Helena The Huntress

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a short fictional myth explaining why we put flowers on graves that I wrote for an English essay at age 12. It is set in Ancient Greece, when the greek gods ruled and were worshipped. Helena is a Hunter of Artemis, sworn to never fall in love, but, naturally, she does. Read it to find out more...

Submitted: February 27, 2010

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Submitted: February 27, 2010

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Helena The Huntress

Helena was an attractive young huntress, sworn to serve the Lady Artemis forever as a maiden. Artemis had granted her many things; never aging, beauty and the skill and accuracy of a true huntress. In return, all she asked was that Helena swear an oath to never fall in love. For 300 years this was never an issue, but in the course of once day, all that changed.

Helena was strolling through a thick, murky forest one afternoon when she came across an unconscious young man with a nasty head wound. She felt a surge of pity for the man, so she knelt down next to him and began nursing his wound. As she tended to him, she noted how perfectly his lovely  sandy-blond hair framed his handsome, tanned face. She traced the outline of his perfectly formed lips lightly with her finger, when he suddenly groaned and opened his eyes. His gorgeous blue-grey eyes bored into hers, momentarily holding her in a trance. Finally, she managed to look down, blushing. He cracked a smile and said in a mellifluous voice, "I thank thee, fair maiden, for saving me. My name is Travis. Pray, tell me, what is thy name?" Helena recovered from the impact of the melody of his voice and replied,

"I am Helena, huntress and hand-maiden of the goddess Artemis. Forgive me, but I must ask, what is thy motive for being alone in these parts of the woods?" He flashed her an impish grin and said,

"Well, Helena, perhaps I ought to ask thee the same question."

By the time Apollo had started to ride his sun-chariot west, Helena and Travis were happily acquainted, chatting about this and that in the coolness of the evening. When they finally parted, and Helena was left on her own again, she was absolutely sure of one thing; she was absolutely and irrevocably in love with Travis. She began seeing him regularly in soft glow of the summer twilight.

Their love was perfect, her happiness complete. Except for one thing. Lady Artemis was not a goddess to be trifled with, and she liked her oaths to be honoured. So when she discovered Helena's lover, she was enraged. Artemis strung her bow and ran into the woods where the happy couple where enjoying the sunset. Her keen eyes flashed lethally as she raced past the trees. As Artemis came into view, Helena gasped and screamed at her beloved Travis to run. He would have nothing of it though, and bravely took the arrow Artemis had fired at Helena. He slumped to the forest floor, bleeding violently. Helena dropped down next to him, tears blurring her vision. His voice came out weak and out of breath. "Helena, save thyself. I love thee..." He cut short, and taking a ragged breath, he looked up at her one last time. His body then shuddered and his head lolled to one side, his vacant eyes still staring up at her.

"I love thee too," she whispered, and closed his eyes with a shaky finger.

Helena decided to honour his last request, so she sprinted between the trees, away from Artemis, away from Travis' body. She ran, tears streaming down her face, until she reached Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The beautiful goddess raised her eyebrows when she was the young huntress, but when Helena told her story and pleaded for help, Aphrodite took pity on her, and promised that as long as she wished it, Artemis could not touch her. Helena thanked her gratefully, but at that exact moment, Artemis turned up in the clearing, gloating about her kill. Helena got so angry, she no longer wished for protection. Instead, she marched towards Artemis, and fired an arrow that should have hit the goddess' chest, but Artemis flicked it away with ease, and fired on of her own. Helena saw the silver arrow coming, and silently pleaded Aphrodite for an easy passage into the Underworld. The arrow skewered Helena's heart, blood pouring rapidly out of the fatal wound. As she collapsed into death, she gave one last pleading glance in Aphrodite's direction. Satisfied with her kill, Artemis smirked at Aphrodite, and skipped mockingly away, her auburn waves bouncing gleefully. Aphrodite felt a need to answer the brave girl's plea, so she blessed her spirit so that she may be reunited with her lover in eternal bliss in the peaceful Fields of Elysium.

Then Aphrodite placed flowers on Helena's grave, to honour what she did for love. People still follow this custom, putting flowers on loved ones' graves. That is how this sweet tradition originated; the sacrifice of a young girl who got the pity of the goddess of love.

-Ariadne xxx


© Copyright 2020 Ariadne. All rights reserved.

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