Artemisia I: She-Wolf

Artemisia I: She-Wolf

by Costas Komborozos


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The wolf's eyes are like her own. Their menacing gleam mirrors the way she glared at the Persian king during his disgraceful retreat from the battle of Salamis. All her queenly comfort is gone now. Moments ago, she was swept ashore and lashed by a furious sea until her senses undimmed and jolted her back to consciousness. But the snow. She cannot explain the snow. Half-bloodied footprints swim into her gaze. Then she tries to find the wolf's trail, but there is none. It is as though the wolf has sprung from the snow, devouring her private kingdom or any remnant of royal security that once made her feel invincible. The sea seems far to her now, far distant from the white landscape. The beach and the waves are a mere whisper in her mind. The wolf's eyes remain fixed on her. They speak with the same breathless facility as war's deadly eloquence. Her eyes meet the wolf's like blades clashing, but then the blades linger on each other and produce a sharp, penetrating sound. Artemisia feels herself fruitlessly belaboring the inevitable. The sound of the ocean numbs her ears, briefly resurfacing as the glittering fragments of memory fuse together and shake her already-trembling inner calm. She imagines the Athenian general Themistocles smiling to himself and then the others who were part of his naval force. The wolf's eyes tears through her, reminding her of who she was. She is uncertain of her mind's dreamlike rhythms now. Artemisia clings to the sight of cold eyes probing her cold heart. Daylight breathes in her dreams again. Every dream is like the soundless roar of sun upon a glory-parched human horizon. A lone shadow that bends a hopelessly white desert to its will. A war scar forever beyond mend. Artemisia moves in a field of snow, hearing macabre laughter echoing faintly from the far distance. She feels the cold of the ocean as she is entombed by blackness. Artemisia finds herself in the snowy field again, letting her gaze wander across the white desolation. This time the growls become loud. Wolves appear on a slope. They instantly descend upon the sight of her. Artemisia raises her blade aloft and holds it before her. The wolves converge as they rush toward her. The blade-wielding queen moves in a sudden burst of strategic movement. The wolves become nothing more than blood on snow.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781530732203
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 03/25/2016
Pages: 104
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.22(d)

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