The people of the small Greek isle of Monelos told a tale that was long lost to students of Greek myth, but has recently emerged from the sands of Egypt, recorded upon a scrap of papyrus. The tale gives the story of the births of their founding hero, Monocrates, and of his companion Photeros, both sons of goddesses. The myth is of great interest, not only for its rather shocking sexual dynamics, but also for its claim that Monocrates was an ancestor of the royal houses of Sparta, from whom the famous Leonidas, savior of Greece in the battle of Thermopylae, descended.
For the reader’s enjoyment, I have modernized the tale somewhat.
– E. Tilton
Thaleia and her sister Argeia sat, silent and bored, on the bench in the courtyard of their father’s palace on Mount Olympus. The spray of a lovely fountain filled the air above them; the fountain meant that the sisters’ family held responsibilities over waters. Indeed, their family, sprung from Nereus (the girls’ grandfather) took care of a large proportion of the waters in the region of the lands of men called Greece, or Hellas. As they had grown up in their father’s house on Olympus, Thaleia and Argeia found that the other immortals sometimes called them goddess and sometimes called them nymphs; the essential thing about them, though, which they shared with all the other inhabitants of Olympus, was their divine immortality.
“What are we going to do?” Thaleia said, finally. At nineteen she was the older sister.
“I know!” said eighteen-year-old Argeia. “Let’s stay up all night and watch Apollo bring the sun up in the East over the lands of men!”
Thaleia’s eyes widened in surprise. “I don’t think we’ve ever done that before!”
“Why do we still sleep, anyway?” Argeia asked.
“Well,” Thaleia replied. “Mother says it makes our charms look fresher, doesn’t she?”
“I think she made that up,” Argeia said. “I don’t want to sleep at all, anymore.”
“Me either!” Thaleia said. “So what do we do while we don’t sleep?”
“Let’s have dares!” said Argeia. “You go first. Dare me to do something.”
“Oh, I don’t know. Um, climb onto the roof of the palace.”
They gave each other dares until nearly midnight, and there was a great deal of climbing and splashing and the holding of divine breath ever longer (the girls could pass out, though of course no harm could really come to them).
Finally, Thaleia said, “I’m bored. Let’s play knucklebones.”
“No no no,” Argeia said. “I just thought of the best dare ever. Run around the courtyard of the palace of Zeus.”
“Argeia, are you crazy? What if Zeus sees me? He might… you know…” She blushed as her voice trailed off. What gods did with goddesses, especially young goddesses like Thaleia and Argeia, had recently become a subject of much more interest to her than it ever had been before. Thaleia thought about the deeds of Eros more often than she would care to admit even to her sister, wondering what they would feel like and whether she could ever tell a god what she really longed for: to be made to do the deeds of Eros with him, while she cried out in shame for her ruined honor.
The female goddesses did their best to prepare young immortal girls like Thaleia and Argeia for what might befall them at the hands and loins of the gods. All nymphs went to lessons at Mother Hestia’s palace three times a week. Mostly they learned to spin and weave, which were duties they shared with mortal women, though the cloth woven by immortal fingers had magical properties that enhanced gods’ and goddesses’ powers. Even Athena herself, mighty goddess of war and wisdom, spun and wove, in her person as the deity of craft; she came to Hestia’s, too, to teach more advanced lessons in weaving, as well as in the wiles of gods and men.
And Thaleia seemed always to be remembering a certain thing she had heard from the lady Athena at one of those lessons. Indeed, the little lesson had stuck firm in her mind, and seemed to rise to the surface of her thoughts, unbidden, at least once a day. The conversation had been about the maiden calling, as Athena and Hestia and Artemis named their perpetual refusal of the deeds of Eros. Lady Athena had said to all the girls present, “Some of you may have the maiden calling, and if you do, you need not worry, for the Olympian gods will stay away from you. If it should happen that you escape the clutches of a god—don’t laugh, girls—” (for many of them had tittered at the idea that they might resist when a god set his desire upon them) “it happens—you may go to Artemis, and she will receive you into her band, and give you a trial in the maiden calling.
“Some of you, though, may have a more troubling calling: you will crave the deeds of Eros, but you will be unable to admit it. I am afraid that the fate of such girls is to be broken and sent down to the lands of men as mortal women.” A murmur of concern ran through the girls at Hestia’s palace. “I will say, though,” continued Athena, “that I have often envied the few girls I have seen broken. Their lives are full of adventure. If a time should come, girls, when you feel that you cannot admit that you wish to be forced, say to the god who demands your favors, ‘You must break me.’ He will take you to the halls of Aphrodite, and break you there.”
“What is… breaking?” Thaleia had asked, apparently the only goddess present brave enough, or curious enough, to ask.
“I do not know,” Athena had replied, “though I know that the girl is made to do the deeds of Eros just as she has always longed to be made to do them.”
Thaleia swallowed, remembering that lesson now, and tried to conceal from Argeia what wicked thoughts her simple dare had inspired.
“Well?” said Argeia, teasingly. “What if Zeus did see you, and choose you? Don’t you want a little hero?”
“Argeia, be serious. Mother and Father would never speak to me again. You know what they say about young nymphs staying out of trouble.”
“Oh, come on. Zeus is down in the lands of men, anyway.”
It was true; they had both seen him depart, in the form of an eagle, that morning.
“And Lady Hera sleeps soundly,” Argeia continued. “It’s hardly a dare at all. You’re so timid, Thaleia!”
“I am not!” she said, and stalked out of their father’s courtyard without another word, walking in the direction of the summit of Olympus, where Zeus’ palace lay, five palaces up from theirs. When she had reached the halfway point, she saw that Argeia was following her, and she waited for her sister to catch up.
“I’m not timid,” she said.
“We’ll see,” said Argeia, giggling.
At the open gateway to the courtyard, Thaleia paused.
“There’s a light on in the andron,” she said, trying not to sound frightened.
The andron was the men’s dining room. Thaleia knew gods sometimes took nymphs to the andrones in their palaces to make them do the deeds of Eros. After a cousin had been taken to Ares’ andron one night a few years before, the girls’ mother had finally told them about how heroes were made, and how a goddess who was going to have a hero was taken by Hera, the goddess of marriage and childbirth, to the palace of Hestia, the goddess of the family, to stay until it was time for her hero to be born and sent to the lands of men. Now the cousin had a little child of Ares, a hero, to watch over down in Argos.
As she considered the light in Zeus’ andron, Thaleia remembered again the words of Lady Athena about breaking. If something happened tonight… would she be brave enough to claim that calling?
“That’s just the lamp that’s always burning there,” Argeia said. It was true; the andron in Zeus’ palace always seemed to have a lamp burning inside it.
Thaleia took a deep breath, gave a little nervous laugh, and started to run, as lightly as she could.
Halfway around the courtyard, she froze. The unmistakable sound of Zeus’ voice came from the dining room. “Get that bottom nice and high for me, Clea,” the father of gods and men said in a booming, commanding tone.
No! Zeus wasn’t even supposed to be on Olympus today, let alone apparently to be having a little party of some kind in his andron. How stupid to take the dare!
Now Thaleia felt every bit the timid thing Argeia had teased her for being, as she stood still in the dark, opulent courtyard. But at the same time the sound of Zeus’ voice, saying the odd thing about Thaleia’s cousin Clea’s bottom, made her feel something else—something strange and new. Her curiosity battled fiercely with her fear. It sounded like Zeus was intent on what was happening in the andron. Perhaps it was safe to see what was going on, or at least to listen.
Suddenly Thaleia heard a less familiar voice coming from the andron—was it Lord Poseidon, Zeus’ sea god brother?—saying, “There you go, Clea, just open up that throat.”
They were doing the deeds of Eros, Thaleia realized with a strange shock that seemed to make her whole body tingle, and to make her feel that funny way between her thighs, in her secret places. Both Zeus and Poseidon… with Clea.
Thaleia remembered cousin Clea saying only a few days before that she thought she had caught Zeus’ eye, and giggling with delight that Zeus might choose her for a special night with him, the way he seemed to choose girls from time to time.
Thaleia could get away if she had to, couldn’t she? Her curiosity won. She moved, silently, to the doorway of the andron and peered around the doorpost, and nearly swooned at what she saw.
Cousin Clea was naked, on her hands and knees on a dining couch. Zeus, enormous lord of the sky, his muscles rippling, was behind her, moving his hips back and forth against her backside. Poseidon, lord of the sea, Zeus’ mighty brother, almost as tall and just as firmly muscled, was in front of her. Thaleia could see that something strange had happened to his manhood, for it stood straight out from his body instead of lolling against his thigh the way those things usually did when the gods and men had their sports.
And he had it in Clea’s mouth, Thaleia saw with astonishment. As she watched, Lord Poseidon withdrew himself from Clea’s lips. He said, with an almost kindly air, “You like it, Clea, don’t you?”
“Yes, my lord,” Clea said, somehow both eager and apprehensive at the new things to which these immortals had introduced her, and gasping as Zeus, behind her, continued to move against her backside.
Poseidon put his manhood back in Clea’s mouth, and he, too, began to move his hips back and forth, holding her head in his hands and pushing into her at the front just as, Thaleia now understood, Zeus must be pushing into her in back. Clea’s eyes were watering, Thaleia could see, but the eager expression was still there upon her face, as the sky god and the sea god seemed intent on reaching some shameful goal of their own, using her body for their pleasure.
The sight made Thaleia feel so faint, with sensations and emotions she had never before felt so strongly, that she actually had to put her hand out to touch the doorpost. That was when, perhaps alerted by some magic of his palace itself, Zeus turned his head. Not ceasing to thrust his muscular hips against Clea’s white flanks, he said, “What have we here? Thaleia, isn’t it?”
Thaleia turned to run, but suddenly she felt the air pushing against her, pushing her back into Zeus’ andron. The power of the mighty sky god effortlessly turned her around and positioned her so that she stood close to where Zeus and Poseidon were enjoying Clea upon the dining couch.
“Brother,” Zeus said. “You may take this one’s womb.” He gave Clea a little slap on her bottom, to indicate to the sea god which one he meant. “You may make a hero there tonight, if you like. I’ve had my eye on little Thaleia for quite some time.”
Thaleia watched in terrified fascination as Poseidon withdrew his enormous, rigid manhood from her cousin’s mouth. “Clea,” she couldn’t help saying, “are you alright?”
Clea gave her a strange, wide-eyed look, as if she were somewhere else, and then a little nod that seemed to say that the answer to Thaleia’s question was impossible to give, but a nod would suffice. Having the two mightiest beings in the cosmos use her body for their pleasure clearly was pleasurable for her, on some level, but Thaleia could read in Clea’s eyes that the ordeal had been one that had also frightened her, and transformed her, somehow.
“Clea’s fine, sweet Thaleia,” Zeus said. “Lord Poseidon and I have been doing the deeds of Eros with her, just as Clea has been longing to do them. Young goddesses yearn for the deeds of Eros, just as we gods do. Isn’t that right, Clea?”
“Yes, lord,” Clea whispered, and Thaleia could see on her face that it was true, although it had taken her cousin into realms far beyond her experience to that day.
“And now it’s your turn, Thaleia,” Zeus said. “Take off your chiton and get on that couch next to Clea, and I’ll show you how good the deeds of Eros feel.”
But Thaleia’s mind rebelled. She had only taken a dare from Argeia; she just wanted to go back to her father’s palace and play knucklebones the way Argeia had said they would, if Thaleia took the dare and ran through Zeus’ palace.
She looked at the mighty god standing before her, his face growing stern as he saw that Thaleia was hesitating. His manhood… was even bigger than Poseidon’s. And he wanted to put it inside her and do that thing that looked so violent, that he had been doing to Clea.
“Thaleia,” said Zeus, “you must stop this coy pretense of innocence. When the father of gods and men wants to enjoy you, you would be well served to obey him. Now get yourself over the couch, or your backside is going to pay a heavy price before I have you at last.”
“Oh, my lord… please… can’t I wait? I’m only nineteen.”
“Thaleia,” Zeus said, “it appears that you still do not understand the order of things on Olympus. I do the deeds of Eros with whatever girl I choose, whenever I choose, and, like Clea here, that girl understands, when I choose her, that in truth she yearns for me just as I yearn for her. Do you mean to say that, seeing me uncovered before you, and ready for you, you do not yearn to submit to my will?”
How could Thaleia express what she felt at Zeus’ words, and at the sight of his divine manhood there before her? She looked at Clea’s face as Lord Poseidon, his own face transfigured with godly pleasure, pushed into her over and over. Clea had her head down and her eyes closed, and suddenly Thaleia realized that she wanted to be in Clea’s place, wanted Zeus’ enormous manhood to do to her what Poseidon’s was doing to Clea, but that Thaleia could never admit to that feeling, for she found that her pride and honor would not allow it.
Zeus looked at her sternly. “The consequences of resistance are great, Thaleia.”
The air began to push at her again, and a terrible gust of wind ripped her chiton right off her body. She cried out at her nakedness, confronted by Zeus and his enormous masculinity.
“This is your last chance to avoid a thrashing before I ravish you, sweet Thaleia,” Zeus said. “Get on that couch and push out your bottom for a fucking, or I’m going to spank you first and ravish you after.”
Thaleia thought of Maia, mother of Zeus’ son Hermes, now an Olympian himself. She had never until now understood the story she had heard in hushed whispers, of how Zeus had come for her on the mountainside, and kept her inside a cave while he took his pleasure for nine days and nights. Of how Maia had barely survived the ordeal, and was not allowed now ever to come to Olympus for fear of Hera.
A blast of wind pushed Thaleia over to the couch where Poseidon was by this time vigorously thrusting into Clea, holding the girl’s wrists behind her, as Clea cried out under the sea god’s massive member. The wind pushed Thaleia down until she was kneeling next to the couch with her hands out in front of her, and her face in the cushion.
Zeus chuckled. “I like the ones with a little spirit,” he said. “They tend to make the mightiest heroes.”
He gave her a spank on her little bottom, and another. Thaleia whimpered. “Please, Lord Zeus! Ow! Please!” she cried.
“Quiet, girl,” he said. “You’re fortunate I’m not using my whip. Girls who get the whip don’t enjoy the deeds of Eros quite as much afterward. Should I get my whip?”
“No! Oh, lord… please…”
Thaleia thought about the whip of Zeus, and knew that she wanted to feel it striking her bottom. She thought about his enormous manhood, and knew that she wanted to be made to take it everywhere, along every avenue of pleasure the sky god might find.
But she also knew, with crystalline clarity, that she could never say so.
“You must break me,” she said to the cushion.
“What did you say?” she heard Zeus ask, behind her.
Zeus stopped spanking Thaleia. “You are going to pay a very severe price for balking me, Thaleia, you foolish girl. You will wish that you had simply done the deeds of Eros with me and had your little hero.”
Then, with relief, but still in horror at what she had done and what it might mean, Thaleia heard the voice of Hera herself, at the door. “Brothers,” she said, “I think your fun is at an end, for tonight. I sense that Clea is now with child, by Poseidon, and so she is mine. I will bring her to Hestia. Has that other one done the deeds of Eros, yet?”
“No, my lady wife,” said Zeus.
“Send her to Artemis, then, with her sister, who woke me and is right outside.”
“Artemis will not receive Thaleia,” Zeus said, coldly. “Thaleia asked for breaking.”
“Very well, then. Take her to Aphrodite’s palace, and break her there.”
“What?” Thaleia cried.
“Child,” Hera said, “I have no power where you are concerned. You have been foolish, and I hope perhaps I will be able to help you some day, but I fear you have a hard road ahead.”
Argeia came rushing into the andron. “Lady Hera, please! This was my fault! Let Lord Zeus take me to Aphrodite’s halls instead of Thaleia!”
“My lord?” Hera asked.
“No,” said Zeus. “Thaleia has asked to be broken, and it is my right to break her.” He laid his hand on Thaleia’s bottom. “No hero, girl. Just a long, long night with my manhood in your backside, and a trip down to the lands of mortal men afterward.”