Norah

United States of America

17 | she/her | hypothetical astronaut | ekphrastic poet | haunted house

Message to Readers

Y'all, aren't prompts but merely suggestions? Anyway, we've been retelling myths in theater and so many of them are about violence perpetrated against women. I have a place in my heart for Cassandra.

Cassandra, desolate

October 20, 2019

PROMPT: Inner Monologue

3

GROUP: Flash Fiction

Cassandra lies, desolate, on the stone cold temple floor. She can’t feel her legs. She is numb, staring up at the vaulted marble and the statue of her protector, unblinking. Moonlight creeps its way up her legs. Her blood looks black. She can hear the city burning. 

What do you do when you know how you will die? She asks the unfeeling stone, the cold eyes of the stars. She notices the fast-moving clouds through gaps in the columns. Gods give me the strength to die, she thinks, and then sinks into herself again. I am going to die unremarked, in an unfamiliar place. I will go from here, to a boat, to a sword. All I asked was that someone believe me, all I asked was protection from my own future. She looks at the marble eyes of Athena, calculating, empty. Give me the strength to die here. 

She thinks of Aeneas, brandishing his hands to the gods, pleading for the past to be reversed, pleading to have died within the embrace of his home. She’s there. She can feel the spit of the sea and the anger and the fear. 

Her body is unmoored. Her stomach is a shipwreck. Her mind is a salted field. I wish he had killed me. I wish…

She will die in less than a year. She feels every minute like a punch in the gut. She does not want to live the rest of her life. She has seen it. 

Instead she dreams of the future.
For much need context, this is based on the Iliad/Aeneid and the mythos of Cassandra, the prophet no one believed. 

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  • October 20, 2019 - 3:06pm (Now Viewing)

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3 Comments
  • Norah

    Thanks so much for your review!


    3 months ago
  • Julia ♬

    My review for this piece hasn't gone through and it's been forever since I submitted it, so I'm going to assume that it got lost. Anyway, here are the highlights of my review:
    I think that when you say that the city is burning, it would be helpful for the reader to know that you're referring to Troy (right?), so I'd suggest that you replace "city" with "Troy". Also, in the middle and towards the end, you allude to the sea, and I'd like to know more about why the sea was important to her. How does this fit into the topic of the piece? Anyway, that's just a minor detail. :)
    This piece was interesting to me because usually the characters in myths aren't very personal. When you read ancient stories, you don't usually hear characters' inner thoughts and what they say, but simply what they did. I think that you did a good job of showing her thoughts and emotions.
    Two questions that I'd ask Cassandra would be: 1) Why do you dream of the future when you want to die? 2) How does it feel to be someone whom no one believes? I'd like to ask these questions because I'm not sure why she dreams of the future at the end. Is she wishing that she could live a different life in the future, or hoping that her life with improve? Also, I would like to know more about her thoughts and emotions on the topic of the curse she got from Apollo.
    This was a beautiful piece, and the mood and tone gave me a clear picture of the desolate scene. I could easily imagine a cold marble temple in the moonlight while the city of Troy burned around it. Great job! :)


    3 months ago
  • Julia ♬

    Hello! I reviewed this piece since you requested a review for it, but my review still hasn't been shared even though I wrote it about a week ago. I just resubmitted the review, so hopefully you'll get it soon. Sorry about that! I'm going to review the other piece you requested right now. :)


    3 months ago