Mandy Oviatt: Author

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Tis nearly the Season

Hello! Miles Herman, Here.

SantaWith the holidays coming up soon, I thought I’d take a moment to talk about how the experiences I have, being who I am, during the holiday season.

I love, I seriously love Yule. And that love starts with the day Americans call “Black Friday” and doesn’t stop until the New Year.

I get to weird people out. I get to have a huge amount of people worship me during Black Friday. I get tons of power during the annual rush to stand in line. I’m a god of travel.

The longer I keep people traveling, even if it is a really slow movement, the better I get ahead in the game of counting points. I love the whole world trying to solve how I get everything where it needs to be when it needs to be where it needs to be and addressed to the right people.


I can be everywhere, anywhere I want to be in a blink of an eye. I love how people work hard to catch me by eliminating chimneys. I love the number of open windows that become other options. The thing about that phrase about “closed doors and open windows” is that it isn’t about a happy opportunity for you guys, but is actually a warning about me. When I close a door, I leave a window available for my escape.


I’m a sneaky guy, always have been. It takes panache to talk your way out of stealing a herd of cows. It takes surprise to please a god with a dead animal skeleton and stretched out intestines by calling it a musical instrument. Hello, I even named it after myself, the Liar! (I still can’t believe Apollo bought it. Sucker.)


That same risky behaviour pays off in relatively the same way when you talk otherwis civilized societies into risking salmonella and ringworm by drinking raw eggs by calling it “nog” (Humans will actually buy anything) and serving boar heads as meals for the holiday. There is no animal that I have not talked you guys into eating, and no other time is it as obvious as the Holidays. Bee-vomit soaked pig-butt, raw egg and cow-sweat beverages, really just a marvel that you guys resisted longer.


But you guys want me to talk about how I love Yule. I used to love how people chopped down trees to make way for parking lots. I even like how people replant trees to keep Demeter happy. Not a fan of the plastic tree, it just doesn’t have the same ‘feeling’ as a real holiday. True, you cover the trees in lights, perhaps to make my father happy, but nothing is more amazing to me than to see how different, and how similar, every tree is every year.


I love the milk and cookies. Warm baked goods, left behind for me, and occasionally fruits and veggies for the reindeer are a special treat, and an appreciated payment from the children to me. Santa does prefer a good ol’ fashioned eggnog or a lager every now and again (I keep an elf on standby to help me fly).

milk cookies


Ever hear the phrase “there’s a god that looks out for children?” Yeah, that’s me.

I love children. Not in a “call the cops” sort of way, I’m not a pervert. The happy looks on their faces when they see my representations every year, they see my duplicates at the malls (Every single Mall Santa has a spark of me in him somewhere.) I love their candor, their bravery, the fearlessness of children. Children understand me, and I understand them.


And before it becomes a thing, no…Santa hunting is not cool. There is this guy in Texas, or wait, is he in Arizona…whatever, tell that guy to quit going Santa hunting. The whole game is ruined if someone sees us. Don’t follow his example, don’t try to catch me. Stay inside, drink nog and don’t try to watch me. It is a private thing I do and watching me while I am in the living room doing it is just creepy.


That is why I wear the Zeus mask. So people will leave me alone. I love what the new pictures of me look like. I would totally run a package store, but I would never use a thermos…not without the cup and the collectible lunchbox.. Because the cup and the box are part of the package.


I really love wrapping presents. That actually comes from a ritual to seal the box on all sides from evil. You are supposed to use shiny material to ward off the spirits. Hera designed it as a way to keep me from opening her anniversary presents.


silver packageI was young, foolish, not near as handsome, and thought the spirits inside the box were watching me. I had been fooled before by Argus, her manservant. So that is why you are supposed to seal the gifts in shiny paper with images: to confuse me. Now I do the same to keep kids out. If it worked on me, it could work on someone else.


My favorite worshippers are the ones who use unorthodox paper or work he whole year to make it special. There is this guy Georgia who saves the funny papers all year long so he can wrap the presents for the kids. That guy is going places. I made a going places joke because I am the god of going.



Wow, Tough Crowd!

There are people who theme together their trees. I love themed Christmases. I would like to see more of my followers help me in this tradition of making all the gifts work together. Just like random weird gods work best as a set of accessories, I approve of the Voltron idea…but I will form the head.





July 20, 1969

Today, Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

That’s right, you can stop laughing.
Those silly mortals decided to go to the moon, and named the mission to go there after the wrong god.



I watched today with my wife and son.

“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

I held my breath.
And remembered words once whispered by the real Apollo:

After Strong-armed Zeus speaks to the Earth
Sun and Moon confused in birth...
He couldn’t remember the rest. Why would Zeus Speak to earth?

But it clicked. Niel ARMSTRONG, from the Eagle, the bird of my spiritual father.

It would not surprise me if Mr. Armstrong was Divine-blooded.

And I know now that the Twins are returning, though I’m clueless as to when and where.
But there is going to be something about the twins. .



September, 1976

I always hate it when I have to bring someone to the Underworld, and this time was no exception.
Most of the time, Hades or one of his minions come to Earth to bring the dead to his realm, but today? It was my job, because this time, it was a goddess that passed away.

I’m a little too sad to talk about it, because Aphrodite was just so beautiful. What am I saying? She is always Beautiful.

Sorry, I meant Yvette. Yvette Bazin was beautiful. A French actress, model, and dancer.

Cut down in her prime; we were nearly same age. She was a few years older than me.

To be strangled in bed, so horrifically, by a mortal, by one’s mortal spouse? And to be discovered by her son? It’s terrible.

This is not the first god to pass away since I was reborn, but this one hurts the most. Yvette was my first love, and this is the most personal loss I’ve experienced.

When the mortal flesh fails, and the body dies, gods attend their own funerals. We always do it, it is almost like we must hear what our accomplishments were, from those who cared for us, before we forget the entirety of that mortal life. At the funerals, I find the gods spirits and escort them to a doorway to the underworld.

In my thirty-six years, I’ve seen four gods die: Demeter, Hephaestus, Iris and Nike (who was the only one who did not attend her own funeral). This death, Aphrodite’s, was the most difficult.  She was the only one I knew personally, the only one I didn’t have to pretend to know.

I found Yvette sitting next to her ten-year-old daughter. Her son, a college student named Julian, was delivering the Eulogy.

I always liked that kid.

When Yvette’s spirit saw me, smiled, and said six words, heard only to me.

Because no one else could see or hear her, not even her daughter Rochelle, whose hand she was holding.

“My mirror now belongs to Athena.” As I touched her spirit, to begin the journey, she and I vanished.

I … it was our trip to the underworld, something I can’t talk about.
But I found Yvette’s hand mirror in the glove compartment of my car this morning, and know that I need to give it to Athena, when she returns.

It seems Athena is returning.

And despite the sadness I feel at the loss of a dear friend and lover, I couldn’t be more excited if I tried.

Miles Herman, 1946: 8 Years Old.

<h2<h2London, June 21, 1946

Dear Journal,

Today, I got in trouble again. And, on my birthday of all days!

See, I rode my brand-new bike into town with Tony and Johnny and we were at the sweet shop, drooling over the candies on display.
I didn’t have any money cos I left my money at home hidden under the mattress. I’m saving up so I can spend money when we go on holiday next month.

But I promise, I didn’t mean to steal it!

The policeman stopped me on the street and emptied my pockets, finding a big wad of Turkish taffy that I promise I didn’t put there!
So Dad boxed my ears and Mom made me go to bed without dinner.
On my Birthday!
Because this is the third time I’ve been caught taking stuff from the stores.

London, November 11, 1946

We celebrated Armistce by hosting an American Soldier Dad knew in the War, a man named “Sergeant Harry Zeuner.”
I don’t know why my dad likes him; this Harry guy is scary! He is tall, mean, and looks like he could eat Nazis for breakfast. He’s also loud and rude.

He’s going to be staying for a few weeks before he returns home to America.

November 13, 1946

So, Sergeant Harry today caught me borrowing money from my Dad’s wallet.
I didn’t even realize I was doing it, but Dad’s wallet was sitting there, on the counter, open, and I couldn’t help but take the money laying out in the open. I couldn’t bear it if something happened to it!
Except Harry stopped me.

He put his hand around my shoulder and pulled me into the living room. Then I saw something.
It’s like I had a dream while I was awake.
I was a full grown man, dressed like a gladiator or a roman soldier or something, climbing in a mountain to a well. The well was made of bronze, and had a cap on it. I could hear wailing and shouting from within, and the ground shook beneath my feet. A pair of twins, angry looking giant men with gnarled teeth and rotted beards stood behind the well, daring me to open it.
Until my sister, who stood by my side, offered to snog one of the men if they’d let me look at the well.
Delighted, the men walked toward my sister, who turned into a deer and ran off, causing the men to chase her while I opened the well.

Inside was Sergeant Zeuner, or a man that looked just like him.

When the dream was over, Harry put me down and laughed. I was a little disoriented, I don’t have a sister, just my little brother.

“You’re Hermes!” he shouted. And it made sense.

So, you can’t blame me if I takes stuff now an again: I am a god who steals without meaning to.

Too bad Dad and Mum won’t believe it.

Christmas, 1946

I couldn’t believe my luck!
Today, under the christmas tree, sat a box with my name on it.
And in that box was the most amazing pair of shoes I think I’ve ever seen:
Chuck Taylor All-Stars.

This is the first time I’ve ever seen a pair in red, though. They’re almost always black!
The note in the box was from Harry Zeuner; he had them dyed red because of my Ginger hair.
Apparently, the shoes are worn by American Soldiers in Basic Training.
I’m never taking these shoes off.