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Book excerpt (For I Am Zeus: A Collection of Plays About Greek Mythology)

'Til Death Do Us Part

Setting:  The office of Dr. Athena, marriage counselor.

At rise:  ATHENA sits at her desk as HERA sits in a chair tapping her foot impatiently and glaring at the empty chair next to her.

HERA
I knew he would do this!  The bastard’s always late!

ATHENA
I’m sure he’ll be here soon.  He probably just got caught in traffic.

HERA
I doubt it.

ATHENA
You know, Hera, always assuming the worst about him could be a big factor in what’s wrong with your marriage.

HERA
I assume the worst because I know him.  We have been together practically forever, after all.  You’re just one of his dozens of children-you barely know him.

(ZEUS bursts in, his hair disheveled, leaves in his beard, and his toga inside-out.)
 
ZEUS
Sorry I’m late…I got stuck in traffic.

ATHENA
            (to Hera)
See?

HERA
He’s lying.

ZEUS
I would never lie to you!

HERA
            (laughing)
Okay, Zeus…then why is your toga inside-out?

ZEUS
I got dressed in the dark.

HERA
All right, then why is your beard full of leaves?

ZEUS
The neighbor’s cat climbed up a tree and couldn’t get down, so I had to rescue it.  I’m a hero!

HERA
Bullshit!  The only way you would climb a tree is to have sex with something that’s at the top of it!

ATHENA
Hera, it isn’t healthy to make ridiculous accusations…

(Hera grabs Zeus’ arm and twists it behind his back.)

ZEUS
Oh, yeah, Zeus likes it rough!

(Hera twists harder.)

ZEUS (CONT’D)
Not that rough!

HERA
Who did you have sex with?

ZEUS
            (screaming in pain)
The neighbor!

HERA
You violated our neighbor in a tree?!

ATHENA
Wow, that’s really inappropriate behavior.

ZEUS
She turned herself into a cat…what was I supposed to do?

HERA
She turned herself into a cat so she could climb the tree and get away from you!  You weren’t supposed to follow her up there and force yourself on her anyway!

ZEUS
She wanted it!  Everyone knows cats are whores!

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