Sweat dripped from Apollos brow as he fell to his knees, bow in hand. He closed his eyes as if waiting for the pain to finally stop. Moments later he heard a great thud and saw the lifeless body of a cyclops fall to the dirt. His heart began to pound, not at the sight of the great behemoth, but because what the creature’s demise meant. He looked in the great eye of the monster, and at the arrow plunged deep within…
Great shot. Almost dead on. Comical. At least this battle’s over. So bloody. So much dying. Everywhere. And why? These lives we make. They never seem to get us anywhere but dead. Half-mortal or not, I still know death. This tragic comedy called life. Nothing more than a succession of conflicts. Conflicts of mind and body. Until one day both sides lose. The world isn’t a stage! The mind is the stage! The players: circus folk of a balancing act. Trying not to fall. Trying to keep order, then destroy it. The body: merely the mule pulling the cart. Nothing else matters now. I need to hide. I’ll fight another day. But now I have to go…
He tore the arrow from the giant eye and washed the blood off in the lake. The sight of the eye cavity forced him to turn away. Because the eye was so huge, there was an abundance of blood and tissue that hung across its face.
Using a clever system of makeshift levers and pulleys, Apollo was able to submerge the giant in the water. He quickly left for India to find his brother Dionysus.
On the other side of the lake, a chimpanzee watched as Apollo lowered the Cyclops into the water. He screeched loudly and took off running into the forest. What was once a chimp running to a great boulder, suddenly turned into Zeus… Shit! I’ll let him run for now, he thought, I’ll see him soon enough.
A great storm loomed over the path to India. Hail and fire rained from the heavens. Apollo knew that he must take shelter. He found a giant boulder resembling a face. Laying down his bow and quiver, Apollo took cover in a small opening in the rock. Before he had a chance to close his eyes, a lightning bolt struck the rock and suddenly the storm ceased. Apollo saw a shadow in the distance. It was a figure of a centaur. Apollo was reaching for his bow, and suddenly the Earth started to shake and the ground split between the bow and himself.
Apollo knew this wasn’t just a centaur. It was Chiron, one of the wisest creatures of the time. Chiron was a teacher of sorts, and one of his pupils had been Dionysus. Chiron had ridiculed Apollo for not embracing his emotions. Their relationship had been strained since then. But something told Apollo that Chiron would have thought otherwise if he was present that morning.
“To walk this path, you must first lay down your arms” Chiron boomed.
Apollo tried searching for Chiron but knew he must have left, so he gave up and continued his quest. Apollo did as he instructed and left his weapon at the cave. But now he must travel to India unaided and unprotected. There were many stories about the dangers of such paths, but none bothered Apollo. He was a God after all.
Apollo was only miles from Mount Meros when he began to see the water nymphs. They mostly watched him, but he knew they were harmless. These were the nymphs that had raised his brother as a child.
Dionysus opened the door with a somber smile.
“Brother, I’m glad you’re here. I heard about your son. I’m so sorry.”
“I killed the cyclops that forged our fathers bolt. I don’t know where else to go. I know he will come for me.”
“You’re safe here, brother. The nymphs will warn us of intruders. You can rest now.”
Dionysus reached out his arms and hugged his brother. They suddenly heard a great rumble and they both were flung from each others arms by a powerful blast of energy. Zeus emerged from the next room with a lightning bolt in each hand. He threw one at Dionysus and it turned into a chain in midair. It wrapped around his body and he soon found himself immobile. Zeus turned to Apollo.
“I still have one left for you!”
He hurled the bolt at Apollo but it abruptly changed course and landed by his feet. Apollo, relieved and confused, started to back away from the enraged God. He tripped on a crack in the floor and fell on his back. He tried to get up but more cracks in the floor appeared. They weren’t cracks into the ground; they were cracks into darkness. Apollo started to fall through the cracks. He tried to grab the floor but it wouldn’t support him. He began to drift downward, unable to escape. The only light was from the broken floor, which was starting to close. He saw his father turn his back, and then he saw nothing; only the darkness of the void.
Apollo seeks out his brother, Dionysus, after killing the cyclops that helped Zeus kill his son.