MY NAME IS APOLLO. I used to be a god.
In my four thousand six hundred and twelve years, I have done many things. I inflicted a plague on the Greeks who besieged Troy. I blessed Babe Ruth with three home runs in game four of the 1926 World Series. I visited my wrath upon Britney Spears at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards.
But in all my immortal life, I never before crash-landed in a Dumpster.
I’m not even sure how it happened …
WHEN OUR DRAGON declared war on Indiana, I knew it was going to be a bad day.
We’d been traveling west for six weeks, and Festus had never shown such hostility toward a state. New Jersey he ignored. Pennsylvania he seemed to enjoy, despite our battle with the Cyclopes of Pittsburgh. Ohio he tolerated, even after our encounter with Potina, the Roman goddess of childhood drinks, who pursued us in the form of a giant red pitcher emblazoned with a smiley face.
Yet for some reason, Festus decided he did not like Indiana. He landed on the cupola of the Indiana Statehouse, flapped his metallic wings, and blew a cone of fire that incinerated the state flag right off the flagpole …
I was just a young centaur, living alone in a cave on Mount Pelion, when I first met Lord Apollo. He literally dropped in out of the sky, which nearly gave me a heart attack. It wasn’t every day an A-list divinity with perfect teeth and glowing golden robes appeared on my hillside.
“You’re Kronos’s son, right?” Apollo pulled up a boulder and sat down. “My dad is Zeus! He’s Kronos’s son too. So I guess that makes you my uncle. How weird is that?”
“Ah…yes, Lord Apollo.” I tried to control the twitching in my withers. “Very weird indeed.” I noticed the sky was darkening even though it was only noon. “Not to be critical, O Great One, but shouldn’t you be driving the sun chariot right now?”
He shrugged. “Actually, I put it in park for a few minutes because Artemis is up there doing her lunar-eclipse thing.” He scratched his fashionably stubbled chin. “Or is it solar? I can never keep them straight.” Suddenly he jumped from his boulder as if he’d had a marvelous idea. “But that’s not important! I remember what I came down here to ask you. I’ve never ridden a centaur before. Mind taking me for a spin around the block? …
The Trial of Apollo – The Trial of Apollo – The Trial of Apollo