Triton by Yelle Hughes

CHAPTER ONE

PRESENT DAY

COLUMBUS, OHIO

                        6:00 am, a golden brown slender hand reached out from under the jade green and blue satin comforter to shut off the insistent buzzing of the alarm clock on the side table.  Ariadne groaned “Mmm! Why did I even set this damn thing? I don’t even have to get up early this morning!” 

                        She hit the snooze button. “Thirty more minutes.” Dropping her face back into the pillow she went back to sleep. Twenty minutes later another buzz awakened her. She smacked the snooze once more but the buzzing still sounded.  “Crap, who in their right mind would be bugging me this early in the morning?”  When she threw the comforter off her head, cold air hit her. Shivering and scrambling to find her robe she tripped over her feet while trying to put on her slippers.

                        Several curses fell from her lips. “Hold on, I’m coming!”

                        Whoever’s at my freaking door better have a good excuse for waking me up, she thought taking a quick peek in the vanity mirror on her way past. She caught a glimpsed of long dark hair flying every which way, hazel eyes surrounded by sooty-dark lashes blurry with sleep.

                        Robert, the gorgeous boy toy who worked with her at the medical center stood at her doorstep leaning on the doorframe looking like a lost puppy. Ten years her junior, tall, dark, freshly shaved head bulging biceps Robert. Underneath his jersey she knew intimately he was packing a six-pack.

                        “Ok, what are you doing here?” Ari wasn’t wearing a bra so her breasts wiggled with the movement of opening her door and she watched as his chocolate eyes slowly looked her up and down. With her purple terry cloth robe hanging open, she was sure he could see the outline of her nipples through her white sleeping shirt. Sure her grey boy shorts were short enough for anyone to see her shapely thighs.

                        His eyes narrowed before he spoke, “You wore that outfit because you knew it would turn me on.”

                        Before she could tell him what for, he swooped in for an unexpected kiss giving her only enough time to gasp as his tongue slid into her mouth while he pushed her further in the house, shutting the door.

                        “What the hell are you doing?” Pushing him off of her, she slapped him hard before wiping off her mouth.

                        Looking stunned that she would do this to him, he opened his mouth, speechless.

                        Ari walked around him and opened her door again. “Robert, I ended things last night for a reason and when I said it was over, I meant it’s over!”

                        Robert opened his mouth to tell her that she had been drinking and didn’t know what she was saying but before he could Ari held up her hand, “I really don’t want to hear it! I said what I needed to say, this relationship isn’t working out. The pros out way the cons and plus…you crossed the line going to my girlfriends telling them they were a bad influence and to stay away from me! That…in my book was it. We’re done!”

                        Robert stood on the doorstep looking at her angry face, and decided that he would wait for her to calm down and come to her senses first before trying to talk to her again.

                        Ari felt she needed to explain it to him in terms that were easier for him to grasp. “I knew it was wrong for us to date because of your age and the fact that we worked together but that was my mistake. Well I’m fixing that mistake right now and if you ever try to interfere with my life again…don’t come back to the job! And yes I am pulling rank, if you hadn’t pulled that stupid stunt; I wouldn’t have had to go there!”

                        Still not able to get a word out, she pushed him out the door and slammed it in his face.

Ψ Ψ Ψ

ONE YEAR LATER

                        Ariadne and one of her best friends Sindi Carrington stood on the side of the studio with the other students as they watched their other best friend Gail “Ice” Patterson give a demonstration on what a female should do when they are being attacked from behind.

                        Gail pointed to Ariadne, “Ari, you go first. Now please show the class what you’ve learned so far.”

                        Ari looked back at Sindi and they both started giggling. The other students waited patiently and watched as a man walked out into the middle of the practice floor to begin the exercise. Butch was a 6’2” 210lb volunteer that allowed the women to practice their self-defense techniques on him. Ari and Sindi had renamed him “bitch” secretly to bring some excitement to an otherwise boring class. They consistently on a regular basis did the opposite from what Gail taught.

                        Butch never knew what they were going to throw at him but he said he liked it that way.

                        After Gail left the Marines she felt it was important that women learned how to protect themselves, so she started teaching a few years ago and her best friends have always been a part of the student roster.

                        Gail would get pissed off because since Butch was a volunteer, she worried that he would quit at anytime if her bad-ass students kept messing with him and going off the curriculum and also it was hard to find a guy that would let women beat them up on a daily basis.

                        Gail gave Ari an icy look that always said, “You’d better behave and don’t mess this up!” With her face turned away from her other classmates, Ari stuck her tongue out and mouthed, “You know I won’t!”

                        Today’s lesson was “what action to take if an attacker grabbed you from behind”. What they were instructed to do was scream to get any bystanders attention, break away using any means then run away as fast as you could.

                        Butch had his usual protective garb of padding covering his chest, arms, legs and groin to protect him from flying fists and unflattering kicks. Ari walked toward Butch then turned around to present her back to him. Soon,  she felt him come close enough to grab her shoulder, she allowed just enough time for him to set his hand down but instead of screaming then breaking away as instructed, she grabbed his finger, turned her head and bit.

                        Sindi was on the side laughing her ass off while the others watched with shocked fascination. Bitch yelled and Ari took the opportunity to kick him in the balls. Knowing she wasn’t really hurting him because of the padding, she worked on getting him down to the ground. She then bent the finger she had bit backwards and kicked her foot behind his knee knocking him on his ass.

                        Gail rushed over and smacked herself in the forehead, “Why are you trying to drive me crazy?” She turned to the rest of the students, “Class, this is what you are “NOT” to do when you are attacked. What Ms. Phillips demonstrated was a good way for you to get your asses raped or even killed. Trying to play the hero can easily backfire and it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

                        She stopped long enough to address sister giggles who was on the side covering her mouth with her hand. “Sindi, this is hardly funny and for the rest of you, I want you to disregard what you just saw and follow the instructions we discussed earlier.”

                        Ari watched as her friend walked over to stand in front of her class. She stood military straight with her hands behind her back and spoke quietly. The ladies seemed a little scared and they all nodded their heads as if they were afraid of Gail but Sindi was still trying to stifle her laugh and rolling her eyes.

                        Ari was laughing herself when she reached down to grab Butch’s hand to help him up. He looked at the hand then looked at her and chuckled, “No thanks!” After getting up off the floor, he gave her a stern look then smiled, “Good one Ari, you caught me off guard with that one.”

                        She waved her hand toward the group, “Aww Butch you know I had to go all out and give the ladies something more to see!”

                        Shaking his head he went to stand on the other side of the floor to take on the next victim.

                        Gail had finally calmed down and called on Sindi next. “Now Sindi I expect you to follow my instructions and show the class what needs to be done…correctly and please…no more stunts just follow directions and then we can move on.” She looked over at Ari who was hand-slapping the other students. “Do not…copy what this hardheaded student just did.”

                        Sindi walked past Ari, gave her a hand-slap and a wink and moved to the middle of the practice floor to await the attack. She tilted her head to stare up at the ceiling. Whistling and acting like she didn’t have a care in the world, Sindi waited while Butch snuck up behind her quietly and grabbed her shoulder.

                        Sindi performed only one thing that Gail instructed. She screamed…that was it. She didn’t break away from him and she didn’t try to run away either. Instead she turned quickly taking him by surprise when she practically walked up Butch’s body by using his face mask to pull herself up. She slid her fingers inside his mask and grabbed onto his hair, with her momentum and yanking his hair back, she knocked him flat on his ass…again.

                        This time it was Ari who was on the ground rolling with laughter while Gail ran and pulled Sindi off Butch who went down with a yelp.

                        The other ladies stood on the sidelines applauding and cheering.

                        Later that afternoon the three best friends were sitting down for lunch at the local café.

                        As soon as their food was served, Gail started in on them, “Why do you guys keep trying to piss off Butch?” I told you he’s a volunteer and it’s taking me a long time to find a guy that I can use as a crash dummy!”             She looked around to make sure the other customers didn’t hear her then turned back to Ari and Sindi sitting across from her and gave them the “eye”.

                        That only worked on people who didn’t know her.

                        Ari threw her hands in the air, “Oh Gail, believe me he loves it when Sindi and I throw him curve balls, I’ve talked to Bitch and he’s cool with it. Said he likes the way we surprise him.” Ari lightly smacked Sindi on the arm when she giggled at Ari saying the word “bitch”.

                        Gail leaned closer and slammed her fist on the table, “Will you stop calling him bitch please, that is so mean! I’m sure he’s not cool with that!”

                        Putting down her cup, Sindi sighed and sat back against the brown and orange booth, “Gail, lighten up, you are too uptight, he knows we mean no harm and he knows we secretly call him bitch, so it’s not really a secret but you should talk to him sometime and I’m not talking just about work. He’s a good guy and he’s funny.”

                        Gail looked over at Sindi, who had a calculating look in her eyes, “Um…Sindi you sounded weird when you said that, are you trying to hook me up or something?”

                        Sindi shrugged, “Well…you are single and really haven’t been with a guy in…how long has it been Ari?”

                        Ari stopped the forkful of pasta from entering her mouth, “Oh it’s been about a year since she got any.”

                        Gail’s jaw dropped along with her fork, “Since when do you tricks have a nerve to talk about my sex life, when’s the last time you two went out on a date?”

                        Both women looked at each other and started giggling when Ari answered, “Ok you got us there, so what? We are talking about you. You should hook up with Bitch; he’s man enough to put up with your roughneck, marine ways!”

                        Gail opened her mouth to protest, quickly closing it then sheepishly looked at both, “We tried and it just didn’t work out, ok? Besides we are better at working together instead of trying to be lovers. Anyway, you need to pay attention to your own dry times and let me worry about my own.”

                        Laughing while looking at her watch, Sindi stood up “We’re gonna hook you up one day I promise you but hey I got a client scheduled in half an hour; I have to get back and set up the studio. I have a shoot coming up that’s going to take two days to get done and I have my dance class late on Wednesday, so I’ll be at your place first thing Thursday morning and I promise I will lay off Bitch if you promise to lay on him.” Giggling like a school girl, she laid her money on the table and took off to her photo shoot.

                        After finishing the last bite of her salad and drinking her ice-tea Gail got up as well, “Yea it’s time for me to get back. Another session is starting and I guess I better make sure that Bitch…Uhm…I mean Butch is going to be there. You better not laugh; I swear you girls are rubbing off on me! Will you be in tomorrow?”

                        Standing up with her, Ari lay her money on the table alongside the check, “No, I promised my mom that we would clear out Granma’s house today and tomorrow. Most of it has been packed already but the attic and basement still needs to be sorted and put in boxes.  Mom’s been holding out getting to those two because there’s a lot of our family heirlooms and memento’s in there.”

                        Settling her purse on her shoulder Ari waved goodbye, “So I’ll be in on Wednesday for the afternoon class then meet up with Sindi the following morning then back to work. See you later.” Before leaving she ordered a cappuccino to go.

                        When Ari reached her grandmother’s house, she could see that her mother and brother’s cars were already in the driveway. Walking through the front entrance, she heard her mother back in the kitchen, “Hey Ma, I’m here where do you want me to start?”

                        Looking up from wrapping and packing dishes, Chanel smiled, “Hi sweetie! Your brother has already started in the basement; can you start in the attic? All you need to do is start packing the boxes and mark them “attic” your father and I will go through them later. Right now we just have to move them out of the house.” Ari’s mom leaned back down to the dishes she was wrapping, “Before you go upstairs, say hello to your brother. He’s been here since early this morning, I had to literally pull him out of the basement and make him eat.”

                        Ari laughed, “Ok Ma.”

                        Before she headed downstairs she asked, “Where are the boxes going anyway?”

                        Chanel stood up from pulling out an old roasting pan to put in a box, “Oh they’re going to be trucked over to my house and placed in the garage till I can go thru everything. I’m going to have a garage sale and sell anything we don’t want to keep, so you might want to check them out before they go to sale, there might be something of mom’s that you might want for yourself.”

                        Ari stood at the door to the basement. “The only things that I would probably take are grandma’s books and her deck of cards…that’s pretty much it. I’ll take a look though just in case.”

                        Downstairs in the basement she found her brother Jason stacking boxes in a neat and orderly fashion. “Why are you stacking everything so neatly when they’re going to be moved again and placed in a truck?”

                        Her brother’s looks came from their mother’s side of the family, their skin-tone was slightly darker, they had dark brown eyes and their facial features were similar. He was taller than her and had the body of a football player, funny he only played golf.

                        He lifted a box marked “basement SW corner” written in elegant scrawl on each side, “It’s so the movers will put them in the truck in the correct order, then they can be moved into Ma’s basement in the correct order, duh!”

                        Shaking her head, “You are too weird…besides Ma said she’s putting them in the garage and unless you’re the one that’s gonna move everything, I don’t think they are going follow your directions on the boxes. They’ll just put them in the corner in whatever way just to get the job done. Anyway, I’m heading up to the attic to start there and I bet I’ll be done before you because I won’t be so anal about how I pack my boxes ha-ha!” She shook her head again as she went back up the stairs, “See you later!”

                        Several hours later, a sweaty and dusty Ari made her way to the far corner looking at a stack of old shoe boxes marked “Christmas Ornaments”. As she was putting them in a larger storage box she found an old wooden chest sitting in the middle of the stack.

                        Because there were so many she hadn’t bothered opening the others, it would take over two days to look at them all but there was something about this chest that made her want to look inside. She finished packing the smaller boxes and pulled it out into the middle of the room.

                        Dusting off her backside then sitting comfortably, she opened the chest. Dust flew everywhere, waving it out of the way she peered inside to see a shiny blue cloth on top. After she pulled it out she found more clothing then she felt something hard underneath. When she pushed those aside she found and removed an old leather bound book. It was textured with raised images of a male with a fish tail holding a pitchfork.  Large waves of water surrounded him as he pointed out somewhere in the distance.

                        On the cover was phrase, “Ποσειδῶν, Θάλασσα καὶ πόλεμος καὶ γυνή” in ancient Greek. “Poseidon, Sea and War and Woman” it said in English.

                        Puzzled, she knew this was a foreign language but why was she even able to read it as if it was written in her native language. She knew that she wouldn’t get anything else done if she sat there and started reading so she set it to the side, then finished packing up the rest her grandmother’s things.

                        Done, she took the book and went downstairs to find that her father had shown up and was helping her mother in the kitchen. “Ma, I found this book among grandma’s things. I want to take it home and get a good look at it.”

                        She handed it to her mother who looked at it with a puzzled frown. “What language is this? It’s a nice looking book but if you can’t read it, why do you want to keep it?”

                        Her father reached for it next. “Dear, its ancient Greek, that’s funny…I only took two semesters in ancient Greek in college but I can read this as clear as day.”

                        Ari went and stood next to her father, “Dad, I can read it too and I’ve never taken that class. I took a few courses on mythology and about the country but I never studied the language and only know a few phrases and words of Modern Greek. Why can I read this then?”      

                        Chanel watched her husband and daughter puzzle over the book with amusement. Memories of those two putting their heads together over some book that pertained to Greece were a common occurrence in their household. “Could be you guys were paying more attention in class then you thought.”

                        Ari looked up at her mom and accepted that explanation. “I guess, what else could explain me being able to read it? Well I’m gonna head home and find out what this is all about.”

                        After saying goodbye to her parents and yelling downstairs to say bye to her brother, she left to go home to figure out what was up with this book.

            Once getting home she made sure everything was locked up and the unnecessary lights were turned off except for the light in the kitchen. After her shower she fixed tuna casserole for dinner. She poured a glass of wine then settled down in her bed and opened to the first page which had a started out describing who and what was Poseidon.

                        Inscribed at the top was the phrase, “Μονάχα άρθρο κατάγομαιβαθούλωμα από εισαγωγή θα ξέρω και αγγέλλω.” Reading aloud, “Only the descendents of import shall know and announce.”

                        Shrugging her shoulders, “What does that mean?” Before she got a chance to turn to the next page, she became hot all over and felt sweat dripping from her hair and trail down her cheeks. Swiping her forehead, her hand came away empty and dry. “Well I’m past thirty; maybe my hot flashes have started.” Dismissing this as just one of those things, she went back to the book.

                        The book contained information on Poseidon’s birth, women he was involved with, his children, the many wars he started and the lives of any mortal that were special enough to garner his attention. Excited that she found something pertaining to Greek mythology that she had never read before, she fluffed more pillows behind her then with the book on raised knees she disappeared into the life of Poseidon.

                        Reaching the fifth chapter, there was a raised circular symbol of a man in profile facing a black and white killer whale, upon looking down their torso’s showed the man’s legs closed together to form a tail that encircled fusing with the killer whale.

                        She rubbed her finger along the symbol, “Neat!” She read the inscription below “Τρίτων, γιος από Ποσειδῶν και Ἀμφιτρίτη, καθοδήγηση πολεμιστής από δαίμων Τρίτωνες.” Triton: Son of Poseidon and Amphytrite: Commander of Daimone Tritones Warriors.

                        “Hmm! Now this is really interesting!” The passage described Triton as a dutiful son and fierce warrior who fought to protect his father’s kingdom and the land of Greece from the oldest of all the Greek deities, “The Gigantes.” Older than the Titans, they had been fighting the Olympians since Zeus took over as King.

                        Engrossed in the tales and adventures of Poseidon’s “True” son, she was unaware of other events happening from reading the first passage of the book.

 

Ψ Ψ Ψ

 

                        In a large house located in the Arena District, the swing of Chris Dugan’s whip missed its target entirely. A surge of power smacked him just as he was giving the runaway a final lash to his backside. “What the Hades!”

                        Yelling at the young man shackled to the wall to shut up his screaming, he dropped the whip and ran from the specially constructed dungeon that was built especially for torture up to his office. “Hecate!” he screamed to the ceiling.

                        He had come here ten years ago and had been enjoying himself ever since. Having to dodge the authorities was a piece of cake and with money and power, he could do almost anything he wanted as long as he didn’t kill anybody, well…at least make sure the bodies were never found. “Hecate! Please come to me, something has happened!” 

                        A feeling of nausea threatened Dugan to purge his lunch when she appeared. A small woman with bright red hair, black irises circled by white rings and pale skin was sitting behind his desk.

                        Not one for small talk. “Acrisius, one of your descendents has read from an immortal’s book.

                        An evil smirk made its way to her thin red lips, “You felt the power because she is in the direct line of your daughter Danae and she’s here in this town. Find her and you can make her pay for what your daughter and her son have done to you all those years ago and you will have your revenge for your humiliating death.”

                        She said with an evil chuckle, “You will have to find her quickly; you were not the only one who was notified when she read the book. It was Poseidon’s journal and he is very much aware that someone is reading it and will come directly to find out who it is.” 

                        A little afraid of her, Dugan watched her inspecting her nails, “I only know the area where she is located, somewhere on the east side of town; the rest is up to you to find her and do it quickly.” She stood before him one minute the next she disappeared.

                        Dugan’s eyes alighted with glee for he now had an actual blood relative to torture and kill for the embarrassing murder of himself and his men all those centuries ago. Many victims over the years have paid the price for what his family had done but it will be bittersweet to get his hands on someone as close to his daughter as he could get. Danae and her son Perseus’ interference came at the wrong time. His empire and his status was perfect, he had everything he had ever wanted, power, wealth and his inferiors clamoring to do anything he commanded and they ruined it.

                        Well its payback time and whoever this girl was…she will pay and those she loves shall pay the price as well. He called for his men to begin the search.

                        Hecate stood unseen in the corner of the room listening to Dugan talk to his men. She studied the new look of Dugan, the facial features were different from when he went by the names of Acrisius and Caligula. He first had curly red hair then a blond roman hairstyle now it was grey and feathered back in a short cut but he had the same evil sky blue eyes and still heavy around the middle. He had made her happy all these centuries with his cruelty and evil imaginative ways to destroy anyone that had caught his eye.

                        Rubbing her hands together in anticipation, her plans to torture the gods would begin now that she has found a way in through Dugan’s descendent. They interfered one too many times into her affairs, this time they’ll learn not to stick their noses where they don’t belong.

                        After this works, the minor goddess Hecate will be no more, she will be known as “Queen of the gods!” All who mocked and dismissed her before will bow on their knees before her.

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