Metanet Presents:


Meanie: Why hello dear!
Ody: Aren't you some hero's mother?
Meanie: That's right. I'm Alcides' mum.
Ody: Alcides?
Meanie: You probably know him by the name an Apollonian priestess gave him, Hercules.
Ody: I heard that Hercules wasn't your husband's son.
Meanie: No, Amphitrion was away on business when Zeus came to me in the guise of my husband. Let me tell you, that was a night to remember. Zeus' foreplay was something else and the look of truly pure love in his eyes. It made my relationship with Amphitrion difficult afterwards.
Ody: How is that?
Meanie: I kept on looking for things in Amphitrion that would never be there. He wondered why I seemed so dissatisfied in bed. Soon Teiresias told him that Zeus had seduced me as himself.
Ody: Ouch. Was Amphitrion upset with you?
Meanie: Oh no, he was very understanding. But I didn't know that until after Al's birth. I was so terrified what he might think when he saw the baby that I called upon the Ilithias, deities of childbirth, to stop me from giving birth. Some like to think it was Hera that slowed my labor, but I did it to myself. When the twins were born I was so relieved to find that one of them was undoubtedly Amphitrion's son. We named him Iphicles.
Ody: Did Amphitrion treat his own son better than Zeus'?
Meanie: Not at all. He raised them both to the best of his ability and I shall always respect him for that.
Ody: It doesn't sound like you were very close to Amphitrion.
Meanie: It was an arranged marriage and I know he cared for me, but he was also always rather distant. We all fulfilled our appropriate roles. Probably if we were all more genuine about our feelings, Al might have grown up a little more emotionally stable.
Ody: Did you ever consider just leaving Amphitrion?
Meanie: By the deities, no! That just wasn't done. Who would have been willing to support me then? Amphitrion eventually died in battle. So, I was then free to choose my next husband, Rhadamanthys, a son of Zeus. I adore him. It wasn't until I met him that I started learning how to be my own person.
Ody: So you are with him now? Here?
Meanie: Oh yes, he's been appointed a judge of souls.
Ody: He's the one who decides who goes to the Elysian Fields and who to Tartarus and their punishment?
Meanie: Kind of. But nobody is really punished. All torments are self-imposed in Tartarus, but often it takes awhile for people to realise that they can let it go. They all have to pass through the river Lethe eventually. Rhadamanthys decides how long souls are allowed to put themselves through torment.
Ody: What happens at the river Lethe?
Meanie: I don't think I'm supposed to tell. I'm due to go there myself soon. I'm a little scared, but Rhadamanthys has been helping to prepare me.
Ody: Now I'm even more curious.
Meanie: No really, I don't think I can tell.
Ody: But why would you be frightened and why can't you tell?
Meanie: I'm afraid of forgetting and I'd have to ask Rhad. It's been lovely chatting with you. Goodbye.

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Copyright © 1998 Katherine Phelps