To Pay a Debt

Sometimes we make promises. These promises fall on the wayside, we forget, and they become years out of date. We make excuses and we cast it off as nothing. After all, nothing’s happened so far due to us not keeping our promises. Why should anything happen if you continue not to follow through?

Years ago, my grandfather had an incident. He and my grandmother live in New Mexico and he picked up geocaching after they moved there from Chicago. One day, he decided to go for a cache up on a mountain. Day turned to afternoon turned to evening turned to night. My mother got a panicked call from my grandmother saying that he hadn’t come home, he wasn’t answering his phone, and the place he had gone was on a mountain with cougars, bears, and other terrors.

That night was the first night I clasped my hands and prayed. My first prayers were to Anubis, for my grandfather’s safe return; my second prayers were to Hermes. I had never worked with Hermes but I figured it was good to throw in another god, one associated with both mountains and travel.

The next morning, we got a call. “I’m going to kill him,” my grandmother said. A member of the search party she had called together found my grandfather walking down the mountain to his car, completely fine. Once it had gotten late and dark, he had gotten out the emergency supplies he carried with him, and slept on the mountainside.

I’ve made it up to Anubis over the years for that, I believe. Hermes, though….

For the last two nights, I have burned cedarwood incense before I go to take my shower and relax for the night. As I blow out the initial flame, I murmur into the rising smoke “I burn this in offering to Hermes for the debt I owe,” or something to that effect. Things have been going rather smoothly the last couple of days, so I’m hoping that means the offerings have been accepted. I intend to burn more of the incense, but as it is actually The Boyfriend’s, I will have to ask him before I commit to it past this week. That said, I still intend to make it up to Hermes, to repay my debt, with interest.

-From “What I Owe

I’ve been dragging my feet for a while now. The gods have long memories, and years ago I spoke words in thanks to the Messenger of the Gods, the Fleet-Footed Bastard (as I call him), the Silver-Tongued Menace (another loving nickname): Hermes.

The shrine was set up weeks ago, the “most passive-aggressive bare bones shrine ever” as Sionnan said to me this weekend. She’s right, and it became clear to me that she was not the only one who had noticed. I won’t go into the details, but after dropping off Chase on Monday night on our return trip from Canada, I drove over to the Crystal Fox just before closing and tried to find a statue. No dice (pun intended).

So, yesterday while I sat in my cubicle at work, I took a short break from work to order him a proper icon on Amazon Smile. I have known the one I wanted, if I were to get one anyway, for some time now, but the smallest I could find was a 9″ statue, so I put it in my cart and clicked “Submit Order” with bitter resentment. They told me it would arrive on Tuesday, but of course it came to my apartment office today, his day, the same day I was sent home after just an hour of work for looking like hell.

It sits on his shrine with cedarwood incense burning to ash beside it. I have not yet refreshed his offering of cool water, nor lit his candle, but he has a stronger presence now. And even know I can taste warm copper on my tongue and sense his wicked smile of triumph.

Hermes is not one for patience, apparently. Or, rather, he is patient…to a point. And then all hell breaks loose.



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