Achilles’ Heel

By ZJ Galos

I am plagued by my ghosts of this world in my imagination. Should I not be rather pleased by them? After all that is a pinnacle, a writer’s life can depend upon most of the time. At least if his genre is fiction. Fiction is like mythology that was once a religion. It is based upon facts that are clothed into metaphorical garb to render the prose adhering to rules of personal aesthetic qualities. Fiction can be based on truth, one’s own unique experiences, and representations of near facts. Often there is such a row of coincidences of facts that shroud around the character of a person we do care about and love that we doubt about their incidental character, and the mind seeks logical explanations that it cannot find. That’s when my vivid imagination sets-in to complete the missing mosaics in the picture, I have formed around a person I have met and known just fleetingly.
I have to think about her and the words of a past friend still sound in my ears: Trust me. I always had to believe her almost stubbornly, as I had difficulties trusting a woman. But AyAy kept repeating these two words to me continually, as if she sensed my doubts, as I had subsequently explained to her my reason. Perhaps she repeated these words of trust, in lieu of explanations; she just gave me some clues, even if I did ask for more. This scene had been repeated a few times and I watched her. She was then smiling, with her dark eyes glowing mysteriously, watching my facial expression that gave her signs of my emotions…
Now as I sit-up in bed, waking from a restful sleep, I return back at an instant, subconsciously, to the thoughts I had before falling asleep. What is it? It’s about Simi.
Simi, the mysterious woman who strikes me, as if she is playing with this image of an Angel of death, explaining it to me, due to her record of incidents that happen around her. Wherever she appears or leaves, something happens that we subscribe to a nature’s catastrophic event, but looking closer it might be something different. It is rather stirring. It is immediate, as if someone was planning these incidents to happen. Does Simi has ESP or a deeper sense of knowing, when and where to travel, choosing routes that coincide with acts of terror or similar happenings? Would Simi have an unusual deeper sense, or is she directed by some superior power that has invested in her the act of a kiss of death, for places and areas, which she has just left behind her? It makes my flesh crawl, as I envisage her cool stature and her large eyes that send rays of flames to throw upon land, people and machines, to burst them into smithereens or incinerate them to ashes. A truly Woman-wonder-beam as she visits places marked by ill fate, chosen by whatever law of the universe.
Of course there is Eros and Thanatos, love and death, who live as eternal twins in a love-hate relationship together. And now what is next? I am already anticipating the next act, which I should not. But would you not wonder?
Love, beauty, connotation to all glorious and beautiful women: Venus de Milo, Aphrodite of Knidos, sculpted by the gods and their genial extension into human sculptors, who saw through their god-like eyes the beauty in body and mind. He is working with a living model, whose half-clad body casts a shadow with the outlines of death into the sand of this life’s arena, of a bright and blending sun, where the eyes are hurt by fine grains of dust and irritated by the salt that crystallizes from the sweat out of the pores of their heated skins. Her images of Eros become fuzzed and faded. The more we try to wipe our eyes and enjoy the voyeurism we are excited about to see the final piece of cloth sliding from her thighs, the more they burn in this excitement of vision that stirs our feelings to a height and raises our inner flight that has taken off uncontrollably now. And she can do with us what she desires, shaping our carapace. She has obtained the powers to shape it into silver arrows and the spear of Athena with her shield that protects her, while she changes again into the body of Achilles, who spears the wild queen of Amazons in a duel that she has cunningly evoked. Achilles is confused. What will he do? At first, he is only trying to defend himself. He is not at all prepared to fight a woman, even if her war-cry rouses his skin.
What a strange man he is, thinks Penthesilea, as she tackles the great hero, gaining confidence at his manoeuvres to defend himself. Perhaps he is just a paper tiger, she teases him and she gets careless, having slain many men and heroes before. This one will be not different to the others. Invincible? Heh? I show you the powers of a woman you dickhead. She starts to annoy him and call him names, and spurn his anger, waiting for him to lose his cool. She has a Mercurial mind and she is cool and sharp and tidy in her attacks, now hurting him considerably, but unable to pierce his impenetrable armour.
I like her rather, Achilles thinks, she is fighting like a man. She is rather beautiful with her swaying breasts and her excited nipples that point through the sheerness of her dress. For a moment he loses his mind, admiring her beauty and he drops his awareness of his usually sharp senses. She hurts him, although he is almost immortal, she pierces him with her lance and for a human being that would have been a mortal wound already. But then he thought she cannot wound him. Achilles is astonished about the blood on his thighs. Then as he slowly wakes from his day dream about her, he observes that it is Penthesilea’s blood from a wound he had inflicted on her as she came too close to sink her spear into his side.
“Damned!” She moans, “I thought I had him for good. He is after all immortal and I am certainly lost. I have to try something other, faint and play the dying, maybe I can soften him up and then plunge my poisoned dagger into his heel?” And as she thinks about a way to kill the hero, he has plunged already his lance into her side. Yet she is sensing his sympathies for her, as he is now closer to her, stirred up into reality again, his dreaming left quickly behind. “He notices my charms,” she thinks, cringing in pain. “I have still left enough strength to kill him when he bends down to me. Aphrodite give me his heart!” She cries-up to the goddess of love and Achilles thinks it is her cry of pain he has inflicted upon her with his ferocious stab. “I’ll show him my body!” She parts her top showing him her jutting breasts. “I can sense his knees weakening; he is at a disadvantage now. Come closer Achilles, take me, take my lips, my breasts, my body, will you?” And she closes her eyes and opens her lips for his kiss.
He had lost his cool for a moment in the closeness to her that could have cost his life. His Martian self rises in a sudden flaming anger. In a flash-fire he realizes her cunning and her trap. Her seductive shapes are fading as his eyes are blurred with rage and he charges and aims his deadly lance at the bottom of her heart. She has ceased to be a woman, all he sees in her, is only the enemy. He is entering her bowed torso with the tip of his lance and she buckles like a deer, her eyes bulging with surprise. He has wounded the queen of Amazons mortally. She sinks in her death throws to the floor, her blood colouring the sand and her weapons slide from her hands, she is defeated. Dying.
She asks him to come close and she whispers to him: Achilles you silly man, why have you entered this deadly world of a worrier and summoned your instincts to kill me rather than to love me? Why Achilles, why? We are matching well, see? And she is lying in his arms, smiling with that curl around her lips, enticed that he has shown his love to her at least before she is fading from this memorable day and dying. “Put your finger into my heart and stop the bleeding…” She is going now fast, as she still feels his fingers touching the tip of her heart. “Ah!” She puts-up one final moment’s resistance to the cold grip of death that wishes to tear out her bleeding heart. But Aphrodite has bargained-out some more time for her. And Achilles kisses her lips. There are some distant murmurs around the arena at this unexpected outcome of this most unusual fight.
This was a moment of great heights, a moment of blood rush, the sensation of victory, he felt bad about. “This is not the usual sensation,” he thinks. “This is tragic indeed. This is what I wished for in a woman: virtue and valour, beauty and youth all in such an exciting mix. Shit! All now gone, the shortest stint of love I ever had!”
“Stop,” she says to him, “love me rather…there are now only moments left. And Achilles loves her. He is astonished himself. All falls suddenly still. Not a breeze in the air, not one sound. He can hear his pulses throb in his temples.
The shadows of death have coloured her face and body. She lies still, almost translucent enfolded within his clasp. Achilles has listened to her final cry. This time it was her height in pleasure as he touched her. His alertness heightened and suddenly turned into a flood of feelings. A dam of powers has burst and he is facing now a beloved, not an enemy any longer. He wishes to stay close to her face and his heart desires her open lips, where her last cry has left with a final breath. He kisses her and she opens her eyes once more. “It is you,” she whispers, “my beloved? I want to be in your arms forever, together we are most powerful in love. You made me happy and I do know now that death is love!”
Her had rolls slowly to her side and Achilles overcome with compassion, kisses her cheeks. A tear has fallen to her cheeks, rolling down along her neck to her breasts. It changes from its milky state to the colour of blood. There it mingles on her skin with white and red blood and he feels exhausted and stirred-up in an enormous bout of anger and frustration, as he cries-out at last to free his pent-up emotions:
“No! Penthesilea come back, come back! Gods of the heavens, you have all deserted me.” He curses the Sisters of Fate and soon he will be reminded to be careful of ever cursing them again; be careful to challenge their ultimate powers that rule life and death.
Then this small insignificant man comes along and giggles and plays fun of this tragical scene. Achilles at first thinking of him as a clown and one of the camp that has been employed by Agamemnon to cheer-up the heroes and the worriers about falling into a depressive state, their friends and loved ones being slain. Then it dawns on him that this man is a brawler and he is being insolent to him. He signals him to come closer and hold his tongue and as he carries on ridiculing Achilles, who obviously has gone bananas, he is warned that it is not wise to challenge a hero as a demagogue. Achilles on his rising peak of anger slays the man. Thersites, who had no time for regretting his mockery about this unusual love, as the hero’s silences him forever blind rage. He is made to pay for his slander with his life, becoming the sacrifice for Achilles’ deed of bursting forth from his frustration in a moment of pure love, he could not hold, keep, prolong and cherish with the dying queen. There was no advantage gained and no sense in her killing. He laments about her loss and her challenge to become the worrier queen-heroine of all times. What silly undertaking and for what purpose? For Troy? Troy will be laid to ashes anyway, if he wins or not. If he could have just eloped with her to one of the islands for a great weekend and then resolve their differences and settle rather on a draw in fighting to enjoy the equal pleasures in love.
They both could have lived-on for a little longer to love and use the powers within for their greatest peaks in fusing their beings. Fusing their worrier attitudes would have become the greatest story of love. All these notions go through his traumatised mind, as he retires from this battlefield in front of the impenetrable walls of Troy. He seeks the waters of the sea, to calm his concussed body and then down a pitcher of cooled wine, to burn the inner pains with a greater fire within.
I think of Egypt’s Hatshepsut, another woman of great powers that are bestowed on a pharaoh. She even wore men’s clothes to appear regal and never weak. In her quality time she fused her powers with that of her advisor and architect, who designed for her the greatest contemporary temple in front of her burial site. It had to be the greatest tomb-architecture a woman pharaoh ever built. There she was excited on her bed and she opened her body for him, enticing him to fuse his powers with hers. Love had finally triumphed that moment above all else. In a nearby vessel she had mingled gold from Sinai and silver from Nubia and in the heat it became Electron she needed for the gilding of the peak of her famous obelisks that her man had turned into, through their love and their memorial for eternity.

Did Achilles fall to the deadly arrow dunked into poison that was directed at his heel by the powers of one god or by the cursing of men? We never know, as it is always a god that makes inexplicable things happen. We subscribe these events to gods, but perhaps they are planned by men so entirely controlled, we cannot imagine human deed, although we feel that a whole army has suddenly turned against one.
We shudder and look in awe at the pain and human suffering and we know that there will be no definite answer and never a proven truth, as hard as we feel the bitterness of intrigue ripping out our anxious hearts.
I do not ask Simi why she is so close to events that are hitting at the hearts of many and are perhaps aimed at others. Stirring of war for some ultimate motif? I do not ask her why she is like a shadow of forecasts, and why she looks at me with such big and mournful eyes.
I have fallen in love with a woman and I do not ask her what she does, or why she jets across continents and visits places, where the wrath of bursting fire will incinerate the unfortunate and where catastrophic events follow like a dog at her heels. She has sharpened my alertness and she is definitely endowed with great powers. I shower her with my love and wonder if she is at all touched by some of it. Is she at all beckoning me to mingle our powers of love like silver and gold, and if she would turn me into Electron that she would use to gild the arrow heads of her invincible armoury? Have I ever touched the tip of her soul? Perhaps I had achieved a small touch, a tiny grip, like the tips of my lips and the tip of my tongue darting under her toes, her feet and finally into her Achilles heel?

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