old fit on her like a glove as she twirled around the labyrinth of hedges and greenery. Linen garments swishing, arms pumping, and wings fluttering, Georgeanna ran around the garden looking. Her hair whipped around behind her as she turned corner after corner, stymied at every glance. Where was he?
“Patrick!” she called out into the green. “Where are you, you little bean?” She wrinkled her nose with a nasty smirk as she said that, knowing Patrick would be provoked by the moniker. To her left, she heard a small scoff and she darted into the hedge, wanting him to stumble into her trap.
His hair was a ginger mess, leaves and twigs poking out at odd angles, with a dirt-smeared face to match, the spitting image of his father and of his ancestor, Dionysus. He had a wicked grin painted on his face as he peeked on tiptoe around the hedge he was concealed behind. Patrick crouched by the corner and placed his hand gently on the ground. Where his fingertips met the ground, several more hedges began to take seed and grow, further concealing him.
“Cheater!” Georgeanna hollered, jumping out of her hiding place and looking just as wild as he did. Patrick returned her accusation by sticking out his pink tongue.
“Real mature, Pat. You know what? I’m done playing with a cheater, demi-demi-demi god or no,” she said crossing her arms over her chest and fluttering her wings for emphasis. Patrick’s small face crumbled like a stale pastry and the hedges that took root quickly wilted with his change of attitude. Though she felt bad for hurting him, Georgeanna kept her face composed—ever the actress even as a child.
Catching her bluff, Patrick turned around and walked away. Jaw dropping to the floor, Georgeanna stuttered incoherent noises, reaching out to him with one of her hands.
“All right, Janna, we won’t play anymore,” Pat taunted, snickering to himself. He stopped walking when he was a few feet away from her, taking this opportunity to place his arms over his chest. A fluttering noise was all the warning he got before Georgeanna plowed into him, tackling him in the dirt.
Sitting on his chest with all the confidence of a queen, Georgeanna stuck her tongue out rudely and stood up. Getting up just as quick, Patrick grabbed her tiny wrist.
“Wait, wait, I was just kidding—“
“Georgeanna! What in good graciousness
are you doing?” the Queen called down from her chamber window. “Get up here right now young lady, no flying either, you could break a bone for gods’ sake!”
With an apologetic look, Georgeanna darted away from him and he let her go with a look that could shatter worlds.
The Queen’s chambers were ornately decorated with gems dangling from the ceiling, cushions scattered on the floor, and a large bed on a dais up against the back wall. Ivy sat combing through her iridescent hair by the large bay window on the garden-facing wall.
“Sit,” she said with disappointment clear in her tone. Georgeanna did as she was told, dirt and debris smearing on the cushion she chose. “Now,” Ivy continued. “I have no problem with you playing with that…Peter
boy. After all, his father is a loyal subject and he seems nice enough.
you be so indecent with him? You are growing up to be a beautiful young lady, my doll, and the last thing our subjects need to see is you acting like a boy and rolling in the mud with some…commoner. Don’t misunderstand me, my gem, he is a fine boy and will grow up to be a fine young man, but it just isn’t proper to behave in the way you have been.”
Ivy’s face betrayed her guilt over saying such things—as she didn’t believe a single thing she had just said. She thought highly of Patrick and loved that her daughter was able to be a child. But Aphrodite had made the prophecy very clear.
Georgeanna’s face betrayed her rage. She stood up in a huff, glaring at her mother. How she wished she could wipe her mother’s memory of that moment. How she yearned to go out to father and tell him how unfair her mom was being. Balling her hands up into fists, Georgeanna stalked towards her mother, stopping at the lip of the window.
“I’m sorry, mother,” she said without an ounce of regret. “But I couldn’t care less.”
With that she jumped out of the window, unfurling her wings to their full length and gliding down into the garden.
Balled up in a corner of the maze, Georgeanna shed tear after tear. She had never disagreed with her mother, not even once. The strain pulled her heart in a million directions, pulling choking noises out of her chest.
His steps announced his approach, of course, he would know where to find her; he heard all of the secrets the leaves kept in the garden. Patrick stood above her, holding out his hand to help her up. She grasped his hand, jerking her body up straight.
“Are you okay?” he whispered.
“Fine. You’re it,” she said darting away to find a new hiding place.