Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Zeus decides to host a Family Game Night.

[WP] In an attempt to ease tensions, Zeus decides to host a Family Game Night.WRITING PROMPT
submitted by Drunk_Bard

Edit: Thank you to /u/Romulus919 and /u/pm-me-your-ipseity for the encouragement and /u/ZoZferatu for the excellent feedback and /u/alwaysafairycat and /u/DandyStevie for helping with the solution. Here goes…  


In the middle of a SEMI CIRCLE OF ORNAMENTAL PILLARS, ZEUS and HERA are seated at a BEAT UP OLD CARD TABLE and they have a BOX OF SCRABBLE THAT HAS SEEN BETTER DAYS open in front of them. HERA is reading the INSTRUCTIONS FOR PLAY and ZEUS is fiddling with the WOODEN TILES. On the table are FOUR PLACE CARDS and written upon them are the names ZEUS, HERA, APHRODITE, HERMES.


So you’re supposed to make words?


That’s what it says here.


What about lightning? Can we make words with lightning?

The sky DARKENS.


It’s against the rules.


I am the rules!

LIGHTNING flashes across the sky.


Stop it dear, this is supposed to be a nice family evening, like we planned, m’kay?

ZEUS [mutters]



What was that dear? Your brother’s business is underwater and your sister is trying to get your niece out of a bad marriage. Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, and Hephaestus had already made plans, you can’t expect your grown children to just drop everything and come have a visit on a whim can you?


What about Dionysus? Is it too much to lift your head and yell now and then?


Just be glad Aphrodite and Hermes could make it.


Athena gives me a headache anyway, always nattering about her rights. What about duty? Tradition? You never hear about that now, do you?

HERA [under her breath]

Shut up you old blowhard, she’s not my kid, and whose fault is that Zeus?


What was that?


Settle down dear, I think I hear the children.

APHRODITE AND HERMES greet HERA. ZEUS stands up and hugs his children warmly.



Hey, dad, got a message for you, Dionysus says he’s sorry he can’t make it but, well, he’s drunk you see, it’s his job but it’s wearing him down, he’s gone off for a bit of a holiday to sit in a cave with a bunch of odd fellows who don’t believe in him. Says it clears his sinuses.

APHRODITE (gives ZEUS a peck on the cheek)

Hi, Dad

ZEUS (hugs APHRODITE and returns the peck on the cheek)

That boy is spending too much time down there, today he’s got sinuses, what next? A liver? Tell him he better come visit soon or I’ll string him up beside that other fraternizer, Prometheus.


Dad! You wouldn’t!


I would but I won’t! He doesn’t have to know that though does he?


Ah Dad, still quick!


Not as quick as you son!

ZEUS and HERMES engage in rough housing, hair tousling and mock wrestling.


How are you dear?


Still single, as usual. But you know what happens to fraternizers.


Your Dad sure does.



HERA (affectionately bats at APHRODITE)

Shut up you're not my kid. AND WHOSE FAULT IS THAT ZEUS? I know I know, have a seat and let’s start without THEM, I don’t think your dad is suited for this sort of game, no dice in it.


I thought Dad stopped gambling


He did, oh done with all of that. Still takes that other board out now and then, picks up the pieces, rolls the dice in his hands, doesn’t throw them, I’d know. Not to worry dear.


That’s a relief, after the last time—


Shh! Here they come.


Talking about us again?

HERA (huffs)

‘Course not, girlie things, right dear?

APHRODITE (demurely)

Yes Hera.


Call her mom. I see you’ve set up the board.


I told her not to, don’t give me that look! Now, as the youngest, Aphrodite will go first and then we’ll go around, take 7 tiles from the bag dear.

APHRODITE takes SEVEN TILES from the BAG OF TILES and passes the bag to HERA who then passes the bag to HERMES who reaches in and pauses, his hand in the bag.


Ah, we have a problem. I know what’s on the tiles. Not only that, I know the order they will be drawn and the words everyone will play in this game. They’re a kind of message you see?

APHRODITE (angrily)

I don’t believe this.


I’ll draw your tiles.


Won’t work dad, still a message, sorry. We can still play, mom’s going to win.


Why spoil the surprise?


You always have to be a snitch, don’t you? Like when we were kids and you’d tell me what my birthday presents were going to be. 100 years in advance! Ooh, I should have smacked you the first time!


Manners, dear!


Oh yeah, take his side, it’s not enough he’s his favourite!


Settle down daughter!


You’ve always hated me right from the start! Do I remind you of her so much!


Leave Dione out of this!


I will not have that womans name spoken in this house!



Sorry sis, I thought that was all behind us.

APHRODITE (throws a tiny furled scroll at HERMES which unfurls when it strikes him in the chest)

With this?

HERMES (picks up the tiny unfurled scroll)

This is…

APHRODITE (TEARS begin to roll down her cheeks)

The list you gave me of my boyfriends! All of them! When I was only 75 years old! I was just a young deity, didn’t know how I wanted to do what I had to do, and you had to give away the ending. All of them!


Hey! I didn’t write their letters! The poems were all their own doing! I didn’t interfere at all!


Why include all the breakup letters too then? Why?

HERA picks up the other end of the scroll and starts reading, she unfurls more and more, it seems endless. ZEUS is sitting with a face like a stone. HERA stands up and walks to APHRODITE who is crying inconsolably in her chair, ashamed to be seen. HERA hugs her step daughter and APHRODITE struggles to free herself but HERA does not let go. APHRODITE relents and accepts her stepmother’s sincere embrace. HERA makes eye contact with ZEUS and indicates HERMES sitting there meekly and then the distant foggy peak of Mount Olympus. ZEUS stands up and tilts his head at HERMES who stands up quietly and is led away by ZEUS.

APHRODITE (between sobs)

I’m sorry [sob] those mean things I said about you weren’t true [sob] he just makes me so mad.


I know dear.

APHRODITE (rocking gently in Hera’s arms)

I want my mom.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Some people are plants.

When I found a place in the world I was happy. I stopped searching and took root. I planted myself.

Here I stand.

Others cannot resist the allure of distant pastures.

Harvey Keitel's character in "Up in Smoke" said that if you stay in one place long enough, the whole world passes by.

In a recent article, someone wrote that the future of media channels is one were everyone is the center of their own channel.

A recent news article reported that the "top 5 per cent of writers earned close to half of all the income received by professional authors."

A commenter noted that the barrier to entry for calling yourself a writer has fallen considerably since the pencil was invented.

The slush pile grows, the market is oversaturated, publications resort to dirty tricks to game the system.

None of this bothers me in the slightest.

Rabbi Tarphon was right, we are not free to see the work complete, nor are we free to desist from it.

Nevertheless, it is something we want done.

We have a mission.

I don't post here much because I was denied publication because I had posted my story here.

I'm still writing. I am, if anything, relentless, patient, unstoppable.

It's not me that presses on. I am pressed on. Keep writing and you'll know what I mean someday if you don't already.