The flame’s curse
A curse on you Prometheus and a curse on all fire
I Hades command the fire to murder all men
Even from the Olympic torch
“O Pater,” I cried “I knew you would carry the Olympic torch in the relay around Olympia”
“Of course I would. I’m Athens best sprinter. And a proud, proud pater to my young Helena. I know of a tower in Olympia wear you can watch from the narrow windows so you can see me run the final part of the relay!”
As blissful as love, was the next hour to me as I wandered though the agora looking at the coloured silks. What rich shades! Palest lemon to deepest Indigo; all of the colours they had in all shades, perfect and beautiful.
“Ready?” Pater called as he helped me into the carriage. “I’ve packed all my clothes and veils so I can watch you from the window!” I excitedly replied as I got in and the journey began. The journey to Olympia…
A few days later I stood in the Hera tower watching as the first torch bearer (A Macedonian) pick up the torch and run a few hundred yards only to be struck down. He collapsed and died, stabbed by a dagger that was controlled by air as no one moved except the bearer, but he never let his hands move from the torch! The second bearer, a Spartan, ran another few hundred yards only to be stuck down to instant death on the sand!
“Pater,” I whispered and ran to find him. As my head whirled, “we’re all going to die!” I thought, but I kept on running because I knew my pater’s life depended on it!
When I found him he told me to leave. He said my life was in danger. That I must take my things and run back home…
By the time I was home everyone in Greece knew about the curse, and as I entered Mater’s bedroom I saw her so ill from the plague that was sweeping the city. I realised I was the only person that would live in my family that lived in Athens because my younger brother had died. He was only a few months old and I was now the responsible one!
I found it hard to live keeping my mother alive. We had hardly any money, so it was like eating food that wasn’t there. There was no hope, yet she was my mater so I had to do it. Everyday I searched long and hard for food, any food. Nuts and berries. Meat and fish. Bread and chickpeas. But there was nothing left!
One night I prayed to Zeus to see a vision of what caused my return, and hark I was granted with one! The dream of truth from the gods themselves!
I saw Prometheus take the fire. I saw the gods fall lower on the scale of greatness. I saw the adaption of man. And I saw the curse…
O the curse! O the evils of Hades telling fire to burn out the lives of man kind! To kill us with fever and plague! To drive us into his underworld! To make him chief god! O the evils I saw and to wake up and find my mater dead! I vowed to save my father…
Olympia was still in turmoil when I returned, full of omens to leave to save yourself from death as quickly as you could. I soon found Pater and told him about Mater and my brother. But he told me that he must carry the torch, it was his duty. As Athens best he must for the summum bonum or greatest good run with the torch to ask the gods for help.
“Pater you can’t, you’ll die!” I pleaded, but he would not be stopped. He spent days thinking about what to pray for besides peace.
Soon I couldn’t take it any longer, so I ran away. I wore my short chiton and light head scarf so I could run quickly away from here to Sparta where I would be appreciated as a young wife being thirteen. I set off before dawn without a lantern and ran and ran and ran! Soon I was on the edge of Olympia as a city state, so I slowed down to jogging along the dusty road…
Prisoner of Rome
At dusk I allowed myself to sleep until half an hour before dawn, but my dreams seemed to be full of Roman slave ships and suffering so I took them as a warning from Zeus and hurried on. After about four hours I started to feel tired.
After an hour I got down and it happened that a Roman soldier closed in around me and put me in chains. One of them said,
“She’ll make a good maid for those richies in the bay of Naples.”
“Quite right,” another said in as gruff voice. They hauled me on to the ship but they took good care of me because I had to look nice to be bought by someone rich…
The oldest daughter of the most prestigious family in the bay of Naples bought me and turned me into her body slave. She was kind and gave me an old lemon yellow tunic to wear. Also as I could read she made me her official reader so that I could serve her in all ways.
One day I was told to dress in my chiton and come to the atrium. I went and found out she wanted to free me and have me as a sister as well as a maid!
I was delighted and I shall spend the rest of my life here in the Villa Citrona.