Title: Lethe’s Atonement
Source: Thursday photo prompt: Hidden #writephoto
Word count: 349 words
Lethe was born the daughter of Strife into a family of sixteen sisters. Her sisters moaned and cried and chronicled the trials of mankind. Hardship, Lethe’s eldest sister made the people toil and bend their backs to eke out an existence. But even if they persevered, sister Starvation was always near.
Pains, the third in line, made them weary and afflicted. For those who could rise above mortal issues, sisters Battles and Wars packed a one, two punch and pushed many more to their graves. Lethe’s other sisters pushed the strong but punished mankind all the same. The sisters goaded and tortured, with Murders and Manslaughter causing senseless death.
The younger sisters seeped into men’s lives, riddling them with Quarrels, Lies, Stories, and Disputes. Anarchy then found fertile ground to pave the way for sister Ruin and leaving men with only Oaths to comfort them.
Mother Strife brought her daughters as a continual plague upon the human kind hoping to crush them, she cursed them and entreated her daughters to spare not even one. But Lethe was gentle and kind and she saw the destruction and scars her family left behind.
She tried to intervene, but her sisters were stronger by far, and her mother rebuked her for her meddling ways. Lethe wouldn’t add to the human sorrow, and she saw how they rose despite all the horrors. Lethe cried with frustration and once the tears started, she couldn’t get them to stop. The tears cascaded down her face, growing into a great river that raced underground reaching the tormented souls buried below.
One lonely shade drank from the waters and finding forgetfulness of all earthly struggles was granted admission to the Elysian Fields. The gods saw what Lethe had created and smiled upon her. For Lethe’s sake, the gods agreed. Those who had suffered from her family’s hands and proved themselves righteous, or heroic could drink from Lethe’s river of forgetfulness and enter the Isles of the Blessed. The gods allowed them to remain, to live happy and blessed, the pleasures denied, granted to them in the afterlife.
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer