Table Of Contents

“The Sin of War”

A Wounded Boy”…………….. POV: Ares – Short Story Insert [page of Ares’ ‘war journal’]

ACT I: “The Greatest Love Affair”
Chapter 1:
Warmest Regards, Love”…………….. POV: Aphrodite – Poem [letter to Ares]

Chapter 2:
The Entanglement”…………….. POV: Ares – Short Story Insert

Chapter 3:
My Morning Star”…………….. POV: Ares – Poem [letter to Aphrodite]

ACT II: “The Republic of Heaven”
Chapter 4:
The Wrath of Love”…………….. POV: Hephaestus – Poem [letter to Aphrodite]

Chapter 5:
The Failed War God”…………….. POV: Ares – Short Story Insert

Chapter 6:
The Worst Father”…………….. POV: Ares – Poem [letter to Hera]

ACT III: “'Fairness’ in Love & War’
Chapter 7:
A Mother’s Son”…………….. POV: Hera – Poem [letter to Ares]

Chapter 8:
Star-Crossed Lovers”…………….. POV: Ares – Short Story Insert

Chapter 9:
My Malign Star”…………….. POV: Ares – Poem [letter to Aphrodite]


Character Listing

Author’s Note / Artist’s Statement

PROLOGUE – ARES: War journal page

A Wounded Boy

I’m just so tired. I feel like the epitome of a god if Godhood is just begging to be believed. Heracles’ mortal parts were just consumed. He got to join us in the heavens, gaining the duty of gatekeeping Olympus, a sucker’s job really, but also the domain of strength… Father’s way of stripping more and more away from me. I couldn’t even compare it to Athena’s birth, not just because she didn’t kill my son before becoming a god, no, but because despite the fact Father’s golden child matured me into someone easily seen as the enemy, it’s not like she herself hated me. War God to war God she knows it’s not just about victory, but it can be triumph against oppression, freedom fighting, and much more. So really – really, nothing changed. I’m still the fool. The boy who will never understand who he is to others. I do though, and I don’t want to be this aggressive, brutish, and thoughtless masculine energy pummeling through life I just don’t know how to change. I know all this rage is ugly I just need somewhere to put it. I’m tired of carrying it around. It’s just that no matter where I place it, how I vocalize it – it’s still mine, isn’t it? I don’t mean to burst out in rage, but it’s all I know, it’s what protects me, lifts me up, helps me walk – keeps me alive.

Aphrodite told me it’s passion and I’m just the most passionate. She’d say even in times I don’t know how to be angry at someone, my pride demands I figure it out. I guess it’s true. I just find it too easy to make monsters out of the people I love. I think I’m just afraid of becoming passive to the perception everyone has of me. A big baby following his heart, destroying myself so others can’t – the worst kind of control. I know Zeus doesn’t care if am guilty or not. After all, Olympus needs a lamb to slaughter. Someone to take the guilt, be the god of bad but non-negotiable things. I just wish I didn’t care if I was that guilty god.


Warmest Regards, Love

I get it, I get you.
A man cries and it’s a build-up of anguish, unable to be tamed & confided.
It’s supposed to be an accomplishment, a triumph to release such horrid screams.
Yet, not for you, nor me as it’s our norm.
emotions must mean something deep for those who hide it,
They must be passionate about it; Afterall, they couldn’t even take the time to compose themselves.

But those who live by such passion, those ruled by it
We cry and its hysterics
We can’t do anything but the dramatic outburst
Always consisting of such irrational thoughts like love, hope, and revenge.
Our emotions must be getting the best of us,
They must be wishy-washy about this; it must alas just be superficial.

But why?
Why must poised figures falling to the state of wrath be a drop? I build up to it.
Why must we all exist in a system of sterile division in human reactions?
Is it because we’re supposed to be better than mankind? Mask our instincts, our nature?
The Olympians are all hypocrites unable to perceive past their own godhood to experience being a god.

The Entanglement

Like war, there are no rules in love. Though if there were, it wouldn’t take a lot for Aphrodite to bend them. It was impossible not to be excited to see her again even when I tried to live in my own head, away from her. There isn’t much that scares me at least not more than my own heart. That’s why my consciousness rests in my skull going from and through the crevices in my brain like a maggot in meat - But there’s just too much to get through, it’s too tightly bonded, it’s raw and I can’t understand my emotions surrounded by all this blood and bone. It’s all so suffocating. This passionate plethora of matter I preoccupy gets lonely, but it feels so invasive to explore it myself. Yet, the goddess that Zeus claims to belong the furthest from the battlefield runs headstrong into the father of suffering helping him understand all his waged wars. After all, it was she who asked me “isn’t anger just love in disguise?” and I don’t think she meant to or knew she did, but with those few words, she changed the whole projection of my life. It was then her voice drew me back to reality.

“Come on you goon, do you want Helios to see us?” she asked peaking from the ajar door. I don’t think she was aware of her own magnetism. How even in the cloak of Nyx she shimmered, refracting light like splintered divinity. I couldn’t help but smirk as I unconsciously followed her into Hephaestus’s home closing the door softly behind me.

“Why’d she choose me?” I couldn’t help but question as we sat on the bed together. I could feel my cheeks heating up as I realized I had spoken aloud.

“You don’t feel like we indulge in humanism together? Like our energies were meant to entangle, our skin destined to touch?”

“I live on what makes others die – I don’t think it’s written in any stars to be lonelier than that.” Aphrodite laughed.

“Are you embarrassed by your blood? It’s redness? The way it just comes out with no concern for others’ feelings? Ares, no blood is truly golden. You’re not afraid of love, embarrassed to be alive, are you?”

I chuckled.

“Not at all, suddenly you’re ripped into being alive, into pain and suffering. It’s honestly spectacular. To not live by the passion that rushes one’s blood, up till death, well that would be a shame.”

“And where’s that blood rushing now?” Aphrodite questioned with a kiss. I felt her soft hands slip underneath my himation sliding off the cloth that draped over my shoulder. My skin grew warm as I felt our breaths heating up the room. My fingers acted on their own following patterns they had many times before slipping her chiton off as we lay in tandem. Our bodies intertwined, locking together with her nails grazing into my skin as if she were lost at sea clinging to any stability. I felt a sharp pinch, not on my back but on my ankle. A scream left Aphrodite’s breath as we were both flung into the air trapped up in not just each other but a thin thread so fine it was almost unperceivable, yet, strong enough to withhold the kicks and thrashing of war and love.

“Ares, all your flailing and squirming won’t save you from my creations!”

Fiery rage would be an understatement of how I felt when I heard Hephaestus’s voice break our confusion.

I turned my head, barking out, – “Please with your tools and fire I’ll break you into molecules and make death something you desire.”

“Hephaestus, you’ve had your fun. Release them from your net. I’m sure if this goes on longer it will upset Hera in more ways than one.” Poseidon spoke. My eyes widened as my turned head could see clearly now. Hephaestus had brought Poseidon, Dionysus, Hermes, and Apollo along with him. They all laughed making their own jokes, except Poseidon. I threw my arms around Aphrodite attempting to shield her from the gaze of the other gods. To wish for reckoning on me was understandable, but to try to shame his own wife, to steal the dignity he could never have the claim to, well now that, that was grounds for war.

CHAPTER 3 ARES: Letter to Aphrodite
My Morning Star

I know how I felt, like their clown
Always speaking, yelling, stomping, and bleeding on stage just so they can punch down.
Always just trying to get them to understand what it means to be me.
Is it Insecurity?
A craving for validation, but I can only imagine your frustration.

Born an absurdity and commercialized
but the limelight won’t wear off if you aren’t compromised
Don’t let them throw you away
All they do is ridicule and praise.
Love is bizarre, but don’t cry ashamed. look up at the stars
For this night they shine twice as bright and only for you.

For you are the face I can no longer see but will always follow
A type of healing that rivals Apollo.
For when I look into your eyes eternity falls to its knees
Forever is no longer hypothetical but right there to be seized.
Yet not mine to take
I truly hope I have not caused you heart-aches.


CHAPTER 4 HEPHAESTUS: Letter to Aphrodite
The Wrath of Love

Very early in my life, I felt it was already too late
I try to avoid my own gaze in reflections, it interests me none
Yet, I cannot outrun it, not when the pity in your eyes says it all.
Even with you nude & vulnerable
I’m still the tragedy.

I’ve always been too eager to be demeaned
Cause abuse can feel like love, like a dream
You know starving people will eat anything
Oh, how I wish I was more mean, able to cut you off clean
I showered you with gifts and trinkets to highlight your beauty
I did everything well within my duty.

I hate how I’ll always remember the nice parts of you as they pick at my skin.
Why must you haunt me, I’m not the one in sin.
I understand I cannot make the goddess of love oppress her nature
But really my brother? A god with a heart of anger?
I forced out inventions to avoid this inevitable doom
Yet, all you’ve ever thanked me for is innovating chains into the bedroom.

The Failed War God

I knelt in front of Mother and Father’s thrones looking down as I heard the door to the hall close. Mother was on her way to console Hephaestus, I’m sure, but all I knew for certain was that everything was all downhill from here. I couldn’t hear her withdraw, I just felt it, the way the room changed. In those few seconds it took her to leave the throne room I experienced all the signs of lightning about to strike.

“Another one of your outbursts Ares? Honestly, I don’t know how much more we can take. You’re starting to become an empty - and I mean empty - shell of a god, letting such emotions rule you.”

Anytime the king of the gods spoke it bellowed through all of Mt. Olympus.

“I - a shell of a god? Me -” I tried to get out, to defend myself but alas I knew I had just charged him up.

“Do not interrupt me! … again and again, you seem to constantly fail in understanding we are not just gods, but I am king and as my heir, you belong to me whether you like it or not. Believe me, if I could give your mother ownership of you I would. You lack reason, you don’t think anything through. You think you’re the epitome of war, but Athena has all the glory being the noble aspects, doing the risk assessments you seem too emotional to even comprehend. Not to mention how Aphrodite lays no control over her.”

I could feel my eyes burning as my body tried to hold the water in. I knew crying would only make it worse none of them, but Aphrodite, understood the blood of war, the sweat of war, the tears of war.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry all the ugly and evil parts of war come in the non-negotiable form of me.” I don’t know what angered me more, the way my voice broke and cracked or his laughter.

“What good is an apology, the damages are already here, it’s already done. I can’t have gods waring over something as fickle as love. Aphrodite’s a temperamental force. If you don’t hate her for the chaos she causes then you’re the worst kind of man. And you are, it’s why we all hate you, not because you’re as fickle and changeable as Aphrodite, but because you’ve inherited all the worse traits of your mother. Her wrath, her temper, the way you both desire vengeance, and not to mention the goddamn lack of respect for others. Believe me, when I say we all hate you, I include your mother, because she sees the worst parts of herself every time she looks at you.”

I glanced around, all the gods and goddesses watched; except, Athena who looked away not meeting my gaze. I stood up spitting onto the floor before leaving the room.

CHAPTER 6 ARES: Letter to Hera
The Worst Father

I’m sorry, Mother, but no matter what anyone believes
Father is unbearably lonely.
With an echo that plagues him, dragging behind him like prison chains.
I’m sorry, Mother, it’s not you
Maybe I’m projecting
Maybe I’m Father’s prison ball.

I constantly pray for the right words to fall out every time I open my mouth
The words that will align father and I
Words that require no translation
But I can only clench my chin, prevent a war.

Please, Mother, please, I feel gutted, bleeding out and, I don’t mind it I don’t
But the doors are wide open and I can feel the other gods stare looking right at my bones.
I hear their laughs and all I ask is for you to close the door - I didn’t ask to be shown
I need a mother, even if you can just shut the door and leave me alone
I promise I’ll atone, I’ll grow, all on my own.

Just close the door, Mother, please,
I deserve at least some ease.


CHAPTER 7 HERA: Letter to Ares
A Mother’s Son

My little man, eros is the most dangerous type of affection
An erotic connection fueled by physical passion. love that only leads to subjugation
I know it can feel like ludos - playful, flirty, and fun, but this stage is done.
Mania breeds possessiveness and obsession - it’s based on survival, son - I’m begging you to run.

To be in a toxic marriage, to be betrayed, hurt, shamed -
That’s something I know well, and I won’t allow you to live the same.
I cannot lessen any storage, love, but as the goddess of marriage, this is my domain.
Your father and I are on the same page for once, so I don’t care who you blame
I love you, Ares, but war & love are not games.

By virtue of her character & purview, Aphrodite will fall in love throughout her existence
You may indeed be her great love, but that doesn’t mean resistance
You’re built for something consistent - don’t you see why you must keep your distance?

Star-crossed Lovers

“So please explain to me, why do you get to be happy? Fathers’ desires, Hephaestus’ desires, Athenas’ desires, your desires are all above mine. It’s not like I ask for much I’m just tortured by the fact I have suffered from the start. Everyone gets to recover and move on even Aphrodite. Finding distractions, falling in & out of love, recovering from the hole I created while mine just gets bigger and bigger, destined to be stabbed & beaten. So, why do you get to be happy?” I felt my voice breaking, but Mother was much softer than Father only letting out a sigh.

“Ares, if you were in love and I thought it was a good marriage match I wouldn’t let Zeus rest until he agreed, but that isn’t the case. This isn’t about happiness or some people getting what they want and others not. It’s bigger than any of that.”

“Bigger than my comprehension?”

“Yes, exactly.”

“Can I just ask you this, Mother, because I know you see me brave and strong but I do not know if I’m a good person. I have wished ill onto others, I have been jealous, I have been stupid even naïve, and I have done almost everything that has been done to me. I don’t think I’m a victim, I’ll beat up anyone who does. I have been the evil, I have been the enemy, I have taken low blows and gone lower hurting others and saying what I know will get under their skin. To leave my impact, a mark, a bullet wound in their chest and maybe it is for revenge or out of spite, but I dwell on my mistakes, the morality of them, the fragility of my victims, I cry for them, bleed for them. Do bad people do that? I don’t think I’m bad. I don’t hate myself or wish to change how I look and feel I know I’m different I just hate the disease that plagues the inside of me. I hate my bones and every organ inside me I hate every ligament every nerve. I hate anything on the inside that keeps the outside alive, that lets me smile, lets me open my mouth to speak, and allows me to love. I hate how I use antiseptics and gauze to bandage myself after battles. I hate how strong this body is and - how my will to survive is stronger, - but I think I could live with this hatred for own my existence easier if I knew at least you liked me.” This time she couldn’t even conceal her laugh.

“My son, of course, I love you!” she exclaimed in a breathy tone.

“But do you like me…”

“Ares, I’ve gone to bat for you, I’ve taken offense from you, why you’re principally a war god who enjoys it and it can be hurtful to watch you end life, create and make widowers, but you will always be my son, my only son of Zeus.”

I turned my head away, feeling my body sink more into the floor, my knees giving in as I began to cry. I felt her cup my face as the queen of Olympus joined me on the floor. None of her words registered, all I heard was ringing, my ears burned, and everything was unstable. I just laid my head on her chest, crying.

CHAPTER 9 ARES: Letter to Aphrodite
My Malign Star

My love, I hold onto childlike rage and childlike loneliness
I’ve spent all my existence with hands gripped into tightly hidden fists.
I’ve never desired to understand what it would mean to hold them open -
It’s almost irrational
Who wishes to be torn apart, consumed, in the name of compassion?

Yet, hide from such love.
What about these extremes that make it all so debilitating?
The definitiveness of it? The ‘all-ness’ of it? What happened to my wiggle room?
It’s taking every atom in my body to stop the constant murmur of my heart
I’ve never used such energy toward quieting my emotions
Despite always feeling ashamed of the idea
To be witnessed in the act of wanting something I could not have
But I cannot quite this energy it pours out as if blood from a wound.
A wound your love created. One I can’t help but twist the blade in, to make it deeper.

Even though I must force myself into a relentless pattern of reasoning
I cannot force my heart to marry another
I will prove my mother & father wrong because I Ares, God of War,
I love you, Aphrodite,
We will never be strangers, but forever star crossed with a dangerous history.


Aphrodite – Goddess of Love & Beauty (Wife of Hephaestus; daughter of Cronus).
Apollo – God of poetry, medicine, prophecy & light/sun (Son of Zeus & Leto).
Ares – God of war & the spirit of battle (courage, battle-lust, etc.) (Son of Hera & Zeus).
Athena – Goddess of wisdom & warfare/military strategy (Daughter of Zeus).
Dionysus – God of wine, madness & festivity/theatre (Son of Zeus & Semele [human]).
Hephaestus – God of craftsmen & fire (Son of Hera; husband to Aphrodite).
Hera – Goddess of marriage & women (Queen of the Gods; Wife of Zeus).
Hermes – God of thieves, travelers, athletes, trade/commerce, trickery/cunning wit, boundaries & speed (Son of Zeus & Maia [human]).
Poseidon – God of the sea, earthquakes, & horses (Brother of Zeus).
Zeus – God of lightning, thunder & the sky (King of the Gods; Husband of Hera).


Heracles – Demigod (son of Zeus & Alcmene [human]) turned God of strength.
Helios – Titan of the sun who drives the sun chariot across the sky/personification of the sun.
Nyx – Primordial goddess of night/personification of night.