A Story Fit for a Monarch

Libations were poured out and offerings made to the deities. A large fire was burning in the center of the courtyard. Those people remaining for the evening's entertainment were given sticks with marshmallows to roast. If anyone was feeling particularly decadent, nearby chocolate bars and graham crackers were laid out for making s'mores.

The queen and king were both seated sharing a bottle of Grange Hermitage shiraz. The day had proved a success and most of their sacred and entertaining duties were completed, so they could take a moment to enjoy the night, the good company and a rousing story. Odysseus made her way to their side and they ordered another bottle for themselves.

Queen Arete motioned for Nausicaa and the boys to join them. She turned to Alkinoos and asked, "Do you think it's time to have Demodokos tell a story befitting of the event?"

"If we wait too much longer, I'll be too snockered to stay awake through the entire epic, my dear," answered the king.

So, the queen had one of the servants fetch Demodokos. He hurried off and momentarily brought the harper back with him. She then nudged her partner to announce the night's event.

"In honour of our guest and this holiday our highly esteemed harper, Demodokos, shall grace us with a narrative of heroic deeds and divine interventions to inspire us all."

Demodokos stood for a moment before the fire light, sensing all of the energies in the courtyard, allowing them to draw the most resonant story to him. This would not be just any tale, but one that would change the fabric of human events in time. He began by singing an ode to Athena, then let words pour through his spirit and into his mind and mouth.

"Tonight I believe we all need to be reminded of that most recent of conflagrations, the Trojan War. I shall not tell the whole story this evening, for it would take at least three days to do the epic justice and I don't think any of you have planned to stay that long, but I shall recount something of the occurrences that affected the lives of a few particular heroes.

Helen's Courtship

Copyright © 1998 Katherine Phelps