Writing from Maia Harlap

The amazingly talented Maia Harlap has limericks and a new story to share! At just 14, this Perth based youth is brimming with talent. Go Maiai!!!

Limericks of Greek Myths

There was once a god called Zeus,
Who had a wife but loved to seduce.
He had a kid with a mortal,
Hera threw her down a portal,
And she hung herself with a noose.

There was once a Cyclops with a temper,
Whom one should never take stuff from ever.
A bunch of humans tried,
A good number of ‘em died,
But Nobody was too clever.

There was once a war in Troy,
Because a girl ran away with a boy.
Odysseus got a big wooden horse,
Filled it with men and brute force,
And the war was won with that ploy.


Beauty and the Brains
by Maia Harlap

“I am the goddess of beauty, Athena. Who did you think he would choose?”

Aphrodite twirled her golden curls around an elegant finger. Her soft pink chiton was edged in gold, catching the light of the sun and glowing, making the goddess look even more radiant.

By contrast, it seemed Aphrodite had stolen the sun’s light; it shied away from Athena’s dull bronze armour, far from her dark curls. It seemed that Aphrodite’s beauty wasn’t truly her own; it was via robbing that of everyone else that she seemed so radiant.

Athena wanted to punch her right in her simpering, smiling lips.

“It was a test of wisdom,” Athena said through gritted teeth.

Aphrodite sighed and raised herself from her seat voluptuously, gazing through her eyelashes. “You always use that as an excuse, dear.”

Athena felt a headache cooking. Dealing with the goddess of love did that to Athena; Artemis complained of the same affliction. Athena tightened her grip on her spear and looked down her nose at the other goddess, trying to utilise her superior height.

“I wanted to see if he would make the right choice,” Athena said coldly. “Apparently, men are still as foolish as they always were; choosing love and chaos instead of knowledge and clarity.”

Aphrodite laughed, making Athena shiver. “You say that as though it’s a bad thing, dear!”

Athena scowled. “What you have done will cause a war between the Greeks and Trojans!”

Aphrodite caressed flowers in a vase, blithe as always. “What I have done has brought two wistful souls together. Athena, you must learn to appreciate the values of love.” She daintily plucked a rose from the vase, instantly making it seem brighter and more beautiful. “I don’t see what I’ve done that has enraged you so.”

Athena sighed. “Two wistful souls? You cursed Helen with madness!”

Aphrodite smiled with sickening sweetness. “I set her free, dear. Again, what have I done that is so wrongful?”

Athena lost it. With a single fluid motion, her spear flashed forward and through, its steadfast point aimed directly at Aphrodite’s throat.

“What have you done?” Athena seethed. “What you have done is cursed a woman to doom herself and so many others to a war-torn death. Did Helen want Paris? No! No sooner will she get to Troy she shall awaken from your curse and realise what she has done, and the grief shall destroy her. And yet the Greeks will still march on, and believe me, I will make sure they raze Troy to the ground!”

Aphrodite’s expression staying apathetic, but her grip on the rose quivered. “Y-you wouldn’t. They would kill Helen. And you do seem so anxious to extend her little mortal life.”

Athena’s eyes flashed. “Try me.”


Athena and Aphrodite both turned to see Apollo strut into the room, grinning widely. His golden clothing was akin to the rays of the sun itself, and his skin held a deep tan.

“Athena, Aphrodite,” Apollo nodded to each goddess with a dashing smile.

“Apollo!” Aphrodite looked surprised. “You’ve returned to Olympus!”

Apollo came to a stop in front of the two, clasping his hands. “I have indeed. And what do I find? One dear goddess pointing a spear at another.” He raised a tanned hand and gently shifted Athena’s spear away.

“Stay out of this,” Athena hissed, her bright eyes flashing.

“No need to sound so harsh.” The handsome god grinned. “I wouldn’t miss a cat-fight between two of my favourite goddesses.”

Athena snorted. “Tell that to Hera, Golden Boy.”

“Tell me what?”

All three groaned as the Queen of the Gods entered the room. It was an occupational hazard, it seemed, of being the authority.

“I thought I heard Apollo say something quite interesting,” Hera said, with the air of someone who already knew. “I’m giving you a chance to prove me wrong. I sincerely hope so.”

Hera strode into the centre of the room, hands on her hips. Even Athena felt like shrinking in her presence. Hera was tall and commanding, her dark hair, purple chiton and sharp profile all giving her a strong and powerful air. She looked down her nose at each of the others, making them feel like scolded mortal children.

“Tell me what?” She said, her eyes narrowed.

Aphrodite ducked her head and began to move away, but Hera noticed and pointed a finger at her.
Aphrodite froze, magic keeping her in place.

“You! Stay right where you are!” She hissed. “Whenever you and Athena are in the same room I cannot safely assume anything!”

Apollo came forward, his trademark charming smile etched on his face. “Oh Hera, there is no need to fret. Athena and Aphrodite were simply—”

Hera made a cutting motion with her hand and Apollo’s mouth snapped shut. The god’s eyes went wide, and his previous poise vanished as his fingers scrabbled at his lips, trying in vain to pry them open.

Hera looked at Athena with a harsh glare. “What should Apollo have told me?”

Athena, for a moment, considered telling Hera exactly what he’d said. That would really anger her. But she wasn’t that petty.

“Oh, simply that he fancied Aphrodite,” she said, flapping her hand. Apollo stared at her, mortified, and Aphrodite squeaked in alarm.

Hera paused for a moment, eyed the three. Apollo must have recognised that it was better than the alternative and shut up. Even vapid Aphrodite realised that it held no blame to her. They didn’t move.

Hera huffed. “Athena, stop trying to stab Aphrodite. Apollo, stop trying to hit on Aphrodite. Aphrodite, stop starting mortal wars.”

She strode from the room.

Apollo’s mouth dropped open. Aphrodite’s eyes went wide and she stumbled as the magic released her.
Athena’s brow creased. “How does she know I tried to stab her?”

“I’m the Queen of Olympus, child!” Hera called back, making the three jump.

After a pause, Apollo glared at Athena. “That was not nice, sister.”

“First of all, I’m your half-sister,” Athena sighed. “And second of all, I don’t know how, because you have an interstellar void inside your cranium instead of a brain.”

Apollo’s mouth flapped open and closed like a fish.

Aphrodite tittered with laughter, lifting a golden wine cup to her lips. “Quite the charmer, aren’t you, Athena?”

Athena set her jaw. “You are more of an idiot than he is, Aphrodite.”

Aphrodite shrugged, taking a light sip. “Poor, lonely Athena. The only sane goddess on Olympus. Tell me; is it acting like a boy that makes your chest so flat? You might want to consider changing your hair to fit the theme; cutting it, or shaving it, even. Then you and that oaf Ares would be twins!”

Athena snapped again. Her palm flashed out and snapped the wine cup from Aphrodite’s grip. It smashed into the ground, causing a spider web crack, the wine pooling out.

“Greece shall win,” Athena snarled. “I shall show you that what you claim as man’s greatest path is a path to disaster. You may not care about the causality of your actions, and I shall show you why that is a foolish and grave mistake.”

Athena stalked from the room, her shining eyes flashing. The wine pooled on the floor, seeping through the cracks, forewarning blood soon to be spilled.