Heracles

I don’t know what the three witches promised him, and I didn’t know what they took in return. But I know Heracles wouldn’t speak a word of it to us–his closest allies–afterwards. We’d almost forgotten about it, we three, and might have missed the signs completely if it wasn’t for Diana’s watchful eye. She always knew Heracles best, or wanted to, and she came to me that first night it happened.

The fire crackled, and the wine flowed. We four traded stories and laughter after another successful fight, although of course we hadn’t contributed much. Alexander asked the question that set all this in motion, although of course there could have been signs far before–and perhaps if we’d been more watchful we would have seen them. Things wouldn’t have had to end the way they did. He said, “Like that time at Knossos!” and we all laughed. All except Heracles, who repeated the statement like he didn’t quite understand. Again we laughed–for how could we not? Of all of us, he should remember! And he waved it off. We were only too glad to follow suit (Alexander blamed it on the Gorgon’s wine) but Diana began to worry. And she was right to; you see, we came to find that forgetting too much can change a man indelibly, from the bottom up. It can make a monster of even the greatest souls. Perhaps now you understand how our nation’s greatest hero became responsible for our nation’s worst massacre.

Perhaps you understand why I killed him.

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