TITLE: Athena: Claiming the Throne
Odysseus used the last of his strength to cling to the black crags that bit into his hands, the horrible surge of water that had torn at his body finally passing by. Bobbing like a loose bit of cork in the bitter sea, he used this brief respite from the pull of the tide to contemplate these last moments of his life. Then the crash of the surf against the rocky shore let him know the backwash was headed his way, and his muscles told him he was too weak to keep his hold. Young crabs were swept back out to sea with more dignity than this.
But it had been such a welcome prospect. Swimming in this merciless sea for two days and nights after his makeshift ship had splintered to pieces, the smell of land had finally reached his waterlogged nostrils. Dawn of the third day had brought the sweet sight of this place -- whether island or mainland, he did not know -- rising from the choppy waters. But as the tide brought him close, that same dawn revealed the rough, black rocks of the treacherous coast. A calculated lunge had caught him this miserable crag, the muscles of his arms weary beyond all reason, and so he had saved himself from being dashed against that hard shore. Now he saw the tide turn, felt the first tug that would dislodge him from this last, desperate battle against the elements. Athena has abandoned me.