The gods all knew that Cupid had gone rogue, but when he switched from bow and arrow to sloppy, yellow spray paint, something had to be done, and quickly. He’d already made a hash of North America and Antarctica, taking liberties with darts.
“Penguins are cuddling with leopard seals!” Ares shouted to Apollo, but the sun god merely chuckled until Cupid started messing with Miami. There, cabana boys deserted all the beaches to pine for Goth girls rife with piercings.
“I’m all for creativity in love,” Apollo complained to his twin sister Artemis, “but there should be some parity in tan lines.” The goddess of the hunt had her own concerns. Her normal prey of criminals and villains had all gone soft around the heart. “There’s nothing left to do,” she said. “Bank robbers are giving roses to the tellers, and every rapscallion on the street is helping an old lady at a crossing.”
“Damn,” Poseidon muttered. “You think you’ve got problems? My sharks are kissing up to minnows. Do you know what kind of havoc that can wreak?”
Dionysus nodded, “Yup, there’s no real debauchery anymore.”
“And not much thinking, either,” Athena sniped, eyes narrowed into fury.
Even Hera thought there was a little too much harmony. “Bah,” she said to Zeus, “there’s no room for everyone at the cozy. What’s the point of empires if we all just get along?” Zeus didn’t bother answering. He was throwing thunderbolts at Liberals and Conservatives embracing in a park.
Hestia left the hearth to shout at Aphrodite, “Get your off-spring back on track!”
“He doesn’t listen to his mother,” Aphrodite answered. Everyone saw her point. Jerusalem was wrapped in multi-lingual harmonies, Muslims hand in hand with Jews. Christians waded beside Hindus in the Ganges, and the Communists of China restored the boundaries of Tibet.
The gods were out for blood, but they couldn’t catch the winged master of graffiti. By the time the immortal consortium arrive in North Korea and Iran, all the nukes were gone. In Mexico, the drug cartels sponsored pet adoptions. Wall Street was a ghost town, with all the bankers down in Sub-Saharan Africa building hospitals and schools.
Demeter threw away her cornucopia, Hephaestus his anvil, and Hermes his little flying sandals. Humans simply didn’t need them anymore.
“Cupid has ruined immortality,” nearly everyone agreed. Hades was the lone dissenter. The River Styx glowed golden beneath an array of hovering yellow hearts. And once all hell broke loose in love graffiti, the gods knew they were defeated. “It’s not so bad,” Hades said, “we needed a vacation.” The pantheon threw their laurel crowns at him, but Hades merely shrugged. He had always craved a close accord with Cerberus. Now the three-headed dog let him scratch behind all six ears and ate biscuits from his hand. Hades thought he might take him for a walk. Wasn’t Venice just lovely about this time of year?
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