Ganymede

This is a flash fiction I wrote for one of my classes last year. Usually I don’t think I’m very good at flash fiction, but I really liked how this one turned out.

I was herding sheep when he took me.

He ripped me from the life I had always known, carried me in a feathery vessel to a world where I was a stranger, a mortal among Gods.

He told me I was beautiful, the most beautiful he had ever seen. I was so different from the Gods with their pale marble colored skin and eyes of deep azure or clover. My skin was dark, the color of wet mud and my eyes matched.

Upon my arrival, I was given eternal youth and beauty. Hera looked at me with contempt from my first moments in Olympus, her eyes glinting with her wishes of my downfall. There was no way for me to tell her that I didn’t want this life, no words I could say to convince this goddess that I was not a threat. If I had been a cat I might have stood a chance of gaining her cool indifference, but she only saw me as a rival for the affection of their King.

I was given wine and told to serve, to make sure his cup was never empty. I stood at his right hand and yet no one ever seemed to notice until his voice drew their eyes to me.

“Look at my beauty,” he would say to the crowd of perpetual indulgence. “All of you gaze upon the gorgeous youth that I have rescued and claimed as mine.” Then he would go on to tell the story of how he saved me from a path that ended in Hades and gifted my life purpose.

Was herding sheep not purpose enough? Was helping my father and my family too lowly for him to understand? I suppose to a god my simple way of life certainly seemed like something to be saved from, but I had been taken from a life I loved and given an eternity of servitude.

At night, Helios takes the sun back across the sky, and Selene raises the moon to hang among the stars, and I lie with him towering above me.

His fingertips feel as if they leave scorching red marks across the darkened plains of my back. I’m sure he thinks his touch is soft, but I feel nothing but the lightning that lies in wait beneath the surface. He does what he wants to me and I do not object because no one can save me from his thunder.

While he consorts with Morpheus I often think of running away, wondering if there is some hidden path to be found that would lead me out of the sky and back to my home near Troy. Perhaps I could seek Prometheus to fuel my escape attempt, or perhaps there is a map that is locked in Pandora’s box. Alas, I know that my ideas are just feeble dreams, no mortal has ever bested him, and none ever shall.

We mortals are nothing to them, simply pawns on a board.

He moves me where he wills and I must obey.