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A Sequel to the Odyssey By Grace VanVerseveld, Class of 2022 It was a rainy day as Odysseus sat in his home in Ithaca. He was lounging in his bedroom as his wife, Penelope, played soft melodies on a small lyre. It had been a year since he had returned home and reunited with his family. In fact, it was the anniversary of his return, but this simple fact had slipped his mind. He had other worries at the moment. It had been raining on Ithaca for three weeks with no end, and the seas were turning violent. All fishing had been brought to a halt, but many families relied on fishing to provide for their family. Something at the back of Odysseus’s mind was trying to warn him of a great danger, a threat from long ago. It was a threat made by the great sea god Poseidon himself. He had once told Odysseus that he would he ever return to the shores of his home of Ithaca again, but somehow, Odysseus managed to defeat the odds. Little did he know that his home and family would be torn viciously away from him yet again, and that Poseidon’s threat would soon become true. Odysseus would never see Ithaca again. It started when Penelope had grown sick. It was that afternoon of the anniversary of Odysseus’s return. She was stricken with a sudden and unknown sickness. Odysseus was filled with fear and grief at his wife’s condition, and his son, Telemachus, volunteered to go to Athens to ask the scholars if they knew of a cure. Odysseus tried to stop him, but relented in the end as Telemachus refused to take no for an answer. He had set sail that very moment and sailed through the violent waves. Odysseus had prayed to every god he knew for the protection of his son and wife. Sadly, he did not get what he prayed for. After two months, Telemachus still had yet to come back and Penelope had only gotten worse. The storms had finally calmed down, and the rain had stopped as suddenly as it had begun, so Odysseus sent an inquiry to Athens to find out about the whereabouts of his son. The word he received back weeks later had informed him that Telemachus had never arrived. Odysseus was stricken by grief. His only son and heir was gone; lost at sea at the hands and mercy of Poseidon. He thought back to his own times on the sea where he was as lost as a baby animal who was separated from his mother and was searching desperately for a way back home, calling out to anyone who would listen as he wandered aimlessly into trials and danger which only strengthened his fear. Odysseus called his most trusted advisors tell help him figure out what to do. He needed to find his son, but he also needed to heal his wife. “What am I to do?” he asked as he paced back and forth in his throne room. “Maybe, you could go out and search for your son. We will make sure Penelope is taken care of, and you can bring Telemachus home,” one advisor suggested. Another advisor glared at the first. “Are you mad? That idea is completely ridiculous. It’s bad enough that our heir is missing, but you want to send the king away too?” “It is the only way,” the first advisor insisted. “Well, if you can’t figure out a safer and more sensible way to solve this problem, then you truly are a fool.” “Both if you. Stop this mindless bickering,” Odysseus commanded. Both advisors became quiet instantly. “I have made my decision. I will go and find Telemachus. Prepare my ship right away.” “Sir, I advise you against this. It is dangerous out there, and you (Continued on page 15…) 14

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