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The Bringer of the 1000-Eyed Gazer

“By these bones that framed these once-mighty lions, this was the land that housed them and by divine providence… I, Inachus, as a river god, along with my brothers, Cephissus and Asterion, declare that Argolis of Argos belongs to Hera.” After his proclamation, he bows toward Hera while holding her right hand with his left hand, and his right-hand gestures towards the land that Hera and Poseidon stand. Hera then makes a triumphant smirk at Poseidon while she shakes her index finger from her free hand in front of him, reddening Poseidon’s face fiercer than fire. Clutching his trident and gritting his teeth, he sneers with sharpened words, “then may your rivers shrivel drier than raisins.” Then he raised his trident in the air as the rivers shriveled as Poseidon had proclaimed, leaving Argos in a drought for centuries except on rainy days during the rainy season. Upon remembering Amymone’s smile and her making a full bow in front of him before she even puts water in her bowl from a spring, he spares Lerna.

But Poseidon’s mercy had its limits while his rage overflowed, the lava of his fury seeking the misery of the tiebreaker, Inachus. Thus, before Poseidon leaves, he turns toward him and declaring “I prophesied that your next grandson will be born an outcast forever in the mortal world, doomed to gaze at a thousand evils of the world but unable to see the truth of his death.” The earth slightly quaked, leaving Inachus to linger in on Poseidon’s prophecy wordlessly, mouth closed while his pupils widened to the brim.

Ten years passed; Inachus sees his daughter, Mycene, appearing to him, pondering on his grim face and holding his hands, “father… what has ail you today for your face is cloudier than a rainy day?” He quickly turns while twitching and adjusting his pupils to normal but hastily asks, “Are you pregnant?” Hearing his heartbeat faster than a bumblebee’s fly, he waits for her reply, his hands shakily holding her. “Why no, is there something going on?” replied, putting her hand on his forehead while placing her other hand on her forehead. “Don’t give birth to a grandson now!” he hugs her while causing her to make a slit hop and muffling her face. After making a few light-slaps on her father’s shoulder, Inanchus stops hugging her and gives her enough space to see her face pouting while she asks, “okay, something happened… explain,” tapping the ground with a foot while waiting for his reply.

“Well… first… Oh! How is my son-in-law doing? I got him the newest book of poetry today.” shoving the book to her chest, but she pushes it back to him and angrily replies, “First your problem, then Arestor later…” then she puts her index finger on top of his nose while glaring at him. Her gaze pierced into his soul until he finally caves in and cries, “My grandson is going to be a freak!” he collapses to the ground sobbing in front of her. “What? Tell me what happened,” placing a hand on her father’s back while she hugs him. “Ten years ago… in Argolis…” he sobbingly replies while his daughter pats on his back through his explanation.

After the sobbing and explanations ended, Mycene slides into a chair and puts a hand to her forehead while slowly shaking her head aimlessly near her father. “Poseidon… can’t say this was unexpected from him… especially what he did to Odysseus before… this just shows the depth of Zeus’ patience with him.” She stands up and gently whispers in his ear, “wait here, I’ll go consult with a priestess of Hera and see what she has to say in this matter.” Before she heads off to a temple of Hera, she orders her servants to bring their best cow as an offering to Hera.

Meanwhile, Poseidon visits Dionysus with a hundred stallions and mares behind him. Dionysus, awakened by the galloping of the horses’ thundering hooves, bounces up awake and attempts to open his mouth to yell at the noisy intruders. However, Poseidon grins at him while giddy replying, “Well, if it isn’t Dionysus! I did not expect you to be taking a nap in such large and fine orchards of grapes now.” Dionysus merely scowls at him and turns his back on him. While Dionysus lays his back on the ground while attempting to shut his eyelids when Poseidon shouts, “As an apology for disturbing your slumber, I will give you all these horses,” gestures to the horses behind him. “What do you want?” Dionysus eyes him and stands up while dusting off the dirt from his clothes as he faces him. “I merely came to invite you to a party in celebration for the anniversary of the marriage between Ianchus’ daughter, Mycene, and Arestor, a son from the Argos royal family,” places a letter of invitation in Dionysus’ hand.

“I see… the river god that sided with Hera in possessing Argolis… you want me to do something about her.” Dionysus’ eyebrows turn into a V-shape and tugs at the letter’s sides, almost splitting it in half, “don’t you want to avenge your mother’s death?” Poseidon whispers into Dionysus’ ears, causing Dionysus to drop the letter onto the ground. “True, Zeus did kill Semele, your mother; it was Hera who was the catalyst for her divine death-” Dionysus grabs Poseidon’s silk chiton and growls with a simmer, “You calling me a coward!” Poseidon merely places a hand on his clutched his with a slight grin with sarcasm in Poseidon’s voice, “No… you’re just your mama’s boy. Wouldn’t want her to get needlessly worried for nothing.” Dionysus’ face turned redder than wine, clutching Poseidon’s chiton tighter, with his other hand clenched into a fist. Then he raises his fist to Poseidon’s face, only a centimeter away from imprinting a red imprint on Poseidon’s calm grinning face. Ultimately, through a breath of silence, Dionysus slides his hand off Poseidon yet still glaring at him.

Slowly, Dionysus walks away from Poseidon while passing several acres of his grape orchards, stopping in front of bright blood-colored grapes, perfectly shaped in tiny circular spheres. Taking out a black bottle from his bag, Dionysus lightly plucks them and smashes them in his hands, its blood dripping into the bottle. Soon he puts on the lid and shakes at it, the shaking blurring the visibility of his arm and the bottle from sight. After the bottle turns dark blue, Dionysus puts in it a hot spring and takes it out when it turns into a pure bloody red. Finally, he walks up to Poseidon and shoves the bottle into his chest while growling, “take it… and keep your ponies to yourself… next time you do this… I am sending you to the Underworld, even without Zeus’ consent.” Poseidon casually takes the bottle and leaves with his horses trampling the ground while Dionysus glares at him until Poseidon and his horses disappear in the dusk.

As soon as the first ray of June’s sunlight, the party finally starts inside Arestor’s and Mycene’s palace. While Mycene and Arestor warmly greeted them with smiles, the music echoes throughout the dining hall while the birds chirp in the garden. The garden had a variety of flowers, fruits, and other lustrous vegetation. As the guests ate their meals with music and merry company, they noticed something unusual. Their hosts did not eat, “why do you two not eat with us, on such a lovely day as this? For the chicken is tender, the boar richly roasted, and steak cooked well-done with all the sweet delights from your beautiful garden, a guest plea while pointing towards all the food displayed on the long banquet table. Arestor, slowly getting off his chair, walking into the crowd, becomes silent while raises his hands and declares, “…A few weeks ago, my wife became pregnant… and she had a dream about our child.” He gestures for his wife to stand up from her chair, firmly speaking, “after sacrificing our best cows for seven days, Hera came to me. She gave me her words of wisdom and warnings for the birth of our child: we must abstain from eating anything during the feast of our wedding anniversary until the Moon completes its passage throughout the night. Afterward, we must drink fresh pomegranate juice.” taking a pomegranate along with her husband from their bags. “If should either of us fail to heed these words, our child suffers a miserable fate as an outcast of society, for Hera was even accompanied with Artemis and gave us their blessings with the chirping of cuckoo birds giving lullabies for our child.” Mycene places her hand on her stomach and looks at the chirp cuckoo birds outside the dining hall while the music accompanies the cuckoo birds’ chirps harmoniously throughout the party.

“Then let us drink at least for the child’s prosperity!” shouted the crowd, lifting their chalices of wine high, and bumming them into each other while the chorus plays louder and majestically. As the servants are serving wine to the guests, a hooded man comes in and takes out a bottle colored bloody red, and leans close to a servant’s ear whispers, “An offering for King Arestor and his queen.” The figure disappears out of the crowd before the servant can utter a word; deep into the night away from any eyes, the hooded figure’s form changes into the divine form of Poseidon and quietly sinks into the sea.

Eventually, the Moon waxes into a grin upon the darkness of the night; a chime rings in the dining hall. Arestor moves into the middle of the crowd and loudly announcing “thank you for accompanying us through this long night, but while we enjoy everyone’s company here… it is time to make our last toast now!” Slowly, one by one, each guest raised their chalices high into the air after each servant filled them with wine. When it came time for Arestor and Mycene, one servant pours a wine that had an intense yet lustrous red with an aroma that bathes their senses into a state of blissful ecstasy into their chalices. Its scent drained of their rationality as they put their lips on to them. Yet, Mycene regains her senses when she accidentally cuts herself on a knife while reaching out for her chalice, jolting her awake from the pain of her cut.

“Queen Mycene! You’re injured!” A servant screams, dropping a chalice of wine to the floor while another servant rushes out, “I’ll get a healer now!” Hastily, Mycene’s gaze falls upon the spilled wine. The wine spilled on the floor had a darker shade of red than her wine, quickly jolt her eyes at her wine, and they widened upon seeing the differences between them. Standing up, she takes a step; towards her husband and sees him making the last gulp of his wine, unable to stop him from making the fatal mistake. “Stop!” screamed Mycene, her desperate plea falling on deaf ears as he bites into a steak while a silver of the Moon remains.

Mycene, frozen like a statue, suddenly finds him approaching her, embracing her, and finally kisses hers into a passion irresistible from all mortal reason. By the time, Arestor finished his kiss, Mycene’s stomach plumbs largely and roundly. Her screams echoed throughout the palace, finally awaking Arestor’s senses while he held onto her. Seeing the Moon’s last tiny silver finally vanishing in front of him and his eyes catch the water’s reflection. His heart pounds harder and louder faster than facing any disaster before, his hands start to sweat, and he hears blood dripping onto the floor and his clothes. A healer comes in while other servants help Arestor set Mycene down on a soft mattress while the guests watch them help Mycene go through labor.

As Mycene’s last groan resounds throughout the palace, the mutters, whispers, and shouts dissipate into silence. A chalice falls on the floor, Mycene’s son is born, and the guests scream while fleeing out of the palace. The healer holds on to the baby, covered in blood, and the baby’s gaze has a thousand eyes, his shrieks into the souls of the servants and his parents. Arestor collapses on the floor speechless, the servants sharing their silencing with him and flames from their torches dimmed along with their joy. Tears overflowed from those that remained.

On the morning of a new season, eyes are restless. Arestor’s eyes blanketed in darkened shades of regret, Mycene’s eyes darkened in shades of sorrow, and all eyes opened to the crying shrieking sounds of the thousand-eyed gazer echoing through many restless nights. One day, Arestor orders a servant to bring Mycene to him. But as the sands of an hourglass sink into the bottom, the night has come. “Mycene is nowhere to be found…” A trembling servant weeps as she bows down onto the floor, wet with tears. Arestor, pupils widened, hands clutching tightly on his throne’s arms and finally trembling “…And… my… my… my… s… ss… son?” He gets out of his throne and looks into his servant’s shaky pupils. “…Gone…”

Speechless, Arestor’s body freezes, his twitching vanishes, he stands in front of the servant while his servant has her face touching on the ground, her back visibly sweating and shaking in her bow. The sun sinks into the night, Arestor finally utters, “… find… find… find… them!” shedding tears as he orders his guards to search for his wife and son. The servant leaves at the king’s bidding, the guards stampede as they run, searching for his queen and son. When all eyes vanish from sight away from Arestor, he collapses into his throne and clutches its arms. “Don’t… Mycene. Please, Just. Don’t…” his tears fall into his throne.

The Moon has just made a tiny grin, yet Mycene only greets it with a frown and tears while holding the thousand-eyed gazer. Behind her, a bonfire burns within a vast barren landscape in a massive pit that could consume thousands of lives, the wind dancing with the flames. As she walks towards the fiery pit, she makes a stop, a step away from a blazing death. She turns around, facing the sky one last time, utters “Hera… Artemis. I thank ye both, for blessing my husband and myself, with a son.” Gently, she rubs the thousand-eyed gazer and unconsciously hugs him.

Soon, she dries her face and slowly places her son away from the fire “… I offer my apologies and my life to you… so forgive me for making this arrogant request from this humble creature. I ask thee let my son be in the company of a family filled with love and honor throughout his life.” Mycene takes a step back, letting her body descend into the pit. But rain drowned out the fire while the winds embraced her body, smoothing her airy descent to the ground. Hermes flies from out of the clouds and lands in front of her. “Oooh, fair maiden! Do not throw your life so needlessly! For I have prophesized that you will bear another son with Arestor, who will be the great shipbuilder of Argo; a ship that will eventually bear the Golden Fleece along with Jason, the future leader of the Argonauts and King of Iolcos.”

Gently, Hermes picks up the thousand-eyed gazer, looks into Mycene’s eyes, and proclaims, “As for this child, his name will be Argus Panoptes, and he shall be raised as a Hera’s loyal watchman with Zeus’ consent while living in the society of the divine.” Finally, Mycene gets off the ground, approaches Hermes, her sore throat managing to bring her worn-out voice audible to him, “I have only one question… is this child doomed to suffer such a dreadful death as Poseidon prophesied?” Through the night’s silence, with the full Moon gazing at them, Hermes allows Mycene to hold her child for the last time. “Although he is unable to see the truth of his death, his eyes will be immortalized forever in the most beautiful birds found on land upon his death,” Herme gently speaks while descending into the sky with Argus Panoptes in his arms. Mycene’s eyes follow him until he fades beyond the clouds, the last time her eyes have set upon the thousand-eyed gazer.  

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in All Stories, Fantasy, Fiction

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