currently, i’m taking a mythology course at my school. best class of my life. my post An Invocation to Stella, the Muse of Hipsters was an assignment from this class. this was another assignment, one for which i had to write my own myth. its kinda cheesy, so get your romance pants on.
Delphian Apollo was visited by many people from many lands. They often found their way to his temple at Delphi to ask questions and receive advice. Among the many people who sought out Apollo’s oracle was the beautiful and peace loving Olivia. Although her beauty was known throughout the land, her good nature was even more revered by the people. However, she was being faced with a hard decision.
Olivia was to be married to a man from a neighboring village. He was a cruel violent man, a man with excessive arrogance, and she did not love him. To live with such a man for the rest of Olivia’s life scared her. But the dowry she would receive from this union was greatly needed by her parents. Olivia loved her parents, and did not want to abandon them. Not knowing what to do, she traveled to Delphi to ask Apollo’s oracle of her future.
As Olivia entered the temple, Apollo spotted her among the crowd of people. Her beauty astounded him, for it was nothing like he had ever seen. Not even Aphrodite could compare to her. He was instantly in love.
Finally, Olivia was able to speak with the oracle and, indirectly, to Apollo. While telling of her dilemma, Olivia began to weep. Apollo could not stand to see such beauty in such pain. When Olivia left the temple, Apollo followed her out in to the trees. There, he revealed himself to Olivia. She was initially frightened, but then Apollo called out to her. His voice was as musical as lyre he so often played. She was soothed, and no longer afraid. She began to love him back.
As the days passed, Apollo and Olivia continued to meet with each other. Whenever they were together, they fell deeper and deeper in love. It was even harder now for Olivia to imagine herself married to her betrothed. How could she marry such a terrible man, and be separated from her beloved forever?
Apollo realized that his Olivia was in pain, and knew he must do something to help her. Apollo first spoke with the wise Athena. She scolded Apollo for being so deceitful, and told him that keeping his and Olivia’s love for one another a secret was dishonest and unfair. Apollo then went to Zeus, wielder of the lightning bolts, for help. Surely, if the couple had Zeus’ blessing, everything would work out. Zeus told Apollo that he should marry Olivia, for true love should always triumph. As Apollo spoke with Zeus, the jealous wife Hera overheard the conversation. Hera knew what it felt like to be married to someone unfaithful. Her heart went out to the cruel betrothed of Olivia. In her eyes, he was the victim, for his future wife was about to leave him. Hera then vowed to never let Apollo and Olivia be together.
In the days that followed, Olivia’s father grew very ill. It was unlike any illness ever seen. Not even Apollo, a wondrous healer, could help the father. Olivia could hardly bare to see her father dying. She loved her father as much as she loved Apollo. She traversed Greece looking for a cure, but no healer knew of the illness her father had, or how to heal it. From village to village she traveled, searching desperately.
With every week that passed Olivia’s father grew worse, and still Olivia searched. Finally, Olivia happened across and old woman. The woman had heard of Olivia’s quest for a cure, and was able to help. The old woman had a potion that could save Olivia’s father. The price for such an antidote was very high, though. It cost money that Olivia didn’t have. But with the cure so close, Olivia couldn’t bear to return to her father and watch him die. The old hag struck a deal. She gave Olivia the remedy, but warned Olivia that one day she would need to be repaid.
Olivia returned to her family, and her father was healed. For a while, everything was perfect. Olivia lived happily at home with her family. Olivia told the foul man that she would not marry him, much to his disappointment. He reminded her that his offer still stood, but it seemed very unlikely to Olivia that she would ever choose to marry him. She spent her days with her beloved Apollo; Apollo would fill the air with his beautiful music and Olivia would dance. They would soon be married, and they couldn’t have been happier.
Such good luck could not last forever. As the wedding drew close, Apollo couldn’t help to feel that this wedding would not happen, and that their futures were masked with misfortune. One day a few weeks from the wedding, the old hag who had offered the cure arrived. Olivia still had no money to offer the old woman, and told her so. At this, the old woman transformed into the goddess Hera. It was, in fact, Hera who had wrought the illness upon Olivia’s father, knowing that she would be able to have Olivia in her debt. Hera would not accept no repayment, although she cared not about the money. Still, she threatened Olivia and her family with curses beyond their imagination if she was not repaid.
Olivia knew her parents had nothing to offer, and she was scared of what the terrible Hera might do. Although he desperately wanted to help, Apollo was unable to stop Hera, for whatever one god does another god cannot undo. Olivia thought and thought, but she could only think of one way to save the ones she loved so dearly. She returned to the terrible, arrogant man she had once been engaged to, and agreed to marry him. Her parents received the dowry, and were able to pay back the queen goddess.
Olivia’s parents were pardoned, and Olivia was once more engaged to the terrible man she did not love. Still, she was an honest soul and would keep the promise she made him. Apollo was heartbroken, and the moon covered the sun so that there was no light.
Olivia married the man, but constantly thought of her beloved Apollo. When he finally became strong enough to traverse the sky once more, Olivia sat outside and watched him cross. She sat day in and day out, watching her dear one and pondering her decision. At first she was bitter, for she was forced to live this terrible life without her Apollo. Then Olivia came to turn with her decision; she realized that she had saved her family.
Bright eyed Athena had been keeping tabs on Olivia ever since Apollo went to talk with her. She looked with admiration at the wise Olivia, for she did the right thing even though it was the hardest. Athena also saw how heartbroken Olivia was, and Athena felt nothing but compassion for the poor girl. To put Olivia at peace, Athena struck the earth in the garden where Olivia sat, watching her Apollo. Olivia began to transform into a petite tree with silver green leaves, white flowers, and small fruits. This tree would then bring wealth to the people and bring livelihood to all of Greece. It took the name of the girl it had sprouted from, and was called olive.