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A Retelling

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She is Gaia, Mother Earth, born from Chaos.
Her children were born from her power, and yet only possessed pieces of it.
Her very bones shaped the Earth, and her blood is the magma that heats it.
She is the beginning.

He was Icarus, son of an inventor and son of a madman.
The sky beckoned above him, the sea rocked below him.
He reached and reached, always trying to go higher and higher, searching for something that he could not find.
He flew too high, Apollo’s name on his lips.
He fell.

She was Kore, before she was Persephone.
She is the Goddess of Spring, of and from Death.
Several gods courted her, but none that she could love.
She wandered, and perhaps she got lost on purpose, and perhaps it was also on purpose that she ended up in the only place that her mother had no influence over.
She met the God of the Dead, King of the Underworld, and she fell in love.
And so the Earth experienced its first frost.

He was Achilles, and Patroclus was worth the world and more to him.
His mother had dipped him into the River Styx, but, for all his supposed strength and power, he still had a weakness.
Some say it was his heel. Others know better.
And when the final arrow, loosed by Paris and guided by Apollo, struck him down, they say he fell with a smile on his face.
From dust to dust, as all things, and so his ashes were mixed with Patroclus’ so they might be together even in death.

She was Arachne, a weaver like no other on this Earth.
Athena had heard of her talent, and thus proposed a contest with Zeus as a judge.
Whoever lost would never weave again so long as they lived.
She lost.
She died.
Athena had mercy, and thus Arachne wove once more.

He was Orion, fellow hunter of Artemis and son of Poseidon.
He was charismatic and charming and bold, and so even the gods considered him a friend.
Hephaestus helped him in his time of need, Helios healed him, and Artemis hunted with him.
As mortals do, he fell in love.
He fell in love with Artemis, his best friend, and a Goddess that he would do anything for.
And when he died, she asked Zeus for permission, and Orion became a constellation, forever glittering in the heavens.

She was Helen, cursed with a face that launched a thousand ships.
Kidnapped from the man she was promised to, trapped in a city that blamed her for their sufferings.
She stayed for ten years in the city that hated her, dodging assassination attempts and humiliation after humiliation.
There were people yelling in the streets. At her, at the soldiers. The war continued on beyond their walls.
Troy was burning, and the man she was promised to ten years ago had a sword at her throat.
Helen had not survived for ten years in a city that hated her by being stupid.
Menelaus put down his sword.

He was Orpheus, poet and master musician.
His wife was Eurydice, nymph and daughter of Apollo, and when she died, the world was burdened with the heavy weight of Orpheus’s grief.
He travelled through Hades’ Realm and begged Hades and Persephone for his wife.
They told him not to look back.
He looked back.

She is Gaia, Mother Earth, born from Chaos.
The gods have faded in power. The stories of her children and her children’s children now live in classrooms and textbooks on myths and legends.
The mortals have forgotten them, as they have forgotten to care for her.
They forget that she was born from Chaos.
She is Gaia, and she is angry.