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Hephaestus

“Tap-scrape. Tap-scrape. Tap-scraaape.”

The firelight’s nervous on Hephaestus’s face as he makes tapping/scraping gestures at his audience. Hermes has stuffed his face with popcorn; Ganymede’s so rapt that he hasn’t noticed Aphrodite’s hand halfway up his thigh.

“A bit lowbrow even for him, isn’t it?” murmurs Apollo to his sister.

“They can’t all be… lyrical,” she says, grinning.

“Christ,” he scowls, “I don’t know why I even talk to you about this kind of thing.”

“Because,” says Hephaestus, “he’s RIGHT BEHIND YOU!”

Thunder tears down the slopes of Olympus. Humanity cowers. Zeus has to go change robes.

How It Really Would Have Happened

“You,” says Paris, “you’re the most beautiful.”

Aphrodite beams. “Set sail for Troy,” she says, “and she will be yours,” and vanishes.

The other two remain, glowering.

“My apologies, great Hera, mighty Athena!” says Paris. “But the three of you did ask me to choose, and it isn’t as if I could pick more than–”

Flames lick up around him. Aphrodite reappears, frantic, but Hera holds her back. Athena is growing taller, and the sky is growing dark.

“Perhaps you have misunderstood,” she booms, enormous, “what it means to be a fucking god,” and reaches down with her smiting hand.

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