“There’s a myth about broken souls,” Joel said finally. “I’m surprised Orpheus hasn’t heard it. As crazy as he is about all that stuff.”
I leaned against Joel, and he draped his arm over my shoulder. “What is it?”
“When the gods created humans, they didn’t look like us. They had four legs, four arms, two faces, and one soul. They were complete and happy. But they were too fulfilled. Too powerful.”
“They were a threat,” I murmured.
“Exactly. Zeus split them in two saying that men would never amount to anything if they spent half of their lives searching for their other half.” He gave me a significant look. “Some people get lucky and find their soul mates, but the rest will always be searching to fill that void in their lives.”
“Do you think the gods have soul mates?” I winced at the wistfulness in my voice.
“Why would they need them?”
Once the titans were defeated, Zeus and his siblings divided their roles. Zeus took the domain of the skies and of Olympus, the palace/mountain of the gods, Hades took the Underworld, Poseidon too the ocean, Demeter became goddess of the harvest, Hestia became goddess of the hearth and home, and Hera became queen of the gods.
Zeus was terrified of having children. He’d seen the pattern of divine children killing their parents and decided it wasn’t for him, so when his first child, Athena, was born, he ate her. That lasted for all of a day before she popped out if his head fully grown, wearing full armor, in the world’s worst migraine. After that he gave up and had a ton of kids. Then the gods created humans. Prometheus and two other Titans who did not take sides during the Titan war helped to fashion humans out of clay and Athena breathed life into them.
Humans didn’t used to look like we do now. They had four arms, legs, and two faces and one soul. But they were too happy and too fulfilled and didn’t fear or worship the gods enough to be useful. So Zeus cut them in half, into us. So long as humans spent their lives searching for their missing halves they could never amount to anything.
Zeus also tormented man by giving some men more intelligence, strength, and power than others, and by creating a perfect woman. Pandora. He sent her to Prometheus’s brother, Epimethius. Prometheus had warned him to never accept a gift from Zeus, but at the sight of her beauty he couldn’t resist. He gave her a box and told her she must never open it.
Naturally she did and in it all the horrors of the world flew out. Evil, mistrust, sickness, worry, the only good thing in the box was at the very bottom, hope.
The humans fell into a half-existence. The world was harsh and unforgiving and the humans were hungry and cold. Prometheus saw their suffering and brought them the gift of fire. Zeus saw this betrayal and punished him by staking him to a boulder. Every day he is picked apart and rated by an eagle only to heal overnight and begin the torture anew the next day.