A much quieter day.

Ajax’s funeral was held this afternoon down by the water.

There was a large funeral pyre and speeches were made. However, I decided not to go.

I didn’t really feel like spending another evening at an Achaean assembly. Besides, there were a lot of things that needed to be tended to about camp.

The last few days of celebration not only did a number on our site, but some of our soldiers had let the leisure go to their heads.

I hate to do it, but I had to be a real bastard today. I even went so far as to have Misenus whip a guy. I really despise corporal punishment, but the asshole talked back when I asked whose duty it was to clean the latrines.

I rewarded the guy with five lashes and the job to boot. -He should’ve known better.

Anyway, after getting our Ithacans back in order, I headed over to check on the Horse.

When I saw it, I almost had to laugh.

The Horse finally has a head, complete with an enormous set of pearly-white teeth. -It seems that was what Elpenor had ordered the shells for.

When I arrived, Elpenor was up top with a few guys, working on braiding a huge rope mane.

There’s no doubt that Elpenor and Epieus went overboard, but it really looks great.

At any rate, their extra efforts can’t hurt. It is supposed to be a gift after all. -Dropping off a wooden horse of inferior quality might make the Trojans even more suspicious than they are already bound to be.

Epeius told me the Horse should be complete by the end of the week.

I suppose that’s a good thing, but I’m getting a bit nervous about it.

Unfortunately, I came too late for lunch.

Despite my best efforts, Epeius was unresponsive to the hints I kept dropping about dinner.

I know I don’t have the right, but it kind of pissed me off. -I guess being a bastard put me in a bad mood.

I’ll tell Odysseus about the Horse tomorrow.


-And the funerals don’t stop.

This time, it’ll be for Ajax.

This morning, the majority of the army gathered once again for the festivities closing the Achilles Honor Games.

Fires were burning all over camp, and the smell of roasted pork was thick in the air.

Yesterday, Agamemnon decreed that fifty pigs would be cooked in honor of the late Achilles. -Unfortunately, Agamemnon didn’t decree who would supply how many pigs.

Our camp is low on livestock. However, in his zeal to please the Commander-in-Chief, Odysseus ordered Macar to donate five of our pigs to the feast.

I would assume that the other camps are experiencing the same shortages. Even so, we somehow ended up with about one hundred and twenty pig roasts.

Anyway, I went with Polites, Euryalus and Misenus. Polites had a bottle of wine with him, and one already in him. -He was in particularly good spirits.

When we arrived, Agamemnon, Menelaus and Nestor were standing on the same small platform.

As we approached, Agamemnon was loudly recounting the winners of the previous competitions. As each winner was announced, a small island of shouting would erupt from the crowd, indicating where the victor was standing.

Not long after we got there, the Commander-in-Chief recognized Euryalus as the winner of the javelin toss.

Polites gave his whole-hearted support. Even after the cheers around us had diminished, Polites was vigorously voicing his approval. In fact, Agamemnon’s introduction for the long-jump was punctuated by an all too obvious “Fuckin' Apollo, Yeah!” from Polites.

Misenus nearly pulled Polites to the ground as the crowd around us erupted into laughter. -Luckily, although the Commander-in-Chief frowned in our direction, it seemed he was unable to identify the source.

After these announcements were made, Agamemnon yielded the floor to Nestor.

Once again, Nestor had composed a poem for Achilles.

Apparently, the accolades Nestor had received for his last ode to Achilles had inspired him to write another. -Unfortunately, this one kind of sucked.

I don’t know if it was just his words or if it was due to his delivery, but Nestor’s second elegy was nothing but campy. The first line was: “Oh lucky Olympus! Oh lucky, lucky Olympus! You have clutched our brother to your bosom!” -Fortunately, we didn’t have to suffer it in its entirety.

About three minutes into Nestor’s poem, a piercing shout from behind the stage hijacked everyone’s attention.

Standing in a clearing between tents, completely naked but for sword and shield, was Ajax, King of the Salamisians.

Ajax looked awful. Even at fifty meters away, his pallor was obviously unnatural. His red eyes were deeply sunken, his skin was a grayish green, and his bright pink shoulder wound was oozing pus liberally over his shield arm.

Seemingly in a trance, Ajax swayed. Then, focusing his attention upon the crowd, he yelled something incoherent and began to stagger towards us.

A handful of Salamisians officers were desperately trying to restrain him.

However, each time one would get near striking distance, Ajax would wildly swing at the offender. –In fact, the shout we had heard was apparently from an officer who stood close by, holding a bleeding shoulder.

Except for Ajax and his men, no one took action. Glancing to the platform I saw that even Agamemnon was pacified by the compelling horror of Ajax’s approach.

Overcome with awe, we all silently watched a tragedy unfold.

Much to the dismay of his entourage, Ajax continued to hobble towards us. Although he was utterly incoherent, it was obvious that Ajax was upset. Yet, as much as he was perturbed by his underlings, it appeared that Ajax was equally frustrated by the state of his condition.

And so, every time Ajax stumbled, he became even more agitated. -Although they had little choice, the opposition of his soldiers was only making matters worse.

Yet, despite Ajax’s fury, not one of us Achaeans stepped back. -It seemed impossible that he would cover the distance.

Finally, following a mad assault upon one of his officers, the King of the Salamisians abrupty collapsed.

Lying flat on his face, perfectly still, it appeared Ajax might have expired.

Nervously, the Salamisian officers gathered around him. When he proved unresponsive to their queries, they gingerly attempted to roll him over.

However, once he was touched, Ajax released a savage cry. He then clutched onto an officer’s face, and bit him viciously on the mouth. -The other officers scattered, screaming like girls.

Ajax shoved his bloodied victim back, and with renewed vigor, leapt to his feet.

It was then that the King of the Salamisians then made his last stand. Raising his sword, he called something like: “Angwauraah!” and charged the Achaean army.

Or so it seemed.

Even as the entire army drew back from this singular onslaught, Ajax made a surprise turn and drove his sword deep into a tethered cow.

Ajax screamed in victory. The cow mooed in defeat. And then, both victor and victim collapsed.

Polites chortled loudly, but Misenus punched him hard in the ribs.

As a result of Ajax's extraordinary demise, the festivities closing the Achilles Honor Games were somewhat subdued.

Although it wasn’t announced, I assume a funeral for Ajax will be held tomorrow. However, I don’t expect the Ajax Honor Games to follow. -I think our men have celebrated enough death for some time.

Odysseus stopped by this evening, although I am not quite sure why. -He did bring me some pork.

The General didn’t have anything in particular to say, yet he seemed hesitant to leave. -I suppose Ajax’s death has put him off a bit.

Anyway, I tried to make conversation with Odysseus for about an hour, but his mind seemed to be somewhere else. Finally, he just asked me to order him some sandals and a new bedroll and left.