MASH Magazine Issue 2 - Page 18

The Perfect Surname My Big Fat Mythical Greek Wedding After a long day of turning various monsters, villains, demi-gods to stone, all Perseus wanted was to remove his sandals, sit back, and maybe sneak in a nap before dinner. ‘Smith, Jones, Davies, Hughes …’ he thought to himself, strolling down the High Street. ‘Rivendell, Mordor, Baggins, Took …’ Shortlisted Story Nor’dzin Pamo nordzin@gmail.com Nor’dzin Pamo lives in Wales, UK with her husband and two grown-up sons. She is the author of two books: Relaxing into Meditation and Spacious Passion. You can contact her via her blog: http://ngakma-nordzin.blogspot.com “Perfect. Let’s go to that place in the arcade.” Valerie had absolutely refused to become a Ramsbottom. He could not blame her—the name had always blighted his social status—and he was quite happy to lose it as well. One of the advantages of living in a country where democracy and freedom of choice still had some meaning was that they could decide to choose their own surname. It was a simple procedure to adopt a new one. But what name to choose? ‘Pegasus, Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Ursa …’ They always agreed. Everything was always so easy. Arm in arm, Gilbert and Valerie ordered their meal at the little café and as they sat at a table, Gilbert noticed that Valerie was looking excited. She had something to tell him. He ignored the little voice inside that said ‘she is going to break up with you.’ Her excitement was happyexcitement, not anxious-excitement. “I’ve found the perfect surname for us,” she exclaimed, unable to contain herself any longer. And there she was, waiting for him. “Oh, wonderful. Well done. What is it?” ‘Rose, Lily, Forget-me-not, Love-in-a-mist …’ “Hello, Darling.” She plonked a fat wet kiss on his mouth and he felt himself colour. “How is my gorgeous boy today?” Would he ever get used to this? To be kissed by a buxom belle with come-to-bed eyes and curves in all the right places was beyond his wildest dreams. How did she find him attractive—a balding, skinny dentist, with a tendency to wear brown? He had decided that it was best not to question it, but to embrace it and enjoy the ride. “Where shall we go to eat?” “I quite fancy a burger today, if that is okay with you,” Gilbert replied. 18 Once, Andromeda’s beauty had angered the gods. Perseus rescued her and then claimed her as his prize. Now the rolls of her flesh flowed like the angry sea, a sea Perseus wanted no part of. Many days he wished he hadn’t turned Phineus, her original betrothed, into stone. Phineus now stood in the courtyard holding the bag with the Gorgon’s head. If he could reverse the spell, Perseus would have gladly given Andromeda back to him. “That was some good flying today,” he said, patting Pegasus on the nose. “Couldn’t have done it without you.” ‘These are obviously too ordinary. Tardis, Enterprise, Defiant, Serenity … these are too me and not sufficiently her.’ Gilbert Ramsbottom could still not quite believe that he was getting married. The wrong side of forty and the most boring, nondescript person in the known universe—in his opinion—and he was getting married. How had that happened? Gazing into the mouth of a patient is not the most obvious way to meet the woman you are going to marry, but for a dentist called Gilbert there were not many options. “This isn’t a democracy! I wanted you to do it!” “Dearheart.” “Pardon?” “Dearheart. It’s from a Terry Pratchett book. Isn’t it perfect?” Well no, not really. It was too obvious, too clichéd, and likely to cause as much ridicule as ‘Ramsbottom’. Gilbert gazed into Valerie’s eyes. She gazed back like a child offering a gift. Her look was open and artless—she truly felt that ‘Dearheart’ was a wonderful surname to secure the union of their love. He melted into her eyes, and knew he could deny her nothing. He heard himself say, “Yes, my love, it is indeed perfect.” The winged steed nodded in agreement. “Perseus, is that you?” a shrill voice called from within the palace. A terrible shiver crawled down his back. Pegasus snorted. His dreams of a quieter life were interrupted by their son Mestor running into the palace, his hand covering his mouth and dripping blood. “Easy, boy. You get to stay out here. I’m the one that married her,” Perseus said softly to his steed. “Son, what’s wrong?” Perseus said. “Perseus, get in here. Now.” “He probably ran into one of those damn statues you have all over the place. It’s no wonder no one comes to our parties,” Andromeda said. “Yes, dear.” Taking down the oiled sack that held the Medusa’s head he placed it in the outstretched arms of a nearby statue. A small hole caught on a stone finger and two drops of the Gorgon’s blood fell to the earth. Instantly two serpents formed and slithered off into the brush. Perseus stepped casually over them. Mestor nodded and let Perseus look at his mouth. “A tooth is loose. I have to take him to Kevinicus, the dentist.” Perseus grabbed the boy and carried him out to Pegasus. In seconds they were airbo