- Apocalypse Girls Part 1
The bar is quiet like it always is at 3 in the afternoon. The only customer is the same one Bacchus always has at 3 pm. The brunette girl sits with her eyes down, one hand holding up her heavy head.
“Whatcha do today, Pandora?” Bacchus asks, handing her a Pompeii Gold beer.
She takes it, but instead of her usual swig she fiddles with the lip of the bottle.
“C’mon, it can’t have been all that bad,” he urges.
“I’m never gonna get a job, or another way to make some money so I’m not just some lump on Cassandra’s couch,” she says, tears tugging at her voice. Bacchus knows this speech. The tears aren’t coming, she just makes her voice sound like that because she thinks that’s what she’s supposed to sound like.READ MORE
“That’s not true. What did you try for today?”
“Road crew...and package delivery store clerk,” she says with an exaggerated sigh.
“What were ya gonna do on a road crew?”
“Hold up the little signs, sweep up gravel, put down cones, clear out sphinxes. You know, be someone’s bitch.”
“Why weren’t you good for that?”
“I don’t know! They don’t fucking tell me, and when they do it’s always just the name on the application,” she snaps, then flings her head back down onto her palms.
“They did ask me a riddle. ‘What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs at sunset?’” she continues.
“Oh yeah, an old Sphinx riddle. Probably to see if you got a brain in that pretty head of yours.”
“I didn’t get it right.”
Bacchus smirks but tries not to laugh. She’s never heard it before, and the guys on the road crew would have been banking on that. Pandora has only existed for about ten years; it would be impossible for her to know everything that a normal 26-year-old would know.
The doors open and a Viking crew floods the bar.
“Hey! Turn on ‘Captain Obvious’!” yells a huge, golden-haired Viking carrying a hammer.
“I don’t usually turn the sound up or anything like that. The screens are just for sports scores. I can turn it to the decathlon for you gentlemen,” Bacchus says.
“Thor commands it!” the guy says.”I sent in a question; I want to see if he answers today. Besides, we’re the only ones here.”
Bacchus sets his jaw. ”I think you’re not the only ones here, what if the young lady doesn’t want to watch…”
“Just turn on the show, Bacchus,” Pandora groans. Bacchus nods, then grabs a remote and slowly flips through the channels.
“CHANNEL 7!” several guys yell.
"—And chased that with the milk of a young hedgehog, and you totally wouldn't have hemorrhoids right now. Next caller? Welcome to Captain Obvious, I'm Epimetheus of the perfect looking-back vision, what is your story today?" Epimetheus leans across his desk on the TV show, listening intently as some poor woman recounts the tale of how she lost her dog and it was eaten by a harpy. All the Vikings groan in annoyance, but Thor.
"Now, this woman is truly hurting for her lost animal! How would you feel if a Kraken drowned your ship?" He announces. "You too would be wrought with unseemly emotions and looking for answers why."
Pandora looks at him with a little warmth, and he winks at her, sending a small shiver down her spine. Bacchus eyes him warily.
"Besides, who has the best guess on what ridiculous solution Epimetheus has?" he bellows. All the men cheer.
"A dog is too tasty! She should have bought a sea urchin instead!" One man yells.
"No! Harpies Don't like bright colors. She should have painted it neon green!" Everyone laughs.
"She should have covered him in cayenne pepper," Pandora mutters. Thor's head swivels to her.
"That's pretty good, wench! Say it louder so the others can hear!"
Pandora rolls her eyes. Before she can answer, Epimetheus has started his reply.
"Well Aurora, your problem was not covering your pet in cayenne pepper. Just like you do to keep squirrels out of your yard, a generous coating of cayenne will deter most harpies, chimaera, and Geryon. Do be careful if you have chupacabra because they do prefer cayenne, so I do not suggest this treatment for goats anywhere."
Thor is dumbstruck, and looking at her.
"That's my ex. He's been giving that advice for years. He doesn't even have to use his past sight to give that answer," Pandora says.
Thor looks at Bacchus, who is miming some kind of clamshell motion with his hands.
"Wait, you're the one who opened the box, aren't you?"COLLAPSE