Artemis






Ezra Azra



 
Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
.Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

It 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.

In 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 worldly possessions?"

Leto quickly and pleasantly interrupts, as she sits to join them in eating, "While we eat, please." All three eat while discussing.

"Dad, 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 were family."

"They are, Artemis. But before they are family, they are humans."

Leto 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 world."

"Don't let it get to you, honey."
"Dad, 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."

Leto 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."

"I 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."

"Didn't 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."

"Okay, 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 minutes.

She 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.

She entered a village. The devastation brought her to tears. Houses, smouldering. Mutilated corpses scattered about. She looked about for survivors she could help.

She 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.

When 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 help."

"It's dangerous for you to be here. The Greek soldiers will not be kind to you."
"There 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."

"Were 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."

"My 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.

"I'm Aeneas, an only child. This is my Father, Anchises. What are you doing here in this terrible place, Scimitar?"

"I 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."

"Greek soldiers leave behind only dead victims. They insist on themselves healing wounded Greeks."

"It's 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."

"I 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 invading Greeks."

"Then, 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."

"Thank 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."

She 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."  



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