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the myth of io (#fantasycontest)

December 6, 2018


(based off of the greek myth io)

kiss her till the moon is dead.  kiss her till the sun rises and the birds sing and the clouds circle above her head.
you are terrified of the fury of your wife, and so you blanket the skies in cream clouds.  no suspicion arises.
the clouds shift, they tumble, and they turn on the spot, steadily dispersing and revealing a sky of azure grey.
panicking... you cannot think... anything to turn her away from the wraths of hera, and and anything to protect the beauty of her sparkling face, the eyes of the gentle storm.  from your fingers spring a sudden urge.  her eyes shift and swivel, and her head is retracting into her spine.
a cow of golden white.  io.
hera, descending--"who is this?"
"a cow, and one i have never seen before in my life."  you eyes are a little too guilty, perhaps, your mouth still flattening.
hera knows.
the question is launched at you.  "may i have her?"
"this cow is lovely.  i want her as a present, so that her milk may feed my mouth and nourish my soul."
there is no reason not to obey her.  slowly you look into the cow's stormy eyes, and back into the hard rocks of hera.
"of course."  slowly, uttered.  the cow's doleful eyes continue to stare, but already she is swept away by hera.
"argus!"  she summons the watchman, the watchman with one hundred eyes.
"guard this cow with your life, and never let her escape."  a tall order, but a good one.  argus never breaks his promises.
far away, you try to push io from your mind, but the image of the maiden swims before your eyes.  downcast, you call hermes to your side.  for hermes will always answer to you.

"get the cow from my wife.  do it quickly."
the journey begins.
hermes is cunning.  halfway through his travel his shape spins and transforms, and he emerges as a humble shepherd.  the changed man approaches argus, wary.
argus's one hundred eyes all snap onto hermes.  he has the demeanor of a warrior and the temperament of a dragon.  "who are you?"
but hermes has taken a lyre from his small bag, which he begins to play.  the lyre glints golden in the passing sunlight, and so does the song, which is more beautiful than that of the angels.
 argus is angry; he starts toward the shepherd, then stops.  oh, how wonderful that music is.  the many eyelids droop.  he has not slept in so long.
in a flash, the lyre has fallen to the floor and been replaced with a large stone-cold knife.  hermes hesitates no longer; he plunges the blade into the warmth of argus's flesh.  blood spurts from the tear.
the watchman screams.  once.  twice.  then it dies in his throat.
the gentle messenger hides away his bloody knife and fetches the white cow.  her stormy eyes look to him, pathetic, and he soothes her.
days later, hera finds his sleeping body.  she has no mercy nor regret, but instead makes use, plucking out the eyes filthily out of the dead argus and placing them onto the shining tail of a peacock.
the nest of io is empty.  the air is cold in her absence.
the mother gadfly swoops to the scene, leather-black wings beating horribly, round eyes surveying the goddess in her majesty.
"find the cow, and pluck at her and sting her until her senses are no more."
the mother gadfly obeys.  no one disagrees with hera.
meanwhile, io has begun to wander.  she is lost and afraid and her stomach is plummeting in hunger.
the cloud emerges.
the gadflies swarm overhead.  they beat at her, sticking stings deep into flesh, and io stumbles backward, wounded, her white skin pinki and swollen.  her mind is haywire.  she begins to hallucinate.
"zeus!"  she cries to the man she once loved so desperately.  "please, zeus!"
but the heavens no longer reply to her, for she is a plain cow, now wounded beyond repair.
she is shattered and near-death.  her heart is beating violently in her ribcage, and the resulting clangs are similar to those of a hammer hitting a stone anvil.  
io begins to walk.
here, broken, she will walk forever.
Contest here.  Check it out!
You said you wanted Greek mythology, so I gave it my best shot.  I originally researched the myth for a school project, but I figured it would serve well for this purpose.  Hope you like it!


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  • December 6, 2018 - 9:10pm (Now Viewing)

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  • Ashleigh2403

    winners are up

    over 1 year ago
  • Ashleigh2403

    This is very well written and very entertaining, I love how you make this very descriptive and I can see all the different aspects you provide in your story. all in all I think this a great piece, thanks

    over 1 year ago
  • paperbird


    over 1 year ago
  • rosemarywisdom


    over 1 year ago
  • artificialaorta

    clever structure, interesting narrative voice, a good pastiche of homer's own writing (i can almost see it as a mini-epic!). fantastic as always!

    over 1 year ago