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Let's catch up with Cloe in modern-day Greece :) ...


Scene 7: Hold On

A.D. 2015

As amazing as Athens had been - the majesty of all its monuments, the marvels of its many museums, fantastic food and friendly faces to be found at every turn - Cloe was excited that her travel-writing itinerary would soon be sweeping her off to the islands. A change of pace and change of scenery might be good for her slipping grip on sanity. Especially if the scenery was surreally pretty, as if taken straight from a postcard, as she knew the Greek islands would be.

She would miss Athens, and the Scholar & Journeyer's Inn in particular, where the hostel staff had by now become like a big fat Greek family to her. Even the ever-squawking resident parrot that had been undeniably annoying all throughout her sleepless nights spent in this place would be fondly remembered.

At least her time in Athens wasn't permanently over, Cloe solaced herself as she reflected on how much she would miss it; after spending a few weeks hopping all over the isles, she was set to return to Athens for the last leg of her travel-writing stint. The island-hop was just like a side trip, in that sense, a vacation within a vacation. Though 'vacation' was hardly the right term, in light of how hard she was working. But still, it was fun.

Though 'fun' was hardly the right term, in light of the extremely serious issues she was facing. Issues that she could never forget, not for a moment ever since she had been forced to face the impossible possibilities of her present reality. Issues as to how she should direct the course of human destiny, which seemed within her power or whatever. No biggie.

Thankfully, Cloe had one person with whom she could talk about it, the one person with whom she could always talk about anything. Whereas her recent Skype call with Tom had made everything that much more heart-wrenching and overwhelming, her daily Skype calls with her mom helped to keep her from crumbling.

"In all seriousness, sweetie - and I know that's weird because when am I ever serious-" Silvia admitted, given that most of her encouragements for Cloe to experiment with her powers had been along the lines of writing an endless supply of hot guys into existence, "-don't you think you should maybe try... I don't know, doing something?"

"Ugh, but Mom, I've told you why it's not that simple..."

"Then be patient with me - I'm an old lady with a sad fraction of your IQ, need I remind you. Explain it all again. All your convoluted philosophical reasons."

Cloe bit her lip, running a hand through her hair in frustration. Not so much at her mother, but more so at herself, at her utter ineptitude in this situation. "It's just... this power, if it's a real thing, is just really, really serious," she emphasized in plain English, rather than in terms of complex metaphysics, knowing that her mom would appreciate it. "Before I can even consider using it, I feel like I need to understand it."

"Oh, right - you and your whole understanding thing..."

"But you know what I mean, right?" Cloe asked with a sigh. She knew her mom did, but she had to hear her say it.

"Yeah, yeah of course. This is some serious shit," Silvia acknowledged. "And that's very wise and responsible of you, to aspire to understand this power before putting it to use. It's the right thing to do."

Cloe drew great comfort from Silvia's heartening words. Having her mom's stamp of approval on her actions always meant the world.

"But," the motherly voice through her computer screen continued, "are you really trying to understand it, sweetie? Or are you sort of just... sitting there and hoping that understanding will come to you?"

Cloe's face drew down into a frown. "I'm not just sitting. I'm sitting and thinking about it. What else am I even supposed to do?"

Silvia shrugged. "Well, I mean - if you're open to suggestions - I was thinking maybe you could get in touch with Eldor again."

"What? Why would I-"

"Hear me out, hear me out. I just think interacting more with him might be your best chance at making sense of this thing. Since he seems to be a product of these powers of yours, or at least somehow linked to them," Silvia noted. "Look, I'm not saying that you should jump in the sack with the guy. I know what happened, but it was just one kiss, and we don't know what was really behind it - whether he likes you a lot, or was just casually interested, or is just a total horndog."

Cloe laughed at the thought. "Mom, he's freaking Eldor..."

"Paragons of virtue have penises, too. Anyway, my point is that there's no harm in contacting him again and seeing if he's up for hanging out further, even if just as friends. I mean, he would be the perfect bodyguard while you're hitting up nightclubs on the islands..."

"Oh, right - you and your whole paranoid, overprotective mom thing..." Cloe teased with a roll of her eyes, half-joking.

"Fine; if none of that will convince you, then here's another reason," her mother proceeded. "I took the liberty of stalking him online the other day for a few minutes, naturally, and guess what? Turns out he's besties with a certain dude named Matthew Ryder Campion."

Cloe blinked as her heart instantly went up in flames and stopped beating. Damn it. Even just his name always did crazy things to her.

"Now, I don't advocate you home-wrecking or anything naughty like that," Silvia emphasized with a glimmer of self-conscious denial in her keen brown eyes, "but I just get this sense that you and the campion guy shared some sort of soulfully powerful, super special, cosmic-level connection. Based on what you've told me about him, and the way you get whenever you're - aww, see? Look at you!"

"Stop...!" Cloe squealed, embarrassed that the other hostellers in the courtyard right now could see her blushing like a buffoon.

"There's no shame in it, sweetie!" her mom reassured her sincerely. "I don't know about love, since you two have only met twice and barely even spoken, but I know a deep connection when I see one. And when you find something like that in this crazy-ass circus called life, something that feels right even if reason tells you it's wrong - even if reason tells you to let go - I know that you've got to hold on."

Because Silvia Lee was so rarely serious, every word she uttered seemed a million times more meaningful, whenever she was. Cloe smiled, gaze drifting toward the small bag that she always carried at her side during this trip, in which she'd safely stowed the campion. She had let go of that precious pink blossom, once. Now - by the force of fate itself, it seemed - never again.

"And who knows," Silvia added, "more than half of marriages in the U.S. these days are doomed to end, so maybe divorce is on the horizon!"

Cloe's smile widened at that, which felt a little bit mean-spirited. But then she remembered the way the Barbie doll had so possessively clutched onto her husband's arm, the spiteful jealousy with which she'd glared at Cloe on their first meeting, as if wanting to do her harm... and then she honestly didn't feel mean about the sentiment at all.

Her mom was right, as ever. She might as well contact Eldor, to see whether he was willing to hang out as friends - she genuinely enjoyed spending time with him, might be able to learn more about her powers if she did, and... and if there was any chance that doing so would bring her closer to Ryder, then she couldn't let that chance go. To that precious chance, just as to the campion, she would have to hold on.


Any thoughts? Feels? Hopes for #Cloder? :)

Next scene, we'll check up on the Fates in the Cave, where Clotho may be set to confront Lachesis about what she has done...

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