Thursday, February 25, 2010


There once was a man named Achilles. He was given a choice by a prophetess: live a long life and be happy among his children, or fight a war and be remembered forever.

You know his story. You know his choice. This is not his story. This is not his choice.

A man sits by the beach. He has been called back to war; the generals all know what a morale boost he would bring--The great warrior, fighting on our side! How could we lose?

He's been greeted by a young woman, one he knows to be a prophet. He does not fully understand her powers, he does not need to. He trusts.

And she has given him a choice. She did not create this choice, she simply laid out all the consequences for him and...left. Left him to decide.

On the one hand: Go out to war. Be remembered forever, but die, soon.

On the other: Stay. Raise a family. Be happy. Live a good, long life amongst his offspring and loving wife. But be forgotten.

And as he watches the sun set, he wonders what he should choose. Life, now, or life, forever, among memories.

There's no easy way to choose this. It's not like when he was young, and had nothing much at home to interest him except learning to fight. Of course he was going to be a warrior then. What else would you be, when only fighting held your interest?

So he had gone out and fought. And fought well, earned respect, earned rank, earned--he smiled a little to himself--more than a few admirers.

But he knew he could settle down. Fighting wasn't all he was anymore, just a part of it. He actually enjoyed the idea of settling down, not with that passion that he enjoyed fighting, but enjoyed it, nonetheless.

He closed his eyes and listened to the beach; heard, off in the distance, the sounds of the village. The calm, quiet place he had been so bored with as a youth.

He made his choice.

Hm? What was his name? I don't know. We've forgotten it.

1 comment:

  1. I can't help but admire a man like Whatshisname. I wish I could say I'd make the same choice.


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