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Ονειρων προσφερεις μορφωμασιν (Appearing Like Images of Dreams)

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Cassandra enters the palace with her eyes closed shut. Unerringly her feet forge a path up the stairs and into the hall, though her mind is still full of images: blood that pours from Agamemnon and from her, the distant chambers of Hades which soon will be her home. It will be a blessing to be out of Apollo's burning reach.

Clytaemnestra's footsteps clack across stone. "You dare come into my house, you little harlot?"

"There seemed no point in waiting." The backs of her eyelids are burning red, but in this flickering echo of torchlight Cassandra sees every year that Clytaemnestra waited for her husband to come home, the thoughts of Helen with her new man, the hope that she and Helen were still alike enough to find pleasure in the same things. She sees pain and knife-sharp memory.

Not to mention anger. "Look at your better, girl!" The footsteps storm closer, no longer disguising the wet drag of Clytaemnestra's blood-soaked chiton or the madness breathing at the edge of her voice. Cassandra knows that madness well; it makes her laugh and laugh and laugh.

Laughing, indeed, she falls to the floor, ten long years of war from all three of their perspectives filling her mind beyond capacity; it's Cassandra's that gutters and dies.

"Helen, how could you leave Sparta? Will I ever see you again?"

"I am happy here, sister - on the days I do not weep."

"Do you even remember me? When we were children? I have no memory of you, just three too different daughters: one dead, one mad, one dull and plain and reverent."

"I'll have no children, but you're always in my heart."

"Come home, so I may laugh with you again; I am so dreadfully alone."

"Come home to Troy - the world is vast and splendid, you will see."

"... If they return without you, then I'll go. I have yet work to do."

"You are diligent, sister, all too..."

"GET UP!" Clytaemnestra is screaming. "GET UP!"

Cassandra's mind is still overcome by the great dark anger she can see. She does not get up, but is dragged, clothes wrenched around her neck as she is tossed against the wall. Wetness seeps onto her hair from somewhere near pain in her skull; she wonders if Apollo is watching, if he cares his favourite toy is being broken. "How could you?" she begs in someone's voice, certain only that it isn't hers.

"FILTHY TROJAN WHORE!"

She's thrown again; it feels like she's been bathing, with her skin soft from oil but her hair still wet, dripping on her shoulders. The pain is gone, but she's sure it shan't forget her.

Aegisthus' bed was never enough. Oh, yes, she sees that now. They are not so alike, in the end, these sisters. Helen would never let the blood touch her hands.

"LOOK AT ME!"

The last sight Cassandra sees is her most complete and perfect vision; it's accompanied by a crack like thunder. It is a woman's face drawn white, blood in her hair and on her cheeks, eyes dark and hollow.

And so she goes.