Artemis is sitting in a holding cell, her silver shoulders pressed up against the painted cinderblocks. Bloodied knuckles rap against torn knees, and she stares out through the bars, eyes narrow and hungry. No one will walk past her cell.

Persephone is pacing in a dark basement, while a cold wind howls for her outside. She rolls a red seed between her fingers until it pops, and sucks the juice off her hand. Someone is looking for her, but she doesn’t want to be found.

Apollo is standing on a street corner, hawking prophecies at passersby and writing down fortunes on his palms with bleeding ink. His eyes blaze bright and golden in the flickering streetlight. His tears and laughter fall on deaf ears.

Ares is sticking rusted nails through a baseball bat, grinning wild and wide as the wood splinters. Around the corner is the smell of blood and the sounds of blows landing. The thick chain wrapped around his fist glitters. He is no one’s patron tonight.

Hestia is building a fire. The alleyway is painted a soft orange as she coaxes the flames to a steady burn. They stretch up to brush her lips as she places them in a rusty can. Someone in need will find them later.

Zeus is leering down from a window, his hands turning to hooves, spreading out into wingtips, and to something close to human. His white teeth reflect the flashing sky, and when he laughs, his booming breaths carrying out and across the street. His eyes and gray and greedy, and he is taking what he wants.

Hermes is skidding down a hallway. The light bones in his ankles creak and compress as he jumps over mundane hurdles and sprints out into the night. He is trading in secrets, delivering to the highest bidder, and everyone is buying something.

Aphrodite is mixing the drinks. The liquid swirls in Technicolor sparkles, and are almost as mesmerizing as the junction of her bare neck and shoulder. Her hair is falling down around her back, and her hooded eyes look like invitation. They are a warning.

Poseidon has his head underneath the faucet. The water runs down his chin and stains his shirt dark, and he grins at his own reflection, shallow and feral from underneath his wet bangs. The tile cracks where he steps, and the doorknob warps as he turns it.

Tyche is flipping a coin in her left hand, leaning back in a rickety kitchen chair. She goes all in without one glance at her cards. Her shirt is sleeveless, and her teeth sharpened.

The Gods are down from their mountain on the longest night of the year. The piercing sirens sound like a herald, and the streets are running with ichor.

On The Solstice by surr-realist

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