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Today’s guest post is by author Christopher S. Ledbetter. I would like to welcome and thank him for sharing a scene from one of his many Greek mythology stories.

Four guardsmen rode off in search of the queen.

Hours later, three chariots approached. The queen stood expectantly in the front. When her chariot drew close to the gate, Alexis leapt from the chariot’s basket and ran to Caenus, her salt and pepper hair trailing behind her. Tears bathed her cheeks as she gripped her son like a vise.

“I am so sorry,” she cried. “I had no idea Kratisto had sent you away. Are you all right?”

“I’m good, Mother. And, perhaps it was for the best.”

“How do you mean?”

“I’ll explain later.”

She held him at arm’s length, her limbs trembling with joy. “Look at you. You look different.”

“I feel different. Older. Wiser.”

“Broader. More mature.” She gripped his muscular shoulders. “Where have you been all this time? I feared you dead.”

Caenus gazed into the warmth of his mother’s eyes. He wiped her tears. “I’ve been living across Pelion, a fishing village on the Aegean. These are my friends Alex and Aegea.” Caenus pointed to them. “And of course you already know Galen.”

She waved to the strangers on her way to embracing Galen. “Even you look broader.”

“Mother I need work for these good people I’ve met. Their village was ravaged by a centaur.”

“What?”

Caenus nodded his head.

“Certainly. Alex you and Aegea go to the palace and talk to the master servant. She’ll provide you with a temporary post until I return.”

“Return? Return from where?”

“Oh, some wedding we were invited to. So, now we’re off to maintain royal relations.” She offered dismissively. “In fact, you should come with us. We were just about to put to sea.”

“What of my father’s decree?”

Alexis delivered a stern glare. “You let me handle Kratisto.”

Caenus’ clasped Alex’s forearm and hugged Aegea warmly before climbing aboard the queen’s chariot. Alexis waved her hand to part the blue sea of guardsmen. The two horse chariot shot off toward the port.

The king’s vessel came into view. A knot twisted in Caenus’ stomach as they approached the docks. Alexis slid her arm around her son’s waist once the horses stopped. Caenus saw the king directing servants who loaded the ship. Kratisto turned a glare over his shoulder, and then boarded the vessel.

“It shall be all right,” Alexis soothed. “Go on.”

Caenus boarded the king’s ship, leaving Galen behind for a moment. Alexis and Caenus found the king in his quarters, hands wrapped around an amphora of wine. He slammed the clay jug to the table.

“How could you bring this poor excuse for a prince back into my city and aboard our ship?” The king roared.

“How could you send our last son out into the wild?” Alexis snapped. “Our only son!”

“Word will get out that he’s weak! I had to expel him! We’ll be attacked. Is that what you want?”

“Let’s get one thing straight.” Alexis grabbed Caenus’ hand. “If you ever do that again, I’ll rain curses from the gods down upon you the likes of which only Medea could have conjured! Are we clear?”

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