Pamâ€™s prompt this week: write a story about a child who is in some way related to a Greek god or goddess.
The scene: Mount Olympus. Zeus seated on his throne with a slightly bored expression on his face, one leg hitched over the arm and his sceptre resting against the back. He casually surveys the world below and pops another Ferrero Rocher in his mouth. Dionyus approaches, looking worried.
D: Gidday Zeus, can I talk to you for a moment?
Z: Dionysus. Wassup?
D: We have a slight problem. Remember that party you threw a while ago? The one where you invited all the other dieties?
Z: Sighs and rearranges himself on the throne. Oh please. I was trying to forget about that. Heraâ€™s been pissed at me ever since and Iâ€™m still trying to smooth things over with Ra and Jupiter.
D: Yeah, well thatâ€™ll happen when you fraternise with the Romans and the Egyptians. As far as sheâ€™s concerned theyâ€™re nothing but troublemakers.
Z: Well, she would invite those bloody monotheistic dieties, wouldnâ€™t she? Take that Yaweh for example. Four thousand years and half a dozen religions behind him, and he still wonâ€™t buy a bloody round.
D: And those hangers-on of his. I mean, the son is okay. That water-into-wine party trick of his came in handy. But some of the others are just as bad as the Romans. Like why does Joshua always have to blow those bloody horns? Dude canâ€™t even carry a tune.
Z: And Iâ€™m damned if heâ€™s bringing that Onan guy again. Standing in the corner, perving at Astraea and muttering to himself. Ninhursag and Ninlil were trying to get a rise out him all night.
D: From what Iâ€™ve heard, getting a rise out of him isnâ€™t the problem. Getting him to do something useful with it, on the other hand... I donâ€™t think heâ€™s a fan of those Sumerians any more. Fidgets nervously for a moment. Anyway, like I said, we have a slight problem.
Z: Look, if this is about those debts you got yourself into, youâ€™re on your own, mate. Serves you right for playing dice against Sors and Fortuna. What were you thinking?
D: No itâ€™s not that. Remember how you wanted me to pad out the numbers and get in some ladies? Some mortal ones?
Z: Umm, yeah. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Always been lucky with the ladies... at least until that party anyway.
D: Told you not to come as a bull. After a few thousand years of Abrahamic religion, women these days are less... open minded... about that sorta thing.
Z: There you go, Yaweh again. Bloody meddler.
D: Donâ€™t get me wrong. I agree a little extra talent is always a good thing. I mean, once Venus and Aphrodite and Inanna start catfighting, letâ€™s face it the field does start to thin out a bit. All youâ€™re left with are bloody virgins and warriors.
Z: Or those bloody scary Egyptian goddesses.
D: Or those incomprehensible Sumerian ones.
Z: Or Hermaphroditus.
D: Only if youâ€™re drunk enough.
Z: You were.
D: I donâ€™t want to talk about it. Listen, back on point, one of those women has been in touch with me. Seems she has a problem.
Z: What sort of problem?
D: That sort of problem.
D: And now sheâ€™s looking for a little... help.
Z: Iâ€™ll bet. I thought you were vetting those girls.
D: Kinda. Itâ€™s not easy though. Youâ€™d be surprised how many didnâ€™t take me seriously. I had to give out thousands of invitations at clubs and bars, just to get the numbers who did come.
Z: What invitations? Nobody told me about that.
D: Umm, these ones. Hands Zeus a card.
Party Time at Mount Olympus. Ladies wanted for fun, fun, fun!
For one night only, cavort with the Gods.
Must like Greek guys. Fat chicks welcome.
Z: Thatâ€™s the best you could come up with? Some god of parties you are.
D: Anyway, there was one in particular who was hanging out with me and Bacchus and Pan. We were taking the piss out of Acratopotes.
Z: Literally, Iâ€™m guessing.
D: And then Priapus joined in.
Z: Oh no.
D: And he had a couple bottles of Ouzo with him.
Z: Oh hell no.
D: And things kinda got outta hand from then on.
Z: Okay. So, do we know who is the father then? Any chance I can pin this on Bacchus and make it Jupiterâ€™s problem.
D: Well, it was all a bit of a haze after a while, but the smart money is on me.
Z: Oh, well done. So which bucolic beauty, which aspiring Aphrodite, which voluptuous Venus did you manage to knock up?
D: Her name is Cheryl.
Z: Okay then, so what sort of demigod does Dionysus, the god of festivities, wine and parties sire? Is he a politician, a great leader of men?
D: Umm, no.
Z: Is he a creator of magical food and wine?
D: Not exactly.
Z: A famous bon vivant?
Z: Okay. I give up.
D: Heâ€™s... well, heâ€™s a food critic.
Z: Youâ€™re kidding.
D: I wish I was.
Z: Well luckily for you, paternity laws donâ€™t extend this far up Mount Olympus.
D: Itâ€™s not like that. She just wants us to straighten him out a little. Seems he has an attitude problem. Apparently heâ€™s a bit of a wanker.
Z: A wanker eh? Maybe this Cheryl managed to get something usefulÂ out of Onan after all.
D: In any case heâ€™s outside. She was hoping that maybe you could have a word with him.
Z: Oh, all right then. Show him in... what is this demigodâ€™s name, by the way?
Z: Very well, show in... Walter.
Walter enters. He wears an expression of severe disapproval, his mouth as puckered as a catâ€™s backside.
W: Good god, you all reek of cumin here. What do you do, put it in the water?
Zeus waves forward two servants, one with a chair and another a gold tray, laden with sweets.
Z: My boy, come up here. Take a seat. Ferrero Rocher?
W: Seriously? Isnâ€™t that a bit of a clichÃ©
Zeus throws Dionysus a brief, significant glance, then returns his attention to Walter.
Z: Listen boy, sit down, stick one of those in your mouth and shut up. Youâ€™re a bloody demigod now, and youâ€™ve got some learning to do.
Cast of characters
Acratopotes, god of unmixed wine and incontinence.
DiÃ³nysus, god of wine, parties and festivals, madness, chaos, drunkenness, drugs, and ecstasy.
Zeus, King of the Greek gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus. His sacred animals are the eagle and the bull.
Aphrodite, goddess of love, beauty and desire.
Artemis, virgin goddess of the hunt, wilderness, animals, young girls, childbirth and plague.
Athena, goddess of wisdom, warfare, battle strategy, heroic endeavour, handicrafts and reason.
Hera, queen of the gods and goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, heirs, kings and empires.
Astraea, virgin goddess of justice
Hermaphroditus, god of hermaphrodites and effeminate men.
Priapus, phallic guardian of guardians
Bacchus, god of wine, sensual pleasures, and truth.
Vesta, the virgin goddess of the hearth, home, and family.
Voluptas, goddess of pleasure.
Venus, goddess of love, beauty, sexuality, and gardens.
Sors, god of luck.
Fortuna, goddess of fortune.
Inanna: goddess of warfare, female fertility, and sexual love.
Ninhursag: goddess of the earth.
Ninlil: air goddess and wife of Enlil.
Courtesy of Wikipedia. If I got any of 'em wrong, blame the wiki.