Daughters of Hesperia – Callianassa of Ogygia (1.26)

It was early in the morning when the princess of Ogygia rose, and it was entirely due to her younger sister bawling in her bed. Callianassa sighed as she sat next to Calypso.

“Hush, Calypso.”

“Nassa!” her sister wailed, and Callianassa could only pray her sister had not woken their mother. The queen of Ogygia, as she called herself, was not a forgiving woman, and the walls of their home were thin.

“What is wrong? I am sure it was just a dream, Calypso.” She tried to sound as soothing as possible. “I am right here.”

Calypso’s tears began to stop, with more coaxing and hushing, and luckily their mother did not come into the room. Soon, Callianass was able to convince Calypso that she should sleep, and she was halfway to her own bed when she felt a tug on her nightgown. She gave her sister a reassuring hug, and made sure to properly tuck her into bed.

Callianassa did love her sister, but mornings were always made so difficult by her. But then, that was the way of things around here. Everything was difficult.

Callianassa was being raised under two separate influences – her mother, who told her she was a princess, and her father, who seemed to fear her mother and love his daughters. Her mother made it clear that her father ought to have been dead long ago, but she ‘kept him around’. The idea of losing him terrified the young girl, and she was not at all certain whether she was indeed a princess.

What was she set to inherit, after all? Nothing but this island, where only her family were. There was no royalty to her or her mother, but her mother insisted that they were chosen by the Goddess, and had as much as the very first Artemisian queens had.

As she did every morning, Callianassa dressed and went to sit by the fire. Her father would be catching breakfast, if he could, and her mother would likely just be waking up, having had a full night’s rest. Not like Callianassa, who had dealt with every one of Calypso’s nightmares.

As she was sullenly thinking about this, her mother walked over to her, with an expectant expression on her face, taking a seat besides her.

“Well, Callianassa, where is your greeting?”

“Greetings to the Queen of Ogygia,” Callianassa snapped. “Good morning, Mother.”

Glauce’s eyes narrowed at her. As always, something seemed to irk her, and even if Callianassa couldn’t know what it was, she found that she didn’t care.

“A princess does not speak to her queen in that way. Is this insolence another habit you have picked up from your father?”

“No! Why can my insolence not just be mine alone, Mother? Why must you always blame him?”

“Because this disrespect is his, and it runs in your veins because of him! You are a princess, not some Frankish brat!”

“Or maybe I am angry because I am tired, or because you have made me angry!” Callianassa threw her hands up. “And what sort of princess am I, anyway? I do not wish to inherit Ogygia–“

“That is not for you to decide. You will inherit, guide your sister, and be the princess you are, or so help me, I shall banish your father from your sight. His views should not be foisted onto a princess, after all, and that is what you are. I shall give you until this evening to apologise to me, or he will be punished in your stead.”

She rose, strolling over to where Calypso had wandered from the house, and picking her up with a smile.

“My little princess, who’s my princess?” she asked, loud enough to be heard as she cuddled her close. Calypso giggled, her chubby little hands reaching out for her mother.

And as always, Callianassa stormed off, trying to hold back tears. She never remembered her mother playing with her like that, and instead, it had always been her father. Now, Mother was again threatening to ban her from seeing him.

She ran down to the beach, where she couldn’t hold back her anger any longer, and let the angry tears run down her face, hot and livid. She hated her mother, she hated Ogygia, and she wished this was not her life. Why could she not simply be some Frankish brat, as her mother had warned her against being? At least she wouldn’t be trapped here if she was.

A scream of rage ripped out of her throat, and her fists clenched. It wasn’t fair, to take back all those truths just to appease her mother, and were it not for her father, she would never do it. But she knew that her mother felt it a weakness to be exploited, this attachment to him.

She stamped her feet on the rocky sand, feeling the impact, but finding she couldn’t care, and after a few more moments, she simply cried again. Over and over, she had been told horrible things by her mother, called names, been expected to be a princess. Why should she have to? Why was it that she was forced into this?

If only there were somewhere else for her, she would have taken her sister and ran to it, without hesitation. It would not be fair to leave her behind to be her deluded mother’s next princess, but then how would she ever run away? She was trapped here.

But still, she dreamed.

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