|Percy I. Chapman | Ἑρμης (polytropus) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-08-21 01:13:00
and I've been traveling through the dirt and the grime
Who: Percy [and Hermes]
What: Hermes has an important message for his current host.
Where: Dreamland; Percy’s apartment
When: August 19th, in the wee hours of the night.
The table was large enough for four players, though only two sat at it, resting upon hard backed wooden chairs. Their cards were held close at hand, rectangles of paper that held within them the answer to empty pockets. Poker chips decorated the table top, red and black and green, with a splash of white and blue. There were stacks of them next to each player, near enough to cradle with an empty palm.
A single yellow bulb dangled from a lamp above them, shedding enough light for them to play their private game, while simultaneously allowing no clear visibility elsewhere in the private room. Nothing but shadows crawled along the outer edges of the table and their silhouettes. Despite the narrowed realm Percy inhabited with the quick-tongued stranger, he felt no malice emanating from this place, or from the god (for he was a deity, wasn’t he? No mortal could ever hope to traverse the lands of the living and the dead like him, and no mortal would be able to withstand seeing such horrors and delights.).
The smile tilted upon the opposing man’s face at Percy’s thoughts, as if he not only knew what he’d been thinking, but had proudly dropped the visions into his mind--a monster with one hundred blinking, heaving eyes, a goddess with laughing curves and a smile meant to wound the heart, and a darkened path lit by the fire still within the souls of the dead.
Lastly, a child with the curved horns and sharp hooves of a billy goat, round of belly and cheerful of temperament. In lightning fast images, Percy saw the small boy grow from a giggling youth to a self-possessed man, as wild and untamed as the roads his father traveled upon time and time again.
And then Percy blinked, the images scattering in a mental puff of smoke.
“Why are you showing me these things?” he asked, pointedly blunt as he played his chips, eying the deck of cards between the two of them. A bet, a wager, a clumsy but direct attempt to gain more of the knowledge which had always been waiting for him, if only he’d open his eyes. They’d been playing this poker game for what seemed a lifetime of nights.
“Because I deal in exacts, I deal in the truth even if it is horrible to behold. And I deal in deception when it best suits me,” came his answer. The man’s face remained hidden beneath his broad-brimmed hat, shadows obscuring eyes which would cut through any pretense Percy might attempt to speak. “Now, you will see, is a time for truths. It is time for you to understand. A reckoning, if you will, between your disbelief and the reality which you must face.”
He slapped his hand down, cards splayed in front of him. A royal flush, a winning hand. Naturally.
“Your son is alive,” the god said quietly, as he collected his winnings. “And he has been born again. He is
Percy’s eyes snapped open, awakening from the dream which had him scrambling for his wallet in the dark, furiously wanting to check to see if he’d been swindled out of his hard-earned cash. When he clicked on his bedside light to do just that, he realized with a warm, nostalgic sort of chill that he knew--with stunning, fearful clarity--exactly who was the born again progeny of the god with wings upon his sandals.
He had a lot to tell Vinnie, and the sooner, the better.