|The lights on the set were jarringly bright. Suddenly, a painful attempt at music burst into the air. It sounded like a badly tuned piano being danced on by a three-legged squirrel.
A woman who appeared to be in her early forties strutted across the stage and took her place as the "music" faded. She wore an outfit that consisted of neon green sweatpants, a pink velvet turtleneck, and a pair of mismatched galoshes. Her hair was a partially frizzy mess on one side and pulled into a sloppy braid on the other. Even her eye makeup was out of kilter (one lid sported bright blue and the other had dark fushcia eyeshadow). She simply appeared to have gotten dressed in the dark.
She brought the microphone up to her painted red lips and said cheerfully, "Hello and welcome to my show! This is 'Live with Eris'!"
There was the sound of polite applause and then silence.
"I'd like to introduce our two guests today. They've come such a long way to be here. Please meet Eurydice and Orpheus!" Eris gestured towards her guests who were sitting uncomfortably on their spindley wooden stools. They regarded her uneasily as she approached with her mike.
"Eurydice, so lovely to meet you! I hear you and Orpheus here were quite the couple. Until that nasty underworld incident, of course. So tell me, how does Tartarus look this time of year?" Eris grinned broadly for the camera.
Eurydice, who was mostly transparent because she was in spirit form, looked sad and morose. "Well, it's bleak and miserable, Eris. No beautiful flowers, no music, not much to see. I've been there for a very long time and the place never changes."
"Are you still mad at Orpheus for screwing up your one last chance at living?" the hostess goaded with glee. Her eyes seemed to shine a little brighter just then.
The wraith of Eurydice narrowed her empty eyes at this last question. She spat, "Of course I am! We had a chance at being reunited and he blew it!!" She crossed her arms over her chest and scowled furiously at Eris.
Orpheus shifted in his seat. He didn't look too good either. Aside from being very pale, his body had the appearance of being sewn together with a large blunt needle. His head rested on his neck at a slightly skewed angle.
"I couldn't help it, dear," he rasped. "I just had to make sure it was really you following me to the sunlit world."
"Well, who did you think I was anyway? Persephone??" Eurydice snapped angrily. "You could charm anyone with that harp of yours!"
At that, he looked quite embarrassed and said nothing.
Meanwhile, Eris was enjoying their argument. She kept her mike switching pack and forth as if she were a witness to a ping-pong game gone wrong. To keep their dispute going, she interjected, "Orpheus, isn't it true you charmed the god of death himself to persuade him into letting your wife go?"
He blushed fiercely and squirmed uncomfortably in his chair, making his head list to one side.
"Yes," he muttered quietly.
"Then why didn't you believe it was me walking behind you?!" his wife sputtered in frustration.
He replied quietly, "You can never tell with that god. He's always been the practical joker, you know."
"ARGH!" Eurydice shrieked as she tried to slap him angrily. He winced in anticipation but her hand only passed through him. She had no substance, after all.
By now Eris was dancing with joy over the couple's argument. True to her name, discord was her passion! She paused before the camera to say, "So join us next week when I welcome Echo and Narcissus! Until then, this has been 'Live with Eris'!"
She capered merrily back over to Eurydice and Orpheus where she continued to goad them.
In another part of Olympus, Hera changed the channel with her remote. She muttered to herself, "I can't believe the nerve of that hussy!"
"Well, her show does have the highest ratings," Zeus commented. He was sitting beside his wife on their bed late at night watching TV. He brought another ambrosia-flavored crisp to his mouth and chewed thoughtfully.
"Oh shut up. I know you just like to watch her wiggle around that stage," Hera said with disgust.
She continued to change channels as her husband grunted noncomittedly. Finally, she handed the remote to him out of defeat. He began to cruise through all of the channels repeatedly, making her irritable at last.
She hated when he did that. So it was she who left the room to seek solace elsewhere. Score another point for Eris.