*Odysseus' Face*

Into Bits and Pieces

Polyphemos' form rose and sank with each sleeping breath. I crept beside him with sword in hand. One swift thrust into his side, through to his liver, and he would be dead. After the loss of two of my crew to his culinary cravings, I was seriously rethinking taking up vegetarianism. Polyphemos on the otherhand was due to become daisy food.

Just as my arm was drawn back in readiness for the full force of a swift stab, I was distracted by a pair of mice scraping at the wall next to the large stone. They were futilely attempting to make their own exit from the cave. If I killed the giant now, we would have no hope of pushing the rock aside that blocked our escape. I lowered my arm realising I would need to rethink my strategy.

I lay next to the women and men of what remained of our exploration team. I encouraged them to sleep while I stayed awake contemplating the reality of our situation.

With morning came the Cyclops' awakening. He arose, brushed his teeth, saw to the needs of his sheep, spent some time churning butter, then began preparing porridge for which he grabbed another two of my people and made them the lumpy bits you find near the bottom of the bowl. It was with great pain that I watched those two chewed up like so many raisins due to my foolhardiness. How many more were going to die in this business? When Polyphemos left for the day with his sheep he carefully closed the door behind him, keeping us prisoners.

Quickly, I organised everyone to take the Cyclops' club and to fashion it into a nice long skewer. We whittled the tip into a sharp point and super-heated it in the fire. It was going to be stake for dinner tonight.

When Polyphemos returned home he took two more people, battered them and fried them in boiling sheep fat. He then dipped their remains in ketchup to eat. I offered the Cyclops a mug of the wine I had brought. "This is good stuff, Myra," commented Polyphemos. He asked for another mug which I readily gave him. Before long I had doled out the entire skin of Chianti.

"You're a decent sort," said Polyphemos his voice carrying a drunken gurgle. "You know what I'm going to do? Just to show you my appreciation for bringing to me such good meat and good wine, I'm going to eat you last. What do you think of that?" I didn't even have the time to formulate an answer to that generous offer when the Cyclops passed out with wine and pieces of human leg and rib dribbling out the side of his mouth.

As swift as scurrying mice ourselves, we brought out the spike. Together we screwed our strength and courage, then dashed at Polyphemos' closed eye, singeing the eyelashes, piercing through the pupil and almost to the brain. We could hear the fluid in his ball hiss before the blood began pouring in torrents down his face. I then had my people run to the sheep pens while Polyphemos gained swift consciousness in agony and began thrashing about.

He fled the cave (still closing the rock behind him) in order to dowse his socket in water. We could hear him crying out to the other Cyclops. "Who has done this to you?" the others asked.

"Myra Bit!" Polyphemos spat in rage, "Myra Bit has taken my eye."

The other Cyclops just laughed, "If your rabbit would do such things, then perhaps you shouldn't be keeping vorpal bunnies."


Made to Rock and Roll.

Copyright © 1998 Katherine Phelps