Between Heaven and the Abyss

He came bearing gifts and paid in large measures of gold to have me sit before him on the tripod in my closely woven veil.

My sisters watched from beyond the darkness of the pillars surrounding me on three sides.

“It seems to me, he loves her” Whispered Erato to Calliope, knowing full well that I was listening. “I have seen how his eyes follow her form – as if she were a doe and he the stag! – and now he sets a king’s ransom before us like a dowry.

Calliope laughed in delight: “Love; ah, the story of a lifetime!” I could tell she was thrilled by the very idea.

“It will all end in tears,” checked the fateful Melpomene. “What mortal man has the right to desire one so beloved of Phoebus Apollo?”

“If it is written in the stars that they are for each other, then nothing can change things, nor unfix that which is set by fire upon the face of heaven,” my solemn sister Urania announced in portentous tones.

“We must end this speculation, which will – as soon you shall see! – disturb our peace. The fact is that every man on Earth seeks the God’s attention and it seems to me that many of them will come bearing gifts for our sister.”

Thus were the sanguine ruminations of my elder sister, Clio.

I was thankful my hot cheeks were shielded from the watching world as I struggled to breathe more easily. My almost overpowering urge to run towards him was kept in check by the force of the god holding me in place. The result was that I could neither speak nor move an inch from the position in which I found myself, suspended between Heaven and the Abyss, fixed at that point in time on solid, immovable Earth.

He betrayed no emotion at all and I wondered if I had only dreamed of his kiss with the unfulfilled desire of childhood.  Too soon he was gone.

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