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"What kind of story do you want to hear, my child?" she asked of the child, cooing at him and tickling his stomach. The baby looked at her with vacant eyes, then gurgled and a small bubble formed at the corner of his mouth. The bubble popped with all the magnificence of a roach being squashed.
"Let's make sure you grow up to do more amazing things than that!" Her work was cut out for her, as the child was now trying to make more bubbles, having enjoyed the first one so much. "I don't think I have any stories about bubbles, young one. How about I tell you the story of Samantos, the tragic hero...
The first great tragedy of Samantos' life happened before he was even born. He was just a swell in his mother's stomach at the time. His father, Talatos, was an adamant fighter for the rights of the Metics. They were the immigrant people of Greece. They weren't allowed to speak for themselves in the courts, whether it be when they were accused of a crime or they wished to participate in politics. Talatos saw a great injustice in this: If the Metics could not enter or be heard in court, they could not fight for the right to be heard in court. It was an endless circle of oppression that the Metics were helpless to escape from on their own. Talatos was well-liked and Greek-born. He took up their standard, championing them in the courts as well as local bars or on the streets, anywhere anyone would listen to him. Through his attempts he changed the minds of many a Greek. He worried the minds of many a Greek as well. Men with great power and influence worried what would happen if the Metic people could grab hold of the power held just out of their reach, and for that, Talatos was slain.
Samantos was raised by his mother's calm hand and the guidance of many Metics. They swore to watch over the son of the man who had done so much for them. He grew up alongside both Greek and Metic children. It was a lifestyle that fostered an understanding and acceptance of the Metics; to Samantos, there was no difference between them. Both groups needed air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat... they were the same. By the time he became a man, he had learned the cultures of both peoples. He was also very adept at politics, including his father's seemingly private agenda. All vocal support for equality had died with Talatos. Every Greek knew that their king had ordered the death of the man who spoke for the Metics. They were afraid to challenge that order, and afraid to challenge the status quo. All Greeks except Samantos. His most important challenge came on the opening day of the Olympic Games, with all of Greece and her neighbours in attendance. Winning an event at the Games was the highest honor for a citizen. Samantos, with the help of many underground supporters, snuck Kyados onto the field for the sprinting event. Kyados was an excellent runner, and he was a Metic. As the runners raced, whispers spread through the crowd. When Kyados reached the finish line, in first place, the crowd was silent. Samantos stepped forward and raised Kyados' hand into the air, as he gave a speech about the power and the humanity of the Metics. The King marched towards the pair before the speech began. Samantos' words sent him into such a rage that he picked up a nearby javelin and hurled it at the Metic who had ruined his games. Samantos stood in the way, defiant until his last breath as the cold and unfeeling metal obliterated his heart. The crowd screamed as the King stepped on Samantos and wrenched the javelin out. He never got it free. The crowd, infuriated, mobbed the king. When they left, all that remained of him was a fine dust. They raised the lifeless body of Samantos over their heads, and as the second great tragedy in Samantos' life, he was dead minutes before the speech of the heir-apparent, apologizing for his father's actions and swearing to change the status of the Metics as Samantos' would have wanted."
The baby cried out, and the old woman covered its mouth with her hand.
"I'm not finished yet, child!" She stared him down with her one beady eye. She waved her free hand over his body and it left behind a blue mist. As the mist drifted down onto him, he became calm and closed his eyes. She removed her hand from his mouth and the baby was quiet as it waited for her to continue.
"Though your candle seems snuffed out, just days after your birth, great change will come about, your life will have its worth." The baby waited a few more seconds, then resumed his crying with full force. From the next room came the sound of footsteps. The woman holding the baby set him down in his cradle. She stood, and her skin sparkled then turned ethereal as she faded from view. The bearer of the footsteps came into the child's bedroom.
"Don't worry Samantos, your mother is here. Everything is going to be alright." She bent over and kissed her son, just above his heart.
I am currently working on my writing career, and as part of that, I'm re-writing a lot of my old works to bring them up to my own professional standard. The text here is the newer version of a story I wrote, with details below. This version is expanded a little to give some more information, and to make it clearer who the story-teller is, without just giving it away. Enjoy!

:iconsaysa: had too many entries for the contest, so she chose her top few favourites to give the prize to instead of narrowing it down to just one, and this story was one of the favourites!

My entry into :iconsaysa:'s Random Writing Contest! The randomness told me to write a piece on the theme of Justice, containing the idea of a Purpose, and that had a Positive tone.

Part of the judging is related to how much we challenged ourselves. For me, the act of being positive was a challenge on its own! Most of my stories end in tragedy, despair, or some other such unhappy thing, as I get pretty sick of happy endings in movie and books and things. The best I can usually accomplish is to have something good come of the tragedy, or to have the character grow/escape from it, and I think I managed one of those two things, but I won't say which, if you haven't read it yet!

As always, comments/critiques are very welcomed and enjoyed, as well as favouriting :)
SimplyAreios Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Whenever I read one of your stories, like this one, I always feel as if I'm watching one of Hayo Miazaki's films.
"Why does it have to end?" "Why isn't there more!?"

Needless to say, I very much enjoyed reading this piece.
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January 17, 2011
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