Power of the Princess
Copyright © 2013, 20l6 Shawn James
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The Geto Boys My Mind Playin Tricks on Me pumps from the stereo in my bedroom as I finish the last few reps of my second set of one-arm push-ups. Four walls have been staring at a goddess ever since Zeus confined me to this suite in the Parthenon of Olympus. Thank the gods I only have another hour before my court date. There’s quite a few people I’d like to smite with my sword of retribution on when I get out of here.
To take my mind off the trial these past few months, I’ve been trying to stay in shape. My body’s gone to Hades with the food Hera has ordered her heralds to serve me. I’ve lost so much weight I’m half the size I was when I fought in the AFC. I haven’t been this skinny since Zeus started sending me out to mete out retribution on mortals.
I’m about to start my crunches when my Smartphone rings. I jump up off the floor and hurry over to the night table. When I’m greeted by Hermes’ smile broadcasting on the screen I realize I’m going to have to cut my workout short. “Hey Nemi, are you decent?” He inquires through the phone.
“Yeah. I’m decent.” I snarl.
“Zeus says we’re going to have your hearing in about 15 minutes.”
“I’ll be ready.”
I hit end, toss the phone back on the night table, and peel out of my workout gear. Then I streak across the suite into the bathroom’s shower stall. After I wash off the sweat from this morning’s workout and towel off, a flash of light envelops my body and the hem of my one-shouldered toga dress falls at the middle of my thigh. When I finish putting on my lipstick and put my hair back up in a topknot ponytail, the chime of my Smartphone lets me know it’s time for me to face the music.
“Nemi, it’s time.” Hermes says somberly.
“Great. Let’s get this over with.”
I grab my Smartphone and a flash of light takes me from the bedroom suite in Olympus to the throne room in the west wing of the Parthenon. A pantheon of Olympian gods and demigods sit in the gallery behind me while Zeus and Hera sit in their thrones in front of me. The tall burly bearded red haired man dressed in a green caftan, gold belt, and sandals looks over at my sword in its sheath and my enchanted balances covered in a layer of dust on the evidence table before addressing me.
“Nemesis, you stand before me charged with insubordination, dereliction of duty, harassing a goddess, and causing an inter-realm incident.” Zeus says. “How do you answer these charges?”
I’m definitely screwed. But I’m not going down without a fight. “Not guilty Great Zeus.” I snarl.
Hera scowls at me after I make my plea. “Not guilty?” she says. “Clearly we have evidence of your dereliction.”
Hera gestures and a stack of my fight DVDs appears on the table next to my sword and balances with AFC’s War of the Gods on top. Wow. I had no idea they were such big fans.
“It wasn’t dereliction.” I excuse. “Fighting in the AFC was something I did in my downtime to keep my smiting skills sharp-”
Zeus gestures and all the supplements I used to bulk myself up to my fighting weight appear on the table next to my sword and enchanted balances. He gestures again and my Smartphone slips out of my hand and begins broadcasting video of me in workout gear training and posing in the gym onto the big screen television mounted on the wall above the table for all the gods to see. “Downtime?” He continues. “If we look at your schedule it seems your training regimens for the AFC has been all you’ve been focusing your time on for the past several years.”
“I was number one. And to stay on top I had to make some sacrifices.”
“Your number one duty was to be the goddess of retribution.” Hera chides. “And thanks to your insubordination and dereliction of duty, numerous mortals have gone unpunished for their hubris.”
“I would have gotten to them. Eventually.”
“It’s clear to me you have an obsession with fighting in that cage-”
The gallery of gods is full of gasps on hearing my correction of Zeus. He glares at me as he clenches his fists. No one minimizes my sport. Not even my father.
“…Octagon has made you just as arrogant as the mortals we send you out to punish for their hubris.” Zeus finishes.
“So is that why Hermes told me about Isis?”
“I wanted to see how far you would take things.” Hermes says hopping out of his seat to stand next to Zeus.
“And the fact that you disobeyed my orders and harassed and harangued Isis to get that fight a few months ago shows me how obsessed you’ve become with fighting in the Octagon.” Zeus continues.
“You’ve grown so callous and so indifferent to the people you serve you have no regard for mortal or god.” Hera says. “You have embarrassed this realm and yourself with your malicious, reckless, and irresponsible behavior.”
“So I guess I’m guilty in your eyes?”
“Let’s see what verdict your balance gives.” Zeus says.
Zeus gestures and my enchanted balances rise off the table. As they float over towards me, I take a deep breath as they measure the worthiness of my character. When the balance falls to the left side I frown. Crap, convicted by my own instrument of justice.
Figures I had no chance. I better just take my punishment and get through with it. Six months breaking rocks in Tartarus will do wonders for my biceps and my delts. I’ll be back in fighting shape in no time. If I’m lucky I can get another mortal fight league to sign me up right around the time I’m released. “So what’s my sentence?”
“From your unrepentant attitude it’s clear to me you don’t appreciate the position we have given you.” Zeus continues. “Perhaps you’ll learn some humility in your new line of work.”
I’m getting a new job? Hmmm…This could be interesting. “What are you gonna do? Make me a lame doctor who limps on an enchanted wooden stick while I pine for the handsome male nurse who works for me?”
“You wish.” Hera says. “You’re not getting off that easy.”
“So it’s hard labor on the ol’ Tartarus rock pile?”
“I don’t think so.” Zeus says. “You’ll need to be soft and slender for your new position.”
So the diet of ambrosia and vegetables was for a purpose. Big deal. I’ll find the local GNC wherever they send me and stock up on my usual supplements.
“For the remainder of the year you’ll be working in the Minotaur’s Maze.” Hera continues. “And if you do a good enough job there, we may consider letting you go back to meting retribution out on the mortals you’re supposed to serve.”
I cringe on hearing about the location of my new job. Gods no. Not the Minotaur’s Maze! That place is a labyrinth of horrors! I’d rather be tormented in Tartarus than even visit there! I’ve got to get them to reconsider their judgment.
“Great Zeus, please reconsider. I provide an essential service to mankind-”
“I don’t believe the mortals will be harmed by you being out of circulation for such a short time.” Zeus says. “ Besides, what’s another six months when you’ve been gone for five years?”
“I’m just saying the whole world could change in that little time Great Zeus.” I plead. “I mean, what about society? What about the unrepentant mortals?”
“What about them?” Hera says. “You’ll get to them. Eventually.”
“NO! There’s no way in Hades I’m going there!”
“It’ll be a cold day in Hades before I ever set foot in that place!” I say disappearing into a flash of light.
I shake my head as Nemesis disappears in a flash of light. I had hoped six months of house arrest would make her think about how egregious her offenses were and how they embarrassed this realm. I thought she’d come into court repentant and eager to return to her duties as the Goddess of Retribution. But from the hostile and belligerent way she behaved during these proceedings it’s clear to me Nemesis is not only a danger to both men and gods, but possibly to herself as well.
A worried Hera looks over at me. “Zeus, she’s out of control. We have to get her back here before she does harm to mortals or herself.”
“You’re right my dear.” I reply. “But would a diplomatic situation even be viable now? From the erratic way Nemesis has been behaving we might have to use force.”
“Shall I send for Hercules sire?” Hermes inquires. “He’s consulting on the set of that new movie-”
I’d like to, but Hercules wouldn’t have the time to track her. Plus with the rough way he handles things it could lead to serious property damage wherever they brawled. The last thing Olympus needs is another inter-realm incident, especially one where mortals are involved. I just couldn’t deal with the headache of another lawsuit.
“No, we needn’t to disrupt his work Hermes.” I reply. “I think I know someone who has the time and the skills to bring Nemesis to justice.”
Hermes flashes a smile at me “I think I know who you’re talking about….
My wife knows who I’m speaking about as well. She gives me a quizzed look before making her inquiry. “But would the goddess even be interested in assisting us in our affairs after her ordeal with Nemesis?” Hera asks.
“From what I’ve seen Isis is always eager to aid both man and god.” Hermes continues. “And she definitely has the diplomatic skills to help contain this situation.”
“Not to mention a softer touch than Hercules. Hermes, send for the goddess.” Hera requests.
While Hermes is capable of handling diplomatic affairs for us, this situation too dire to send an emissary to ask Isis for assistance. I ease off my throne and make my way down the steps. “No, You stay here Hermes. I’ll make the case to Isis myself.”
Princess Isis of New Heliopolis. Too bad I can’t put that job on my resume.
I scan the job listings on higheredlearning.com and I don’t see a single adjunct position I can apply for. It looks like I won’t be going anywhere anytime soon in the world of academia. So I better just accept the fact that I’m not needed there.
I know we goddesses are supposed to go where we’re needed. But without a teaching job, I feel like I’ve been going nowhere. So far in this go around the world I’ve been a mixed marital arts fighter and an art model. Yeah, they were exciting experiences, but not exactly jobs I can put on a resume and wow a department head with. If I don’t get my mortal life together and find some sort of steady employment, I’m not going to be very effective at doing the work of a goddess.
With the job search a bust today, I click out of Safari, hop off the bed, and shuffle over to the full-length mirrors on the sliding closet doors. As I take a long look at the reflection of myself dressed up in my new pleated white gown, gold bracers, and gold armlets I paste on a smile. Yeah, I look like a princess. But almost a hundred twenty plus years later, I’m still getting used to being royalty.
While I don’t have a use for this outfit in my day-to-day duties as the Daughter of Knowledge yet, it’s just fun to dress up once and a while. And a princesses’ outfit isn’t complete without her tiara. Time to put mine on. With a thought I make my enchanted golden tiara appear above me and it gently eases itself atop my chestnut curls. Then it slides down my bangs and falls into my eyes. Yep, I’m still the absolute picture of grace and elegance.
I’m fixing my tiara back on my head when a flash of light fills the room. When I see the reflection of Osiris standing behind me I light up. The tall bald clean shaven honey colored man dressed in a white caftan, gold belt, and green robe gives me a proud smile back on seeing me in my finest New Heliopolitan formal wear.
“Hey Dad.” I greet as I rush up to him to give him a hug.
“Hey baby girl.” Osiris says breaking the embrace. “Looking extra sharp in that new gown.”
“Thanks. But I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go.”
“Still having a hard time finding work?”
“I put this outfit on to cheer myself up while I look at the hopeless job prospects.”
“Don’t you already have a job?”
“My part-time gig as Caretaker of the Island of Solitude?”
“Your full-time gig as a goddess.”
I give my father a look. “Come on Dad, being a goddess doesn’t pay the bills-”
Osiris smiles back at me. “Since when have we worried about paying bills?”
“I know, we get what we need through faith.” I sigh. “But for us half-humans it’s kind of a chicken or the egg scenario. We can’t do our god jobs without a nine-to-five gig to help us reach the people we serve.”
“I think you’re reaching people. You just have to get used to doing it in a different way.”
Yeah, the way of a goddess. But without a steady day job I feel like I’m drifting. And I’m afraid the further away I drift away from people, the more disconnected I’ll be. If I stay out of work for too long, I’m going to become the kind of goddess who walks around calling people mortal.
“That’s what you say until you see until see some of the drawings of your baby girl from the figure drawing class I participated in last month.”
Osiris flashes me a smile. “It ain’t nothing I haven’t seen floating in a hot spring over a hundred years ago.”
I gasp on the revelation. “I had no idea you got that much of a look-”
“Girl, I got a look at all of you when you were born.” Osiris continues. “And I think your big problem is you see things too much from a human perspective.”
“All I know is the personnel departments at most of these universities aren’t too understanding about their potential professors cage fighting and posing nude-”
“I think you worry too much about what people think. God always makes a way for those who do His work.”
“If only I could figure out a way to get a job to do His work with my current resume-”
“There ain’t nothing to figure out. You just go where you’re needed.”
Now I know where E’steem got that advice. “I always thought the best way to reach the people who needed me most was in the classroom-”
“What about those people who aren’t in the classroom? Don’t they need your help too?”
“I never thought about it that way-”
“Maybe that’s what God is trying to show you.”
“By putting me in the crappiest jobs known to man-”
“By helping you get your priorities straight.” Osiris chides. “Now I know you enjoy teaching, but your primary job is being a goddess.”
“The one job I’ve never been comfortable doing.”
“Well, when I’m a teacher, I’m a woman.” I explain. “And I do woman things with other women my own age. But when I’m a goddess everyone sees me like a kid. And it feels so awkward to be in a place where I’m a kid again when I’m so used to being an adult.”
Osiris gives me a proud smile before he speaks. “I’d say you’ve grown up quite a bit in the last hundred years.”
Unfortunately, he and most of the gods only sees his little girl, not the woman I really am. “Not enough to be taken seriously as an adult in the realm of the gods.”
“That’s why it’s important for you to focus on your work in our realm. So both man and god can see the woman you’re becoming.”
“So I’m not a kid anymore?”
“You’ll always be my little girl.” Osiris comforts. “But I’d like to see you start seeing the positives of being a goddess this go around in the world. It’s not as bad as you think it is.”
Sounds like he still thinks I have some more growing up to do. “So you’re comfortable with the idea of your daughter cage fighting and posing nude in art studios-”
“The way I see it God puts you in the right place at the right time to help people who need it.”
“So if my next job has me serving coffee at Starbucks-”
“I’d still be proud of you. And I’d come in every day for my Double shot Espresso.”
I smile when I hear that. “So you’d leave me a tip in the tip jar?”
“How about I make you a cup of my instant shot Maxwell House?”
“I’d definitely be up for that.”
I lead my father out of the bedroom suite down the hall. As we head out into the living room, a flash of light explodes in our eyes. We’re surprised by the presence of Zeus. I show the king of Olympus respect by curtseying before him.
“Zeus. What can I do for you?” Osiris asks.
“Great Pharaoh, I have desperate need of your daughter’s assistance.”
I catch the worried look on Zeus’ face. Whatever’s going on in Olympus has to be serious for him to come all the way to Harlem to ask my help. Usually he sends Hermes to send messages to lesser beings such as myself here on Earth.
“How can I help you Great Zeus?” I inquire.
“We were in the process of sentencing Nemesis for her crimes against you when she teleported out of the proceedings. I need you to find her.” Zeus tells me.
Crap, not her again. She’s practically the reason why I’m having such a hard time finding work. If it weren’t for our cage match a few months ago I’d be an adjunct at Columbia University right now. “Er…Isn’t this a job for Hercules?” I ask.
“He’s consulting on the set of a movie in Burbank.” Zeus continues. “And I’d rather have this affair handled by someone with a more diplomatic approach to things.”
“You don’t want another lawsuit.” Osiris says.
“American courts are such a headache to deal with.” Zeus sighs. “I believe Isis could handle the matter in a way that minimizes the property damage and prevents injuries to civilians.”
I doubt that’s going to happen. When I tried to reason with Nemesis the before our fight, she bit my head off. I doubt she’d listen to anyone with her staring down a prison sentence. “I don’t know, she’s kind of stubborn-”
“I know Nemesis can be difficult, but I believe she could learn from your example.” Zeus continues. “You took your punishment when it was handed down by the elders and went on to be a better goddess.”
“I’d say my rehabilitation is a work in progress.”
“I’d say you underestimate yourself goddess. You’ve done a lot of great works in the time since your punishment. I believe you can go on to do even greater things in your new role in the realms.”
Since he came to me face-to-face, I can definitely make an effort to help him out. It’ll be my little contribution towards fostering better inter-realm relations between New Heliopolis and Olympus. “As New Helioplolis’ goodwill ambassador I can’t decline a direct request for help from an elder god from another realm.” I say. “The least I can do is help you bring Nemesis to justice.”
Zeus lights up on hearing me saying yes. “Thank you so much for helping us Isis. “I truly appreciate your aid in this crisis.”
I know he’s grateful for my help, but what I’d appreciate is a little information. “You’re welcome Great Zeus. “Did you take any of her powers away while she was under house arrest?”
“Most of them. All she has is her invulnerability, teleportation, and reduced super strength.”
No real threat to me, but just enough Olympian power to be a danger to others. “Have you and the other gods secured her apartment here in the city?”
“Months ago. I’ve had Athena and her heralds staying at her Park Avenue Penthouse since her arrest. And we froze all her bank accounts and confiscated her credit cards.”
That doesn’t leave too many places for her to go. Without mortal amenities such as credit cards and money it’d be hard to get around here on earth. “Does she have her cell phone?”
“I took it at the palace.”
That definitely narrows down the number of places she could go. I think I know where she might be headed. It’s a ninety-nine to one shot she’ll go there, but with her being desperate she doesn’t have many options. If I can get Nemesis to listen to reason maybe I can get her in custody by this afternoon.
“I’m gonna get changed and head out and run down a lead. I’ll call you if I find her.”
A reassured Zeus flashes an appreciative smile at me. “I’ll be waiting by the phone.” He says as he disappears in a flash of light.
Mixed martial arts fighter. Art model. And now I can add bounty hunter to that list of not so impressive jobs on my current resume. But I’m going where I’m needed. Let’s see what lessons I can learn on this fun little journey.
I can understand why Zeus came to me; Nemesis seems to becoming more and more mentally unstable. With the way she’s obsessed with cage fighting she’s not only a danger to people, but herself. She crossed a lot of lines to get me to fight her in the octagon, and there’s no telling how many more she’ll cross to remain free. If she’s not stopped now it’s only a matter of time before she seriously injures or kills someone.
Osiris flashes another proud smile at me after Zeus disappears in a flash of light. “That was a wonderful thing you did for Zeus.”
“Just doing unto others as I’d like for them to do unto me.” I say. “I’d like to think the citizens of Olympus would help me if I were in trouble.”
“They did assist me in the search for you.”
I had no idea that diplomatic relations between our realms were so strong. “Then I guess I owe them one.”
“What’s this lead you have?” Osiris asks.
“Nemesis was one of the biggest stars of the AFC.” I answer. “While her last contract with me prevents her from working in their octagon, she still might go to her old boss for a favor or two.”
“Or she may go looking for revenge.” Osiris says. “Hermes tells me that things didn’t end amicably between them.”
“Still, it’s my strongest lead.”
I’m about to head into the bedroom when Osiris gives me another once-over. “Are you sure you want to change clothes? The way you’re dressed would probably get a stronger response from the people who work there.”
I know he likes me to look like a princess, but if I’m doing the work of a goddess I need to be comfortable. “These aren’t exactly work clothes. And I with the rough way Nemesis plays, I need to be ready for anything.”
“I’d just like to see you looking like a princess more often.”
“Maybe I’ll put this outfit on again when I host Sunday dinner on the island next week.”
“I’m hoping you’ll be making your famous Italian meatloaf.”
“With fire roasted corn and wild rice. And a pitcher of my world famous lemonade.”
Osiris flashes me a smile anticipating Sunday’s feast on the Island of Solitude as I rush back down the hall into the bedroom suite. I quickly get my work clothes off the hangers in the closet and peel out of my princess gown, armlets and tiara and toss them on the bed. After I quickly get changed into my cropped blouse and short wrap kilt skirt, I glance down at the shoes and boots at the bottom of the closet looking for footwear to compliment my outfit. I doubt my favorite pair of Uggs would survive in a fight with Nemesis. So my bare feet are going to have to handle a trip on the Berber carpets of the AFC executive offices.
Once I finish getting dressed, I hurry back out to the living room and get an approving look from my father. “Be careful out there baby girl.” He tells me as he steals a kiss from my cheek.
“I’ll try to be.” I say disappearing in a flash of light.
I activate my cloak as a flash of light takes me from my apartment in Harlem to the executive offices of the AFC in Penn Plaza. As I step on the Berber carpet of Mark Green’s executive suite, I find the President and CEO of the fight league sitting at his desk taking calls on his cell phone while typing up e-mails on his laptop. I won’t take up too much of his time; I just need him to answer a few questions for me.
I’m about to approach his desk to make my inquiry when a flash of light explodes in my eyes. A tense Nemesis teleports into the room looking around anxiously. Man, she’s lost a lot of weight. The tall red-haired olive skinned woman in the one-shouldered short toga dress is half the size she was when we fought in the octagon. I have to wonder if Zeus has her on a creatine free-diet. She’s so skinny she looks like a before picture for one of those supplement ads.
Mark peers up from his laptop and his brown eyes grow wide when he catches the cold look in Nemesis’ crystal blue ones. I better find out how bad the blood is between these two before I engage her. If he can talk her into giving herself up, then maybe I won’t have to get involved.
No powers. No money. No cell phone. Not even a pair of sandals. If I wasn’t in such a jam Mark would be at the top of my smiting list. But with the gods of Olympus on my trail I need a place to hide. And one of Mark’s apartments here in the city will give me some cover until I can regroup.
“Jenni, I’ll have to call you back. Somebody just came into the office I just have to talk to.” Mark says as he hits end.
Mark glares at me after he drops his cell phone on his desk. “Haven’t you cost me enough money?”
“Haven’t I made you enough money to last you several lifetimes?” I snarl.
“I thought I told you we were through in the hospital-”
“Look Mark, I need a favor-”
Mark’s eyes grow wide on the request. “Oh no-I’m not getting involved with you people anymore. The last thing I need is the wrath of Zeus coming down on me.”
You people? Doesn’t he know who I am? “Come on Mark, I thought we were friends-”
“Look, I told you our relationship was strictly business.” Mark continues.
“I’m in a jam with Zeus Mark. I need a place to stay until the heat’s off-”
“You’re on the run? Oh my God-”
“The sentence Zeus and Hera gave me was unfair-”
“Unfair? What’s fair to me? Getting hit with a lightning bolt?”
“They wouldn’t come after you-”
“I’m supposed to believe that? Just like you can find me, they can find me. And they’re way more powerful than you are.”
“I can protect you. Just help me-”
“No way. Not with gods looking for you. Now that you’re one of Olympus’ most wanted, the last thing I want to do is aid and abet a known felon.”
“That’s how you’re gonna do me?”
“That’s how you did yourself Nemi.”
Before Mark can reach for his cell phone, I reach across the desk, grab the front of his shirt yank him out of his office chair and drag him across his desk. When his beady brown eyes meet mine he starts to shake. “I wonder how tough you’ll talk with my fist down your throat.”
“Guess who’s back at the top of my smiting list.”
I thought Mark would be able to talk Nemesis into giving up, but she’s too angry to listen to reason. I better step in before she winds up getting herself permanently banished to Tartarus.
A flash of light explodes in her eyes when I make my presence known. While she’s blinded, I pull Mark out of her grasp and give her a hard shove that sends her flying across the room. When she crashes into the wall across the suite I make sure her former boss is okay. Outside of a ripped dress shirt it looks like he’s in one piece.
“You okay?” I ask.
“Okay?” Mark bellows. “I’m having a pay-per-view in my own office!”
Knowing him, he’d love to have some cameras in here to tape the carnage. I need to diffuse this situation before it really gets crazy. Nemesis pulls herself out of the hole in the drywall she made when I shoved her. From the scowl on her face I don’t think she’s in a mood to talk.
“Aren’t you in enough trouble?” I say.
“Aren’t you in over your head?” Nemesis jabs back.
“I’d like to think I’m more in your league than Mark here-”
Nemesis looks at me shakes her head and snickers. “Yeah right. I can’t believe Zeus sent a girl to do a woman’s job-”
Girl? She seems to forget this girl wiped the floor with her in our cage match. “You need to turn yourself in.”
Nemesis looks me up and down and smiles as she cracks her knuckles. “Let me guess. You’re here to talk me into surrendering-”
I’d love to knock some sense into her. But I’ve got to give the diplomatic approach a try. “You don’t have anyplace else to go. So you can walk out of here with me or I can carry you back to Olympus.”
“You forgot the third option.”
Before I can get an answer to my question, Nemesis throws a sucker punch to my face that sends me flying across the office. I hear the picture window shattering behind me as I’m knocked out of the office suite. For someone with reduced super strength she still packs a punch.
An enraged Nemesis growls and jumps through the hole in the picture window to press her attack. When she grabs at my shoulders, she smiles as she prepares to swing on me again.
“Looks like I’m finally gonna get my rematch.” Nemesis snarls.
“What makes you think I’m gonna let you hit me again?” I reply.
“I know you. You’re not gonna let me fall-”
“I don’t take passengers on my flights.”
I flash Nemesis a smile as I disappear in a flash of light. Her eyes grow wide as she shrieks and falls fourteen stories straight down. The crowd of tourists and workers scatters as her body crashes into the sidewalk on the promenade outside of Penn Plaza. As her body shatters the concrete, I reappear around the twelfth floor and begin descending down to the sidewalk. When I land near Nemesis’ fallen body, I hear the people chattering and speculating about her fall from grace.
“Oh my God! Is that Nemesis?” a man asks.
“It can’t be her! Nobody can survive a fall out of a skyscraper!” another man replies.
“It has to be her.” A woman says. “That’s definitely the costume she wore in War of the Gods.”
“But how did she get so skinny? Man, she used to be ripped back in the day.” A third man says.
“The camera does put ten pounds on you.” The first man says.
The dazed goddess hears the chatter from her fans as she stirs out of a state of semi-consciousness. When she staggers up and she sees the camera phones all around us recording the mayhem in Midtown Manhattan her hands clench into fists and she points daggers at me.
“YOU BLEW MY COVER!” she screams.
“You cost me my dream job.” I snarl. “So I guess we’re even.”
“No fight league on earth will ever take me now!”
I knew she wouldn’t be done with fighting after our match. “So I guess you can go back to serving the people as a goddess.”
Nemesis looks out to the crowd and scowls at the masses. “Serve these losers?” She huffs. They all can to go to Hades.”
I’m starting to understand why Nemesis has such an obsession with fighting in the Octagon. It’s clear to me she has some serious job dissatisfaction. Maybe if I prod her a little more I can find out how deep her psychosis is. “That’s a wonderful thing for you to say about all the adoring fans you say you loved so much.” I jab.
Nemesis clenches her fists tighter and her skin starts turning red as the rage she’s been seething in boils to the surface. She’d love to throttle the life out of someone, anyone. But somehow she keeps her self-control. I don’t think I’m going to have to engage her again; she just needs to let it all out. “Fans? They’re all vermin that need to be exterminated!”
“Is that why you enjoy beating on women in the Octagon?”
“It’s all they’re good for!” Nemesis continues ranting. “Stupid humans! They never change! They never learn! Every generation of them is just as dumb as the last!”
I wonder how long her frustrations about humanity have been boiling for it to turn into such rage and contempt towards people. She had to have been holding her anger in for centuries for her to start expressing it in physical ways over the last few years.
“And you’re so much smarter than they are.”
“Smart enough to understand my job is pointless. Goddess of Retribution. What a joke.”
That seems to be her primary motivation for wanting to fight. An outlet to express her frustrations about the sinful nature of man and how it never changes. “So you sought to mete out your own brand of justice on mortals with your fists.”
“It’s a lot better than wasting my time educating these fools about right and wrong.”
“Two wrongs don’t make a right Nemesis.”
“How? How am I supposed to teach these fools the concept of justice! How am I supposed to teach them to be good if they’re aren’t any good ones!”
What I’ve learned from my walk with God is we’ve all sinned and come short of God’s glory and grace. But I guess she’s never come to that level of understanding. I’ll try to explain it to her.
“Same thing could be said about us. “Where are the good gods?”
Nemesis cocks an eyebrow on my inquiry. “We’re nothing like them.”
“Are we? I’ve made mistakes, Osiris has made mistakes. And Zeus has made so mistakes it’s not even funny-”
“But we learned from our mistakes.” Nemesis rants. “Every generation of them is arrogant, greedy and conceited-”
If only she could see how she’s been acting lately. “Just like you and me.”
Nemesis becomes irate on the charge. “I’m nothing like them!”
“Of course you are. You’ve become just as arrogant, greedy, and conceited as they are.”
“I’m better than they are-”
“Then why do you want to hurt them for being themselves?”
A dumbfounded Nemesis has tears welling up in her eyes as she searches for the answer. “I can’t make them stop! I can’t make them stop doing wrong!”
Looks like I’ve made a breakthrough. “But you can make yourself stop.” I say putting a hand on her shoulder.
Nemesis’ eyes fall to the broken ground as she comes to see the truth about herself. “I guess I need help.”
“I’m sure Zeus will get you counseling.”
I look down at the shattered concrete of the sidewalk in front of Penn Plaza and realize how far I’ve fallen. Some Goddess of Retribution I am. I’ve become everything I’ve dedicated myself to fighting against.
I’m not fit for duty. And I need to get some kind of help to deal with all this anger I’m feeling inside. I really hope counseling is part of my rehabilitation because there’s a lot I need to get off my chest.
I wish I could thank Isis for taking the time to listen to me; I’ve wanted to talk about all that stuff for centuries. As an older goddess, I’m supposed to be the example for her. And here she’s showing me something. I’m going to tell her how sorry I am about how I treated her before I go back to Olympus to face my punishment.
The crowd of spectators in the plaza disperses once they see that goddesses aren’t going to be catfighting in the streets. When the people start going back to their business Nemesis give me a look. “I guess you’re gonna take me back to Olympus now.”
Actually I was going to take her back to my apartment. Since I’m born from a human woman I can’t enter those mythical realms like she can. “That was the plan.”
“Er…Could we go somewhere private? I want to talk to you about something.”
“I thought you hated talking.”
“I thought nobody would listen to me.”
“You’re not scheming to make a getaway are you?”
“I’m not going to run.”
I guess I can oblige a prisoner’s last request before I take her in. A flash of light takes Nemesis and I from Midtown Manhattan to the white sand beaches of the Island of Solitude in the South Pacific. After she looks around at the palm trees on the beach, the beach house in the distance and then out at the crystal clear blue waters of the Pacific Ocean crashing into its shores she gives me a quizzed look. “Wow. You actually can afford all this and your apartment on a crappy teacher’s salary?”
She’d be surprised to learn all the ways I know how to stretch a dollar. “This was where the Elders imprisoned me when I committed my crimes against the gods.”
“I can’t say the place Zeus is going to send me is as nice as this.”
“You getting a first class ticket to Tartarus?”
“Worse. The Minotaur’s Maze.” Nemesis sighs.
“So you’re going to be shoveling the crap of the half-man half-bull?”
“I wish. These days the Minotaur’s Maze is a theme park that’s the number one tourist attraction in Greece.”
Now I know why she went on the run. Working at a theme park in the middle of the summer is definitely a torment that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But if she’s going to be interacting with people in the future, she has to learn discipline, patience, and self-control. “So Zeus is going to have you working Customer Service.”
“He thinks it’ll teach me humility. I don’t think I’m gonna survive the experience.”
“Come on, it can’t be that bad-”
“Can’t be that bad?” Nemesis whines. “Where I’m going you have to wear uniforms with polo shirts that chafe, shorts that ride up into your girl parts, fanny packs, and you have to deal with children…Gods, the children.”
“Not to mention the mascot costumes.”
Nemesis shudders on the thought of having to wear one of those plush mascot costumes. I stifle a snicker imagining her in one. “Is it possible for you to kill me now?” She requests.
“Nope. You have to take your punishment like a woman.”
“Easy for you to say.”
If she only knew about my wonderful experience here back in 1883. “Hey, I had to do hard time on this island. This wasn’t the paradise you see right now. Over a hundred years of hard work turned this prison into my home.”
“Was that part of your sentence?”
“No, part of my sentence was to think about what I was doing and why it was wrong while I was here.”
“I guess you wanted someone to kill you then?”
Pretty much. “You don’t know how much I hated this place back when I got banished here.” I continue. “The first thing I wanted to do was run off this rock after Ra banished me here.”
Nemesis cocks an eyebrow. “You wanted to run away from this?”
“I wanted to spite the gods and show them they had no power over me. I was so eager to get back to my suffering in America that I couldn’t see how I was being blessed.”
“You were too hurt and angry to see the positives of the situation.”
“Just like you.”
“But how am I gonna make a crappy job like the Minotaur’s Maze work for me?”
“Find one thing you’d love to get back to when you’re free and focus on that.”
“Is that how you get through a day teaching humans?”
Pretty much. And I remember what Osiris told me about people over a century ago. “As much as you want to strangle them, you realize they are who they are.”
“That’s what used to drive me crazy. Nothing I did to punish them could make them change.”
“Hey, all we can do is advise them. If they don’t want to listen, whatever happens to them happens to them.”
“So if they refuse to learn the lesson I’m trying to teach-”
“Move on to the next person on the smiting list. Or just go to the movies.”
“I don’t know if I can do that. When the people I try to teach lessons to don’t learn humility, I feel like I’ve failed them.”
I know where she’s coming from. I used to take things really when I did my work as a teacher and a social crusader back in the 19th Century. And that was the main reason why I wound up here. But thank God I have family and friends to pull me back when I start getting crazy and start thinking I have to control everything these days when they look like they’re going out of control.
“I know you care, but you have to let people be people. It’s their life and God gave them the free will to do with it what they want with it.”
“You know for the youngest of us, you’re wise beyond your years.”
I appreciate the compliment. But the way I see it I’m still learning from my mistakes. “That’s why they call me the Daughter of Knowledge.” I quip. “So what did you want to talk to me about?”
“I just wanted to say I’m sorry for the way I treated you a few months ago.” Nemesis says extending her hand. “Creatine turned me into a real bitch.”
She must be serious about changing if she’s offering an apology. And since she’s apologizing for stalking me, I can forgive her for costing me my dream job. “That’s why I eat a plant based diet.” I retort as I shaking it.
“So how are you gonna contact Zeus?” Nemesis inquires.
“I told him I’d give him a call when I got back home.” I say as we disappear into a flash of light.
A flash of light takes Nemesis and I from the Island of Solitude back to the living room of my apartment in the Lenox Terrace. On seeing us, Osiris turns away from the LED TV broadcasting the afternoon news and smiles at us. “I see you captured your fugitive.” He says as he eases off the sofa.
“With minimal damage to Penn Plaza.” I reply proudly. “The busted window and broken sidewalk should be fixed by the end of the week.”
“The news is saying that your confrontation was part of an AFC promotional stunt.”
Looks like Mark is doing his best to cover the fact that one of his fighters was a real goddess. And the rest of the world is continuing to deny the fact that gods actually do exist. That works for me; I should be able to get back to a normal life by tomorrow.
“So their insurance should cover the damage.”
“Zeus will be happy to hear that.” Nemesis says.
“Indeed I am.” Zeus’ baritone voice echoes throughout the room.
A flash of light fills the room as Zeus appears. He smiles proudly at the sight of Nemesis standing behind me. I thought he’d wait for my call. But when he heard about what transpired at Penn Plaza on the news he probably hurried over here. “I have to say you handled the situation exceptionally well Isis.”
“Why thank you Great Zeus.”
“Such great work needs to be rewarded. And I have just the gift to express my gratitude to you Princess.”
Zeus gestures and I become filled with anticipation as a card made out of solid gold appears in his hands. When I read what’s inscribed on the golden ticket I paste on a smile. It’s just what I wanted. “Wow a season pass to the Minotaur’s Maze. Thanks.”
“It’s the greatest attraction in all Greece.” Zeus continues. “And Nemesis here is going to of the star of the season.”
Nemesis gives Zeus a nervous look. “So I won’t be serving up funnel cakes?
“Oh you’ll be working the fairways in the mornings.” Zeus replies. “And once a week I’ll be sending you to a therapist to deal with your anger issues.”
Nemesis lights up on hearing she’s going to be getting counseling. It’s great to know that her punishment will feature a rehabilitation component as well. If things work out she should be back to her goddess duties in no time. “So my afternoons will be free?”
“I don’t think so child.” Zeus laughs. “In the evenings I’ll have you working in a very special event on center stage of the Labyrinth.”
Special event? Okay now I’m intrigued. “What’s the big show going to be?”
“You’ll have to come and see Saturday night Isis.” Zeus says as he and Nemesis disappear into a flash of light.
After Zeus and Nemesis leave, I smile as I look down at the golden ticket. I know where I’m going Saturday Night. I wonder if Osiris wants to make it a family night. “Want to head over to the Minotaur’s Maze this weekend?” I ask. “It’s all on Zeus.”
“I’ll definitely be there.” Osiris replies.
“Great! I’ll meet you there.”
On seeing my smile Osiris smiles back at me. “See, doing the work of a goddess isn’t so bad.”
I have to say that this little adventure has given me a bit of perspective on things. Looking at the positives of my encounter with Nemesis, I was even able to teach her a lesson this time. “I’m still getting used to it.” I say.
“You’d still rather be in a classroom.”
I’ll admit I still miss the routine of working at a school. Getting my morning coffee, hanging out with my friends in the office, setting up my classroom, teaching lessons, counseling kids during my office hours, grading papers and preparing my lesson plans at night. But after seeing how the monotony of doing the same job for several eons burned Nemesis out maybe I think this time around I’ll take a little break from teaching. “As much as I love the classroom, I’d rather be where God takes me.”
“So you’re going with the flow?”
This is where I’m needed right now. “I admit I’m still not too comfortable with my role as a goddess and a princess. But I’m starting to see there’s a way for me to integrate my teaching into my goddess work and have an impact on the lives of others without a steady paycheck.”
“I’m sure you’ll find a teaching job soon.”
“Oh, I’m not in a hurry to get back to the classroom anymore.”
“I thought you wanted to get back to teaching so you could help this generation of Black children.”
As much as I care about the Black community, I realize I need to put myself first. The way I’ve been obsessing about returning to the classroom isn’t good for my students or for me. If my mind isn’t right, I could wind up just as bitter and resentful as Nemesis was whenever I went back to work there. “All work and no play makes me a dull goddess.” I retort. “And when you work the same job for too long you start to hate it.”
“So you’re going to pursue another career?”
I might. Life is too short to spend it letting nine-to-five jobs define who I am. My work as a goddess was never meant to conform to the social rules of men, it’s always been meant to teach people how to have faith in God so they could learn how to commit themselves to doing His work. “I’ll get back to the classroom. Eventually. Until then I’m gonna have some fun.”
Osiris smiles at me proudly. “We’ll make a goddess of you yet.”
“Maybe we will Dad.”
Osiris and I hurry down the main fairway of the Minotaur’s maze. After a fun evening of rides and games in Greece’s finest theme park I’m eager to see what Zeus’s special event is. When we met him at the VIP entrance, he said things would be starting at eight. And looking at the time on my iPhone, we’ve got about two minutes to get to the center stage of the Labyrinth.
As I slip my iPhone back into my jeans pocket we join the crowds of happy park goers and follow the yellow arrows painted on the concrete walls and make our way to the center of the Labyrinth. Once we turn the corner, there’s a stage set up in the center of the maze. I smile when I see the event he’s planned featuring Nemesis. Oh I am going to have so much fun tonight.
Osiris flashes a smile at me on seeing what’s set up on stage. “Don’t spend all your money.” He tells me.
I’m thinking this is the reason why Zeus gave me the golden ticket. “Oh, I definitely think this event is included in our season pass.” I say.
“I’d say it’s his way of compensating you for all the pain and suffering you endured in the octagon a few months ago.”
A flash of light explodes in our eyes and Zeus appears. He flashes a smile at me when he sees me and Osiris standing in front of the crowd that’s formed. “Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, I, Zeus, Great King of Olympus present to you the event of events!” He greets.
Zeus looks out to the crowd and smiles as he gestures to a giant pair of balances set up behind him. On one side there’s a target. On the other is a pool of water. From the condensation forming on the bottom of the Plexiglas I can definitely tell it’s nice and cold.
“For the next four months we great gods of Olympus will give you mere mortals the chance to mete out justice on Nemesis, our legendary goddess of retribution!” Zeus continues. For three dinars you’ll get three balls. And if you hit the target the balances of justice will fall in your favor as Nemesis is dunked in the coldest of waters.”
Zeus gestures and Nemesis appears in a flash of light dressed in her short white toga. From the smile she gives the crowd as she hops into the balance it she’s taking her punishment in stride. I’ll see how she’s doing after I get through playing my first set of balls.
“Who will be the first to test their skill and dunk this goddess?” Zeus inquires.
I hand Osiris all the stuffed animals I’ve won and eagerly raise my hand and hold my golden ticket up high. Zeus smiles at me as he gestures in my direction. “I see the lovely chestnut curled young lady wishes to go first.”
I quickly hurry up to the stage and after I show Zeus my pass he hands me three balls. “Thanks for everything tonight.” I whisper. “I’m having a great time.”
“You’re welcome princess. I’m hoping you give my daughter her just desserts.”
“Well, I wouldn’t want to disappoint the kids by missing.”
I stroll over to the line drawn about five feet away from where Nemesis is sitting. As I study the target Nemesis starts doing her best to break my concentration.
“What’s taking so long, are you afraid you’re going to miss?” Nemesis taunts.
I can split a mustard seed in two from a hundred paces with an arrow. And hitting the bull’s-eye at the dunk tank at Coney Island was easy as pie back when I used to go there back in the 1940s with my best friend Alma. Anticipation fills the air as I wind my arm back and pitch the ball towards the target. When it hits the wall, Nemesis smiles at me.
“Is that all you’ve got!” she teases. “I’ve seen better pitching at little league games!”
I could just dunk her, but I think I’ll make things interesting for the crowd. I toss another ball that goes wide. Nemesis leans back in the balance she’s sitting in and crosses her legs. “Looks like I don’t have to worry about getting wet. Cinnamon hair here couldn’t hit a barn.”
Couldn’t hit a barn eh? Time to show her my expert marksmanship skills. I toss a fastball at the target and the crowd erupts in cheers as my final pitch hits the bull’s-eye. On hearing the ding of the bell signifying my victory, Nemesis’ crystal blue eyes grow wide as the balance sways and she’s dropped into the cold waters of the tank. As she floats up I saunter over to the tank and see how she’s doing.
“Thanks for giving them a show.” Nemesis says. “It’s really gonna get people buying tickets!”
Looks like she’s getting better. “And you thought this job was going to be the worst thing that ever happened to you.”
“You could say I found something I liked about it.”
Nemesis looks out to the crowd at a handsome muscular Greek man wearing a teal polo shirt with the Minotaur’s Maze logo on the breast and a purple ball cap with plastic horns on it. He smiles back at her as he takes a set of balls from Zeus. “Funnel cake chef.”
Looks like a little romance is cooking up in the funnel cake booth. With her finding satisfaction in her on-the job training I have a feeling most of her workouts won’t be in the gym. “Don’t hurt him.”
“Don’t plan to.” Nemesis laughs as she hops back into her balance.
Endings and beginnings. That’s what storytelling is all about.
At the end of Isis: The Ultimate Fight, Hermes is sent to the hospital to present an injured Nemesis with a warrant for her arrest. That insult to her injuries is actually the beginning of a new storyline.
There were a lot of questions left unanswered at the end of Isis: The Ultimate Fight. What was Nemesis’ motivation for fighting in the octagon? Why was it so important for her to remain number one in the cage? Why did she push so hard for Isis to fight her? And why did Isis say she was obsessed?
I planned on answering those questions in a future story. One where I could develop Nemesis’ character and show the numerous psychological reasons why the Greek goddess of Retribution went rogue. In this follow-up story to Isis: The Ultimate Fight, readers would learn what issues Nemesis was battling and what was causing her to behave so recklessly.
When it comes to bullies, there’s often a psychological reason behind their bullying. And the main reason why many bullies like Nemesis want to have power and control over others is because they feel they’ve lost so much control over their lives.
In Isis: The Ultimate Fight I wanted to make a point about targets standing up to bullies. But in the follow-up story I wanted to also show a constructive way on how people can help someone who is a bully deal with the unresolved issues that cause them to be a bully.
Nemesis is obsessed with fighting in the octagon. But she’s driven to fight in the cage because she feels trapped in a dead-end job: Being the Goddess of Retribution. While she feels powerless as a goddess to stop mortals from doing evil, she feels powerful and in control as the mortal opponents she punishes with her fists fall at her feet in the Octagon.
In contrast to Nemesis, Isis is eager to get back to the classroom to continue her duties as a goddess. But I believed there was a lesson for her to learn from Nemesis about being so eager pursuing her quest to get back to school so intensely.
Over the last few stories Isis has been driven on a borderline obsession to go back to work as a teacher. And while she’s been determined to get her dream job, she can’t see how her drive to do things one-way is keeping her from effectively doing her work as a goddess.
Isis believed that the only way to reach people was to have a regular day job. However, that single- minded approach to doing her work was keeping her from helping lots of other people who needed her help outside of the classroom. People like Marilyn Marie, Ramona Sanders, and her sister E’steem.
And goddesses from other realms like Nemesis. While Isis has a family to pull her back and advise her when she feels anxious and overwhelmed like she was in Isis: Death of a Theta and Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess, Nemesis had no one. Frustrated and overwhelmed about trying to mete out justice on a world filled with so many unjust people, she was at the end of her rope. She needed someone to talk to. Someone to pull her back from the edge before she fell off.
Unfortunately, Isis can’t see those people. Because she’s so emotionally invested in her human side, Isis believes she needs a full-time job as a teacher to do her work as a goddess. When in actuality she needs to be a goddess full time in order to do to do the most important thing when she’s on her teaching jobs: helping people.
I believe that every person we meet is in God’s will. And the encounters we have with those people are an opportunity to show everyone an example of Christ. Isis needed to see that her work on earth was about showing people that example of Christ, not doing her dream job.
Isis’ second encounter with Nemesis not only helps Nemesis deal with her issues, it helps her face her fears and put her own life in perspective. She realizes that she can do the work of a goddess in any mortal job and that it’s her work as a goddess that defines her, not her career as a teacher. At the end of the story she’s focusing more on her work as a goddess, and how that work will make a statement about who Princess Isis of New Heliopolis is.
I had a lot of fun writing this story, and I hope you enjoyed it too. Where will Isis head next on her journeys? Stay tuned.
All About A Guest Spot
“We go where we’re needed.”
E’steem said that in the story before this one, Isis: My Sister, My Frenemy. And that statement is the inspiration for this story.
For centuries Isis had been dedicated her life to being a teacher, providing her guidance and support to generations of young women. But for this story I decided to flip that on its ear. What if the teacher needed to learn some lessons from the students?
While Isis had centuries of experience teaching, she’d been gone from the modern world for 40 years. In goddess years that may not seem like a long time, but I realized that was long enough to for her become disconnected and out-of-touch from people today.
No matter how old you are, you’re never too old to learn something new. And I realized it was time for Isis to learn a thing or two about people in the 21st Century.
Way back in Isis: The Ultimate Fight I was eager to put Isis on the campus of Columbia University. But I soon realized that was a mistake. Isis would never grow as a character if I put her on that Ivy League campus. She’d be teaching the same outdated Black History lessons to a generation of kids who would never relate to them and take them to heart the way Millicent Anderson did 40 years ago in Isis: Death of a Theta.
One of the things I learned working at STRIVE 13 years ago is that pain leads to growth. And growth leads to change. The places where we learn the most valuable lessons about ourselves are where we have to take the detours in life. Over the last 40 years Isis had grown disconnected from people. She wanted to return to teaching not for the students, but for herself. Her getting the job at Columbia University was about sating her human ego, not doing the work of a goddess. She felt she was getting lazy, She felt she was getting rusty. She wanted to prove to herself that she still had it. She really needed to get her priorities straight before she resumed her work serving the people.
Isis needed a kick in the kilt. And the loss of her dream job was the thing to get her to re-think her priorities. With the object of her human desires gone, she had to focus on doing God’s work. Serving the people. Going where she was needed.
And I had just the place to send her.
Way back in 2009 I published the screenplay All About Marilyn. Near the end of the story, 35-year-old former child star Marilyn Marie had begun working and taking classes at The Next School, a fictional version of The New School here in New York. The Next School like the real life New School prides itself as being a college that explores new ideas and new concepts and teaching new approaches. And I felt this was the perfect place for Isis to learn some valuable life lessons that would allow her to reconnect with the people she served.
At the Next School, Marilyn worked job as an art model to pay for her tuition and pay her bills. It’s not the greatest job in the world; she has to stand naked in a classroom full of students every day. But working in the studio and attending classes on campus was an opportunity for her to connect with the people she worked with and form a relationship with them.
Before Isis returned to the classroom to teach, I felt she needed to learn how to form a relationship with her students. Her posing nude in the art studio wasn’t just a plot point; it was a metaphor about Isis allowing herself to be vulnerable. Standing nude in that studio there was no suit of clothes to hide behind to cover up who she was. The students were going to see the real her, not the façade she put up through an alias.
And over the course of the story they like what they see. As Isis makes new friends on campus they soon start sharing their experiences with her. It’s the students teaching her about their way of doing things that enables her to stop the stalker before they get a chance to harm Marilyn.
This story was a real challenge to write. This was my first attempt at writing a mystery. I had never written a mystery before, and after writing one I see how challenging it is. Writing a mystery is like making a cheesecake; all the ingredients have to be put together precisely or else you have a mess. An author has to build up the structure of the story just right, add just the right of red herrings, and twist and turn the plot at just the exact moment for the story to build the suspense and tension.
It was also my first attempt at writing a team-up story. In comic books, a team-up is a story featuring two characters from two different books in a brand new story. With Marilyn coming from a screenplay and Isis coming from a fantasy novel it was a challenge to make sure that both characters and both their worlds flowed seamlessly and organically into the new story.
I was very hesitant about writing an Isis story where Marilyn guest starred; she was also a reader favorite with her own legion of fans. And I didn’t want to put her in a bad story that disappointed them. But I felt a brief follow-up would do no harm to the character long-term. A quick peek would show readers what happened to Marilyn while maintaining the integrity of her story.
I quickly put fingers to the keyboard and the story came together in two weeks. I woke up every morning enthusiastic to get to the keyboard anticipating what direction the story went into, the twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed writing this story, I hope you enjoyed it too.
The Isis Series
Isis: Trial of the Goddess
Crime and Punishment in the realm of the Egyptian Gods.
For the first time since the trial of the evil god Seth, The Court of the Elders is brought to order. Ra, Chief Justice of the Elders has issued a warrant for the arrest of Isis, the long-lost daughter of Osiris. Teleported from the remains of her North Carolina home, she’s brought to justice for allowing hatred in her heart and forsaking her heritage to worship another God, crimes punishable by death.
Grieving the tragic loss of her family and dealing with the shocking revelation that she’s a goddess, Isis has no idea how to defend herself in the Court of the Elders. Born of a mortal woman and raised in human culture, Isis is about to be taken advantage of by Ra when Queen Isis intervenes. Acting as her counsel, the Queen helps the young goddess adjust to the culture of New Heliopolis and plan a defense for court in the realm of the gods. Will the gods offer her a second chance to be redeemed? Or will she be judged to suffer the same fate as Seth?
A lost goddess.
A heritage Found.
A greater destiny to be achieved.
In the aftermath of a horrible tragedy, Isis the long-lost daughter of Osiris, has committed a heinous crime. Because she didn’t receive guidance from her father, the elder gods show mercy on the young goddess by stripping her of her powers and imprisoning her on an uncharted island in the South Pacific.
Osiris and Queen Isis reunite with his long-lost child to begin the difficult process of establishing a familial relationship. Hoping to guide Isis towards the greater destiny she’s supposed to fulfill, her parents begin teaching her the ways of the gods. However, Seth’s herald E’steem lurks in the shadows offering the young goddess freedom for a price. Caught in the middle of a never-ending war between the gods, Isis must choose to either return to the troubled world she knows all too well, or take a journey down an unknown path where faith is her only guide.
The Temptation of John Haynes
Death kills the flesh.
Compromise kills the soul.
The Devil doesn’t like John Haynes.
To take his soul, Lucifer recruits E’steem a beautiful black she-demon to seduce him. If she can get John to compromise his beliefs and values, he’ll allow her to join his Elect, a cadre of powerful demons in his inner circle.
To balance the playing field in E’steem’s favor, Lucifer isolates John by having him fired from his job and forces his fiancée Colleen to leave him. Unemployed and emotionally vulnerable, John eagerly takes what he thinks is the job opportunity of a lifetime as CEO of Morris Phillips. Distracted by his new high-powered job and its many duties, he has no idea that Lucifer secretly controls the multinational corporation or that his beautiful live-in assistant is a she-demon placed there to corrupt him. However as E’steem becomes romantically involved with John, she’s torn between achieving her theocratic aspirations and saving the man she loves from eternal damnation.
Isis: Amari’s Revenge
Art Attack! Isis comes face-to-face with danger when a statue of Queen Amari comes to life on the floor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Returned to life through a magic spell, Amari seeks revenge on the woman she believes stole the heart of her Prince and her kingdom two thousand years ago.
Isis: The Ultimate Fight
Girlfight! Nemesis, the undisputed Queen of the Octagon is hungry for competition. After defeating twenty-four of the world’s best MMA fighters, she’s out to prove to both man and god that she’s the best in the world. Traveling to the Island of Solitude she issues a challenge to the goddess Isis to fight her in the eight-sided chain-link roofed steel cage where the only way to win is to knock your opponent out. It’s a war of the gods as New Heliopolis’ Sword of Nubia takes on the Greek goddess of Retribution in a no holds barred brawl for it all.
Isis: The Beauty Myth
Glamorous! Raheema Sanders, 85-year-old CEO of Sepia Cosmetics seeks to find a way to reverse the effects of aging on herself. Learning that Isis is more than human, she has the goddess kidnapped and taken to her secret lab so she can learn the beauty secrets of the gods. However, when she comes face-to-face with the goddess she soon learns Isis’ beauty is more than skin deep.
Isis: Death of a Theta
Requiem. In this flashback story set in 1973, Isis is called to the Theta House by her sorority sisters who want her to step down from her leadership role the Senior Grand Mother. With her mortal alias Andrea Robinson being 98-years-old, and Isis being immortal, they fear that if she continues on with the organization her secret may be revealed, and their mission compromised in the Black community.
Coming to terms with her aging secret identity, Isis realizes that she has to start making plans to get her human affairs in order. As she lays down the life of her alias in the mortal world for her friends, Isis comes to realize that she has to have faith in the women she taught to build on the foundation she established and pass it on to the next generation of Theta sisters.
Isis: My Sister, My Frenemy
Frenemies! Things come to a head as Isis tells her estranged sister E’steem she still doesn’t trust her. But when E’steem is kidnapped by the demon D’lilah, Isis realizes that she has to move their relationship past the frenemy zone to save her former arch-enemy from a fate worse than death.
Isis: All About the Goddess
Action! After someone makes a threat on the life of current college student and former child star Marilyn Marie, Isis goes undercover as an Art Model at the Next School. While the goddess exposes herself to the student body in class, the she tries to sketch out the details that will allow her to solve the mystery behind the threatening messages.
Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess
Danger! Three months after her encounter with Isis in The Beauty Myth, Dr. Raheema Sanders transforms herself into the Cybergoddess, a creature with powers far greater than Isis’. Determined to replace the order of gods with an order of science, she plans to kill the goddess and remake the world in her own image. Can Isis, stop this Digital Diva before she implements her mad plan?
Isis: Power of the Princess
Rematch! Convicted for causing an inter-realm incident, Nemesis escapes house arrest on Olympus and goes on the run on Earth. Hoping to prevent injury to mortals and property damage, Zeus asks Isis to go on a diplomatic mission find the fugitive goddess and bring her back to Olympus to face justice for her crimes.
Isis: Night of the Vampires
Vampires! When E’steem is given a project that takes her out of the office, Isis fills in for her on the job at the Morris Phillips. While she’s escorting CEO John Haynes to a charity event D’lilah and a brood of disgruntled Vampires crash the party looking to take a meeting with him. Can the goddess next door help her boss take care of business dealing with the undead?
Catch up on the Isis series in paperback or in eBook at your favorite online bookseller!
About The Author
Shawn James is the author of a dozen paperbacks, three screenplays, and over thirty eBooks. A graduate of Monroe College he’s been writing for over twenty years.
Other eBooks by Shawn James
Isis: Trial of the Goddess
Isis: Amari’s Revenge
Isis: The Ultimate Fight
Isis: The Beauty Myth
Isis: Death of a Theta
Isis: My Sister, My Frenemy
Isis: All About the Goddess
Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess
Isis: Power of the Princess
Isis: Night of the Vampires
The Saga of MastiKatious
Baptism of Blood- The Origin of E’steem
The Politics of Hell
E’steem: Deadly D’lilah
E’steem: No Good Deed
E’steem: Demons Anonymous
E’steem The Beast from the Bowels
Fantasy fiction by Shawn James
The Temptation of John Haynes
Young Adult fiction by Shawn James
Romance by Shawn James
A Recipe For $ucce$$
Screenplays by Shawn James
All About Marilyn
All About Nikki- The Fabulous First Season
All About Nikki- The Sensational Second Season
All About Nikki- The Lost Episodes
Spray em’ Up
Non-Fiction by Shawn James:
Stop Simpin- Why Men Don’t Need Finance to Get Romance
Manginas-They Look Like Men But Act Like Ladies
The Myth of the Strong Black Woman
An Analysis of the Comic Book Industry’s business issues
Also published by SJS DIRECT
School of Hard Knocks: The Re-education of Jim Reid
Connect With Shawn Online:
And check out Shawn’s blog: New blogs every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday!