Ever heard of Modigliani? No? Oh well, I’ll tell you a bit about him. He was a famous painter around 1915 and fell in love with a woman named Jeanne Hébuterne and died of tubercular meningitis in 1920. Jeanne killed herself the day after his death leaving their daughter orphaned.
Jeanne Modigliani was taken care by her maternal grandparents until Modigliani’s sister adopted her. She lived a pretty normal life, always wondering about her parents but her aunt never told her anything. When she was old enough, she learned the truth and wanted to find everything about her father’s life.
When she was around 30, she published his biography. She made father more recognized and she was proud of it. Her book made her travel from Italy to America and while on her tour of New York, she met a mysterious star-gazer that seemed very interested on her and her book.
He invited her to come to a café with him and she accepted. They talked and talked but in the end, they were both dying to see the other again. Fortunately, Jeanne’s next visit to New York didn’t take long and they passed again the night talking and observing the stars from his apartment terrace.
They passed the whole week Jeanne had like that until the last night. Eric, the man, was old-fashioned and didn’t want to sleep with Jeanne until marriage but they didn’t have the time. He gave in on their last night together and they spent it with more than just harmless kisses and small-talk.
Jeanne didn’t see him again during her next trips to New York, but she had more in mind than him. On that one night, she had gotten pregnant. Nine months later, a healthy baby girl was born. If you didn’t know it yet, it was me. Elisabetta Modigliani since mother never got Eric’s surname. She ended up moving to New York when I was 5 and she finally saw Eric again. Only this time, he seemed a bit different without his glasses and his uncombed hair.
His aviator hat was the only thing that looked the same. He was shocked to see the little 6 year old girl that was his daughter and warned Jeanne that monsters would probably attack us because of me. She didn’t understand it and when he said that he couldn’t be with her anymore because of me, she got furious. Cursing at him in Italian, French, Spanish and English, Eric ended up being kicked out of the house.
Mother soon found a boyfriend to substitute my father. His name was Damien and he was a normal accountant and didn’t look like anything special. I have no idea why the heck mother liked that guy but she did so I was stuck in my room every night he came over. That went on for a few years, I was about 16 when everything changed because of him.
One day, he decided to take us to Central Park. I kept my fair distance of them, they were too lovey-dovey sometimes with him grabbing flowers from the bushes and putting on her hair and she humming ballads and both of them dancing across the park. I was just acting like I didn’t know who they were and everything was doing great.
Until, Damien took us to a desert part of the Park. I was nervous, it was really weird not to have anyone around when you lived in New York. And when I was looking for a living soul across the wide field we were in, Damien turned into a manticore. Spikes grew from his back, a huge scorpion tail appeared, his hair grew larger and wilder and his teeth became sharp fangs. Mother didn’t notice the change at all.
I screamed to catch her attention, to warn her the monster father warned about was standing right beside her but when I did, Damien sent spikes on her heart and she fell dead on the bloody grass. I was frozen in place. What had just happened? It was impossible that mother simply died, just like that.
Damien smirked and started saying about how annoying it had been pretending he was in love when all he wanted was to get his claws on me. And of course, call the attention he had just gotten from the Hunters. My face showed my confusion, but I didn’t have the time to ask what he was talking about.
Dozens of girls came from the trees on the edge of the field, dressed in silver clothes and with silver bows aiming at Damien. He started throwing spikes everywhere, snapped some girls necks and poisoned some with his tail until a smaller red-headed girl came. She sent 5 arrows flying at his neck easily and Damien died and disappeared in a poof of yellow sand.
The girl was a bit shorter than me and introduced herself as the goddess Artemis. She offered me a place on the hunt, where I would have a place to be. I said that I would, if she could help my mother. Turns out, mother wasn’t dead yet. She had passed out from the poison but the Hunters were able to take the poison out and make her forget what happened with Damien.
When she woke up, I told her I’d be leaving. I didn’t give her time to react, I just said it and hugged her, leaving right after. I passed about half a century in the hunt. It was fun, the girls were my friends. I loved seeing Lady Artemis turn boys into the most random animals. I kept one of them as a pet, I liked his unique violet eyes that stayed with him even after the transformation.
When Lady Artemis sent me to Circe’s Island to fetch a potion she had ordered, I took him with me. Circe was tricky, she gave me the potion but also put something on my cute little pet while I wasn’t looking because on my way back, he turned back into a boy.
Shocked didn’t even cover half of it, but he grabbed me and pinned me against a nearby tree. He took my bow and my knife so I was weaponless and I knew he was a demigod like me, a son of Ares by what I had seen when Lady Artemis turned him. I was powerless and he took the potion from me and threw me on the floor so the vial broke and the potion was spilled. I was distracted by that and struggled to get there and try to do something even though I knew I had nothing to do when he kissed me. Just like that. It shut me up and made me stop struggling and I knew on that instant he had kissed me just for that. I struggled more and kicked him where it hurt and when he doubled over and let my wrists go, I ran away from him.
My bow was broken in two and my hunting knife was on his belt so I didn’t waste time trying to recover them. Only, he was a fast runner. He caught up with me even though I supposedly got a better speed when I joined the hunt. I guess he was just excellent in track and knew some shortcuts around.
He didn’t seem that pissed off at me actually. Only from the kick, but he actually seemed grateful to me. He told me that he knew most guys would be lost in the woods and become falcon’s prey after being transformed and he was thankful that I had saved him from that. That shook my heart.
I was used to seeing guys be rude and always thinking that we were harmless but the boy seemed to actually acknowledge my powers. He kissed me again and Lady Artemis chose that moment to appear, wondering what was taking me so long. She saw us kissing and got really mad.
I tried explaining, but she took my powers before I could even start. When I finally wa able to explain, she sticked to her choice of taking my powers away but warned me to go to Camp where I would be safe. She gave me another bow and hunting knife as a last gift and sent one of the Hunters to help me get to Camp with Luke, the boy. Only he refused. He said that he had already spent too long in camp and was going home when we found him so he now would be going to live with his mom.
I felt a bit sad with that, but pushed the feelings away. I got one last goodbye kiss and he left, leaving me there. I ended up going to Camp and killed the monsters in my way easily. When I got there, the hunter left and I could only stay there with my siblings.