Throwback Thursday: “Under the Influence” – 1988

Senior pic. Dig that 80s hair!
Senior pic. Dig that 80s hair!

I thought it’d be fun to hop on the Throwback Thursday train, albeit in literary rather than photographic form. I realize this may not be the best idea, in that I’m always reading that as a writer, one should put forth only one’s finest work for public consumption. I’m sure something I wrote in high school is unlikely to earn such a designation. Oh well. I’m doing it anyway.

Below is an essay I wrote for my Honors English class way back in 12th grade (and yes, my 41-year-old self would tell my 16-year-old self right away to work on varying vocabulary, since I noticed I was, uh, rather fond of the adjective ‘mighty’ in this piece).


Under the Influence

Mighty Sobernon sat upon his mighty throne of clouds and stared down unhappily at the scene below him. Men, women and children frolicked happily, without a thought to the things they should have been concerned with, like the harvest and preparing for the coming coldness.

“Whyfor dance these people among the streets when the grain lies wasting in the fields?” he mused. With a mighty shout, he summoned his son Drunkardes up from the land to his mountain kingdom.

“Drunkardes, why cavort these people in the midday, when they should be preparing for the bad season? What hast thou wrought?” he bellowed.

“Why, I merely gave Euphoria a bit of my sacred ale, in hopes that she would be one with me,” said Drunkardes.

“You what?! By all the mighty gods in the sky, know ye not what the sacred ale can do to mere mortals? They are not themselves now – Alkoholnad, God of Spirits, now controls their minds. I am the God of Responsibility. It is my duty to see that these people released upon the land work it to survive. Now everything rots while these people sup the ale,” cried Sobernon.

Drunkardes looked aghast upon his father, and waited for the judgment to fall. He knew Sobernon’s fury would erupt in full force if he told him he had revealed the Sacred Ale river to Euphoria.

“I must speak with Alkoholnad and hope to make a bargain with him for these peoples’ souls,” Sobernon decided. And in doing so, sent Drunkardes to Alkoholnad.

Alkoholnad was not an easy God to appease, and didn’t want to relinquish his hold upon the people, but he had been called upon while in a jovial mood, and a compromise was reached.

Sobernon ruled the day, and Alkoholnad ruled the night, with the 5th and 6th day belonging solely to Alkoholnad. Some souls would always belong to Sobernon, and some always to Alkoholnad, but the majority would remain under the God of Responsibility, only allowed to drink when their day duties were done. Children under the age of 21 were not allowed to taste of the sacred ale, and those who did were destined to have Drunkardes, the God of Foolishness, follow them while they were under the influence to ensure they made fools of themselves.

And thus alcohol and the drinking age were created.


Yeah, O.K., I know what you’re probably thinking (don’t quit your day job, lady). It was fun to share anyway. Who knows what literary delights and/or disaster await on future Throwback Thursdays!

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