Greek God Naming Ceremony

Child’s rattle (terracotta, Greek, 6th-3rd century BCE).

Daphne looked her Aunt Entropy in the eye. “You wouldn’t. Seriously? Fifty bouzouki players? You couldn’t!” Why did her family have to be this scary? “Aunt Chaos will retaliate. It’s a Baby Naming Ceremony, not a massacre.”

Entropy frowned. “This baby has been born into the royal pantheon. This baby has veins that run with Greek fire. Our own little Greek god.”

“Goddess, actually.” Daphne patted the beautiful blue-eyed baby in her lap. “Look, I want something quiet, dignified. Do we have to invite everyone?” 

“If it’s family, yes.” Entropy’s voice was frosty. “Now, it’s time to fill us in on the father’s side, and of course, the name, too.”

“Yes,” said Daphne. “I was getting to that. We were thinking of Penny.”

“Ah, Penelope,” breathed Entropy. “A divine name. So patient, so loyal, so Greek .…”

“Pennsylvania, actually,” said Daphne. “Penny was conceived in the US, in a small town called Honesdale.”

Entropy sat down. “Go on.” 

“It was a religious procession, you see, and just for fun he decided to drop in. I couldn’t take my eyes off him, we got married, and the rest is history.”

“Married?”

“Oh yes,” said Daphne. “Orthodox, of course.”

“Good,” beamed Entropy. “Greek?”

“Russian,” said Daphne, “it was the closest we could find. We were in a bit of a hurry .…”

Entropy glared at her. “And the father? Is he Russian, too?”

“Well, no. Scandinavian, at a stretch.” Daphne sighed. “He’s big and handsome, so strong, such amazing muscles that he crushes his enemies with .…”

“Where is this brute?” said Entropy. “Hiding somewhere?”

“Oh no,” said Daphne, “he’s off building us a nice place to live. Oh, look, he’s back.”

A massive god materialized beside them, his muscles gleaming with sweat, hefting a gigantic hammer. He kissed Daphne on the cheek and looked down with pride at the baby. Belatedly, he extended a hand to Entropy.

“Thor.” The newcomer gave her a huge smile. “Pleased to meet you.”

Entropy started to slide off her chair. Thor grabbed her in time. “Coming to the party, then?” 

Entropy muttered something. 

“Of course, he’ll want his own favourite music,” said Daphne, “which is Wagner. Look, don’t worry, he promises the Valkyrie will keep it down around the baby. Just think, little Penny gets eight aunts in one hit. I bet she’ll love their horses!”

“Does this mean,” Entropy found her voice again, “your daughter is an American?”

Daphne and Thor glanced at each other. 

“See, we didn’t think that was so bad,” said Thor. “She’ll have a valid passport. She’ll grow up strong. Probably weightlifter class, and in a few years there’s the Olympics to think about.”

“Olympics,” echoed Entropy, dazed.

“It will come back to Greece sometime,” said Daphne.

Entropy’s eyes shone. “Let’s get this Naming Ceremony under way,” she said, jumping to her feet. “Then we start screening for the cheer squad. You know, those Valkyrie might come in useful, after all.”

[Brenda Anderson’s fiction has appeared in various places, most recently in Every Day Fiction and Daily Science Fiction. She lives near the sea in Adelaide, South Australia, and tweets irregularly @CinnamonShops.]

 

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