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Right Moderate Social Libertarian
Rider of the Rohirrim
District 7

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Currently reading A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken.

The Woman Who Weaves

January 6, 2021


    Penelope could weave the cloth strong and straight, strong like her husband Odysseus and straight like her own paths. Every time she bends she catches a glimpse of her face in the glass of the mirror. She has become accustomed of the gentle greyness under her eyes, the silver beginning to appear in her once inky hair. She knows she is becoming an old woman waiting for her husband. Twenty years have come and gone. She is no longer the beautiful, joyful girl she was when she came into his household. Her son is grown up, nearly a man.
    "Mother," she hears the voice behind her, and she turns with a pale smile. It is Telemachus, an oil lamp in his hand as he watches her gently pulling out her work by the cold light of the moon.
    "My son," she replies, pausing at her work.
    "So that is how you've done it. I should have known," he says, observing her dwindling cloth.
    "You have no skill at weaving," she says. "But you are certainly smarter than the buffoons drinking your father's wine downstairs. Have they settled?"
    "Yes, for a time," he replies, sitting down on a stool and laying the lamp on a table so she can see better. All she sees, however, is the darkening bruise on his upper cheek.
    "Oh, my boy," she fusses, pressing a soft hand to his face. "You must have one of the servants look to that, or it will be swollen by morning."
    "No, Mother," he protests, pulling away. "It is not important."
    "We cannot have these men beating the king's son in his own home."
    "It was not a beating. They were only drunk, as usual."
    "I am very much inclined to poison the wine one of these days and rid Ithaka of the lot of them," Penelope hisses, eyes going dark.
    "I've done worse."
    "Like what?"
    "One of your father's enemies came to dine with us. I knew his intentions, and none of them were good for my husband. I got him drunk and arranged for a man to cripple his ship in the night. The ship sank in a storm soon after leaving."
    Telemachus's eyes widen, and a slow smile comes to his face. Penelope is acutely aware of the look in his eyes—the look that Odysseus always had when he was ready for bloodshed. She shakes her head, part of her eager for justice to come to their halls, another part of her hesitant for her son to become a man with his first kill. She wants to hold him again as a baby, when she was a young girl, with all the hope and assurance that her husband would return soon. No, Odysseus is probably dead. Slain in the war, never to return to her and their son.
    Nevertheless, she has her son, and she knows he will protect her. He is young, but he is ready to fight for their home. Penelope also knows her own abilities, and she supposes she can fight just as well, though more with her wiles than her brawn. Perhaps she should arrange to poison the wine after all.


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1 Comment
  • The Ravenclaw Phoenix

    This is so good! I like the parts with the greek myths of Odysseus. Also, that book seems pretty cool. A collection of stories kind of reminds me of Little Women. Keep on writing!

    about 1 month ago