The sound of the phone ringing pierced the darkness, interrupting my sleep. I laid there for a moment in my soft, overstuffed, and extremely comfortable bed, contemplating rolling over and ignoring it. I could just let the sleep suck me in and ignore the world. I deserved it, right? The phone continued to ring. With one exasperated huff, I rolled onto my side and looked at the clock. 3:00 a.m., it read. Crap, I had only had two hours of sleep. If this wasn’t important, I was going to have to hurt someone. I picked up the phone and swiped the green arrow over to answer it. “What?” I growled into the receiver. I had to admit I sounded bitchy. It’s 3:00 a.m., I haven’t had enough sleep, and I hate mornings bitchy.
“Athena?” an unsure voice asked.
“We need you right away. It’s bad. It’s really bad.”
“Where?” I asked a little nicer. See, I can be semi-amicable when I have a moment to wake up. Okay, maybe not, but give a Goddess a break. I grabbed the pad of paper and pencil that I kept on my nightstand for such occasions. Can you tell this wasn’t a rare occurrence?
“5000 block of Pajabon Drive in Harrisburg. You’ll see the lights.”
“Ok, I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
“Athena, we need you here ASAP,” I heard him say as I was hanging up the phone. Niceties and polite formalities are for decent times of the day. I rubbed my eyes and focused on waking up the rest of the way. Why can’t the mortals commit crimes during business hours? A false hope I know, but a Goddess can dream. I got out of bed, dressed, brushed my hair, finished up hygiene, and left my bedroom. Next is my quest for coffee. It’s truly a substance for the Gods. I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t love and avidly consume the stuff. For me, it’s liquid gold. “I may not kill you” juice.
It didn’t take long before the air was filled with the delightful aroma of my specialty dark roast. To be honest, I have never had a cup of coffee that I couldn’t consume. If it didn’t look like tea, I could drink it. I added sugar and sweet cream, and inhaled deeply. Great Zeus, it smelled amazing! I looked at the clock and let out my breath. I guess I should get going. With that thought, I forced myself to leave my condo.
The air was cold, and I could see my breath when I exhaled. The moonlight gleamed off the white blanket of snow that covered the ground. It would have been beautiful if it hadn’t been ass-early and frigid outside. I pushed the auto start and unlock buttons as I approached my Mercedes. If I had been more awake, I would have done this before I left the warm confines of my condo. Uuuggghhhh, sometimes I amaze even myself. I rolled my eyes, opened the door, and got in. As soon as I sat down, I was greeted by a warm seat and the heater blasting. Modern technology is a blessing. I looked at myself in the mirror, my blonde hair fell in soft waves around my face. Normally, I would have put it up, but again, it’s 3:00 a.m. The locals can just deal with my more casual look. I sat there for a few minutes as the car finished warming up and the windows fully defrosted. Help the mortals, it will be fun…right. With that thought, I pulled out of my parking spot and headed to the crime scene.
The car ride was quiet and gave me the opportunity to fully wake. The traffic was scarce on I-83 N to Harrisburg, something I was especially thankful for today. It only took me thirty minutes to arrive on scene. The uniform was right, the lights from all the marked and unmarked cars could most likely be seen from Olympus. Were they trying to message a space station with Morse code or just scare the hell out of all the surrounding mortals? I’m just thankful I wasn’t here when they arrived. All those sirens blaring at once would have given me a Zeus-sized migraine. That wasn’t something I was up for this morning. Or any morning, if I’m being completely honest.
I pulled in behind a local squad car and parked. One last moment in my warm car before exiting back into the frigid early morning air. The sun wouldn’t be up for another three hours or so and I had a feeling it was going to be a very long day. Oh, joy in the morning. I approached the house in my semi-work attire, complete with a little plastic clip-on badge, so the locals know that I’m invited and haven’t snuck in for a looky-loo. Just your average friendly Goddess…right.
The uniforms waved me through the crime scene tape. The moment I passed them, a young detective stopped me and read my badge. His short military-style haircut made his hair look a lighter shade of brown and left his ears stranded on the sides of his head. It was not a flattering look for him. He wore a black blazer over a light blue button-up shirt and matching pants. His tie was royal blue with a white geometric design on it. It’s what I have learned is considered a power tie. By his demeanor, I gathered that the power part had gone to his head. Just great. I know it’s a formality to double-check my identification, but it still irritates me. It was far too early for this and I was asked to come, after all.
“So, you’re the Athena?” he said with an overemphasis on the.
“Looks that way.”
“Humpff, I thought you would be bigger,” he stated boldly. Brave little shit, wasn’t he?
Letting my obvious irritation show, I answered, “And I thought you would be smarter. So, are you going to let me through, or should I just go home and let you geniuses sort this mess out all by yourselves? Because, honestly, I’m good either way.” He just looked at me as if he couldn’t believe that little innocent-looking me was a great Goddess of wisdom and war, among many other things.
“Darwin, let the woman through. Stop being such a hard ass,” another officer called over. Darwin huffed again and let me through. Detective Darwin; the irony was not lost on me.
I sighed as I approached the little brick home. Peaceful suburbia, my ass. This is indeed going to be a long day and I am going to need more coffee.