If ever before thou didst hear my voice afar
The autumn moon silvers the leaves in the olive-groves banked like clouds above Mytilene. A slave sets out the golden bowl of water, then hurries away as his mistress dismisses him.
Her expression is tight, determined. Slender white fingers brush the lock of hair wrapped around her knife, gently as a kiss; then lift the flawless dove from its cage. The knife glints coldly.
Blood stains the clear water in the bowl.
As she begins chanting, her eyes cool to solid, hard black. Her voice flattens as she summons her goddess.
"Immortal Aphrodite of the broidered throne, daughter of Zeus..."