Tuesday, March 26, 2013


((In which someone new based - again - on someone old shows up. The actor-image representing Dionysos Iraphiotes is a picture of Liam Neeson. He is and at once is not at all familiar in my head canon.))

. . . . . Plip! I miss the sky...  
. . . . . Plip! You know, if I look at it just so, that rock looks a lot like Deora's tits.
. . . . . Plip! If I don't find the source of that drip in the next five minutes, I'm going to lose my mind.  
. . . . . Oh. Wait. That last one was me. Blinking my way out of sleep, I realized that I was lying face-down on the battered wood surface of a potting bench. The stool I was sitting on had managed to cut the blood flow to my legs off somewhere around mid-thigh, and the tingling pain was blood-starved toes and not frostbite setting in. The incessant drip was not rain-water on unyielding stone – which, truthfully, made more of a Flop! sound anyway – but condensation from the glass panes above me collecting and dripping into an empty metal tray on the top shelf of the bench.
. . . . . I had just begun to consider whether or not my legs would hold my weight steady if I slid off the stool when every piece of very expensive glass in the small greenhouse rattled in its frame. Steady thumps followed it and I was just bothering to lift my head off the bench when Zeno lumbered into view.  
. . . . . “You're worrying Mother,” he rumbled, crossing arms like twigs over a barrel chest – or is that arms like tree trunks over a keg chest? I never get metaphors right. At any rate, Zeno was big, the kind of big which came from being able to arm-wrestle bears and lift horse-drawn carts on his own. From the way he said it, you'd think worrying Mother was a crime on the same level as defaming the king.  
. . . . . You'd probably be right.  
. . . . . I reached over and swiped a wineskin off the potting bench and was just about to wet my mouth with its contents so I could respond when Zeno clamped a meaty hand on my wrist, took the wineskin from me, and tossed it casually into a tray of rye seedlings. As cheap fermented grape juice soaked into the loamy soil, I think I whimpered.  
. . . . . “And how can you stand to be around yourself? Have you taken a single bath in the last three months? Pshew!”
. . . . . “I had one on Friday.” Three Fridays ago, but who was counting? Me, I suppose. Perhaps Zeno too, since he caught my wrist again.
. . . . . “Bath. You stink.”  
. . . . . He turned and started to walk away, pulling me off the stool. As it turns out, my less than sanguine legs were, well, less than sanguine about the idea and my knees buckled. Zeno didn't notice until one of the tables covered in baby vines tied with twine to toothpicks rattled ominously because my right shoulder had just banged into it.  
. . . . . I looked up at my older brother from my comfortable sprawl on the dirt floor, my left arm well above my head and caught in his hold. I tried a winning smile. I didn't win anything. Zeno dropped my hand unceremoniously, then took two steps until he was standing next to my waist. I will admit, I was jealous of the way his knees didn't even creak a little as he crouched down, shoved a forearm under my back, rolled me over and lifted me onto his shoulder in one smooth motion.
. . . . . “I'd like to register my objection to your crotch, brother,” I mumbled, jouncing along with my head unpleasantly near his waist.  
. . . . . “And I object to your stench. And the way you've been treating Mother and Father. Theo is out telling bard's tales at the Split Peach. You're going to have a bath, drink several glasses of water, and go join him.”  
. . . . . “No?”
. . . . . Zeno grunted at me. It's strange how he could make a grunt sound suspiciously similar to 'Disobey me and I'll rip your arms from their sockets and beat you into bloody unconsciousness with the stumps.'
. . . . . Not yet entirely resigned to my ignominious fate, I tried wheedling, “Can I have a tankard of ale while I'm there?”
. . . . . This grunt was a span of degrees more violent.  
. . . . . “Fine. As long as my objections have been noted.” Unable to do anything about it while endeavoring not to stare at my older brother's pants' placket, I was carted out of my greenhouse quite against my will for a bath.