Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for mature content.
The Young Queen of Hellas was daydreaming in her bed when a woodpecker flew through the open door and landed on the bed frame. She watched with curiosity as it started tapping on the wood, creating a hypnotising beat.
“What a handsome bird you are!” She swooned, her breasts falling out of her gown.
The woodpecker chirped in reply and fluttered outside. Seconds later, the King entered and saw the Young Queen. Overcome with lust, he made love to her in their bed as a magical breeze swirled around them.
Nine months later the Young Queen gave birth to a son and heir. The King was delighted and had a grove of olive trees planted in the boy’s honour. As the years passed and the olive trees spread their branches, so did the boy stretch and grow into a stalwart prince.
The Prince did everything to please his father and protect his people. He was a great warrior and his skills were revered throughout Hellas. Much to the King’s pleasure, the Prince won every game of strength and agility he competed in.
So was the case when, some years later, an Olympic Games was held in Zeus’ honour. The King and Queen watched proudly as their son defeated opponent after opponent, an unbeatable display of force.
During the final fight, the Prince was knocked to the ground by a bear-like man, but it was all part of his strategy. In one graceful sweep, the Prince pushed to his knees and as the man lunged towards him, the Prince thrust his blade between the man’s ribs.
As the tip of the sword emerged from the man’s back, the sky flashed black and a ray of blinding light shot from the Prince’s weapon. The ray flew upwards into the dark sky and exploded in a web of lightning, thunder shaking the earth.
The people screamed, men shielding their frightened families. The Queen touched her chest, heart racing. The King watched with despair as his prosperous olive grove, visible on a hill, was burnt to ashes by a lightning blast.
“What have you done?!” The King yelled at his son, who withdrew his blade and stared at the chaos with disbelief.
“Father, I do not know…”
Suddenly, a booming voice filled the air. “He is not your father!” Zeus shouted. The god’s golden beard sparked with electricity as he materialised in the sky above them. He held a lightning bolt in his fist, pointed at the Prince. “I, the lord of the sky, am your father!”
“I have had a quarrel with a particularly stubborn member of my pantheon…” He floated down and the ground shook once more as his godly feet made impact with it. “And now I need a demigod to fetch me the faeces of a primate.” He rolled his eyes. “Don’t ask. Anyway, I’ll fix those olives once I have my faeces.”
Everyone looked on in shock as Zeus took three thundering steps and was face to face with the Prince. The demigod felt his father’s powerful eyes boring into him and bent his knees, lowering into a bow with his sword to steady him.
“Father,” he said, “It would be an honour to serve you.”
Zeus placed a hand on the Prince’s shoulder and chuckled. “I know.”
At that moment the King leant over the edge of his podium and shook his fist furiously at the god. “First you burn down my prime income, my beautiful, prosperous olives! And then you steal my son! My one and only heir! It’s an outrage! It’s preposterous! How… how…” His face turned a fiery red as he swung on his heels and pointed an accusing finger at the Queen. “How could you?!”
The Queen’s jaw dropped. “Me?” She squeaked. “You’re blaming me?”
“You bet your linen under-tunic I am!” The King roared. “You let an Olympic god fertilise your womb, and then you claimed the demigod was our son!”
“But I didn’t know!” She cried, falling onto her knees and clawing at the earth. “Zeus disguised himself, I thought he was you! He raped me!”
Zeus guffawed. “Nonsense. All sex with a god is consensual sex, everyone knows that.” His remark was met with nods and confirmations from the men in the crowd, even the Prince turned to his mother with teary eyes.
“Mother…” he said, feeling utterly betrayed by the woman who had bore him, “how could you lie to me about such a thing?”
The Queen clawed at her chest, trying to rip out her broken heart. “My dear son, I did not know! Please, you must believe me!”
“Be silent!” The King snapped. “We will hear no more of your lies!”
“She must be punished!” Zeus prompted.
“Yes!” The King clapped his hands together, feeling a rush of excitement despite the destruction he’d just endured. He surveyed the crowds of men before him, eyes skipping over the frightened women accompanying them. “Citizens of Hellas, what judgement shall you pass?”
The arena was filled with the shouts of very sadistic, albeit creative men. They suggested throwing her into the sea, and feeding her to the wild animals. A hunter, patting the dog by his side, offered his beast to tear her to shreds, and the dog started howling. Another man said they should sacrifice her to Zeus, though the god assured him the Queen was not worth the mess.
The King listened intently to all these suggestions and eventually raised his hand for silence. Looking to the hills, he announced, “I have my own idea! My olives are nothing but ash because of the Queen! So she shall share the same fate and be sent to Hades in flames!”
Just as the men opened their mouths to cheer, the Queen pushed to her feet with renewed strength. “Hold it!” She shouted, her voice echoing in their eyes. “This whole situation is ridiculous!”
The King clenched his fist. “How dare you interrupt me!”
“You know what?” The Queen’s tears had dried and now her eyes were filled with rage. “You just shut up for once in your life and let me speak!”
The crowds of men leaned forward, eager to see how the King would react. The Prince held onto his sword, not believing his mother could be so stupid to raise her voice at a king, and ready to arrest her should the command be given. Zeus, on the other hand, found the mortals amusing and couldn’t help but laugh.
The King was in shock. He had never been talked to in such a way before, let alone by a woman. He could not muster any words. All was silent except for the low growl of the hunting dog. So the Queen addressed the crowd.
“This woman has committed no crime!” She pointed a strong finger at the god. “Zeus disguised himself as her husband, whom she loyally served! Zeus put that demigod in her womb! Zeus burned down your nauseating olive grove! For the love of Hades, it’s all Zeus’ fault!”
The men, mouths hanging open, looked towards the lord of the sky.
“Please, stop flattering me…” Zeus shrugged. “We all know nothing can be my fault! You women are to blame for everything! Was it not Pandora who unleashed evil into this world?” The men nodded in agreement, regaining their posture.
“Exactly!” The King stamped his foot on the ground. “And—”
“Besides,” Zeus interrupted, raising one eyebrow, “you speak as if you and the woman are two different people.”
The Queen smirked. “That’s because we are!” As soon as her voice left her mouth, the woman’s body erupted in a ball of light. She rose to the sky, shrouded by pure energy, as her body expanded and morphed into a wolf. The wolf, standing on a cloud, rose on its hind legs and howled. The sound shook all of Hellas, and the King watched with despair as his burnt olive trees were swallowed by the earth. The wolf leapt off the cloud and soared towards the crowd, leaving a trail of stardust behind it. There was a final explosion of light and the dark-haired goddess, holding her sacred bow, landed beside Zeus.
“I am Artemis. Goddess of the hunt, maidens, the moon, and feminism! I’ve sent your Queen on a much needed holiday, and now I demand you bring justice to the oppressed women of this land!”
The mothers and wives in the crowd found themselves shaking with a new found courage. The men tried to pull them down as they rose one by one to their feet, shouting words of agreement, but were powerless to stop it. Artemis listened with pride as the women’s collective voice weaved through the streets of Hellas, awakening a sleeping army.
The King raised his hand and yelled for silence, but no one was listening. He ordered the Prince to arrest the goddess, but instead the young man bowed before her, finally realising the error in all he’d been taught.
Zeus lost his cool and sent a bolt of lightning crackling across the sky. The boisterous crowd silenced and everyone’s attention turned to the ear-piercing thunder rumbling above them. “Of all the possible deceptions!” Zeus roared. “You dishonourable goddess, pretending to be someone else! Using another’s plights to further your feminist agenda!” The men began nodding their heads, regaining their confidence. The Prince grew ashamed, he knew that Zeus himself had pretended to be the King.
Artemis tapped her foot impatiently, and the King pointed an accusing finger at her, declaring, “You have committed a heinous crime! It is unspeakable!”
“Unfathomable!” Zeus continued. “To think that—”
“For the love of Olympus!” Artemis raised her arms in frustration. “You’re all idiots!” In one swift motion she pulled an arrow from her quiver and aimed her bow at Zeus’ waist. “Ladies!” Her voice reached the ears of every woman in Hellas. “Let’s put a stop to this once and for all!” Artemis let her arrow fly and all Hades broke loose when it collided with Zeus’ genitals, electricity soaring in all directions.
The women roared with years of suppressed anger and began bashing their husbands and fathers, smashing pots of skin oil over their heads and kicking at their groins. The men were outnumbered two to one and could do nothing as an army of beautiful soldiers overcame them.
The King searched for an exit and Artemis sent an arrow through the coward’s head, ending his misogynistic reign. His golden laurel wreath clattered to the ground, landing at the base of the Queen’s throne.
The Prince ran for shelter but was herded into a corner by a group of his slaves. He tripped on a cracked tile and fell backwards, raising his hands in surrender. The women broke into a fit of laughter, seeing him in the vulnerable position they’d been forced to take so often.
The hunter saw his wife approaching and pulled his knife. He shrieked with pain as the hunting dog snarled and sunk its teeth into his hand. The creature rose on its hind legs, howling. Its voice mixed with the shouts of thousands of vengeful women and the cries of their mortified oppressors.
Artemis floated into the sky and smiled. All throughout Hellas, women were rising against the patriarchy. While the rest of the world slept, a new Greece was being born.