|Chrysanthe of Athens
Author: cowhampgs97 PM
I wrote this for English class, and I was proud of it so I'm posting it! Chrysanthe is the most beautiful girl in Athens. What she doesn't know is she was promised to Prince Paris of Troy. When she falls in love with another, she is cursed by Aphrodite, and joins Odysseus on his journey (the Odyssey). Will she be able to redeem herself to her family and Aphrodite?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Chapters: 11 - Words: 7,777 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 11-12-12 - Published: 10-24-12 - id: 3068263
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
My name was Chrysanthe. It means "Golden Flower", for I was so beautiful that the day I was born, Aphrodite blessed me with golden hair, something rare in mortals. Well, at least I had thought it was a blessing.
I had always been the most beautiful girl in Athens, which is why I had also been protected from the troublesome men who wander those streets. I never left my house, nor had I ever left my room. Yes, it was a roomy suite, that contained a private bathing room and sitting area, but it was very depressing being by yourself all day, except when you have chores to do. I was always told I was being protected, for the "prince".
One day, after being sick of hearing that every time I attempted to leave my quarters, I asked my mother who this "prince" was. She sighed, and brought me to my couch, and told me the story:
"There is a man waiting for you, dear Chrysanthe. He will bring our family good fortune and we will be approved by the Gods. His name is Paris. He is fifteen years older than you, and he is very handsome. We have protected you from the men out in the world so you will not be tempted to fall in love with another man. You shall meet Paris as soon Apollo brings the sun to us on your fifteenth birthday. By the time Artemis raises the moon, you will be married, and our family will be saved."
Of course, being six years of age at the time, I was enchanted by this prince. It was like all my knowledge had been taken, and my mind had been invaded with thoughts of being a princess: Paris and Chrysanthe, and soon, King Paris and Queen Chrysanthe of Troy. The thoughts filled my head for seven years, until I walked outside for the first time.
I was thirteen years of age when I met my first friend. Her name was Zosime. She was also a well-known figure in Athens, her family was extremely wealthy, and she was as beautiful as I was in her own ways. She had sleek brown hair that reached her waist, and the smoothest olive skin I've seen on a girl our age. Her eyes were the lightest blue, like the sky, and her sharp facial features made her look stunning.
I met her when my mother invited her and her mother over to prepare for my birthday ceremony that was to happen tomorrow.
When I first saw her, I noticed she was different. She had a mysterious, but gentle look on her face, and I knew that we would never be the best of friends, but, we did. By the time the moon rose, Zosime and I were having deep conversations on our lives and I even told her about my prince. Mother came up to my room, and told me that Zosime was to stay late tonight, because she and Zosime's mother were still preparing .When my mother's footsteps faded, she ran to the window, untying her scarf headband, and securing it to my window.
"Zosime!" I yelled under my breath, fearing my mother would hear me, "What are you doing?"
"Wouldn't it be great to see what goes on outside of this house? I've never left my house, other than in a silly old cart that has taken me here! I want to see the world, not just be played by the Gods, I want to live!" She cried, and she used her scarf to travel down the side of my home to the streets below. I followed her.
I slowly climbed down the scarf, afraid of what might happen when I touched the ground. Would the men the maids warned me about come to find me? Would I get lost? These thoughts flooded my brains as I inched down the scared.
A few minutes later, as my feet found the ground, I found that Zosime had immediately found a boy our age and was talking to him. From his attire, I assumed he was a beggar. Zosime introduced me to him, his name was Cyrus. He looked at me in the eyes, and instantly, it was though he had known each other forever. He was the first boy I had ever seen, and he looked as though he loved me. Yes, this was a random assumption, but I'd seen the way my father looked at my mother. He even told me I was beautiful.
We talked for half past an hour, and he said he needed to go. He asked if I could meet him again, and of course I accepted. I finally was being courted! All of my thoughts of the prince were gone, and my logic was foggy… was I in love? Zosime dragged my hand around the side of my house, to explore Athens.
The first thing I noticed as we rounded the corner of my home was the acropolis. It was something I had never seen before, for my room was on the opposite side, facing towards the mountains.
It was beautiful, and Zosime and I both looked up in awe of the beautiful world we had not yet discovered.
For two years after, I escaped my house every night to meet with Cyrus and he would show me the world. We even shared a kiss the night he showed me the forests right before the mountains began to rise. We were in love, but then, everything changed.
It was the night before my fifteenth birthday, the night before my childhood would be gripped from my soul. Zosime came over, for after my marriage, I would move from Athens to Troy with Paris, and I would never see her again. We explored the acropolis one last time when Aphrodite thought we'd had enough fun.
She had hair so golden it was hard to look at without your eyes watering. She wore plain clothing, and her face was of perfect proportions. She had a voice sweeter than honey cakes as she said to me "Somebody has been messing with love, now hasn't she?"
I looked at her confused, and replied, "Who are you? And what do you mean?"
"Well, that's no way to talk to the goddess who gave you such a beautiful gift," she gestured toward my hair.
Aphrodite. Why was she here? Before I could ask her, she sighed and lifted my chin with her smooth hand so my eyes connected with her pure gold ones. "Well, sweet Chrysanthe, you just betrayed your family, and me. You see, you were given golden hair as a symbol of being owned to Prince Paris of Troy. You were never to fall in love with another, or else gifts would be taken away from you. I am the only person who can say who falls in love with who, and I did NOT approve of Cyrus of Athens. You will have twenty years to prove yourself worthy of me and your family. For now, you will be a traitor, and known to everyone in Athens as "the one who started the war". Yes, you have not known this, but Paris has started a war between the Trojans and Greece. You were supposed to be the woman who ended the chaos between the two countries, but your opportunity has ceased. You will have to find a way to become worthy of the Gods, Paris, and your family, but for now," she grabbed a lock of my golden hair, and pulled it with all her might, ripping it from its roots, "You will not be beautiful. You will disappear from Athens. You will be sent to Troy, and live as a beggar. Yes, the war of blood and hate is fought there, and you will have to make do. Good luck, golden flower, and I will see you in twenty years."
I woke up in a dirt alleyway, my head pounding. I heard a bleat, and I looked up to find a goat chewing on my tunic. I jumped up, scaring the goat away. I stood up, and found a puddle to see my reflection, questioning if Aphrodite's curse really was true, it was. The person in the reflection was not the same person that I had known. She had black frizzy hair, and her face was covered in blemishes. This was not Chrysanthe. In fear of people recognizing me and calling me a traitor, I changed my name. I became Xena, meaning stranger, for I was no longer who I was.
I sat in the lonely alleyway for hours, crying for forgiveness to the goddess that would not listen. Someone must have taken pity on me, for along came a woman dressed in silks and had her hair was pinned the top of her head. She made a gesture with her hands, telling me to come to her. I stood up hesitantly, and walked over.
When I got to her, she reached out and put her cold hands on my cheeks. She smiled and whispered "Come with me, dear child. No harm shall cross your path in this cruel city. For I am Elpida, and I will guide you through this horrible war." In that moment, I knew someone would care for me.
Obviously, this was not in Aphrodite's plans. As I later learned, Elpida was told to roam through the alleyway in search of a young girl by Hera. Aphrodite did not learn about this for six months, but when she did, she became outraged.
When Aphrodite arrived I had been mending a shawl for Elpida while she swept the parlor. She still held the same sinister grin and beautiful golden hair as she looked at me with rage, and then turned to Elpida.
"Elpida of Troy, you must know who this despicable traitor is… right?"
Elpida looked scared as she replied, "Y-yes Aphrodite, for she is Xena, a beggar in which I put under my wing to help her through these horrid times."
"Elpida, why you have been deceived, this is no beggar. She is Chrysanthe of Greece!" In that moment I saw my reflection from the mirror in the corner of the room, and found that I had changed back to myself. Elpida gasped and yelled "You traitor! Leave! Be gone! You are the reason for this war! My son has been slayed because of you! Leave! Be gone, and may you never come back!"
I left Elpida's house, and by the time I turned the corner on the street, my familiar golden locks were gone. I then saw two men talking about Odysseus. He had brought his men here to fight the Trojans. In that moment, I decided that I was going to fight for my country, although Troy had helped me in so many ways. I needed to feel part of my beloved country, and I needed to prove myself to Aphrodite.
That night, I cut off my ugly hair, and became a soldier of Odysseus, Apollodoro.