Fraternal twin brothers from an exemplary family with a long history of silver spoons, silk stockings, white gloves, and blueblood.
Arthur, the elder by minutes, born to ponder, plan, plot and practice minor deceits for major gains and elaborate scams for minimal returns or momentous losses.
Theo of the laughing lips and smiling eyes, a charming and pliable character and a lubricous seducer of young girls and married women. The younger brother, a slippery wordsmith, giving every word a double or triple meaning. His promises are rarely broken because they are seldom understood.
Siblings of a political bent split between two different electoral districts in the same Northern part of their Province. They are natural, intense, relentless, and vicious competitors. Each seeking the eye and favor of their father, each yearning for higher office, superior achievement, and a brighter future.
Their progress measured by clock, scales, inches of newsprint and minutes of media coverage. The brothers surging ever forward were always seeking to exceed past accomplishments and present expectations. Together they celebrated every victory and commiserated on each defeat.
It was an open secret among their wives and older children that each brother plotted against the other for that, yet to be found, penultimate advantage. In matters where it was mutually beneficial, each aided and abetted the other’s mischief, madness, and questionable to clearly illegal activities. In this, they were the model politicians of their day.
An untimely death created opportunity blossomed from the grave and enticed them both toward higher office, upward mobility and the effervescent scent of success. The twins tossed their purloined hats, bloody gloves, and tainted records into the ring to compete for this superb position.
They subverted, slandered, misled, besmirched, and traduced the other competitors into withdrawal, abstinence, distress, heartsick disability, and suicide. Such was the toxic politics of this place and time.
The battlefield was now clear, the contestants defined, and the prospects glowed even brighter. The brothers immediately turned their wits to the elimination of each other.
Arthur and his golden trophy spouse, Abrielle, of luscious lips and inviting thighs heaved heartfelt sighs. He fell to cunnilingus. She opened for fellatio. Quickly, they put their mouths, lips, teeth and tongues to other uses. They harnessed their quick, keen cunning to discover, create or fabricate a disaster of such magnitude from which Theo could never recover or, in some other manner, gain an insurmountable advantage over the younger brother.
The thinker and his muse hatched, birthed, and disgorged a plan involving the Party Chairman, hidden cameras, ripe, young boys of a certain age and color and a splendid variety of designer drugs. These orgiastic onslaughts transpired in a suite in the finest, most exclusive, extremely discreet, hotel retreat, behind guards, gates, and advanced, state-of-the-art electronic protections.
Planning, planning, planning and plotting, plotting, plotting, every instrument of their collective minds a tune to the tasks at hand. Bit by bit the foul plan took root, sprouted, grew noxious blossoms, bloomed, and delivered its poisonous fruit.
And, oh, how the pair did celebrate their success in debaucheries sweet excess.
Now, to the critical part of their plan. They invited Theo and his spouse, Leza, a newer and brighter platinum version of Arthur’s award worthy wife, to celebrate the great patriotic High Holiday. And in the midst of the food, drink, and false and phony laughter, the brothers worked out an agreement, a meeting of the minds, a binding of the ties. Rather than decimate each other and destroy the family, such as it was, the brother who could first obtain the support of the Party Chairman would command this fantastic windfall, and all fighting and antagonism would cease. The covenant allotted thirty days’ time for a brother to win, bend, or coerce the Party leader’s support. Each brother confident in his own way for his own reasons readily agreed to this scheme for avoiding a decimating, annihilating and ultimately self-defeating conflict.
Theo had not expended his valuable time and energy on plotting and planning and putting into effect such a demanding program as Arthur and Abrielle had created. No, Theo turned his energies in another direction – under Abrielle’s swinging skirts and between her sweet thighs. Beneath her silky dresses and sexy gowns he plied her with tongue, penis and every digit and love of every kind of affection and in every direction. He worshiped her body and soul in every opening and every pore. She returned his undying love, absorbing and secreting, mixing and meeting, spending many hours within and about each other.
Theo had followed second-hand his brother’s plan step-by-step enjoying its success and relished the cunning and expertise it exhibited. All of Abrielle and Arthur’s accomplishments were now ceded and deeded to Theo by his brother’s wife. Abrielle gave Theo a copy of the secret videos, the naughty pictures, the sumptuous sound recordings, the damning records all damp with body fluids and sensual odors.
Straightaway, Theo rushed to the Party leader and offered to share with him a most interesting, candid, exciting, and highly entertaining home movie. The Chairman roared and thundered, stomped and screamed, tore his hair, punched the air, cursed the Gods, begged the Goddesses and eventually relented and agreed to back Theo and Theo alone.
Arthur was crushed, eclipsed, stunned, and all but destroyed. The elder brother’s depression was a night without end in sight. His dismay was beyond comprehension, compensation, or consolation.
Arthur, at his most deceptive, hid the worst of his despair, resentment, and growing hatred. True to his nature he reviewed, analyzed, re-examined, and inspected every step of his fabulous plan that could not, but did, fail. His Titanic effort had slipped under the waves with barely a ripple.
And in time he began to realize, understand and absorb the nature and cause of his inexplicable defeat. He did not confront Theo or his deceitful Jezebel of a wife. He held close and cherished his hard-won nugget of knowledge and his blinding flash of insight.
Comes now the next High Holiday and Arthur invites his two youngest nephews for a sleepover the day before he hosts a grand celebration for their preening father, his triumphant brother.
During the night Arthur spirited his drugged nephews, his kith, and kin, his blood relations, from the sweet repose of their beds into his craven kitchen onto his chopping blocks, into his blenders, grinders, skillets, pots, and pans.
And such a feast he did concoct, baking, broiling, grilling, frying, poaching, and roasting such sweet, young, tender flesh, ham and hocks, liver and kidneys, brains and tongue.
The feast table groaned with savory delights beyond memory or imagination. Arthur explained that their progenies were enthusiastically savoring their meals in the game room.
The older brother was the perfect host, carving, serving, pouring, keeping the conversation light but lively.
There were sighs of delight, moans of ecstasy, lips were licked, second and third servings were graciously provided and eagerly consumed. The diners were sated, gorged to the gills with greasy lips and bloated bellies.
The after-dinner cognac was served with many words of high praise for the host and chef. The master chef basked in their praise and provided one last parting repast – the raw feet and hands of the young boys served with a light green parsley garnish on a bed of fig and grape leaves.
The screams, the screams, the screams echo still in the minds and souls of Theo and Leza as they desperately tried to explain the mystery of their missing sons to the authorities. They dared not point the finger of suspicion at Arthur for there were movies, films, and photos from many camera angles recording the decadent delight the now grieving parents took in devouring their own offspring.
Thereafter, Theo retired from all politics and most public life. A recluse rarely seen, but there swirled about his name unmentionable horrors, ill-defined but of such a gross and detestable nature that Theo and his family were soon driven from the City, the Province, the Nation and the hemisphere.
Abrielle, the mastermind, suffered from grotesque delusions, eating disorders of a severe and pervasive nature, and a loss of orderly thought processes. In that mental disarray, she was locked away without fanfare or support.
Arthur was elected to the gilded office. He served himself far better than he served his constituents. As was expected, he was rewarded for his diligent self-aggrandizement by election to an even higher office with greater opportunities to root and loot.
However, on some sleepless nights he could see the gathering of storm clouds of revenge on a far horizon. Arthur, the Senior Solon, shuddered at the thought of the form any attack would take for he knew his brother would exceed the damages done to him tenfold. Still, that is a different story for a different time and a different place.
Banner Image: By Ben Combee from Austin, TX, USA – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1190678
9 thoughts on “Atreus (Arthur) and Thyestes (Theo) by Frederick K. Foote”
Model Politicians of their day – how very true in every way and still today. I read this story with the idea of an old Greek tragedy in mind, full of the manipulations and distrust among the ruling elite.
I was slightly confused on the first read through – surely it was Arthur, who during the night, spirited his nephews … into the kitchen. (Not Theo). A minor slip of the pen me thinks.
I am still juggling and cannot decide who were the winners and losers of this tale of deceitful tale and if justice was done! Certainly the innocent children are always at the mercy of ‘the model politicians of their day’.
A fun read, although tragic.
James, thank you very much for catching and giving me a heads up on the error. Please keep reading with a critical and careful eye.
I think that it is not just politicians that will sacrifice the defenseless or vulnerable in the names of greed and pride – politicians just happen to be in the limelight today.
History of US 2016 presidential elections with names changed?
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Yes, absolutely so.
Thanks fr reading..
Frederick, reading your delicious story, I picture in my mind a high holiday festivity of adjectives and adverbs gathered in colorful costumes and gay spirits, eating, drinking, dancing and romancing. You sure do have a way with words that stimulates both heart and brain. Aside from luxuriating in this fanciful mirage, I swoon to award-worthy lines like “opportunity blossomed from the grave” and “the feast table groaned with savory delights.” Anyway, to put it simply, this tale is to die for. Congratulations! June
Thank you, June. This is my comment on today’s politics by way of yesterday’s myths.
Thanks for your support,
Terrific story, Frederick.
I love fables and keep going back to Grimms. I am not well versed in Mythology but have read some. I think your up-date and take on this type of story is excellent and you tune in the relevance.
Thanks, Hugh. I love fables, parables, and myths,in part, because many of us can readily relate to these formats. We grew up with them and they grow in us.