Prompt: Cassandra (Greek mythology)
α. Apollo is there when she wakes, crouched down beside her in the sand of an unfamiliar shore. Her throat aches from where Clytemnestra drew the knife across it, though she does not know that then—only the ache when she breathes. (It is the one scar that will never heal; the blade went too deep, the hand the wielded it struck too true.)
I was dead, she says to the god, who is watching her with eyes like the unforgiving sun.
No, he answers. You will never die. I’m sorry.
They are both lying, of course. (It is an old game.) Still, Apollo helps her to her feet, and she feels his eyes on her as she walks away, down the sand.
β. The centuries wax and wane, she dies. She is never dead. The Sibyls pity and shelter her, until there are no more Sibyls. Then she is alone.