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.