Denver Cereal Denver Cereal

Chapter Four Hundred and Eighty-five : Imperfect (part three)


(part three)

Wednesday evening — 4:16 p.m.

Denver, Colorado

“May I speak with Rodney Smith, please?” Yvonne asked the receptionist.

Rodney was running a large underground utility site that consisted of a small office and ten mobile unit sitting on an old parking lot. They were replacing the water lines in a residential neighborhood. Rather than bringing the mess and chaos of an entire job site, they were using the mobile units. Logistically, the site was a nightmare. Day to day, the site hummed like a well-oiled machine.

The receptionist looked up at Yvonne and raised her eyebrow.

“Who are you supposed to be?” the receptionist asked.

“Who am I …”Yvonne started. “What?”

“You can’t just walk in and speak to the boss,” the receptionist said.

Yvonne blinked at the young woman. Having had been severely mentally limited for such a long time, she felt like she missed an entire social “thing” where it was now fashionable to be rude to people.

“Why not?” Yvonne managed.

“He’s a busy man,” the receptionist said. She looked Yvonne up and down. “He doesn’t have time for … distractions.”

“Distractions?” Yvonne asked.

“Plus, he’s married,” the receptionist said. “I saw a whole thing about it on BET. She’s Miss T’s mother and she’s brain damaged.”

Yvonne blinked at the woman for a moment. Feeling movement, she turned around to see an older woman come into the trailer. The older woman walked with purpose toward the receptionist.

“Thanks for covering for me, Denise,” the woman said.

“This lady here says she wants to see the boss,” the young woman said with a sniff.

She looked at Yvonne and blinked.

“Mrs. Smith?” the older woman asked.

Yvonne nodded.

“Rodney told me you were feeling better,” the older woman said. “I don’t think I realized until …”

The older woman hit the younger woman lightly with the back of her hand.

“That’s Rodney’s wife,” the older woman said.

“Nah,” the younger woman said. “His wife isn’t right in the head.”

Yvonne squinted at the young woman.

“I’m sorry,” the older woman said. “This is my granddaughter. She was just covering for me while I used the restroom. She’s …”

“She’s right,” Yvonne said in a clear, calm voice. “For a long time, I wasn’t right in the head. But even when I was struggling, I’d never have been as rude as you’ve been.”

Yvonne blinked at the young girl.

“Ma’am, I’m so sorry,” the older woman said.

“You don’t need to be. But you …” Yvonne pointed to the young girl. “You’d better watch yourself. What you make fun of you become.”

Yvonne sniffed at the girl. For a moment, no one moved. The door opened to the office and Rodney looked out.

“Yvie?” Rodney asked. He looked at the young girl and then the older woman. “What’s going on here?”

“Nothing,” Yvonne said. Rodney’s eyes shot to the older woman. “Do you have a moment to speak with me?”

“Of course,” Rodney said. “Always.”

Rodney held the door open and gave the older woman a hard look. He closed the door behind Yvonne. He gave her a hug and kissed her lips.

“I’m sorry for …” Rodney gestured to the front.

“You don’t need to be sorry,” Yvonne said. “It’s just stuff that happens. I’m going to remember to ask Tannie why people are so rude these days.”

“Good question,” Rodney said.

“Anyway, I know you’re busy,” Yvonne said. “I wanted to ask you something and then ask you to think about it so we can talk when you get home.”

Rodney gave her a quick nod. He tried to keep his face impassive but he had yet to get over his simple joy at looking at his wife. Inside, his heart raced with joy.

“Abi has asked me if I will help Delphie with a problem,” Yvonne said.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…

Chapter Four Hundred and Eighty-five : Imperfect (part two)


(part two)

“And if Tres Sierra doesn’t treat me like that, then he’s simply not the right person for me,” Heather said to herself in the mirror. She swallowed hard and nodded to her image in the mirror.

If Blane had been here, he would never have allowed her to muck around like this. He thought of the Goddess body as a costume or a uniform she had to wear when she was “working for Olympia.” He said that these perfected bodies and clothing were to lure humans into instinctively loving the Gods, thus giving them power.

Of course, he was right.

But didn’t she want power over Tres so he couldn’t hurt her? Heather sighed again and wonder what real power she needed over Tres.

Blane was working until seven. The kids were at the Castle. This was all set up to be her and Tres to go to the art museum, have a bite to eat, and see how it was.

Heather took out her phone and called Tanesha.

“I hate myself,” Heather said when Tanesha answered.

Tanesha laughed.

“I was thinking of, you know, wearing the perfect body,” Heather said her best friend.

“Seems to me that if the perfect body can’t have babies, then it probably can’t have orgasms,” Tanesha said.

Heather laughed. Tanesha had a way of saying what was true and absurd so that Heather would laugh.

“But I don’t know,” Tanesha said. “Would I trade bodies if I could? Maybe.”


“No,” Tanesha said. “I just want you to know that I understand. When we live in our bodies, they feel just right. But when we look at them, our eyes are preconditioned to see super models or …”

“Goddesses,” Heather said.

“Modern Goddesses,” Tanesha said. “One thing I love about the fairies is that they don’t have perfect bodies. They just are what they are.”

“True,” Heather said, remembering what Abi’s actual body looks like.

“Abi’s not a fairy,” Tanesha said, as if she were reading Heather’s mind. Heather laughed. “Anyway, who cares about the fairies? I don’t have the luxury of trading bodies. I’ve got to live with the one I have — crazy hair and all.”

Heather smiled.

“How’s it going?” Heather asked.

“Jer’s fishing,” Tanesha said. “I’m reading a novel. It’s quiet.”

“And?” Heather asked.

“It’s weirdly nice,” Tanesha said. “I know that he’s going to come back in an hour or so, we’re going to make dinner and have a nice night. It’s predictable. Easy.”

“Does it make you miss the chaos?” Heather asked.

“No,” Tanesha said. “Don’t you even mention it. I have cried enough over this man.”

“True,” Heather said. She unbuttoned a button on her blouse and then immediately buttoned it again.

“Should I call Sandy? Jill?” Tanesha asked.

“No, Sandy’s working and Jill’s got classes,” Heather said. “I should be able to go on one date without a complete meltdown.”

“How likely is that?” Tanesha snorted a laugh and Heather laughed.

“Okay, I’m serious,” Heather said. “Goddess body?”

“With the 40K gold thread dress and everything?” Tanesha asked.

“Yes,” Heather said.

“No,” Tanesha said. “He probably won’t even recognize you.”

“But this body is a little …” Heather said, “ … plump.”

“As a ripe peach!” Tanesha said. “He’s going to want that sweetness.”

Heather laughed and Tanesha joined her. They were laughing when the doorbell rang.

“He’s here,” Heather whispered into the phone.

“Answer the door,” Tanesha said. “Go. Have fun. Call me when you’re done.”

“Maybe I’ll just pretend like I’m not here,” Heather said.

“Go,” Tanesha said and snapped her fingers.

Heather felt a spark of something like an ember slap her in the butt.

“Hey!” Heather said.

“Did it work?” Tanesha asked.

Laughing again, Heather went down the stairs to the door.

“Love you,” Tanesha said. “Do everything I would do.”

“Love you,” Heather said.

Heather clicked off the phone and stuck into her small, non-child purse. She let out a breath.

And opened the door.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…

Chapter Four Hundred and Eighty-five : Imperfect (part one)


(part one)

Wednesday evening — 3:46 p.m.

Denver, Colorado

Heather stood in front of the full length mirror and sighed. She did not like what she saw. She put her hand over her head and transformed into her trim, curvy, Goddess body. She snapped her fingers and her jeans and blouse transformed into the golden dress of Hedone, the Goddess of Love. She touched her hair. It flowed in perfect curls of gold, blond, and brown. Her face was clear and the golden color of her birth home, Greece. Her breasts were full and pert. Her hips were round and firm at the same time. Somehow, even her eyes looked brighter and bigger.

Her grandmother had a point. This was a superior body.

Heather blinked and her usual human body and clothing reappeared. She would love to say that all of this insecurity came from growing up around the three Charities. They were supposed to be her best friends, but they were the ones who made certain that Heather always knew that she was a filthy half-breed.

Truth be told, this insecurity was all Heather. It was just a part of her. Always had been. Probably always would be. Blane thought that it made her more humble and kept her from getting a big God complex. Heather shook her head at herself in the mirror. Who knew?

When she wasn’t looking in the mirror, she loved the her thick, strong thighs that could run and allowed her to carry heavy bags of cat food. She liked her muscular arms which held Mack and Wyn at the same time. She liked her imperfect breasts that had provided sustenance to her children and the full hips that had given birth to two sons. She even liked her slightly frizzy hair that was some kind of brownish-whatever.

When she wasn’t looking at her body before a date, she loved this capable, strong, healthy body.

Today, she was preparing for Tres to pick her up for their first “date.” She’d come home to her and Blane’s home to get ready.

Ready for what?

No amount of makeup and fancy hair products could match the sheer perfection of her Goddess body. That was just a fact.

Heather sighed and switched herself back to Hedone the Goddess.

Somehow, the simple longing to be this gorgeous visage of herself felt like a betrayal to …

To what?

Heather had told her grandmother over and over and over again that she loved her human body.

And she did. She loved her pudgy imperfectly human body.

In fact, Heather had been furious that her grandmother had insisted that she return to her “true” form before attending any function at Olympia.

Heather snapped her fingers again and transformed into her strong human body. Wanting to look like a Goddess was a betrayal of all that she believed.

Every woman was a Goddess.

“And if Tres Sierra doesn’t treat me like that, then he’s simply not the right person for me,” Heather said to herself in the mirror. She swallowed hard and nodded to her image in the mirror.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…

Chapter Four Hundred and Eighty-four : New (part six)


(part six)

Thursday morning — 2:15 pm

Denver, Colorado

Delphie went to the door of her apartment and opened the door.

Abi was standing in the hallway.

“It’s time,” Abi said.

“For what?” Delphie asked.

“To sojourn to the Fires of Hell,” Abi said.

“Really?” Delphie asked, her voice rose with surprise.

“Tomorrow morning,” Abi said. “We will meet at ten to make our battle plan.”

Abi turned in place and walked away from Delphie’s door. Delphie closed her apartment door and leaned against it.

“Yes,” Delphie said.

She went into her apartment to get ready.

Denver Cereal continues on Monday…

Chapter Four Hundred and Eighty-four : New (part five)


(part five)

“I’m saying look at what your talent and passion for ballet has cost you,” Jammy said.

“Now?” Sissy asked.

“Now will grow into a lifetime,” Jammy said. “That’s what we’re doing, right? Starting a lifetime of dance?”

Sissy nodded.

“Your dad, well, and mine, helped O’Malley see what he needed to function as a person,” Jammy said. “O’Malley has set up his life so that he had Maresol in Denver, Claire in New York, me when we’re on the road, and a few others along the way. They take care of his body and general personal needs.”

“Are you saying that Seth has sex with these ladies?” Sissy asked.

Jammy smiled at her.

“‘Have you eaten?’ ‘Did you shower?’” Jammy asked. “He can be with Claire for less than a minute and she knows whether he’s brushed his hair, teeth, showered, had too much coffee, … He needs that.”

“Oh,” Sissy said. “I don’t think I need that.”

“I don’t think you do either,” Jammy said. “The question is what do you need? Melinda helped you with your stretching and Pilates. Giovanni cooks for you. Ivan is always there to support you. If you take a position in Paris or London or Moscow, they won’t be there.”

Jammy stopped talking.

“And?” Sissy asked.

“And we don’t know what your talent costs you,” Jammy said.

“Friends, close people, you know?” Sissy nodded. “I’ve never really had any real friends. I mean, I love Tink and Wanda, but they became my friends like yesterday. Dance has always taken the space where going to the mall or a movie or even birthday parties would go.”

“Okay,” Jammy said. “What else?”

“You’re saying I have to figure out what I need,” Sissy said with a nod. “Like Uncle Seth.”

“We can negotiate for somethings — private rooms, special time to stretch, medical assistance, or whatever,” Jammy said. “But I have to know what’s missing in your life so that I can help you compensate for it.”

“What if the schools can’t or won’t help me?” Sissy asked.

“Then we look for who can,” Jammy said. “Your Uncle Seth has said to spare no expense. If you need something he can’t buy you, Nadia thinks of you as her sister, Ivan has more money than you’d think, and that’s without reaching into the very deep pockets of your oligarch mentor, Otis. You have financial resources to buy what’s not provided by the schools. The question is really what do you need.”

“I think I understand,” Sissy said.

“The Royal Ballet is similar and different from the Paris Ballet Opera,” Jammy said. “When you’re there, look at the people — are they like you? Do you innately like them? Are there things you need here in London that you couldn’t get easily in Paris?”

Sissy nodded.

“We’ll do the same thing for Moscow and St. Petersburg,” Jammy said. “So you need to be thinking about it now.”

“Why?” Sissy asked.

“Because maybe what you need is to be home to New York or Denver. Maybe you can’t be away from Ivan,” Jammy said. “There’s nothing wrong with going to school where you are already enrolled or returning to Denver. Your talent affords you the opportunity to pick where you’re most comfortable.”

“Where I’m most comfortable,” Sissy said.

“Exactly,” Jammy said. “I lobbied to take this trip with you alone so that Ivan or Otis or even O’Malley won’t get in the way of you choosing what’s best for you. I am good at helping people chose what is best for them. It’s my particular passion.”

Sissy nodded and said, “Thanks.”

“Now, back to sleep,” Jammy said. “We’ll be there in another hour and a half.”

Sissy didn’t need his encouragement. Her lack of sleep the night before was catching up with her. She wanted to be refreshed and sharp for her interview with the Royal Ballet. Sissy opened her mouth to thank Jammy, but fell into a sound sleep before she could get the words out.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…

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