CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FIFTY-TWO
“I will do my best not to let you down,” Nelson said.
“I know this to be true,” the goddess said.
“Why would someone take her head?” Nelson asked.
“It was taken by another and used in battle,” the goddess said. “He traded with Athena for her shield. Have you seen Athena with her shield?”
“I have,” Nelson said.
“Athena’s shield was returned to her at the same time the head was stolen,” the goddess said. “Those who stole the head had no idea what they were stealing. They died for their efforts and the head was placed into the hoard.”
“What is it?” the creature behind him and the goddess said in near unison.
“I’m not sure,” Nelson said. “Bad people, I guess. Evil. Untouchable.”
“Yesss,” the creature said.
For a moment, neither the creature nor the goddess said anything. The wind picked up. With it, the smoke returned.
“Take this,” the goddess said.
A ring appeared on a hand that looked so much like Abi’s that he had the desire to kiss it.
“Wear it,” the goddess said. “Nothing can injure or kill you with it on. Not the gorgon. Not any one of the evil objects in that hoard.”
“There are more?” Nelson asked.
“Yeeesss,” the creature behind him said. “We are just the first to ask for our treasure back.”
“So I’ll have more nights like this?” Nelson asked.
“No.” As the goddess spoke the word, the world shook a tiny bit. “When your quest is complete, the gorgon will return what was lost to others.”
“Can they be trusted?” Nelson asked.
“We will return what was lost,” the creature near him said. “We will never betray the earth mother.”
“Of course you won’t,” the goddess said.
Before Nelson could respond, he awoke in his own bed in his own house in his own room in Denver. Unsure if he was home, he went into his bathroom. He flushed the toilet a few times just to assure himself that he was in modern times. He washed his hands and wet his face before drinking an entire glass of crystal clear water.
It was only then that he noticed a thin band encircling the middle finger of his left hand. He held his hand to his face to inspect the band. It was hand tooled and made from some metal he didn’t recognize. There were marks on the band in a language that was oddly familiar but he did not recognize. Seeing the ring, he felt oddly comforted.
He climbed into his own wonderful, soft bed and pulled the covers up over his head.
He awoke with a pounding headache when his very modern alarm clock went off. The first thing he checked was whether the ring was still on his hand.
He was still wearing the ring given to him by the earth mother herself.
Getting out of bed, he went through his morning routine. He was dressed and ready to head out when he saw something leaning against his door. He went to the door to find. . .
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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