Sunday, June 27, 2010


A sudden hush had descended over the throne room when the powerfully built warrior had strode proudly in, and now that he had finished giving an account of his task, there was utter silence. The task given to him had seemed both impossible and humiliating to do, but against all odds, the warrior had returned in triumph.

Several of the youths in the room, young men who would one day be mighty fighters in their own rights, looked up at him in hero worship. The maids, hiding behind the pillars and under the doorways, admired his physique and rugged good looks. But for every person in the room who looked in awe, there were three who stared with hatred, and among them was the king.

There was no mistaking the loathing in King Eurystheus' eyes as he glared at the man standing in front of him. He slowly took a deep breath, and tried to calm the roiling anger that was threatening to boil over.

How can it be, he thought to himself, that no matter what I make this fool do, he comes back victorious? Why is it that this man is always successful? Surely there must be something he cannot do!

He had already taken down that vicious lion with the impenetrable skin, by managing to find a way to strangle it.

Then he had gone to Lerna, and had killed the seven-headed beast that resided there and was terrorizing the nearby villages. Nine-headed, he reminded himself, since the cretin had charged in and cut off two of the creatures heads, not knowing that each stump would sprout two new heads... in fact, if it had not been for that other idiot Iolaus who helped him burn the stumps...

Acquiring the golden-antlered hind of the goddess also hadn't proved a problem. How he managed to bargain with the deity he did not know, but the huntress maiden had agreed to lend him the last of her swift-footed does instead of killing him the way she had all others who had attempted to even touch one of her favoured deer.

And when he had brought that man-eating boar into this very room! The king still remembered how he had recoiled in horror when the evil creature, with it's blood-stained tusks, had been led in by the warrior, and how the warrior had pretended to let it loose on the king... oh the horror of it all.

And now this. King Eurystheus silently cursed the heavens. He had sent the warrior to the great stables of Augeas, who had sailed with the legendary ship Argo. Since returning from that voyage, Augeas had been dealing in cattle, and he had huge herds of cattle that had been blessed by the gods themselves. But the blessing had been a double-edged sword, for they produced a great deal of waste, and after 30 years, no one had been able to go within 2 miles of the stables due to the stench that emanated.

The warrior had been told to clean up the place in a day, a humiliating assignment for any warrior, much less the son of the chief god of the Olympians. And yet, he had managed to do it, and even the son of Augeas was giving an eyewitness account of the feat.

"It's true my lord. He diverted the rivers Alpheus and Peneus through the stalls and in less than half a day the place was as clean as the temple of Zeus!" claimed the youth.

The king felt his self-control losing it's grip on his anger. Oh how he wanted to beat his hands against the wall, to scream out the fury that had been building up inside of him, to smash something, but most of all, to wipe that smirk off the face of the warrior standing easily in front of him! Surely there had to be something he could not do, something that no matter how muscle-bound or cunning or intelligent he was, he would never be able to accomplish... something...

And with a start, the king set up. In the quiet and stillness of the room, that movement seemed as loud as the shouts of the phalanxes as they charged into battle. And a disconcerting change came over the king. His eyes, which had been wide with rage, had suddenly narrowed into cold, cold slits, and a cruel smile slowly spread its way across his narrow face. And even the warrior, who had up till then been standing tall and proud, suddenly felt a chill wash over him as the king addressed him:

"Heracles, I have now decided what your six task is." King Eurystheus allowed the deadly silence to hang in the air for a moment.

"Heracles, I want you to lick your elbow."

* * *
I had been watching a history channel program on the 12 Labours of Hercules (Heracles is his actual Greek name. Hercules is the Latin pronunciation) with brother the other day, and this is what he would have made Hercules do if he had been king. For me, I would have loved to see Hercules' reaction if the king had ever given him such an assignment.

Anyway, just a short update on what's been going on, I've finished my 2-week course at TTC (it was really good, learnt a lot of stuff and met new friends there) and have gone for YA retreat (kinda short but it was nice, though I wish they provided golf buggys/buggies for us) and church retreat, which was really awesome, since the Holiday Inn Melaka is really nice, and the bar was showing the world cup matches. Plus it was fun getting to play with the kids, and to get to know the German friend.

I am still aiming to return to Japan as soon as possible, and it seems that most things are falling in place. Most of my medical and psychological tests are clear (which simply means they haven't discovered my mental imbalances yet heh), as are the admin issues. I still don't like taking jabs though, and it didn't help that I've had to get more in the past month than in the past 5 years combined. I've got one tomorrow in fact gah.

I also have an interview with the home council on the 5th of July, so if I do get to leave, it'll definitely have to be after that.

Alright, have fun everyone. Looks like England's gonna be out, but at least for now, Japan's still in. 日本頑張れ!