This month’s story is a bit of a departure; it’s quite short, and there really isn’t a whore in it, but I think you’ll enjoy it anyway. The Muse whispered it to me one evening in early January and…well, I’ve explained how she is when she wants my attention, so here it is.
“I don’t know, sir; far too many for us to fight off, that’s for sure. I can hear them moving all through the tree line, and they’ve sent several scouts out into the open.”
The chieftain tried not to show his concern, but he knew the young warrior would sense his feelings anyway. “They could attack at any time.”
“I’m afraid so, sir, and if they do we’ll surely be overrun.”
“That must not happen,” he said firmly; “Our mission is to protect the domain from invasion, and we will not fail while I am alive.”
“No, sir,” said the young one, though he lacked his chief’s resolve.
The leader drew himself up. “There is no choice, then; we must call upon the gods for assistance, lest we fail in our sacred duty.”
“But sir, were we not taught that the Holy Ones hate to be disturbed?”
“Only without sufficient reason, and I feel this is more than sufficient. We cannot allow the infidels to defile this sacred soil with their filthy presence, and surely the gods will understand when they see our dilemma.” He turned to the others, who had drawn up behind him, and addressed them: “My people! We must lift up our voices to the sky, in the hopes that the gods may hear our prayer and look with favor upon us. We must ask them to smite our enemies, or we are surely lost!”
He then began the Prayer of Summoning, lifting his face to the moon and chanting the ancient rite. The others joined him, and together their shouts rose up toward the sky and spread out through the night. As if in answer the invaders began their own chant, crying out to whatever strange deities they worshipped in their rude and barbaric tongue.
Suddenly, the square was filled with a radiance like that of a tiny sun, and the form of the goddess appeared in their midst; she took no note of them whatsoever, but glided to the barricade and looked out into the darkness. When she beheld the enemy, she lifted her staff and Behold! She smote them with a thunderbolt! The people trembled, but they had faith that she would not turn the terrible power upon them; the same could not be said for the barbarians, who fled in terror lest her divine weapon destroy them all.
When they saw that the danger was over, the people rejoiced and performed a victory dance; the goddess then smiled upon them, and with a gesture spread before them delicious foodstuffs. And then she was gone as suddenly as she had appeared, and the people shared the feast and praised her goodness and generosity.
“What were the dogs barking about?” her husband called from the bathroom.
“Oh, just coyotes,” she answered. “I scared them off with the shotgun.”
“Honey, you didn’t have to do that; I would’ve taken care of it after I got out of the shower.”
“It’s no big deal,” she shrugged; “I had to go out to give them those table scraps anyhow.”