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Stories by Laura Lagana
Chaos, Disorder And Mayhem

Zeus opened the door to his office and yelled at Pandora. “I told you not to open that box. Now we’ll never get rid of those things.”

She wiped at the tears falling down her rosy cheeks. “I didn’t mean to. I was putting the box away and it slipped from my hand. When it hit the floor, the lid popped open and those horrible little creatures fell out. I tried putting them back, but they kept wiggling through my fingers.” She shuddered. “They’re disgusting.”

He rolled his eyes. “Of course they are. I spent a millennium making sure they never escaped and you waltz into my office and ‘accidentally’ set them free.”

Pandora sputtered with indignation. “I was dusting your shelves like you asked me to do.” She mumbled the next comment under her breath. “Who puts something evil in a tiny box and then stores it on the top shelf anyway?”

Zeus arched a brow at her. “Don’t stand there crying about it. We need to catch them and put them back in the box before they escape Mount Olympus and destroy Earth.”

Her gaze grew round. “Oh no!” She scurried across the floor and scooped a couple of the creatures into a box. Turning toward Zeus, she put her hands on her hips and demanded, “Don’t just stand there. Help me gather these things.”

“Oh…right.” Zeus lifted the corner of his desk and grabbed one of the creatures and tossed it into the box that Pandora held open for him. “I know there are more of these things.” He caught a movement out of the corner of his eye and grabbed another creature.

Pandora shrieked and lifted her skirts as a couple of the creatures ran under her feet.

Zeus scooped them up with the box. “Thought you could get away from me did you?”

“These things give me the creeps.” Pandora looked around the room and under the desk. “I see one. Quick! Hand me the broom and I’ll flush it out.” She grabbed the handle from Zeus’s outstretched hand. “I see three of those little creatures huddled in the back of the corner.” Shoving the bristles under the cabinet, Pandora squealed when the three creatures yanked her hair over her eyes and ran past Zeus.

“Pandora! They’re getting away.”

She clutched her skirt to keep the material from tripping her as she stood. “You’re the god of lightning.” Pandora waved her hands frantically in the air. “Throw some bolts or something.”

Zeus drew back his hand and flung a bolt at the door. He missed. Flames and smoke filled the entryway, but the creatures jumped through the fire and ran out of the palace.

Their tiny feet scampered down the side of Mount Olympus, fleeing toward Earth. When the coast was clear, the creatures snuck aboard a wooden raft, all the while hiding from Charon the ferry man, as they crossed the river Styx.

Pandora stood at the top of Mount Olympus with Zeus at her side and watched the creatures make their escape. “They got away. It’s only three of them. How much damage can three of them do?”

“I don’t know. I hope not much.” Zeus led Pandora away from the edge to help her secure the box and put it in a safe place. Doubt dogged his every step.

Thousands of years later, Pandora looked down from Mount Olympus and sobbed. The three creatures that had fled so long ago spread their chaos, disorder and mayhem upon Earth. They multiplied. Their offspring spread to the far corners of the planet. Waste from their uncontrollable desires filled the rivers, streams and air. No species was safe from their destructive greed.

Zeus put his arm around Pandora’s shoulder. “It is far worse than I feared. The creatures have destroyed the world.”

“I wish I hadn’t cleaned your office that day.”

“There is nothing we can do about it now. All we have left is the hope that they will learn to take care of Earth before it’s too late.”

She shook her head. “I don’t think that will ever happen.”

Together they turned away from the edge to join the other god’s who were afraid to go near the humans who had destroyed everything they touched.

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