Here's a preview of my upcoming e-Book, "Psyche".
The Unseen Suitor
Psyche woke up. It seemed to be almost sunset. She looked around. The sky seemed alive with shades of light blue, pink, orange, and gold, that streamed through the air, seeming so close that Psyche could reach up and grab it. And then it was as if Psyche was in the colours, for as she looked around she found she was laying in a field of beautiful, bright, almost glittering heaps of flowers and fruit trees. She stood up, rather calmly, suddenly drifting out of the orchard, and found herself rather slowly walking up a pure marble staircase into a flowing hall filled with rich ornaments and tapestries held up by pillars and walls of pure gold, platinum, and silver encrusted with pure, bright, and colourful gems.
As Psyche wandered the colourful mansion, steady voices drifted down the hall, “Welcome, Psyche, to your new home. If you go straight you will find a hot bath and a warm robe, and once you are hungry simply ask and dinner will be served. Afterwards you may explore the gardens and go to bed when you like.” Psyche found herself in a large chamber, and as she undressed, a smooth marble tub at the edge of the room filled with warm, steamy water, and Psyche found herself inside, completely relaxed and calm; worries, and wonders from before melting away. When Psyche rose from her bath, a soft towel appeared at her side, and she dried off and headed to the door of the chamber, where a gleaming and colourful gown appeared. Psyche wrapped the soft cloth around herself, and asked for her dinner.
As Psyche spoke, a golden throne, padded with soft, plush-like cotton cloth, slid to her out of nowhere, and as she sat down a large golden table drifted in front of her. A crystal cup faded into Psyche’s hands and a jug of wine poured into it. The violet liquid touched Psyche’s lips, and tingled on her taste buds, a cool, relaxing sensation of rich fruit: grapes, berries, peaches; and sweet watery apple cider. As Psyche sank back, enjoying her drink, the table was suddenly filled with rich, sweet fruits; delicious, crunchy salads, and warm, fresh-cooked meats. As Psyche sank her teeth
into a warm slice of fresh wheat bread smothered in creamy, melted butter, her goblet refilled mystically. After the most delicious and filling dinner of her life, Psyche wandered down the hall, into warm fading sunshine, and watched the sun disappearing over the soft horizon.
As the moon rose Psyche slipped back into her chamber to a candlelit corner. There, she climbed into a comfortable, soft, feather-stuffed bed, and lay her head on a cool, soft pillow, pulling the warm sheets over her cool body and sank into a calm, relaxing sleep.
When Psyche opened her eyes, she felt the breeze over her shifting warm to cool constantly keeping her completely satisfied and comfy in her warm bed. The candles were out and the soft glow of the moon illuminated the figure that entered the chamber, heading toward the bed. It spoke in a calm, gentle, male voice, “Psyche. Psyche. Welcome to my home. I am your suitor. I have waited so long to see you.” “Who are you,” asked Psyche, and the suitor replied, “I am Love, and Grief, Life, and Death, Destiny, and Light. You have no need to fear me, Psyche. No need at all to fear the one that only seeks to adore you.” “Well then,” said Psyche, “If you are here for beauty to adore…” “No,” interrupted the figure, “I look for beauty, yes, but on the outside, no. I am here for a girl with intelligence, kindness, and love to those who seek it, and I am looking straight at her.”
Psyche felt as if love and fear had melted into her, but as she sank into the kind grasp of her suitor, all her bad thoughts melted away, and she said out loud, “Only the gods could have given me such a godlike suitor,” and she began wondering which one she should thank for it, as the suitor whispered kind, gentle, and loving compliments in her ear. The night drifted on, and Psyche awoke beside her lover, happy and calm. As the sun rose, so did her suitor, and as the first rays of sunlight drifted upon the couple, he vanished into the warm, inviting day.
Psyche awoke warm and happy, and the entire morning danced through the gardens of her new mansion, until she sank into her throne and began eating a fresh, delicious lunch. And that night, after dinner, Psyche blew out the candle, and sank into bed, later accompanied by her new fiancée.
The Green-Eyed Monsters
Psyche woke up every morning happy. She had the perfect life, The perfect home, and the perfect beau. But then there were some bad things. Like how the beau was always hidden in the shadows, and how most of the time she was worried about her father and mother and two sisters. One night, she broached her concerns to her fiancée, “My host, I have been just a bit curious. I don’t really know much about you, like what you look like.” Her fiancee replied, “Psyche, Psyche, how many times have you wished to be invisible, so that you could see if people love you for you or your beauty? The saying goes that seeing’s believing, but what if looks can be deceiving. Trust your heart, Psyche, and what does it say.” Psyche replied, “It says I’m an idiot if I don’t trust you.” Psyche felt as though her soon-to-be husband could see into her soul, and as if he felt exactly like she did. But then there was the family.
“Please, if you could spare it your heart,” Psyche asked. “Anything you wish, Psyche,” replied her caring beau. “I would like for my sisters to come visit us, please,” continued Psyche. “Anything but that,” said Psyche’s lover. “Why not?” asked Psyche. “Because,” the figure said, “I'm afraid they may try to break your trust in me. I don’t trust them.” “Please,” pleaded Psyche, and her fiancee reluctantly agreed, “Okay, Psyche. I can’t refuse you.” And they kissed and went to bed, as the moonlight spread across the sheets.
As soon as Aurora spread over the sky, and the first rays of sunlight flowed through the mansion, Zephyr was quickly flowing through the skies, headed for Psyche’s homeland. And by breakfast, Psyche sat in the orchard, awaiting her sisters to arrive. And sure enough, up high in the clouds, one part of the sky began flashing in brilliant colours and in an instant, Psyche’s startled sisters slowly dropped into the field. They stood up, startled, and then saw Psyche. They ran up to her, hugging and greeting and for moments it was a happy reunion, until Psyche’s sisters saw the mansion.
Psyche’s sisters were amazed, and jealous, and began filling their pockets with jewels, and sinking their teeth into delicious food, and asking questions. Then the eldest asked, “So where is your fiancée, we would love to meet him!” And Psyche answered, “Oh, he goes, um hunting, during the day,” and the middle sister said, “You know Psyche, that’s the first you’ve mentioned him. What are you hiding?” And then Psyche was overcome with questions, “What’s his name,” “Where is he,” and “What does he look like?” and Psyche finally was frustrated, “Listen, all I know is he’s kind and I trust him! He only comes at night, so I can’t see him, but he is kind and loving to me, so I…” “Well, maybe what the Oracle said is true! He must be a monster. He plans to gore you and eat your flesh,” interrupted the eldest. “You are wrong!” shouted Psyche. “Prove It!” blurted the eldest again. A single tear fell from Psyche’s eye. Then, quietly at first, “Get… OUT!!!” And at that, Zephyr swept up Psyche’s sisters in a bright, swirling, mega-mash of gushing wind, and ripped them from the mansion back to their homes.
That night, as Psyche slept, a knock at the door woke her. She hopped from her sleep in surprise, and looking around, could not find her fiancée. She looked to the door, “Who is it?” “It’s me, your husband, Psyche, Open the door!” Psyche walked to the door, wondering, ‘But we aren’t married yet,’ and opened it. In came a fanged serpent exposed in the light! Psyche screamed as the hideous monster curled around her and sank its teeth into her shoulder! Then came an incessant knocking. Psyche awoke screaming from her nightmare. Her fiancée ran in, “Psyche, I hurried when I heard you scream! What’s wrong?” Psyche replied, “Nothing, just a bad dream,” and mumbled to her self out loud, “Husband?” “We aren’t married yet, Psyche!” said the figure, and he wrapped his arms around her, and kissed her, and they went to bed. But Psyche couldn’t sleep.
The God in the Bed
Psyche quietly got out of bed, and grabbed a candle. She picked up a match, struck it, and lit the candle. The poor girl even grabbed a knife. She put the candle above her beau’s head. In the light she saw bundles of golden hair, a handsome face, muscular arms, a slim and muscular body, and two neatly folded pure white wings. Eros! There was a god sleeping in her bed every night! Psyche looked on the floor. On it was a quiver and bow. Inside the quiver was a bundle of golden arrows. Eros suddenly tossed onto his stomach in the bed. Surprised, Psyche hopped up a bit… and her foot fell on an arrow.
Immediately, the poison from the arrow went flowing through Psyche’s body, and soon her heart seemed aflame. Happiness seemed to flow through her veins, as she leaned into bed to her fiancée, the candle fell from Psyche’s hand, falling on Eros’ shoulder. As the burning oil violently seeped through Eros’ darkening skin, he jumped from the bed, suddenly awake. In an instant, the fire was out, and as Psyche’s eyes slowly adjusted to the pitch black darkness, she saw the familiar figure swoop to her and grabbed Psyche’s wrist. Psyche felt her fiancée's lips brush her cheek, before she found herself stumbling to the gardens, as the figure spread his wings. Psyche desperately grabbed his leg, as tears began falling from her eyes.
“Are you happy now that you now your fiancée is handsome enough?” shouted down Eros. Psyche replied, “No, I was happy before!” “Sure. Then why did you just have to see me?” shouted back Eros, as he flew high above the mansion. Psyche shouted, “I… I…” “You doubted me. Why didn’t you listen to your heart like I asked. Love cannot live when the heart doesn’t trust!” With that last word, Eros shook and Psyche fell. As she looked to him she could make out a single tear running from his eye, as he vanished into the sky, with the single whisper, “Sorry” on his lips.
So here was Psyche, falling straight to the ground, crying, unable to hold back these memories. She had mixed feelings: Love for Eros, Hate and
Anger toward her sisters, Sadness toward her abandoning, and Fear towards what might happen next. Psyche felt a sudden jolt of force against her back. The next thing she knew, a little blue jay crawled onto her. Starlight shone on her face. She stood up, and the bird gently leaped into the air. Psyche’s back was a bit stiff. The back of her head was numb. She found she was in the orchard. She ran down the path. Golden pillars caught her eyes. The sun was coming up. The golden rays hit a flower by Psyche. The colorful violet seemed to vanish in the light.
Gusts of wind had suddenly begun to blow. Psyche’s robe shook violently. The trees and coming-into-sight palace began to shake and creak violently in the wind and sunrise. As each ray of light hit something it vanished. The wind ripped and groaned through the orchard and palace, pushing Psyche every which way. Psyche sank to the ground as Zephyr poured through the land furiously, and rays of sun hit the trees and flowers, dissolving them quickly and instantly. Psyche crawled toward the palace, grabbing a golden pillar as the bright twister ripped up the columns, Psyche with them. In a swirling mess of colour, wind, and light, Psyche clung to golden statue of one of the Cupids, and a sudden small sound echoed through the storm. It seemed to say, “Good Bye!”
Psyche felt a sudden jolt of force against her, and looked around. She sat in a wild forest. A lost, baby deer stepped out from the bushes toward the sobbing girl. It licked her shoulder and laid down in the dust beside her. A small smile came to Psyche’s face for a moment, and a pink and yellow winged butterfly came and rested on her shoulder.
Sweet, Sweet Revenge
Psyche wandered two days before arriving, ragged and a bit bruised, in her own city. She looked like a beautiful beggar woman, and after a while the men of the town realized who she was. They took her to the palace where her nurses and maids rushed up to her crying and laughing, and after a short bath, a bit of bandaging, and a nap, Psyche went to her sisters’ chambers and sobbingly told them the whole story in a pitiful, petty tone, adding at the end, “And now that handsome god has probably forgotten me, and is looking for a different girl to marry.” At that Psyche left the room, making groaning sounds, but secretly smiling and counting it down, “3, 2, 1, and…” Instantly the two sisters rushed from their rooms screaming happily. They stumbled down the hall, toward the Oracle’s mount.
The sisters rushed to the peak, hoping for Eros to take them up, and tried to stop at the edge, but as they did, the ledge broke off, and the sisters tumbled down straight to Hades.
After the funeral, Psyche dressed in a beautiful dress, ripping it at the sleeves and the hem, and putting on a veil and showy jewelry. As she left the palace she looked just like a harlot. Psyche went to the Temple of Aphrodite, where she laid rich perfumes and jewels at the alter. These were three things that Aphrodite liked: perfume, jewelry, and what looked like a faithful follower. The Golden Goddess appeared on the alter, “Well, my… Oh it’s you. So you’ve come to win back my boy, huh. Well, you have another thing coming.” “What do you want of me, Aphrodite,” shouted Psyche. The Love Goddess replied, “Revenge. Follow me!” Psyche followed Aphrodite into a large chamber. On the hard floor was a blanket, a little, stone cup of tap water, and a mixed pile of millions of nuts, leaves, and seeds the size of 10 sofas lined up.
“Sort each and every grain by hardness, colour, and type by sunrise or you will never see Eros again,” said Aphrodite. The goddess and Psyche had no idea, but an invisible Eros was watching over Psyche, and had been the whole time. Just because he had broken the engagement, it didn’t mean he
didn’t love her anymore. He was disgusted when he heard his mother’s words. Immediately he flew outside into the dust and spoke into a small anthill.
Psyche sat on the dusty stone floor, the blanket wrapped around her, crying, looking at the seed pile. As she looked to the ground she noticed millions of strange little black seeds she had never noticed. She picked one up, and it moved suddenly. It crawled from her palm and up onto her nose. It sat there a while, and then jumped back to the ground, showing Psyche that the other black spots were also moving. Arranged in hundreds of straight, long, steady lines, the ants crawled in and out of the seed pile, scattering them every where. Psyche watched in awe, wondering if she should stop them, but then she noticed the ants pushing together those fifteen soft, green grass seeds, and then those hard golden sunflower seeds, and then twenty blue berry seeds, and etc. Soon, by midnight, the entire pile was separated into two-hundred fifty-six small piles.
At morning, Psyche awoke to a screaming Aphrodite. In her hissy-fit, the goddess noticed Psyche waking up and rubbing her eyes. She instantly put an unsatisfied, anger face on, and as Psyche’s stomach loudly growled, she said, “Eat and report back to me by noon.” She threw a piece of stale toast at Psyche’s lap.
At noon, Psyche found Aphrodite by the river. The goddess told her, “If you think I shall give up that easily. You are wrong. You think you are just so beautiful. Beautiful enough to rival me. You want the battle, I’ll give you the war. Cross the stream. In a thicket, you will find seven sheep. Gather a basketful of their golden wool for me to use for my new dress. If you don’t die first that is.” After a quick laugh, Aphrodite vanished. Psyche looked at the river. She picked up a flower, and threw it into the water. Instantly the rapid waves and cataracts of the River consumed it in one gulp. The waters rippled at the surface. Then in a wild waves, three naiads* slammed out onto the bank. The river goddesses took the frightened Psyche’s hand and pulled her near to the water. “They will kill you!” the goddesses whispered to Psyche.
Sheep and the Styx
”What?” Psyche gasped at the naiads’ words. “Go home until sunset begins,” said the first naiad, and then the second naiad said, “Then come back, and call to us. We will help you across,” and then the third naiad said, “The sheep will be asleep. Gather their excess wool from the thickets.” Psyche, confusedly replied, “W… Oh… Okay,” and ran away. As the sun began to set. Psyche hurried with a basket to the river. She shouted out, “Naiads of the stream, come unto me!” and instantly, the river swelled and bubbled, and the naiads appeared out of the water. One of them put out their arms, the others circles here and grabbed each other’s hands. They tightened the circled into a ring, which Psyche climbed into, and the naiads ripped through the waters to the far side.
Psyche hopped onto land, and ran into the thicket. As the nettles stuck in her and she began to be cut and bleed, she thought of Eros, and the sharp thistles popped one by one into beautiful ruby red roses. Psyche felt a sudden bolt of energy as a drop of rainbow dew fell from a rose on to her cut. As Psyche hurried through the thickets, huge clumps of golden wool came off the thicket into the basket. In a matter of minutes, Psyche was rushing back to the temple with a basketful of golden wool for Aphrodite.
“So you completed this task also. Well, I already have another one for you,” said Angry Aphrodite. “I want you to go to the Underworld and back...” Psyche muttered between her teeth the words, “Speak of the She-Devil.” “You must bring me back some beauty from Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld, since I have lost some of mine tending to the wound you gave my son!” Psyche balled up her fist slowly, knowing that She-Devil was lying through her teeth.
Psyche woke up early and grabbed a small silver jar from her table. She put on a heavy black cloak, and walked out the door of the temple. Then she thought. How was she to obey this command. She would face the god of death, the ghastly ferryman Charon, the three-headed guardian of the Underworld Cerberus, and the King of Hell himself. Psyche climbed
Aphrodite’s temple, and reached the high tower above Aphrodite’s chamber. She had no choice. Aphrodite had wanted it all along. Psyche was sick of it. She would do Aphrodite’s real wish: for her to go to the Land of the Dead, and never return. Psyche jumped. And as wind flew at and around her, Psyche had these memories that I have so far recorded.
But this isn’t the end. Zephyr was there. As Psyche fell forward, the wind caught her and a familiar voice whispered in her ear, “Psyche.” And then Psyche remembered her nights with Eros, with Love, and he whispered to her how to complete her task. For the ants, and the naiads, were all Eros’ servants, whom he had instructed to help Psyche. Psyche soared to the ground, carried by Zephyr, down to the River Styx. The River Styx was the venomous flowing body of water all the dead had to cross to enter the Underworld.
As walking to the Styx, two forms appeared to escort her. The first was Death, of every age, now as a young winged man, and winged sandal-wearing Hermes, messenger of the gods. Each god took one of Psyche’s arms gently, and flew her down to the water. There, Psyche reached into her pocket, and laid a golden obol coin under her tongue. As she approached the ghastly ferryman Charon he uttered in a grim voice, “Open your mouth.” Psyche opened her mouth and Charon placed a bony finger in her mouth to pick the coin up. Psyche sat in a small, stiff seat on the ferry boat.
Charon climbed in, grabbing a rod with a slightly flat end, and rowed to the other side of the river. Psyche crawled onto land, slowly walking toward the gate. The rusty black bars ended at each side with sharp spear heads, as if to be used to impale any who tried to escape. The gates opened with a slow creak. As Psyche walked through, looking around at the granite and basalt walls and pillars, a sharp, hissing growl came from behind her. She felt easy breathing on her shoulder, and what smelled like rotting corpses. She turned around. There was Cerberus.
There's Chapters 4-8 of my e-Book. See you again soon.