Apollo: Interview With a God
The following is an exclusive interview that I conducted with Apollo and the events that lead up to it. Some of the events are true to life, well my life anyway, while others are fictionalized. Anyhow get ready to learn all, or most, of Apollo’s secrets.
“When I was twenty-four, I was like a Greek god.”
I looked up as my English professor spoke. It wasn’t the first time he had made the proclamation and something told me it wouldn’t be the last.
He liked to reuse a lot of his jokes.
“Which one?” Someone shouted from the back of the room.
“Dionysus.” Someone else answered, before my professor could say a word. The comment caused most of the class to snicker.
I thought of the drunk god of wine and stifled my own laughter. My grade depended on not offending the self-proclaimed “King of British Literature” and one laugh could ruin me.
“Apollo,” said my professor, with an indignant huff crossing his arms over his chest.
This time I couldn’t stifle my laugh, but fortunately it was masked by hearty laughter of the rest of the class.
How I wished the real Apollo had heard that comment? Then again, knowing Apollo’s pride, he would have taken offense to the comment and cursed my professor…and I enjoyed this course too much to want that. Besides, half of the fun of coming to this class was wondering what delusional claim my professor would make next.
The point was mute anyways, considering that Apollo was currently stowed away in my house watching Ellen.
Yet, the whole incident made me wonder what Apollo really thought about the twenty-first century that had so lost its respect for the older gods.
I vowed to ask him when I got home that night.
“Where have you been?” The question came in the form of a semi-growl.
I looked up as I walked into my house, pushing the door closed with my foot.
“I was at the university,” I answered. “I told you this morning that I would be gone for about four hours.”
“I really wish you would let me gift you with instant knowledge, that way you could come home with me,” said Apollo, with what I though was an world-weary expression. “I really need a new…”
Please don’t say kitchen-maid, I swore. The whole incident with Damon still running through my head.
“Scribe,” Apollo finished.
It was better than a kitchen-maid, but I still didn’t understand why all of my characters wanted to make me into some sort of servant.
Did I look servile or something?
“As tempted as I am by your offer, Apollo, I must decline,” I said. “Half the fun of finding the answers, is knowing the question.” I added in an attempt to sound cryptic and mysterious.
Apollo just looked at me as if I had grown two new heads, and not very attractive ones at that.
“Besides knowing you, you’ll probably turn the gift into some horrible curse if I disappoint you.”
“You’re thinking of Cassandra,” said Apollo.
I nodded, because I had been thinking of the ex-girlfriend he gifted with the power of prophecy only to then curse her so no one would believe her prophecies once he learned that she didn’t return his love.
“She had more to be blamed for than a mere lack of requiting my love,” said Apollo, as if he had read my mind.
And maybe he had. Who knew the limits of a gods power? My pondering reminded me of my plan to interview him.
“Can I ask you a few questions?” I asked.
“It depends, what will you give me for my answers.” Apollo looked at me, one brow arched.
I tried to think of an answer that would satisfy a god. What could he possibly need that I could give him? Of course. I smile spread across my face as I realized the answer.
“I will give you my autograph.”
“Did you hit your head on something while coming back from the university? Or do they teach scholars in your day and age to think like baboons?” Apollo’s electric blue eyes bore into me as if he couldn’t quite figure out that answer.
I huffed in offense at his remark. I’d offered him a perfectly reasonable bargain. Didn’t he know I was going to be world famous someday.
“Fine, what is it that you want exactly?”
Really? I was about to pucker up when I heard his next remark.
“For my goat. I think the reason he’s not eating is because the lady-goat rejected him and a kiss should restore his pride.”
“No, no! Absolutely not!” I nearly shrieked my denial.
Apollo let out a sigh and shook his golden-blond head. “Fine, if you agree to be my scribe I’ll give you the answers you seek.”
I pondered that for a minute. But really, what did I have to lose? If anything I could get a free trip to Olympus.
“Deal,” I answered.
I stuck out my hand so that we could shake, but instead of taking it he merely made a cross over his heart. After a second, I mimicked his gesture.
“So, what is your first question mortal?”
“What exactly does being the sun god entail?”
“Nothing. I don’t have to drive my chariot around the world like some people believed in the past. Although, I do have a chariot. The sun doesn’t depend on me to shine, it’ll be there whether I’m awake or asleep.”
“So how are you connected to the sun, exactly?”
“Through healing. The rays of the sun have a healing ability that I am able to manipulate according to my will. I can also dim or brighten the rays of the sun depending on my mood. But the most important factor is that I derive my power from the sun,” Apollo answered. “It is not as if I discontinue being a god or all powerful at night, but in the day, under the sun, that I am at my peak.”
“So how does your power relate to sun gods of other Pantheons?” I asked. “Let’s say, Ra the Egyptian sun god for instance.”
“Ra, that feather-headed buffoon. The last time I checked he was drinking himself into oblivion,” Apollo laughed. “No, when it comes to power, I am the mightiest of the sun gods.”
I didn’t know whether it was his pride that lead him to make that claim or the truth, and for the sake of self-preservation I didn’t ask.
“As an immortal, you’ve lived for eons and have seen many sights and changes in the world. The rise and fall of kingdoms and the battles over religion. Do you ever miss the old days?”
“What, you mean when people worshiped me at my temple bringing me human sacrifices I had no use for because they thought it would curry my favour? No, I do not. The days of me being bound to my temple are long gone. I’d rather live my days for myself than solve someone’s problems,” said Apollo, letting out a breath before continuing. “Yet, the world has not truly forgotten me. Every time someone writes a poem or a book, they are seeking my assistance and I have to dispatch my muses.” He looked at me with that last remark.
I’d written novels, but never once given thought to where my inspiration came from. I’d thought it was my own ability, and mine alone.
But to think I’d been paying homage to Apollo all along.
“Have you ever met any of the writers who have sought your assistance? I mean, other than me.” I acknowledged with that remark that he had aided me with my craft, and that I was grateful.
“Some, but never have I told them who I really am. It is a god’s vow that he will walk among mortals unnoticed, or they’ll be anarchy among those who try to befriend gods to rise in power. Before you, it was a vow I had never broken.”
I’d always thought gods selfish beings who had little care for mortal affairs, but to learn that they too were bound by laws was a revelation.
“But those are enough questions from you, mortal. I have a question for you.” Apollo did not make that remark a request. It was a demand.
I gulped and hoped his inquiry wouldn’t be too personal. I wasn’t sure I could lie if it was.
“Why do you write?”
I nearly doubled over. I hadn’t been expecting that question.
“I don’t know,” I answered as honestly as I could, because up till now I’d never been forced to think about why I wrote, just that it was something I wanted.
“You’ll have to give me more than that, after you’re nosiness.” Apollo looked at me expectantly.
“I guess I want to amaze myself, and the world. I want to create something that people can relate to but have never experienced. Something new, but old. Writing is the only thing that will allow that. Writing is the only thing I know that can help me shock the world.”
Until they came out of my mouth, I didn’t know how true my words were.
“Scandalous, yet noble,” said Apollo after what seemed like the longest silence of my life. “I think I like you after all, my new scribe.”
I let out a sigh of relief. Glad that for once, my answer satisfied someone other than myself.
© Rika Ashton 2010