Wherein Herakles kills the old year and rings in the new with a little help from Athena
by Jenniforensic


The Oracle demanded
Payment for blood once shed
So I sold him into slavery
And it turned him on his head!

He still can’t say why he did it;
Still, I’ve given him a gift
In women’s work and clothing,
His spirits find a lift!

::Enter Herakles::

Broom Betty, our Betty,
Overworked and underpaid!
Bearded Betty, Muscled Betty --
We've not seen so fair a maid!

::Herakles rolls eyes, waves::

Far and wide a hero,
I killed this guy, and now –
I repent and serve Omphale
For but one year, I vow!

‘Cause these linen dresses chafe me,
My hair is never straight,
And while this girdle’s wonderful,
It won’t restrain my weight!

Our Betty, he’s a hero,
Though he doesn’t understand
He’s about to change our lives
When he saves his lady’s land!

Athena, in disguise:
Aw, come now, quit yer whinin’!
Your life is far from dull!
You’ve been put here for a reason,
You’d best pay attention, fool!

There are folks out there who suffer;
They’re in need of something new.
There’s only one dude who can save ‘em,
And that, my friend, is you!

::Athena claps Herakles on the shoulder::

You must venture forth from serving
It’s for the best, you’ll see
Pick up your skirts and go now!
You’ll have a guide in me!

::Herakles, getting water for Omphale, stops suddenly and leaves!::

Omphale, indignant:
I do not understand!
What disrespect is this?
My faithful servant-girl
Has never, ever been a bitch!

Omphale, manly Mistress,
I mean you no offense;
Our townsfolk are in danger!
I must rush to their defense!

A serpent roams the fertile fields
And threatens all it finds,
Clad in waxen leaves and berries,
He may lead to our demise!

You have always been a hero,
Even in your misery!
Those days must find some closure –
But do this, first, for me!

I’ve seen this snake you speak of –
He comes around each year
Spreading death and desolation
He causes many tears!

The dreaded holly-serpent
Must be destroyed, it’s true
Just do us both a favor –
Don’t scuff your brand-new shoes!

Let him take his mighty club, then,
And rush forth from this place!
The ravager will flee before
The beauty of his face!

::Omphale hands Herakles a broom, and he and Athena exit::


For countless years I’ve returned
Bringing pain and dark and cold
Some people succumb to my devices
ALL people, young and old!

::Serpent laughs evilly::

::ENTER Herakles and Athena::

Betty, take your broom up,
And hit that sucker hard!
If you beat him with your bristles,
You’ll deal him his final card!

Whack him up and whack him down,
In combat, you’re the best!
Makes no difference what you’re wearing,
Or have lovely, supple breasts!

::Hermes, who has been canvassing the crowd with small tricks, stops and perks up::

::Herakles attacks::

It’s true, my skills are unmatched here!
I’ve even caused Titans to quake ...
::stage-whisper to crowd as serpent falls::
But I’ll tell y’all a secret –
Yeah, these boobs are fake!

Frederickus of Lemnos
Does a great job for the ladies
He accentuates their curves with gold
I mean, really, check out these babies!

::Holly-serpent begins to get up::

I’ve never seen a servant-girl
With such beauty, charm and grace!
I’m enamored by your charms, my dear ...
And the beard upon your face!

Athena, to Herakles:
The time to strike is now, you brute!
Get with it! All our fates
Depend upon a fatal blow,
Not on your tits and lace!

My friends, cheer on our hero!
Give him all you’ve got!
The might of Betty’s muscled arms
Must kill the snake besot!

::Herakles and serpent battle as crowd cheers. Hermes eggs them on::

::Omphale rushes forward and gives Herakles his mighty Oaken club::

I’ve held your club for many a day
And night, and now it’s time!
Finish off this beast with club of Oak
And your reward will be sublime!

::Herakles bops Serpent one final time, with Oak club, and Serpent falls, dead::

You’ve killed the beast!
You’ve done your duty!
You’ve slain the dark
With might and beauty!

Omphale, flatly:
And still it’s cold,
The light is faint,
And now we’re stuck
With Holly’s ... corpse.

Wait! I have an idea!

::grabs Herakles’ purse::

A bag of tricks! Our lady’s secrets
Must hold something we can use
After all, it’s how he’s managed thus
To pull off his lovely ruse!

::finds compact, gives it to Herakles::

Open this case to mirror-side
And capture Helios’ ray!
The warming of the distant sun
Will surely save the day!

::Herakles preens for a moment in the mirror, then uses it to direct light onto the corpse::

Fire! Fire! Burning bright
Bettering our day and night
Come forth now and claim this prize
Come forth now, set all aright!

The gleam of sun reflected
From the compact mirror’s face
Will restore this shattered, broken land
And warm this darkened place!

::corpse bursts into flames and crowd cheers::

Athena, to Herakles:
The plan was true!
The corpse aflame
Far and wide,
They’ll praise your name!

Omphale, to Herakles:
You have given us new hope and life
My late husband would be proud!
The oak groves draw new light to thrive!
The skies show nary a cloud!

Omphale, to both:
You’ve done us quite the service,
Our land shall live once more.
The wolves of hunger, death, and ills
No longer crowd our door.

Our fields grow fertile,
New calves conceived –
You heroes’ impact
Only perceived
By the Oracle and Trickster,
Your strength of heart
Hidden deep within
Your tricky art.

So let us return
To our palatial estate
And give thanks to the Gods
Who have lightened our fate!

Herakles, to Omphale:
And when the lights have grown dim,
And the celebrations have ended,
I’ll return my club to you, mistress ...
It’s mighty distended!
::winks to crowd::

::All but Hermes exit::

And needless to say,
With the defeat of the dark,
Our heroes lived and loved on,
Their hearts fed by this spark.

::points at “burning” corpse::

All, returning: And we thank you all
For your help in the fight!
It took strength and beauty,
But you lent us might!

The Light doth return
But we’ll need your aid
To spread ‘round its brightness,
Each man and maid!

Take up the soft orb
When it comes your way
Let us release here
The light of the day!