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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Heracles - Herakles - Hercules - Chapter 1

Chapter 1
Heracles' Childhood

       After such a difficult birth and two attempts to kill me as a baby, one would think that I had a hectic or precarious childhood. That's not true though. I had a fairly normal childhood... for a Prince and son of a God.
       My stepfather taught me how to drive a chariot. Castor – mortal twin brother of Pollux – taught me to fight with a sword. Autolycus – son of Hermes and a notorious thief – taught me how to wrestle.
       A King by the name of Eurytus of Oechalia taught me the fine art of archery... to his regret! But I'll tell you about that later. It's not important at the moment.
       What is important is that I had a teacher named Linus who taught me music. He was the son of Apollo and Calliope. I was just a little bit too young at the time, but Linus made it clear that he was supposed to mentor me in something else too...
       See, ever since Zeus fell in love with the young Prince Ganymede – whose father was the second King of the, then, relatively newly founded Troy – there has been a tradition that men would abduct boys of a certain age – around 15 or so – and initiate them in the ways of pleasure. Knowing that Linus was to have this honor – of being my Erastês; lover – he always treated me like his Erômenos; beloved.
       Those two terms were used frequently, so I feel I should explain them a bit. An Erastês was an older man – often in his early 20's – that mentored a boy of around 15 in so many things, including physical love. The boy – Erômenos, which meant beloved and could actually refer to anyone, male or female – would not make the decision to enter into the relationship, but rather his father made the decision. Once approved as suitable, the Erastês would abduct the boy for a initiation period. He was also required to give the boy several customary gifts.
       I must admit that I did have feelings for my future lover, and often wondered what it would be like – the day that he abducted me. Sadly, one day as I practiced my lyre, he scolded me by hitting me on the back of my head. In frustration, I hit him on the head with my lyre, bashing in his skull and killing him instantly.
       I had no idea that he could be killed! I stared at him in shock and horror! Slowly, what I had done sank in, and I began to throw a loud and crazy tantrum.
       Amphitryon rushed to find out what had happened and found me grieving. The authorities were called in and I was accused of murder, but I explained that it was an accident.  Perhaps because my father was the King of the Gods, or perhaps it was because I was obviously sorry for what I had done; either way, I was declared not guilty of murder.
       Even so, Amphitryon decided to send me away. My punishment was to tend cattle on a lonely mountain near Thespiae. I felt this was a fitting punishment and left without complaint.
       Time passed, and then – one day – I was visited by two Goddesses: Aretê and Kakia. Aretê was tall and a bit plain. She was dressed in all white and carried herself primly. Kakia was shorter and a bit plump. She was dressed in a way that made me blush! Kakia came up to me – I was probably 13 or 14 at the time and afflicted by the awkward passion of youth – and she started stroking my body.
       “My dear boy, choose me and your life shall always be happy and easy. Everywhere you go, people will just give you whatever you desire.” She kissed me. “There shall be treasure.” She kissed me again. “Pleasure,” she promised as she stroked my groin, causing me to squirm in embarrassment. “Women and wine...” She kissed me yet again, stroking my body even more. I had originally been sitting up, but now I reclined, almost completely under her.
       Aretê shook her head. “Don't listen to her! If you choose my path, you will have to work hard and suffer, yes, but...”
       “But what?” I wondered curiously, figuring that she had to have something that could compete against treasure... and a hand sending delicious shocks through my groin into my entire body.
       “There will be glory and honor! The people will praise you, and the Gods will welcome you as one of their own.”
       I sat up abruptly, interrupting another of Kakia's kisses and pushing her away slightly. “Glory?”
       I daresay that I was probably too young still to fully understand each of my choices. Kakia was basically offering me an endless amount of money, wine, and sex; and Aretê was offering me hardship and toil so that I could be a Hero of great honor. If I had known then what I know now, would I have made the same choice?
       I'd like to think so!
       Grinning at Aretê, I made my decision. “I choose honor and glory!”
       Kakia pouted in disappointment before abandoning me in the pursuit of someone more interesting. Aretê returned my grin – seeming a bit relieved – and then gave me a single chaste kiss.
       “Your fate has been decided! Remember, though your life will be a hard one, you'll be the greatest Hero who ever lived!”

*****

       Shortly after I turned 15, I received word that my twin brother Iphicles had been married to a woman named Automedusa – daughter of Alcathous, King of the city of Megara; which had been founded by his father Megarus. It was a highly adventitious match that Alcathous insisted on making official as soon it was mentioned, because he was a very busy man. Thus, I wasn't able to be invited to the wedding before it happened.
       Almost the moment I finished reading the letter – with a wistful sigh as I wondered how long my punishment would last – I learned of a minor tragedy. Thespius – King of Thespiae, where I was staying – had a problem with a fearsome lion killing flocks of sheep at the foot of Mount Cithaeron.
       Perhaps more than a bit overjoyed at having something to do, I set out on the adventure that very moment. Despite being trained to wield all manner of weapons, I had nothing to kill the lion with; so I used my bare hands. Men in the service of King Thespius witnessed my heroism and invited me to visit with Thespius.
       Triumphant, I eagerly agreed. King Thespius honored my bravery with a great feast. As we ate, he went on and on about how impressed he was.
       I blushed a tiny bit, and tried to explain why he needn't fuss. “It's only natural since I'm the son of Zeus. It was no big deal; I'm just glad to be of service!”
       Thespius laughed incredulously. “No big deal! Why, if not for your bravery, we might all have starved this winter! People might have gotten killed!”
       Suddenly, Thespius slapped his knee in enlightenment. “I know! As a reward for helping me, I'll let you spend a night with my daughters!”
       Where once I had shied away from an offer of sex, I now perked up. “A night with your daughters?”
       “Yes. I have 50 daughters, all born – fairly close in age – to...” He roared with laughter. “I forget how many women!”
       He beckoned me to come closer to him, and then put an arm around me when I did. “Are you anything like your father – Almighty Zeus – when it comes to women?”
I shrugged. “I don't yet know.”
       With a mysterious chuckle, he patted me on the back. “Well then, I guess it's about time to find out!”
       Much later on, I heard stories about this. Some say that the King kept me as his guest for up to 50 nights to give me time to stroll through the garden of his daughters. Some say that he had to dupe me by saying that he was repeatedly sending me the same one, relying on the dark of night to cover the fact that it was a different daughter each night. Some say that I made love to them all in one night...
       You want to know the truth? I was the age considered ripe to learn about sex and I had never had any before. When given the opportunity to spend just one night with Thespius' 50 daughters, I took it!
       They were shy at first – it was their first time too, after all. I looked around at all of them, noticing that they were all my age or older. A slow smile spread across my lips as I made some quick calculations.
       I had 12 hours before they would come to take me away. This meant that if there was 48 of them, I could devote exactly 15 minutes to each of them. That seemed like plenty of time to me!
       “Listen to me, girls,” Thespius demanded sternly. “I am rewarding this young man with a night in your arms, so be sure to make it a memorable one!”
       An astonished and somewhat excited whisper rippled through them as their father left and locked the door.
       “Finally!” The oldest one gasped in praise as she threw her arms around me. “I was beginning to think that I would be a virgin forever!”
       The rest all nodded and murmured in agreement. All except for one. She backed herself into a corner and muttered: “I plan to stay a virgin forever!”
       I shrugged. “I can respect that.”
       That was probably my last coherent thought for quite some time. The girl in my arms kissed me, and the part of me that was definitely Zeus' son emerged. I sent up a grateful prayer that I would know what to do, and I did.
       We kissed each other hungrily as we tore the clothes off our bodies. For the first one, all I could think about was burying myself deep inside her. She accepted me with a relieved sigh, and then we both ground our bodies together in a way that felt insanely good!
I don't think I lasted the entire 15 minutes that I planned to devote to her. To me, it felt like less than five minutes passed before I was overcome with the need to fill her up. I groaned with pleasure.
       Don't think for one second that she was left out! I think Aphrodite or maybe even Zeus himself was in the room there with me, because my first lover was shuddering and crying out from her own climax.
       Suddenly, I was surrounded by naked girls! They pulled their eldest sister away from me, and then vied for my attention. I kissed them as they stroked my body and sucked on their nipples whenever I got the chance.
       One pushed me onto my back unexpectedly so that she could mount me like I was a horse. She rode me until she was crying out in ecstasy. My mouth was occupied by her sisters; even so, I gripped her hips as I filled her up. I'm pretty sure that I lasted a good 10 minutes with her, but honestly, I wasn't paying any attention to the clock!
       The third sister straddled me, and by now, I was familiar with the brief sensation of breeching a maidenhead. I rolled her under me so that I could pound into her. She gasped, her eyes wide in surprise at how big I was compared to her tight virginal hole.
       After her, I buried myself inside the next sister. My lips, my hands, my shaft, my entire body was occupied making love to as many of the sisters as I could. They all moaned and sighed in pleasure as one by one, I pumped them full of my seed.
       Well... all except for one. As she said, she did not want any man, and – true to my word – I did not force her to have sex with me. I'm not entirely certain that I could have by that point; I was exhausted!
       A mere 10 hours after I started, I utterly passed out! I think a few of them tried to have fun with me again, and who knows? Maybe the part of me that comes from Zeus complied. I have no idea. I really don't think that even the hounds of Tartarus could have woken me at that point!
       When Thespius came to get me, he had to have two of his men drag my unconscious body to a guest bedroom to rest. His daughters were all semi-unconscious too, except for the one. She explained that I had indeed had sex with the rest of her sisters.
       I'm told that Thespius swore in incredulous awe and sacrificed the body of the lion I had killed to my father in a prayer that all his daughters would bear sons as strong and brave as I am.
       Zeus must have answered his request, because 10 months later, word reached me that I was the father of 51 sons – two of the girls had had twins! I didn't know whether to laugh or faint!
       But before that, I was wandering around all cocky and full of myself. And Aretê said that my life would be full of hardship! If that's her definition of hardship, she can send more my way anytime she wants!

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