The Goddess of Spring sat on a woven blanket in a wild meadow, watching the bees and butterflies that flitted lazily among the wildflowers. The sun shone from a perfectly blue sky, warm and golden, and a light breeze set the tall grasses swaying, making a soft dry whispering noise to accompany the droning of insects.
Beside her on the blanket was a light picnic; a loaf of crusty bread, a wheel of soft cheese, a honeycomb spilling gold onto a plate, a bowl of grapes and pomegranates. A bottle of wine and two chalices rested in the basket nearby. All was untouched.
The Goddess of Spring was waiting. She had been waiting for quite some time, long enough for delight and anticipation to fade and to be replaced by a grim certainty.
He wasn’t coming. He had promised, but he wasn’t coming.
She took a deep breath, and getting to her feet, breathed the word, “enough.” She turned and walked back to the palace, her re-creation of the place they had met fading away. Only the pomegranates were real, rolling away once the bowl vanished.
She didn’t have to go far to find him once she arrived at the palace. She could hear the sounds of revelry as soon as she walked through the front gate. She found herself walking slower as she made her way to the Great Hall to delay the inevitable confirmation of disappointment. Too soon she stood in front of the door. The guard hesitated before opening it, earning him a sharp glance from the Goddess.
She paused, taking in the scene before her. Another bacchanalia. Or was it the same one? She took a deep breath and released it slowly as she took a step inside the Hall, wondering not for the first time how they could not have found another way to amuse themselves after two millenia.
She stopped short when she saw her husband, her rival on his lap. There was a time when this would have enraged her. There were stories of how she had ground the nymph into dust or turned her into her namesake plant. Now it was just another disappointment.
Minthe looked to the door and locked eyes with the Spring Goddess. She smiled and waggled her fingers in a sly wave. The Spring Goddess stared back, keeping her face impassive, until she sighed the word “enough” and turned on her heel. She motioned to the guard to close the door behind her.
She did not see that her husband had caught sight of her, and had stood, dumping Minthe to the ground. She did not see him take a half a dozen steps, see him shake off Minthe’s hand from where she had placed it on his arm, see look on his face when the door closed. It may not have made a difference if she had.
She wandered the palace grounds not really paying attention to where she was going. She was so tired of everything in this place. She knew her husband loved her, but she was tired of feeling as if she had to compete for his attention. She was tired of the parties, the gossip, the pettiness of gods and godlets with too much time on their hands. It was tedious. The days and days and days of the same thing, the same everything.
She found herself on the banks of the River Lethe, the river of forgetfulness, and watched its clear waters slide past her. She knelt on the bank and scooped water into her cupped hands.
“Enough,” she said in a clear and strong voice, and drank the water in her hand.