The Bacchae- A Contemporary Adaptation

Hello hello and welcome to this week’s short story, which was written for The Writer’s Mess challenge of writing a Greek Myth adaptation. I decided to write about Dionysus, and do a contemporary take on The Bacchae. It’s a little odd, and in first person, which you will see again for my Norse Myth post in two weeks. Apparently Gods like saying “I”, who knew they had such ego…

I was born the son of Zeus, not that anyone believed my mother when she told them.  They couldn’t imagine Zeus, A-lister as he was, choosing to have an affair with my mother of all people, even after she died in childbirth.

My father’s wife was furious to hear of my conception, the one person who did believe it, and so I was raised sleeping beauty style, in a small town at the base of Mount Nysa, by some people my father trusted to keep me safe. 

I didn’t set out for the celebrity life, the spotlight of it all, I started out making wine, because, well, wine is awesome.  I love wine, and I was good at making it, good enough that I went from being someone no one had ever heard of, to becoming a renown vintner.  Next thing I knew, I was living with the other world-famous people, in Olympus Heights, the most exclusive suburb in LA, where my father lived, and I had like made it.

It’s where I was when I heard the rumours my late mother’s sisters were spreading. Apparently, they didn’t believe I was famous, that I had status, and they were telling people that my mother was a, well, I don’t event want to repeat it, but it was the kind of thing that made my blood boil.

I know that the revenge was petty, that I was above it, and that I should have just let it all go, and if it had just been about me, I probably would have.  I had gotten used to having people take issue with me, I mean, when you make the premier wine in the world, party like it’s 1999 every weekend, the tabloids are going to tell tall tails, but my dead mother, she was off limits.

So, I got a make-under, a baseball cap, rented a low-key car and headed out to Thebes. Thebes was a good size town, near mount Citherion, and it’s Mayor was, my cousin Pentheus. He apparently had taken over from his grandfather, isn’t nepotism grand, not too long ago, and my aunts still lived there, stirring the pot.

My revenge was actually pretty simple, shove my existence down those ignorant assholes’ throats.

The method was simple as well, hold the party to end all parties.  On paper it was a promotional event, trying to break into a local market and all that jazz.  A few dozen venues were rented, stocked, and samples of his wine would be served all afternoon free of charge, with full bottles available for purchase.  At night, the events would switch to more of the party atmosphere, with the alcohol flowing for a low price, my logo on every cup, every napkin, every wall.  Then there was the map, which showed all the venues, which was soon to turn the whole thing into a crawl, making the party spill onto the streets, with Dionysus on their tongues. It would last an entire week, and when it was over, not even my family would be able to deny my existence.

I will admit, they were far more resistant than I would have expected, and to my surprise it was my dear cousin who held fast in his belief, trying a curfew, a crusade for quiet aimed directly at me, at arresting those who danced in the street speaking my name, and we both knew it.

I tried to change his mind, in disguise, but he could not be persuaded.   Things escalated quickly, and I will admit, I did a few things that while I am not ashamed of, they aren’t exactly points of pride.

Tricking him into cross-dressing to get into a women’s only party, and then spreading the rumor that there was a man on the registry masquerading at the part was probably overdoing it.  Even I didn’t expect them to beat him to death with their bare hands.  That his own mother, my aunt, she who disparaged my mother, was among those casting the blows, I will admit, it felt a little like karma.

When she finally realized who the man on the floor was, who I really was, watching her weep was less satisfying that I would have expected it to be.  Far more satisfying was having grandfather acknowledge who I was, rightfully so, and when he slithered off for a fresh start with my bereaved aunt, I finally let it go. 

I was Dionysus, and never again would someone speak ill of me or mine, and it felt good.


One False Step

Hello hello and welcome to this weeks Microfiction Monday a response to the adventure prompt on the Writer’s Mess, Write a piece under 300 words about a quester who doesn’t feel that the quest has changed them at all. Follow a friend of our quester that sees the changes wrought, only after the quest has ended.

She wished that she could turn back time, and pay a little more attention to him.

She wished that she had told him that this was real life, not a fantasy novel, and that he didn’t have to fit some sort of rigid character structure, that just because he was unchanged it didn’t mean that he was destined for the sacrifice play.

She wished that she had told him that even though he couldn’t see that he had changed, he had grown stronger, wiser, more empathetic, and that while she loved him before, he had become a man that she could fall in love with.

Looking down at her reflection in the glossy black surface of the casket, she flashed back to her reflection In the obsidian room on the tomb. He was by her side then, the relic secured in his trusty messenger bag, and they were on their way back out when the trap was triggered by a single misstep.

She had tripped, and it was over, she knew it would kill her to lift her foot, and if she pressed down any longer, the stone would sink low enough to trigger another. She looked up to say goodbye, and for a second when she saw the resolve in his eyes, she thought he had a plan.

He did have a plan, and she lay dazed, messenger bag in hand, watching him sink in her place before she realized It wasn’t a plan to rescue both of them.

The worst part was the smile on his face, the look of accomplishment, like this was the way it was always meant to be, and it was what made her wish that she could turn back time.

Don’t Read from the Book!

This one is based on the weekly picture prompt from The Writer’s Mess below, and me watching the Mummy this weekend.  It is exactly the dark wtf you are probably expecting from me, and I think it’s similar to something I have written prior, but cannot seem to find now. Anyways, see what happens when you read from the book.

Whoever said nothing bad ever came from reading a book hadn’t read from the one that they held in their hands that night.  It was supposed to be one of those sleepover jokes, reading from the book that Larissa had picked up at the second had store. 

The book was old, not in Latin, but not exactly in middle-English either.  It was in that badly written English where you could sus out the words, but they were spelled wonky, and they had to sound it out one word at a time to figure out what it was saying.

They had all stood in the yard at midnight under the light of the full moon, dressed to the nines, post their usual sleepover makeovers to do it, just like the book called for.

It wasn’t the first sleepover they had, it was the last though. While the three of them were cleared in the deaths of the other four girls that were there that night, they never wanted to see each other, or that book ever again.

Maybe, if they were lucky, someday they would even be able to forget what had happened.

What a Difference a Day Makes

Welcome to this weeks response to the Friday Picture prompt on The Writer’s Mess! With Halloween on the brain, and this weeks image being that of a full moon, it doesn’t take a genius to realise where this weeks prompt was heading.  Follow the story of our narrator, who get’s in a car accident the week of the full moon…

Getting in a car accident sucked.

Getting in a car accident and healing so fast that they thought they mixed up her scans with another patients, really sucked.

Getting in a car accident, and being in a coma for an indeterminate time, that sucked the most.

Losing track of time wasn’t that big of an issue for most people, but when you turned into a bloodthirsty monster on the full moon, keeping an accurate calendar was key.

She only realised that the moon was rising full, when her bones started to snap, startling the nurse who was taking her vitals.

They thought it was tetanus, and so they ignored her pleas for them to leave.

They all died. 

The doctors, the nurses, the other patients, all of them died in that hospital, because she had a brain injury and couldn’t remember the day of the week.

It was a massacre, plain and simple. 

It the morning she called the council, and explained what happened.

The hospital burned, the investigators were bribed to look the other way, and the survivors didn’t retain the title long.

She was tried, and found innocent in a court of law, despite the body count. 

The judge looked at her with sympathy as the verdict was delivered, because she would have to live with the weight of what she had done for the rest of her life.

She never lost track of her dates again.