Friday, February 20, 2009
Pan gulped for air. “They’re too quick, Sire.”
“I thought the specters were supposed to be attached to her.”
“That appears to be—” Pan wheezed—“a figure of speech.”
“Maybe we’re going about this all wrong. I wonder if there is a way to lure them into a trap?”
“If the trap doesn’t include running, I’m all for trying it, Sire.”
Two hours later, Bacchus threw a half-melted carton of ice cream across the room, painting the far wall with swathes of pink, white, and brown. Perfectly good Neapolitan gone to waste.
Nothing he’d tried succeeded in luring the specters away from her for very long. Not gold, not cigarettes, not ice cream, though they’d been mildly interested in the pornographic movie he’d put on his the living room. Pan said they’d peeked around the corner, but the moment the satyr made a move toward them they’d scampered back to their host.
Bacchus tried to remember his last visit to Earth, prior to his downfall. For the life of him, he couldn’t remember ever having seen a specter. Pan had described the effort to see The Sorrows like scanning for a radio station. He’d had to find the right frequency, but once he’d tuned them in, he had a hard time tuning them out.
“I won’t even repeat what they said you could do with that ice cream.” Pan shook his head. “But they did appreciate the single malt scotch.”
“Always happy to please pure evil.”
“Sire, I think it’s time to reevaluate our approach.”
“I know, you’re right. I think we’re going to need some back up.”
“I took the liberty of inviting a few of your friends over. They’ll be here later for brainstorming, refreshments, and cards.”
“Why is it that you are always two or three steps ahead of me?” Bacchus smiled.
“Because it’s your job to perform in the now. It’s my job to make sure you don’t have to think about anything but the now.”
The former god squeezed his steward’s shoulder. “Were I given to weepy emotions, I’d be blubbering all over the place right now.”
“You should change for the party, Sire. I’ll take care of the mess here.”Without argument,
Bacchus trudged to the master’s suite. His thoughts weighed heavy on him, not that he’d expected this task of making himself whole again to be easy. At least they’d made a little progress.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Bacchus hurried over to watch her depress the final key.
“The combination spells ‘Ariadne,’” she said.
“That’s ‘Arianna’ in Greek.”
“Oh, I guess that does make sense then.”
An ethereal voice came from the small box, “What can consume a man and not have had its fill? What grows larger when you feed it and when it is starved larger still? What drives a man to great lengths, but never reaches a destination? What rapids flow, what hurricane blows, what fire rages without cessation? The contented man knows nothing of me. What am I?”
With eyes wide, Furina gave an exaggerated shrug. Bacchus took the pad of paper from her and scribbled down as much of the riddle as he could remember. He read the words over and over again. Something nagged at the back of his mind, but what?
“Please tell me your first guess,” the box said.
For lack of a better answer, Bacchus replied, “Jagermeister?”
“Your first guess is incorrect.”
Bacchus grabbed at his testicles, relieved to find them and his shaft intact.
“What can consume a man and not have had its fill? What grows larger when you feed it and when it is starved larger still? What drives a man to great lengths, but never reaches a destination? What rapids flow, what hurricane blows, what fire rages without cessation? The contented man knows nothing of me. What am I?” the box repeated.
Contented man, contented man, contented…the words rolled around the former god’s brain. If one is contented one doesn’t want for anything—Bacchus snapped his fingers. “Desire.”
The box sprang open into a smaller scale replica of the golden lotus inside the original box.
Furina snickered. “You know that kinda looks like—”
“I know, right?”
“Well, my work here is done.”
“Thank you so much.” Bacchus picked up the flower. “Now, how do I close the infernal thing?”
“I couldn’t tell you. I just crack ‘em, I don’t close ‘em.” Furina turned to pack up her things.
“How may I repay you?”
The goddess shouldered her bag of tools. “We can settle up once you get yourself back to your rightful place in the cosmos. Just trot that fine ass down to the Underworld and look me up.”
She winked at him and laid a hard slap on his firm buttocks.
“You know I’m more than happy to oblige.” Bacchus arched an eyebrow.
The Goddess of Thieves turned to leave, but stopped, then faced him again. “Oh and I don’t recommend opening the other one. There’s something really foul inside it.”
“Not to worry. The only thing I plan to do with that one is return it to its rightful owner.”
“Good deal,” she said, then disappeared without even rustling the drapes.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
1 Get your groove back
2 Break the rules
3 Visit an old friend
4 Start dating again
5 Do something out of character
6 Surround yourself with friends
7 Reconnect with your past
8 Experiment a little
9 Realize your true potential
10 Say goodbye to who you once were
11 Give yourself choices
12 Embrace your bright future and true love
Get all 12 steps in four easy installments: click here!