Race to The Top

I have no chance of winning this race, but I must run it. A race to the top of Mt. Olympus. My competitors, messengers from across the country, our allies and even several enemies. I have no doubt that I will can beat them. They will not be a challenge. The challenge comes in the form of the last two entrants. Apollo, and Hermes.

The two gods seek to determine who is the fastest. The rest of us were summoned here simply for the amusement. Who would even try to race a god? Yet, none of us declined the opportunity to run against them. An honor and a sham, all at once. Yet here we are, taking our positions. I have the honor of being lined up next to Hermes. Perhaps if I trip him, I can get a lead.

"Don't try it," he smiles as he takes position.

"Try what," I ask in confusion. I never expected a god to speak to me.

"Trip me, you want to win. But don't try to trip me. Run hard, I have no doubt you will beat Apollo. But I am the god of speed. Even if you were to trip me, I would still win. Apollo has no chance to win this race. He is arrogant. You are the opposite, humble and meek. I blessed you at birth, I blessed each of you men here. I am not stingy with my blessings. Head down, run fast, run hard, breathe correctly. I'll see you at the finish line."

The bell rang and in an instance Hermes was gone in silence, not even a breeze followed him. Hundreds of the men gave up immediately realizing they had no chance. Still, I did as he had instructed. Head down, run fast, run hard, breathe, don't break my stride, don't look at the competition. Just run.

I could see the feet of several men as I ran past them. Never stopping, or slowing down, I just kept moving. Soon I had reached the peak of Mt. Olympus. I collapsed with exhaustion, looking up I could see several buildings floating in the clouds. I must be dreaming, you can not build on clouds, or even reach them.

"It is beautiful isn't it? Not many mortals have seen it. Even the number of Demi-Gods is low. That is where we reside," Hermes stares off with me for several minutes. Long after I caught my breath. "Now, rise and stand tall, Abderus" he instructed me.

I did as he had said and stood as tall as I could, almost as if I were in the military. I watched the mountain as Hermes did. It was then that I realized the only person here besides me was Hermes. I wondered how he knew my name and assumed it was simply godly intelligence. Apollo sprinted into view making him the third on the mountain.

"I told you Apollo, you could not best me or my kin," Hermes smiled.

"Aye, congratulations Abderus of the Locrians. You have proved yourself worthy."

"Kin," I asked, the only word that stuck out.

"You are my son, Thromius raised you. But you are mine. He prayed to me for a son, I gave him you. Call on me when you need me, come here again when he dies. For now, return home, your cousin Heracles will need help taming some horses. A gift will be waiting for you."

"Congratulations, Demi-God," Apollo laughed hard as the two made their way to the city in the clouds.

"Goodbye son, I am proud."