Fiction: Call of the Wild (Artemis / Kyrene)

Fiction: Call of the Wild (Artemis / Kyrene)
Photo by Sebastian Unrau / Unsplash

This story was a labour of love and I ended up with more than 2000 words. I meant to post it for Artemis' birthday on Wednesday but I wasn't happy with it at the time.

So I hope you all enjoy the end result, despite the long wait ❤️

Call of the Wild

Kyrene you made your comrade
Kallimachos, Hymn 3 to Artemis

"So it turns out Kyrene wants to leave the city I gifted her behind and return to the wilderness." Apollon gave his twin sister an accusing look. "You wouldn't have anything to do with it, would you?"

Artemis rolled her eyes.

"As a matter of fact, I do not. Kyrene is a wild creature. She wasn't cut out for city life and if you know her at all, you know it's true."

Apollon scowled at her.

"We were getting along just fine. She was happy in the city. She loved me. And now... Now she tells me she wants to end it."

"You really think I convinced her to leave you?"

"No." Apollon sunk down on his chair. "But why would she give up the life of a queen, the love of a god... for what? Sleeping on moss and rocks?"


"She is the queen, she has the freedom to make her own rules. As well as a soft bed and a lover who keeps it warm."

"Do you, really? When was the last time you came to see her? Before your recent talk I mean."

"I don't know. A couple of weeks."

"She told me you didn't come to see her in three months."

"That is a couple of weeks."

"Still, it is a long time for a mortal. And when was the last time you carried her hunting nets?"

"I don't know."


"You know I'm busy, Artemis."

"I do. But I also know that you used to make more time for her. She is lonely, Apollon. Her sons are with Cheiron and her lover is far away in Delphi. And I can't stay in Libya all the time either."

"So what are you suggesting? That I move to Libya?"

"I'm suggesting that you accept that she's unhappy and do something about it. As much as you love the city and the comforts of a palace and the high arts you also know that Kyrene the Lion Slayer does not care for these things nearly as much as you do."

Apollon looked at her like a petulant child.

"She will learn to like it."

"Brother! She hasn't learned it in five years. Listen to yourself."

"I can yet tame her. I can make it work."

Artemis took her brother's hands.

"You could. But it wouldn't make her happy. I know you love her, Apollon. Don't be selfish. Don't let your wounded pride force her into a life of misery."

"I don't want her to be miserable." Apollon said quietly.

Artemis kissed him on the brow.

"I know. Let her go."

He nodded silently and she took him into her arms and held him like she had done so often ever since they were little.

"Will you do me a favour?" He squeezed her gently.

"Yes," she replied cautiously, "Within reason."

"I know it's a lot to ask but... You said she was lonely. Would you take her in as one of your hunting companions? I know she is not technically a maiden..."

Artemis furrowed her brow.

"I don't know, Apollon. She bore you children. That is as far removed from maidenhood as you can get."

"Please, Artemis! I promise you that I will never lie with her again. She hasn't been with anyone but me. Will you make an exception, just this once?"

Artemis sighed. She loved Kyrene. She had gifted her a pair of hunting dogs and when she was in the area she always joined her on her forays into the woods. But her affection didn't change the fact that she wasn't a virgin. Apollon had taken her maidenhood and bedded her many times. And yet not even a god had tamed her. Apollon had never properly married her and she was as wild as any of her girls. Artemis was aware that this was favouritism. She knew exactly what Apollon saw in Kyrene and even though she would never admit it she had often fantasised about her brother's stalwart lover. What it would be like to share the bed with her in his stead. And now he offered her a chance to win her for herself, just like that. She put on a reluctant face.

"I love you more than anyone, Apollon, but you are asking much of me."

"Yes. But not too much?"

"You owe me more than just a favour. But I will make Kyrene my companion, if she so wishes."


Artemis and Kyrene had travelled through the woods in silence since the Archeress had met with her at the Hill of Myrtles. After walking for hours, they finally took a break. Kyrene threw the small bag of belongings she had taken with her on the forest floor and slumped down on a rock. Artemis was pleased with her sensible approach to packing. A true huntress, no matter what Apollon wished to be true. She sat down next to her and slung an arm around her friend.

"I can see that you are hurting, Kyrene. Are you unhappy with my brother's decision? Would you rather have him try to work things out between you?"