6:2: “Acteon, Before The Kill”, by Mikal Trimm

6:2: “Acteon, Before The Kill”, by Mikal Trimm
A Goddess, yes—her nakedness a sight
Forbidden to all mortal men—I know
These things. Forgive me if I seem a bit
Annoyed. It’s not as if I go about
The woods to spy on Huntresses at bath.
I hunt as well, you know; and I have seen
My share of lovely girls, disheveled all.
Admittedly, they do not measure up
To Godhood all unhooded, nor did they
Exude the sweet and heady musk of that
Nymph-groomed Olympian. I still recall
The spotless sun-drenched canvas of her skin,
The gentle swell of rose-tipped breasts, the dark
Inviting tangle of—enough! The view,
As views are ranked, was paramount. Agreed.
But I was not a spy! I did not go,
Bedecked in hunting garb and finely armed,
Into the forest looking for a thrill—
Unless said thrill could later be displayed
Upon my trophy-wall, or possibly
Be roasted on a spit and served for lunch.
I hunt. She hunts. We would have made a pair,
Two beings with a common goal, blessed with
Uncommon aim. If she had only been
In proper dress, we could have traded tales
Of hunts magnificent, of kills sublime,
Of bows and dogs and all the hunt entails.
Instead, I caught a single glance of flesh
And Artemis, Eternal Virgin she,
Took umbrage at my presence—frigid wench!—
And changed hunter to prey, bold man to stag.
Abandoned in Her forest, I curse Fate
And tremble at the baying of my hounds…

Mikal Trimm is the only person of his name in the U.S.—he’s checked it out. He also writes short stories and poems, and sells them more often than not. (He’s checked that, too.) Unless he has a doppleganger, more of his work can be found (or will be found, which opens up the whole space-time continuum thing) in venues including Weird Tales, Black Gate, Strange Horizons, Interfictions, and Electric Velocipede. Depending on your time zone.

I love mythology. Period. I also assume all those I know not only love mythology, but are conversant in every little tidbit of ancient history. Sadly, this is not always the fact.

But there is a story in Greek mythology about a great hunter who accidentally saw a Goddess bathing, and I’ve always thought that the punishment was a bit, um, over the top….

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