he waited for his parents to come home.
No, not this time. He walked to the front door and opened it. It was dark outside. He made his way over to the MacMillan household. If this really was the night of the prom Chimera would be the only one home. He remembered that night vividly even after all this time, and he had changed before phoning Dennis then. He walked up to the door and pushed it open. She must have been too distressed to lock it when she got back.
The house was a mess, though he hardly noticed. His mind was on one thing, and one thing only. He climbed the stairs and walked slowly along the corridor to her door. Her door was different than he remembered it. The door had always had sketches and doodles pinned to it, but now the sketches were different. These were modern sketches. Sketches he had seen her do in her studio at Chimera Clothing or sitting at the table in his apartment while they ate breakfast together. He ran his fingers over one in particular. It was a small doodle she had done in his office while they were researching her dreams, a small depiction of The Chimaera sitting by a stream. He smiled not missing the significance of the newer drawings. Things were different now, they were adults.
He pushed open the door, noticing that it wasn't locked. That was different as well. Dennis had told him many times, that when he had come home that night he had had to convince his sister to unlock the door. As he stepped into the room he saw her. She was standing by the window in her old dressing gown, the one that used to hang on the back of her bedroom door. And like him she was as she had been the last time he had seen her.
She turned and looked at him. Her eyes were still yellow, and her fangs serpentine. But Martin didn't care. He knew that it was her. Goddess or no Goddess she was Chimera, his Chimera. She was the same girl who used to jump out at him when they played hide and seek. The same girl who used to sneak him sweets when he was sick. She was the same girl he had taken to the prom. The same girl he had kissed in her kitchen the day she turned up in his office.
Without thinking he walked over to her. He put one hand behind her head and brought her lips to his in a deep kiss. He moved his other hand to her waist when she leaned in to him and he thought 'I've got you now, and I'm never letting you go'.
"You found me" she said when they pulled apart. He looked into her eyes and saw them change to emerald green. Her fangs went back to their usual shape and she smiled.
Martin opened his eyes when he heard his alarm clock go off. That was it. That's why Dennis had refused point blank to tell him anything. He had never been able to deny his little sister a thing. She had probably been sitting opposite him when he had answered the phone. She had gone back home. Back to where it had all started. It was so obvious he felt like hitting his head off the wall. He had been so stupid.
Chapter 25: Begin Again
Martin got out of the car and looked at the street he had grown up on. His old house was no longer his, his parents having moved away not long after he had left for college. The MacMillan house however looked almost the same. Dennis's car was parked outside instead of his parents, and the door had been repainted black instead of the blue it used to be, but apart from that it was the same.
Taking a deep breath, Martin walked up to the door. He pressed the doorbell and by the time it opened his heart was beating so fast he was sure he would collapse any moment. "Mart?" Dennis asked as he stepped forward. "Hi Denny." Martin wasn't surprised when instead of inviting him in Dennis walked out onto the porch and closed the door behind him. "I guess you know why I'm here then" Martin said as he moved to lean against the wall.
"I can't let you in Mart" Dennis said as he moved to stand next to his old friend. The best friend I ever had, Martin thought as he ran his fingers through his hair. "Sure you can Denny it's your house isn't it. She can't hide here forever." They both moved to sit on the floor with their backs against the wall. Dennis sighed. He really hated being stuck in the middle. "Mart..." Martin could see how much this was hurting his childhood friend, but for once he was going to think about what he wanted.
"No Denny, I'm not going. I don't care if she doesn't want to see me. I'm not going to let her go this time. I know she's your sister, but keeping me out isn't going to help her. You've always said that we should be together, and we came so very close I'm not gonna let her leave again." He could see the defences crumbling. "And besides" he continued "I'm just going to sit right here on the Porch until you let me in" Dennis laughed but then became serious again. "She's not happy Mart, she's miserable. I mean it's great to spend time with her again, but she's not really there you know." With that he stood up and offered Martin his hand. "She was happy before. I know she was. I could hear it in her voice when she called. But she claims she doesn't want to see you." Taking his friends hand Martin stood up. "What's the matter Denny, afraid of disobeying your little sister. You're not scared of her are you?" he asked grinning broadly. Dennis laughed at that slapping Martin on the back. "Well you're crazy if you're not Mart, I'm family she's not going to hurt me. But she'll throw you across the room as soon as she sees you." His words lost their sting however as Dennis held the door open for him with laughter in his eyes.
When they walked into the hall Dennis stepped aside. "She's in her room. She ran up there as soon as your car pulled up. I'll be in the kitchen if you need anything." Martin looked up at the stairs and wondered whether this was such a good idea after all. What if she really didn't want to see him. No, no matter what he had to try. He wasn't going to go another day without her. "You not coming up with me Denny?" he asked already knowing the answer. "Not a chance" He replied "I'm not as crazy as you mate." Martin laughed and made his way up the stairs. He had only gone a couple of steps when Dennis yelled up to him. "We're having pasta for dinner. If you make it out alive that is." Good old Denny. "And no matter what happens I expect you both down here when its ready" he added with a wink.
At the top of the stairs Martin took another deep breath. He looked along the corridor. There it was, her door. It looked exactly as it had in his dream. Did that mean it was unlocked as well he wondered. His fingers skimmed over the sketch as it had done in his dream. Only one way to find out. His hand moved over to the door handle and pressed down.
The door swung open. "Hello Martin" His mind went back to that day again, that day in his office. "Christine?" he said waiting for her to turn around. She laughed knowing exactly where his thoughts had gone. "It's Chimera now, Chimera Medusa." This time the vision didn't fade, because he really was talking to her, she was really here in front of him again. "Yes I heard, Dennis told me." She turned to face him then, and brought them out of their shared memory. "What are you doing here Martin?"
"I came to take you home" He said moving closer to her, but she took a step back. She couldn't do this. She had tried to keep herself calm so that she could explain, but now he was here, standing in front of her, she panicked. "Martin look at me. I can't change back. I can't go anywhere like this." She screamed. He looked at her closely, noticing for the first time that her eyes were still yellow, her teeth still longer than they should be. "I don't care" he said finally. "You're still the same person you always were. You're not a monster or whatever the hell it is you're thinking this time. You're Chimera, my Chimera. And I'm not going to let you walk away again."
Martin stepped forward again backing her into the wall. She looked up into his eyes and she could feel her defences crumbling. This was Martin, everything she had ever wanted. Could she really walk away again. With her mind she pushed him away. She would try damn it. It was too dangerous not to. "It's not going to work Chimera. I know you only did that with your mind because you knew you wouldn't have the resolve to do it with your hands." He walked slowly back towards her "Tell me you don't love me anymore and I'll go away."
She couldn't, she knew she couldn't, and he knew it to. "Mart..." He silenced her by shaking his head. "I'm not leaving without you. Don't keep me out of your life" That stopped her. She'd heard those words before. He'd said them to her before, in her kitchen, when they had kissed. She had told him about her new abilities then and he had stuck around. He had stayed. She knew then that she couldn't walk away again. Their lips met and they both knew that just like that the fight was over.
"Come home?" he said as he pulled back. When he looked into her eyes they were green, just like in his dream. She turned to the mirror on her dressing table feeling the difference, but not daring to believe it true. "You found me" she said as she turned back to him. He grinned as he leant in to claim her lips again. "I'll always find you".
The spell was broken however when they heard Dennis yelling from downstairs. "Get your clothes on and get down here you two, dinners ready" They both laughed as they walked to the door hand in hand. Martin stopped for a second with his hand on the door handle noticing for a second how her eyes had returned to their usual chocolate brown. "He was right all along wasn't he?" he asked when she smiled. "He usually is. But don't tell him I said that." With that they made their way downstairs for dinner.