Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Night Of Splendor - #FridayFlash

The night of the Goddess Ball found a reluctant Chronos, resplendent in his tux, following Death into the ballroom to mingle with their peers in the cosmos.

"Why are you squirming so, my friend?" Death said. "Didn't you take the time to have your tux fitted properly?"

"It fits fine, I guess. I just don't like these soirees. They seem pointless."

Death's jaw dropped down in a chuckle. "Of course they are, but let's make the most of it, shall we?"

As soon as they had drinks in hand one of the minor goddesses rushed up to them, her light hair fluttering behind her.

"Thanatos, I've been dying to meet you."

"No need to be formal, my dear. My friends just call me Death."

Chronos hid a smile behind his drink. Death didn't like his name, said it had too many syllables for his easy-going personality. His hand clutched the glass tighter as he spotted her descending the marble steps and glide into the ballroom. Midnight hair swirled about a gown made of starlight.


Chronos couldn't catch his breath; his knees turned to jelly. Death slapped him on the back, breaking his trance.

"Breathe, my friend. Just whistle if you need me." He laughed and walked away with the blonde, leaving Chronos to sway like a mesmerized cobra.

Nyx locked her fathomless eyes on Chronos, a smile gracing her pouty lips as she glided over to stand next to him.

"It's been awhile since you've come to visit me."

The lilt in her voice vibrated through him. He stammered as he tried to reply.

"I-I've been terribly busy. Not enough hours in the day lately. You're looking b-beautiful."

"I'll expect a visit soon."

She blew him a kiss and walked away, leaving a scent of night jasmine to trail behind her. Chronos slid his arm across his damp forehead, snagging the small hourglass cufflinks in his hair as he did so.

Death strode back over, tossing peanuts into his eye sockets as he walked. One landed in a champagne glass being carried on a tray. The butler sniffed at the faux pas and handed the offensive glass over before continuing on. Death shrugged as he took it.

"I guess since he's already dead he thinks I can't do him any harm. It's a good thing I'm so easygoing. But what about you? How'd your chat with Nyx go?"

"Pretty well. She moved on to mingle with the other guests. Where's your new friend?"

"That silly little thing? She's way too young for me. Besides, she's allergic to peanuts. It would never work out."

Chronos nudged Death in the ribs. "Look who just arrived."

They watched the altercation at the top of the staircase with interest, wondering if the doorman would burst into flames.

"Lucien must be in a good mood tonight," Chronos murmured as they watched Evil knock the man down the steps without incinerating him.

"Greetings, Evil." Death waved him over and grabbed a drink for him.

"Some of the hired help here are rather stuffy, aren't they?" Lucien downed his drink in one swallow and waved for another. "He had the audacity to inform me that I wasn't welcome."

Death shook his skull and tossed another peanut. "The nerve. But enough about bad manners – you're looking great in that red cummerbund. The color suits you."

"Thank you. May I say that…"

Death and Chronos both looked in the direction that Lucien was staring at, wondering why he'd gone still as a statue. Lachesis stood by the buffet table, her golden gown a rival to the sun itself.

"Excuse me, gentlemen." Lucien absently handed his drink over to a bemused Chronos. "I see someone I need to talk to."

They watched the moth approach the flame in amusement.

"I didn't realize that Lucien had a thing for Lachesis," Chronos whispered.

"Oh, he's talked about her for months now…ever since she threw potato salad at him during the spring picnic. I guess he likes a challenge."

The ensuing melee around the appetizers had diners scattering as Lachesis flung the shrimp bowl at Lucien. He wandered back, dabbing cocktail sauce off his shirt.

"What did you say to her?" Death asked.

"I only had a chance to say hello."

"I suppose that was enough." Chronos grinned at him. "You have a shrimp in your pants."

"What? Oh…" Evil looked down and pulled the offensive morsel out of his waistband.

"Here comes trouble," Death murmured. "Did either one of you change a mortal's fate lately?"

Chronos spun to see what Death was talking about, just in time to see Atropos bearing down on them. Ares nodded in their direction and surged in front of her to run interference for the three of them while they melted out the back door.

"That was close." Lucien gave a little shudder.

Chronos mopped his forehead again. He'd have to get the tux dry cleaned after only wearing it for an hour.

Death linked arms with them. "Since we're all dressed up, how 'bout we go have some fun, mortal-style? I want to go dancing with people who know how to boogie."

Chronos smiled. "That's fine by me. Lead the way."

©2010 Laura Eno