Archive for ‘Greek myths’

October 29, 2012

Greek goddesses WAY more interesting than Greek gods

Writing exercise, circa July 2011

Pasiphae’s story

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I’ve just heard that my oldest friend, Daedalus, has murdered my husband. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the evil, vindictive old sod is dead, I don’t think anyone will miss him. I’m not sure what happens to me now. I suppose I’ll have to devote the rest of my life to worshipping at some goddess’s altar, or something equally tedious to keep me out of trouble. I’m more sad that I’ll probably never see Daedalus again in this lifetime.

God, what would my life have been like without Daedalus? Daedalus with the huge brain and no common sense. His trouble is he cannot resist a challenge, no matter how dire the consequences are. You won’t believe how my husband finally managed to track him down. Minos was determined to find him and kill him after he escaped from the tower with poor Icarus. Daedalus was in possession of too many state secrets – in particular, the plans for the Labyrinth – and there was all that bad blood between them, what with him designing my “love box”, which, you could say, started all the trouble. Actually, if that idiot Minos had sacrificed the right bull in the first place, none of this would have happened.

Anyway, Minos had thought of a problem that he knew only Daedalus would be able to solve, which would drive him out into the open: something about how to pass a thread all the way through the spiral of a shell, although why anyone would want to do that, I don’t know. Men and their “problems”.

Apparently, Daedalus was being hidden by his new friend, King Cocalus of Sicily, who wasn’t about to give him up. But Daedalus knew how to solve the riddle and couldn’t resist showing off how clever he was, so he told Cocalus how to do it – it involved an ant – and Cocalus presented Minos with the solution.  Of course, Minos knew immediately who had given Cocalus the answer, but he couldn’t come right out and demand that Cocalus hand over Daedalus – that’s not how kings talk to each other, and it would have led to a diplomatic incident – but he let it be known that he was on to him, and that things could get very, very bad if he didn’t give him Daedalus. Cocalus graciously invited him to his palace to spend the night so they could talk things over the next day.

This is the part of the story I like best. Cocalus invited Minos to try out his new “hot shower”, the latest innovation in Sicily. And who do you think invented it? Daedalus, of course, and it was obvious to Minos, even if they weren’t at the stage of openly admitting anything to each other. Minos couldn’t resist trying out Daedalus’ latest contraption, and Cocalus’ daughters contrived to kill Minos by using it to pour boiling water over him. It seems that Daedalus had been tutoring Cocalus’ daughters and had inspired great devotion in them.

That’s Daedalus all over, inspiring incredible loyalty in people, even if I’m not sure how much he deserves it. When I first met him all those years ago, when he first came to Crete, he’d just been banished from Athens for murdering his nephew and star pupil, Perdix. That’s the thing about Daedalus: tremendous capacity for objective reasoning, but absolutely no understanding of the extent to which he is at the mercy of his emotions. I mean, he pushed Perdix off a cliff because he was threatened by the boy’s potential, by the possibility that the pupil might surpass the master.

Of course, I owe Daedalus everything. Things haven’t been easy for me, but I have no regrets. How could I regret the love of my life, my Cretan Bull? True, our son, Aterius, a.k.a. “The Minotaur”, caused us years of heartache, and let’s not even mention all those Athenian youths and maidens he devoured over the years.

Our love was spiritual, divine, transcendent, but Daedalus had to help us out with the physical side of things, and built us the “love box” that allowed us to consummate our love. People say that Poseidon cursed me with “zoophilia” when he found out that Minos had preferred to keep the Cretan Bull he’d sent him – as a sign from on high that Minos was the favourite to be King of Crete – rather than sacrifice it as he was required to. Minos had even tried to pass off a normal bull as the Cretan Bull during a sacrifice, but he was fooling no-one.   Especially as my Cretan Bull was busy rampaging all over the island at the time. When he wasn’t making love to me.  I am sure my Cretan Bull was one of Zeus’ many manifestations – how else could you explain the rapport between us? People said I was sick, possessed, and I was forced to go through all sorts of healing rituals, make cleansing sacrifices and pray for redemption for days on end, until it became clear to everyone that this was no mental or physical aberration – this was real, passionate, transforming love.

I’ll never forgive that bastard Theseus for killing my Cretan Bull at Marathon. Ok, he did subsequently rid the world of the Minotaur, who really was a bit of a pest. I have never been able to look at another man, or beast, since. Not that things were ever great between Minos and I. I didn’t want him, but I didn’t want anyone else to have him either. As the daughter of the God Helios I have a few extra-mortal tricks up my sleeve and I put a fidelity charm on him, which made him ejaculate serpents and scorpions, killing any woman he had sex with. Anyway, I shan’t miss him. I will miss Daedalus terribly, though.