My big, fat, insane wedding

Just a few more steps, just a few more...


Oh… crud! Stopping in mid run, parts of my chiton clasped in my hands, I turned to face my father. My chiton, which consisted of two sheets tied at the shoulders and a belt to hold it, had bothered me in my escape. The reason that I had tried to run away? Trust me,you don't want to know.

"Yes, father?" Despite my fathers' despotic ways, I couldn't resist to vex him some more, thus I replied in my most innocent voice, as if I didn't know what was happening. My wish to anger him was immediately granted, as the vein in his temple began throbbing conspicuously. Way to go, angering the magnificent Poseidon.

Note the sarcasm.

Pardon me for my rudeness; I should have introduced myself first. My name, as my father already so grandly proclaimed, is Zephina, the byproduct of the fornication that occurred between the mighty Poseidon and a mortal woman. Also known as the almighty goddess Zephina… that's at least what I try to believe. In all truth, I'm a semi-goddess with no powers at all. The only thing my father managed to pass onto me was his sea-green eyes. And even there he managed to trick me, since they came with a defect! Don't go thinking you're hearing impaired now, you heard me right! His eyes shone with double the wattage of mine, which were a dull grass color.

I just don't understand it, why hadn't I inherited anything special from my father? I mean, look at him! He's Poseidon, the god of the sea and earthquakes, for crying out loud! But no, I had to be left out. Hercules got superhuman strength; what did little Zephina get? Nothing. Dionysus became a God, despite his mortal mother. And poor Zephina? Nada, zip, zilch, none!

And now, as if foregoing my birthright to at least some unique trait wasn't preposterous enough, that conniving immortal decided to once again ruin my life. For some stupid and utterly inexplicable reason, he had come to the conclusion that it was time for me to get married. Okay, under normal circumstances, this wouldn't have bothered me. But, guess what – the conditions he had set up were by no means normal!

I knew that I was damned to eternal unhappiness because of who my father was, and thus my emotions for all the deities were almost hateful. Despite that fact, though, I found myself wishing to be a goddess, so I could strike this blubbering fool down. Can you feel the love? 'Cause I can't!

Well, I think I should explain more about my… marriage. As far as I'm concerned, it's a totally insane idea. Who ever heard of the future bride being given away as a prize? No one, that's who. But, someone, who might or might not bear the name Erato, set a bug in my fathers' ear. By the Moirae, the sisters of fate, I swear that if I ever get that wretched spirit into my fingers, I'll make her regret the day when she decided to become the muse of erotic lyricism and marriage songs.

… Sorry, I strayed off again. What was I about to say? Oh, the terms of the marriage. To make a long story short, my father and my dear, beloved uncle Zeus set up an eating contest in order to determine my future husband. I kid you not, they decided that the greatest swine, ahem, pardon, eater would get to marry me. Once this business is finished, I am going to disown those treacherous brats.

"Where do you think you are headed?" Stepping closer to me, my father started threateningly waving his trident under my nose. Here we go, another round of who's afraid of the big, bad trident! If you're wondering, I was coerced into agreeing to the aforementioned arrangements with the help of the infamous big, bad, evil trident of my father.

"To take a stroll. Care to join me?" Aaaaaand… strike two! Another vein popped out on the ever calm Poseidon's forehead. Wow, before the end of the day, I'd surely be one of the following two – married or a Grecian fricassee. Either way, I'd feel horrible, that was for sure.

"Get back up there!" With every word that he hissed, the ground started to shake stronger and stronger. Being one to value her life, I walked past my father. But, as it seems, that wasn't fast enough for him, since he shouted an agitated "Now!" at which I immediately began sprinting up the stairs, back to the beach.

As I neared the beach, I couldn't help but contemplate what a beautiful day it would have been, if not for the accursed contest. Although, my eyes assured me that I was the only one to think so. On behest of Aphrodite, who was ever the romantic one, the arena for the battle of strength and cunning had been set at the beach, just southwest of Athens. To my great dismay, many men had shown up for the competition. It was quite pitiful, that they viewed this as a legitimate way of vying for a woman's hand. But the Gods had spoken their verdict, and their wishes were, after all, the mortals' wills.

Coming closer to the amphitheater, I slowed my steps, as to not seem overly enthusiastic about my fate, but soon regretted the decision. In less than a second, I was ambushed by one of the competitors, who took my hand in a firm grasp, whilst kneeling in front of me. The only thing that managed to register in my mind was the fact that the loathsome brute had blonde hair and blue eyes. Great, another dude who deemed himself something special because he didn't have the typical colorings, which were, in fact, dark hair and dark eyes.

Okay, don't go thinking that I'm a hypocrite, since I have green eyes. For the record, I have normal, brown, definitely not curly hair, of which I'm extremely proud, thank you very much. Hmm, is it me, or is somebody talking? Oh yeah… the despicable fool.

"Milady, I feel very honored to be able to compete in this memorable tournament. I hope sincerely that you'll be cheering for me, your humble servant…" gross, is the leech still touching me? Whatever, at least he's clean, compared to some of the others. I wonder how much he can eat.

As I kept on straying with my mind, while the loser continued talking, my eyes locked onto a boy behind him. He was maybe twelve years old and the most adorable kid I'd ever seen. At the moment, which served only to make my opinion of him even better, he was smiling at me, with both hands on his throat, acting as though he was being suffocated. My sentiment, exactly.

Despite my effort, since I did have at least some manners, I began laughing. The gushing man before me, though, took this as a good sign. Getting up, he bowed, lightly kissing my hand. "Remember, cheer for the magnificent Tesolon." How humble of him. "Milady, until we reunite…." Leaving the foreboding sentence to trail off, he turned away and began strutting off. Glancing at the boy, I could not help but to wink at him. Then, suddenly, the Tesolon dude called back "Peppy, come." Waving at me, the boy, who had now been rechristened to me as Peppy, followed his master. Poor fellow.

"You've already made friends, haven't you?" The statement was followed by a sigh, and an arm being put around my shoulders. "My little baby is growing up so quickly." Without even glancing up, I knew who it was.

"Uncle Hades, stop with the sarcastic comments." I walked off, pushing his arm away in the process. "I'm really in no mood."

Behind me I could hear the footsteps of my favorite relative as he caught up to me. "Excuse me for trying to get my dear niece to smile a bit. After all, it's her wedding day." At that comment, I punched him in the gut, but alas it was to no avail. I even think I hurt myself.

"If you want me happy, then blow this entire thing off. You can even sabotage it for all I care."

"And get Aphrodite on my case? Rather not, you know how enamored she is by the idea." Staring up at the god, I contemplated for a second. Uncle Hades was certainly handsome, with a very dark look around him. Black hair, black eyes, the typical bad boy look. Also, since gods didn't age, he was forever in his twenties. Despite all the dark vibes coming from him and the entire death deal, he was my favorite uncle. Simply because he was the only one that could at least slightly relate to my situation.

"Don't tell me you're afraid of her," I mocked him.

"Sweetie, with time you'll come to learn that sometimes you've got to back off and save yourself a lot of trouble. Take this as an example. I piss Aphrodite off, she tells Demeter, who in turn tells Persephone. I mean, birds of a feather flock together. That's the last thing I need, since I see Persephone anyway only one fourth of the year."

"I guess you're right." Sighing as if the sky was on my shoulders, instead of on Atlas', I looked firmly ahead. "It was at least worth a try."

"Giving up so easily?" Stopping just before the improvised amphitheater, I faced Hades. "I said that I couldn't help you, not that it was an impossible situation. Now, let's say, if you were to provoke a quarrel between Ares and Athena… solely on accident, of course…."

Brightening with hope, I kissed my uncle on the cheek. "Thanks Uncle Hades." Then, I turned and ran into the direction of the Dodekatheon. Never had I been happier to see the twelve Olympian gods than in that moment.

Almost squealing in glee as I passed by some of the perplexed looking competitors, I came up to the stands. There in front of me lounged the familiar deities. The only thing I regretted at that moment was that Eris wasn't there. That goddess would have surely appreciated the trouble I was about to stir up.

Coming to a halt before them, I realized that not all had come. Hephaestus and Hermes weren't there – I couldn't blame them. They probably had more important things to deal with.

With a certain extend of satisfaction I spotted somebody else who wasn't quite satisfied with the situation either. Artemis was currently having a heated discussion with that prune Aphrodite.

"You can't just force her to marry the winner of this contest. Besides, as a maiden, she is still under my field of jurisdiction," a very enraged Artemis was shouting at Aphrodite, her long brown hair flying behind her with every one of her moves. The blonde didn't seem very impressed, though.

"Who said that I'd force her? I am, after all, the goddess of love." Those words conjured some nasty images to my mind, forcing my resolve to harden. I had to get out of this, whatever the cost. Turning around, I observed some of the men. Partially, they were dressed in such dirty garbs and gave off such an impossible stench that I felt my eyes water in fear. That was definitely not the future I had imagined.

Once again facing the gods, I studied all of them. Most weren't even partaking in the fight between Artemis and Aphrodite. Apollo was lounging leisurely off to the side, strumming his harp gently, his brown hair, the same as his sister Artemis', falling occasionally into his eyes. Aunt Hestia was sitting right in the middle of the entire commotion, an old woman with grey hair, deeply emerged into her stitching, bless her soul. A couple of seats away from Hestia sat Demeter and Persephone, enjoying their time together. And, in the back, doing things I'd rather not dwell on, were Zeus and Hera, giggling madly. As it seems, they'd solved their problems. But where were those two….

"Boo," somebody shouted from behind me, molding himself to my leg. Looking down, I couldn't stop a smile from taking over my face. There stood proudly, with his five-year-olds body, crimson hair falling into his grey eyes, none other than Ares. Never had I been happier in my life to see that insufferable brat.

Bending down, I hugged him. "Hey, what're you doing?" He quickly wriggled out of my grasp, and then grabbed my hand.

"Come." That made me feel somehow so useless, being commanded around by a five year old. Still, I complied. If I wanted to go through with my plan, I had to stick close to him. As he led me around the stands, we came to a deserted area. Turning around with a mischievous glint in his eyes, he began tugging at his linen pants, lowering them. I did the only thing I could think of in my panic – I grabbed them and started pulling them back up. Thus ensued a little game of tug-of-war.

"What in the name of Zeus do you think you're doing?" I hissed out between clenched teeth.

"I have to pee," he whined in reply. That immediately reminded me why I couldn't stand this particular god. Luckily, before I had to begin beating the hell out of him, somebody else freed me of his nerve wrecking antics. And it couldn't have been a better twist of fate for me. The one that came around the corner was-

"Athens." Frostily staring at her, Ares gave up on trying to get his pants off. The way that he had greeted the goddess gave proof of something we all knew, the deep hatred between the two. Straightening up, I observed her. Just like Ares, she inhabited a five-year-olds body, with the exception that she had white-blonde hair, which was almost always braided, and warm hazel eyes.

"I just came to tell you that the contest is soon going to begin." After she delivered the message, she just stood there, waiting impassively. Ares, who didn't seem in the mood, finally growled and hurried to walk past her. Before he was able to move too far away, though, I pushed Athens, who had turned her back on me, into him. With wide eyes, Athens pushed herself away from him. She first looked at me, then at Ares, an apprehensive expression on her face.

Ares, in turn, slowly faced her. His eyes spoke true menace as Athens began stuttering. For a second I felt almost sorry for her. Almost. Raising one hand swiftly, Ares grabbed Athens' braid and tugged as hard as he could on it. Athens usually never attacked first, but when challenged, she could be quite fierce. This was such a situation. With a cry, she lunged herself at him. What followed next was pure chaos.

As she hit Ares with her body, the force sent both of them toppling back in front of the stands, where all of the gods could see them. And, being what they are, most of them joined the fray, of course all in good means. In turn, all of the competitors began fighting too, since their tempers were controlled by those of Ares and Athens. To explain it quickly, Ares could start a war simply by getting annoyed, if he wanted to. Since he was the god of war and slaughter, he could project his blood lust onto whomever he wanted. With Athens it was similar, just that she controlled those feelings with her need to protect herself or somebody else. So, you can imagine what happened.

Keeping on the outskirts of the battle, I suddenly saw something that made me smirk. Not too far away, trying to edge safely out of the fight, was non other than Tesolon. Huh, weird, I actually managed to remember his name. Anyway, back on track. Searching around for a second I spotted, not too far away, a half eaten chicken leg. Perfect.

Making a dash for it, I grabbed it. Then, facing Tesolon, I swung my arm back as far as possible, and threw the leg at him. As soon as I released it, it went flying beautifully through the air. Just as it was about to hit him, however, somebody else stepped into the way. With horror I watched as the leg hit a tall man with pale blond hair. Coincidentally, that man was holding my fathers' trident. Could have been because it was my father. Oh crap….

Jumping down onto the ground barely in time to avoid his gaze, I braced myself for what was to follow. I was not to be disappointed, as my father suddenly sent a barrage of different foods flying all around. Yep, that was his doing, for sure. Deciding that I'd had enough of this entire affair, I began crawling away. Eating contests, perverted kids and food fights do not a happy Zeohina make. Nuh uh. Too bad that somebody else had different plans.

"Holy sh-" I just about screamed as a limp body fell in front of me. Staring back into the wide blue eyes, I recognized the man before me. Tesolon. Looking up, I also found the source of death.

"Uncle Hades," I all but whined at him," couldn't you have dropped him somewhere else? You're blocking off my escape route." The traitor just smirked down at me. How could he have the audacity to smirk in that way at me, Zephina, who was currently lying in the dirt? Ooookayy… we'll act as if that never happened….

"I think it's time to end this, before anybody gets seriously hurt. I think Ares is trying to set Aphrodites' hair on fire, and we wouldn't want that, would we now?" No, of course not.

"Go Ares!" Fine, maybe he could burn off a tiny, teensy bit of her hair.

"You're impossible, you know that?" I made a show of surveying his work, which consisted of a fair share of dead men.

"It's in the family," I said to him, with a pointed look. He simply rolled his eyes at me, then picked me up by my arm. "Hey, what do you think you're doing?"

"Didn't I say that already? I'm ending this," walking past one of the contestants, he touched the man, immediately sending his soul to the underworld. "Enough people have already been hurt."

"Hypocrite." Whether he heard me mumble this or not shall never be known. But, let me tell you this, he did smile.

As we walked through the crowd, Uncle Hades warding off any attackers with his touch of doom (cue ominous music) I recognized a lone figure cowering under a table, occasionally grabbing some food from the platter above it. Smiling, I tapped my Uncle, signaling for him to let me go.

"Excuse me, but I think I have an idea." Without another question, he let go of me. Avoiding the flying food as good as possible, I made my way to the lone boy. Sitting underneath the table was the kid I'd met before, Peppy. Since he was now without a master, and I needed some help, I decided to involve him in my plan. After all, one hand washes the other.

Sitting down next to him, I gently touched his shoulder. Startled, he turned around, but smiled upon recognizing me. That was a good beginning. Leaning over, and beckoning for him to do the same, I started whispering into his ear, telling him exactly what I had in mind. After some time, when I had told him everything, he agreed, eyes sparkling with amusement.

Let the games begin.

Stepping out from under the table, we immediately took to clearing the platter of food. As soon as that was done, I braced myself, and called my nemesis Aphrodite. Within a matter of seconds, a disgustingly sweet smelling pink cloud announced the goddesses' arrival. Coughing, I took in the sight before me. Aphrodite was without doubt worse for the wear. Her hair was burned on the ends, showing that Ares had partially succeeded in his endeavor. Her clothes were also seriously disheveled. All in all, she wasn't as happy as she had been at the beginning of this glorious day.

"What?" The fact that she had snapped took me by surprise. She was usually such a suck-up. But what could I say? It simply wasn't her day.

"I just thought you'd be interested to know that we have a winner." Pointing to Peppy, who'd been standing silently beside me, I continued. "This man has won the contest."

Suspiciously, Aphrodite started to inspect the empty platter behind us. "Is he even registered as a contestant?"

"Yes, I am," Peppy spoke up from beside me. Luckily, for I hadn't thought of the fact that there was a registration list. "My servant enrolled me as Lord Tesolon."

With a graceful wave of her hand, Aphrodite called up a long list out of thin air. Avoiding the flying food, she quickly skimmed it with her eyes. "Ah, yes, here you are. Exactly as you said it, Lord Tesolon." With another wave, she made the list disappear. Then, she turned away from us, only to stare at the fighting contestants and gods. She was about to say something, as suddenly a giant piece of meat hit her smack in the face. Without another warning, she began screaming at the top of her lungs, causing all the beings around her to sink to their knees in pain. Had I mentioned that Aphrodite knew how to scream extraordinarily loud?

What happened next was highly confusing. As I had my eyes screwed tightly shut in pain, I could only hear other voices join the screaming. One of them sounded like Uncle Zeus. Then, it became hauntingly quiet. Peeking one eye carefully open, I saw that the fighting had been effectively stopped by Aphrodite's unexpected move. As for her, she was being subdued by Uncle Zeus and my father. Both of them looked absolutely shell-shocked.

To not go into details now, it took about an hour to clear the entire mess up. Afterwards came the interrogations. Everybody wanted to be sure that Peppy, a.k.a. Tesolon, had won the eating contest. With some help from Uncle Hades, since my father didn't believe me, we managed to convince them. Satisfied, Uncle Zeus, in turn, declared that the wedding would be in a month's time. That destroyed my last hope. I had thought that they'd blow off the wedding, since the winner was a mere child. Shouldn't have relied on that, though. After all, Uncle Zeus was married to his sister. And swaying him on the decision was a moot point.

Once they had decided on that, they went on to more important topics, mainly: who had started the food fight? Yes, a very important question, indeed. Seeing as I wasn't in the mood for another argument, I took Peppys' hand and started slowly sneaking away. Too bad that Athens was still angry at me. One second, I just heard her say that it was my fault, the next, Peppy and I were sprinting down the beach. For the second time that day I found myself running down those steps.

"Zephina, get back here!" Not on your life, dad.

AN: I'm not quite sure whether this belongs in this section so, if it doesn't, please tell me. Although, it seemed like the most appropriate place.

This one-shot I wrote for a competition which I, sadly, didn't win. I guess, more luck next time. The parameters were to write a story that took place by the sea and where the main plotlines had something to do with an eating contest to decide on a wedding. So, review, please?