Friday, January 30, 2009

Desire-Part XII-Furina

Bacchus watched Furina--patron goddess of thieves--study the little ornate box with a powerful magnifying glass. She popped her chewing gum and let out a low whistle.

“This isn’t your run of the mill magical object. Where the hell did you get it? —On second thought, don’t tell me,” the Goddess of Thieves said.

“And you’re sure this one is Arianna’s?” Bacchus asked.

“Yup, her name is engraved in really tiny ancient Greek letters on the bottom. The other one has no name on the bottom and something inside it is saying the most obscene things. You don’t hear that?”

“No. Can you open hers?”

“I won’t guarantee that I can, but I’ll take a crack at it.”

She reached into her bag and pulled out a hammer that looked suspiciously like that of a certain Norse god.

“Please, don’t smash it open. I need to be able to close it and lock it again.”

“Ha,” Furina barked. “You don’t make things easy for a gal.”

She continued to chew her gum furiously.

“May I offer you a lager? Lambic? Boilermaker?” Bacchus asked.

Furina shook off the question. Her fingers tapped out esoteric rhythms and calculations.

“You said this thing is made of hope?” she asked.

“So I’m told.”

The brilliance of inspiration sparked in her golden eyes. She pulled a dark orb about the size of a peach from her satchel, slammed it against the wall, then shook it. Pure luminescence bathed the room in a blinding white glow. Furina pushed the orb through the wall of the box and examined it again under the magnifying glass.

“I got you now, you tricky little box,” she said.

Bacchus hovered over Furina’s shoulder. “What’d you find?”

“You see that pinpoint of light. That’s the keyhole.” A wistful smile stole over her cupid’s bow lips. “I don’t suppose you have the freakin’ key.”

“That would be a big no on that one.”

“Why am I not surprised? You have a needle of Athena?”


“Serpent fang?”


“Phoenix feather?”

“Where would I get a Phoenix feather in South Beach?”

“Okay, how about a satyr hair?”

“That I’m sure I can lay my hands on.”

He headed down the hall of the condo, passing the room in which Arianna still slumbered, Bacchus gave into the urge to peek in on her. Though her chest rose and fell with even measure, he couldn’t help but be concerned. She was going on day two of this comatose state, but Pan had assured him she was alive and well, just deeply sedated, cradled in the beauty of warm, peaceful dreams. With any luck, she’d be free of all of life’s suffering when Pan administered the antidote to the draught.

From the shower drain, Bacchus plucked the makeshift passkey Furina had requested. Once equipped with the hair, she picked the lock with ease. A miniature keyboard, identical to the one he’d seen at the Hall of Earthly Gifts appeared.

“You gotta be friggin’ kidding me.” Furina grimaced. “And let me guess, you’ve no clue as to the combination.”

“You’re guess is correct,” Bacchus said.

Though she affected an annoyed demeanor, a twinkle in her eye told Bacchus the Goddess of Thieves enjoyed the challenge presented by the box.

She pulled a golden snail shell from her supplies and pushed it into her ear. Working methodically she tapped each one of the keys while she held the box close to her cheek.

“We’re in luck. The keys control tumblers. Give me a little while and I’ll crack the combo for you. You have something to write with?” Furina asked.

Bacchus refilled his stein and returned with a notepad and pen for his accomplice.

“So once I enter the combination, what’s the third obstacle?”

“And how did you know there’s a third obstacle?” Bacchus asked.

“It’s a divine object. Of course the obstacles will come in a group of three. It’s not going to explode or shrivel my genitalia or anything like that, will it?”

“No, nothing like that. It’ll ask you a riddle and I think I have the answer, unless the riddle’s different from the box I saw opened.”

“And if I get the answer wrong?”

“That I can’t say. I don’t think anything will happen, but maybe we shouldn’t assume shriveled genitals are out of the question.”

“Thanks for the heads up.”

Almost an hour later Furina uttered a cry of victory, “Sonofabitch, I’m just too damn good. Get your ass over here before I put in the last letter of the combo.”

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Winner Is...

I’d like to thank everyone who participated. All of the entries were hilarious. Alas, I could only pick one as the winner, but here are all the entries for your amusement!

Her lips felt thick, cold and wet, like a big mouth bass in the depth of winter solstice. - Kensana Darnell

Her heart sunk like a lead ball in water. - Nicole Zoltack

Her eyes were as green as a frog. - Nicole Zoltack

She was just like my mother except I wanted to hump her. - Arnold Lopes

His teeth rattled like that equipment that construction workers use on the road. - Nicole Zoltack

After being shot, Jackson danced along the dark path like Blackbeard with his wooden leg on fire - Joy Wisley

The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t. - Martha Eskuchen

Tears welled in her eyes like a well. - Nicole Zoltack

Her eyes lit up like headlights with a 300lb mule deer caught in them, which was pretty surprising since she was such a dim bulb between the ears. - Desiree Lee

And the winner is….

She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up. - Martha Eskuchen

Yay, Martha! Thanks for sending in the absolute worst analogy and thank you again to everyone who participated.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Bad Analogy Contest

There's still time to get in your entry for the Bad Angology Contest. Give me the worst metaphor or simile you can come up with, such as:

Her lips were as red as a baboon's ass when it's in heat.

All entries will be posted here and Playground Mystique tomorrow. The winner gets a book from yours truly and a $5 gift certificate to either Freya's Bower or Lyrical Press (winner's choice!)

The entries have been rolling in all weekend and they've have me ROFL. Keep 'em coming!

Email your worst to

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Wait Is Over for Point of Distraction the Second Collection

One good distraction deserves another...and another and another.

Delving further into the life and times of Ana Welsh, the second book in the Point of Distraction series brings a new set of challenges.

In Dirty Pool, Ana Welsh meets an unusually attractive man. Despite seeming to reciprocate Ana's interest, Jordan Christiansen remains aloof and passive. After a few misread signals, it's up to Ana to find out just what game this sexy mystery man is playing.

The Road Less Taken finds Ana taking advice from a massage therapist, who tells her she needs to step outside her comfort zone. Charming and enigmatic, Nikhil might just fit the prescription, but Ana vows to maintain a friendship only. As the sexual tension builds, will she decide to give in to her desires?

Alone in a Crowd exposes the pitfalls of a bottle of tequila, a little black book and drunk-dialing. With four dates in three days, not to mention a surprise visit from her ex, Miguel, Ana discovers she's overbooked her weekend. Even with all this attention, Ana can't help but feel something-or someone-is missing.

Warning: This book contains lots of detailed, hot lovin', a sassy, sexy heroine, an alternate use for a pool table, and a veritable boy buffet. Love can take a lot of practice to get it right.

Haven't read the First Collection yet? No problem! Buy it now

Friday, January 2, 2009

Desire-Part XI-The Spectres

Pandora prattled on for another half an hour discussing the different types of strudels one could make, but Bacchus heard little of her dissertation. Instead he went through his mental checklist of all the things he needed to know about the boxes and The Sorrows. Once she reached a logical moment to pause, having departed to the differences between regular cherries and maraschino cherries, Bacchus patted her hand.

“Love, I’m so sorry to interrupt. I never tire of hearing your stories on fruit fillings, but may I ask you a couple more questions about The Sorrows.”

“I’ve always believed The Sorrows could be vanquished by strudel.”

“Yes, I’m sure. Strudel aside, what else could be used to conquer The Sorrows?”

“I’m not sure. They’re very much like cockroaches and they reproduce like rodents.”

“What do you mean they ‘reproduce?’”

“Well, when the box was opened, The Sorrows fractured into infinite pieces and attached themselves to every human who existed and every one that would ever exist for eternity. I have a box for each mortal.”

“Oh my, that must be a very lot of boxes. Do you keep an inventory of all of them?”

“I do try, but it’s tricky because a new ones pop open every seven minutes and once in a while a soul achieves enlightenment and a box retires.”

“And how’s that work?”

“When our children vanquish all their own Sorrows, they achieve enlightenment. And the box goes dormant.”

“What happens to it then?”

“I really don’t know. The Mother comes to collect the dormant ones, but I couldn’t tell you what she does with them.”

“And what about the boxes that haven’t opened yet?”

Pandora took Bacchus by the hand and led him to a stepped, mountainside garden of sorts that stretched as far and wide as either of them could see. “Here’s where they lie in wait, ready to attack all those poor newborn babies. When they’ve opened, I pick them and store them in the Hope Wing of the Hall of Earthly Gifts and that’s where they stay until a soul reaches enlightenment.”

“What happens to the souls that die before they reach enlightenment?”

“The souls that are plagued to death by The Sorrows continue through the cycle of birth and death until in one lifetime they are able finally to overcome.”

“How horrifying.”

“I imagine it is.”

She led him in from the terrace and shivered. “I’m sorry to rush you in, but I really don’t like it out there in the garden of evil.”

“I don’t blame you one bit.”

“The moaning of the specters. I hate it.”

“May I ask, what exactly is a specter?”

“A specter is pure evil. And what’s nasty about The Sorrows is that they’ve bonded together into binary specters. Fear is bonded with despair, cowardice with anger, famine with poverty. Envy and greed, cruelty and violence, and of course disease with death. Each member of the pair feeds off the success of other so no matter which one makes the host more miserable, they both win. You get the picture?”

“Indeed I do. And how would a third-party go about capturing another person’s Sorrows?”
“Why I’ve never heard of such a thing. It’s up to each man or woman to imprison them.”

“Theoretically, though, could it be done?”

“I suppose it’s possible. Anything is possible.” Pandora smelled the air again. “Are you sure you don’t smell blueberries cooking? I’m quite sure I smell muffins—no, wait—maybe not muffins. Blueberry pancakes perhaps? Those are lovely, too.”

“Madame Pandora, please focus, love. If a third party wanted to imprison the Sorrows for someone else, how would he go about it?”

“Haven’t the faintest idea, sweetheart. Maybe if the third party was a god or a demi-god, any divine or magical being can see The Sorrows attached to a human. How to go about plucking the wee beasties from a host, I couldn’t tell you. And once you got them in the box, I don’t know that they’d stay. They could just pop right out again when you opened the box to put in another ”
Out of the corner of his eye, Bacchus thought he caught a glimpse of Loki’s verdant skin. If he could perceive the trickster with his feeble human sight, Pandora would surely see the mischievous god skulking about.

“Hey, how about one of those blueberry muffins?”

“Oh you’ve decided to try one?” Her eyes lit up. “I’ll be right back.”

She headed off in a flurry of pink clouds.

Bacchus spoke into the air around him, “Whatever mischief you’re up to, wrap it up, I’m not kidding.”

“Did you say something, sweetheart?” Pandora reappeared at Bacchus side with a muffin and glass of Riesling.

“Blessings to you, my dear lady.” Bacchus drained the glass of wine then took a bite of muffin.

“This is lovely. The streusel really makes it.”

“Come by anytime you want one.”

“I hope very soon to be able to take you up on that offer, Madame Pandora.” He finished his snack. “I’m afraid, though, I must be on my way. You’ve been such a dear to talk with me about all this.”

“As I said, anything for you.” She hugged him.

Bacchus loped down the marble steps in front of the Hall of Earthly Gifts. Loki rolled in the meadow off to the side of the path, cackling with amusement.

“What in Hades is wrong with you?” Bacchus yelled.

“Oh—” Loki wiped a tear from his eye—“You gotta admit the blueberry muffin scent was genius on my part. What that dingbat has for fruited cupcakes is beyond me.”

“There are a great many things that are beyond you.”

“But not these.”

Loki held up two Sorrows’ boxes.

“What have you done?” Bacchus said through clenched teeth.

“I purloined Arianna’s vessel.”

“And the other one.”

“I’m a genius, a genius. I took one of the boxes that hasn’t bloomed yet.”

“You pus-for-brains imbecile. You don’t even know how dangerous that thing is.”

“Bacchie baby, why are you angry? It’s just a teeny-weeny cube of evil. And we won’t use it unless we have to.”

“We won’t use it at all. Give me the box.”


“Give it to me.”

“No!” Loki juggled the two boxes. He vanished when Bacchus reached for him and reappeared in a different spot, giggling. “You’re quite the lard arse now aren’t you?”

“Nice, make fun of the divinity-impaired.”

“Oh that’s right, you really can’t catch me.” The trickster doubled over in a gale of laughter.

“Fine, you twisted snot-bubble, just give me Arianna’s box.”

“Oh Hades Euphrates, I don’t know which is which.”

“Then you’ll have to give me both.”

“Or I could give you neither.”

“I knew I shouldn’t’ve gotten you involved in this. You louse up everything you touch.”

“But you did involve me so here we are. Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyaaahhh.”

Bacchus could feel a vein in his forehead throbbing, but he concentrated his awareness on thoughts of Pan. The satyr appeared in a flash of wiry fur, his hand around Loki’s throat.

After Bacchus blew the goat hair from his lips, he said, “I may not be able to catch you, but Panny certainly can. You may still have your divinity, Loki, but I have divine friends and that’s something you can’t say. No wonder no one likes you.”

A scowl darkened Loki’s features and he growled at Pan, but handed over the boxes. “Cut the insipid flute music you’re piping into my head.”

“Once Bacchus is safely on his way,” the satyr replied.

The former God of Intoxication clapped Pan on the shoulder. “I am forever in your debt, my friend.”

“Think nothing of it, Sire.”