CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FORTY-EIGHT
“Now, I have to operate this machine,” Jeraine said. “Please watch but don’t interrupt. It can be very dangerous.”
“As you wish,” Hecate said.
Jeraine looked at Ares in the rearview mirror.
“Of course,” Ares said.
By some miracle, they managed to get out of the airport and onto the highway. Hecate and Ares’s faces were pressed against their windows watching the world go by. Jeraine took the Colorado Boulevard exit from the I-70. In a few minutes, he was at the driveway to the Castle. He clicked the gate opener and looked to see his passengers were completely fascinated.
He pulled into his parking spot and let the Gods out of his sedan.
“That was fantastic!” Ares said. Seeing Heather waiting for them, he rushed out of the vehicle and to her side. “We rode in a sedan.”
Heather shot Jeraine a mildly amused look and escorted her grandfather into the Castle. Hecate waited for Jeraine.
“Thank you for sharing all of this with me,” Hecate said. “It is a rare gift for us to be able to see all the wonders of the modern world, let alone experience them. We are the envy of all of Olympus.”
Jeraine grinned and nodded. They walked to the door of the Castle.
“Dinner can be a crazy here, so …” Jeraine said.
He pressed open the door for her. She went in the side door, through the entryway, and stopped short.
Sandy’s cat Cleo was curled up in a ball in an armchair.
“Mother?” Hecate whispered.
The cat opened its eyes slowly, sleepily, and looked at her.
“She was injured when I finally found her,” Heather said. “I searched high and low for a long, long time. When I found her she was more dead, than alive. Clinging to life. She had transformed into this form because it is so resilient. But …”
Hecate looked at Heather’s face.
“She’s stuck in this form,” Hecate said.
“She’s regained great health in the years she’s been here,” Heather said. “It may take millennia to return to her former self. If she ever can. She is only whole in Olympia but can only go there for short periods of time, ceremonies and the like, when Perses is there.”
“She has always drawn strength from father,” Hecate said.
“Even then, she is really more illusion than anything else,” Heather said.
Rachel Ann walked into the living room and picked up Cleo.
“She has been my friend Sandy’s cat,” Heather said. “Even in her weakened state, she’s given much love.”
“The more she can give, the stronger she will become,” Hecate said.
“That is Sandy’s daughter,” Heather said. “She is Rachel Ann’s champion.”
Hecate nodded. She looked down to see Rachel Ann holding Cleo out for Hecate to see.
“This is Cleo, my cat,” Rachel Ann said. “You can hold her. I think she’d like that.”
Hecate took the cat from Rachel Ann and the little girl ran off. Hecate kissed the cat’s head and hugged her close.
“Oh mother, I’m so very glad that you are alive,” Hecate said.
Cleo the cat purred.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…
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