Of magic and more


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No Rest For The Holy

This is my submission to the SpeakEasy  writing challenge #157

NO REST FOR THE HOLY

Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold. Snowflakes drifted down, waving merrily at God as he glared balefully out of the window. He sighed and turned away. How all his devotees would laugh if they saw him now- Creator of the universe, sitting bundled up in blankets and shivering! Those foolish younglings of the Weather Department! When would they learn to do their jobs? Today, he decided, he’d go over to the office himself and pay the boys a visit.

 

Much of God’s irritation had waned by the time he reached the gold and silver doors of the Weather Department, but it came back with a vengeance when he stepped inside and found the place in complete disarray. Pizza boxes and crumpled coffee cups littered the switchboards. Ethan and Nicholas were ogling at the sexy secretary Lilith’s rear as she picked up bits of paper from the floor. Meanwhile Patrick, the regulator, was snoring away to glory with his nose pressed against the Snow dial. No wonder it was so cold!

“What the hell is going on here?” God burst out angrily. Lilith turned and smiled seductively at him. “Oh, don’t mention my home so frequently, Father.” She purred. “You know how I miss it.”

“Wicked wench!”God exclaimed. “You miss your home so much, don’t you? Be gone then, you’re fired!”

“You senile old man!” Lilith hissed and slunk away.

“As for you two!” Ethan and Nicholas shrunk into their chairs at God’s fury. “Iniquity is NOT permitted in the holy abode of the Lord!” The ground shook slightly. Ah, how he loved that effect! The acoustics of this office were better than the old one- he’d have to thank Michael for that. However, he certainly did not thank anyone for what happened next. The vibrations from his voice woke up Patrick, who in his startled half-conscious condition flailed his fat arms about, pushing random levers and knobs. Outside, thunder rumbled in the face of scorching sunlight, and hailstones mingled with rain.

 

Clearly unused to doing anything other than leering at Lilith, the other two employees lost their heads. “What do we do? What do we do?’ They cried helplessly.

If no one can handle this situation I must! God thought, and charged forward, only to slip on a puddle of stale coffee and hit his head hard against the control panel.

 

Many hassles and hellfires later, God sat in his chambers holding an icepack to his head.

“See, Father that is why I tell you to leave all the administration to me.” Michael, his eldest son, was admonishing him.

“I have left it all to you, and that’s why the quality of staff is declining day by day.” God grumbled.

Michael snorted impatiently. “How often must I explain, Father? The budgetary demands of this fiscal year require cost cutting, and since Lucifer won’t give up his fondness for video games, Gabriel won’t control his sweet tooth, and you must have new robes to wear every week, I saw no other way but to hire cheap labour so we may all survive in peace.”

God opened his mouth to make a comment, but nothing came out. Instead, he said, “I want to see Lucifer immediately.”

“Hold on, I’ll Whatsapp him.” Michael tapped busily away at his iPhone. “He’s on his way.”

 

God’s favourite son Lucifer shuffled in after a while. His eyes were glued to the game he was playing, shoulders jerking left and right as he operated the controls. God eyed Lucifer’s jeans with displeasure, they were hanging off his hips and God despised that. Teenage had ruined Lightborn.

“Lucifer.”

The shaggy haired teenager paid no attention.

“Lucifer!” God threw his icepack at his son.

“Damn!” Lucifer cursed. “Look what you did, Dad! I just got injured fatally!”

“Who has injured you?” cried God, alarmed. “I will maim them!”

Lucifer rolled his eyes. “In the game, Dad. Anyway, you wanted to see me?”

“Yes.” God turned and switched on the plasma TV. Headlines and news reports filled the screen. “Lucifer, can you tell me why the human babies are being born with horns and tails, and in some cases, wearing…” God tried to come up with a word suitable to describe the stiff pink skirts he had seen on the infants.

“Tutus.” Lucifer supplied sheepishly, and shrugged. “I just thought it’d be funny.”

God save me! Thought God, and then remembered. Oh wait, that’s me!

God sighed tiredly. There was no rest for the holy…

 

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“Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.”

  • Your post must be dated April 13, 2013, or later.
  • Submissions must be 750 words or fewer.
  • Submissions must be fiction or poetry.
  • You must include the following sentence as the FIRST line in your submission: “Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.”
  • You must also include a reference to the media prompt.
  • The speakeasy is for submissions written specifically for the grid. Please don’t submit an entry if you intend to showcase it to another blog link-up. Such posts are deleted without notice.
  • Please don’t post long explanations before your post. We want your writing to be the star of the show. If you need to clarify anything, feel free to do so at the end.


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Don’t mess with the Sirens

This is my submission to the Write On Edge Week 11 writing challenge. The idea is to write a piece of fiction in 500 words, based on the picture prompt, the given quote, or both f you’re so inclined. This week the quote was:

I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.

~Robert Frost

The picture prompt:

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

I have taken inspiration from the picture. Here are my 490 words 🙂

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DON’T MESS WITH THE SIRENS

 

She had watched him from afar, noon and night, ever since he had pitched his tent on the island. Often he had caught her eye with a knowing smile, and every time she had lowered her adoring gaze until he turned away. Parthenope, the sea siren, was infatuated with Ulysses, and he knew it. The handsome hero loved all the attention, but never would he fall prey to her charm. The great Ulysses and a low down creature of the sea! Impossible. That was exactly what he would tell Parthenope if she came to him, demanding his love. He was well aware that rejecting a siren’s advances was dangerous, and all his well-wishers would advise him to flee , lest he be killed. But from the siren’s unusual shyness, it seemed unlikely she would approach him, and so he remained complacent.

 

But she did come to him one afternoon. She rose out of the tide, pearly-eyed and dark haired, her beauty putting the loveliest goddesses to shame. But all this was wasted on the stone-hearted Ulysses who bestowed her with no more than a cursory glance.

Still she tried to woo him. Again and again he spurned her, taunting her and her sisters for being wicked deformities of nature and boasting about how he was too great a hero to ever stoop so low as to love a siren. “Begone!” He spat. “You are not worthy of being the ground I walk upon.”

Gathering up her wounded self-respect, Parthenope responded with cold dignity. “Do not underestimate our worth. My sisters and I are powerful. Men have killed and have themselves died often at our bidding. Many in this world have sought our affections, none have been fortunate enough to glimpse it. Be wise, Ulysses, this is not a gift to be thrown away. Choose well, while you have time.”

But the hero merely laughed and threatened to obliterate Parthenope and her sisters until the siren left him alone.

On their home island, Parthenope and her sisters discussed Ulysses.

“Perhaps he’s faithful to his wife.” Suggested Ligeia.

“Hardly!” scoffed Aglaope. “There is not a land in the known world where he has not bedded a woman.”

“He must be dealt with.” They agreed.

The day before Ulysses was supposed to return home to Ithaca, he mysteriously disappeared. His men, whom he had ordered to camp on the other side of the island so he might not be disturbed; found nothing but his tent despite searching thoroughly. Large, skilled search parties were launched, but the hero could not be found. In Ithaca, Penelope, his wife, grieved his assumed death.

 

“Slave!  Fetch me a goblet of wine!”

“Have you not mopped the floors yet, slave? Really, you are the slowest!”

Ulysses wiped his brow and continued his unaccustomed labour. By Gods, he should have fled while there was time. Now he was stuck as the sirens’ slave forever…