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"The Finish Line"

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     "A prophecy?" I ask.
"The law of Father Zeus,"
     Hermes replies.
"Everything mortal dies.
     Even flame-haired Creonides
     who follow in the footsteps of Ino."
"But I have a future!
     I have a destiny!
I am betrothed
to the Crown Prince of Orchomenus!
     and in this season,
     and in this season,
     and in this season,
I've finally reached a marriageable age."
"A fog of Miasma overhangs Thebes.
     Its nature corrupts
         the destinies
     of all who dwell within the city walls.
Yours is not the first strand
     to have come
In fact,
if this plague continues,
     every cord in this entire city
     will be severed from its fate."
"I'll leave Thebes behind,"
     I offer.
"I'll gather the ropes of my destiny
     and flee to Orchomenus!"
But even as I speak the words,
     I know.
     I can't abandon
         my parents,
         my family,
         my home.
I can't run away,
     timid like a rabbit,
     with a cowardice that dishonors
         the Tribe of Battle-Scarred Echion.
A true Spartoi runs toward death.
My shoulders crumple.
My steps thud
     against the ground.
From a run to a walk.
From a walk to a collapse.
The daimon stands over me.
     His reaching hand
     is the last thing I see
     before my eyes
     the world.

End of Chapter 1


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