Hope in Dark Places

Chapter Two

A woman sits at a bar. The worn out wood under her pale white hands was slightly sticky, which worried her a little. This place smelled terrible, like vomit and stale sweat. This woman really didn't want to be here, as she continued to nurse her cheap beer. But she couldn't leave; she had a job to do. This woman, if you can call her that, is named Nemesis.

I don't like my name anymore. I mean, it sounds cool. Nemesis.But these days, my name is synonymous with "worst enemy" and "biggest rival." It's not really my name anymore. I'm the Goddess of Retribution, or revenge, if you will. Not of enemies and rivals. But people have forgotten that. Even Olympians think I'm basically for hire to knock someone down a peg or two. That is not my job! My job is to balance good with bad. Like if you have too many good things in your life, I send you some bad to even it out. Or if you've got too many bad things, I give you some good. I'm the Goddess of Giving People What They Deserve, I guess.

Speaking of giving people what they deserve… there he is. I grin to myself. Sometimes I love my job. A greasy poker player saunters to the game table. He sits with an arrogant grin. He's been winning for far too long.

I get up and leave my beer behind. I walk through the crowds of low class mortals and I make my way to the bathroom. My real appearance, whenever I feel like looking divine, is striking. Not sexy like Aphrodite (the cow) or elegant like Hera or even classic like Athena. I'm "striking." At least, that's what my parents tell me.

My thick, black, wavy hair falls down to my butt. My eyes are emerald green, above high cheek bones. I have very pale skin, like my mother. I'm rather tall and my figure is curvy, but not extremely voluptuous like the cow. Man, what I'd do to pay her a visit.

However, my looks right now wouldn't work for the job I'm on. I change, shimmering dust covering my form. When it disappears, I look completely different.

Good lord, I look like a tramp. My blonde hair is looks bleached and is completely straight. My skin's fake tan is almost, almost orange. Hmm… I don't think men will notice the appalling tan, to be honest, as I look down at my chest. My usual C's are now E's and don't look real at all. Men won't notice the falseness, but they will certainly notice the size.

I put the dumbest expression on my face that I can manage and walk out of the bathroom. I stumble my way to the poker table, acting the giggly drunk.

"Ooh, poka! I luuuuve poka!" I laugh shrilly and almost fall into a man's lap. They all had the same expression, a strange mixture of lust and disgust, except for my target. His face was pure disgust. Good.

I sit down at the table. "I have all this cash and I really want to play." I pull out a thousand dollars from my bag and place it onto the table. The men all get a gleam in their eyes. They have no problem with taking advantage of a naïve young girl. They all deserve a little bad. It's pretty sad to see that they couldn't spot a hustler. I expected better of them.

Twenty five minutes later, I've completely cleaned them all out. They all have despairing faces and I grin. My target looks the most shell-shocked. That makes me grin at them.

"Surely boys, you should've been able to pick out a hustler. But, you can all blame him for me taking all your money." I point at my target with an evil smile.

He looks shocked and defensive as all the other players turn to glare at him. "Why me?!"

"Because you started to win a lot of money, but you didn't use the money as Fate intended. You were supposed to start giving money to support your ten year old daughter's education. You didn't. So I was sent to take your money away."

He chokes. "What? You took my money away because I wasn't giving it to my bitch ex-wife?"

I grumble. What a horribly selfish and arrogant man. I want to turn him into a worm. Then he would see how insignificant he is. I stand and check in the chips for cash. The men continue to watch me, expecting me to leave with my winnings. I take the money to the nearest bin and dump it. The men stand and rush towards me, but they're too late. The lighter has already fallen onto the fragile paper.

They all look at me with murder in their eyes. Ha. Good luck. Laughing like a crazy person, I run out the door. Before I leave, I notice the poker players remembering my earlier words. When they see they cannot catch me, they turn on the man I blamed for my presence. Serves him right. I hate arrogance.

I walk down the alley, forgetting that I looked like a bimbo. Then I run into someone I haven't seen in years.

"Woah, slut. What were you thinking?" Aphrodite looks at me with confusion in her violet eyes, a crease between her eyebrows. Her golden hair is pulled over a soft, round shoulder. Her red wrap dress fits her curves like a glove, actually quite casual for her. I'm a little confused too. Why am I a slut? Then I remembered my current appearance and groan. She'll never let me forget this.

"It's for a job, cow. It was necessary," I exclaim, before returning to my actual appearance, with tight red skinny jeans and a black leather jacket.

"Oh, whatever. I can't what to tell Nyx about this!"

"You are not telling my mother!" I screech at her. She laughs at me, then pulls me into a hug. I smile, I really did miss her. She's one of my best friends, the other being Nike. We insult each other a lot, that's just what we do. I love her, really.

"Fine, fine. I won't tell her, but you, my little shrew, are coming with me." She grabs my hand and pulls me along to the portal she had waiting. We walk through and end up in the living room of her villa in Olympus. Paintings centuries' old cover the walls and mechanical pieces are scattered over every surface. Her husband is stretched on a couch and he smiles in greeting, but doesn't say a word. He's always been quiet.

"Hey, Heph." He nods, then goes back to tinkering in the mechanical thing in his hands. "Ditz, why'd you bring me here?"

"I wanted to see you and so does Nike. She'll be coming soon. We need to talk to you, honey."

That doesn't sound good.