Year 1 Day 23
I don't like the feel of this ship rocking about the waves, hopelessly careening through the surf. It's not natural. I have the strange feeling that the gods are against us in this day. The days have been shorter and the nights are becoming darker. I haven't seen fin or tail of any ocean creature; the sea itself seems deviod of life. These men aboard this black vessel seem to have forgotten our victory in Troy. I think I have as well. Something strange is in the waters. Posideon, give us safe passage.
Year 2 Day 52
It's been a year. Should we not have reached Ithaca? I greatly miss my family and my home. I remember how the sunlight would ignite Aris's golden hair with a warm honey glow. My children will be twelve years old by now. I was able to cradle them as newborns the night previous to mine departure for Troy. Now, the men are shouting from above deck. Their voices are telling me that we have reached Ismarus on the coast of Thrace! How long has it been since my eyes have beheld land? Wait! They are shouting something I wish they'd take back and cast to the depths of the sea. They are calling for a battle! We are headed to fight the Ciconians! The gods be with us.
Year 3 Day 34
Yet again we've touched land, but after our savage scramble with the Ciconians, I'm not sure I want to set foot on this odd island. We lost so many men that night. No less than six per ship. Our fleet is weakening. Our men have lost spirit. My greatest friend, Uenamichus, was slaughtered before my own eyes. He was a good man. His wife is still waiting full of hope for his return. I held him to my breast as he lay dying, and he spoke to me saying, "Her name is Baucis. Find her. Take my sword, the one named Philemon, and ask of the gods to plant my spirit in it so that I can still be with her into our old age." I carry the blade with me, hoping beyond hope that the gods will look down on this couple with great compassion and grant my friend's dying wish. There! Movement on the deck. Odysseus is giving our orders. To shore! To find water and food! To shore!
Year 4 Day 89
Great gods! Why ever leave the island where the Lotus Eaters reside? All was well until we took of that wretched fruit! The Lotus! All the men lost hope of ever returning home. It was great Odysseus who saved our lives by bringing us back to the ship. Otherwise, we would have never left. How entranced we were! But what did we trade that safe and intoxicating isle for? Here we are trapped in the cave of a monster in the land of Cyclopes! We found food, water, shelter, but we had not realized that this was the home of a one-eyed giant. I am afriad. This montrosity calls himself Polyphemus, and already he has eaten two of our companions! Odysseus, I can see, is thinking hard. We are surely running out of time. Think, Odysseus! Gods save us! The monster shall return soon!
Year 5 Day 106
Land again, but this time I shall not be going ashore. Brilliant was Odysseus when he tied us to the bottom of sheep and blinded the one-eyed giant, but I am no fool. If we have not touched Ithaca, then I will not touch land. These places are cursed. These waters are cursed. Posideon is no friend of ours, yet I cannot gather why. I see our leader returning to the ship and with him he has... a bag. Why? What is this? He is describing it to us as a bag of winds that will carry us back home to Ithaca! Praise the gods! They have not forgotten us!
Year 6 Day 78
Stupid fools! Idiots aboard this vessel! We have something enchanted to send us home, but we swept right past it all the way back to Aeaea! I saw the rolling green hills of Ithaca! I saw my wife, my family, my children all fresh in my mind. My offspring are sixteen years old, and I have never seen their matured faces. Then, we land on Teleplyus and our fleet is destroyed. All is lost. All we have is this one tottering boat. Posiedon's plaything. No water. No smiles. Our crew does not sing songs of the sea anymore. We don't dance or play music. No one tells jokes they learned from their home towns. We are all waiting to die by the river Styx and be carried off by Hades's boat. A coin is always near me so I may pay my passage fare. It all should end soon for me. I just hope Aris can still remember me as valiant and honorable, not as this lost sheep waiting the slaughter.
Year 7 Day 213
I have seen Circe. I have laid my eyes upon Hades in the Underworld. I heard the voice of Tiresias myself. Yet nothing can strike fear into my heart like sailing through the sirens. Their figures had us tranced. I could almost hear them speak to me though Odysseus plugged our ears to stop us from hearing their songs. A carnal part of me would have walked right off the deck of the ship to be able to touch one of them. However, with my ears guarded from their charms, I could see death awaiting in their eyes. Never have I seen such hatred and malice in one being. She seemed to reach out to me with claws and fangs of a tiger. My heart nearly shot out of my chest. Our boat sailed through with no losses. Another few victories like this and maybe there is a sliver of hope after all.
Year 8 Day 12
We are nearing the Strait of Messina. A hush has befallen the crew. Something awful is about to happen; I know it. I feel the presence of evil creatures. Are they crawling in the caves high above us? Or are they circling the deep down below? I can hear my shipmates' ragged breaths. Uenamichus's sword, Philemon, is at my hip. I feel his company within the blade. Perhaps the gods have really looked upon him with favor. The thought makes me a little glad. If they should not favor us, I take comfort in knowing he was favored. Hark! We have reached the Messina.
Year 9 Day 305
I have grown tired of adventure. I only wish to rest. Misfortune found us in Messina, will it not find us here? Six men were snatched from our deck. Six heads of the Scylla. Six men taken. A year later, the irony strikes me with a chilling touch. Now we are docked at Thrinacia, the home of Helios's sacred cattle. The crew is starving and here the gods keep their fat calves. Odysseus has warned us to not kill them for food, but I see it in the eyes of the men. We are exhausted, depressed, and old. We ourselves are spent. There is nothing left. We know we shall never reach home. Our children have grown up without knowing what we look like or how our voices sound. Our wives have since accepted that we died on the seas or in Troy, and they have taken new husbands. There is no home to return to. The sailors are looking to each other, exchanging glances of misery and brotherhood. When we die, we shall not die hungry. The gods at the very least owe us that.
Year 10 Day 7
Odysseus knows what we have done, but we feel no shame. It is time for us to depart this journey. Our leader is appaulled. He cries out to the gods for mercy. He won't be heard. Though Helios owns thousands of cattle, he misses the few we took for ourselves. I see now how selfish these deities are. I know my death is on the horizon. I am not afriad. My journey is over. I happily handed over Philemon to Odysseus. Uenamichus was also a great friend to Odysseus, so I know he will return the blade to Baucis. The ship woefully sailed away from Thrinacia, and I am now standing proudly at its bow. A massive storm is brewing around us. My crew of brothers is behind me. Unafraid. Valiant. Courageous. Brave. We are once again the warriors we were twenty years ago. I pray that my children will not think of me as I was but as I would be. Aris, my bride, will look on me with eyes full of love's purest form when once again we meet. How could I be afraid? As I write this final line, may our story be heard through generations and may Odysseus find passage back to Ithaca at last, though this crew shall not find our rest there.