Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Strength





(a writing prompt from Trifecta)



The young man sat uncomfortably on the statue’s plinth, back turned to the god who glared down stonily on the disobedience of youth.    He was strong, and naked except for a brief white cloth around his waist and he was staring ahead of him at the door that led into the uncertain night.

The young woman entered silent-footed and stooped to pick up the discarded robe from the floor, a maiden’s robe of silk,  and held it in both her hands.

“Pyrrha,” she said.

He smiled.  “Not my name,”

“Pyrrha,” she said, challenging.   “You’re going away.  He’s taking you away.”

The young man nodded.   “Not taking.  My choice.   Been hiding too long.   There’s a war.”

She narrowed her eyes, and her voice conveyed that to him though he did not look up.

“There is always a war,” she said.  “Always.   Always men willing to kill for money, or honour, or the sheer love of killing.”

“Or glory,” said the youth whose name was not Pyrrha.   And she knew that she had lost him.

“You’ll die,”

“Who doesn’t,” he said, “This war…  Everywhere.   Forever.”  He gestured with his hands, a broad encompassing gesture and he stood up as he did.   The woman glanced from  him to the stone god behind him and found the stone wanting.   Just as she did.

“Death in battle is not glorious my love,” she whispered, “this stranger has lied to you, told you it is an opportunity for immortality, but it will fit you only for the raven’s banquet.”

He was still looking at the door ahead of him.  Staring at worlds unknown and horizons undreamed.  Battles raging.   Then he turned to her suddenly and pulled her to him.   Their kiss was hot as the pyre of a dead hope.

“Remember me,”

She touched her stomach gently.  “We will,”   But he was still too much the boy to hear and he turned and walked away into the future, and into the past and into legend.


A continuation, honestly, of High Priestess and Magus and Hermit though it may not seem so at first glance.  Lucas is tricky.

38 comments:

  1. Love the story, had a real lump in throat. I wonder if the child will follow looking for the father? LM x

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    1. I think the chances are that will happen. It does tend to.

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  2. Whoa. That was Lucas! Interesting. I wonder too the price that he will pay for abandonment and short shortsightedness. Loved the phrase 'raven's banquet.'

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    1. Glad you liked it :D Lucas was in the story, but not on-screen as it were...

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  3. Love the unexpected ending! Too bad he was too focused on his own expected glory to hear the clue that would have led him to a greater honor.

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    1. He was young then, and there's still a chance he will learn better. Glad you liked it.

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  4. That last sentence is a stunner! Another great story Thomas!

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  5. 'too much the boy to hear' says it all really. Lovely.

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    1. Thank you Sandra, I'm glad you liked it.

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  6. Such wisdom and truth in this story. And sadness.

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    1. Kind of you to say so - thanks for the feedback

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  7. What an ending, all he is leaving in the vain pursuit of glory! How sad!

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    1. sad indeed, but very fitting. Glad you liked it.

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  8. I was touched by the part "We will"... what a stunning beauty in your words!

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    1. That's really kind of you - thanks!

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  9. What a fantastic story! The last sentence exploded in my head.

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  10. Beautifully written piece! Great dialogue. And yeah, that last line is fantastic.

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    1. Thanks Suzanne, I'm glad it worked

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  11. I tried to leave this message yesterday, but my iPad & Wordpress settings were not jiving: "If love is blind, then war-lust is apparently deaf. '...the door that led into the uncertain night' - what a great precursor to the final phrase - '...turned and walked away into the future, and into the past and into legend.'

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    1. Technology is the bane of all our lives (when it is not proving itself indispensable of course)! Thanks very much for the feedback, glad you liked it.

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  12. A lot of things to like in this story, obviously the chilling end, but also the dialogue... "a raven's banquet* great job.

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  13. Another excellent story! The tarot was a perfect visual addition.

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    1. Much appreciated - and the tarot cards play a role in this story sequence

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  14. Well, this is the first of your blog-pieces that I've read. Loved it :) I need to go back to the beginning! Is there some hat tipping to Achilles in there?

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    1. A certain tip of the hat indeed, well spotted.

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  15. "Still too much the boy"...how many men still go off to war with the thirst for glory in their eyes?

    Well done!

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    1. "Dulce et decorum est..." and so on. Thank you.

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  16. Do men ever listen to what the women who love them say?She was right-there always is a war & men battling for this or that!Sigh!Thomas you are a fantastic story teller-enjoyed this one:-)

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  17. Incredible! Loved it! That last line...so poignant. Beautiful story.

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  18. This is lovely. I'll have to go back and read the previous pieces.

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