#NaNoWarmUp October 8, 2013: Hermes

You might think my brother is womanizing and vindictive, but he’s really not. He’s not a bad god, he just doesn’t like when things don’t go his way. He knows what he wants and he goes for it, and he expects that he will get it. So yes, he has a bit of an ego, I will grant you that – but what god doesn’t? We like to think that we are immortal and will always have power. But we didn’t always exist like this. We conquered the Titans, and our biggest fear is that someone else will come in and conquer us. We’re as clueless about other galaxies as humans are. Maybe there are “aliens” and maybe they have their own immortal beings who will someday come to Earth and…

That’s silly, right? Okay, I admit, that’s just what I fear, and the other gods laugh at me for it. I’m Hermes. Just because I’m the youngest of the gods doesn’t mean I’m a kid. I’ve been alive for thousands of years, and went from infant to fully grown in less than a day. I’ve seen Apollo go after tons of women. Some he caught, and some he didn’t. But it only seems like he’s a womanizer if you just look at the number of women and not the number of years. It’s not like he has a different girlfriend every night. Right now, for example, he has a thing for the Mayor’s daughter, Cassandra. Apollo really has it bad. I don’t think I’ve seen him like this since Daphne. He’s doing the right thing, though. He’s waiting for her to turn 18. He hasn’t even looked at her in five months! If she needs protection he’ll hear her, but she can take care of herself now. She’s 16. Me? No, I don’t go looking for her. I saw her once, a few years ago, but I’m too busy to see what my brother’s infatuation is up to. I think Athena might see her now and then.

Can I let you in on a little secret? I’m kind of a trickster. I’ve been playing pranks since I was born. I once stole a herd of sheep from Apollo, and later after he found out the truth I convinced him to trade me the whole herd for my lyre… which I had just invented from a tortoise shell. Don’t tell anyone, but it’s not that hard to trick Apollo when he’s not looking. Actually, it’s pretty fun to get away with it.

I promised my Dad, Zeus, that I wouldn’t lie if he made me his messenger of the gods, and then Uncle Hades made me Herald of Death, which means I get to go collect dead peoples’ SOULS and bring them to the Underworld! It’s a good thing my sandals have wings to help me get around faster, because the two jobs keep me VERY busy. But I’m young and I have a lot of energy.

I deliver messages to the Mayor all the time, but he’s always too busy to talk to me. It’s kind of a shame, actually. I have seen lots of things that he would want to know, like that his son Peter is back in New York and goes to a high school not far from his office. Or that the mob in Jersey City is recruiting, and there’s rumors that they have their eyes set on New York City. But I don’t even get to see him very often. When I go to his office, I usually have to give the message to an assistant who will pass it along.

I don’t know why Dad doesn’t just give in and get email already. He has plenty of lightning bolts that he can use to keep a laptop battery charged. But he says that wifi doesn’t reach Mount Olympus, and he’s quite happy with life the way it is. Plus he says that if it wasn’t for him then my only job would be bringing souls to the Underworld, and that wouldn’t be very fun, now would it? I guess I have to agree. I like delivering messages and I love feeling the wind through my hair.

I have a third job, actually. I don’t know how I manage it, but I am the god of lost travelers. People sometimes confuse that and think I’m the god of all travelers. They like to ask me to help them when the bridges into New York City get all delayed and backed up, when they’re going to be late for work. I ignore them. But if someone is lost and calls my name, I go guide them in the right direction… unless I’m busy carrying a soul to Uncle Hades or a message for Dad, then they just have to wait for me to finish.

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.