Beautiful. But stupid, too. Part bird, part god, what was anybody expecting of her, anyway? A peacock lives for twenty years, but a swan? Too sad. Too, too sad. It took fifteen years but, by the end, even in Sparta, they were calling her Helen of Troy. At her centre now was a trinket box, gold and silver filigree. She carried it with her back to Sparta after the end of the war, and, by then, all that it contained were wisps of smoke and the screams of the Trojan women, the wives of the city. Cassandra should have burned her while she slept. Men die on their own. Women last longer. Helen outlived all of her squabbling men and came, at least, to Rhodes, her welcome in Sparta well run out. Such is life. Such is history. And Helen had no sons to keep her there. Polxyo welcomed Helen with one arm open, all the time holding her gown shut over the empty room that was her heart. When men died on the beaches of Troy they buried them in great ditch graves and there was only her, only Polyxo to remember her, her husband, Tle-pole-mus like a song. All of those dead husbands, and everyone of them dead for her.For Helen of Sparta.1
1 The end is simple: the Erinyes return rightness to the world, but, rarely, are they kind. Mortal women are crueller still and who knows what Polyxo paid her handmaidens to don wings and cruel knives, and who knows what they will pay for what they did? Mortal women hanging a mortal woman from a tree that bent slightly under her weight, but, in the end, held.
Hanging is hell on a face.