Metro Polis

 

 

On the streets, a cab swerves out of the way of a cyclist. He screams an obscenity at him, lets rip the horn, and briefly, Ares feels strength. Later, when the sun has dipped, there will be a stronger sensation, when people are inebriated and angry. Sometimes these people, now taken by Ares’ own son, cry out to Athena Polias, but they go unheard. Aries sees them, fuels them, while nearby his sister Aphrodite takes the others; the lovers, the soon-to-be regretters.

In the day, the lost wander and Minos guides them deeper into a labyrinth they may never escape. They wander into a world they are unprepared for, or a part of town they will never find their way out of. The streets twist and turn, and each road presents opportunities in their life they have never seen before, and will never again. They can take the path, or they can turn back – provided they have made the appropriate preparations first. Sometimes he is foiled by Athena, who provides them with the knowledge and the courage they need, but often not. She is busy; there are a lot of lost out there, and he has guided every single one of them.

Below these streets, watching the people enter and exit his domain with the sort of ease Orpheus would only dream of, Hades waits. He allows them access here: they pay more than one obol for the privilege. His patience is incredible, but he watches each soul through the grainy television screens of the ever-staring Argus with satisfaction. They traverse his plains now, and rush through his tunnels, but they’ll soon be here forever. Charon, in one of his hundred current forms, transports them, hurtling them through a life they have not paid attention to. No one pays him heed.

Apollo brings the sun, and Dionysus joins in the frivolities along the river. Here, when Apollo rides his cart across the sky in full, it is a cause for celebration, although he cannot quite understand it. The streets are lit still, even when he rides in the evening. He joins Dionysus later and they both watch the many lights reflecting in the surface of Poseidon’s domain, and asks his brother why they sleep not. Dionysus replies mournfully at first, but remembers his tributes and is cheered up. Apollo is not, and plans for grey skies the following day.

Hera watches over the entire city, perched on high from her tower. Every hour she calls out, four times, to assert her dominion and to remind the world that she can sing. Recently, though, she has been overshadowed, by taller, higher watchers. Empty towers void of gods, of higher beings. They mean nothing, occupied only by the eyes of Argus, but still, she is intimidated. Feeling stripped of a glamour once abundant, Hera is furious, and she cries out again.

In the baths, Zeus wonders why only men are stopping by. He enjoys the company, but the showers here feel less satisfying than the ones he poured on Danaë. Perhaps, he thinks, he is being spoiled. There is plenty of fun to be had in this world, now he feels less the need to rule. He picks up a device he never thought he would hold, and swipes right.