The night was young. What a silly expression. The night is old, she always has been. Humanity hasn’t lived long enough to make that claim. They’re just an eyeblink in the vast existence of Earth.
Yet, some people have such a small mind that they think they’re the centre of the universe.
Nyx prowled the nights of Athens. She always preferred that place, she didn’t know why, exactly. She’d tasted the nights all over the cities of Earth, Chicago, New York, Sodom.
No matter how far she went and how magnificent the nights around the world were, she always found herself drawn back to Athens.
There was just something about this place that darkened her heart.
The cities always fascinated her. It was the human instinct to huddle together around the fire, to find a way to convince themselves that the monsters could be kept away, that the light could combat the darkness and keep them safe. The cities were that little instinct magnified a thousand fold. Nyx admired how inventive humans were, always thinking up little ways to push back the darkness. Fire, candles, oil lamps, electric lights, neon lights – she loved those – fluorescent lights, LEDs.
She followed a man in a coat. The night was a bit chilly, and the coat was necessary. But an experienced eye like that of a trained policeman or in this case, that of an immortal goddess could tell that the coat served a different purpose.
The man looked normal. He didn’t have a scar on his face, he wasn’t laughing maniacally, his eyes didn’t dart around. Yet, something about him made it clear he was a predator on the prowl.
No worries, Nyx was one such predator as well.
Curious, she followed the man. He wore well-used shoes that helped him move with the barest of shuffles, his keys didn’t jingle, and Nyx could also assume that his phone was deactivated, the battery pulled off completely. People, the kind of people that didn’t want others to know what they’re up to, knew these days that those damn phones were nothing but a snitch, eager to report to the authorities.
The man, the average-looking man, the man who blended in with the crowd and who knew how to use the shadows to his advantage well enough to draw the attention of Nyx herself, took the side streets from Omonoia square and into Phylis street.
Whorehouses, one after another. Plain looking metal doors, a single white light above them that was always on, and men of all nationalities hurrying to and fro the houses of pleasure. Cheap houses, not the luxurious ones, though Nyx knew that the cleanliness and health standards made them look positively palatial compared to what the poor Johns had to work with in previous centuries.
A pair of law enforcement officers, riding on steeds of metal and plastic. They seemed alert but simply observed the street, ready to interfere.
The man with the coat didn’t break his stride upon seeing them, he didn’t flee, he did nothing to make himself stand out from the foot traffic. He simply kept walking, not drawing attention to himself. The other men were fidgety, two were coming out of a brothel, discussing where to go next. They hadn’t found a pleasing enough woman in there and they were going bourdelotsarka, or simply put, going from one brothel to the next, eyeing the merchandise on display, window shopping for cheap, warm pussy.
Her man walked slow and careful, so Nyx had enough time to peek inside the brothel. It was weirdly lit, red and dark, and it had a disco ball reflecting and sparkling and dizzying the customers. There was a metal pole installed in the middle of the entry hall, and two benches with men. One was dark, an immigrant. The other was light-skinned, but Nyx couldn’t tell where he was from. The prostitute showed up wearing just a thong and a tiny brassiere, and smiled, and tempted them, and gave them a spin on the pole, showing off her wares. She was voluptuous, a dark-haired Slavic beauty. The madam listed the menu, “Tight pussy, blowjob, missionary, doggy-style, ten euro. Anal for extra ten. No kissing.” The light-skinned man stood up and left, obviously not tempted enough. The dark-skinned man smiled wide and nodded at the madam. She opened her palm up, he paid in cash, and she pointed him towards the back room to go and wait for the girl.
Nyx had seen what would follow a million times. She wasn’t ashamed of it, after all, most of the billions of people had been conceived into the night. She left the brothel and found the man with the coat, who was still walking away from the policemen. He didn’t seem to head for the brothels. That was a shame. Nyx hadn’t seen a proper Jack-the-Ripper night since… Well, since Jack-the-Ripper.
Oh, the man definitely had a blade on him. Hence the coat, it was clear from how he walked, at least clear to Nyx. And he definitely had a purpose, and it didn’t seem to be the purchase of affection, and it didn’t seem to be the gutting of ladies of the night.
Another silly expression. They weren’t Nyx’s ladies, she could care less about them. If they truly were hers, then she’d go out of her way to protect them. Nyx didn’t care what happened to them, whether they got penetrated by flesh or steel it was the same to her.
The man with the coat had her full attention now. He had crossed the street with the legal brothels and went towards darker streets. They may have been smack-dab in the middle of a capital city, yet the concrete seemed to absorb the light no matter how much incandescence the humans tried to place.
It wasn’t Nyx’s doing.
It was a dark place, because dark things happened. It made proper men avoid it, their skin crawl and their instincts scream for alertness. And yet this man was walking straight into the heart of it.
Nyx shadowed him.
He pulled out the blade, it was a fine military knife, serrated on one end. This was no bread-cutter. It was meant for survival and killing.
The man made sure he could pull it out swiftly and put it back inside his coat. Clever, Nyx thought. He was no fool, waltzing in with a blade in hand.
He got to building that was dark and brown. One of the old condominiums that survived in this part of town, there was no foot traffic below, and the street light barely pushed back the darkness.
He rang the doorbell.
“Yeah?” the crackling voice from the speaker said after a while.
The man cleared his throat. “I’m here for Hecate,” he said, his voice breaking.
There was silence from the speaker, just some crackling.
The man looked over his shoulder, tense.
“I haven’t seen you before,” the speaker said.
“I-I’m new, yes. John sent me,” the man in the coat stuttered.
“It’s not cheap.”
“I’ve got cash.”
“…Alright. Come on up.”
He buzzed the door and the man stepped inside the building. He looked back towards the dark street, straight into the face of Nyx.
Then he turned and took the stairs up to the third floor.
Nyx entered through the door and followed him upstairs. He got to a wooden door, it was a heavy security door with a peephole. He stood in the dim light and waited.
There was the familiar sound of unlocking a bunch of mechanisms from the door and it swung open.
The madam, was plum, dressed in shiny clothes and shiny rocks. She sucked her cigarette and sucked his appearance as well. Then, she seemed to reach to a decision. “Come on in.”
The man nodded and did so. He sat on the bench. There was no kitsch disco ball here, just some proper mood lighting behind some fake plants. The air reeked of cigarette smoke.
There was a metal pole in the middle.
A girl, barely ten years old walked in, dressed in a bikini swimsuit. It was bright green. She had some scratches on her little arms and a definite cigarette burn on her thigh. She held her head down and timidly walked to the pole, held it, and gave it an awkward spin.
The madam stepped close and hissed to her ear. “Not good enough, bend your back, how many times must I tell you this?” She turned to the man and smiled.
The little girl gave it another spin, bending her back in an attempt for a seduction. It was pointless, of course. She was no woman yet. She had no instincts yet, she had no hormones to get her bending her back and wanting to kiss boys.
The madam said smugly, “A thousand euro, blowjob, missionary, doggy-style.”
The man in the coat shut his eyes. “Can I do whatever I want with her?”
“Sure,” the madam said, taking a big puff. She held the cigarette to the side. “But leave no marks on her, that costs extra.”
The man placed his palms on his knees and stared directly at the madam. “I see.”
The madam opened her palm.
“One thousand,” the man asked.
“Yeap. She’s worth it, don’t worry.” The madam shoved the little girl towards him.
The child placed her fingers on the man’s knee, touched his hands timidly, then walked her fingers towards his crotch.
The man immediately snatched her hand and stopped her. “Hey, Hecate? Look out of the window for a minute for me, will you?” he said softly, as one should speak to a child.
The little girl nodded deeply and stood by the window, looking outside.
The man with the coat rose to his feet. The madam was still waiting, palm outstretched. She seemed impatient. “Do you have the cash or not, mister?”
The man raised his upper lip in disgust. “I got what you deserve,” he said, and with a swift motion, he sliced the madam’s carotid artery.
Blood gushed from her wound, she held her neck and gurgled out blood. The man with the coat let the knife clatter to the floor and rushed to hold Hecate by the shoulders. She was about to turn around and see what the commotion was about, and he stopped her just in time.
“It’s okay, Hecate. Don’t turn around. Keep looking outside like a good girl. That’s right…”
The madam was a tough dame. Even though she was drowning in her own blood, she slapped the floor in the red pool and found the knife. She pushed herself up, steadying precariously on her arms.
Nyx had a decision to make. Would she intervene? Should she? This man had intrigued her, that was certain. But Nyx didn’t meddle in the affairs of mortals, not like those others who couldn’t keep their hands off of the humans’ private parts.
She decided to let it play out.
The madam fought one last time, she grunted, her face contorted into pure hate and she delivered a strike to the man’s back.
Ouch! Nyx admired her aim, she went right between the ribs and punctured a lung. The man fell on his knees, gasping for air, his lungs filling up with blood. The blade was still embedded in his back, he tried to reach back and pull it out but couldn’t.
It would probably do more damage anyway.
He was a goner, Nyx knew it. Mortals were so fragile.
Hecate whimpered and tears fell down her cheeks, but she didn’t turn around. After a couple of minutes that felt like ages, there was no more struggling, no more choking in one’s own fluids, no more living around her.
She turned slowly.
Nyx covered up the room under a blanket of darkness.
“Don’t be afraid,” Nyx said to the girl.
“W-Who are you?” she stuttered, trembling in the dark.
Nyx could of course see her, but no mortal eyes could. “I’m Nyx. And you are Hecate, right?”
The girl nodded in affirmative, not thinking that the person talking to her probably couldn’t see her.
“That’s nice,” Nyx said softly. “Follow my instructions and I’ll take care of you. Take three steps to your right and then turn around.”
The little girl did so. She took small, hesitant steps, and was trembling in her bathing suit.
Nyx felt bad. It really wasn’t her job to deal with this mess. Mortals did these things to one another every single day for millennia, she really shouldn’t intervene.
“Miss Nyx?” Hecate asked after a long period of silence.
“What is it, girl?”
“Now what do I do?” the girl asked, and she sounded terrified.
Trembling in the dark. Now that was something Nyx couldn’t allow to continue. She sighed. “Turn to your right. The other right. Take two steps. Well, another one, that was too short a distance. Good. There’s a door handle up to your height. Get out of this room and don’t look back.”
Hecate did exactly as Nyx instructed. Huh. Nyx liked obedience, it darkened her heart.
“Now?” Hecate asked, basically crying and shivering, holding her naked body.
Nyx dropped the darkness particles around her and revealed herself to the mortal. “Now what?”
The girl just looked up at her, sniffling. Not terrified. Not disgusted, not reverent, nothing. She didn’t kneel. Those damn Greeks never kneeled.
“Are they alright?” Hecate asked, turning to the dark room.
“Don’t bother with them no more.”
Hecate reached out with her thin hand and held Nyx’s own. “Can you take me out of here, Miss Nyx?”
Nyx let her coat of darkness fall into strands around her. The girl clearly wasn’t too impressed by it. She leaned close to her, bringing her face opposite hers. “I can do one better, Hecate.”
Hecate sniffed her nose. “What?”
“I can give you magic.”
“I’d like that, Miss Nyx.”
Read more of the Mean Gods on https://meangods.com