"A Midsummer Night's Sacrifice"
by Fred H. Berger
A black-winged Cupid flutters like a fabulous butterfly above a white-washed country villa,
his luxurious feathers spangled with the fire burst of a glorious midsummer's twilight. Below, on the balcony, he spies a
stunning youth; his lithe, smooth body naked to the waist, made amber by the golden sunset. Deep in pensive thought, the
boy is unaware of the daemon's approach; then, hesitantly, he turns to enter the bed chambre. A radiant bolnde is
stretched out naked on the bed, glaring at the boy, eyes afire with scorn. With a timorous voice, he ventures the
question (which is more a statement of fact), "So then,... you really want me to go." But before she can slash
the wounded youngster yet again with the words "leave me," with a start the girl glances over to the balcony where
fair Cupid has just alighted.
The boy turns to behold the dazzling form of the strange visitor. Thinking him the answer to his prayer, a prayer calling for the death of the lovers, he asks, with surprising assuredness, "Have you come to kill us?" With a grace not born of this world, Cupid walks up to the boy and, standing so close they can feel one another's breath on their cheeks whispers, "Can't you see that I have but a single arrow. If you allow me her heart, I will leave you her body, as warm as mother's milk, as soft as silk, aching for every inch of you. Her veins will pulse to the beat of another heart - your heart."
The boy took a step back, his hands folded lightly over his pounding chest, his head reeling from the sudden impact of the daemon's proposal. The girl, trembling with fright, is speechless as her lover strikes the bargain. "Yes, yes, you can take her heart," shouts the boy. With joyous desperation he leaps over the helpless beauty and seizes her from behind. Lying supine with her hands held firmly over her head, splayed upon the sheets with nothing between her bare flesh and her destiny, Cupid's diaphanous figure, silhouetted by the setting sun, assumes the archer's stance. "Please don't," she whimpers, as the boy's face, damp with excitement is crossed by the shadow of the bow and the arrow. The sun turns blood red and fades to black.
Cupid, alone in the mist-shrouded depths of his subterranean abode raises the impaled heart, still skewered to the sharpened shaft of the boy's desire, a longing that called forth this god of the underworld. Cupid lightly salts the dark, dripping mass, and leers with impish glee. "Heart kebob, anyone?!"