For the week of September 4th, our hosts took inspiration from The Iliad . The given conflict was man vs man. We had a list of optional characters. I chose to write about a soothsayer. We were then given a few options for a theme. I selected "fate vs. free will". The designated setting was "a besieged city".
Then, we were provided this image as optional inspiration:
I wanted to use the image, but wasn't sure how to place it in an "Iliad"-like setting. It occurred to me, that if a soothsayer can read the future is animal entrails, then maybe she could also read it in male anatomy. The following story was the result of this line of thinking.
The Tired Omen
“The Omen says, the day will be bloody, but when the dust has settles, our city’s flag will fly.” The old woman said hoarsely.
“You’re certain?” The General asked.
She glared. “Quite. I prepared the potion with your hair and fed it to the Omen before inducing a trance state. This always produces readable futures in men of his line.”
They looked to the naked man on the pedestal. Every muscle was engaged, straining, holding a statuesque pose. Still, his face betrayed no discomfort.
“The most prominent vein, tendons that twitch, flow of perspiration- all quite revealing. Well, that’s my reading. Off with you. Defend our city.”
Once he left the tent the woman clapped her hands. Trance broken, the man’s body loosened and collapsed.
“Sometimes I think army service would be better than this.” He said, gasping
“I know dear, but remember your reading. It’s Omen or cannon fodder.”