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[5 Min Read]

“Mr. Mikael, your 10 o’clock is here!” Chirped a squeaky voice through the tiny desk intercom.

A long, slender well-manicured finger presses the button next to the speaker, “Excellent, send him in!”

The stylish, handcrafted, oak office door buckled and creaked as the golden handle twisted back and forth from the opposite side. The door’s operator, frustrated with his lack of progress, ripped the door off its hinges in a misplaced fit of rage.

The tentacled visitor visibly blushed upon meeting his host’s patient, baby blue eyes through his new hole in the wall. He scooted his way inside, sheepishly leaned the door loosely back over the hole, and took a seat in a posh leather chair sat across from Mikael’s gold-trimmed ebony desk.

“S-So sorry about that,” The ooze excreating creature muttered wispily through a slime coated vocal tube in its neck. “I often forget my own strength, and we don’t have doors back at home in the bog-“

The bonze skinned man sat behind the desk wearing a tailor-made suit waved his well-moisturized hands at the creature, “Please, don’t concern yourself with it sweaty. Happens more often then you think.”

Mikael propped up his elbows up on the desk, leaned his sculpted chin against his raised fist, and looked his client over, “Mr. Swamp-Thing was it? How can I help you today, beautiful?”

The creature chuckled at the remark, causing a small plume of green gas to jettison from another unseen tube the back of his muck covered head. “Mr. Mikael, I hate to say it, but I could use a, erm, little help with my image. You see, tourists aren’t coming over to the swamps much these days. I’ve tried my fins at self-advertising on billboards along the highways and such, but no traffic turns up. The few times I do catch wind of potential visitors walking up to my shack in the bog, they see me and run the other way!”

Swamp-Thing forlornly looked to the floor, “I-I just want to make some friends, Mr. Mikael.”

Mikael clapped his hands together, “Ok, first of all, I don’t want to hear you laugh anymore when you are called beautiful. Because you are, Swampy!”

Swampy glanced back up, temporarily abandoning his self-loathing spiral of thoughts, “Mr. Mikael, that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.”

“Hon, I’m only telling you the truth. What we do here is simply bring out the raw beauty that already inside the God/Goddess and bring it forward. I’m not here to change you, Swampy, I’m here to amplify what’s already there.”

Mikael sprang to his feet and swiveled Swamp-Thing’s chair to face the opposite wall which contained a wide variety of autographed photos of different mythological and religious entities. “See all those big names on that wall? Do you honestly think they had good reps from the start?”

He pointed out to a photo of Mikael posing with a jolly-looking man wearing a red suit, “Do you think parents were initially fond of a strange old man breaking into their house late at night and leaving presents?”

Swamp-Thing shook his head.

“Exactly! But we swapped out his black suit and balaclava with a high visibility red jacket and pants, plump him up a little, and now his a holiday staple!” Mikael pointed out another large photo, “Zeus, the father of the old gods. Had a bit of a reputation of… let’s say sleeping around. Dress him up in a fun robe and a bolt of lightning then, boom!” He spun swamp thing around in the chair till they were face to face again, “Instant celebrity!”

“W-Well that’s all and good Mr. Mikael,” Swamp-Thing stuttered, “But I’m a grotesque monster… no one will ever love me.”

“Nonsense!” Mikael crouched down, “Swampy, I have full confidence that together we can put you on the center stage, where you belong if you trust me. Do you trust me, beautiful?” He held out his hand.

Swamp-Thing bit his lip, “Oh… Ok” He slipped a lone tentacle into the offered hand.

Mr. Mikael launches Swamp-Thing off of his feet and spins him in an elaborate twirl, “That’s what I like to hear! You’ll be giving Jesus a run for his money when I’m done with you!”

**Photo Credit: Kinkate **


Enjoy my daily short stories? Consider checking out some of my larger projects like the 6 chapter teaser of my new book ‘The Pit!’

The Pit is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi original novel with a charter driven narrative. Follow Laura, a hot-headed vixen with a mysterious past, Liam, the natural-born leader who is deathly afraid of awkward social situations, Pete, a large intimidating man with a heart of gold, and others as they navigate old America in a supped-up RV!

Already a fan of my work and want to see how you can help keep the stories coming? Check out my Patreon at patreon.com/artoflupin.

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