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Helen Before Troy

New fiction from Heather O'Neill.

My mother had heard of some of Zeus’s other children. There was a boy who had the head of a bull and bit everyone who came next to him. She thought all of Zeus’s children were lonely. It was only a matter of how lonely they were. How lonely was I? I wasn’t really lonely at all. But I felt loneliness as a sort of foreshadowing. It felt as if I would always be somewhere I did not quite belong. 

Zeus took the form of a swan when he impregnated my mother. So I was born in an egg with my sister Clytemnestra. I liked being a twin. When I first came into the world my limbs were wrapped around the limbs of someone else. I thought I was an eight-limbed monster who could whisper into their own ear. 

Who was it that decided we should crack ...

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