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Name one hero who was happy

Tash Curry shares an original short story 'Name one hero who was happy' inspired by the tragedy of Greek mythology.

BY Tash J Curry

For my dear reader, I am very sorry for what you are about to read. These are stories from forgotten pages of ancient myths, and they are not pleasant stories, with time they faded, from our thoughts and our words. These stories, they belong with the rest of all the other Greek tragedies. For I have warned you, read at your own risk.

I ’ve always struggled reading being dyslexic; I never enjoyed it, I struggled to stay focused on a book. When I was younger, my sister suggested reading some of the author’s Darren Shan’s work because at the time the film ‘Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant’ came out, this being the adaptation of the first three books in ‘The Saga of Darren Shan’. A year later after I finished that series, I will always remember being in my year nine English class, my best friend, he suggested that I read ‘Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief’ which was about a teenage demigod called Percy and his adventures. His suggestion drove me to many years of reading Rick Riordan’s series and seeing what adventures Percy got up to, and the prophecies he had to endure from the Gods. Over the years I research many different types of mythology, ranging from Greek, Roman and Norse. Still, to this day I read Rick Riordan’s books, it’s refreshing to see characters like myself struggle with being dyslexic. Also, and perhaps more recently, it is refreshing to see more representations of race, gender and sexuality explored; which can make many young readers more aware. 

With being in my final year at YSJ, I had to choose over the summer what to focus my dissertation on, so naturally, I decided upon Greek mythology. I’ve always found it easier to write down my feelings rather than say them. Therefore, the writing aspect came naturally to me. I looked at Achilles and Patroclus’ relationship and became inspired by the pair especially after reading Madeline Miller’s ‘The Song of Achilles‘. One thing I found while reaching Greek mythology is that they are constructed upon tragedy, that is the thing, they are not happy stories.

 

Name one hero that was happy.

Achilles wept as he held the lifeless Patroclus in his arms. There was nothing more tragic than two lovers being separated by war for the gods. As he kissed Patroclus’ lifeless lips once more, he swore to the gods that he would bring nothing but death to their golden kingdom, for it had only brought him pain. Achilles fate was to die, at first, he had accepted that was his purpose to serve the gods, his mother. But when he met Patroclus he yearned to live, he was selfish waiting out a war that he could not win, but he was just a boy in love.

For when he died all things bright and beautiful would be buried with him, the way it should be.

This tragedy was ours; as damned and as beautiful as us.

No. I accepted it, in a way, that saving you was worth losing what we might’ve had.

You’re a little broken. Beautiful yet damned. Like all the great tragedies start with a hero, like you. Darling, our world does not deserve a heart like yours. You deserve something more than a tragedy. You belong to the stars.

You don’t deserve a tragedy, my love. You belong somewhere better.

Photo by @laicho

He became a villain, when you took his love away, only to be separated for years because you knew they could never be together. A mortal and a god, who knew the fates could be so cruel. Achilles became broken when you turned him into a weapon never to find peace; you broke his heart when the other half of his soul was trapped on earth never to follow to the underworld. It was a cruel price to pay for the one he loved.

-You made a boy once full of love, turned to war and made him pay the price.

We were just young and in love. Thats how all great stories start, and how these tragedies end.

-Here’s to the ones that dream of a better end.

I’ll remember us darling, the way we were before tragedy became us.

You were half of my soul, as the poet said.

Years from now people will read of us. They’ll recall our names in the history books, see the words we spoke and the legacy we became, in those forgotten stories once filled with the hope of a new world. 

They’ll know the beasts we slew, the labours we faced, the wars we fought. But they’ll never know of the love we shared, and they’ll never see the words I longed to say to you while I still had the time.

Photo by @ibrt

My love, you were scattered through history amongst the stories of the great divinities, demigods and of course the epic tragedies we became. You will always find a piece of us there in the forgotten ruins of ancient myths. There was nothing I could do darling, I couldn’t save us from time, from history catching up with us, or changing our story to something that we were not.

Maybe one day, someday soon, or years down the line we’ll get a peaceful ending, a soft epilogue, a story in which the world knew we had lived.

-My love, you will always find me amongst the history books.

Olympus was not our home. It belonged to the gods. The fates said that the weight of the world was meant for you. I’m sorry world you got the wrong hero, this is not my destiny nor my fate.

I’m sorry Olympus. I’m no hero.

In this story, you are not Patroclus and I Achilles. Our end would not be one for history to turn us into a mere tragedy, one where you had the courage that I did not. This story is not where I hold your lifeless body to my now un-beating heart.

In this story we do not lose each other because of my fate, to a war we cannot win, to the likely hood of death. Death cannot touch us because in this story I choose you over glory, my mother’s wishes, over everything else the gods had planned for me. In this story, our love prevails, and we end up happy.

-Name one hero who was happy… you can’t.