Flash Friday 14/02/2014: God Is(n’t) Dead
“Your package,” the deliveryman said. “A flute, I take it.”
“I’m surprised you know what it is.” Faye took the device handed to her and signed for her package.
“Well, it is from Harvey and Son’s Flute Specialists. Given the size of it, this definitely isn’t spare parts.”
“You’d be right. This will be yet another instrument I won’t get around to playing. Won’t stop me from buying them, though, will it?”
“Always good to be musically inclined, madam. Here’s your package.”
Faye took the package, but she wasn’t looking at it. She had, finally, managed to stare face-to-face with the deliveryman, looking at him with her jaw half open.
“You’re Hermes. From Greek mythology.”
Hermes turned around from walking down the garden path. “Sorry?”
“You’re the god, Hermes. The messenger. From Greek mythology.”
Hermes blinked. “How on earth did you figure that out?”
“I love Greek mythology, and you look just like the depictions of him that were made in Ancient Greek times. Everything that was documented — from your hair down to your voice — matches you perfectly. Plus, the, uh, shoes.”
“What? Oh.” Hermes turned his right foot on its toes. “Yeah, I guess the wings are a little bit of a giveaway, aren’t they? Well. See you.”
“Wait a minute,” Faye said, stumbling out of the door. “You can’t just leave, not after you just admitted to being a Greek god. I have so much I want to ask you.”
Hermes arched a brow. “Really? Because people have been really quiet with us these days. We haven’t been talked at for a long time. We’re old news, all washed up. We had it good, and then that God guy came along. We thought he couldn’t do much, and then he did that thing with the long-haired guy who made fish and bread and turned water into wine. Man.” Hermes shook his head to himself. “Why didn’t we think of that? Water to wine is the most perfect PR stunt you can do. Here we thought the sacrifices brought in the crowds.”
Faye had a face like a cat who was wondering where the red dot went. “So why the hell are you delivering mail?”
“Because we have to do something. The worst part about being immortal is that when you’re forgotten, you’re forgotten. At least you guys get to perish and go do something else if this life doesn’t treat you so well. Us? We have to do something or else we go insane. You have no idea how close Zeus was to snapping until electricity was finally invented. The guy can run a power plant like nobody’s business. Sometimes, on good days, he is one.”
“So, given that you’re the messenger, you obviously went into a delivery role given your high speeds?”
“Well, yes and no. I’m a natural born deliveryman, sure, but using these boots would spell the end of me. The moment someone catches me running faster than a formula one car and delivering mail in the blink of an eye, there will be some serious questions coming my way. No, I have to keep my powers on the low-down. Like if I’m missing my favourite television show, for instance.”
“So can you bestow powers onto mortals? Like, immortality, or good looks, or eternal luck?”
“Not really. I did just bestow upon you a flute, though, so there’s that.”
Faye scuffed her foot on the ground. If she was asked ‘what would you ask a long forgotten Greek god if they turned up to your doorstep and gave you a flute?’ before today, she would have probably produced a long, comprehensive list of just about anything anyone would ever want to ask someone of Hermes’ stature. Of course, if she got a little bit of time, she could think of all the things she wanted to ask. As Hermes gave a light wave and continued back down the path, however, Faye realised that she didn’t have much time left before she would potentially lose this chance forever more.
She had to engage her ‘get to know someone better’ plan.
“Say,” she began.
Hermes stopped and turned again. For someone who emphasised speed, he was being very patient.
“So, uh,” Faye began, leaning against the doorframe. “Tea sometime?”
Hermes blinked. “Beats drinking ambrosia all day, I suppose. Tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow is totally fine.” It wasn’t. She had been dragged to see a film with a group of friends she was desperately trying to distance herself from, ever since she discovered that the only reason they were her friends is because they only showed her the best side of their two faces. Meeting a god was definitely worth drawing their ire. Getting to know one better, tenfold. “See you then.”
“Right.” Hermes waved. “See you.”
She should have said a time. She should have said a better place. She should have thought this whole thing out a lot better. All that was cast under the carpet, however, as she gave him a wave back as he continued his rounds, because all she could think about was how there was going to be a forgotten Greek god sitting on her chairs and drinking her finely-picked tea tomorrow. She was a mortal, and to err is human; she was sure Hermes was used to such things by now.
She just hoped he wouldn’t take her out on a run. She probably wouldn’t have any legs left after that.