Short Story: Heracles
What makes a true hero? Is it their strength? Their power? Or perhaps it’s something more.
His father, Zeus, made the mistake of cheating on his wife, Hera, with a mortal woman. The mortal woman gave birth to the noble Heracles. Hera refused to accept the demi-god into Olympus, forcing him to remain on Earth. He has fought as the greatest warrior, protecting the innocent. He had a loving wife and five beautiful children.
Hera could not stand seeing him happy. Her heart darkened, filling it with rage. She cast a curse on Heracles. The curse only lasted a few hours, but the cost was too great. The curse forced him to murder his dear wife and children. Once released, he saw the horrors committed by his hands.
Heracles was sentenced to complete twelve deadly labors. After succeeding, Hera is still not amused. She manipulates a soldier, who serves under Princess Iole, to murder Heracles. In doing so, the soldier stabbed him in the heart. His soul was sent to the debts of the Underworld.
Heracles must complete one hundred years of service to Hades before allowing is soul to be sent to Heaven.
After watching all the struggles his son was put through, Zeus sends down his most valuable treasure and source of power, the Blue Diamond. He transforms the Blue Diamond into a woman. Zeus gives her the mission of watching over his son.
Blue Diamond descended to the Underworld and remained by Heracles side, as his conscience. Heracles formed a deal with Hades. The deal consisted of him continuing his years of service on Earth, by protecting the mortals. Hades allowed this deal to proceed. His skin was gray and cuffs remained around his arms.
Heracles traveled around the world, but was arrested by an Arab king for trespassing. The king has a wife; Scheherazade is her name. Scheherazade was always mistreated, cheated on, and verbally abused. Her greatest skill is telling story’s that would always put her husband into deep sleep.
At first, she was disturbed by Heracles, but grew sympathy toward him. When ten nights of storytelling passed, the king failed to stay awake and fell into an everlasting slumber. Scheherazade released Heracles and gave him an special axe that transferred super strength to whomever shall hold it.
When learning Hera was behind all the dark doings, Heracles went after her. Once confronting his evil step-mother, he threatened to destroy her life as she did to his. He raised his axe in the air, but stopped as he looked at the fear on her face, the same fear he saw in his family. He refused to allow vengeance blind him as it did for Hera. Heracles threw his axe on the ground and forgave Hera for the hurt Zeus caused.
They left her alone. Hera looked down in shame and was taken to the Underworld for her crimes.
Heracles continued his fine heroic work with Blue Diamond by his side. Everyone looked up to him as their guardian angel. A true hero is not made up of their strength or power, but by what they chose to do with it.
Meanwhile, as Hades added years to Heracles sentence, he secretly removed a mask that made up his face. This revealed his true identity…it was Hera.