In response to Writing 101 Day 7 (I’m really late) prompt Give and Take:
Today’s Prompt: Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.
Remember those “compare and contrast” essays in composition class, in which you’re forced to create a clunky juxtaposition of two arguments? Just because that particular form was a bore doesn’t mean that opposition has no place in your writing.
Bringing together two different things — from the abstract and the inanimate to the living and breathing — creates a natural source of tension, and conflict drives writing forward. It makes your reader want to continue to the next sentence, to the next page. So, focus on your two starkly different siblings, or your competing love for tacos and macarons, or whether thoughts are more powerful than words, or…you get the idea.
Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue.
“Iphigenia, will you stop. You are making me dizzy.”
Her sister had been pacing the room for an hour; Cassandra knew why. She understood. They had been in the city two days and they still had not been invited to the palace: against all traditions the emperor had not received the Satrap’s heir and her sister upon their arrival. Cassandra knew it most people would see it as a rebuff though she could not fathom why the emperor would be wroth with the Apollo line. She also knew that it could be their ruler had other things to deal with for now. Regardless, for Iphigenia it was a nightmare. Her sister paced that she did not cry.
“Why? Has he decided to break our betrothal?”
“I do not think so.”
“You don’t think so?” Her sister’s voice broke. “Why can’t you know so?”
“Darling, you know very well why.” Cassandra replied softly. “There is no temple of Apollo in the city.”
“Why haven’t you asked your friends? Two have come today. You did not let them in.”
“I know. I cannot see them before I see the Emperor though. You know that as well as I.”
She could not tell her sister that sensation she’d been having for the past two days; something felt extremely wrong.
“I know.” Her sister pouted trying not to screw her eyes together. “But that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it.”
“Of course not. Darling I understand. Truly I do.”
“Why hasn’t Alexander come to see me?”
“Effie, you know he cannot visit before the emperor has met us and granted his approval for his son to spend time with you.”
“By the gods Cassie! How can you be so calm? It’s infuriating!” Iphigenia threw her hands in the air as if emphasizing her words. Cassandra shrugged slightly.
“Sweetling, I spend days on end trying to listen to the voice of a god I cannot hear. I know he is talking to me but I cannot hear a word he says. I have been failing to hear him since I was twelve except when I am in Babylon or Pellas. That will teach anyone patience.”
“You’ve never said.” Her sister’s eyes were wide opened as if she had understood something.
“How frustrating it was for you to not be able to access your gift.”
“Well it is. Is it a gift when one cannot use it as you and Theseus do yours?” She sighed. It was. And not being able to see now when she should have reconnected when they anchored in Antioch terrified her. Something was wrong and she could not see what. “I am a blind oracle; it is worse than Cassandra’s fate. At least she knew even though none believed her. How can I serve the god if I cannot decipher his will? I do not feel complete. Never.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize how much it affected you. Let me sing for you.”
Iphigenia could be so mercurial… but she had the gift of the god when it came to music. She might have channelled the nine Muses’ blessings. And it soothed her for the time her sister played. She almost felt like she could hear Apollo’s voice in the song but she could not quite catch what he said. That was not right.
When a knock came at the door it startled the two of them.
image is Iphigenia by Herbert Gustave Schmalz