Thursday, 22 March 2012

Metis on the Mere

07:30:00 Posted by Damp incendiary device , , , , , , , 3 comments

A cool draft snuck in through the peep hole from across the mere.  Athena lifted the head of her boa constrictor from her lap and wrapped the rest of its length around her neck.  Its forked tongue flicked against her ear lobe as it whispered into her ear.  The goddess smiled at its cynicism.  From the hard wooden bench she retrieved her hip flask and then sighed as she felt the dram of whisky warming her throat.   

Athena’s gaze swept across the flat, smoky lake.  Neither wing nor wind disturbed the ashen surface.  As the gloaming transformed fire tipped trees to coal black clouds, a movement to the west caught the goddess’ eye.  Gleaming like a battalion and screeching like a sorrow of widows, the polished flock swept in towards the lake; a catastrophic congregation.  Fountains of water and blood raged about the birds as they landed, ripping into the remains of limbs and a partly clothed torso with beaks of bronze.  The largest bird threw the gaping head of a shocked-faced man into the water where it floated for a moment, staring in horror at the rusty sky.

A hooting from the sycamore behind her alerted Athena to the hero's presence in the doorway.  Heracles ducked into the hide and squeezed onto the bench beside the goddess.  Steam rose from his meaty thighs and she could hear the dull squeak of his molars grinding together.  She imagined his shock of blonde curls, repressed beneath the ubiquitous black hood.  He smelt of cannabis resin and Lynx body spray. 

“Still here then?”  Athena asked the hot-blooded youth, her constrictor undulating towards his shoulder.
“Nowt else t'do.”  The youth replied with a shrug.  "Birds been killin' all me mates, so..."
“They’ve been breeding fast.  How will you bring them all down?”

Heracles gestured to the bow at his back.  Fair enough, Athena thought, he’s damned quick this kid.  Got Dad’s talent for shooting his load in rapid succession.  So many bastards…  

“Go for it love.  Make it a decent show.”  Athena passed him a bronze rattle and Heracles looked at it with undisguised contempt.  He held the instrument up to his ear and shook it once.  Inside a ball of bronze, something hidden awoke.  From the small object came a sound like a mountain cleft in two by an axe of glass.  An almighty crack which shook the walls around them and sent a shockwave rippling across the surface of the mere.  The Stymphalian birds froze.  Silence smothered the town for miles around.  Heracles smiled.

“Go on.”  Athena nudged the golden boy and he launched himself out of the hide and ran down towards the water.  The goddess laughed as the hero shook the rattle like a gleeful child, sending the ferocious birds up into the sky, where they circled, shooting their sharp metal feathers like missiles at the interloper.  They never found their target.  Athena took another long drink from her flask as she watched the hero’s arrows connecting with their targets.  The twang of iron ripping through soft copper breasts.  

Athena captured the moment when the last bird fell down across the sky towards the water; a furious trail of copper and bronze.  She attached the photograph to a text message to Ares along with the words:
 ‘Something worth crowing about? ;) xx’

Photograph from:


Standard said...

'As the gloaming transformed fire tipped trees to coal black clouds' that is a great line. I am jealous. I love this tack you're taking with the Greek gods in the Fylde. I am a highly impressionable individual so I warn you now, if this carries on you may find me dressed in a toga, carrying a spear, knocking on the door of Aphrodite's strip club demanding to see the goddess! It shall be all your fault, Vicky.

Great writing and I'd really like to see all these pieces together one day. And once again, your storytelling evening was brilliant. You're giving me the bug to dig out my old mythology books again :)

Ashley R Lister said...

Clever, saucy and entertaining.

Not bad for a woman whose dissertation is in next week.


Lindsay said...

I love this take on Greek mythology, and of course Blackpool. I've never really read any Greek mythology so this has given me the urge to start. Great post Vicky :)