Chapter 2 – Revelation

I took a step back as I braced myself with what I had heard. Absolution? What does he mean by that? What am I getting released from? These questions lingered in my head. Why was the talisman so damn hot? Am I dreaming?

The voice spoke again, almost in a whisper “No, Ryan, you are not dreaming.”

What? It knows my name? It can read my thoughts? What is happening to me? Am I hallucinating?

The voice chuckled, or atleast that is what I think it did, and said “All the questions in your head, yet none escapes your mouth, strange are the fashions of the mortals.”

“Are you here to kill me?” I asked resolutely, almost afraid of the answer. I did have a lot of questions and had to start somewhere.

“No boy, what good would killing you do to me. You aren’t worthy of Hades yet.”  The voice replied, still mirthful.

Oh thank God, atleast I am not dying – wait, did it just say Hades? “What do you mean Hades? Who are you? Show yourself!” I said, trembling. I needed some clarity as to what was happening to me, and I needed it as soon as I could get it.

“You haven’t the right to witness my form yet. Patience, boy; there will be enough time for meet and greet later” The voice said. It was getting harder to concentrate with the talisman weighing me down. It had gotten hot and heavy and it seemed like the talisman was resonating with the voice. “As for Hades, I meant the king of the underworld of course, who else is there?”

The voice was answering my questions, but it still did not tell me who my night time visitor was. I gathered up what was left of my courage and asked “What do you want from me?”

“You are finally asking the right questions, boy. I am Erebus, son of Chaos. And as for what I want from you, the answer is simple, I want you” the voice added.

Erebus? I vaguely recollect Anne mentioning that in her visit before she left for Greece. I tried hard to remember what it was, then it hit me “You.. you are a God.” I said trepidatiously.

“You are correct. Yes, I am one of the Gods of Greece; of darkness and shadow. Division of labour is quite common in Greece is it not? No wonder the country is broke now.” Erebus added, seemingly laughing.

“What does the God of shadows want from me?” I said calmer now. It seemed set in stone that I wasn’t going to die. “What do you mean you want me?”

“Every generation, we the Greek Gods choose one person to – how do I quite say this- work for us” Erebus continued “And this generation, you are the lucky one.”

This unidimensional explanation that seemed like an interview did not set the pace any slow for me. This was all too bizarre for the taste of a guy in his twenties. Until three years ago, I did not even believe in God, now here I was having small talk with one, a Greek one moreso. Voicing my concerns, I said “Why me? I am a normal man stuck in jail for the mistakes he did.”

Erebus seemed to be amused with me by now, he said “Why does everyone ask us that in every single generation. You are indeed normal, boy. But you are normal and in possession of a very old talisman”

“What? This talisman? This is a gift my girlfriend gave me. It is just a souvenir she got me from Greece.” I said, riled up in panic.

“I know. Anastasia, a special girl indeed. The priest had been holding onto the pair of talismans for over a decade and it was as if she was drawn to it” Erebus responded.

“You mean these are not souvenirs?” I said, as I suddenly remembered. Anne had a copy of this too. Does this mean she would get an unexpected night-time visitor too?

“No, they are not souvenirs. Your girl has one too. She will indeed be visited depending on how this meeting goes.” Erebus said.

I started panicking again. This is not fair. Two years more in this place, then we were going to go away. We were going to live together happily, with no further slip ups. Then I found myself thinking; what was this going to be like? Do I become a priest? Do I become some sort of Greek monk up in the mountains?

“A vivid imagination, you have got there. This is not a movie, Ryan. We have quite a lot of priests. We do not want one of those, what we want is a person willing to channelise our power in this generation.” Erebus said pointedly.

“And Anne? What becomes of her? I love her. I do not want to leave her.” I said.

“Who said anything about leaving her? She is as much a part of this as you are” Erebus said

“I do not want her to be harmed. I want her to be unaffected. Please, keep her out of this” . I was pleading at this point.

“Ryan, Ryan, Ryan. I see that three years in this place has not made you any less deluded, seeing as protecting her is what got you here in the first place.” Erebus said. Whatever this God said to me seemed like a test, as if he was trying to get under my skin, to see how I react. It reminded me of my science professor, Mr. Grant from college.

After thinking a bit, having made up my mind, I said “No. You can have me if you want. But I do not want you meeting Anne. That’s my condition; she stays out of this.” I said raising a fist, though I realised later that I would literally be shadow-boxing.

“I do not owe you anything, boy” Erebus roared. ” Do not get ahead of yourself. But, I like you. I am amused enough to want to humour you; to see how this plays out” He added. “But I will hold you to your word, and word, boy, is a powerful thing.” The night seemed to get colder as he said this.

I took a deep breathe. How bad can this be? After all, I would be aiding the Gods. Readying myself, I said “What do I have to do?”

“You do not have to do anything immediately. We will talk again soon and you shall receive more details. First, you need to train. Go meet someone you know as Christopher and tell him ‘eimai xypnios’ and he will help you out” Erebus responded as if satisfied with my response.

“Wait, Father Christopher is in on this? Who is he, is he Greek?” I asked surprised.

“He is Greek indeed. He is a what you mortal would refer to as a trainer, except that he is one of us.” Erebus said.

Things were all getting hazy around me. Was all I had known a lie here? All those hours I spent talking to father Chris, was it all for nothing? “This is a lot to take in, everything seems like a dream. I need time to think this all through.” I said still deep in thought.

“You have until tomorrow night. I will come again.” the God said. ” Good luck, Ryan.” with a finality after which there was a screech and the God had vanished. The talisman cooled down. All the sounds of the prison was returning. Brandon’s snore too, much to my disappointment.

This seemed way above my understanding. Everything was so unclear and surreal. I did make up my mind so Anne could be safe. If it was for her, I’d do this and more. But this had me thinking; Do I tell her all this? How do I process all this? I had to go meet Father Christopher and maybe that would bring some clarity. Who was he really? I had heard he came to this prison a month before I arrived. All these questions, and some answers were stirring up in my head as I slowly fell asleep, not knowing that this was the last few hours of sleep I was going to get in a long time.

End of chapter 2

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