Cauldron Anthology Issue 8: Untold Fortitude cauldronissue8changes - Page 14

didn’t notice me. I shied away from the men who’d once courted me. She’d kill me if she caught me with one of them again. What could I do? I belonged to her, to the temple until she released me. Or Poseidon rescued me. How could I get to him? In the temple, Athena raged. “How dare he flood my city! My people will not worship him out of fear. They will worship ME!”I cowered behind a pillar, and watched as she paced, excitement stirring. It wouldn’t be long now. Soon Poseidon would take her place, and I could be by his side. Athena’s raging ceased, and she stood still. “He brings destruction. I must offer them something else.” Outside the mob eddied and flowed, and I heard their cries. “Athena save us,” “We’re drowning.” “Our crops are ruined.” “Poseidon, what must we do to appease your anger?” “Where is your power Athena?” She walked out to the crowd, head held high. “Athena, Athena,” they chanted. When Poseidon joined her on the temple steps, cries of “Poseidon,” grew louder. He stood with his trident aloft, waves crashed around the city filling the air with foamy spray. The cries rose to a crescendo, and my heart leapt within me. Athena moved forward, raised her arm, and a hush fell over the crowd. “People of Athens, my people. Instead of destruction, I bring you life. Instead of fear, I offer love. I offer health, and food. I give you the Olive Tree.” In the courtyard outside the temple the paving stones began to crack, and slowly a shoot emerged, reaching high, growing into a vast tree, luscious fruit appearing among its glossy leaves. “Athena, Athena,” the crowd chanted, falling prostrate. “I win,” she murmured. “Get out of here Si.” “This isn’t over.” “Oh yes it is. The people have chosen. You promised. Now leave my temple and my city.” 14 Cauldron Anthology