I was running late on my rural newspaper delivery route yesterday. A couple of conversations with chatty customers, a photo opportunity I couldn’t pass up, and the need to stop and put a quart of oil in the truck — it all adds up! As I neared the end of the route, bumping over gravel roads near Payson, Illinois, the impending sunset caught my attention. “Might be a good one!”, I thought.
It’s tricky navigating the twists, turns, and potholes while still keeping an eye on the sunset, as the sun had found an opening in the clouds and was blazing through it in a manner which left blue spots floating before my eyes.
As the sun once again became obscured, a favorable development from my point of view, a winged figure swooped by me through the open truck window and perched on the back of the seat. Eos at sunset? Surely not!
I looked over and saw a rather strange sight. Another winged humanoid, but this one was male and had leathery bat-like wings, as well as a smirk upon his Irish-looking face.
I exclaimed, “Who or what the hell are you?!”
“My name is Dysis — people and gods in the know call me the Lord of the Dusk. Eos told me about you, that you have been photographing our domain, the sky, so I thought I would drop by for a visit.”
“Oh, I don’t know about this! I’ve never heard of a Greek god named Dysis! You look more like a mutated Malaysian Fruit Bat!”
“I admit that I don’t get the publicity that Eos always seems to find. That bitch is a shameless self-promoter! Posing for Renaissance painters, sleeping with that blind dirty old man poet back in the old days in Greece — she’ll do anything for good PR!”
“So you’re a friend of Eos?”
“Well, a bit more than a friend. I freely confess that I’ve been courting her for eons, but she always rejects me. She has this idea that sunsets are second-rate compared to her fancy dawns. Kinda pisses me off, but I’m still smitten with her.”
Dysis gestured towards the west-facing window of the truck. “Now take a look at that, Larry! Isn’t that a nice effect?”
I said, “Yeah, that’s good all right! I like the molten-brass strands contrasting with the clouds.”
We drove on in silence for a while. The sunset evolved. I said:
“Dysis, if you are in charge of this sunset, how is it that you can be down here riding with me in my truck?”
“Larry, a sunset like this isn’t a one-God job! I have about thirty sprites up there doing the grunt work. They are coming along well, though most of them still have to use templates in order to get the patterns, the mackerel and fractal-like sequences, started well. Here’s one developing as we speak!”
Well, I have to say that I’m always interested in meeting and talking with local deities! They seem to seek me out.