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Debris & Detritus
The Lesser Greek Gods Running Amok
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“Debris and Detritus, the lesser-known Greek gods…*
These words launched over a dozen alternate realities and histories, invaded existing universes, and even inspired a book or two with Debris and Detritus running amok through every world they touch.
With nothing else to go on, writers from various genres created deities that might or might not actually be Greek, might or might not be of any particular gender, might or might not be of this Earth but they always wreak havoc in ways that range from darkly horrific to brightly comedic.
Join in the fun, but be forewarned about reading at night. Some of these compulsively readable tales will give you nightmares, while others will have you startling the parakeet by hooting with laughter.
Debris & Detritus Unpredictable, Unbelievable, Un-put-down-able
*Writer Rhonda Eudaly cannot be held responsible for the results of those blithely spoken words. Editor Patricia Burroughs, however, might.
“The Night I Shot Johnny Valentine”
by Max Adams
The night I shot Johnny Valentine, I was not expecting to shoot someone. Johnny Valentine was not expecting to get shot either, if his expression was any indication.
I would have shot Johnny for his name alone. It’s a really annoying name. But I have been trying to curb my murderous ways.
That Sweetest Cup
by Michelle Muenzler
Mortals often mistake me for my brother—hungry times have worn both our frames to the bone, like sun-scoured bits of driftwood. It does not help that we wear our mistakes the same. Or our needs.
Expense Claims are Hell
by Antioch Grey
Susan liked Mondays.
Weekends were busy, filled with exorcisms, banishings, removing curses, and general works of goodness. Monday was the day that the forces of darkness took the day off, slept in, and planned for the week ahead.
by Claire M. Johnson
“You must do something, Father,” Ares begged.
Shouts in support of Ares’ plea filled the temple, the clamor insistent and very loud. The two miscreants, Debris and Detritus, sat in opposite corners of the room, each of their chairs surrounded by a cage of lightning bolts to keep them in place. That didn’t stop them from using slingshots to pelt each other and those around them with fruits and vegetables. An extremely well-directed tomato splattered against the robes of Poseidon. He was not amused.
by Robin D. Owens
Planet Celta, Druida City, 424 Years After Colonization, Winter
Something — some sound, some pain kicked him into consciousness. The splintering hurt rippled through the door, sharpened as it hit the metal hinges, then dulled a bit as it traveled through his walls and floors, then eventually dissipated through his whole three-storied self.
Pain more than he’d felt . . . long, long, long time.
by ChandaElaine Spurlock
“You bastard,” Moira crossed her arms against her chest and leaned away from Tony to sneak a quick glance at her watch.
“Who took the jam out of your donut?” Tony tightened his grip on the pole as the train braked for the platform at Tottenham Court Road station.
The bifold doors sprang open with a hiss, and Moira stepped onto the platform without so much as a glance in Tony’s direction.
“What?” Tony stumbled out of the carriage and into the path of a man in a tailored suit.
The video feed on the suit’s tablet flickered.
Queer Eye for the Dead Guy
by Rhonda Eudaly
“Why? Why? Why me?” Hades slapped his palm against his forehead in time to the questions. “I became the god of the Underworld to get away from those two! How could Zeus do this to me? I haven’t done anything to him . . . lately.”
“You know what this place could use?” A highly chipper and bubbly voice echoed through the reception area.
“Besides a good scrubbing? Did you see that river?” A nearly identical voice answered. Both voices giggled.
by Toni McGee Causey
It was a routine day inside the skinny three-story building that housed the Used Goods store near the heart of the French Quarter… until the sword starting singing to Miranda.
Swords did not ordinarily sing to her, you see, and this just would not do. A customer might come in and hear it. People were usually rattled when they stepped inside, compelled, she had begun to suspect, by something they didn’t understand, and a singing sword was just one notch of crazy too far for many of them to handle.
She told the sword to hush, but the sword kept singing.
Garbage In, Monsters Out
by Irene Radford
Detritus scurried behind her older sister Aphrodite across the manicured lawns of Mt. Olympus.
Aphrodite discarded an orange peel without looking at the “No Littering” sign Zeus had placed deliberately along the path his divine daughters and immortal sons usually walked, neatly circumventing the sacred fountain at the center.
When that hadn’t kept the lovely children from dropping food, used handkerchiefs, decorative shawls, and feathers from their headdresses, Zeus had assigned his youngest two, the half-mortal twins Detritus and Debris, to pick up after their older siblings.
“Spoiled brat,” Debris whispered to his sister, younger by two minutes and therefore inferior to his superior knowledge of their world.
by Mark Finn
Individually, the two men wouldn’t have drawn more than a passing glance from the harried pedestrians of San Cibola. After all, it was a town known for its inherent strangeness, and an unshaven man, wearing rumpled and dirty clothes and bearing scraggly, shaggy, unkempt hair would have registered on any urban traveler’s survival radar as “homeless lunatic” before they moved ahead to the next potential hazard.
But together, walking side-by-side and arguing like twin brothers at a dysfunctional family barbecue, they were somehow greater than the sum of their parts. Their rumpled trench coats flapped behind them in unison, and random bits of trash and refuse spilled out in their wake, tumbling from under the coats, bouncing and clattering onto the concrete as they walked.
The Bovines of Bybanos
by MJ Butler
Viewed in one direction, the new Celestial Hall was everything Zeus desired.
Three ivory thrones decorated in gold rested between hand carved columns atop the polished marble floor. The problems started when he turned around: three additional thrones fought for space as the walls converged into a tiny area barely large enough for an opening to gain entrance.
Less a grand hall and more a twelve-foot long triangle.
And while the ceiling displayed an exquisite mural depicting their victory over the Titans, it hung so low that Zeus’s godly head was inches away from his painted one.
He began to doubt his decision to have the Cyclopes build the Hall, given their lack of depth perception.
Sweet, Dirty Love
by Jeanne Lyet Gassman
Detritus clicked on the next profile on ImmortalLoveMatch.com and sighed. “It’s hopeless. There is no one out there for me.”
“Nonsense,” her half-sister, Tidy, insisted. “We just have to keep looking.” She took a step back from the computer, tsk-tsking in her usual slightly disapproving tone. “We really need to do something about your hair. Perhaps if you put it up . . . ?”
“What? No.” Detritus shook her head, ignoring the cracker crumbs that showered over her shoulders. “My hair is fine.”
Tidy looked doubtful.
The Groom Wore Wings
by Melanie Fletcher
“There you are!”
The Greek god Debris lowered his Prada sunglasses, blinking at the sea nymph in front of him. “Lisa?” he said in unfeigned delight. “Sweetie, you look fabulous!”
His twin brother Detritus (also Greek, also a god) slid his own designer eyewear up just to be different, eyeing the leggy brunette. “Girlfriend, you are looking on point,” he said in approval. “Kate Spade?”
“Kay Unger,” Lisa said, glancing down at her dress. “But that’s not important right now. I need your help.”
By Any Other Name
Detritus loved parties as a rule.
He loved the abandoned plastic serving ware. He loved the dented red plastic party cups scattered like poppies blooming on the lawn. The half-eaten appetizers and dried-out cake. He loved the irreparably stained party clothes never to be worn again, and all the little wadded up napkins—oh, how his heart was touched by each and every crumpled darling! The empty cans and bottles tugged at him like the sight of a child tottering along the edge of a great precipice, and each one snatched from the hands of a potential recycler and thrown into the garbage was a tiny victory for him and did him good deep down. Yes, Detritus loved parties. Still, he had to admit he’d enjoy this particular party more if the guest list had been a bit more exclusive.
It seemed as though half the gods in the history of the world were here tonight, but weren’t they always? Shortening the guest list invariably led to a divine battle, so it was generally not done. Not unless someone was incredibly bored.
All the same, he could have done without Jesus. Detritus liked him, of course—you couldn’t help but like Jesus—but he did seem to bring out the worst in some people: Detritus’s twin brother, Debris, for instance.
by Beth Teliho
It was the kind of storm where the sky is sickly green, and the air is charged with so much electricity your scalp tingles with each bolt of lighting. Rain surges from the black sky in thick sheets, saturating the earth in seconds, and you wince and duck instinctively with each violent clap of thunder.
Yeah. That’s the kind of storm we had the morning I got my fucking brain cooked while peering into the chest cavity of a man. Don’t worry. He was already dead. I’m a medical examiner, not a killer.
* ConDFW is a literary science fiction and fantasy convention featuring writing/publishing based programming, science programming, an excellent collection of guests, art show, a charity book swap and auction, and a slew of non-traditional activities such as the Sci-Fi Spelling Bee.