Ask Asteria: Everyone plays that game when they’re younger. You know the one where you say what question you’d ask God if you ever got the chance. Never really thought it’d happen — well, not while I’m alive anyway. And even with all the shit going on in the world right now, all the things I could ask about, I still only want to know one thing: what do you look like naked? —Beadtosser in Baton Rouge
There’s a lovely story in our history — ours, the Gods, not yours, the man-children — of Artemis and, well, basically every man who tried to look at her naked.
There were three: Orion, Actaeon, and Siproites.
Now, Artemis loved Orion. He was her hunting companion. So many times did I look down from the heights and smile, watching them streak, bright-skinned and fleet of foot, through the woods in pursuit of game. But Orion just couldn’t be satisfied to have a Goddess and not possess her, and he tried to remove her robe.
Artemis flat out killed his ass — nice knowing you, pardner! — and threw the chunks that were left up in the sky to swirl around for all eternity. Betelgeuse? That’s his left nut.
Actaeon, Artemis didn’t love. In fact, she didn’t even know he existed when he decided to sneak up on her as she bathed. Men shouldn’t sneak up on goddesses — you breathe like Hephaestus’ forge huffing a lump of slag. Anyway, she turned Actaeon into a stag and set his own dogs on him. Man-kibble. Mmmmm.
Poor Siproites at least survived. Artemis turned him into a girl. Not this magical woo-woo shape-shifty nonsense either. She kicked his balls up inside him and shriveled his already no-longer-interested prick into nothing with a glance. And put ribbons in his hair. Pink ones.
We wrote these cautionary stories down in books — maybe not the ribbons part. We slapped them on urns. We sculpted them in 3D and put them on pedestals.
And even after these hand-fed tales of warning and woe…even after being chunked, hound-rent, and withered…you, dear Beadtosser, still have the audacity to leer at us on street corners, send unsolicited Snapchat dick pics, and jerk off to divine advice columns.
Fine. I’ll grant your request.
Maybe that next woman you try to pick up by slipping something in her drink — yes, I know about that — maybe it won’t be a woman at all. Maybe it will be a goddess you take home, and she’ll have a question for you, too.
How would you like your remains: sliced, flayed, or crushed?
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