Walking the Breath: A Sophomore Greek Tale

[In 10th grade my English teacher, Mrs. Carter, asked us to write a Greek-style story after reading The Odyssey.  I held on to mine.  The “vicious man-eater Humphries” was named after my 8th grade principal.   If my memory serves me correctly, my companions were named after two friends in my youth group.  In real life they would have surely made it.  It was a pagan tale roughly told in the Greek tradition, assuredly, but I snuck a little Christology in.]

“Walking the Breath”

Returning home from rescuing his companions out of the clutches of the vicous man-eater, Humphries, the brave survivor Kabälarês sailed down the coast of blue waters, dreaming of returning home.  The ship approached a coastal cave, and the sound of chanting voices emanated from inside it, causing Kabälarês to lose control and crash the ship against the side of the cliff.  Kabälarês the faithful followed the chanting into the cave to find a way to repair his ocean craft.  His two companions, Jermaclês and Náthenes, followed him into the darkness.

They encountered in the cave a village of spiritually ecstatic cave dwellers; nearly blind for they had not seen they had never seen the sun.  Inside the cave was each man kept until the day he would ritualistically prove his right to live for eternity by walking the breath of Zéershna, Goddess of eternity.  To walk the breath of the omnipotent Goddess, a cave dweller would leap off the edge of a great chasm and pray a chant of faithfulness to her, in hopes that her mighty and graceful breath will carry them off toward endless peace.

The brave soldier, trustworthy hero, friend to all, Kabälarês, announced:

“This dangerous task shall be no doubt the key for us to get home.  It is time for us to show our devotion by walking the breath, my companions.”

And so first went the fast and furious Jermaclês to leap off the edge.  He was so quick to jump that he did not remember to meditate a prayer to Zéershna, the everlasting, and plummeted forever downward, past the walls of the bottomless chasm.  And so then Náthes, the meek and honest, attempted then.  Seeing the vast depths, he panicked and lost all faith.  He could not catch the breath of Zéershna, keeper of time.  He, too, fell endlessly to the emptiness.

Kabälarês, most wise and thoughtful, then closed his eyes and stepped off the edge.  Remembering to pray, he gave thanks to the gods and asked them for guidance.  As he believed in the power of Zéershna, she saw his faith and breathed a great elegant wind that lifted him across the chasm.  She smiled at the hero, and said:

“Good warrior and wise fellow, Kabälarês, because you have gained the right to cross the path into the realm of light, I will fulfill for you any task you wish.”

To this the well-tempered believer replied:

“Oh forever living, all-seeing, Zéershna, however much I wish to be spend infinite years in this place of peace, I know that my friends are at this very moment suffering.  I ask that you bring them out of the pit and let them to take my place in this glorious mansion of peace, and let me be on my way back home to see my dear wife and children, and taste the fruits that grow in my garden, as I have faith that you will one day see me to return there.  Would be a burden on my heart knowing that my companions are forever suffering, and I have yet many things to see right, and to sooth the souls of my weary family, that I am safe and of good health.  Please grant me this favor, oh great Zéershna.”

This request the great Queen of time granted for Kabälarês, and his friends were reunited in the eternal bliss, as he was sent on his way home on a newly made ship.  As he ventured home, he prayed that his friends were at peace and happiness, for the sacrifice was noble and honest that he had made.  Surely he would one day see his home again.

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