TITLE: Athena: Ready to Fight
GENRE: Historical Fantasy
Odysseus clung to the black crags that bit into his hands, defying 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 tide turn, felt the first tug that would tear him loose. Young crabs were swept back out to sea with more dignity than this. But that knowledge lifted him from his despair. He let go of the rock.
Odysseus could have chuckled at his own craftiness when he found where the water was only choppy, not crashing against the hard shore. He swam while gazing at that fell coast, looking for any imperfection, any gap in those rocks. Something, even a spit of sand in the dawn light. Then he saw it.
A river. The sandy mouth beckoned through the wind-driven spray, but he felt his strength ebbing. Shipwreck and the black rocks had left cuts that stung his hands, and each stroke came weaker.
Then a strange wind pushed him and the waves forward, up the mouth of the river, the sea invading land. He tensed his numb legs, in case some submerged rock would tear at his knees as the reverse current took him upstream. A little cove found him, then he was in still water.