24
Mar
08

New Short Story

I enjoy writing short stories having to do with Greek mythology, and mythology in general. The stories can cause some problems with readers not too familiar with the characters or situations, but on the other hand, they can be quite rewarding when one does a little digging, and finds out what I was talking about….

Anyways, here’s one:

Notes From the Underworld  

I am ill. Under here and in this outer darkness, my inner being withers. But it cannot perish outright, which would be the better thing without question.

     The darkness here is tangible—viscous. It slows my movement. And somehow it slows my thoughts, preventing me from formulating a way of escape. Once, I thought that no prison could hold me, given my wile.

     Try to remember. Try!

     Yes, there. Now I do remember. How Zeus assailed us in the heavens, then, my brethren and I—the rightful rulers of the universe—cast into Tartarus. Perhaps that The Mighty One dared tread Tartarus, to free the Cyclopses from their chains of despair, proves His right to sit upon Olympus’ throne.  

     To the victors go the codices of history; this I understand. I know what you have read in the stories and poems and even if the upper-world knew the truth, few would challenge the power of Lord Zeus. Those who would, may first ponder me and my surroundings: the horror of an eternity swimming alone in a sea of blackness, the feeling of the damp, rocky floor, and the screams of the damned shattering all hope.

     Better for me that I would have suffered the fate of Cronus: sliced to bits and tossed into the ocean.  Or that the mercy given doomed Prometheus would have trickled to me. Even to labor as Atlas perhaps, straining beneath the weight of the lighted world. But no, Zeus feared the Titan of intellect, that I may scheme a scheme so intricate that even Athena’s wisdom could not pierce its mysteries. And that is surely what I would have done, what I will do should I escape this fate.

     What brings you to this place? How could one so insignificant draw the ire of Olympus? I sense no great power in you, no aspect of the upper-world that bends to your command. Are you a spy for Zeus? No, that’s not it. Perhaps you’ve pilfered a bit of knowledge once guarded jealously but the gods. You must help me. Lift up your head, grab back your will to see the light, help me to reclaim what is my divine right. To think, immortal Coeus needing the help of one such as you! But the Tartarus Pit holds god and mortal alike within its depths.

     This way, keeping your hand on the bronze wall that encircles this prison. For uncounted centuries, when able to gather my strength, I’ve dug in the rock and dirt, the sound of my clawing masked by the shrieks of mighty Typhon.

     Steel yourself—what is left of you. Prepare for the long walk beneath the musky ground. Even when we immerge on the opposite side of this wall, still three rings of the void’s stygian gloom will hide our way.

     At last–here we are. With your help we’ll make good our escape. Do not fade now.

     Do you hear? The feral hisses echoing? Follow that sound and know that as the din grows nearer, so does my freedom. We are on the highway leading through the gates. Don’t tire!

     I see the light, even feel its tingling touch. Do you see the guardian of the adamantine gate?

     Hold still, don’t struggle so—it’s no use. I‘m grateful for your assistance, but the worth of a thousand mortals doesn’t approach my value. I admit I considered taking you with me, to a place on the Aegean—a superb servant you’d have made.

     Again fool, stop writhing. To the monster’s belly you go! So many mouths on this omnipotent hydra, set down with the foundations of the world. I do hope you’ll continue your flopping and fluttering so as to afford me the time to slip by him.

     Now for me it is lovely ambrosia and the sweet nectar of the vine.

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1 Response to “New Short Story”


  1. 1 How You Doin Blondie
    April 19, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    I did read this, as a matter of fact. I was impressed, as usual.


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