By Lela S.
This is my first draft of a Greek Myth that would take place in The Odyssey. Please comment below and tell me what you think!
Chrysanthe could feel her heart pounding in her chest. The Cyclops was pursuing their ship, and he was getting closer and closer. Even though Odysseus had blinded him, he could still hear the splashes in the water, which directed him to us. His footsteps broke the surface of the icy blue water one at the time with loud splashes, and Chrysanthe could hear the grunts that were coming from the monster’s mouth.
“ROW FASTER! THE CYCLOPS IS ON OUR TRAIL!” Odysseus hollered.
Following Odysseus’s command, Chrysanthe and her two other fellow crew members, Eurylochus and Polites, rowed faster. Chrysanthe, on the other hand, didn’t row faster, but she rowed stronger. Soon enough, the Cyclops ran out of strength and stopped swimming. They kept going far into an unknown area of the ocean, where Odysseus knew for a fact that the Cyclops would not go.
There was only one teeny-tiny problem.
Odysseus and his crew were lost.
“Odysseus?” Chrysanthe shuffled her feet. She didn’t want to appear weak, but she just had to ask. “What do we do now?
Odysseus didn’t need to answer. The ship answered for her. It gradually slowed to a stop, even though Chrysanthe, Eurylochus, and Polites were still rowing. Then, it started to levitate.
It unsteadily rose up into the air, then it righted itself and rose up more confidently. The ship rocked back and forth, and it was like it squeezed its way up… up… up…
“What’s going on? Odysseus? Why is…” Chrysanthe took a step back from looking down, dizzy.
Odysseus made no reply. He was too engrossed in trying to figure out what was going on, just like Polites and Eurylochus were doing. He chewed his fingernails thoughtfully.
But she really was curious, after all. She had no idea what was going on. The ship was literally RISING INTO THE AIR, the captain was doing absolutely nothing about it, and neither were her crewmates. She was so terrified, she completely froze.
Suddenly, she started to feel at ease for some reason. Her breathing started to slow down. She started to calm down. She slowly unfroze. But it was only a matter of time until she froze again. This time, it wasn’t because she was scared. It was because she was stunned.
The sky was filled with tons of colours. There were all sorts of shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple, and white (shades of white?). There were… puffs of colour? And the thing is… they smelled. But not in a bad way. Red smelled like cherries, and yellow smelled like lemons, for example. It was just… WOW. (It wasn’t synesthesia though!)
They all climbed out of the ship, and miraculously, they could actually STAND on the clouds. Finally, someone spoke. But spoke wasn’t the right word. It was more like slurred. “...food…” It was Polites. Of course it was Polites. Not a surprise.
“Polites, it’s not ...food…” Eurylochus repeated. Something was wrong. Really wrong.
Suddenly, Chrysanthe realized what was wrong. The clouds themselves were colourful. The puffs of colour were the clouds being formed! But there was something off. Clouds… were normally white… but these ones were colourful. Picking up a mini cloud in her hands, she realized that they were white on the bottom and colourful on the top.
Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted Eurylochus and Polites gobbling up the clouds. They swallowed the smaller ones whole, they tore apart the medium-sized ones with their teeth, and they greedily gulped down the largest ones. As well as that, she could see Odysseus nibbling on a reddish-pink cherry cloud. Curious, she decided to taste one too.
The one she grabbed was yellowish-green, almost like a lime. Sure enough, it tasted like one too. At least, that’s what it tasted like at first. After that mild lime taste, the cloud EXPLODED inside her mouth. She could taste the sweetness of a fresh meringue, the sourness of a lemon, the crunchiness of graham crackers, the coolness and creaminess of whipped cream, and the bitterness of the peel of a lemon.
Finally, Chrysanthe understood why Eurylochus and Polites were acting like that. But instead of eating them as fast as she could, she savoured the flavour of each and every one. Who knew that clouds could taste that good? On top of that, she was actually standing on top of a blueberry/blackberry cloud, which was dark blue with hints of pale beige throughout the cloud. She scooped up a handful of the cloud. It looked so delicious, she couldn’t help herself!
Suddenly, after taking one bite, to her horror, the cloud started to disintegrate below her feet. It made a noise like crunching foam, and it slowly started to break apart into pieces, which fell down back into the sea one by one by one (food for Poseidon?). And slowly, she started to lose her grip on the cloud.
Chrysanthe tried to stay calm. She latched her fingers onto the clouds around the berry one, but those clouds also disintegrated and fell into the sea. She screamed at the top of her lungs, but Odysseus and her crewmates were too engrossed in their eating to help her. Desperately, she tried her best to grasp into the remaining pieces of cloud that were left, but it was no use. She started to fall, faster and faster, back down where the ship first started to levitate. Chrysanthe braced herself for impact.
However, when she was supposed to hit the water, she stopped falling. Then, just like the ship did, she started to levitate. Just as curious as she was before, she looked around. It was only then when she realized that there was someone floating alongside her.
This person… well, she didn’t look human. She looked angelic. She wore a long, lacy, colourful dress that was as colourful as the clouds, and that looked just about as soft, too. She had golden, feathered wings that looked delicate, but also strong. She wore white, glittery, cream-coloured gloves that went almost all the way up to her elbows. She had no makeup on, except for some eye shadow that was the same colour as her dress. Her hair was dirty blonde, and she had it in a low ponytail. On top of her head, she wore a headband that was creamy and glittery, just like her gloves. She appeared to be in her twenties. Honestly, she really looked like an angel. An intimidating but pretty one.
Chrysanthe gaped at her. This “angel” was so much taller and so much more intimidating than her, and there was something about her that just… how could she describe it? Captivated her. There was an air of mystery around her, but she was so intimidating that Chrysanthe didn’t want to ask questions.
Luckily, the angel replied to all the questions she had in her head.
“Hi Chrysanthe! I’m Iris, the goddess of clouds. I have no idea how you fell, and I came here because I saw you and your -she wrinkled her nose- friends eating my clouds. So I came over, and apparently you fell, wait, actually, it’s a good thing you fell because you didn’t taste the purple one with - oh wait you did, but you ate a mouthful, so it’s okay - ”
Iris was talkative and intimidating. Chrysanthe had never heard of her, but for some reason, Iris knew her. All of a sudden, it seemed like they had been friends for ages. As well as that, her very presence seemed to make her more confident and comfortable. Slowly, as her heart rate slowed and went back to normal, she began to levitate alongside Iris and go back into the coloured side of the clouds, where Odysseus and the rest of the crew were waiting for her. She didn’t know whether she had done it herself, or if Iris had helped her. At that moment, though, she didn’t really care and she brushed off the thought.
“Eurylochus! Polites! And of course, Odysseus! It’s a pleasure to meet you all!” Iris exclaimed. She seemed so enthusiastic and full of energy. Paired with her intimidating looks, you could almost tell straight away that she was the goddess of clouds. Well, you could only tell if you had seen the top of the clouds.
Then, she told them to come into her “cloud palace”, which, for some reason, none of them noticed before. It was actually cream coloured on the outside, but once they stepped foot through the arched, soft doorway, they could see that the inside of the palace was much, much more colourful than the clouds that were visible on the outside.
Iris led Odysseus and his crew down many vibrant hallways and staircases. Finally, they reached a very large room. This room’s walls were white, not cream, but they had sparkly glitter sprinkled everywhere. In the center of the room was a massive, equally soft-looking table. On the table were plates of various sizes, with appetizing clouds shaped into rough-looking cubes.
Curious but still cautious, Chrysanthe took a small nibble of a cloud cube that looked almost like a kiwi on the inside. Again, there was a faint taste of the fruit which emanated from the cube, then the cloud exploded. Again, the sweetness of meringue, plus the… rubberiness of jelly? Weren’t kiwis supposed to not work in jelly? But there was no room for that thought. The cloud was still exploding in her mouth. She could taste the chewiness of the fruit itself, the bitterness of a seed that she bit into by accident, and much more. It was so hard to think of anything else besides the food.
But eventually, she could see that the food on the table was slowly disappearing. One by one by one, the cubes were leaving the table and running out. In a matter of time, the clouds would all be gone. She had to stop them from eating all of the food… so she could have more to herself.
“Chrysanthe. Stop being greedy.” she told herself inside her head. Because she just had to eat more. Her tongue said yes, her brain said no. The war between her senses kept going on, but she ate and ate and ate. And finally, her brain won.
“Guys, Cut. It. Out. Stop eating. Now. Stop being greedy. Stop eating right now.” Chrysanthe’s voice was unsteady, and even as she tried to stay calm, her voice wobbled.
Iris frowned, then spoke. “Chrysanthe, why do you want them to leave? If you want to leave, then you can leave, but they don’t have to.”
She hesitated, then she agreed. A plan was beginning to form in her head. “You know what, Iris? I’ll stay. These clouds are too good to not eat! But I have one question: am I allowed to mix the different cloud cubes?”
“Sure, you can! It only adds more flavour.” Iris winked.
So Chrysanthe put two and two together. From what she heard about the purple cubes, she mixed a purple cube with a white one. She shaped them into three spheres, and she threw one in Eurylochus’s mouth, one in Polites’s mouth, and one in Odysseus’s mouth. They all immediately caught it, chewed for a bit, and swallowed. And just as Chrysanthe suspected, all three of them fell under her spell.
Just under her breath, so quiet that Iris couldn’t hear her, she muttered for them to leave. And just like that, Chrysanthe walked out the cloud food room, and miraculously found her way out the front door, with Odysseus and her crewmates trailing close behind.
Suddenly, Iris appeared behind the ship’s crew. “WAIT! Odysseus! Eurylochus! Polites! Chrysanthe! I have gifts for you!”
In the goddess’s hands were sacks of clouds, sorted by colour. Alongside that, there was a larger sack full of gold coins.
“Thank you! You’re the best! Bye, Iris!” Chrysanthe replied coolly, her voice dripping with sarcasm. Apparently, Iris wasn’t what she seemed.
Slowly, the ship started to descend. So it was Chrysanthe herself, after all, who was controlling the ship’s y axis. As they reached the halfway point to their destination down below, Chrysanthe threw the gifts out of the ship with all her strength. She could just imagine Iris looking down at her, with her disappointed frown revealing everything.
However, the gifts didn’t land directly into the sea as she thought. The sacks of clouds ripped in two in midair, and they flew in opposite directions. The larger sack of gold, on the other hand, stayed in one piece, and went to the right. All the colours slowly but surely flooded into the sunset. A rainbow.