I love mortals. Particularly, I love mortal women. I have had quite my share of romances with mortal women in my time. Daphne was a favorite, though her father turned her into a tree just to prevent her from sleeping with me. Sure, she was running from me, but I knew it was just the fun of the chase. When I caught up to her, she would have laughed and let me make love to her. I never would have harmed her.
There were others too, some worth mentioning and some not so much. They were young and in their prime. I love women who are unspoiled, untouched by the hands of a human man. Experienced women are impressed, but unexperienced women are… a challenge. I don’t think it makes me evil to say that I prefer virgins. I’m just trying to explain myself.
When I saw Cassandra, it was… I can’t say love at first sight. She was a child, turning into a woman. Her body was blooming early, and older boys were running after her one day, and I could not let them reach her. I can see the future, and I knew that if they got her, they would have raped her. I couldn’t let that happen to my pearl, my princess. I let her into my temple walls, then shut them against the boys.
I wasn’t going to reveal myself to her. I didn’t want to at first, but I saw her crying and I could feel how scared she was to go back outside. I had to show her that I was there. I was watching over her, and I always would be. I expected her disbelief, but I was surprised by her tenacity. She looked from me to a statue of me and asked if she could touch me, to prove to herself that I was real and not just an elaborate trick. Her touch was warm and gentle. Her eyes, the bluest I have ever seen, were the same exact color as my long-past friend, Hyacinth. I knew she was going to be stunning in a few years and I wanted to marry her. But I am no pedophile. I would wait for her to turn 18.
Still, she needed protection, and I wanted to be the one to provide that to her. I thought about how pretty she was already, and how beautiful she would become. I thought that I needed to find a way to ensure that no one else stole her heart before I could make her mine. So I told her of my intentions to marry her. I asked her if she wanted to, and she wasn’t sure. Of course not, she was a child. I had to find a way to convince her, so I promised her that if she agreed to marry me when she got older, I would give her a gift. The gift of prophecy.
Don’t twist my words around, you make it sound so wrong. I was not trying to be cunning, I was simply doing what I had to do to ensure that she wouldn’t let another man into her heart. I was instantly infatuated with her, and the thought of any other man possessing her was an impossibility. She was special. She deserved to have her first time be with a god, someone who could show her how powerful making love can be.
Days passed. Weeks. Months. In the blink of an eye, it seemed, it was the eve of her 18th birthday. I had dalliances with a woman or two, maybe more than that. But I see nothing wrong with that. I am immortal, and the rules of the human world do not apply to me. Besides, the women I saw were around the globe, and there was no chance they could find out about each other. What they didn’t know couldn’t hurt them.
And anyway, as an immortal being who doesn’t age, how can I be expected to stick with one woman? She gets older, her hair turns white, her skin sags, and I am still the perfect physical specimen. I have the body of a 25-year old human, I can’t stay with one woman until she gets old and dies. There are so many young women out there to meet, and thousands of girls become women every year. The world is my smorgasbord, so to speak…
Now there you go again, twisting my words. It’s not as bad as it sounds! I’m not a villain, I’m just being practical. Anyway, I was sure that Cassandra was pure and honest and would wait for me. The night before her 18th birthday I spent preening. I had to look my very best when I went to claim my bride. Not that I don’t look amazing every day, but I wanted to look better than amazing. I wanted to be… impossible.
When I went to her home on her birthday, certain that she would soon be mine, I was angered to learn that she had a mortal boyfriend, and she refused to marry me. I am the god Apollo, and no mortal says no to me and gets away with it. I have to admit, I may have acted a bit hastily. I took her in for a kiss and bit her tongue. I could not take away her gift of prophecy, but I could curse it. Now all of her prophecies would come true, but nobody would ever believe her. Even when she had seen something truly tragic, she would not be able to convince anyone of its truth. When tragedy fell, they would forget that she had been trying to tell them all along.
This is an exercise written as part of NaNoWarmUp, a personal writing challenge in October to write 25,000 words as preparation for writing 50,000 words in November. This year I’m using the daily writing goal of 800 words to write ABOUT my Cassandra story from the point of view of other characters. In November, I hope to be prepared to start writing a new first draft of Cursed from Cassandra’s point of view, a more complete story after figuring out how other characters perceive Cassandra, her prophecies, and the Trojan War.