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Gods in Training
Writer TJ Nyx
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
312 Reads

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Gods in Training
A - A - A
Intro 1 3 4 5 6 7 8
Chapter 2 Artemisia
TJ Nyx
Jun 10, 2018
12 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!SMapo7lQugFDajQ9PBmtposted on PENANA

         “Artie! Hey Artie!” the voice shouted.copyright protection6PENANALnJV5CXAcN

            “What?” I yelled back.copyright protection6PENANA15AcuYjPON

            “I’m older than you.” My brother Paul bragged.copyright protection6PENANA5tqgNhqCTM

            “If we’re twins, how are you older?” I asked. We had had this argument for years. Who was older and who was younger. I don’t know why, but being older would make me feel superior somehow, and Paul felt the same way. But our mother doesn’t see the point in telling us who is older, so we have no way of ever finding the answer.copyright protection6PENANA6E9PAfsxPE

            “I’m older because I’m smarter, taller, and more awesome.” Paul bragged flexing his biceps.copyright protection6PENANAlRJV3dTm3I

            “I’m a girl! By definition I’m better.” I shouted at him.copyright protection6PENANA98bApYRPBK

            “You’re a girl!” Paul shouted feigning bewilderment. “You’re a little too manly to be a girl I think.”copyright protection6PENANACHpLxZ1ZwQ

            “Whatever Paul. You may be smarter.” No contest, he was smarter. “You may be taller.” More of contest, but he still had me. “And you ARE NOT awesome.” Definitely not a contest. “But I’m the better archer.”copyright protection6PENANADRInNLAG7E

In my family archery is a huge deal. Both Paul and I are competitive archers, and we live for it.copyright protection6PENANAohMARczJ1a

            “You are not the better archer!” Paul shouted. “No way.”copyright protection6PENANAtESTqpSrop

            “Prove me wrong.” I challenged picking up my bow. Without waiting for him I ran out behind our house. We had a few targets strung up in the trees. It served very well in deciding who the better archer was for that week.copyright protection6PENANAi2h0p4LZLT

            “You ready to watch me shoot some bull’s-eyes?” Paul asked stringing his bow.copyright protection6PENANADaaqK1DkKF

            “How are you going to fit your arrows in with all of my arrows sticking out of the middle?” I asked cockily.copyright protection6PENANAvejn8JM0ab

            “Shut up and shoot.” He ordered.copyright protection6PENANAqtdItCMfBy

            “Yes sir.” I said drawing an arrow. I took aim and loosed. I hit the target in one of the middle rings, a good warm-up shot.copyright protection6PENANA8fIjGtkjN5

            Paul laughed. “Wow.” He muttered. He took her shot. His arrow was a few rings closer in but still no bull’s-eye. Paul shrugged. “I beat you.”copyright protection6PENANAZjkiGs2stc

            “We’re not done yet.” I muttered drawing again. I took my time this go around. I slowed my breathing and glanced carefully down the arrow shaft. When I was ready, I released my hold on the arrow. The bowstring vibrated piercingly in my ear as the missile zoomed forward. I watched almost in slow motion as the arrow flew straight and true. In stuck in the center, not dead center, but still a bull’s-eye. “I beat you.” I said imitating my lovely brother.copyright protection6PENANADUFQC9spo4

            Paul frowned, which was a good sign. “Two arrows. One dead center, the other splits yours.” He said calling his shot.copyright protection6PENANAXwkGP19alX

            “No way.” I muttered. Paul was always trying to predict where his arrows were going to land. He rarely got it right though.copyright protection6PENANAgkgBCW4Epx

            “Watch Baby Sister.” He said drawing two arrows and fitting them both on his bow. He took aim, after a few seconds he frowned and turned his bow sideways. Then he fired.copyright protection6PENANAR3sxU4Gnt5

            “I hate you.” I muttered. This was one of those rare times when Paul actually called the shot. One of his arrows was a perfect bull’s-eye, and the other had shattered my arrow.copyright protection6PENANAsrCM7sOgC9

            “All in a day’s work.” Paul muttered. “I win.” He kissed my check and walked back inside.copyright protection6PENANAeTtuu6ryLR

            I walked up to the target and removed the arrows. My fingers lingered on both mine and Paul’s bull’s-eye. The two holes were mere centimeters apart.copyright protection6PENANA6DUybODSc7

            “Almost.” I muttered turning and walking away. Paul usually won, not just in archery. Paul won whatever he ever competed in. He was unstoppable. I turned and drew my bow. I let loose. Argh! Middle rings again. I fired off three arrows in quick succession, one after the other. The cluster was teetering on the outermost ring.copyright protection6PENANAXEyzqG1eXE

            “Artie?” I turned and saw my mother standing there. “Are you alright?” she asked. That was one more thing me and Paul had in common. We were spitting images of our mother, which is why people had even more trouble telling us apart. The three of us shared shoulder length golden blonde hair, matching green eyes, and the same long straight nose.copyright protection6PENANAobyRG2Y8BK

            “Yeah I’m just practicing Mom.” I said pointing at my arrows sticking out of the target. Mom had this habit of asking if I was ok after Paul beat me in something. But on the occasions that I won she never felt the need to check on Paul.copyright protection6PENANAZHnUgyJUqV

            “Ok, well there’s someone at the door for you.” My mother said. “He’s on the porch with Paul.”copyright protection6PENANA2ozBX0hZfe

            “Who is it?” I asked setting down my bow and coming inside.copyright protection6PENANAEDpcv6fteQ

            “I have no idea. I’ve never seen him before. He said his name’s Mr. Pan.” She said. “Does that sound familiar?”copyright protection6PENANAedyB8PaRJB

            “Mr. Pan?” I asked incredulously. “Nope, I’d definitely remember a name like that. Why’s he visiting us?”copyright protection6PENANAMMZmnXmEWB

            “Maybe he’s selling some pans.” My mom said giggling a little. Ugh, Mom humor, am I right?copyright protection6PENANASBfiNKo2eC

            I went outside and found my brother and Mr. Pan sitting on our swinging bench. From the looks of this guy he was a business man. He was wearing a collared shirt and a tie that barely appeared under his long brown beard. He had on matching slacks and dress shoes. “Hello, I’m Artie.” I said offering my hand to Mr. Pan.copyright protection6PENANATsQr3YgdQ0

            “Hey there Artie.” He said taking my hand. “Say, what does Artie stand for anyway? Artemis?” he asked. I blushed. There was a reason I wanted to be called Artie.copyright protection6PENANAODMOZ9LmOI

            Paul burst out laughing. “No, it stands for Artemisia.” He was almost crying with laughter. Paul loved beating me almost as much as he loved telling people my real name. I didn't like being called Artemisia, it just sounded so pretentious and elitist to me. I didn't like it, that's why I went by Artie. It was more normal, helped to be just another person. Being a twin, there was a certain comfort, a familiarity for me in blending in.copyright protection6PENANAXGjcY7Xmab

“Hmm, I can respect that.” Mr. Pan muttered.copyright protection6PENANAZ3DPuGOLUE

            Paul stopped laughing. “Wait what.” I totally didn’t expect him to say that.copyright protection6PENANAMJhzygJjCx

            “My name’s Pan.” He pointed out. “I like people with diverse names.”copyright protection6PENANA1AelNdsKAD

            “That’s great sir. But could you still call me Artie?” I was happy that he wasn’t laughing at my name, but that didn’t mean I wanted him to start calling me by it.copyright protection6PENANAVzGyobfcXa

            “I’ll call you Artie if you don’t call me Pots and Pan.” Mr. Pan said. “People think that’s real funny back home.”copyright protection6PENANAQJU8jso2L1

            “Deal.” I said.copyright protection6PENANAANBO9o2C8C

            “So Mr. Pan.” Paul said. “Why did you want to see us?”copyright protection6PENANAf4bVCA6SN4

            “Well that’s just it.” he said. “I can’t really say.”copyright protection6PENANA2ENWM7oa9a

            “Why not?” Paul demanded. “Are you from the Army?” Twins do think alike. My dad is an Army Sergeant, and I was just beginning to worry that this Mr. Pan had a telegraph for us.copyright protection6PENANAbKXNz6cBJk

            “No, it’s not that.” Mr. Pan said. “I just need to know if you could commit.”copyright protection6PENANAdYooT1Z0TM

            “Commit to what?” I asked.copyright protection6PENANA5VqSSc0gna

            “It’s pretty hush-hush so I can’t tell you unless I can count on you.”copyright protection6PENANAqyUomtvy5e

            “What…” I started to say.10Please respect copyright.PENANAmC5l7xXBQn
            “We’re in!” Paul shouted. He was always rushing into things.copyright protection6PENANATiciH6jG7d

            “Unfortunately, Artie here needs to consent as well.” Mr. Pan said. “You may be twins, but you each get your own voice. What’d you say?”copyright protection6PENANAtc9T5156it

            “Come on! It sounds fun.” Paul urged me.copyright protection6PENANAgJ1a7oEDWJ

            “I don’t know.” I muttered. We had just met this guy and he wanted us to commit to something that he refused to explain first. It sounded like a bad situation.copyright protection6PENANARP148Jbrqj

            “Well then this is just another thing I’ll be better at then.” Paul muttered snuggly.copyright protection6PENANAFTwOMBQSH8

            “I’m in.” I said gritting my teeth. It wasn’t in my nature to give up without a fight. So I was honor bound to contest Paul in this, regardless of how I felt.copyright protection6PENANAlYRn8ZLNCI

            “Ha! I knew that would work.” Paul said smiling. He turned to Mr. Pan. “We’re in, now you need to explain.”copyright protection6PENANAwtyyyGhJ8I

            He looked up and saw our mother standing in the window. “How old is that tree?” he asked suddenly standing up. I saw that I was a whole head taller than him now that he was standing up. Mr. Pan walked over to the ancient oak tree in our front yard.copyright protection6PENANA2NByCnasgS

            “He’s stalling.” Paul muttered quickly following him.copyright protection6PENANABBQsZZsKM4

            I looked at my mom and realized that whatever Mr. Pan wanted us for, he didn’t want our mother to know about it. “Maybe I am smarter than you.” I muttered following Paul.copyright protection6PENANAtjy1R6H9PQ

            “This is a big tree!” Mr. Pan muttered walking in a circle around the oak. “I just love wildlife. Basically anything outside is my favorite thing.”copyright protection6PENANARSDsrgQBI6

            “You were saying what all this was about.” Paul prompted.copyright protection6PENANAukIlNHkfs7

            “Ah, yes.” Mr. Pan said. He cleared his throat. “I might have a job opportunity for you two.”copyright protection6PENANAjVqRXiYFsN

            “A job?” I asked suspiciously. Weird I didn’t fill out an application to Shady R Us.copyright protection6PENANAvjG9M7pDJ8

            “Yes, you are committed correct?” Mr. Pan asked again.copyright protection6PENANAKdssygaTvC

            “Yeah.” Paul said quickly. I nodded assent after a brief pause.copyright protection6PENANA0PyqHvJFbb

            “Good. Yes, so a job.” Mr. Pan said.copyright protection6PENANAtGvaPihfV0

            “What kind of hours will we have to work?” Paul asked. “Cause I’ll need time to practice my archery.”copyright protection6PENANAnGeQ9M6jFC

            “Hours?” Mr. Pan faltered. “Umm…forever.”copyright protection6PENANAWGrv790QOc

            “Forever?” I asked uncertain I had heard right.copyright protection6PENANA1iSxsIPKXL

            “Yes, forever.” Mr. Pan smiled. “How would you like to be a god?”copyright protection6PENANAKkrYbALhUr

            “Will there be goddesses involved?” Paul asked. “Because that would work out nicely for me.”copyright protection6PENANAUQ7mlevm5k

            “What do you mean ‘be a god.’ Like what kind of god?” I asked.copyright protection6PENANAy7CrE59uP6

            “A Greek god.” Mr. Pan muttered.copyright protection6PENANAfArHzDikVd

            Paul gasped. “Pan! Greek!” He lifted up Pan’s pant leg. Before I could even comprehend why he was touching Pan’s pants, my brain saw the hair on his leg. Not normal leg hair, but thick, curly, wiry dark brown hairs like what you see on a sheep or a goat.copyright protection6PENANAMP3Ubp8GMd

            “Whoa, that’s pretty excessive.” I muttered.copyright protection6PENANA0llDMZJWuy

            “You idiot, he’s Pan!” Paul whispered in a hushed tone.copyright protection6PENANA3J9vrI8K33

            I laughed. “I know that’s his name. He told us.”copyright protection6PENANAXPS1J4qSKd

            “No, THE Pan. Pan, the Greek god of the wild?” Paul said emphasizing the THE.copyright protection6PENANA6Lyrpkr8hV

            Then my brain made the connection. We had just completed the ancient Greek unit in history class. “Pan.” I muttered. “You’re a Satyr, a man-goat. I thought you had horns?”copyright protection6PENANAHkFQP7yXRC

            Pan frowned. “I’m not a man-goat! And my horns are invisible right now. Can’t really be seen in public with them.”copyright protection6PENANA1OrTPbYg4I

            Paul dropped to her knees and starting kneeling. “Holy cow! I’m talking to a god!”copyright protection6PENANAtbu2CUn43E

            “Get up!” Pan whispered. “Your mother is watching! Yes, I’m Pan. Thanks for recognizing me. Now stop groveling at my feet.” He said pulling Paul up. “I hated that even in the good old days.”copyright protection6PENANAZKYEBNLaLD

            “If you have hooves, how do you fit into those shoes?” I asked eyeing them.copyright protection6PENANAMMseGhqEyu

            “My horns are invisible, the shoes are an illusion. Now can we get to business?”copyright protection6PENANAn2FS4iMrmP

            “You’re my favorite Greek god.” Paul said. Suck up, he did that better than me too, but only because I never kissed up to anybody.copyright protection6PENANA5mA40bRMmD

            “Save it.” Pan muttered. “As I was saying. You guys want to be gods?”copyright protection6PENANAq8pSm6aMKI

            “I thought we already committed?” I pointed out.copyright protection6PENANAh8LX0PfMhB

            “You did, I just like asking that.” Pan said.copyright protection6PENANACmXdqYpiLL

            “So what do we get to be gods off?” Paul asked.copyright protection6PENANAWcTl4gre3c

            “Wrong question.” Pan said. “The question you should ask is which gods do you get to be? And the answer to that is…I don’t know.”copyright protection6PENANAXkkIhkyx7P

            “What do you mean ‘which gods’ are we replacing someone?” I asked.copyright protection6PENANA9Kc7XD6mVS

            “Yes. There’s a slight vacancy on New Olympus.” Pan said.copyright protection6PENANA8S41d8iFnl

            “New Olympus? I thought the gods lived on Mount Olympus.” Paul said.copyright protection6PENANASlGc4YxCvF

            “They did. But you will reign from New Olympus.” Pan said. “You know new gods, New Olympus.”copyright protection6PENANArEpEMnhSKd

            “What god am I?” I asked.copyright protection6PENANAKS5OUiXcYl

            “I can tell you when we get to New Olympus.” Pan said.copyright protection6PENANAyQGe3KcBnI

            “Let’s go.” Paul said excitedly.copyright protection6PENANAgPnFt93K1N

            I turned around and looked back at my mother. “What about our Mom?” I asked.copyright protection6PENANAXLF2AzlxMj

            “She can’t come.” Pan said.copyright protection6PENANASkayyejLPG

            “So if we take this job we’ll never see our mother again?” Paul asked, not as excitedly as before.copyright protection6PENANAu5vRLZ1PJ2

            “You already accepted.” Pan reminded us. “But no, you can still visit her. Being a god gives you certain freedoms. Like doing whatever you want whenever you want it.”copyright protection6PENANACGOiJpS4WE

            “Then let’s go!” Paul said excited once more.copyright protection6PENANAoPYzoxNHiC

            “We should tell her.” I said taking a step back.copyright protection6PENANAoMIUEuTGjC

            “Tell her you are leaving, but do not tell her the truth.” Pan warned me. “Like I said before, it’s pretty hush-hush.”copyright protection6PENANAIWjxe2W67T

            “What should I say?” I asked.copyright protection6PENANAKvIJ46gSOz

            “Your mother, your decision.” Pan shrugged.copyright protection6PENANAvcld70I0G1

            “Come on,” Paul dragged me towards the house, “we just got a scholarship for archery.” He said winking. He was smarter than me!copyright protection6PENANADpYXXc0Uj7

            “Hey, you two.” Mom said. “What did he want?”copyright protection6PENANAN4DvNIC4Aq

            “Mom,” Paul said matter-of-factly. He began all negotiations in this manner, “he offered us a scholarship. It’s a really good school, and he guaranteed us spots on the archery team. They lost a couple seniors last year and they need some new blood. Can we go?”copyright protection6PENANAD5DZjKZ1KG

            “What? Umm…I don’t see why not.” Mom said. “Where is this school?”copyright protection6PENANA3o51m3emXx

            “Well, that’s the thing.” Paul muttered. “It’s kind of far away so we wouldn’t get to see you that much. But we can still visit!”copyright protection6PENANAuKC7gqQSuq

            “It’s in Chicago Mom.” I said. Paul glared at me as soon as I said that.copyright protection6PENANAj8wW7PG7Qr

            “Goodness that is far.” Mom said. Mom started itching her nose, which let us know she was thinking about it. “Well you’re old enough to know what you want. If you promise to visit, it’s fine by me.”copyright protection6PENANANUPTVbWayU

            “Thank you Mom!” Paul exclaimed hugging Mom crazily. “We’ll visit as much as we can.”copyright protection6PENANAI2EkaVL0Og

            “When will you have to leave?” she asked hugging me once Paul had released her.copyright protection6PENANAr7oX3vNJCE

            “Now.” Paul said. “Bye Mom.” And with that Paul dragged me back outside with him.copyright protection6PENANAapy0jucgEK

            “Oh.” Our mom said, sounding a little surprised.copyright protection6PENANAanNPIXKtYy

            “You idiot!” Paul exclaimed. “You can’t tell her we’re going to Chicago! What happens if she wants to move there to be closer to us?”copyright protection6PENANAJpF7nIDarf

            “Oh…” I muttered. “Well, I thought you forgot to tell her where we were going, so I tried to help.”copyright protection6PENANAOCFnCYROew

            “I didn’t give her a location on purpose!” Paul said exasperated.copyright protection6PENANAypTmeBjY5i

            “How’d it go?” Pan asked once we reached him.copyright protection6PENANAxPIcW5Vzgn

            “Good, thank you for offering us an archery scholarship. It was very kind of you.” Paul said bowing.copyright protection6PENANAP4ZvrBtjqI

            Pan raised his eyebrows. “Very clever of you. Now come along, there’s one more god we need to recruit before heading home.”copyright protection6PENANAQZ7JlmlEkr

            “Cool.” Paul muttered starting after him. I turned back towards our house and saw my mother standing in the window watching me. I smiled and waved at her before following my brother and the wild god.copyright protection6PENANAXRgF4cKZM0

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