A Bad Day
By Dawn

Ares was having a bad day.

It all started when his servants released the groundhogs.  He'd been having fun thinking up uses for the furry creatures and the idiots let them go!  Ignorant mortals.  Shame he couldn't just kill them all, but that would mean training a new staff and administrative details were *so* tedious.

Irritated,  he left the palace for the war council in Trusland only to find no war!  He leaves them alone for two days and they sign a peace treaty!!  Peace!  Snivelling cowards.  Of course, if it hadn't been for Hercules they would have held out for at least another week, but no, his do-gooder little brother always had to interfere.

Really angry now, he decided to check in on the more promising war in Berripi.  When he materialized, however, it was not on the hill overlooking the battlefield, but in a forest clearing.  This was not a good sign.

Frustrated, he was about to leave when a bird flew overhead crying, "War, war - this way to the war."

Well, maybe if he followed it he'd figure out what was going on.  With a huff, he stalked off through the woods in the direction the bird had been flying.

Not far down the path he saw a girl sitting on a rock.  She jumped up cheerfully, "Hi!  Are you going for the war?" she asked.  "It's a great day for it, isn't it?  I was just taking a break.  Can I walk with you?  I'm so excited..."  She fell into step with him and babbled on, not seeming to expect a response.

Ares was taken aback.  Here he was good and mad and this girl didn't show the slightest hint of fear.  Usually, when he was this worked up, everyone avoided him. This girl, though - what did she call herself, Babispice? - was totally oblivious.  An mild amusement tempered his anger as he walked beside her.

It didn't take long for the amusement to fade into irritation.  The girl hadn't shut up once, and she occasionally broke out into snatches of song...

Just as he was prepared to do something, anything, to shut her up he heard loud voices ahead.  Finally, the war.  Just what he needed to improve his day.  Surely now the girl would go away and he could soothe his soul with blood and fear.

Emerging into a clearing he stopped, mouth hanging open.  There were indeed two groups of loud humans participating in a conflict, but the only violence he could see was the destruction of two long rows of berry pies.  The contestants were two groundhogs, eating their way through the pies, each cheered on enthusiastically by a crowd of simple villagers. Not a sword or a soldier in sight.

As the girl slipped away to join one of the groups, Ares sank onto a log and put his head in his hands.  Here it was, the highlight of his day, The Berry Pie War.

Ares was having a very bad day.

The End