Varsha 2023 Stories - Victoria Male



By Victoria Male


“So, you're the so-called ‘excellent supplicant’ of mine who called me a bitch then vomited in my temple.”

Pygmalia scrambled to her knees and pressed her head to the floor, internally cursing herself regarding its dusty state. In Pyg’s defense, she had not expected the goddess of love and beauty to pay her a visit this evening. Or ever.

“Forgive me, most divine Aphrodite, though I do not deserve it.”

“Yeah, you don't, but get off the ground, I want to see your face for this.”

Pyg did as she was commanded, but she kept her gaze on the infuriatingly untidy floor below her out of deference. Few mortals made it out of a confrontation with Aphrodite alive, and Pyg probably should’ve been smote on the spot for her drunken, heartbroken rant at the goddess’s temple last week. “Are you going to turn me into a slug? Or curse me to want to bone my family? Because they're mostly dead.”

“I might. I should.”

Pyg’s stomach lurched. “Please, I beg of you! I am so sorry for how I acted last week, but, I mean, can you blame me? Your betrothed dumps you not wanting to only pop out kids after the wedding!? I love sculpting just as much as I love any man, yet none will have me if I keep doing it.”

“Really?” Annoyance colored the deity’s stunning, ageless features. She flipped a curtain of waist-length hair from her shoulder to cascade down her back. “Because I've watched you, and it's clear that you're not trying nearly hard enough to find one.”

“Isn't true love supposed to be effortless? Your son shoots us with an arrow and it's game over?”

“Trust me, you don't want to be shot by Eros, he's been going buck with those arrows lately,” Aphrodite disclosed with a very ungoddess-like snort. “Besides, it's never that simple, even with an arrow.”

“Forgive me, but–”

“Arguing with me about how love works? That's a first.”

What was wrong with her?! Who was dumb enough to quarrel with a god, let alone an Olympian? Pygmalia, apparently. She trembled as her mind supplied all the horrors and humiliations Aphrodite could–no, would subject her to.

Meanwhile, Aphrodite scanned the room for the first time since she’d arrived. She'd been so preoccupied with the mouthy mortal before her that it wasn’t until now that she saw the statue. A man so beautiful, so lovingly, worshipfully sculpted it gave the goddess of beauty pause. The corner of Aphrodite’s lips upturned into a cunning grin.

“You want a man who won’t judge you? Here, I'll bring this incredibly cut statue to life. He'll have no problem whatsoever with your craft, but you have to make him fall in love with you, or I’ll turn you both into stone.”

Pyg gulped. “Both of us?”

“He’d make a lovely addition to my rose garden don’t you think?” She glided to where the statue stood, awing Pyg with her preternatural grace. The marble man that Pygmalia had hewn was a revelation. Her skill would go down in history. But where was the fun in telling her that now? Aphrodite shot a haughty glance at the sculptor in question. “And you...well, my lovers need something for target practice, I guess.”

Most mortals knew better than to bargain with a god. But the prospect of Galateo being brought to life was too tempting for Pyg to resist. “I accept.”

“You have until the day of my festival.”

“That’s frighteningly soon.”

“It’s more than you deserve for your insolence.”

She was right, so Pyg bowed once more, “Yes, goddess.”

“Ew. Honestly? I liked it better when you were calling me out. At least you meant that.”

Aphrodite disappeared in another burst of light and wind. And just like when she'd arrived, it knocked Pygmalia back flat on her ass. She counted to five, and then dared to lower her hands from her face. Her modest, endearingly messy home bore no evidence of a visit from an Olympian, prompting Pyg to ask herself: Had that even been real?

“Er...pardon me?”

She choked on her breath. It couldn’t be. Ever so slowly, Pyg turned around while her heart threatened to thunder out of her chest.

Before her, in the flesh, was Galateo. He was more beautiful than she could’ve imagined. Pyg stood slowly and approached him timidly, as one moved toward a skittish animal. She didn’t dare breathe.

Galateo, like most sentient men, was completely oblivious to her rapture.

“Where am I?”


“Where is that?”


“Who are you?”


“You are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen.” He spoke in a reverent, sonorous baritone that made Pyg’s thighs clench. “May I ask you one more question?”


“Who am I?”

“You are Galateo. And you were made for me.”

Galateo smiled. It was beatific. He stepped down from his pedestal. Pyg giggled with giddy disbelief. He could move.

She reached for him. Galateo met her, encasing Pyg in his arms. Their kiss was nothing short of divine. Pyg’s hands roamed across Galateo’s body, basking in the feel of the warm skin that had been cold, unyielding marble mere moments ago. His lips dropped to her neck, making Pyg gasp, then giggle again. As far as her pact with Aphrodite went, Pygmalia privately rejoiced that she and Galateo had nothing to worry about it seemed.

The pair was so engrossed with each other that they didn’t spot the small, glowing orb hovering in the window outside. It soared upward, past the temple, through the clouds...and into Aphrodite's palm. The deity’s face was as smooth and expressionless as stone as she watched the two lovers roll around on Pygmalia’s dirty floor.

She turned to her son. “I give it a week.”

Eros laughed. His mother was so needlessly callous sometimes.

“Hey, that's harsh,” he chided her. “Give it two.”

Aphrodite cocked a brow. Each god extended a hand to seal their bet with a handshake.


Victoria Male (she/her) from U.S. has worked in creative development at The Montecito Picture Company and Graphic India. Her prose has appeared in The Chamber Magazine and The oranges Journal. A shrewd adaptor of biography, history, and mythology, Victoria seeks to celebrate the complexity and the breadth of the female gaze in her work.


Our Contributors !!

Some of our writers!

  • We occasionally invite writers to send their musings. Do send in your work, and we will host it here.
  • Do visit the Submit page to submit your work.