Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Twelfth Night Masquerade Flash Fiction Contest Entry #12Masque

Thank you to Meg McNulty for hosting this fabulous contest. Click HERE to see the rest of the entries. Following is the basis for the contest:

Twelfth night.  The last day of Christmas, the end of the pagan winter festival, the night when the Lord of Misrule takes centre stage, lords become servants and servants become lords.  Twelfth night, the start of the Carnival season. For the classicists amongst you, think of Janus, the two faced god whose festival heralds the start of the new year.

Entrants are charged with writing a poem or flash fiction of up to 500 words that involves masks or masquerades.

And here is my entry:



Prior to Eos’ flight, Jason traveled by moonlight and crept close to the palace. The hero hid in the shadows, eyes keen, muscles stiff. He relaxed as a female form approached. A hooded cloak draped her frame. Soft dawn light broke the horizon suddenly, drawn forth as if summoned from the dark shadows at the world’s edge. The warm rays illuminated the mask that hid the woman’s face.
     Behind the mask, her eyes glimmered in the dim light. Their beauty struck him with the power of Hephaestus’ hammer smashing against his ashen anvil. She removed her hood and slowly dragged her fingers through her long hair. Gentle tresses cascaded over her shoulders.
     Her honeyed voice floated over the distance between them and into his ears, “Καλημέρα. Good morning, brave Jason. Are you certain you wish to accept my father’s challenges? Are you truly the man to face down these tasks, cross my father, and place your crew in grave danger... or worse?”
     “Did you not witness my earlier display in the palace?”
     She smiled. “I did indeed.” Her hazel eyes sparkled with the memory of how her dark arts had saved him from a spear intent on impaling her new love. “But, what else do you have in that tunic of yours? You’ll need more than fancy acrobatics to complete these labors.”
     She produced a phial from inside her chiton. “Take this. It contains an oil you must apply to your entire body, shield, cuirass, and helm prior to the first task, else your death will be slow and painful.”
     He would have asked why she thought he needed her help. After all, he hadn’t needed her aid in any of the previous trials he’d faced. But then, Eros’ arrow lodged a bit deeper, love filling Jason’s chest cavity. Jason’s heart quickened, drumming a passionate cadence against his chest. A smile crept across his face. “Σας ευχαριστώ. Thank you. But why are you helping me, may I ask?”
     “You are the first person to come for the golden fleece that I believe can actually succeed... with my help of course,” she purred and caressed his muscular arms from forearm to bicep. “You’re either favored by the gods as you say, or foolish to a fault. Either way, I’m drawn to you. I cannot say why the passion burns so strongly after one meeting, but it does.”
     Jason crossed his arms. “I’ll not believe that you’d willingly betray your father’s volatile temper. Hera warned me as much. And I certainly witnessed it yesterday.”
     She placed Jason’s hand over her heart. “Eros’ shafts do not strike in varying degrees. Their impact is full and deep, blossoming unrestrained like flowers in spring.”
     “I too felt the bite of Eros’ arrows, but a growing affection is no reason to incur your father’s wrath.”
     “An ordinary love is not,” she countered. “Yet, the gods have cast their eyes upon us both. It is their will not ours.”


Hope you enjoyed.