Eclipse, the false promise.
Zeus trailed his hand in the water as he watched the moon slowly creep across the sky. The fountain in the palace garden was always his favourite place to escape to whenever his Father was entertaining. He couldn’t stand to watch him and the rest of his Titans slap each other on the back and celebrate battles,that they hadn’t even taken part in. It made him sick. Not as sick as being kept away from the action though.
His Father’s iron rule kept his offspring well away from the fighting in the villages and towns. They were instead confined to Othyrs and it’s fortified palace, like children. And all because he was frightened that history would repeat itself. It made no sense to Zeus. In fact it fed the fire inside him that desperation had built. He couldn’t live like this much longer, restrained by an iron grip. But for now he had to pretend to be the dutiful son.
He sighed as he continued to watch the sky. Bright stars were appearing in the velvet darkness. His arm still stung from the day’s training, callouses had begun to adhere to his palm in circular patches, like new leather. It seemed pointless to be training for a fight you would never be allowed to take part in. But then maybe that was going to change. Distant rumblings had revealed that he wasn’t alone in his displeasure of the crushing rule of the mighty Cronus.
Zeus shifted his position on the edge of the fountain, feeling suddenly small and insignificant under the moon’s icy stare. A brief rustling to his left caught his attention as the laurel bushes beside him parted, to give entrance to a familiar shadowy form.
“Good evening Hades, my brother.”
Zeus’s relaxed posture didn’t betray the tension he felt around his older brother. Hades had a dark side in direct contrast to Zeus’s own bright and compassionate side. Zeus had spent his life trying not to be their Father, Hades seemed to, in part, embrace his heritage.
“Good evening brother.” Hades replied, his dark aura seeming to temporarily blot out any moonlight around him. “How goes the fight? As it were.”
Zeus exhaled with an exasperated “ha!”
“The training is as pointless as ever. The Titans continue to keep us busy.”
Zeus watched the smirk appear across his brother’s face, the moonlight picking out the whiteness of his teeth.
“But they’ve been blissfully unaware of your absence.”
Hades nodded in approval, strands of his dark hair brushing across his cheeks. Zeus leaned closer towards him to reduce the carry of his voice.
“So what news do you have from Tartarus?”
Hades smirk reasserted itself, a gleam appearing in his left eye.
“It took some persuasion but Charon let me travel unhindered. I’ll owe him a favour in the future.”
Zeus motioned for his brother to continue, while a small voice at the back of mind asked if being in debt to the ferryman might cause them both a few problems. He chose to ignore it, desperate hear the result of Hades clandestine trip.
“Our Uncle looks well, considering the length of his imprisonment and he seemed quite keen to assist us with our plan.”
Zeus’s heart leaped inside his chest. This was the news he’d been hoping for. The one being capable of bringing down the iron fist that ruled the earth was interested in helping them. He slapped Hades on the shoulder, leaving his hand resting there for a few moments than was strictly necessary.
“This is good news!” He exclaimed, instantly realising that anyone stood on the balcony could hear his joyful voice. He instinctively switched to a whisper.
“So is the plan in the motion?”
Hades inclined his head to signal the affirmative, it was all Zeus could do to stop himself from dancing around the fountain. Hades stood perfectly still as if emulating the marble statues within the palace courtyard, a sudden serious expression on his face.
“I need to clarify my position in all this.” He stated, instantly deflating Zeus’s joy. “When the dust clears, will I have a place at your side, when you take over? Will we rule together as you promised?”
Zeus faltered momentarily, a dark shadow drifting across his bright and compassionate heart. He loved his brother dearly, but his heritage was too strong. To have Hades rule by his side was to risk history repeating itself for a second time, but without him the plan would unravel.
Zeus straightened himself up and put on his most dazzling smile.
“Of course, my dear, dear brother.” He flung open his arms and embraced the cool, shadowy form of Hades. ” We’ll rule together, I promise.”
“Thank you, my brother.” Hades replied as he returned the embrace.
Within the encircling arms of his brother, Zeus’s bright expression began to fade as the dark shadow eclipsed his heart. Suddenly he was resolved. Hades would never be allowed to rule the earth, for the good of all, but especially for the good of Zeus.