Tag Archives: Odysseus

Short Fiction: More Wine, Polyphemus?

(Note: I wrote this in an attempt to convince potential employers I am capable of adapting within the Fantasy genre. They requested Alice in Wonderland. I couldn’t stomach the thought of that, so this is what they got. Although they assured me they liked it, someone else got the job. So it goes.)

So the Greek Hero and the Cyclops enter a bar, except the bar is really a cave, and when the Cyclops is done with his wine, he is going to eat the Hero. The Hero holds up the wineskin.

“More wine, Polyphemus?”

The Cyclops holds out his ivory bowl. “Yes, please do.”

The Hero tops him off, and the sheep in the back of the cave bleat. Perhaps they, being sheep, understand what men do not.

The Cyclops downs it in one go, wiping the dark droplets that cling to his beard. “Hmm, good wine. Very good wine. I have never tasted such wine.”

The Hero holds his bowl, the wine untouched. “And you are not likely to ever again. This is special wine, of my own private vintage.” It sloshes as he chuckles. “You are not likely to have such wine ever again.”

“We have good wine,” the Cyclops tells the Hero, accepting another pour, eying the dark font as it travels from skin to bowl. “The cyclops, that is. Our grapes hang heavy from the vine even though we pay no heed to your silly-assed gods. Think we give sacrifice to Zeus? Think you wrong! Zeus is a fool to expect homage from us.” His words drown for a moment in the sweet, undiluted wine. “Hmm. But this is a bit of ambrosia and nectar.”

In the back of the cave, the Hero’s men watch. Crouched behind the beast’s flocks and pens and jars of curdled milk, they wait, clutching their well-crafted weapons.

The Hero sets aside his bowl and stretches, rubbing the tight muscles of his thigh. “What a shame it is, to drink with such a capable companion and then. . . . Ah, but never mind that, my friend. We shall not think of it. More wine?” Continue reading



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