No one believed me when I said great ships in the sky would destroy the new world. They locked me up and pried open my skull to poke at the gray matter within. They didn’t even have the decency to render me unconscious first. I could still see him across the room, gloriously framed by the sunlight pouring in through the window.
A scalpel plunged inward when a Zeppelin dropped a bomb on the hospital.
I sat alone by the pond with my toes buried in the muck. Cool water lapped at my ankles as the cicadas serenaded me. I wished their song could bring me peace, but the visions never stopped even when I closed my eyes.
“All you have to do is love me.” His whisper made me screech and jump. He grabbed my wrist before I fell into the pond.
“But I don’t love you. One day, no one will. Your name will be forgotten.” I couldn’t speak a lie.
“I am the Light. I am eternal. I will always be adored.”
Even though it was he who cursed me, he never listened.
No one believed me when I warned them the rats were carrying a deadly disease. All around me, people fell ill and perished while I walked strong among them. I was declared a witch and sentenced to burn.
He disguised himself and hid his light under a thick cloak. A tear ran down his cheek as they lit the pyre and shouted for my death.
I screamed as my flesh boiled and melted. For the pain, but more so for the fact the visions didn’t stop as the flames consumed me.
My family built a hut out of mud with no door. There was a small window I couldn’t reach, but they had steps outside so they could lower a bucket with food and water. I lived in filth and visions. Always the visions, and not one of them pleasant.
“I could lift you out and into the light. One true kiss, beloved. That’s all I ask.” He sent me the words and a handsome smile upon a sunbeam.
“The kiss would be false and you would ask for more.” I sounded like a toad and didn’t doubt I looked like one, as dirty as I was. I laughed and then cried, wondering why love was so cruel.
No one believed me when I told them Troy would fall to a hollow horse. They didn’t believe their gods would turn on them. The gods’ treachery knew no bounds, though.
Since I was a princess, my family confined me to my rooms and kept me sedated with herbs until the city was destroyed. When the enemy came for us, I fled and sought shelter in the Temple of Athena. But even there, I was to find no peace.
“Hair like summer sunsets and lips of the pinkest rose.” Apollo’s prose made me blush. He brushed a kiss across my forehead. The heat of it sizzled through to the very essence of my person. “A gift for you. May it help you and your people prosper.”
I sucked in a breath, incense tickling my nose, and fell to my knees before him as my first vision danced in my mind. I could warn my father of the invasion and save thousands of lives. “Thank you, thank you, my Lord of Light. I will seek to be worthy of this blessing.”
“You are worthy, beloved. It’s why I gave it to you.” The golden god took my hands and gently urged me to my feet. “Thank me by becoming my wife. Your love is all I ask in return.”
It was not in my future to marry a god. I could see it while he could not. My chin quivered and my eyes watered as they turned to the floor. “I cannot. I’m grateful, I truly am, but I do not love you.”
I fell to the floor as he yanked himself from me. Whimpering, I could feel his anger as if it were a beast waiting to strike.
“Gifted you may be, Cassandra, but no one shall ever believe a word you say.” Apollo spat on me. I threw my arm over my eyes to block out his furious light. “Cursed you are now too and shall be until the end of eternity until you love me as I love you.”
I was left weeping on the floor where my servants found me. No one believed me when I told them what happened and no one ever would again.
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She’s the author of the paranormal romance series, The 13th Floor. She has four novellas and eighteen short stories published.