Patroclus

Ok, so in my Mythology class, we had to take a small section of the Iliad, and rewrite it from one of the characters point of views. I chose the part where Patroclus confronts Achilles and wrote it from his point of view. Hope you like it!

Background Info on Trojan War:  http://www.stanford.edu/~plomio/history.html

My feet felt heavy as I marched to Achilles’ tent, but I forged on, tears sliding down my cheeks. For the past few days, I had waited and prayed for Achilles to change his mind. But my prayers were in vain, for Achilles seemed determined to sulk in his tent. When Achilles had first told me that he would no longer fight, I was confused. When I learned of the reason why, I was shocked and surprised. The greatest warrior of them all, behaving like a spoiled child who’s toy had been stolen?  However, I had chosen to hope for the best, that he would come to his senses soon enough. When he remained prideful and bitter, pouting in his tent, my shock turned to disappointment, and now anger.

I reached his tent and marched in, not ashamed of my tears, for Achilles needed to see, if only a little, the damage of what he had done. Upon my entrance, Achilles turned around and his sullen face turned to one of concern.

“Patroclus, why are you crying like a little girl? Have you bad news for our Myrmidons? Or perhaps myself?” Achilles frowned, concerned and perplexed at the same time. “Is is news from Phthia? I have heard your father is still alive, and I know that mine is, for there are many Myrmidons that surround him. But if they are dead, that would explain your tears.”

When I shook my head, his frown grew, and he turned his back towards me, walking to the other side of his tent.  “Perhaps you are weeping for the Greeks,” he said, just a trace of bitterness in his voice, cleverly disguised as concern. But if anyone could see through Achilles, it was I. “Maybe it saddens you,” he continued, “that they are being slaughtered for their stupidity.” There was a pause, in which the air seemed  to thicken as Achilles’ godly face turned sour. After a moment, he shook his face slightly and turned to face me.

“But enough with these guessing games,” he said, once again looking distressed, “Tell me the reason for your tears, Patroclus.”

I sighed, my heart heavy with the worries I was so quick to get off my chest. But now, about to do so, I was having second thoughts. Tossing them aside, I bravely plunged forward.

“Achilles, you are a brave and strong warrior, by far the greatest of the Greeks, and I beg of you, please do not be angry at what I have to say.” Here I paused, and Achilles, looking wary, nodded for me to continue.

“It is the Greeks!” I cried, the words bursting out of me like a tidal wave. “I cannot take it anymore! Our best men are falling one by one – Diomedes has been hit, Odysseus and Agamemnon stabbed, and Eurypylus with an arrow in his thigh! Even right now, as we speak, healers are trying to heal their wounds!” Achilles’ face was impassive, and only darkened slightly at the sound of Agamemnon’s name. I was now pacing back and forth in distress. “And you! You – you are impossible! I pray to God I will never be as bitter as you are! You and your pride and greatness – Do you think you will be thought of as great if you just sit and watch as the Greeks are destroyed? Future generations will not pity you for your loss, rather blame you for sulking like a child! If I didn’t know that Peleus was your father and Thetis your mother, I would think that you were born from the cliffs and the gray sea, judging by your cold, hard heart!”

I took a breath, not daring to look at Achilles’ face until I was finished. “But, if you are not fighting perhaps because of some other reason, some prophecy, at least let me go out and fight. I can’t sit and watch any longer. Let me wear your armor, as so to scare away the Trojans and place hope into our soldier’s weary hearts.” I turned around to look Achilles in the eye, to show him I was serious, and, to my surprise, he didn’t look angry. His eyebrows were raised, looking almost amused, as if he couldn’t care less.

“Patroclus, I don’t know what you’re talking about. There is no prophecy keeping me from battle. But it is offensive and hurtful when a man who is my equal robs me of my prize. I won her with my own spear, she is rightfully mine, yet, because he has more power, he snatched her from my arms as if I am someone of no importance. But enough about that for now.”

Achilles began pacing back and forth. “You may wear my armor and lead the Myrmidons into battle, because the Trojans are indeed in a threatening position to our ships. It is your duty, Patroclus, to save our ships. But listen, because you must do it in the way I instruct.” He stopped pacing abruptly and strode across the room to me. Seizing my shoulders, he continued, “I want you to win me great honor and glory, so that I will receive my woman back and many other splendid gifts. So don’t even entertain the thought of taking the honor for yourself. And no victory march to Ilium, but turn back after you have saved the ships. Leave the rest to do the fighting on the plain, do you understand?”

I nodded, and Achilles let go of my shoulders, looking at me with an expression I couldn’t quite place.

“Go on,” he commanded, turning around and busying himself with something in the tent. I left his tent to go suit up. Walking away from the tent, I realized that the expression might of been pride. I entertained myself with the thought as I got ready to fight, not knowing I was heading for my own certain and dreadful death.

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I Ran Away With The Meat Shop Boy

I was in the garden behind the shop

When I heard a thud and the swish of a chop

I turned around, and got a shocking surprise

The most handsome boy right before my eyes

I let out a gasp and dropped all my chard

It floated to the ground, scattered in the yard

I quickly dropped down and hid behind the gate

As the boy turned around just a little too late

I held my breath until I heard him go inside

Then I slowly stood up and let out a sigh

I picked up the chard in a disconcerted haze

And dropped it off in the shop in a dreamy daze

The next day I was blending some peas

When I heard the bell and felt the rush of a breeze

I looked up to see who had entered the shop

And I swear, right then, my heart must have stopped

It was the boy from yesterday

He opened his mouth and started to say –

But then his eyes met mine and silence fell

Broken finally by the tinkle of a bell

My father walked inside and I hurriedly looked down

To find that my drink, still blending, had turned brown

I bottled it up and placed it on a rack

And then I heard a resounding smack

My father had shoved the boy out the door,

“We don’t sell to you!” He roared.

He stomped into the back room, his face red as a beet

As I stared, standing, frozen on my feet

I watched the boy return to the next shop on the street

And then I realized – his shop sold meat.

That night, I was in the backyard of the shop

In my nightgown, pulling out carrots with a plop

When I heard a pst from the other side of the gate

I stood up, wondering who would come here this late

On the other side of the fence was the meat-selling boy

Just the sight of his face made me smile with joy

He dropped down on one knee and confessed to his love

And compared my eyes to the stars from above

Quickly, I pulled him behind a tree

Smiling, happy, giddy with glee

But in an instant, my smile was wiped away

Replaced with a frown, worrisome and gray

My parents were vegetarians, his loved meat

Having a relationship would be no easy feat

I whispered this problem, a tear sliding down my cheek

And for a few seconds, the boy did not speak

Then he whispered a suggestion into my ears

One that made me wipe away all my tears

The next morning the sun rose and my parents got up

But when they went downstairs, there was no coffee in their cup

Instead, on their table, they found a note

And as they read what I had wrote

My mother collapsed into a chair

My father pulled out all his hair

My sister shook her head like she knew it all along

And my brother reread it, thinking he must have read it wrong

My picture was removed from the family tree

My family refuses to even speak of me

First in a long line of vegetarians, I have brought shame

Soiled, befouled, stained the family name

My good name, my dignity, all of it destroyed

All because I ran away with the meat-shop boy

Orchestra

A long time ago, a time without music, there was a girl. The girl had no name, did not know how old she was, only knew the cold and starvation of winter. She was sleeping in a damp, and dark cave with only a candle for light and even that flickered threateningly, as if it would go out any minute. The girl was sleeping quite peacefully at the moment, not feeling the beating wind on her back or the freezing cave floor, lost in her own little world. But a far-off noise, no, noises, in the distance woke her up. It was a mixture of melody and harmony, of sadness and happiness, of memories and forgetfulness. It had a name , she was sure. But she was young  and could not remember. The only time she had heard anything like it was the memory of when she was little her mother singing her a lullaby. But that was just a memory, her mother was gone now and the time for -music, was it called?- was over. But the child, being a child, could not help wondering what the sound was.

Stumbling slightly, she got up and peered around the edge of the cave. It was snowing considerably hard now, and the girl was very cold, having only thin, singed, old rags to cover her. But still she made her way through the cold to the unyielding , mysterious sound. It got louder and louder, when suddenly, it stopped. She looked around through the falling fast snow, squinting her eyes.

“You look quite cold.” came a merry old voice from behind her. She spun around quickly, to look at a boy, younger than her she wagered. Suspiciously, she peered at him. “Come over here,” he said, and started walking towards two trees. The girl hunched herself over. She was quite cold and knew the way back to the cave, but for some reason she followed the boy. They came to a clearing with a warm, crackling fire. The ground was snow-covered, but snow was not falling on them. The young girl took no notice of this; she was entranced by the fire.

The boy sat down and begin fiddling with an- an – an object of some sort. ” Name’s Or. Yours?” And when he looked up at her, there was a twinkling of young mischief in his eyes, like he already knew the answer. Still staring at the fire, the girl shrugged. When he went back to meddling with the object, she tore away from the fire and stared at him. He looked up and asked, “You play?” Her face was twisted in confusion, and her eyes showed no understanding. She simply shook her head. “Would you like to hear some?” he asked.

The girl hesitated for a long time and it was as if time froze as she stood, contemplating her answer. The object he was holding was a brown color, the color of firewood. It was shaped a little like a pear with a very long stem, or perhaps the number eight with a one on the top. The top had a swirl or scroll, like when the villagers cat rolled up his tail, over and over. There was four strings or yarn running up and down the object, tied to both ends of the object and in the middle they rested on a little piece of wood.  He held it on his shoulder the long part in his left hand, his right holding some kind of stick with animal hair attached to both ends. Her eyes met his and the tiniest bit of a nod broke the trance. His stick met object and she was lost in a memory of sound and happiness. But it was over as soon as it started, his hands going down.

“My favorite kind of music,” he said smiling at her. And the girl remembered. She remembered, but still forgot much more. “Tell me.” The two words escaped her blue, shivering lips before she could stop them. The boy understood.” This is the bow.” he said, showing her the stick. And slowly, he showed her all the parts of the object, which was called a violin, she found out. And pretty soon, she was playing along with him. But it went far into the night, and she found herself slowly falling asleep to the merry music.

She woke up the next morning, soft snow falling around her. The fire and boy were gone, and she wondered if she had dreamed them. But when she got up, she saw a message etched into the tree. It read: Goodbye Viola. And she knew he had given her a name. Knowing and loving music, she began to make a copy of the violin out of whittled wood, but hers came out different, and eventually was called a viola. And as the age of music grew and grew, the two instruments came together and formed what was called an Orchestra.