Artemis — goddess of the moon and the hunt.
Bernie Benedict, an interpol agent, ‘The God Whisperer,’ who is in the process of becoming the god named Cupcaecius — and is looking more and more like Cary Grant every day.
Jesus, Son of God, nice kid, but kind of a doofus.
The scent of gardenias filled the room as all six-foot-six of the alabaster skinned Artemis danced, swirled and spun her skirt off into the dark corners of the Bacchus Bar. Doves flew toward their table, each holding a linen napkin to protect what little modesty that she had left. Is she going to play me like a cat? thought Bernie. Bat me around until I become a headless gift to the other gods? Bernie Benedict was conscious enough to steal a napkin from the beak of one of Artie’s “modesty” doves. The one intended for her left breast. The face of Jesus appeared on the small square of linen.
“Σκατά! (Poopy!)” said Artemis.
As if someone hit the phonograph needle, the theme from Zorba came to a ripping halt. Bernie cried out. “Who invited you?”
The goddess quickly wrapped herself within the linen tablecloth. “Who invited him?”
“Wait! Don’t get mad,” said the Messiah. “I had to tell someone. I wanted you to be the first to know. Bernie I found someone! A goddess — of —my — own!”
“Not now, junior,” said Bernie.
The normally morose Messiah was jumping up and down. “Everyone calls her The Goddess Candy.”
Bernie asked, “Goddess Candy? Does she wear black leather and run a restaurant called Dominance Pizza?”
Jesus, surprised, stared at Bernie. “Yeah. Hey! You know her?”
“Sure we know her,” said Artemis. “I hate to tell you, J.C., but she’s not a real goddess. That’s her ‘stage name.’ She’s a dominatrix. You poor schmo.”
“A what? לַעֲזָאזֵל! Daddammit! I feel like such a douchebagel.”
“Did she ask you to lick her boots?”
“Uhhhh… Please don’t mention this to my mom. Okay?”
“Sure. Hey, since you’re here, let me ask your opinion on something. If I, Bernie Benedict, a mortal, succumb to a goddess who is outside of my own religion…”
“Ass worship?” said Artemis, slapping away Bernie’s naughty tentacles.
J.C. was staring at the soaked, disheveled Artemis. “You’ll be damned if you do, Bernie.”
Bernie, downcast, looked upset.
Jesus elbowed Bernie in the ribs. “But damned if you don’t,” he laughed. Little Shredded Wheat Puss sure is in a good mood, thought Artemis.
Bernie, relieved, bowed in gratitude, hitting his drunken head on the table. “Ow. Fuck.”
“I’ll leave you two sinners alone,” said Jesus. “I just thought I’d tell you…mumble…ah לַעֲזָאזֵל!”
Fading while blushing, the Messiah went away in a little ‘poof.’
Artemis’ eyes smoldered at Bernie, “Definitely damned if you don’t.” The tablecloth she’d been wearing dropped to the floor. Guilt had left the building. She was naked and glowing pink from within. “See, cupcake! I’m PETA approved.”
“Oh, god,” said Bernie. Oops what’d I just say?
“You rang, good buddy?” Jesus was back on the tablecloth.
“No! It was a mishtake.” yelled Bernie.
“Sorry. Did I leave my halo here?”
“It’s on your head. Now, go away,” said the pair, who was an explosive combination of pent-up bodily fluids, combustible alcohol and frenzied jutting protuberances.
“Did I already mention to you, Bernie,” asked Jesus, “that …”
The savior faded away.