TITLE: Athena: Throne Race
GENRE: Historical Fantasy
Odysseus clung to the black crags that bit into his hands, screaming defiance at the surge of water that tore at his body and treated him like a loose cork in the bitter sea. The crash of surf against the rocky shore told him the backwash was headed his way, and he knew his muscles were too weak to keep hold. Athena has abandoned me.
He saw the fatal turn of the water, felt the first tug that would tear him loose. He cursed the tide that would sweep him back out to sea with no more dignity than the young crabs just beyond his fingers . . . . And at that moment, he reversed the odds and threw off despair. He let go of the rock.
Odysseus had no time to chuckle at his own craftiness when the surf dragged him to where the water was only choppy, not crashing against the hard shore -- just as crabs always had half a chance to scuttle back after the roiling waves savaged them. He swam while gazing at that fell coast, the strain of shipwreck no longer allowing his legs to kick like a stallion tromping through knee-high barley. He looked for any imperfection, any gap in those rocks. Something, even a spit of sand in the dawn light. Then he saw the river.