Category Archives: mythology

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH: Day #13 – “Flower-face”

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The Cuyahoga County Public Library system is sending out daily email prompts in honor of National Poetry month! The idea is to write a new poem each day based on that day’s prompt.

Library prompts and poems can be found here. Below is my poem based on today’s prompt.

 

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“Flower-face”

 

Beautiful

Flower-face

Beloved of Lleu

created just for him

yet his betrayer

Your predatory nature

fits well your new form

Blodeuwedd

Nocturnal huntress

one bite may drain the life from your prey

Death’s pallor soon overcomes

those who fall before you

 

Your beauty

immortal as your cruelty,

Banished from daylight’s sweetness

You rule the midnight skies

Alone.

 

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

*Written for the prompt, I took additional inspiration from the Welsh tale of Blodeuwedd.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, mythology, poems, Writing Corner

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH: Day #4 -“Orion the Hunter”

closeup-pencils-039y

The Cuyahoga County Public Library system is sending out daily email prompts in honor of National Poetry month! The idea is to write a new poem each day based on that day’s prompt.

Library prompts and poems can be found here. Below is my poem based on today’s prompt.

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“Orion the Hunter”

He dominates the Winter sky
Impossible to miss
His dogs
at his feet
crouch for employment

The Virgin huntress
Placed her lost love among the stars
Yet still he pursues
the lovely sisters
across
the
heavens. .  .
                                                    
*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

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Filed under mythology, poems

Friday Flash: Pucked Up

flower-k09

Puck looked at the watch and pondered the nature of time.

 

It was almost as fickle as he was.

 

What marriage – or a good binding-spell brought on by too much drink and a serious lack of judgement – had bound together, time would tear asunder. At least it would if Puck had anything to do with it. Robin Goodfellow was not a fairy that would remain tied by one woman for long, no matter how fun that bondage might be.

 

Belching loudly, he sat up, snapped his fingers and produced two ice-cold cans of his favorite fizzy intoxicant. Crumpling and tossing the empties, he re-loaded his beercap, then stood, scratched his hairy belly and brooded over his newly acquired wife.

 

Buttercup lay frozen on the flowery bed, a beatific smile lightened features that would otherwise have appeared harsh in the early morning light. No, who was he kidding? She looked angelic, no matter how much spandex she was wearing. Still, if he was tied to her by the terms of her nefarious binding-spell until “the end of time,” the obvious solution was to stop time, right?

 

Puck contemplated the charmed silver band that graced his finger. Buttercup had been many things, but a fool was not one of them. In fact, he might even go so far as to say she was as shrewd and knavish as himself, a perfect match. So his solution seemed almost too easy. Was it another trap?

 

However, Robin Goodfellow was not known for his caution. Snagging the watch from the fairy king had been risky, but he knew his boss would be too busy ‘making up’ with Titania to notice its absence. He removed the magically-binding wedding ring, then turned to face his lovely bride. He’d make the bitch pay, but there was no reason her punishment couldn’t also be fun for them both. He pressed a button on the watch’s side.

 

Time once more in motion, his blushing bride opened her eyes, her smile slowly widening as she took in his appearance.

 

“Hello, darling,” she said. “Want to play?”

 

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*Today’s #FridayFlash is an expansion of a flash I wrote at the six minute story site. The kernel of the story is still there.

 

**Also, though it’s meant to be able to stand alone, it’s a sequel to an earlier flash I wrote, Puck’s Surprise.

 

***image courtesy of BigFoto.com

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Filed under Fairy Tales, fantasy-magic, Flash Fiction, humor, mythology

Friday Flash: Cloud 9- Terminus

The muses run Cloud 9, the divine repository of inspirations, under the benevolent dictatorship of Hermes – messenger of the gods. The Olympians, devoted nepotists, almost exclusively hire their many and varied family members. The divine and semi-divine collaborate, stock, check-out, and deliver the inspirations of Cloud 9 to the world.

Hades found Helena arguing with her half-brother, Alien Love Child, and her supervisor, Hermes. She waved her fountain pen in front of them, like a conductor of words. “Armageddon!” she exclaimed. “Don’t you see the risks?”

The iridescent alien’s skin paled to a pale green; he covered his eyes with several tentacles.

Hermes smirked. He popped some Jordan almonds into his mouth before responding. “But you said yourself that dangerous ideas can change the world in wonderful ways. We just need to be aware of the risks.”

“ARE you?” countered Helena.

“Of course,” said Hermes. “Nothing gets past me.”

Helena’s gaze raked the room. Her half-alien brother, AL, withdrew behind a large winged-back chair. Morpheus gaped at both Hermes and Helena. From behind bookshelves in the room’s far corner, a dark-haired figure grinned.

That is, until he spotted Hades in the doorway.

“Where is that misanthropic son of mine?”

All figures turned to watch the dark, imposing god that stood in the doorway. He turned flaming eyes to the far corner of the room, extended one thin finger, and bent it toward him. “Nicholas,” he said, his tone low and dangerously smooth. “Daddy has some issues to discuss with you.”

The pale boy made his way forward, a convict on his last walk to the gallows, a trail of tissues in his wake. “Yes, Father?”

“Don’t give me that,” said Hades, looming over the boy. “I know what you’ve been up to.”

“So do I,” chimed in Hermes, wearing a 14-carat smile.

“Well, I don’t!” said Helena.

“Watch it, sweetheart,” said Hermes, with a warning glance toward Hades. “The lord of the dead isn’t as indulgent of subordinates as I am.”

Now Helena’s mouth hung open, matching that of Morpheus; the god of sleep stood frozen between Hermes and Hades as though struck by lightning.

“Direct supervisor; remember?” said Hermes, with a wink.

“Nicholas,” said the dark lord, “I think you have some explaining to do.”

“Armageddon?” squeaked Morpheus, finally finding his tongue. “What in Hades-”

“Yes?” answered the dark lord. “Oh, I should have known you’d come running here to…” He made a dismissive gesture toward the room’s other occupants.

“I’m so sorry, Hermes,” said Morpheus, clutching his friend’s arm. “I had no idea.”

“But HE did,” said Helena, watching the messenger god. “You knew all along; didn’t you, Hermes?” She pulled a candy square from the recesses of her pink, ruffled sweater and popped it in her mouth.

Hermes’ self-satisfaction was evident.

Hades grinned also, but the pale, thin figure in his shadow glowered at the messenger god. “How did you know?” he asked.

Helena, Alien Love Child, and the others leaned in.

Hermes reclined behind his mahogany desk, hands behind his head. “Easy, my dear comrades. INK.”

They exchanged puzzled expressions.

“Squid ink, people… from Alien Love Child!” He shot the alien figure an apologetic look. “Sorry, buddy, but when you compose inspirations using your own ink… it’s kind of a giveaway.”

Again, puzzled expressions.

“Squid ink has a bit of an odor, doesn’t wash off well.”

Now Alien Love Child’s skin bloomed crimson.

“But I had Morpheus deliver the inspiration to you,” said Nicholas, glaring at the god through red-rimmed eyes.

“Well, the parchment he showed me… nice dress by the way, buddy.”

He nudged the god, and Morpheus blushed.

“The ink was splotched in places,” said Hermes. “I know you have issues, Nic, but if you’re planning something dastardly, make sure you don’t leak all over the evidence.”

Now it was Nicholas’ turn to blush. He shot Helena a sheepish look.

All eyes turned to the bestial beauty. “What?” she asked.

“Tears,” said Nicholas. “I… I…” He shrugged and handed her a crumpled notebook.

She read:

The beast never lived that was as beautiful as Helena,

When I first saw her face, that’s when I fell in love-ena.”

She looked up. “I had no idea…”

“But if you loved her, why would you try to destroy everyone? I mean…,” Morpheus looked around. “She’s part of everyone; right?”

AL put a protective tentacle around Helena’s shoulder, which made unattractive, squelching noises as suckers hit pink taffeta.

“I don’t know WHY,” confessed Hermes. “But it’s obvious. He’s always moping along, giving her dopey looks behind her back…”

“He has allergies,” said Hades, meeting everyone’s startled expressions. “What! You think he cries constantly for no reason?” He looked at his son. “OK, yes, that too, but he’s allergic to fur.”

“Our love was doomed,” pleaded Nicholas, sniffling into a tissue. “If I couldn’t have you…”

“You decided to DESTROY me? Along with everyone else?”

Nicholas shrunk behind his father, who said, “My son has a taste for melodrama. His mother is muse of tragedy, after all.”

“And speaking of tragic,” said Hermes. “Fell in love-ena? Ye gods, what were you thinking?”

Nicholas lunged for the messenger god, but his father caught his jacket. “Whoa there, son!” Nicholas panted with anger and exertion. “Don’t worry, boy. You have a taste for tragedy? When I tell your mother, you’ll be starring in your very own.”

Hades turned and – pulling the struggling boy behind him – disappeared through the doorway. Little puffs of steam fell from the hankies left in their wake.

“You won’t punish my brother; will you?” Helena asked Hermes.

“Don’t worry about it, kid,” said Hermes. “It’s not his fault; he just gave it to Nic to file.”

“I TOLD YOU filing was important,” said Helena, smacking the alien, then giving him an affectionate nuzzle. Slime trailed from her furry cheeks to his own gelatinous ones.

Morpheus began, “Buddy, I…” Upon seeing Hermes, he broke out in a matching grin. “Duuuuuude! You got me!”

“True,” said Hermes, draping an arm over his friend’s shoulder. “And you know what else I got for you? The perfect woman. I told you… nothing gets past me.” He winked.

THE END

I hope you enjoyed my Friday Flash. This is the final installment of my ‘Cloud 9′ series. My intent was for each flash to stand on its own, yet fit into the larger whole. To this end, I added short introductions (that appeared before each). I realize this final story might not stand on its own, but I hope it still ‘worked’ within the larger story. Feedback is both welcomed and appreciated.

**image courtesy of UW Digital Collections via The Commons at Flickr. No known copyright restrictions.

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Filed under fantasy-magic, Flash Fiction, humor, mythology

Friday Flash: Cloud 9 – Bluster

The muses run Cloud 9, the divine repository of inspirations, under the benevolent dictatorship of Hermes – messenger of the gods. The Olympians, devoted nepotists, almost exclusively hire their many and varied family members. The divine and semi-divine collaborate, stock, check-out, and deliver the inspirations of Cloud 9 to the world.

Morpheus lounged against a pillar, a surprisingly sincere grin across his face.

Hades looked up from the screen’s flowing text. “Well?

“Well, what?” asked the god of dreams, running his hand through golden locks.

Hades typed a few more lines, then hit ‘enter.’ He leaned back, surveying the golden youth. “I’m confused,” he said. “You haven’t complained about a thing since you got here. You’re not… what’s the word?”

Morpheus raised an eyebrow. “Angsty?”

“Nooooo,” said Hades. The lord of death steepled his fingers as he leaned across the desk. “Disgruntled?”

“You’ve been talking to Mother.”

“Not at all,” returned Hades. “But I am observant of all the citizens of my realm. You’ve obviously been discontent – yes, that’s the word – for awhile. What gives?”

“Oh, I’m still plenty disgruntled, discontent, whatever, but…” He eyed the dark lord. “Can you keep a secret?”

Hades’ grin was full of murder, mayhem, and a bit of cheez whiz that had gotten stuck on his teeth.

Morpheus leaned over the desk. “I’m playing a joke on someone.”

Hades smile faded; he rolled his eyes. “Oh, dear. Another one of Hermes’ pranks, I see.” He sighed. “You’d think, after all these years, you’d find another companion. I do believe he’s a bad influence on you, boy.”

The sound of wind-chimes filled the chamber as the golden youth laughed. “That’s just it, Uncle.”

“I’m not your uncle. My familial relationships are… complicated.”

“OK, fine. My point is, you’re like an uncle to me, so I’ll let you in on my secret.”

Hades eyed Morpheus warily but kept his silence.

“The prank is ON Hermes!”

The dark lord’s eyes flickered with amusement, twin flames that lit his otherwise darkened features. “Really? Do tell.”

“Well, I got the idea when I ran into Nicholas-”

“Mmmm Hmmm?”

“-and he was telling me about filing all these inspirations.”

“Yes, yes, the boy is good at his job.”

“Well… I came to Hermes in a dream – not as myself, of course. I took on the form of this nymph he fancies, but-”

“Nymph?” Now it was Hades’ turn to raise an eyebrow.

“Yes, and don’t think THAT wasn’t awkward. But anyway… I led him to this inspiration-”

“Yes?”

“Well, yeah. He’s been looking for a way to streamline deliveries, so now he thinks he’s found this brilliant idea, and-”

“Dear, boy,” said Hades. “I know we have eternity, but even that might pass before you get to the punchline.”

“OK, listen. Hermes is always the one with the bright ideas; right?”

Taking Hades’ silence for agreement, the god continued, “I just wanted to fool him for a change, instead of being the-”

“-sidekick?”

“-ACCOMPLICE!” said Morpheus, louder than he’d intended.

“Are you going to tell me this brilliant plan or should I…?” Hades poised long, slender fingers over his keyboard.

“You know how Hermes can be a bit…” Morpheus made complicated hand and arm gestures, which Hades took to indicate an inflated ego.

“Yes.”

“Well, in the dream – I was subtle -”

Hades kept quiet.

“I led Hermes to this great idea that would save him, me, everyone really- tons of work. He’ll never suspect I-”

“-did your job by delivering inspirations?”

“I was SUBTLE,” said Morpheus. “OK?” Hades waited. “When Hermes implements it, he’s bound to brag. Then I’ll reveal it was really-”

“You.”

“Yeah. He’ll have to eat crow… and the way HE brags? It’ll be quite the feast. I can’t tell you what that would mean to me.”

Hades stared.

“We’re buds. He’ll get over it! But the look on his face when I tell him it was ME?” Morpheus smiled. “Let’s just say, it’ll sustain me for quite awhile.”

Hades considered. “And you came up with this idea all on your own?”

“Well, I’ll admit, Nicholas jogged a few braincells-”

“-that were loose to begin with,” muttered Hades.

“What?”

“Oh, nothing. It just seems you could have played a less elaborate – yet equally satisfying – prank, simply by revealing yourself as the nymph in his dream.”

“The nymph…” Morpheus winced. “Damn! Why didn’t I think of that?”

Hades – despite his reputation – was not a cruel god; he bit his tongue. He asked, “What inspiration did you plant?”

“Oh, he’s going to upgrade humanity! By downloading inspirations directly into their minds, we won’t need to deliver them anymore.”

“And where, perchance, did you get this brilliant plan?”

“Well, I told you I bumped into Nicholas. Nice kid. I feel sorry for him.”

“That goes without saying. He’s my son.”

The god studied his sandals. “Anyway,” continued Morpheus, breaking the silence, “Hermes picks on the kid a bit, and Nic might get a kick out of Hermes eating crow.”

“Indeed.” Hades’ eyes smoldered. “And Nicholas gave you this idea?” The fire in Hades’ eyes burned brighter. “My misanthropic son, he of the bad hair and the never ending box of tissues?”

“Yeah, poor kid, said Morpheus. “Anyway, maybe if Hermes gets taken down a notch, he might be nicer to him.”

“Yes, the kid, I imagine, would quite like the plan you’ve so conveniently devised.”

There was more than a little pride in Morpheus’ grin.

“Indeed,” said the Hades, stroking his chin like a cartoon villain. “Tell me. Would this ‘upgrade’ apply to gods as well?”

“Of course! Gotta keep with the times. Right, Chief?”

“They do seem to call for some changes,” agreed the dark lord. “I think my son has more coming to him than he realizes.” He glowered at a startled Morpheus, who beat a hasty retreat.

In the now empty room, Hades spoke to the darkness. “I think Nicholas needs some Father-Son time.”

*

I hope you enjoyed my Friday Flash. This is part 5 of my ‘Cloud 9′ series. My intent is for each installment to stand on its own, yet fit into the larger whole. To this end, I added a short introduction (that appears before each installment). Does the story stand on its own? Do the characters, setting, and plot work? Feedback is both welcomed and appreciated.

**image courtesy of UW Digital Collections via The Commons at Flickr. No known copyright restrictions.

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Filed under Cloud 9 (series), fantasy-magic, Flash Fiction, humor, mythology, Serials/Series, Writing Corner

Friday Flash: Cloud Nine- Musings

The muses run Cloud 9, the divine repository of inspirations, under the benevolent dictatorship of Hermes – messenger of the gods. The Olympians, devoted nepotists, almost exclusively hire their many and varied family members. The divine and semi-divine collaborate, stock, check-out, and deliver the inspirations of Cloud 9 to the world.

Nicholas rounded a corner, propping the freshly-minted inspirations against a shelf to draw, deep ragged breaths. If Hermes only knew what he had done… but no, that wasn’t possible. The god was just being his usual, jocular self at the expense of his employee. What need he care for the misfortune of a subordinate?

He wanted to bean the bastard in the head with one of those damned Jordan almonds he loved so much.

Nicholas allowed himself one of his more infrequent occurrences – a smile. It spread across his face like a crimson snake slithering across marble. The sight was less than pleasant, which made it all the better that there were no observers nearby. It might have tipped them off to his plan.

Misfilings were quickly caught and refiled by the pernicious Helena. The pale youth blew back the stringy raven hair that had fallen over his eyes. What a vision! He pictured her in his mind’s eye: her deep brown eyes, her full rich lips, her shaggy fur. Oh, if only she weren’t so out of reach!

He reached for another hanky, dabbing the ends carefully against the raw flesh beneath his streaming eyes.

Still, Mother should be proud. Poor Morpheus had been duped all too easily into tricking Hades – eager for the opportunity to prank the prankster. Little did Morpheus realize the ultimate price of taking advice from Nicholas. The youth considered.

Perhaps he would write an epic poem about it. That should please Mother.

And why not? His employers and all who had scorned him would pay for their derision. Their self-confidence would be their downfall. Messing with the minds of man? Manipulating the other gods to their own tragic ends… Why wouldn’t the muse of tragedy love that?

And Helena… he sighed. Helena would be gone – along with all the others. She had never intentionally caused him pain, but her sheer beauty – coupled with her unavailability – made her mere existence a torment to him. Alas… If only his allergies weren’t so severe! But the merest hint of hair made his body betray him in the most excruciating way. If Helena returned his love, it would probably kill him.

He pulled a crumpled notebook from his pocket and scribbled a few lines: Tormented both in body and soul, the lover’s allergies took their toll… It never hurt to be prepared. The next great poem might only be a few lines away.

*

I hope you enjoyed my Friday Flash. This is part 4 of my ‘Cloud 9′ series. My intent is for each installment to stand on its own, yet fit into the larger whole. To this end, I added a short introduction (that will appear before each installment). Does the story stand on its own? Do the characters, setting, and plot work? Feedback is both welcomed and appreciated.

**image courtesy of UW Digital Collections via The Commons at Flickr. No known copyright restrictions.

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Filed under Cloud 9 (series), fantasy-magic, Flash Fiction, humor, mythology, Serials/Series, Writing Corner

Friday Flash: Cloud 9- Food for Thought

The muses run Cloud 9, the divine repository of inspirations, under the benevolent dictatorship of Hermes – messenger of the gods. The Olympians, devoted nepotists, almost exclusively hire their many and varied family members. The divine and semi-divine collaborate, stock, check-out, and deliver the inspirations of Cloud 9 to the world.

“What could go wrong?” Helena gasped. She grasped the comforting mahogany of her desk to steady herself. “What could he be thinking?”

“I think he simply wants out of the job,” said the Minotaur, snorting. He gazed upon his daughter’s furry features with affection. “This’ll do it.”

“I’ll say,” said Helena. He pulled a fresh fountain pen from one of the strategically placed buns on the back of her head and began scribbling. ‘Dear Hermes…’ she wrote, her pen flashing across the parchment faster than human eyes could follow. Fortunately, her father wasn’t human.

“I wouldn’t write THAT to him, dear,” snuffled the Minotaur, nudging the smoking pen from her hand with surprising gentleness. “He may be a god, but he’s also your direct supervisor.”

“Well, what am I supposed to say?” said Helena, brown eyes flashing. “Great idea there, Hermes! I had no idea how efficiently you could destroy life as we know it? I mean, we ARE talking about brain manipulation!”

“And don’t forget your sibling, dear,” growled the Minotaur. “He may be half alien, but you are related-”

“-on mother’s side, obviously,” said Helena. “And we’re only half-siblings. Even so, I’d think he’d have enough sense to file this properly.” She sniffed, inhaling the strong floral scent of the dried blossoms scattered throughout the office. “Especially after I talked to him about that whole bacteria apocalypse misfiling…”

“That’s just it, sweetums,” said the Minotaur, patting his daughter on the back. “He did file it correctly.”

“Then why would Hermes…,” Helena began, then shut her mouth. “Oh, ye gods. He wants to start over.”

“Hmmm?” asked her father, fingering the candy squares she kept in a depression glass jar on her desk.

“Yes, yes, go ahead,” she said, huffing to herself. “But why?”

“Because they’re yummy,” said her father, through a mouth full of dark chocolaty goodness.

“No, I meant, why does-”

“-he want to start over? I know what you meant.” Her father swallowed and swiped his face with one hoof. “Maybe he thinks he can do better this time around?”

“Well, being a messenger can get old after awhile,” conceded Helena. She sniffed the pink glass jar, then dumped a handful of squares into her own leathery palm. “But… no, it just doesn’t seem his style. He’s not that ambitious or conniving. Still, he’s not dumb.”

“Maybmmm effma brankkk?” mouthed her father. His nose was stuck inside the container, and his daughter dutifully yanked until he was freed. “Maybe it’s a prank?” he repeated, wiping moist crumbs from his person. The crumbs clung to his snout and tickled his nose hairs. “I understand he’s quite the practical joker.” He inhaled deeply, eyes closed. A sigh escaped his lips.

“Still, it’s a pretty dangerous joke,” mused Helena. She popped the remaining squares like an addict.

“Is there any other kind for a god?” The Minotaur started pulling books from shelves, looking behind miniatures of the gods.

Helena thought.

Her father continued his search, swiping the top of a filing cabinet with one cloven hoof. He licked the dust, then shot Helena a withering look before heading for the door. “Maybe you should ask someone else what to do?” called her father.

“You’re pretty nonchalant… considering it’s possibly the apocalypse,” said Helena.

“You get used to it when you work around gods,” noted her father. “Trust me, sweetums. When you’ve lived as long as I have, you’ll realize the truth. They’re all crazy.” He exited her office.

Above the door, the familiar lettering of Cloud 9’s disclaimer read: Cloud 9 is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, species, or gender.

Helena mused. If Hermes was going to mess with the status quo, then maybe there was something she could do about it. She’d worked in this office for centuries, and she held more than a few tricks up her pink, ruffled sleeves.

Smiling, she pulled her emergency candy stash from beneath her desk drawer and munched a few more squares.

#

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I hope you enjoyed my Friday Flash. This is part 3 of my ‘Cloud 9′ series. My intent is for each installment to stand on its own, yet fit into the larger whole. To this end, I added a short introduction (that will appear before each installment). Does the story stand on its own? Do the characters, setting, and plot work? Feedback is both welcomed and appreciated.

 

**image courtesy of UW Digital Collections via The Commons at Flickr. No known copyright restrictions.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, mythology, Writing Corner

My Writing Niche- episode #65: “Inspirations Strike Again″ & upcoming Writing Events

Play or download episode *here*

Hello, and Welcome to My Writing Niche, a podcast for new writers. Today’s podcast, #65, was recorded for Sunday, September 23th, 2012. I’ll be reading my latest #FridayFlash, Inspirations Strike Again, as well as talking about upcoming events such as Banned Book Week, National Novel Writing Month, and The Young Writers Program.

Relevant Links:

Banned Book Week

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)

The Young Writers Program

Best of Friday Flash: Volume 2

 

*image courtesy of hiddedevries via Flicker.

**Slow Burn from the album Blues Sampler courtesy of Kevin MacLeod via Creative Commons Attribution license. More of his music can be found at FreeMusicArchive.org or at http://incompetech.com.

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Filed under Audio, Cloud 9 (series), Flash Fiction, mythology, nanowrimo, Podcast (audio files down but show note links active), Writing Corner

Friday Flash: Cloud 9- Inspirations Strike Again

The muses run Cloud 9, the divine repository of inspirations, under the benevolent dictatorship of Hermes – messenger of the gods. The Olympians, devoted nepotists, almost exclusively hire their many and varied family members. The divine and semi-divine collaborate, stock, check-out, and deliver the inspirations of Cloud 9 to the world.

*

Hermes, draping himself across his chair behind Reception, directed several underlings with a look or a thought, then turned his full attention back to the god before him.

“And it’s not just the sleep thing,” moaned Morpheus, leaning across the desk to look Hermes full in the face. “I mean, I get that – god of Sleep and all. But just because he’s the god of sleep doesn’t mean he gets to sleep on the job!”

Hermes cocked an eyebrow at him.

“I mean, just… Urgh!” Morpheus pounded the desk. “Why do I have to be his delivery boy?”

The other eyebrow went up.

“Sorry,” said Morpheus. “Forgot who I was talking to.”

The golden youth behind reception tilted the large, black-suede recliner forward and patted Morpheus’s fist. “Hey, don’t worry about it,” he said. “You’re in this game long enough, things work out.” He turned to glare at a gangly, red-eyed youth. The boy burst into fresh tears and ran toward the Potential Tragedies section with a stack of freshly created inspirations. “See?” said the messenger god. “I just love messing with that kid.”

“Which one was that?” asked Morpheus.

“Oh, Nicholas?” Hermes jerked a thumb towards the rapidly retreating figure. A path of used hankies littered his wake. “He’s just one of Melpomene’s kids, works tragedies, a bit weepy but a nice kid.”

“Melpomene? Muse of… Tragedies; right?”

“Oh, GODS, yes,” replied Hermes, laughing and reclining once more. “Whoever wanted to have kids with her needs his head examined, but… well, you know. They’re still nice kids. Bit annoying, but nice.”

“But I’m not in charge,” said Morpheus, bringing the conversation back to his complaint. “I deliver all the inspirations through dreams, etc. but Hypnos gets the credit. Now THAT’S annoying!”

“Are you nuts?” asked Hermes. He snapped his fingers. A jar of Jordan almonds appeared beside him and started throwing themselves into his mouth. “Mmmmmm.”

Morpheus straightened and began to turn.

“Ok, ok, ok, sorry,” said Hermes. “Just hungry. What I meant was, don’t you pay attention? You get a lot more credit than you realize, much more than Hypnos. Just google it sometime.” His eyes rolled up and his mouth moved silently. “19,300,000 hits… more or less, for just YOU! Hypnos only got…” He rolled his eyes again. “880,000! You WAY outpace him.”

“Really?”

“Title isn’t everything, dude. I’m telling you, you’re the one people recognize.”

“I’m still tired of being his delivery… uh.” Morpheus cleared his throat. Hermes watched him squirm. “Of… not having a more efficient delivery system. I mean, you’re in charge here! The muses organize things, you manage, you don’t have to deliver every single inspiration in person.”

Hermes snapped his fingers. The jar of almonds disappeared. “Oh, don’t worry. We’re upgrading. Alien Love Child has given us some great inspirations for that sort of thing.”

“Perks of the job?”

“Of course! Anyway when we upgrade humanity, install new software, we should be able to just download the inspirations directly into their heads.”

“Won’t that… what I mean is, won’t that effect the gods? US? Don’t we need human dreams and devotion to survive?”

“Oh, it’s fine,” said Hermes. “We’ll just program them to keep doing that. I mean, what could go wrong?”

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I hope you enjoyed my Friday Flash. This is part 2 of my ‘Cloud 9′ series. My intent is for each installment to stand on its own, yet fit into the larger whole. To this end, I added a short introduction (that will appear before each installment). Does the story stand on its own? Do the characters, setting, and plot work? Feedback is both welcomed and appreciated.

**image courtesy of UW Digital Collections via The Commons at Flickr. No known copyright restrictions.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, mythology

My Writing Niche- episode #64: “Cloud 9″ & upcoming Writing Events

 Play or download episode *here*

Hello, and Welcome to My Writing Niche, a podcast for new writers. Today’s podcast, #64, was recorded for Sunday, September 9th, 2012. I’ll be reading my latest #FridayFlash, Cloud 9, as well as talking about upcoming events such as Banned Book Week, National Novel Writing Month, and The Young Writers Program.

Relevant Links:

Banned Book Week

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)

The Young Writers Program

 

*image courtesy of hiddedevries via Flicker.

**Slow Burn from the album Blues Sampler courtesy of Kevin MacLeod via Creative Commons Attribution license. More of his music can be found at FreeMusicArchive.org or at http://incompetech.com.

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Filed under Audio, fantasy-magic, Flash Fiction, humor, mythology, nanowrimo, Podcast (audio files down but show note links active), Writing Corner