Chryseis and Briseis

Chryseis and Briseis have their own names but they are never spoken while in captivity; they are just their father’s daughters. They see each other sometimes, across the camp, but they don’t get together. What would they say, anyway? “Hey, everything is ashes and burning for you, too? That’s rad, let’s be friends.” No. At least that’s what Chryseis tells herself, but you never know. Maybe they actually would be friends. I mean, yeah, they’ve both been through a lot, maybe that’s something they have in common. Maybe they could do something terrible and wonderful, cut the heads off the men who use them, ignore them, play and barter with them like so many heads of cattle. Maybe they could upset the whole apple cart, end this whole stupid war, die in each other’s arms like total bosses. Still. She can’t quite work up the nerve to say anything, at least not until it’s absolutely too late, when she’s been ransomed out and Briseis is going past to Agamemnon’s tent.

“I’m so sorry,” says Astynome, Chryses’ daughter. “We’ll get you out.”

“Die in a fire, asshole,” spits Briseis. “Go home to your loving family. I hope they burn the whole city down around your ears, like they did mine. I hope you die screaming for the gods to save you with another plague.”

So maybe they wouldn’t have been friends after all.