Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Helm of Invisibility

This is an excerpt from one of my Athena novels.  She and Perseus have retrieved the helm of invisibility from Hades. 

            Perseus pointed.  “Why do you move your fingers so?  Does it hurt them?” 
            Athena had lowered the helm to get a better look at it, and realized she was shifting her fingers around.  “I don’t like the sight of my fingers against its hungry darkness.  Makes me uncomfortable.  And the feel of it—not any kind of metal I know, like bronze or lead or iron.  And it’s not wood.  But it’s very light.  Well, time to test its power.” 
            She fitted it over her head.  She immediately disliked it—the way it muffled her ears, so she could no longer hear the wind against the bluff.  And it pressed against the upper part of her head, smashing down her hair.  But what demanded her attention was Perseus’ reaction. 
            The muscles of his arms were taut, as if he was facing a threat. 
            He had taken a step back in surprise, and now he looked like he was seeing an innocent-looking traveler who had suddenly produced a knife.  Athena looked down, could still see her body, could still see the fierce sunlight beating on her armor.  It was a funny question, but unavoidable.  “Can you see me?” 
            Perseus didn’t answer.  He took another step—this time to the side, showing caution rather than surprise.  He tilted his head, as if trying to see her from a different angle. 
            Does it muffle sound?  “Can you hear me?” 
            “Yes.”  Perseus’ eyes shifted.  “You vanished when you put it on.  It’s . . . unsettling to answer someone who isn’t there.” 
            “Can’t you see the sunlight reflecting off the bronze?” 
            “No.  Nothing.” 
            “Keep looking.”  Athena decided to try something.  Stepping lightly, so her feet didn’t leave any impression in the sand, she walked around Perseus until she was directly behind him.  “Here I am.” 
            He whirled on her.  Eyes darting about, his elbows and knees were slightly bent—an unmistakable fighting stance.  His right hand reached towards his left thigh, then he seemed to think better of it. 
            A knife?  “What are you doing?”  
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If you want to see what a fun place Hades can be, you might want to read about how Athena met Persephone

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