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Persephone Chapter 9 - Small Business Goddess

Persephone Chapter 9 - Small Business Goddess

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Published by Ben Lacy
Persephone takes over a pet shop while she tries to make contact with the other Olympian Gods.

Next time - The Fenris Wolf draws closer but Persephone has an unknown ally protecting her.
Persephone takes over a pet shop while she tries to make contact with the other Olympian Gods.

Next time - The Fenris Wolf draws closer but Persephone has an unknown ally protecting her.

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Published by: Ben Lacy on Jan 24, 2010
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Persephone Chapter 9: Small Business Goddess Ben Lacy Copyright © 2009 Ben Lacy All rights reserved

Persephone – Thomas Benton, 1939

Recap: After escaping the Fall of the Olympian Underworld, Persephone has found herself in the small city of Greenville, SC. Coming upon a pet store where the owner has skipped town, she strikes a deal to take care of the starving animals. ************* “You are to take your van back to that prison you call a puppy farm. You will then gather up every animal, and with as much compassion as you can muster in your shriveled soul, take them to the Humane Society. Any animals they can’t take, you will bring here. After that you will never, ever, attempt to raise, breed, or even own another animal for so long as you live.” I snatch the mange covered poodle from the dog breeder’s hands. Terror battles rage in the man’s piggy eyes. I look into the back of his van stuffed with small, purebred poodles many nearly in as bad a shape as the dogs’ in the pet store were when I took it over. “But first,” I continue, “you will unload all of these animals into the shop.” For a moment, he looks at me with defiance; we lock eyes. Instantly, his will deflates, he mumbles something and starts opening cages. “Tracy?” Dina appears next to me. “Dina, you can’t keep going invisible then visible. People will notice.” I snap, carrying the one pup into the store with me. “But, but you’re changing!” “Hmm, oh darn,” I realize I’ve grown six inches and my hair is surging out to its natural waist length. I look around quickly, relieved it’s early and no one’s about yet. I immediately return to my mortal form. “Thank you. Help me clean up these dogs. Poodles? I’m not sure Greenville is a big poodle kind of place.” As we start washing dogs, Dina says, “You really laid into him. Do you think he’ll listen?” “Yes, I’m sure he will,” I reply grimly. “You don’t sound happy about it.”

“I’m not, at least not very. I shouldn’t have been able to impose my will on him like that. He’s neither a worshipper of mine nor a threat to those who would be. The Covenant is weakening. Also, that kind of magic could be detected. I don’t know why I reacted that way.” Dina starts cutting the tangled, knotted hair off one dog, “Well, he had it coming. I can’t believe people like that are allowed to raise dogs.” “Maybe he did, but it’s not like I haven’t seen animals treated far worse over the millennia. I guess taking over this store, I feel more directly responsible for these animals you mortals keep as pets.” “Well, without a supplier, we’ll run out of animals to sell soon. Once we nursed those dogs and cats back to health, they just seemed to fly out of here,” Dina says. “Hmm, I know, but I’m thinking I’d like to focus more on the grooming side of the business. I don’t know if I like the way animal selling is done. The Humane Society will give us as many animals as we want to put up for adoption.” “But they don’t have birds and fish and bunnies,” Zach hops downstairs, still in his pajamas. “Hmm, maybe we can keep some fish,” I offer, “bunnies and birds are in plentiful supply outside. I can summon some here whenever you wish.” “Ok, what about Chester?” “Chester is at the zoo, which is the only place around here equipped to handle a crocodile. We can visit him when you wish.” “Today?” “Maybe after school. Go get dressed. Dina, can you walk him?” I turn and bump into her. She goes intangible and I pass right through her. “Sure,” she says while looking at the two sinks, table, and supply closet crammed into the tiny alcove in the back of the store where we clean the dogs and cats. “But if you really want to

do more grooming, we need to do something about this. There’s not enough room to work, even with me going all misty.” “Ok, I’ll bug our landlord. He’s promised me some renovations.” “Well, I guess you can always use those powers on him.” “Ha,” I laugh, sweeping my hair and smiling seductively, “I don’t think I’ll be using that kind of power.” Dina and Zach are soon walking the half mile to the pre-school I’ve enrolled Zach in. It’s been two weeks now since we’ve taken over Main Street Pets, and for the most part, we’ve settled in well. Our fake identities have held up. Our landlord was so relieved to have someone take over this place that he gave us a great deal and refrained from asking too many questions. My ability with pets has given us such a steady stream of business that I’ve barely had to dip into the money I received for selling a couple of my gold coins to a nearby antiquities shop. We’ve made the top floor into a comfortable living space for the three of us. Dina has made progress in controlling her ghostly form. Zach actually enjoys life here, only complaining about the fact that I won’t let him show any of his new playmates his powers of Earth. I’ve found that I enjoy working with the animals and I’ve even made a few mortal friends, such as Janice, the Nubian or rather African American woman who runs the coffee shop next door, and who is now bringing me a morning “cup of joe”. As usual, she idly gossips, and I try to absorb a greater understanding about this mortal world. Occasionally, I slip in some more specific questions about things like bank accounts, taxes, and city ordinances – things Dina only understood peripherally, and which I now have to deal with on a more frequent basis than I would wish. Yes, everything is going pretty well, and if an evil Norse goddess hadn’t conquered my realm, killed my husband, and begun to dismantle the Covenant, I’d probably be pretty happy. But in terms of doing anything about that, I have been singularly unsuccessful. Each night, I turn into a falcon and fly high into the sky. I call out for my mother, for Zeus, for Athena, Apollo, even that miserable Hera and the unstable Dionysus. Anyone who might listen, except for Aphrodite; I’m a long way from trusting her. But so far, I’m been met with silence. For some

reason they don’t hear me or are ignoring me. Soon, I’ll have to take more drastic action, even if it means giving up this comfortable life. What happened this morning proves it. The Covenant is failing, and after a lot of thought, I think I now realize what will happen if Hel succeeds. All the Gods will be free to move on Earth, and what the Norse call Ragnarok, the final battle, will begin.

Next time – Wolf and Dog – The Fenris Wolf moves closer but Persephone has a secret ally even she’s unaware of.

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