POV: You Are a Dead Greek

Written By Avra Margariti

Avra Margariti is a queer author and Pushcart-nominated poet with a fondness for the dark and the darling. Avra’s work haunts publications such as Strange Horizons, F&SF, The Deadlands, Vastarien, and Reckoning. Avra lives and studies in Athens, Greece. You can find Avra on twitter (@avramargariti).

1 – Antigone

POV: You are the orphaned princess of Thebes and your brother is dead, but your uncle the new King refuses to let you perform your brother’s burial and mourning rites. You will go against your uncle’s orders. You will be buried, alive, in the belly of the earth. But that’s not how your death will occur. You will hang yourself before the tomb’s asphyxiation can claim you, defying the rule of kings and their unjust punishments once more.

2 – Hyacinthos

POV: You are the queer lover of Apollo, the Sun God, who abandons his duty to teach you the art of music and prophecy. During your courtship, other gods and mortals will grow envious of your beauty, and of Apollo for keeping you all to himself. Zephyros, the West Wind, will covet you most of all. While playing a game of quoits, Zephyros will blow Apollo’s discus off course. The blow will be enough to kill you, your body turned into a flower at the grieving Apollo’s behest.

3 & 4 – Castor & Polydeuces

POV: You are the Dioscuri, twins hatched from a swan’s egg, brothers to Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra. You will die, but no myth-maker will agree on the details. You will fall in battle. You will be held in the seed-sprouting earth. Each brother will walk on Earth on alternate days. You will become twin constellations in the sky, patron saints of travelers and sailors. But always, you will walk in death together.

5 – Lycaon

POV: You are the King of Arcadia, blessed with a fruitful land and fifty strong sons, but you have grown arrogant and callous. Zeus will seek shelter into your palace, invoking the rules of hospitality. You will try to trick him into eating human flesh to ascertain if he is truly an all-knowing God; you will feed him soup made from your young son’s entrails. For your hubris, Zeus will turn you into a wolf, raining lightning down on your palace and your lineage.

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    6 – Aeschylus

    POV: You are a renowned tragedian from Eleusis, writer of several plays, only a few of which will remain extant for future generations. An eagle will kill you by dropping a tortoise on your head, mistaking it for a rock.

    7 – Callisto

    POV: You are a nymph and loyal follower of Artemis, hunting wild beasts in the mountains with your goddess lover. Zeus will seduce you by assuming Artemis’ form; thinking him your female lover, you will lie with him, only to realize you are now pregnant with his son. Your goddess will turn you into a bear and banish you from her domain. One day, in the forest, your grown son will try to kill you while hunting. You will be turned into the Ursa Major constellation, a bear forever roaring in the sky.

    8 – Helle

    POV: You are the young daughter of a Boeotian king and the half-nymph Nephele. Hated by your stepmother, you and your twin brother will escape a sacrificial death on the back of a flying golden ram, whose fleece Iasonas and the Argonauts will later go on to steal. While flying over the sea, you will fall, while your brother holds on. You will drown, giving the Hellespont your name.

    9 – Tiresias

    POV: You are a blind and powerful prophet well-versed in avian augury, and you have lived in both male and female bodies throughout your long life spanning seven generations. You will die impaled by arrows and drinking tainted spring water. Even in death, your clairvoyancy will not wane: you will be able to converse with the living without drinking the sacrificial blood required for the dead souls to remember life beyond the Underworld and its Asphodel Fields.

    10 – Patroclus

    POV: You will be killed in the ninth year of the Trojan war, by a spear meant for your lover Achilles, whose armor you wore. Achilles will raze the earth in your name. You will be remembered, always, while the ashes of Achilles cradle yours in the same golden urn.