Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra
.Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
is a running battle in the Trojan war. The towering stone walls of
the City of Troy loom in the background. Soldiers fighting against
one another in armed combat, using swords, spears, shields, and
anything at hand that can be used as weapons. Sounds of anger, pain,
cursing erupting everywhere.
the kitchen of the home of Zeus and Leto, Leto is at the end of
preparing breakfast, and laying it on the table. Zeus enters. "Smells
delicious, Leto. Thank you, dear." "You're welcome, hon."
Artemis enters, and sits in a chair at the table. Her greeting is
subdued. "Morning." Zeus notices. "Hello, favourite
child. Not as cheery, this morning. Care to share, heiress of all my
quickly and pleasantly interrupts, as she sits to join them in
eating, "While we eat, please." All three eat while
the news is flooded with a war happening on Earth between the Greeks
and the Trojans. It sounds horrible. I thought the Greeks and Trojans
are, Artemis. But before they are family, they are humans."
joins in casually, "And those humans love nothing better than
warring against one another, honey." "The fact is, Artemis,
there are very few years throughout the history of humans on that
inconspicuous rock when there wasn't a war going on somewhere on that
let it get to you, honey."
can you not do something to stop the war?" "Of course, I
can, baby. But there's no point. As Mom said, they are human. They
will just start another one. Best to let each war run its course. By
the end of a war they killed off so many of themselves that they have
to live in peace for few years before they start another. Anyway, war
is right there among Nature's numerous ways of keeping the human
count manageable. They tend to get on even Mother Nature's nerves
from time to time. Good breakfast, love. Thank you. I have to be
leaving now. Artemis, there are dozens of better ways to occupy your
time that on an incidental temporary silly human international
self-cleansing. Bye, now." "Bye, Dad."
speaks softly. "Dad's right, honey. Human's are not worth your
caring about them. And bear in mind, too, their Mother Nature kills
more of them with her illnesses and catastrophes than their own
trumped-up wars. And even we almighties are best off when we do not
go against Mother Nature."
feel so sad for them, Mom. In all our almightiness can we not help
even a little in some way?" "Artemis, we are always helping
those creatures in countless ways. But, honey, as you said, we are
almighty. We live forever. They are mortal. In a mere week of our
days there won't be any evidence those warring Greeks and Trojans
ever existed. Over a few thousand years even our almightiness cannot
help us from forgetting any person we help on Earth. Remember, their
Earth is as an ant to their Sun; and they are as ants to their Earth.
Only by a whisper are they not of no significance whatsoever."
Leto looks compassionately at her sad daughter. "Baby, it's not
our fault they are mere temporary toys."
we make them, Mom?" "Dear me, Artemis, no! They were here
when we got here. Probably be still here when we leave." "When
will we be leaving, Mom?" "Dad's working on that now. This
Galaxy has not been as exciting as some of the others we made home.
Artemis, go find your friend Aphrodite and play among the stars.
Bring her here for lunch."
Mom." Artemis paused only long enough to put on her backpack
filled with stuff, and headed straight down for Troy, on Earth. The
war was in full eruption for weeks when she arrived in the next few
was determined to do some good among these humans. She knew nothing
about how human wars were fought. She decided to walk around where a
battle had been fought.
entered a village. The devastation brought her to tears. Houses,
smouldering. Mutilated corpses scattered about. She looked about for
survivors she could help.
heard movements up ahead. She turned a corner and saw two men. One
was young; the other very old. The young one was sitting on the
ground next to the old one who seemed to be asleep.
she appeared around the corner, the young man made a move to confront
her. He paused, probably because he saw she was a woman, and unarmed.
Artemis quickly spoke, "Sir, I mean you no harm. I would like to
dangerous for you to be here. The Greek soldiers will not be kind to
are no soldiers around. Here, for you." She offered him an apple
she retrieved from her backpack she had taken off. He took it
eagerly, and proceeded to eat it. "I have one for the old man,
too." "When he gets up on his own, lady. Let him sleep.
Whenever some sound movement causes him to awake, he is delirious;
imagines he sees family dead long ago."
you here when the war started, Aeneas?" "He is my Father.
Thank the gods my Mother was long dead before the Greeks invaded.
When I guessed there was a war coming, I carried my Father, and lived
far away. Turns out far away was not far away enough. Who are you? I
knew all Trojans around here, and you do not look Greek."
name is Scimitar." "Scimitar, like the sword?"
"Uh-huh. My Dad's firstborn. He named me before I was born,
hoping the name would bring him a son." Both smiled.
Aeneas, an only child. This is my Father, Anchises. What are you
doing here in this terrible place, Scimitar?"
am a healer. I love adventure. I heal people in my travels. I came
here because in a war, there are always people to heal."
soldiers leave behind only dead victims. They insist on themselves
healing wounded Greeks."
obvious you are not Greek, Aeneas. Are you Trojan?" "Yes."
"You are not armed. You were allowed to remain home to care for
your Father?" "No. I and my Father have been exiled because
we do not believe Troy is in the right in this war. Prince Hector has
said so, too, to his father, Priam, the king of Troy. But Hector has
not been exiled because he yet goes into battle for Troy."
have heard that one of the king's daughters, too, opposes the war.
But she is clinically insane, and so of no account." "Princess
Cassandra is not insane, Scimitar. King Priam has declared her insane
to protect her against Trojans who are for this war against the
Aeneas, you and your Dad are doomed no matter who wins this war?"
"Yes." There was long pause. "Aeneas, my next planned
adventure is to sail to the kingdom of Queen Dido in North Africa. I
have already paid my passage. Let me help you and your Dad. Come with
me to Africa. I will pay for everything."
you for the offer, Scimitar. My Father is too old for sea travel.
Indeed, old age has brought on dyslexia. Quite often I am Siena to
him." "A happy reverse pronunciation of Aeneas. I have been
to the City of Siena. Most beautiful ancient architecture. Has the
oldest financial bank in the world." She rummages in her
backpack. "Aeneas, I told you I am a healer. I have a syrup made
from rare fruit. Two drops on his tongue will give your Dad the
health of a competitor in the Olympic games."
administers the syrup to the sleeping Anchises. He slowly stirs. He
opens his eyes. He sees Scimitar. He reaches out his hand to touch
her, and whispers, "Artemis."
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
Story list and biography
Preservation Foundation, Inc., A Nonprofit Book Publisher