Goddess Marquesa smiled benevolently at the man seated across from her. “Calm down,” she soothed. “Everything is all right.” The man was trembling. He glanced around the dark bar, scanning to see if he had been recognized despite the hat and dark glasses he wore.

“What have you done to me?” he asked. “What was in that bottle?”

Goddess Marquesa laughed softly, a sound that made her counterpart’s trembling intensify. They had met “accidently” at a different bar a week before. He had been surrounded by his usual entourage of fashion models and sycophants, but the Goddess had breezed through them with the usual ease that she displayed in dealing with the weak-minded. A gauntly thin redhead in a sateen dress had sniffed in dismayed irritation as Goddess Marquesa sidled up to the celebrated man and instantly dominated his attention. A harried aide had tried to interject when the Goddess drew a small bottle out of her purse and poured its green liquid into her victim’s drink, but by that time he was too distracted to heed the advice of any of his hangers-on.

“It was a little potion of my invention,” the Goddess purred in a tone of playful satisfaction. “Why do you ask?”

As she finished her question, the conversation was interrupted by the arrival of a waiter. “One scotch and soda,” the server declared, setting a glass filled with amber liquid in front of the man. “One white wine.” This was placed in front of Goddess Marquesa.

The man shuffled his feat impatiently and nodded as the waiter withdrew. “I need that bottle of yours,” he hissed as privacy was restored, “I have to give it to my people to analyze.”

The Goddess reached down and retrieved her purse, placing it on the table in front of her. “I have it with me. But I don’t understand. What is the emergency?”

The man fidgeted nervously, unable to meet Goddess Marquesa’s eyes. “I don’t want to talk about it,” he blurted, “just give me the damn bottle.”

This outburst was met with silence. The Goddess betrayed no reaction to her companion’s frantic energy, she merely peered at him steadily, the same serene smile set in her features, until his fidgeting subsided and he looked at her questioningly. “You don’t seem to understand,” she said, “I am not one of your employees or a contestant on one of your reality shows. If you want something from me, you will tell me why. Tell me everything. I am in no rush. If and when I am satisfied that you have confessed everything to me, you will get what you want. Not before.”

The man looked into Goddess Marquesa’s deep green eyes, his expression searching. What he saw there cracked his resistance. He seemed to realize that she could not be cowed or bullied, and this made his expression soften, become pleading. His mouth opened, sounds emerged as if he were trying to force himself to speak. Finally, with effort, he said, “I don’t understand what’s happening to me…You are gorgeous, but you are far from the hottest woman I’ve met….”

Goddess Marquesa laughed. “Ha! You are so deliciously shallow. So I am not a ‘fat pig, dog, slob, or disgusting animal,’ am I?”

The man winced in embarrassment. “Please…I’m trying to explain….”

The Goddess pursed her lips in mock sympathy. “Oh, I’m sorry. Continue your confession…”

“I’ve met a lot of hot women, but no one has ever made me feel the way you do. I can’t stop thinking about you. Your eyes…your lips…your breasts….your legs….I’d give anything just to touch you…” He paused here, looking expectantly at Goddess Marquesa, as if this would satisfy her.

“That’s sweet,” she replied, “but many men feel that way about me after meeting me. You still haven’t told me what I want to know about the effects of my potion. Tell me everything you are feeling. Confess.”

The man’s mouth drooped open. His eyes took on a hunted cast, searching for escape. His trembling became a frenzied palsy, as if he were fighting an uncontrollable impulse. Finally his will broke. “I want to…to do things for you…to give you things. I keep having dreams….Some of them are sexual. We make love….” He hesitated again.

“Keep on,” Goddess Marquesa commanded, “Tell me about the dreams. All of them.”

“In some dreams I’m your servant. I cook for you, clean for you. You tie me up…you beat me…and I….I…”


“I love it. I beg you to beat me again. I thank you. I tell you how much I…I….”

“Say it.”

“I love you.” This stopped him in his tracks. He stared into her eyes open-mouthed as the words hung in the air. With a sudden motion he reached out and snatched her hand, pressing it to his lips.

“I love you so much,” he gasped between passionate kisses. “I want to make you happy.”

The Goddess gently withdrew her hand. “But why should that be a problem?” she asked, her eyes bright.

“I’ve begun buying you things…I can’t help myself…”

“I’ve received no gifts.”

“Cars. Boats. Houses. I wanted to put them in your name, but my advisors stopped me. They’re right…I’m a married man. I’m in the middle of an election campaign. This could sink me. If my wife finds out…the press….Please….I need that potion…If I can find some sort of antidote…I’ve done as you asked…”

Goddess Marquesa broke eye contact. Reaching into her purse, she pulled out the same small green bottle from which she had decanted her potion the week before. This she placed on the table between herself and her companion. On its front was a white adhesive label with the words “Drink me” written in an elegant feminine hand.

The man snatched up the bottle. “Thank you,” he said in a tone of intense relief.

“I hope you get what you need from it,” Goddess Marquesa replied.

“I have the best people…they will figure out how it works.”

“Are you sure that is what you want?”

“What?” he asked confusedly.

“Take a moment to sort it out. Look at me, think about how you feel. How I make you feel.”

The man’s eyes traveled over Goddess Marquesa’s face and down her body. Hands shaking, he removed the stopper from the bottle and poured some of its green liquid into his glass of scotch. Replacing the stopper in the bottle, he raised his glass, staring at it intently as the ice cubes within it rattled from the incessant trembling of his hand.

“That’s it, pet,” Goddess Marquesa cooed. “That is what you really want.”

“It’s a trap….” the man said, his face red, his voice on the verge of tears. “Loving you makes me want to love you more…I can’t stop myself…”

“Why stop yourself?”

“Because loving you as much as I do now is destroying me…if I love you more….oh, God….you….you…you are so magnificent….”

Goddess Marquesa reached out and stroked the man’s free hand encouragingly. “Drink up pet. I know you have another engagement tonight.”

“Please…” the man cried, loud enough so that others in the bar turned to look, forcing him to check his tone, “please help me stop myself. I can’t control my feelings for you, but you….I would listen to you…tell me to stop, I beg you…”

Goddess Marquesa smiled and shook her head. “You have to do what your heart tells you, pet.”

The man hesitated a heartbeat more and then raised the trembling glass to his lips. His eyes close and his breath rasped as he choked down its liquid contents, but it remained at his mouth until ice cubes clinked against empty glass.

“Good boy,” said the Goddess cheerfully, “You may kiss me once more and then you must be off.”

The man leaned forward, his lips pursed, but Goddess Marquesa had already risen from the table. She stood facing him, and answered his puzzled look by extending her shapely leg and pointing at her foot. After a moment of befuddlement he understood. The surprise of the other patrons of the bar to see a man in an expensive silk suit on his hands and knees, kissing a beautiful blonde’s foot, was only surpassed by their shock to see him kissing the spot on which she had stood for several minutes after she had glided out of the premises.



“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the next in our series of presidential debates. I will be your moderator for the evening. Our first question is for our front runner. Sir, you famously have hired and fired thousands of employees. Since this is a kind of job interview for the highest office in the land, let’s start with a typical interview question. What is your greatest weakness, and why doesn’t it disqualify you for the Oval Office?”

A pause ensued as the television cameras rolled and the audience in the auditorium awaited an answer. The man behind the podium blinked against the bright lights and stared about wide-eyed, seemingly taken off guard. Finally, long after the pause had become uncomfortable, he blurted out, “My greatest weakness is Goddess Marquesa.”

This was met with a shocked hush. The moderators and audience expected more, some explanation, but the man stepped back from his podium and stormed off stage. As he reached the wings he was met by an unkempt and harried-looking aide in a frumpled suit. “What the hell was that?” the aide asked, frantic. “You’ve got to get back out there…tell them something…”

“Forget that,” the man said. “Did you give that bottle to some experts? Have they analyzed it?”

The aide reached into his jacket and produced the bottle, “It’s here…I had it studied.”

“Good!” the man exclaimed. “What did the lab coats find?”

“There’s nothing to find, Donald. Look…” the aide grabbed a corner of the white label that read “Drink me” and peeled it back. Underneath was another label. This one read:  Robotussin- For Cough Due to Cold or Flu….


The End