Homer's Odyssey

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Homer’s Odyssey

Athena sighed. The last time she had taken a human lover, she had vowed she would never do it again. He had been handsome, and wise by the lights of mankind. Strong. Kind. But he had aged, and she had not, and that fact had eaten away at all that was good in him. The man she had buried had been less, so much less, that the man she had first taken to her bed. 1580, that had been.

But close on 500 years, and utter boredom with the Olympians that she had known, quite literally, for millennia, had worn away at her resolve, and she had fallen in with Eddy, who worked at a deli in Queens. Go figure.

Eddy had been many things that Margrave Frederick had not been. He was not especially handsome, and he was not wise so much as funny. His irreverent, wry and very human sense of the ridiculous had endeared him to her. Apparently, that had been what she was missing from her life at that particular moment. She let him take her home from a nightclub and they had a fun evening together. But, she had been resolved not to repeat her last mistake. Eddy had never seen her again.

Nor had he known that, in the perverse way that the world of Zeus tended to operate, he had given her a son. Which was, to put it mildly, NOT what she had in mind when she decided the universe owed her a night of frolic. Even for the gods, the universe doesn’t operate that kind of a leger.

But she was Pallas Athena, the Goddess of Justice as well as wisdom, and she would not shirk the task that she had bought with her night of pleasure. She had raised young Alexander herself, a mother stern but fair.

But alas, young Alex had his father’s brains and his mother’s sense of humor. He turned into a nice enough young man, but he seemed to be unmoored, unformed, somehow unfinished. He needed, she thought, the right woman. Someone to inspire him. But he had an unfailing habit of falling for every airhead who had a round rump and a pleasant face. Why did men always want Helen, for god’s sake? Even Menelaus. But how could HER son be such an idiot?

He had done it again two nights ago. In her anger at his stupidity, she had simply walked through the walls of his apartment building and confronted him before he caused the same sort of accident that had resulted in his own birth 25 years before.

He had been livid. Of course he’d been livid. Athena supposed that she would have been livid too, if her mother had done such a thing. Of course, her father had swallowed her mother before she was born, so it was a bit of a moot point. And anyhow, his anger did not move her. She who had seen the rage of Achilles, the might of Hector, would not be moved by a half-dressed, half-formed man child deprived of a moment’s earthly pleasure. “Enough,” she said, and he was silenced. Adding the rumble of thunder to underscore her word was probably unworthy, she reflected. But it had been effective.

The tramp had already taken to the stairs, shrieking. Athena and Alex had let her go; Alex because he was in the midst of shouting, and Athena because she knew that she would ensure that the young lady would have no recollection of what had just occurred. The gods do not tread lightly in the world of man, but they are adept at covering their tracks.

“You obviously lack the native wit to choose your own mate,” she said icily. “Each of your efforts is less satisfactory than the one that came before. I do not understand it. Your cranium appears to be filled with the correct material. Why do you act as if it were oatmeal instead?”

“Mother,” he said, trying without much success to control the fury in his voice, “Stop it! This is America. I’m an adult, and I can do what I want. I’m not trying to choose a wife right now. I’m just trying to have a normal sex life, okay? Too much to ask? I mean, come on! Do you have any idea how hard that is when your mom is an actual goddess?”

“Stop whining, Alex,” she said sternly. “it is unseemly for one whose veins carry the blood of Zeus himself. I was celebate for almost 500 years before you were conceived. Surely you can manage a week between strumpets?” Alex ground his teeth. Athena sighed again and added, “Alright, fine. You can’t. How about two days?”

Alex radiated suspicion. “What are you plotting, Mother?”

She replied, one again using thunder to underscore her words. “You will go to your normal iniquitous haunt in two night’s time. There I shall ensure that you meet the perfect mate and stop your childish nonsense.” Alex’s face now showed nothing but stubborn. “ENOUGH,” she said again. “Who are you to question the very incarnation of Wisdom? I will provide the right woman, and she WILL be the woman of your dreams. I am Athena, daughter of Zeus. I have spoken.”

So Alex had gone to his usual drinking hole with his usual drinking buddy at his usual time two nights later, and had checked out every woman that walked through the solid wooden door. They were not, not remotely, the girls of his dreams. He tried though. Maybe one of them would grow on him. He tried not to judge too quickly. So he bought drinks, he talked to the women, he and Pudge did everything to put on the charm. After four hours, all he had to show for it was a full bladder and a bad case of vertigo.

His friend Cassie was behind the bar. She gave the two of them a look, decided that she should have cut Alex off two Laphroag’s back, and said, “I suppose you’d better get him home, Pudge. I’ve got to close up in ten. But honestly, you should stop looking after him. No good deed goes unpunished.”

“”C’mon, man,” Pudge said, “let’s get rollin’.” He heaved his taller friend into the vertical position and started moving to the door. Alex was very drunk, but also very confused. He had plenty of gripes with the goddess his mother, but he had never doubted her. When she did her “I have spoken” routine, you took it seriously. As in, bet your life seriously.

“What’d I miss, Pudge,” he asked plaintively. “I was sure . . . “ He stopped speaking as the door opened. A last minute possibility? But no, it was only old Eddy, who helped out with the cleaning after the bar closed. Not the promised one. They staggered out and headed up the cold street in the direction of Alex’s apartment.

Pudge was philosophical about it. Alex hadn’t said why he’d been so cocky, as it were, about tonight. He was a good looking guy and he was easy-going and generous, so he seldom had any trouble finding a cheerful bedmate. But there were plenty of nights that even Alex struck out, and it was scarcely the first time Pudge had helped to get him home in one piece. He expected it wouldn’t be the last.

It was 12:30 in the morning before Pudge pulled Alex through the door of his apartment. Alex was muttering morosely at that point, something about his mother promising something. Pudge didn’t pay much attention. He’d met Alex’s mother once and didn’t want to repeat the experience. Any other woman, she’d have been the epitome of a MILF. But that lady was downright scary. Any woman who would top a listing of people you wouldn’t EVER want to fuck with cannot, by definition, be a MILF. He managed to get the door shut and locked while keeping Alex more or less upright.

One of the living room lights turned itself on, spreading weak light, startling Alex and frightening Pudge. Not so much the light itself, but what it revealed: Alex’s scary mom, dressed in some sort of form-fitting dress that left her right shoulder bare. “Shit,” he exclaimed, but then, unaccountably, fell silent.

“You PROMISED, Mother,” Alex slurred. “I know I didn’t get the date wrong. Or the place!”

Her face was impassive. “You look, and you look. But still you can only see the surface. Alex, when will you learn,” she asked, sounding exasperated. Alex just stared at her, incapable of rubbing two brain cells together. His stomach began to heave and he started to slide to the floor; Homer seemed powerless to stop him.

“Oh, for the love of Hades,” Athena said, and snapped her fingers. Instantly Alex checked his slide and carefully, carefully, brought himself back to an erect position.

“I really wish you would teach me how to do that,” Alex said, as his mind cleared and his stomach settled.

“I’m not an idiot’s apothecary,” his mother snapped. “Nor would I spare you the well-earned consequences of your ill-considered inebriation, but I don’t feel like waiting for you to sober up. You wits – such as they are, and what you have of them – are restored. So use them. The woman was there. You paid no attention to her.”

Alex was no longer drunk, but he was angry and did not like being made to look like a fool. “I spoke to EVERYONE, Mother. I didn’t just use my eyes. If the woman of my dreams was there, I need better dreams.”

His mother looked at him sadly. “You would have done better,” she said, “to have ignored the evidence of your eyes altogether. For they caused you to ignore the purest heart, the most beautiful soul. Again. The perfect woman brought you home.”

“What?” Alex said. “You missed this time, Mother. Pudge brought me . . . .”

Alex stopped, then turned white. “You’re not fucking serious, Mother! Not Pudge?”

She stood up; standing, she was even more imposing. “Pudge, as you dismissively name her. Homer. Your only real friend. The friend who has always been there for you. Who has fought at your back when you were foolish enough to get into brawls. Who has brought you home, time after time, seen you to your bed and returned, always alone, to her own. Who has been born with the body of an ungainly man and the heart and soul of a woman. Why can’t you SEE it?”

Alex looked at his mother, then at Homer. Homer was standing artificially straight; his eyes were calm but unfocused. “Pudge?” he whispered, a question in his voice.

“She can’t hear us, just at the moment,” Athena said. “Except, as always, with the heart.”

“Mother,” Alex said, “I’m not gay. Homer’s is a guy, to all appearances, and he’s not gay. Whatever may be true about his heart and soul.”

“You do not find her physically attractive? You want another trollop instead?” Her voice was icy.

Alex replied, “Mother, this is something maybe a goddess wouldn’t understand. I don’t know. But humans . . . we’re wired how we’re wired. I know you get frustrated about the women I’ve dated. But honestly, my body’s response isn’t something I can just turn on and off when I want to. I’m not physically attracted to men, and I can’t change that. AND,” he said warningly, “you’d better not change it either!”

“That power,” Athena said gravely, “I do not possess, nor would I choose to exercise it if I did. But . . . I have other powers. I CAN bring this poor woman’s physical form into conformity with her mind, her heart, her very soul. She CAN be the woman of even your earthly dreams.”

Alex wanted to reject what his mother was saying. But he thought back to all the years, him and Pudge. Pudge always there, always looking out for him. Even bailed him out of jail, one memorable night. Always with the right word, the understanding word. If he put aside the evidence of his eyes, Pudge as a woman wasn’t nearly as crazy as he had thought. Was it possible?

He said, “I . . . I need to talk to Pudge. To Homer . . . .”

Athena said, “Communicate, but without words. If Homer agrees, the physical evidence will be there for you both to see. If she does not agree, there will be no change. She will wake, and go home, remembering nothing, and remaining forever Pudge. It is your choice, and hers.”

“What do you mean, ‘communicate without words?’” Alex asked, “And how will I know he’s really agreed?”

His mother’s image grew before him, her head touching the beams of his ten-foot ceiling. Her face glowed and her displeasure pulsed from fiery eyes. “You DARE to question the honor of the Daughter of Zeus! Blood or no blood, I WILL NOT SUFFER it!”

Alex found himself on his knees, shielding his eyes. This, he had never seen. “I . . . I’m sorry, Mother. I’m sorry!!!!” He feared that he had finally gone too far. She might be his mother, but it paid to remember what else she was as well.

The incandescent brightness began to fade, very gradually, until Alex was finally able to open his eyes again and lower his arm. His mother was once again human-sized. The light in her eyes had dimmed, but the look on her face clearly indicated that her patience was exhausted. “Choose,” she said abruptly.

Alex got to his feet and turned to his long-time friend. He opened his mouth to say something, but caught his mother’s frown out of the corner of his vision. No words, he reminded himself. How could he communicate without words?

Alex reached out and grabbed one of Homer’s hands, bringing it up to chest height. Homer looked in Alex’s direction, but his expression was unchanged. Alex held Homer’s meaty hand in both of his own, wondering how he would communicate – how he could communicate – his Mother’s offer. He concentrated all of his will, trying to communicate with his eyes. Nothing happened.

“Poor old Pudge,” he whispered. “Poor old Pudge . . . .” He found himself stroking Homer’s hand, like he might stroke the hand of an attractive woman, and almost dropped it when he realized what he was doing. But then he froze. Homer’s hand was no longer what it had been. It was smaller, daintier. The fingers were long and tapered; the nails, trimmed, shaped and polished. It WAS the hand of an attractive woman.

Alex threw a disbelieving look at his mother, then returned his attention to his friend. Hesitantly, he lowered the suddenly pretty appendage and raised its twin. Soon both of Homer’s hands were exquisite. They looked incredibly out of place on Homer’s bulky body.

He looked at his mother again. “I guess . . . that’s the answer? This is what Homer wants? Will you . . . change the rest of him as well?”

His mother shook her head. “It is for you to do, Alex. You alone. I provide the power, but you and Homer must do this yourselves, inch by inch. You are taking, and giving, and it must be done with reverence and with love; your body, her soul. The clothes, at least, I will spare you.” When Alex looked back, Homer had not moved, but he was now naked – and ugly – as the day of his birth. Alex took one of Homer’s beautiful hands, and slowly stroked the wrist, the forearm, the elbow . . . and each, through his attention, became fine, feminine and perfect. The skin was pale and flawless, soft and smooth. Soon, both arms were completely female.

He rested his hands on Homer’s wide shoulders, then moved both hands in a tender caress. The massive bones and muscles shifted, melted, shrank away, and he moved his hands up the shoulder blades, shaping the now bird-like bones of the clavicle. Almost prayerfully, he ran his hands lightly over the neck and throat, feeling the Adam's apple vanish and the structure grow narrower, seemingly taller.

He brought both hands up and cupped Homer’s cheeks. Without speaking, he thought, “gods, I hope this is really what you want!” The cheeks became smooth and delightfully rounded, the cheekbones pronounced. The nose, jaw and chin were next, then the forehead, the eyebrows and lashes . . . Alex closed each eye and lightly kissed it, fondled both ears, and finally gave the familiar gash that had been Homer’s mouth a full, deep kiss, feeling in return lips that were soft and full of welcome. The face that emerged was, indeed, the woman of his dreams.

He ran fingers through Homer’s hair until it cascaded down in a fountain of red gold, fine and full and clean. He circled the waist with both hands and watched it melt away to a size two. His fingers covered every inch of her back, then he gently placed hands on Homer’s chest and massaged the nipples until full, firm breasts budded, then blossomed. He bent to kiss each nipple and watched as they turned dark and large.

Alex knelt and stroked Homer’s feet, ankles, his calves and knees. Then he worked up to the thighs, the wide hips. Circling his hand back, Alex felt Homer’s rear end expand and firm under his fingers, becoming delightful round.

All that was left of Homer’s manhood was, well, his manhood, standing incongruously large against his new, petite frame. It was also fully erect. Alex had never touched a man’s penis before, but by this point he knew the magic. He knew what he had to do, but he shuddered. Was it worth it? He looked at the stunning woman that his friend had – Almost! – become. Would he leave him in limbo like some circus performer?

He would not. Not a chance. He caressed his friend’s shaft, as his mother had commanded, with love and with reverence. For he was taking one gift to bestow another; nowhere was that truth more evident. Under his hands, Pudge’s penis shrank, melted, and vanished away, burying itself into a newly formed slit. Alex drew back, then buried his check above the newly created vulva, feeling the pubic hairs soften and her feminine mound form.

Alex stood up slowly, looking with wonder at the stunning woman who stood before him, impassive. She was, indeed, the woman of his dreams, practically the epitome of womanhood. He was overwhelmed with desire and moved to embrace her, but his mother intervened. “Go to bed, Alex,” she said. Without any volition on his part, he went.

Athena stood in the shadowed room and looked at the newly-formed woman. She said, “Are you content now, young one?”

The wide, light blue eyes of an ingenue stared back at her. The woman, formerly Homer, sometimes called Pudge, said, “Content? It was my deepest wish. A crazy desire, buried so deep I would barely admit it to myself. I . . . how can I ever thank you? I don’t even know who you are!”

“Does it matter?” the goddess countered. “You will not remember. As for how you can repay me, that’s simple. Take this son of mine and make a man out of him.”

The young woman stared at her, looking thoughtful. She said, “I will try, mistress. But I may fail. I may lack the skill, or the knowledge. If I fail, if I give up, will you revoke your gift?”

Athena was surprised – a thing that only happened once every century or so “What is this talk of failure? You have not even set yourself to the task. Is your love so watery?”

“I love him,” the woman replied simply. “You know my heart, you’ve read it like a book. I am an orphan, an outcast. In all my world, there has only, always, been Alex.” She paused to take a deep breath and found herself surprised at the reduced size of her lungs’ capacity. “Yet I would remain ugly and male and free rather than take your gift and be a slave, even to Alex.”

Athena listened to this speech with both amazement and approval. “There speaks a great heart,” she murmured. “You are valiant, child, and valor must have its reward. Very well. You are free. What will you do with your freedom?”

“I will try, mistress. With all my heart, and I would do that even if I did not owe you. I may fail, but I will try. Can . . . can you help me?”

“I rather thought I had,” Athena said dryly.

The young woman nodded. “Of course.” She smiled and said, “I don’t doubt he’d tumble me this instant given what I look like now. But keeping him? That’s not so easy. And . . . I don’t know the first thing about being a woman!”

Athena replied, “that, again, is well said, child. It is in my power to give you the knowledge and the muscle memory of a woman your own age. Is that your desire?”

The young woman had tears in her eyes, “oh yes, mistress!” And suddenly, almost imperceptibly, her world changed. She retained her memories; she remained who she had always been. But something inside altered, her sense of the world altered, and she had a deep knowledge of things she had never known. “Oh my God!,” she whispered. “”It’s so beautiful!”

“Goddess,” Athena corrected. “Are you ready now, child?”

The woman bowed her head, the gesture suddenly fluid and graceful. “Mistress, you have brought me into this world naked. I think . . . this would not be the best way. I want . . . Oh, Goddess! How I want to go to Alex this instant, naked as I am, and be the woman of his dreams. But . . . .”

Athena was intrigued. “But . . . ?” she prodded.

“But it would be too easy, mistress. Alex . . . Alex needs a challenge. If it’s too easy, he’ll take what I offer and move on. I’ve seen him do it, time after time. He needs to give chase. So . . . I should NOT stay here tonight, and I can scarcely go home as I am.”

“A wardrobe too? You don’t ask for much, child!”

“Forgive me, mistress. But I don’t ask for myself. I want to help Alex. This . . . this is the best way.”

Athena said, “A wardrobe appropriate to your age and station, and your apartment suitably redecorated. Done. Anything else?”

The woman said, “only this, Mistress . . . Can you give me a little time? It has been hard for Alex, growing up in your shadow. Let him find his own way in this? Nothing will give him more strength than your confidence.”

“You would school me in the duty a mother owes her son?” Athena challenged.

“No, Mistress,” the girl replied. “But a lover may see the man, where the mother must always see the baby and the boy as well.”

Athena replied, “Your old name is no longer suitable. You are free, as you have requested, and may choose any name you wish. Except for Helen. Yet were you mine to name, I would call you Sophia, for truly you have a wise heart, in ways that were no part of my gift. Very well. I will give you both time and space. And,” she added, “a little something to wear.”

The young woman looked down and found that she was wearing a deep red bodycon dress that emphasized her perfect curves, pale stockings and matching red pumps with four-inch heels that felt perfectly comfortable. As she moved, she felt the dress slide across silky lingerie that cradled her new flesh. She could feel, coiled and unstoppable, the power of her sex. She vowed to herself, “I WILL succeed. He will be mine, and he will be the man he was born to be!”

She went to her knees before the goddess. “You have given me everything, Mistress. I can only thank you with my life. And I will.” Athena rested her right hand on the young woman’s forehead in benediction.

“Be wise, Sophia,” said Pallas Athena, daughter of Zeus. “Be wise, and be valiant!”

The end

For information about my other stories, please check out my author's page.

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Comments

Neat story

erin's picture

Not so much what happened but the way it was told. :)

Hugs,
Erin

= Give everyone the benefit of the doubt because certainty is a fragile thing that can be shattered by one overlooked fact.

Thanks, Erin!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

A kudo from one of my favorite authors! :)

Emma

A Real Odyssey

Dee Sylvan's picture

Why do the offspring of the gods always have a fateful weakness? I guess the stories would be pretty dull without all of the drama and interactions. What I think is significant in this story besides the issues between Alex and Athena, is the conversation between Homer and Athena. It is very emotional as we discover what Athena knew was true. Homer was more than just a loyal friend to Alex.

When Athena grants Homer's freedom, she truly gives Sophia the ability to succeed or fail on her own in her new relationship with Alex. Sophia wants to start her relationship with Alex on her own terms. She doesn't give herself immediately to her BFF Alex because she knows Alex's history with other women: Alex doesn't seem to respect the woman that he beds easily.

Emma, you have once again developed intense feelings in your characters. Homer and Athena's dialogue draws us in the way we have come to expect from your stories. It certainly brought tears to my eyes. Another great post Emma, thank you.

DeeDee

Gift horses . . . .

Emma Anne Tate's picture

Homer/Sophia may love Alex and be thankful to Athena, but she is wise to look carefully at the gift horse’s teeth and negotiate the best possible deal!

Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comment and support!

Emma

This was fun

Erisian's picture

I enjoyed this, thanks for posting it! And Sophia may want to be careful around harbors - who knows how many ships she might launch... :)

I suspect. . . .

Emma Anne Tate's picture

That new knowledge or no, Sophia will have a very hard time getting used to people’s reactions to her physical beauty. She’ll like it, almost always, but she won’t simply expect it, as beautiful women tend to. I don’t mean that in a negative way. It’s just that men and women alike, at the get-go, tend to treat beautiful women very differently than how they treat large and unattractive men, and as humans we adapt to this reality. Which is a long way of saying, she might just wander down to the harbor, wholly oblivious to the problems she might cause. . . .

Emma

Wise, wise Sophia

True love always seems to be under our very noses. Sophia was so clever with the need for there to be a chase, else it just be sex, not love.

>>> Kay

In her life . . .

Emma Anne Tate's picture

there had always, and only, been Alex. Love isn’t blind, though, and she knew her man.

Emma

Loved it!

Robertlouis's picture

It’s a great premise, but it’s the exquisite writing that sells it. Beautifully written.

☠️

Thank you!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

Glad you enjoyed it !

Emma

Homers odyssey

Very nice. I liked this story. Sophia did a good job dealing with Athena, the pantheon she was a part of could be difficult. It might be best for their children to not be too outstanding as it could attract the wrong attention, just ask Hercules, but with Sophia's help he should be ok.

Time is the longest distance to your destination.

The Greek Pantheon

Emma Anne Tate's picture

I’m with you there. The Greeks envisioned gods who had many powers, but by and large were no wiser or more morally perfect than people. Zeus was a paranoid, narcissistic goat. I liked Athena the best, but I certainly would not have wanted her as a mom!

Emma

I was expecting things to go

Brooke Erickson's picture

I was expecting things to go a bit differently. I half-expected Athena to go "I said you'd find your perfect mate. And Pudge is indeed the best mate a man could have..."

Of course, that'd have been a cheap joke, but the possibility was there until the final scene in the apartment.

Brooke brooke at shadowgard dot com
http://brooke.shadowgard.com/
Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls
It's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world
"Lola", the Kinks

In the parallel universe. . . .

Emma Anne Tate's picture

. . . where Athena had spent a hundred years or so in Australia? Hee hee. I like it! :)

Emma

Quite the change of pace!

I've always liked Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythology and Pallas Athena is one of my favourites.

Alex has learned the important lesson "always listen to your mother" and I'm sure will be very happy with the result. I'm glad that Sophia has opinions and knows her own mind.

Another very nice story - I think you're getting the hang of this writing thing :)

Thank you again

Alison

Thanks, Alison!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

I think I'll keep tryin'. :D

Emma

Second time

Sunflowerchan's picture

This is my second time reading this wonderful story. But this time around I will leave a comment. Now the first time around I was lost for words. This time around I went back and reread for the eleventh time in my life 'The Iliand' and 'The Odyssey' as well as Ovid's 'Metamorpheses'. What does this have to do with your wonderful story? Well, for one you nailed how I've always pictured the Goddess Athena talking. Two. I love the nod to Homer. And three all in all it was a brillent tale of love. It was befitting a Greek play. The nod's to other Hero's of Greek Folklore and other god's and goddess was a nice touch. Again another wonderful story you have graced us with.

Athena was always my favorite!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

Known as much for her wisdom as for her valor. Olympus would have done much better if she had been in charge, rather than that randy goat, her father! So glad you enjoyed the story!

Emma

Exochos!

Andrea Lena's picture
Sas efcharistó gia tin istoría sas!

  

To be alive is to be vulnerable. Madeleine L'Engle
Love, Andrea Lena

Andrea!!!

Emma Anne Tate's picture

Και σας ευχαριστώ για την καλοσύνη σας!

Emma