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KING'S BY WASEEM IQBAL FROM R.Y.KAHN, PUNJAB , PAKISTAN

created Feb 11th, 04:26 by WASEEM81


1


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567 words
9 completed
00:00
She did not seem to notice a change had been made. Quickly, I became a disappointment: small, slight, I was not fast. I was not strong. I could not sing. The best that could be said of me was that I was not sickly. The colds and cramps that seized my peers left me untouched. This only made my father suspicious. Was I a changeling, inhuman?
He scowled at me, watching. My hand shook, feeling his gaze. And there was my mother, dribbling wine on herself. I am five when it is my father s turn to host the games. Men gather from as far as Thessaly and Sparta, and our storehouses grow rich with their gold. A hundred servants work for twenty days beating out the racing track and clearing I if stones.
My father is determined to have the finest games of his generation. I remember the runner’s best, nut brown bodies slicked with oil, stretching on the track beneath the sun. They mix together, broad shouldered husbands, beardless youths and boys, their calves al thickly carved with muscle. The bull has been killed, sweating the last of its blood into dust and dark bronze bowls. It went quietly it its death, a good omen for the games to come. The runners are gathered before the dais where my father and I sit, surrounded by prizes we will give to the winners.
He wins. I stare as my father lifts the garland from my lap and crowns him; the leaves seem almost black against the brightness of his hair. His father, Peleus, comes to claim him, smiling and proud Peleus   kingdom is smaller than ours, but his wife is rumored to be a goddess, and his people love him. My own father watches with envy. His wife is stupid and his son too slow to race in even the youngest group. He turns to me.
  That is what a son should be.   My hands feel empty without the garland. I watch king Peleus embrace his son. I see the boy toss the garland in the air, and catch it again. He is laughing, and his face is bright with victory. Beyond this, I remember little more than scattered images from my life then: my father frowning on his town, a cunning toy horse I loved, my mother on the beach, her eyes turned towards the Aegean.
In this last memory, I am skipping stones for her, plink  plink, across the skin of the sea. She seems to like the way the ripples look, dispersing back to glass. Or perhaps it is the sea itself she likes. At her temple a starburst of white gleams like bones, the scar from the time her father hit her with the hilt of a sword. He toes poke up from the sand where she has buried them, and IK am careful not to disturb them as I search for rocks I choose one and fling it out, glad to be good at this.
It is the only memory I have of my mother and so golden that I am almost sure I have made it up. After all, it was unlikely for my father to have allowed us to be alone together his simple son and simpler wife. And sheer are we? I do not recognize the beach, the view of coastline. So much has passed since then
 
 

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