We All Have Regrets

My Stories
Image courtesy of Pexels on Pixabay

Dinlas makes his first collar as a bounty-hunter, the cash from which enables him to begin building his business properly. In the midst of his preparations however, he falls into one of the depressive episodes he is prone to experience. Harkening back to the worst mistake he ever made, he finds himself wallowing once again in remorse over his actions in destroying the city of Lamark and slaughtering the innocent citizens therein. As he always does, Hades searches for Dinlas to bring him home, so someday he might heal.

By Wayne Davids/originally published July 8, 2019

I never turned my head at the crunch of gravel behind me. I knew who was standing there as I stared out on the barren plain of jumbled scrub and broken rock.

“What are you here for, Uncle?”

Hades cleared his throat and replied, “Nobody could ever sneak up on the Guardian of Lamark.”

“I see. You’re just here to taunt me.”

“No,”  answered Hades, “no, that is not why I am here.” I grunted but didn’t reply. Instead, I reached over and patted the wolf Jealousy on the head. Hate stirred at my other hand.

“How are you doing, Dinlas?” he continued.

“I’m fine. You came a long way to ask me that.”

Hades edged forward, just into my peripheral sight. He glanced at me, then turned and looked out onto the plain.

“How long have you been here, Dinlas?”

“Thousands of years,” I replied.

“I meant this time.”

“I don’t know. Maybe two mortal days.”

Hades sighed. “Three weeks, Dinlas, you have been out here three weeks. Your business has barely launched and your people are wondering where you have disappeared. They are not the only ones. Zeus is looking for you.”

“Yeah? What’s he want?” 

“He is wondering why no one is working on his fancy new office tower. Work has stopped, and the contractor says no one has shown up for over a week. Your grandfather is furious. He came back to the modern world to make a splash and be relevant, not to do any hard work.”

“Oh, yeah, the Romans. They are renovating my warehouse. Apparently this guy I brought in, Eddie Pastorini, was important in something called a ‘union’ for construction workers. When I put him away, I hired his former crew. They had some contacts and brought the construction workers over to work on my warehouse renovations.”

Hades stepped forward again. He now stood in front of me, blocking my view of the accursed plain. Impeccably dressed as always, he wore a tailored suit and polished oxfords. In his hand he held a cane. His sharp attire provided a stark contrast to the otherwise broken and jumbled landscape around us. He took off his sunglasses and looked down at me sitting on the ground.

“Let it go, Dinlas. What is done, is done We cannot change it now. We all made mistakes about Lamark and there is blame to go around. You were the tool, but we all wielded and manipulated you. For my part in that I am sorry. If I could go back in time and change the things I did and said there, believe me I would.” He paused when I didn’t respond, then finally added, “Is it Morpheus? Are you having nightmares again?”

I shrugged. “Not as much as a few thousand years ago. But I still get them.”

Hades brushed at a mote of dust on his trousers. “Morpheus loves to drive gods and mortals mad. Morpheus knows our desires, our fears, and knows just how to use it against us.”

I forced a chuckle. “Uncle Hades, have you ever, in your existence, had a nightmare?”

Hades furrowed his brow for a moment before he replied, “No, actually, I have not. You know, I count mortal souls all day long and when I go to bed, I sleep like Dionysus after a weekend in a winery. But I am not the topic here, you are. If you are going to survive these modern times, then you must put the past behind you.”

I looked down to pull myself together for a moment. Once I was back in control, I responded.

“Morpheus has no interest in driving anyone insane. Madmen pay no heed to nightmares. They can’t even tell the difference between wake and sleep. No. Morpheus is a beast. A beast that drives a man to the edge, to the brink of insanity, but never willingly pushes him over. Morpheus is like a new lover. Exuberant and energetic the first time, riding you over and over with enthusiasm and passion. Dreams and nightmares spring up at every nod of sleep for hundreds of years on end.” I stopped, and Hades looked at me over the top of his sunglasses, waiting to hear more. I lowered my voice and continued, “Then the dreams stop, when you crack. Like a practiced courtesan rides you to the edge, then stops. She works, almost imperceptible, while she watches you try not to explode. Like the lover who smiles and straddles you, brushes her lips against yours, but barely strokes, always keeping you on the edge. That maddening razor’s edge between self-control and total abandon. There you are, trapped in anguished ecstasy. Forced to endure the eternal struggle between trying to pull back and regain control or giving in and surrendering to the madness. So easy it would be to give myself over and become lost forever, mired in the dreams, spells, and nightmares of blood and gore. Embrace the screams and wails, then sing along to the begging and pleading of the citizens that Cerberus and I slaughtered.” 

I paused and removed my glasses to pinch the bridge of my nose.

Hades cut in before I could continue. “Dinlas, I really did not understand. I am sorry it has been like this after all these years. Stop punishing yourself, you are the only one opening the door for Morpheus one-night stands.” He tapped the side of his head and continued, “Until you fix what’s in here, Morpheus will keep coming back for those occasional strokes whenever Morpheus feels like it.” 

I nodded my head, replaced my sunglasses, and looked back out at the desolate plain. Once a thriving city of healers and physicians, now there was no sign it ever existed.

“You are right, Uncle. I will rid myself of this unwanted menace.”

Hades nodded. “I will speak to Morpheus, but you know Morpheus answers to no one. In the meantime, you must go see Zeus. Do not delay. His anger grows with every moment that his giant tower, his monstrous… concrete phallus, is not complete. As far as that goes, I have delivered his dispatch, the rest is on you.”

I nodded my understanding and stood to dust my pants as Hades watched me. I tapped a cigarette out of the pack and lit it, inhaled deeply, then asked as I exhaled, “Uncle Hades, tell me truthfully, do you have any regrets? Regrets that have eaten at you for thousands of years?”

For the briefest of moments, a pained look crossed his face. It was the look of love lost, love abandoned, and love forsaken.

“No, Dinlas,” he responded when the moment passed and his face hardened again, “I have no such regrets. Now go. Zeus is waiting, and his patience is at its end with you.”

My First Collar, Part 3

My Stories

Dinlas brings his first arrest to a conclusion, while attempting to get his career as a bounty hunter launched.

By Wayne Davids)/first published July 6, 2019

The bouncer fumbled with the door handle of the nightclub, then finally opened it. We followed him inside and he led us across an empty dance floor to the bar where five men stood.

“Boss,” the doorman said as he pulled on the collar of his shirt to stop the bleeding, “this man says he wants to talk to you.  They’re dangerous…”

One man, older with gray on the sides, looked up. “Jesus, Billy, what in the hell happened to you?”  His companions remained silent, but pulled a variety of guns and pointed them at us.

The gray-haired man reached into his pocket for a cigarette.  He lit it, inhaled deeply, then blew his exhale in my face.  Our eyes stayed locked the entire time.

“I am Eddie Pastorini. Now give me…” he started, then stopped to pick at a piece of tobacco on his tongue, “one good reason why I don’t kill you right now and then have my boys spend the afternoon taking turns on those two hotties?”

“Because you can’t.”

“That’s what I’m trying to say,” interjected Billy the doorman, “those ain’t ordinary girls.”

“Shut up, Billy,” I said before Eddie could say a word. “I don’t need an imbecile doorman to help me talk business.”

Eddie arched his eyebrows and looked back and forth among his companions. “Oh, this guy wants to talk business.”  He turned to me and pointed with his cigarette. “Listen, asshole, I don’t know where you’re from, but no one rolls in here and demands to see Eddie Pastorini for business. I own every racket and black market for miles. I don’t do business, I am business.”

I listened to his speech and shook my head. “You’re old news.  I’m here to take you to the authorities. If your men want a job, they’ll work for me after you’re gone.”

Eddie laughed, so his men followed suit.

“You are comical. But do you know what else is gonna be funny?  When Johnny here takes you in the basement and starts shooting you in the feet, then casually works his way up.”

Johnny, standing slightly to my left and pointing his gun at my waist, heard Eddie’s threat and raised his hand on cue, shoving the gun in my face.

Billy stopped pressing his shirt to his neck and pointed to Jealousy on my left arm. “Johnny, no!” he shouted.

Too late.

Like an old-time movie projector that jumps a couple frames, Jealousy flickered briefly, then disappeared.  In her place, an enormous black wolf sprang forward and easily knocked the thug to the ground. His thrashing and gurgling screams ended quickly. In the next instant, Hate flickered and took out one of the other goons.  I pulled my jacket back and drew both pistols from the holsters at my sides. I fired, hitting Billy in the temple and spraying his skull and brains all over the top of the bar. The second I shot a second in the head, as he slipped in Johnny’s guts all over the floor. The last man I brought down with several bullets in his chest.

Three more henchman burst through the doorway.  Hate and Jealousy both sprang from their lifeless victims onto fresh opponents.  They knocked them off their feet, but not before one fired a shot. I heard a whimper, but remained focused while shooting the last man as he retreated through the open doorway.

Eddie crouched as the bullets whizzed past him, then fired his pistol and yelled, “This ends now!”  As he did, I aimed with my left hand and shot the revolver from his grip.  His bullet embedded in the wall behind me and his revolver spun off to the side.

I walked several paces to the crouching crime boss.  As I did so, I hit the thumb release on each pistol to eject the half-empty magazines and quickly loaded full ones.

“Hate, Jealousy,” I said, and the wolves detached from the victim they were still mauling and turned to snarl at Eddie.  Jealousy pulled up one of her hind legs and limped a few paces.

I pointed both smoking guns at the wanted felon and Eddie cowered, shaking, with his hands in the air.  He looked back and forth between Hate and Jealousy, then over to me.

“Who in the hell are you?”

I holstered my pistols under my jacket, took out a cigarette, and lit it.  I looked at him and took off my sunglasses. The same way a cat toys with a mouse, I stood silent and watched him for a minute.  He squirmed and glanced around for someone to show up and save him, but no one showed up. Finally, he repeated, “I… I as-asked you a question.  Who are you?”

I pulled a long draw on the cigarette, then exhaled into his face. “I am Hate and I am Jealousy. I am your worst goddamned nightmare, because I am Dinlas.  Now, move your ass, you’re under arrest.”

My First Collar, Part 2

My Stories

The story continues as Dinlas puts his plan in motion to get his floundering bounty hunter business off the ground.

By Wayne Davids/originally published July 4, 2019

The girls pranced and whimpered when I got back and unlocked the door to the warehouse.  Both jumped to greet me, nearly knocking me over. They weighed seventy kilo each, and together they could knock anyone over.

“Okay, okay, ladies.  I know.”

When I gave Hate a kiss on the head, Jealousy would push her out of the way, and when I tried to pat Jealousy, Hate would nip at her ears.  I just started laughing because it felt good to have a plan, and it was nice to have these two. The only two ever happy to see me.

“Stop it, both of you.  We have business to deal with as soon as possible.”  Both stopped and cocked their heads. They wanted to hear more.  I filled them in on the situation and the plan I hatched to capture Eddie Pastorini.

At the end I added, “I’m going out to get an idea of his place.  I need both of you looking your absolute best tonight. Take a nap and then wash down.  You both understand?” Jealousy turned and licked Hate across the top of her head. They understood.  I petted and kissed each on the muzzle again then turned my attention to other matters.

My desk has one drawer which I keep locked. I opened it and pulled out the gift Uncle Heph ended up sending me several days ago.  I guess he felt bad that he short with me in our first meeting, because one of his apprentices showed up two days ago with a beautiful pair of chrome M1911 style .45 caliber pistols.  The slides and lower were embossed with intricate scrollwork. He even customized the grips. Each had an image of the wolves on it: one with a calligraphy Hate and the other Jealousy.  I slipped on the harness with the pistols, grabbed a few extra magazines, and then threw my suit coat on over it all, to avoid annoying questions.

Sal told me the name of the club Eddie owned.  Cadillac Lounge, not even an original name for the place.  Honestly, it looked like a flea-market from the street.  Maybe I could wrangle a future favor from some other local club owner if I knocked out their competition. I watched the place for a few hours in the early afternoon.  Eddie arrived around two p.m. and according to Sal he would normally stay until early morning. I watched for several more hours until I decided I’d seen enough.  He had a couple guys on the door, several on the roof and another ten that went in but hadn’t come out. 

When I got back to the warehouse, it was dark outside.  Inside, the girls were both sitting on the desk, waiting for me.  They looked gorgeous in their slinky black dresses.

<Record scratch.  Music stops>

I know what you’re thinking, so let me explain.  You don’t get two supernatural wolves from Loki, The Norse God of Mischief, that don’t have a few special abilities.  My two, Hate and Jealousy, can transform into human form when needed. Both were raven-haired beauties. Hate, a deep Mediterranean bronze, with an amazing smile.  She looked as if she had stepped right off the island of Crete. Jealousy, darker, had narrow features, and high cheekbones, like an ancient Roman princess. You mortals speak of werewolves; this is not the case.  These are wolves who morph into human shape when needed. They cannot speak and they always think and sense as a wolf. One other thing I might as well tell you now. For short bursts, they can move faster than the human eye.

So, as I was saying, they looked marvelous in their little black dresses.  Wolf or woman, each of them always wore a thin leather collar. We left the warehouse, locked arms, and walked down to his club. They turned heads all the way as they slinked along, one hanging on each of my arms.  I must admit, I did enjoy the attention in my black suit, vest, and shined leather wingtips.

When we reached the club, a doorman standing outside held his hand up.

“Club doesn’t open until 10:00 p.m.,” he grunted.

“I need to see Eddie Pastorini,” I replied, “for business.”

The enormous man at the door never turned to look at us, but replied, “Mr. Pastorini don’t see anybody for business without an appointment.  You got an appointment?”

“No, I don’t.  But I’m going to see him anyway.”

The doorman turned and looked at us now.  It was clear he was irritated. He raised his hand to speak into a communicator on his wrist.  Hate mistook the action for him attempting to strike me. One second, she was standing next to me, hanging on my arm with her head on my shoulder.  The next, she had him pinned against the wall with both hands and her mouth at his throat. Her canines pierced the skin, nothing more than a superficial wound.  I called her back before she did any real damage.

“Hate, Hate, darling, not here,” I said as she let out a low, guttural growl.

The man flailed against her, but she held him firm.  She took her mouth from his throat and then curled her upper lip, close to his face.  Her prominent canines, visible only when she smiled, were dripping with blood.

“Jesus, get off of me,” he yelled. “Look at her god-damned teeth.  What the hell? Who are you people?”

Hate released the man as I pulled out a linen handkerchief and dabbed his blood from her chin, throat and exposed cleavage.  She licked her own mouth clean until her teeth were pearly white again. As the doorman watched, she then nuzzled my ear and put her head back down on my shoulder.

“Now,” I repeated as I folded and tucked the bloody linen into my inside breast pocket, “I would like to see Eddie Pastorini, and this is the last time I am going to ask.”

My First Collar, Part 1

My Stories

After returning to Gaea from the Underworld Dinlas quickly discovers that making money is harder than it looks. Having set up his business he quickly realizes there is more to it then just calling yourself CEO, but never doing any work. Fortunately the smart-mouthed cigarette smoking God of Hate and Jealousy is cunning enough to figure out how to work both sides of the street.

By Wayne Davids/originally published June 18, 2019

The first thing I learned is that being mortal is harder than it looks.  I gotta admit, these brainless mortal meat-sacks really do endure a load of shite.  Grandfather Zeus agreed to me setting up shop outside the Olympus Complex, but that meant I pay rent.  Me, pay rent to some mortal.  In addition I bought a computer, apparently everything in the world is now done by computer and I needed to learn how to use one.  It is nice that I have been able to watch and absorb a lot of the current and past media on it.  Since that helps me blend in better when I move amongst mortals.

Business has been slow.  I go to the courthouse every day and talk to the bail bondsmen, but nobody is interested in doing business with me.  No one wants to deal until I make a capture, but I can’t make a capture until someone is willing to deal. No money coming in means no money to pay for office equipment or furniture, so the building is still empty.  I’ve been sleeping on the floor in the office with Jealousy and Hate. They go out every night after midnight to hunt for dinner. Rabbits, stray cats, the other night it may have been a homeless person. They smelled awful in the morning and I had to give both a bath. All in all though, I’ve had worse accommodations.  At least it isn’t Tartarus. There, I was lying on the bare ground with Titans moaning and sniveling all around me.

On a positive note, I discovered coffee.  Puts quite a buzz in the brain first thing in the morning.  I’ve been going to a place down the street, Sal’s Delicatessen, and getting coffee in the morning.  When I haven’t eaten for a day or two, then I indulge and get a thing called a bagel with a schmear.  Still not sure what the schmear is, but it’s good.

Today, I’m sitting and sipping my coffee while trying to come up with a grand plan to get this thing working, when I see two guys come in and start talking to Sal behind the counter.  I can’t hear what they are saying, but it’s clear that Sal is unhappy. I keep watching and after a few minutes, Sal goes in the back and comes back with an envelope. He gives one of the guys the envelope and they leave.  I hear them say as they go out that they’ll be back tomorrow. I finish my coffee and as I’m headed out, I stop at the counter to talk to Sal.

“Hey, what was that all about?”

Sal glanced over at me and answered, “Nothing.  Thanks for coming in, now mind your own business.”

“What?” I said. “That looked serious.  What was that about?”

I guess Sal must’ve warmed up to me being there every morning, because looked around and said, “It’s a protection racket. They make all us shop owners pay them each week for protection.”

“Protection from what?”

“Protection from them coming and tearing the place up.  Or worse, busting both my kneecaps.”

“Who does this?”

Sal looked around again before whispering, “A guy named Eddie Pastorini.”

“Pastorini?” I said aloud. “Sounds Roman to me.”

Sal shook his head. “No, he’s Italian.  He’s a wanted felon.”

Now I was listening.  “Wanted? Like by the police?  Is there a reward for him?”

“Sure, a big one.  Only thing is no one has ever lived to collect it.”

“So, if this Eddie guy was gone, would that make your life easier?”

Sal shrugged. “Maybe, but probably not.  Most likely someone else will just take his place and charge even more.  I mean, there are people running scams like this all over the city.”

That’s when it struck me like a ton of arch-stones.  A plan for exactly how to make the money I need. The idea started in the back of my brain and raced forward, like a cool breeze on the neck, that made me shiver.  I felt startled by the suddenness of it.

“Sal,” I said as I turned back to address him, “what would you and the other business owners think if I said I could get rid your problem?  Specifically, I will get rid of your Eddie problem in exchange for half what he is charging. Then I will make sure you’re protected after that. For me, if I need any of your services, well, I get them for free. Is that a deal?”

Sal looked thoughtful.  “Well, yeah, I suppose. I think I can speak for everyone when I say we would take that deal.  I mean, do we have a choice? But are you gonna take on Eddie by yourself? He’s got fifty guys working for him.”

“Don’t worry about me.  I’ve got backup. Just tell your friends to get their money together.  I also need a list of all the businesses, so I know who everyone is and what everyone does.”

“Okay, you got it.  Good luck. Just so you know, if they carve you into little pieces, I’m gonna swear I never heard of you.”

I nodded and waved my hand as I headed out the door, then fumbled to light a cigarette as I trotted across the street toward the warehouse. 

This was going to be a good night. I needed to get everything ready, especially my girls.

Dinlas – God of Hate and Jealousy

My Stories

Dinlas, The God of Hate & Jealousy is a character created in June 2019 by Wayne Davids. The character was featured by an online magazine he voluntarily wrote for at the time, but no longer does. Wayne’s Dinlas is based off the minor Greek deity, Dinlas God of Chaos & Hatred who he researched fully. Since little is known or recorded about Dinlas, Wayne created and personalized the new character as he saw fit. Specifically changing Dinlas’ title to separate him from the deity of Greek mythology and create a new, unique identity.

Complete with twin M1911 pistols, mirrored sunglasses, ever-present facial stubble, an impeccable black suit, a blazing hatred for his mother Aphrodite, and a pair of companion wolves that follow him everywhere, this modern Dinlas is a unique figure far more complex than the one of mythology. Brash and arrogant, yet tragically insecure at times, Dinlas is a unique and layered character that ultimately struggles to overcome personal difficulties that have plagued him his entire life.

I am starting this blog to re-publish some of the stories of his exploits, as well as introduce new ones now and again that tell of his further exploits. I hope you will enjoy reading and re-reading some of his previously published adventures, as well as new stories of his ongoing exploits.

With no further delay, I give you the previous, and ongoing, story of Dinlas, God of Hate & Jealousy; as he returns to present life and begins his new life among the mortals.

NOT SO NEW OFFICE

-Wayne Davids/originally published June 16, 2019

I had a lot to think about, and the next few weeks would be busy for me. Plans like mine don’t just come together on their own, they take plenty of forethought.

I just set down my issue of Janie’s Weapon Systems and ground my cigarette in the ashtray when there was a knock at the door. The girls whined and perked their ears up so I gave them each a quick pat on the head and shushed them. I didn’t think anyone even knew I had rented this warehouse, other than Zeus. I approached the door.

“Who is it?” I asked through the heavy wooden door.

“It’s Hephaestus. Open up.”

I opened the door a crack and there he stood, Hephaestus; just as big and ugly as I remembered him. I opened the door wider and gestured for him to come inside.

“Uncle Heph, good to see you. I was going to call you for some weapons once I got situated.

The giant blacksmith shouldered past me into my office in the corner of the warehouse.

“Cut the crap. I wanna know what you’re up to, and it better not involve revenge on Ares or Aphrodite. In fact, it better…” He trailed off as he saw my two black wolves get up from behind the desk and move toward him.

“Wha-what are those?” he demanded as they curled their lips and eyeballed him.

“Oh, those are my two girls.”

“But why do you have them?”

“Well, they were a gift. I’ve been reading up on current events and culture here among the mortals, and they’re called support animals.”

“Support animals?” he looked at me and frowned. “I don’t think that’s what they are.”

“Sure they are,” I told him. “They’ll rip the throat out of anyone that tries to mess with me. I totally support that.”

Hephaestus shook his head. “Still pretty sure that’s not what support animals are. Who would give you such a gift?”

“Loki.”

“Loki? The Norse God of Mischief?”

“Yeah. You know, Odin is really curious about how this whole plan of us all coming back is gonna work out. In fact, a lot of the other chief deities are following this thing pretty closely. Odin All-Father, Amun-Ra, Marduk of Babylon, Amaterasu of the Shinto, I mean the list goes on and on. I’m guessing if this thing works out and we start racking up followers, it’s going to become a regular pantheological mosh-pit down here.”

After a moment of him looking at me, I gestured to the two wolves and said, “Anyway, this is Hate and Jealousy.”

Hephaestus shook his head and said, “It’s not why I came out here.  Why aren’t you at the Olympus Headquarters like everyone else?”

“Because Grandfather agreed to let me rent this place. I’m going to be dealing with criminals much of the time.”

“Really? You are?”

“Yeah. I’m now officially what’s called a bounty hunter. When people don’t show up for criminal trial or skip out on parole, then I go out and track them down. Then they get sent back to prison. The technical term is bail enforcement officer.”

“I’ve never heard of such a thing.”

“I hadn’t either, but I saw a television show about this guy and his family who were bounty hunters. Once I realized I didn’t have to grow my hair long and call everyone ‘brah’, I warmed up to the idea. Anyway, Zeus agreed to give me a little leeway since he didn’t want unsavorys mucking up his new marble floors in the complex.”

“So this has nothing to do with your parents?”

I flared up at that. “They aren’t my parents, you know that. The closest thing I have to a parent is Hades. He was nice enough to let me sleep on the ground in Tartarus, if anyone could sleep with the Titans being tortured for eternity in that pit.”

I watched Hephaestus. He hesitated for a moment, then turned to leave. He placed his hand on the doorknob and without turning back said, “I’ve always felt sorry for you, Dinlas, but I will stand with my brother and my wife if ever I need to choose sides.”  Before I could answer he opened the door, stepped out, and closed it behind himself.

I went back and sat down at the desk. It and the chair were the only two pieces of furniture in the entire building. But that would change soon enough.

I thought about Uncle Heph. He strayed close to the truth. I didn’t want to see Ares or Aphrodite, but there was another Olympian I would prefer to avoid as well. It simply tore at my heart every time I saw her. Staying clear of the bunch of them would be best for me. Zeus knew that. The girls whimpered and nuzzled me, so I scratched behind their ears. After a minute, I leaned back in the chair, tapped out a cigarette, lit it, and inhaled deeply. I had a lot to think about, and the next few weeks would be busy for me. Plans like mine don’t just come together on their own, they take plenty of forethought.