Male 30+. 374 words. JAILER: “Hephaestus.” From: Aesop’s Fable.

By Paul Pasulka

Well, Hephaestus, see, is the son of Zeus and Hera, the top gods. Hephaestus is a cripple too, though there’s different stories as to why. Some say he were born that way, and Hera threw him off Mount Olympus ‘cause she was disgusted with him. Nine days and nights it took him to fall to earth. Some say that’s how he got lamed – when he hit the ground. Some – them that worship her special – say it weren’t her at all, but Zeus that threw him when Hephaestus tried to stop him from wallupin’ her. It could be true, though. They’s always fightin’.

So, anyhow, Hephaestus, his legs didn’t work so good, but because of this fact, his arms and shoulders and back was the strongest of all the gods, and he was exceptional clever. He could make anything. And you always know when he’s working hardest, cause you can hear his hammer singing every time you hears thunder, and see the sparks from his fire with the lighting. Now, son, you probably also don’t know about Hermes. See, Hermes is the messenger God. He brings messages to and from all the other gods and such, and as strong as Hephaestus is, that’s how fast Hermes has to be. But he only got that way ‘cause Hephaestus made him some wings. Before that, he was just a fizzle.

And they say that Achilles couldn’t be harmed ‘cause he was dipped in a magic bath when he were just a babe – ‘cept for his Achilles heel, where his mother held him but that ain’t exactly true, ‘cause if it were, he wouldn’t need no armor at all. Nope. Hephaestus made him a suit of armor – the lightest and strongest – and most elegant – in the world.

Tell you what else he made. As he got a little older, he had more trouble walkin’, so he makes himself a chariot. Well, Helios – the god of the sun? – He sees this and he thinks, “Yep, that’s just what I needs to drag the sun through the heavens every day. Oh, yeah. And Cupid? His bow and arrows? The stuff of love and stuff? None other than Hephaestus.