Flash Fiction Response: Pantheon

Posted on April 16, 2011

1


Thissun’s 981 words, and is a response to another Flash Fiction Friday challenge at Chuck Wendig’s “terribleminds”. I know, I know – too many of my posts are these responses; but the prompts are usually so intriguing that I’ve got to do something with them. One of these days I’ll get around to adding something that isn’t flash fiction. The key to this flash fiction is that we were required to use the five (randomly-generated) words as plot points: “Figure”, “Dusk”, “Wig”, “Mobile Phone”, and “Flirt”; it’s up to you to decide how I did with each.

—–

Pantheon

As I huddled against the worn tombstone, I cradled my coffee against me as if it were a child dearest to me. It had long since grown cold, long as I had waited, frigid as the air was. The stillness of the night and the stark silence left me alone with my thoughts and my anticipation, which roiled inside of me like a troubled star. I let out a magmatic breath that I didn’t know I had been holding, searing the cold air, the twirling wisps of heated gas flowing and dissipating in the rapidly darkening sky.

My phone began to vibrate in my pocket, but I made no attempt to silence its urgent buzzing. It stopped briefly, and started once more, yet I still had no inclination to answer the wretched thing.

My eyes cast around, searching in the dusky light, which lent a pale blue hue to the grounds. Always searching. But there was nothing to be found in the stillness of the cemetery that had not already been there much longer than I.

I lifted the styrofoam cup to my lips, letting the glacial liquid slither down my throat; I tilted my head back further and further to ensure the very last straggling dregs weren’t lost as I finished the drink.

The cup lowered from my lips, and I crushed in its weak walls to lend some brief harmony to the insistent throb of my phone, which must have been growing mad in its attempts to entreat me to open it. I stared at the remains of the cup in my hand, contemplating the bitter stain of the interior against the pale surface.

The quality of the air changed suddenly – its taste blooming from dirt and lingering sorrow to that of honey and wine, and its hollow, empty feel to that of a space barely able to contain the presence it held, bursting at the seams. I jerked my head up, breaking from my inane reverie, and my eyes were immediately drawn to the lilting curves and softly glowing golden skin of a figure taking one carefully calculated step after another towards me, hips swaying seductively with each.

She covered the distance between us with incredible speed, though she had seemed to be in no hurry at all as she walked. She crouched next to me, and leaned towards me, placing her hands against the gravestone behind me, holding her nude, radiant body only centimeters away from mine. The proximity of our skin made my skin feel charged, electric, and my breath caught in my throat.

But only for a moment. The familiar feeling passed swiftly as it had come, and my lips twisted into something like a smile.

“Hello, Aphrodite. It’s been a long time.” I said, my voice grinding the words out unpleasantly.

“It has.” She replied, her voice quick and heavy with an arousal that I knew to be an act. She’d had all the time in the world to perfect it.

“You took long enough,” I said as she traced my scarred cheeks with her lips, her eyes half-closed with apparent rapture. “I asked you to be here hours ago.”

“Punctuality was never my strong point,” she moaned lightly. She pulled back and cracked a smug grin. “Not yours either, is it? You always did come a bit too early for me.”

Ire erupted in my stomach, but I didn’t let it show. She always could get under my skin.

“I’m sure you know why I asked you here after so long.” I said evenly, not taking the bait. Her smug demeanor dropped, and she plopped to her knees.

“You found him? You found our father?” she asked, a mixture of hope and disbelief crawling across her exquisite features.

“Yes. He has a message for you.” I slipped my hand into my pocket and pulled out my cell phone, still vibrating furiously as ever. I held it out to her. She snatched it, flipped it open and held it to her ear expectantly, eyes bright with hope.

Hope gave way quickly to confusion, and then hatred as she understood what I’d just done. Her face contorted with rage, and she dropped the phone to the ground, and she pulled back her arms, ready to thrust furious claws into my heart.

But she froze. I looked her in the eyes, and gave her a smug smile of my own before she convulsed, rocking backwards, and began vomiting a radiant silvery ichor all over me. I let slip a hearty and pleased laugh even as flecks of her hemorrhaging godstuff got into my eyes and mouth. The bright quicksilver glow soon gave way to a dark crimson. I pushed her away – the essence of a god is one thing, but the blood of humans… Well, it just stains too easily.

She continued to thrash and spew blood into the uncaring grass only moments longer, before halting. I knelt and turned her face towards mine, that I might watch her eyes glaze with death. Her features, once so entrancing, so arousing, so perfect – had dulled to the truth of the matter. Her nose was crooked, her face lined with wrinkles – her hair, once gorgeous and flowing had revealed itself to be a rather ratty-looking wig, covering wispy grey hair.

I picked up the phone and snapped it shut. It’s amazing how quickly some gods can become entranced by the modern world of humans, and forget the power of old magic. I like to think that I was innovative in blending the two – but I’ve always kept up on the times when it comes to technology. Humans tend to revolutionize my domain decade after decade, and it would truly put me to shame if I weren’t aware of how to use the things.

I stood and walked into the enveloping night. Four down, seven to go.

Advertisements
Posted in: Stories