The chariot stop was crowded when the group arrived there. The bustling city centre street busy with chariots being pulled in one direction, in orderly queues, by horses, unicorns and red dragons. On the walkways, pedestrians went about their own business, higgledy-piggledy crossing each others’ paths, without paying attention to the seven tall people waiting patiently in line. The eighth in the group, less tall, watched as a dragon trotted passed, yellow chariot in tow. The people at the front of the queue were less orderly. Tourists mostly, from the land beyond the far hills, excited to see life in an actual city centre, standing out of line, facing almost every direction to take in the daily activity. Marble buildings, some at least twenty stories high lined the road, gleamed a brilliant white in the midday sunshine. Two intertwining fish were sculpted above the archway entrance to the building directly opposite the chariot stop, which was a travel agency. The building next door, oddly enough, was a fishmongers, with freshly caught fish hanging on lines draped over hooks that had been fitted to stone pillars that stood either side of that building’s entrance.

A triple-decker carriage pulled by a black and white striped unicorn pulled into the bay, and the people at the front of the queue quickly scrambled up the ladders at the back to fill the top deck spaces first. Each deck had enough space for eight passengers, four sitting facing each other along the sides. With the top deck being full, and the middle deck seating seven more passengers, the Gods and Goddesses and Carpo had to sit on the cramped lower deck. Athena, Aphrodite, Hera and Carpo sat on one side, with Adonis, Amunet, Diana and Baldur sitting on the other. Amunet had to remove her head attire to become more comfortable. Athena sat closest to the front on her side, just behind the charioteer. Baldur sat on the opposite seat, behind where the assistant charioteer should have been sitting, but that space was empty.

The unicorn struggled to get the almost full chariot to move, and snorted and whinnied as he strained to start moving. Once he got going, however, the movement was effortless, and the passengers were able to settle in their seats without the sudden jerking movements they had to go through at the beginning.

As she carefully held onto her head attire, Amunet’s elbow jabbed Diana’s side painfully as she didn’t move at the time Diana lurched sideways, due to one of the jerks. Diana glared at her neighbour, but decided not to say anything as this journey was already bad enough. They all had to jostle elbows, shoulders and head attire into comfortable positions, which in itself was made difficult by the fact they all had to lean forward and bend their necks to one side, as the ceiling of their lower level was too low with them being naturally tall. Even Carpo had difficulty in sitting comfortably, but she was able to lean out of the back of the chariot, holding tightly onto the ladder so she didn’t topple out. Behind them in the queue of traffic was another yellow carriage pulled by a red dragon. Carpo frowned.

Aphrodite’s stomach churned due to the sideways travel, and she breathed deeply in an attempt to ignore it.

“Would you like to swap places?” Hera offered, thinking being nearer to the back of the chariot may help.

“No thank you, Hez,” Aphrodite whispered, quickly swallowing a mouthful of saliva.

“You can swap with me if you like.” Adonis said, as he gripped the edge of the side panel of the chariot so as not to fall out of the open back. Aphrodite said nothing, and instead closed her eyes as her stomach churned over. Her attempt at ignoring things was certainly not being helped by the others.

The unicorn quickly turned into a side road, which caused the chariot to lean quite sharply. Adonis managed to stay where he was sitting, thanks to holding onto the frame. Amunet, Diana and Baldur weren’t as lucky, and left their seats, almost landing in the laps of the Gods opposite. A few moments later, the unicorn took them around another corner, on the opposite side this time, and Hera, Aphrodite and Athena left their seats. As soon as they all managed to compose themselves back in their respective spaces, the road started to climb a hill. A very steep hill. As hard as they tried, they couldn’t stop sliding backwards along the seats. Carpo tried to be as polite as she could with the weight of three Goddesses bearing down upon her, but eventually gave in and turned so she faced the ladder. She gripped it with both arms, and then used her back to push the Goddesses back, as best she could. On the other side, Adonis had his own problems as his hands had slipped off the frame, and he was in danger of falling out. Amunet tried to hold him in by his right arm, having placed her head attire behind her back, but with Diana and Baldur sliding along the seat, pushing her into Adonis, it quickly became very difficult indeed.

Just as Adonis was about to leave the carriage, the road levelled off, and everyone swiftly fell back into their seats once again.

“This is the journey from the Underworld!” Amunet moaned, straightening her head attire as best she could.

“Library!” The charioteer announced as the unicorn came to a sudden stop, sending the eight the other way along the seats, although this time not as severely.

The group scrambled out of their tight space as best they could, and all stretched their arms, necks and backs once they were standing upright, Carpo included. Amunet replaced her head attire. They watched as the unicorn lurched away, pulling the chariot somewhat easier this time. They also noticed the passengers on the top deck had leather straps over their shoulders, holding them safely in place. One by one the Gods and Goddesses looked at Carpo. “Here we are then!” She said, cheerily. “Let’s go and see Jupiter, shall we?”

This is the seventh part to the Legendary Circles II story. The previous parts are on the Storylines page.

10 thoughts

    1. At least it’s free in Atlantis, Chris. Crowded, but free.
      (As I was typing that, who should appear in my predictive text but Ceridwen! There’s a Welsh Goddess by that name… do you think she’s trying to appear in this tale? It wouldn’t surprise me if she did… I’ve seen some future parts…! 😉)

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve done a very quick internet search, and there seems to be a Cullen linked to Irish, Manx and Scottish mythology; so he’s bound to be embedded in Welsh folklore somewhere too.

          Liked by 1 person

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