Help Japan

Mar. 12th, 2011 04:42 pm
rhian_crockett: A painting of a castle; there is a red flag flying. (Default)
[personal profile] rhian_crockett
Lightning quick post -- I've put an offer up for original fiction on [community profile] help_japan, here. Will do fairytale retellings, Arthurian legends, LGBT-ified retellings...

A couple more examples of my writing for you, as promised in that comment.

A Warning Note

Be afraid of your own skin.
Be afraid of what it knows -- your sin,
your every movement -- fear
your hands, though they are dear,
for they know, better than a twin.

Be wary of your eyes, your very grin,
for they know. They'll do you in.
Betray you silently, silently sneer.
                       Be afraid.

Watch your fingers, the confession in
every movement, everything.
Your eyes betray you, tear by tear.
You turn on you, year by year.
                       Be afraid.

These three pieces are pretty much prose-poetry, really. They're narrated by the women of Troy -- Cassandra narrates 'Gift', speaking of her power of prophecy; Helen narrates 'Ruin', speaking of her beauty, and her fear about what will be left when it is gone; Hecuba narrates 'Welcome', as she waits for her husband to bring the body of her son, Hector, home for the last time.

If you know me in person, you may have seen these pieces before, under my real name...


Troy is a city of ghosts. Not all of them are dead yet, but I can see the paths they will walk, and their deaths walk only a pace or two away, most of them. This one will die tomorrow, that one will die of plague, that one will die when the Greeks enter our city. Their deaths are closer than their shadows and more inalienable. In a room with a bright enough light you may cast no shadow, but your death still walks beside you. Sometimes in the middle of the day heat burns the shadows away, and the air shakes with its strength, but your death stands firm beside you.

Only for immortals does the path to walk stretch into eternity. I know them by that, and turn away from them as they have turned away from me, from my city.

Troy walks closer to death every day. They think me mad, because I am the only one who sees it. We are all blind, but Apollo made me see. A gift. A punishment.

One day I will turn my head and look at my own death, walking along beside me. Then I think I will be mad.



They are not unkind to me. I do not think any of them could be. I have a beautiful face, after all, they tell me. The most beautiful face in the world. They worship me, all but Cassandra. Cassandra spat in my face when she first saw me, told them all I would ruin them. None of them believed her.

I think I did, even then. Beauty can be ruinous. The most beautiful woman in the world should know it best. I am on a pedestal, no matter where I walk. I am not like a goddess, with a veil of magic to draw down around me. Everywhere I go I wear this same face, and men scarcely look at it but bow down, thinking themselves worthy only to kiss my sandals, the hem of my skirt. Their fingers brush my ankle, perhaps. They will fight for my attention, for the least touch of my hand.

And the women turn away in awe, in jealousy.

And yet I have to fear when my beauty will end. When pity will end. When people will dare to look beyond the fallen fairness of my face, to find... what?

Troy, I think. Ruin.



Cassandra says the men do not listen to her because she is cursed by Apollo. Perhaps they do not listen to Helen because she is blessed, because she is beautiful. I think they do not listen because we are women, and yet I still go out to claim them back, to bring them home. We offer water, we offer bandages, we offer what we can.

If the men had their way, I would not leave the safety of my home, let alone the safety of the city. They think their women should stay safe while they fight. They come in from the field covered in blood, in gore, expecting us to be here, just as they expect their houses to be here.

We go to them. We meet them at the gates with bandages, with cool water, with as much comfort as we have. We claim our men back from the battlefield. Even Helen comes, white-armed, more beautiful than Aphrodite herself. She tears at her hair sometimes and wails, wails for what she has brought upon our city.

Well she might.

My son is dead. My husband, gone to fetch his broken body. I wait. I will welcome them home.

Please consider bidding for my work in the auction: I will work very hard to ensure that anything you receive once you have donated is the very best work I can do.

Creative Commons License
This work by Rhian Crockett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


rhian_crockett: A painting of a castle; there is a red flag flying. (Default)
Rhian Crockett

August 2013


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