By Anna Botsakou <email@example.com>
Submitted: November 2003
Summary: In an Alt-past, Lois is Metropolis's princess, and she leaves her home to live with someone she doesn't know… literally.
This is an L&Cized Greek myth for meclone2's 'LC & Folklore' challenge, where we were asked to include Lois and Clark in a folk story from our country. In the end of the story you can find a short version of the original myth.
My source was the book 'Greek Mythology III' by Potis Stratikis. A few lines are directly translated from there.
Thanks to my friend and BR Raquel, and to everyone who liked it when it was first posted.
I hope you enjoy. AnnaBtG.
Countless years ago, the world was divided into two parts.
Underneath the clouds lived the humans. The humans were ordinary people like all of us. Their world was divided into kingdoms, most of which were ruled by wise kings and intelligent queens. There was no electricity or Internet, but people were content with their lives, generally.
Above the clouds lived the Kryptonians. The Kryptonians looked a lot like humans, but they were much stronger and had many abilities the humans didn't have. They were much fewer, but, due to the powers, they had control over humans. So, humans always respected them and were trying to have them by their side, either by constructing statues or by building temples, where they left gifts like food or precious jewels. Not that the Kryptonians needed anything, since all they did was fly above the clouds and interfere when necessary, but they liked some luxuries every once in a while.
As you can imagine, many incidents, sometimes happy, sometimes sad, and sometimes both, happened between the humans and the Kryptonians. Let me narrate one of them for you.
In the — lost today — kingdom of Metropolis, there was a time when King Samuel and Queen Ellen were ruling. They had two daughters, Lois and Lucy. Lucy, the youngest one, was a very nice and pretty girl and was married to a smart, young man, James.
Lois, five years older than Lucy, was the most beautiful woman that had lived in Metropolis since it was first built. She was very clever and active, and every man in the city was in love with her. However, she wasn't married. Her father supposed it was because she was so perfect that she scared men off, and she thought he was right.
However, the truth was different.
The Kryptonian Queen, Lara, had been watching over her. She was very annoyed because Lois just didn't seem to do anything wrong, which Lara considered a bad thing. Lois was really close to reaching the Kryptonians' perfection, something that Lara couldn't let happen, or else every balance in the world would be lost and everything would be turned upside down. Yet, Lara was a good person, and didn't want to kill or harm Lois. Instead, she just preferred to keep everyone away from her, so that she couldn't reproduce.
Lois was growing older every day. She had reached the age of 28 and was still single, trying her best to be useful to Metropolis's obedient. Behind her mask of pretending to be happy helping people, her father realized she wasn't happy. She needed someone to love her. Her only relationships were many years ago and none of them had a happy ending.
Wondering why she hadn't found the perfect man for her yet, he came to the conclusion that one of the Kryptonians was probably angry at his daughter and decided to ask for help about what to do. He visited Star, one of the few gifted humans who had the ability of finding out some things about the future or about the Kryptonians' will, and asked for her advice. Star told him that, if he wanted Lois to be happy, he had to leave her on the top of a mountain. So he decided to do it.
Surely, Lois was reluctant to leave her life in Metropolis in order to live on a mountain. She babbled a lot, trying to convince her father not to take her there, but he didn't listen to her. After hours of arguing, they had a deal: Lois would go to the mountain for one week. If she didn't feel any happier there, she'd come back.
So, Lois and her father left for the nearest mountain. Nothing was happening for the first couple of hours and Samuel decided to leave and come back at the end of the week.
Once he left, Lois felt a soft breeze blowing and lifting her over the top of the mountain. It carried her away and took her to a place she had never seen before. It was a big, beautiful palace, made with gold, precious stones, and crystal, all glowy and shiny. It was surrounded by a garden full of colorful flowers, with a few trees here and there and a pond with swans in the middle. Butterflies were flying all around her and she was amazed with the wonderful view in front of her eyes.
Then a middle-aged woman appeared. "Hi!" she greeted her. "My name is Martha and I'm at your service. I will take care of everything you need and I will make sure you have everything you wish for. You will live happily here, under the condition that you will never try to find out where you are and who this palace belongs to."
Lois was somewhat disappointed. She was very curious and wanted more than anything to find out everything about the place she was going to live, but, thinking it over, she decided not to risk it at the moment. What the heck, she'd find out what was going on eventually.
She spent her day in the garden, relaxing and thinking. When the sun was set, she went to the bedroom. She took her clothes off, blew the lamp that was providing her with light out and lay on the bed.
Shortly after that, a shadow came inside the room. It walked to the bed and lay beside her.
Lois held her breath, wondering who could that be. But the shadow talked to her in a reassuring voice.
"Don't be afraid, Lois," it said. It was definitely a male voice. "You won't be seeing me during the day, but I'll always be by your side at night. Never ask to find who I am and never light a lamp because, if you see my face, you will only find misery. I promise you, you will never be bored or regret living here, as long as you do as I asked you to."
Lois was still confused, but decided to agree.
Since then, a new life began for her. She had everything she could ever want. Martha was very kind and helpful and she even proved to be a very good friend. She always listened to Lois, genuinely interested, and helped her with everything she needed, although she didn't talk very much about herself. The only thing Lois knew about her was that her being a servant in this palace was her punishment by the Kryptonians for something she shouldn't have done. But she had never told her what that was and Lois, after a few failed attempts, decided not to bother Martha with that. It was obvious that Martha didn't like talking about it.
As the time was passing, though, Lois missed her family, and especially her sister. So, one night, carefully choosing her words, she spoke to the man that was lying beside her.
"I would like to ask you a favor. I would like to invite my sister over for a few days. Is that possible?"
"Yes," he said. "But be careful. Never forget I asked you to never light a lamp at night. I'm afraid your sister will talk you into it."
"No, I promise you I won't do it," she said.
So, a few days later, Lucy arrived at the palace. She was stunned with everything she saw and was very happy for her sister. However, she couldn't stop worrying.
"And you don't know who your husband is?" she asked Lois.
"No," Lois replied.
"I don't understand. Don't you wanna know?"
"Sure I do, Lucy," she sighed. "But I have no way of knowing. Martha won't tell me, and I can't ask him."
"But you sleep by a man you don't know?" Lucy insisted.
"Well, at least he makes me happy."
"What if he's ugly?"
"Darkness covers his face."
"Still, Lois…" Lucy's voice trailed off. "It's very weird that he doesn't allow you to light a lamp and see his face. He must be hiding something." Then a thought crossed her mind and she gasped. "What if he's not human?"
"Oh, Lucy, come on! What could he be?"
"Who knows… A dragon, maybe."
"Lucy, please," Lois humphed.
"Lois, this is making me all nervous," Lucy said. "I'm going back home in a few hours and, frankly, I'm terrified at the idea of leaving you here with who knows who! Listen to me. Light the lamp tonight, just for a second. If you see it's a human, you blow it out immediately. If it's a dragon or another monster, just kill it. Then you'll have this beautiful palace for yourself."
Lois was touched by her sister's interest. She forgot the promise she had given to the stranger, and decided she wouldn't let Lucy worry more about her.
"I'll do it tonight," she said with a faint smile.
A few hours later, she was lying on the bed. Her heart was beating fast, as she waited for him to come. Tonight was the night.
Indeed, a little while after, he came into the room. Soon, he was lying beside her, his steady breath indicating that he was sleeping.
She slowly took a lamp she had intentionally left underneath the bed. Her hands were shaking in excitement when she lit the lamp and held it over him.
And then, when the trembling light the lamp's flame was sending lighted him, she opened her eyes wide with astonishment.
No, it wasn't a human.
No, it wasn't a dragon.
No, it wasn't a monster.
It was a Kryptonian! Lara's son, Kal-El!
Lois was at a loss. She could only stare at him. He was the most handsome man she had ever seen, peacefully sleeping beside her with a content smile drawn on his lips. His muscular chest was bare and she was sure that, no matter how many humans or Kryptonians she'd meet in her life, she would never find someone who could compare to him.
She couldn't blow the lamp out. He had been the kindest person she had ever met and she had been thanking him for this from the very first moment. But now, seeing him, she was falling in love, quickly and deeply, unable to resist.
She tried to touch him, to make sure he was real, that she wasn't dreaming. But right then he breathed heavily. Lois, afraid that he'd wake up and see her, tried to hold back, but as she moved a drop of oil fell from the lamp onto his chest.
Frightened, she watched him open his eyes and look around. Seeing her, he smiled bitterly.
"I had asked you not to do that," he said in disappointment.
Lois held her breath and her tears. "Sorry," she whispered.
"This is not enough," he said in a serious tone. "I'm sorry too, but I can't stay here with you anymore."
"Keep this palace for yourself. I'll leave."
But he ignored her. He rose, quickly put on his blue suit and walked out. Lois followed him.
"Stop following me," he pleaded once he was out in the garden.
"What am I supposed to do? Let you go? *You* brought me here, and now you're leaving? This is not fair! We're…"
"Lois," he interrupted her. "I'm sorry."
With that, he slowly levitated. But Lois grabbed his foot and was found in the air with him.
He was several feet above the ground when he noticed her.
"Lois, let go of my foot."
"No, I'm not letting you go!"
He sighed. "Don't make me hurt you. I don't want to."
"If you don't want to hurt me, don't leave."
"I have no choice," he said, his voice trembling.
"This can't be true," she bitterly said.
Kal-El sighed and approached the ground, unwilling to say more.
Lois got the meaning. "Fine, go," she angrily said, letting off his foot.
She watched him fly way until he disappeared. Then she burst into tears.
She shouldn't have let Lucy convince her to light the lamp. If she had, she'd now be in her bed, sleeping, with Kal-El by her side. Sure, she wouldn't have seen his face… but who cared? She had loved him without even realizing it but now she had lost him. She felt so weak, empty, lost…
She stayed just there, crying, until dawn came. When the sun was up, she realized she was in an empty field, away from the palace or any place she knew. She tried to find her way, but she couldn't.
Finally, exhausted, she fell asleep.
Meanwhile, Kal-El was flying around, thinking. He knew what was going to happen to him and tried to find a way to avoid it.
He had loved Lois from the first time he laid eyes on her. It wasn't something ephemeral, like most of the cases between humans and Kryptonians; it was a deep feeling that was overwhelming him more each day. But the way things were, he couldn't hope. He had believed bringing her to his palace would be enough, but, sadly, it hadn't worked.
He was lost in his thoughts when he nearly bumped into his mother.
"Mother…" he said, somewhat guiltily. "Hi."
"Good morning, Kal-El," Lara said, clearly unpleased. "I heard a story that involves you. Do you mind telling me if it's true?"
"Yes," he mildly replied.
"Is it true that you've been living with Lois, Metropolis' princess?"
"Yes," he admitted.
"Did you forget that you are already married?"
Kal-El sighed. Married? Is having a birthwife considered marriage? He didn't love Zara, the way she didn't love him. They were married just because of that stupid Kryptonian law that enforced parents to marry their babies so that they wouldn't be able to marry humans when they grew up. In his opinion, it was silly and unnecessary.
Unfortunately, though, it was valid too.
"No, I didn't," he finally said.
"Did you maybe forget that Kryptonians are not allowed to have love affairs with humans?"
"No, I didn't forget that either," he replied, getting irritated.
"Are you aware that you should be punished for your actions?"
"Yes, I am," he answered, somewhat provocatively. "Punish me."
Lara took him to the Kryptonian prison and locked him in. Then she heard someone calling him and flew to that direction. She was very surprised to see Lois in a temple, praying for Lara to come to her.
"Lois?" she asked incredulously.
"Oh, Lara," she said. "Please, help me. Tell Kal-El I want him with me."
Lara hid an evil smile. Of course, Lois didn't know that she was the reason Kal-El had left her. The law was just a small detail that could easily be fixed.
But, well, why bother changing things? She was the Queen, she had the ability to decide whether things were working the way they should be or not. And, in her opinion, Kal-El and Lois shouldn't be together and that law made it clear to both of them.
"Lois," she said, faking sympathy, "don't you know that Kal-El is already married?"
Lois froze. She had forgotten about that. "Yes, I do know that," she replied, bending her head.
Lara shrugged, pretending to be sorry.
"There is no way that I can be with Kal-El?" Lois insisted.
Lara stared at Lois, troubled. She had to do something to discourage her from wanting to be with Kal-El. For her own good.
Then something flashed in her eyes. She had an idea.
"There is something," she said. "You have to do something to prove that you love him and that you are good enough for him."
"Anything," Lois accepted, full of hope.
"I want you to find a newspaper by the end of the day. If you can do that, you can do anything."
"A…?" Lois tried to ask, but Lara cut her.
"I'll be back when the sun is set," she said and left.
Lois sighed heavily. How could she find a newspaper? She didn't even know what that was.
She walked out of the temple, wondering, when, a few feet away from her, something shone and, all of a sudden, a strange machine appeared and an even stranger man walked out of it and towards her.
"Hello, Lois," he greeted her.
"Who are you?" she said, looking at his weird clothes.
"My name is H.G. Wells. I am here to help you."
"Help me? How?"
"I'm from the future."
Lois grimaced. Someone was crazy here. Either she, or that man. Probably that man.
"I really am," he insisted. "Here, I brought you a newspaper."
He handed her an object she was seeing for the first time in her life. It was black and white, and had letters and pictures drawn on it. She began reading loudly.
"Daily Planet, Metropolis, Thursday, May 25th, 1995… What do all these mean?"
"Daily Planet is the name of this newspaper. Metropolis is where it was printed. Thursday, May 25th, 1995 is the date."
"What is a date?" "It's when it was printed."
"And what is printed?"
"Um…" He tried to find the best word to describe it. "Made," he finally said.
"What does Thurs mean?"
Wells rolled his eyes. This was more difficult than he had thought.
"It's actually Thur's. Thur's day, the day of Thur. Thur is a Scandinavian God."
"But why does he own a day here in Metropolis?"
Wells decided to give up. "Never mind. Just take this newspaper and give it to Lara when she asks for it."
With that, he climbed back into the strange machine and disappeared in a ray of light.
Lois shook her head, wondering if this was just a weird dream. But, no, she still had this 'newspaper' in her hand.
She decided to keep searching. But, until the end of the day, she didn't find anything else that could be a newspaper.
So, she returned to the temple. Lara was already there.
"Did you find a newspaper?" she asked.
"Is this what you are looking for?" Lois timidly asked, giving her the newspaper.
Lara was stunned. A real newspaper! That could only mean that a time-traveler had brought it to her.
She checked the date. 1995. Yep, definitely a time traveler.
But how? Time-travelers were not allowed to interfere in facts that had taken place before or after their timeframe of living.
She did a quick scan in the front page. 'By Lois Lane and Clark Kent,' she read in the byline.
"Lois," she said in a very low voice. "And Clark Kent. Kal- El, Clark Kent. Kal-El, Clark Kent," she repeated a few times. Then, full of suspicion, she used telepathy to examine Lois's mind and aura, then concentrated on finding and checking upon Kal-El's mind and aura too.
'Oh, no…' she thought, her fear now proven to be true.
Lois was silently watching Lara, afraid that something was going terribly wrong. Or maybe that Lara had lost her mind.
Lara finally turned to Lois, at a loss. "I…" she tried to say, but paused. What was she going to do? "I will talk with the Kryptonian Council, and… see…" she said and flew away, leaving Lois still in question.
She arrived at the Palace and rang the calling bell. Soon, all Kryptonians were sitting around the table, waiting for her to speak.
"Where's Kal-El?" Jor-El, the King of Kryptonians and Kal- El's father, asked.
"He's not here. He…" She hesitated for a second. "He's part of the problem we are going to solve."
"We're all ears," Trey said.
"Kal-El has been living with Lois, the Metropolis princess," Lara explained. "As you all know, this is against our laws, not to mention that it is rather unfair for Zara."
Zara nervously nodded, squeezing Ching's hand under the table.
"He should be imprisoned," Nor interfered. This was his chance. Kal-El was going to be the King once Jor-El retired. But if he was going to be imprisoned, then Nor would become the King.
"It's not that easy," Lara continued. "He and Lois are soulmates."
No one hid their surprise. "Soulmates?" Trey asked. "How is that possible? There was never such a case between a human and a Kryptonian. Are you sure?"
"I'm positive, Trey," Lara replied. "I couldn't believe it either, but I have no doubt that they are."
"Then," Jor-El spoke, "we have to let them be together."
"And the law?" Lara asked.
"We will have to change it. There are far too many cases that prove that birthmarriage is preventing people from finding their soulmates, whether they are humans or other Kryptonians. Jon-Than and Martha, Per-Te and Lica, Klar and Nel-Lo, Mas-El and Nel-La, Ching and Zara…"
Zara blushed. She should have imagined that Jor-El would be aware of her relationship with Ching. Fortunately for them, though, no one paid too much attention to the names, as they had focused on the problem at hand.
"But Jor-El, how can we change a law that has been valid for centuries?" Lara asked.
"There is no law that says that laws can't be changed. Kaj, if you please…"
Kaj brought the book of laws. Jor-El found the old law, corrected it and signed it.
"Please, sign," he said, handing the book to Lara, who, as the Queen, was sitting next to him.
One by one, everyone signed the law. Nor unwillingly, of course, but he had no choice. Besides, since the majority of the Council had already signed it, it would be valid no matter whether he signed or not.
"Very well," Jor-El said, pleased. "Now, Lara, if you please, let Kal-El know about our decision."
Lara left and went to the prison. Kal-El was sitting on the floor of his cell, thinking of Lois.
"Kal-El?" she called. "I have good news for you."
He turned to her.
"The Council changed the law. All birthmarriages are cancelled, and there is not a restriction about who to marry anymore."
"Do you mean…?" His face lit up.
"Yes, my son. You are free to find your soulmate."
"My…?" he asked, unsure about what his mother meant.
"Lois. Go find her," she said, unlocking the door.
He happily hugged his mother, something he hadn't done since he was a little boy, and then he flew away in search of Lois.
He found her inside the temple, still praying.
"Lois?" he called.
Lois turned around. Seeing him, she ran to him and fell in his arms. "Kal-El! You're here!"
"Yes, I am," he assured her with a smile.
"You're not gonna leave again, are you?"
"No. Everything that was keeping us apart does not exist any more. We are free to be together."
"You *do* want us to be together?" she asked, gazing into his eyes.
"Of course I do, Lois," he said, holding her tighter. "Believe me, I never wanted to leave you. It was just… bureaucratic issues."
They both grinned happily.
"I love you, Lois," he smoothly said.
"I love you too, Kal-El."
Their lips joined, quietly promising that love would always bind their souls.
A few days later, their marriage took place in the Palace of Krypton. Jor-El and Lara blessed their union.
'Everything happens for a reason,' Lara thought with a smile. 'It seems that keeping all men away from Lois was the best thing to do, after all.'
Lois and Kal-El spent the rest of their lives together. And, although they didn't live forever, their story did and it is saved until our days, a bright example of strong, devoted and endless love.
And here is the original version of the myth:
Psyche (= Soul) was a princess somewhere in Greece. Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, was jealous of her because she was very pretty, so she was holding men back from asking to marry her. When her father asked for a prophecy about what to do to make her happy, they told him to leave her on the top of a hill. He did, and then an air breeze brought Psyche to a beautiful palace. She lived there with two servants all day, and at the night someone came to her bed and slept by her side. He had told her never to try to find out who he was, and she didn't. However, when her sisters visited her, they got jealous and convinced her to light a lamp and see who was sleeping beside her, secretly hoping that he'd get upset with her and kick her out. So, she did light a lamp, and found out that it was Eros (= Love), son of Aphrodite, minor God that made people fall in love.
But, as Psyche was holding the lamp, a drop of oil fell onto his body. He woke up and, upset, he left the house. She tried to grab his foot, but eventually she got tired and fell on the floor, without anything happening to her. She tried to kill herself by falling in a river, but the water pulled her away. After a while, she decided to find Aphrodite and ask her to tell Eros to come back to her. But Aphrodite was still jealous and decided to humiliate Psyche. She gave her a huge pile of grains and asked her to arrange them by the end of the day. It would be impossible for Psyche to do it, but the ants helped her do it. In the meantime, Eros escaped and asked the other Gods' help to make his mother calm down and let him marry Psyche. Zeus, the King of the Gods, talked to Aphrodite, and so Psyche and Eros got married. Since then, Eros and Psyche (Love and Soul) always live together.