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A Different Take on The Odyssey by Homer
Invocation of the Muse
As I sit at this computer, eating a snack,
I am also planning my method of attack.
But I realize, that by myself, this story
will never be told greatly, just hunky- dory.
Hear my cry, O Great Choc O’Lates, god of all good things chocolate, help me tell the story of Liv, the great hero and her group of friends. Now please help me recall this great event.
Great Choc O’ Lates, you are so powerful, teach me in your ways to go. With your kingdom of chocolate, you guide and direct, only doing good things. I beg of your help.
There was a girl, confident and beaming, loving life, never once considering leaving. She speaks with great kindness and never fails to lend a hand, witty, pretty, and clever.
She was a normal girl, living in a very normal world. This courageous girl was Liv, smart, brilliant, and bold. Looking at the positives in life and finding new things to do was her goal.
With flowing red hair and bright blue eyes, she was a beauty. Little did she know it. Some would say that she didn’t know she was beautiful. She was the envy of all girls but was not proud, nor did she wear pearls.
Expecting a fun and exciting weekend camping trip with friends at Hanscom Park,
not knowing the journey she was to embark. A treacherous journey for a girl her age, she herself becoming a hero and sage.
Six friends, good friends at that, took
a camping trip just to get a good look. Three boys and three girls, friends since birth, Veronica, Scarlett, Liv, Jake, John, and Bob they were, experiencing the world together.
One Saturday they sat bored, looking for something to do. “What should we do?” cried Veronica. “I know, the zoo!”
“Yes!” Scarlett replied, “That’s a great idea! I’ve wanted to see the new monkeys!”
“Oh, I don’t know guys, that sounds great, but the zoo’s expensive, much too ornate.
I’d much rather do something simple, something we would all enjoy.” Jake said.
The friends were dumbfounded. What could they do that everyone would enjoy? If they didn’t go to the zoo, what exactly could they do? Liv, the loveable leader of the group, was at a loss as well.
Liv bowed her head and began to pray.
“Dear God, please turn our day from gray. We need your help, what can we do?
Jake really didn’t want to go to the zoo!
Please hear my prayer, and make our day!”
Swift, like a cheetah running after prey, there came their sign. “I know,” cried Liv. “Why don’t we go camping? We can prepare this morning, and camp tonight at Hanscom Park! That’s close to home!”
“What a great idea, Liv,” Veronica exclaimed. “Bob and I will go and get the tents and all the gear. Scarlett and John, you go get the bug spray. Liv and Jake, you’re in charge of food!”
Camping and a Hardship
After spending the afternoon hustling and bustling around, running errands and preparing for their camping trip, the time had come for the friends to meet. Like bees around their honey comb, the friends flittered, meeting at the fire pit.
The six of them were laughing and giggling. Cold and chilly, they couldn’t stop wiggling. It was the best time, a memory that would last forever. That was until it was time for s’mores. The marshmallows were nowhere to be found! The air turned tense.
“Who forgot the ‘shallows?” Scarlett asked, shakily. “You guys know I need my daily sugar, or else I get a little cuckoo! Oh gosh, oh gosh, mon dieu*, mon dieu*!”
“Scar, calm down! Everything is going to be okay! Jake and I must have forgotten to get them when we were at the store. There’s a simple solution, we’ll go down to the store and get some marshmallows.” Liv said calmly.
“Yeah, Liv and I will go. I mean, we forgot them anyway. We’ll walk down; you guys stay here, and have a good time. Oh, and keep Scarlett sane while we’re gone, John.” Jake replied.
“Oh I don’t know guys, that’s a lot for only two of you to handle by yourself, I mean, I love marshmallows as much as the next girl, but are they worth the dangerous journey?” Veronica stated.
“YES!” Scarlett cried. “Marshmallows are my life. I love them, they make me happy. Now go get me some before I get snappy.”
“It’s ok, honestly, we’ll go. God will help us on our journey, as will our keen senses and attractive looks.” Liv said. Upon receiving looks from the group, she added, “I was kidding about the looks, have a laugh!”
“So it’s said, we’ll be on our way. Keep safe guys, and have some fun while we are gone.” Jake nodded. And with that, Liv and Jake, the fearless out of the group, set out on their journey to buy some marshmallows.
The Journey Begins
“Well, Jake, we are going to have to make the dangerous journey down Center Street. It is vital that we stick together, no matter what happens.” Liv warned.
“I know Liv, I realize that, I just hope that we have the endurance to finish the task at hand. It’s very important we fulfill our promises to our friends, and I’m willing to take a risk,” Jake stated bravely.
The two friends went off and said no more. They thought of their friends, wanting and wishing to be with the great group of four. Dusting off their wishful thinking, they turned the corner and started off on their journey down the beast called Center Street.
Jake and the Tree- Trial #1
They had been journeying for some minutes. Jake was thinking, and began to grimace. “What’s wrong, Jake? Do you see something? Is someone coming?” Liv panicked.
“No, no, I’m just thinking about my life. Things like if I’ll get married, or find a wife. It’s a difficult topic, wondering brings strife. I have always wondered, but never deeply. I just wish I had a crystal ball or something.”
“I hear you Jake, life is one big, beautiful mess.” Liv replied calmly. When Jake didn’t respond, she didn’t think anything of it. She had just figured he had been very deep in thought. After a few minutes of walking, she noticed the only footsteps she heard were her own. She began to panic.
Like a young mother looking for a lost child, she cried, “Jake, Jake! Where are you?” Yet, the young boy was nowhere to be found. Liv was distraught, how could someone have gotten him that quickly? She was with him only seconds ago!
Liv dropped to the ground and silently wept. In the darkness, a small, magical creature, unbeknownst to Liv, came and crept.
“My pretty,” began the small fairy-like creature. “Why are you so upset?”
Holding back a gasp while taking in the tiny creature, no bigger than a pen, Liv responded, “Who are you? What are you? Why are you here? Please don’t hurt me. Please. I’m just looking for my friend.”
Much to Liv’s dismay, the creature laughed. “Oh darling, I’m a Finn, don’t be so daft! We Finns like to help people when they are in need of help here on Center Street! I don’t work with the darker forced on the Street.”
“Oh!” cried Liv, whose crying had ceased. “I have heard of your kind! You come to help those who are in need! Well, please help me! I’ve lost my friend, Jake. We were just talking and I have no idea where he went!”
“Sweetie, Jake is fine. He just ran into a tree and you didn’t hear him. He’s just a bit out of it. Come, and I’ll guide you to him,” the Finn replied.
Cautiously, Liv followed the little Finn. When she saw Jake, she could only grin. There, Jake lay, looking slightly confused at what had just happened. “Oh Jake! I’m so glad that you’re okay!” Liv shouted, throwing her arms around his neck. “I was so worried; thank goodness that you are alright!”
“Uh, Liv, I ran into a tree, I didn’t get run over by a car! I’ll live,” Jake replied sarcastically. “C’mon that’s enough hugging; you’re being such a girl!”
“Jake, be quiet! Excuse me for being concerned about my friend. Let’s get going. Thank you so much, little Finn, I wouldn’t have found Jake without you!” Liv said.
“Oh no problem, remember if you ever need any help, I’m just a wink away!” the Finn replied. And at that, the young boy and girl continued on their journey down Center Street.
Journey to the Underworld-The Greek Islands- Trial #2
Center Street was known as the food empire. Not many people could make it past without eating at one of the restaurants, not making it to their destination due to over indulgence.
As Liv walked, she noticed Jake eyeing the many restaurants, seeing hunger in his eyes. “Jake, ignore the smell of the french fries! Resist the temptation! A bigger prize will be achieved when we see the happiness on our friends’ faces!”
The aroma was overwhelming, french fries from Richie’s, and pizza and breadsticks from Valentino’s! Then, they came to the Greek Islands, the Greek aroma was intoxicating, unable to be withstood.
Suddenly a voice with a welcoming Greek accent spoke, “Oh, Liv, c’mon in and have some food! We know you are hungry! We have some gyros here with your name on them!”
Liv began walking toward the building, entranced. Snap out of it! She thought, but it was no use. She was under their spell, on her way to the underworld; the deep dark place that travelers never made it back from.
As she indulged, she kept thinking of how to get out of this mess, how to overcome it.
Suddenly, she remembered her great whit, and with that she began to thrash and hit.
“No more of this,” she cried. “I’m not going to take it, I’ll fight you, I am going to succeed and reach my destination to make my friends happy!”
“But, Liv, you must eat more!” The Greek man with the accent began. “We cannot let the food go to waste, so you must keep eating.”
Liv would not listen. After eating two plate fulls, Liv could barely move. Why did I eat that much? What will my friends do without their marshmallows? She thought, and suddenly, she remembered the little Finn’s words.
Quickly, Liv winked one of her eyes. Then, the little Finn appeared. “Are you in need of my assistance? I see you remembered my saying, you smart girl, you!”
“Please help me! I can barely move, and I don’t want to disappoint my friends.
I can overcome the temptation.
This is such a bad tribulation.
Please help me overcome it!”
“Darling, you have the power right in here,” the Finn said, pointing to Liv’s heart. “Just believe in yourself and you can overcome any temptations that you wish to.” Then the Finn departed.
With that, Liv had a newfound strength. She rose up, ignoring the words of the Greek man trying to get her to continue eating. She began to run, despite the fullness of her stomach. She ran and didn’t stop until she ran head first into Jake.
“Jake! I did it! I made it out of the underworld! I’m a survivor! I succeeded, the little Finn was right!” Liv said, hugging Jake a second time that night.
“What is with you today? You and your hugging self are kind of freaking me out!” Jake laughed. “I’m proud of you, Liv, I wouldn’t have had your strength. Now let’s go get those marshmallows.”
Crossing Center Street- Trial #3
The two journeyed past The Center, Subway and Burger King, remembering not to give into their aroma temptation. Then they came across the street from Hy-Vee.
There were cars bustling this way and that, and Liv began to stress. Could they make it across without getting hit and splat?
“Jake, I don’t think we can cross. It’s too dangerous,” Liv stated plainly.
Picture lightning striking the beach during a great storm; that is how Scarlett appeared, riding an E.T. like bike, and landing in front of her two shocked friends.
“Oh hey guys. Do you need some help? Check out my new ride, you like?” Scarlett babbled. Liv and Jake stood dumbfounded, searching for words.
Regaining her voice, Liv wondered, “Scar, I thought you were staying back with the others! How did you get here? Why are you here?”
“I know how dangerous Center Street is, Liv, I knew you two would need some help crossing it. So, I snuck away and ran to my house. I grabbed this nifty bike and then flew it down here, and waited until you got here,” Scarlett replied as if it were the simplest thing to do in the world. “Well are you going to get on or not? I am seriously lacking some sugar, I need marshmallows.”
Liv and Jake hesitantly climbed aboard. They pedaled and Hy-Vee they went toward. When they reached the other side, the two hopped off, thanked Scarlett, she told them she would pick them up later, and off she went.
Emma- Trial #4
Jake and Liv, who had made it through Center Street, were now standing in the Hy-Vee entrance. “We made it!” Liv exclaimed. “Now let’s go get us some marshmallows!”
The two began searching the aisles desperately for the marshmallows. While Liv was passing the chip aisle, she heard a familiar voice, “MOM! I found the marshmallows! There is only one pack left!”
The voice belonged to Emma Staed, a nice girl Liv went to school with. Liv followed Emma’s voice and began to run as fast as she ever had in her life. “No! Emma those are mine!” Liv screamed.
“Um, no, they’re mine; I found them just sitting here!” Emma stated. “My mom is making marshmallow cake and needs a pack of marshmallows to make it with. I think we need them more than you.”
“Emma, you don’t understand. My friends and I are camping, and we forgot the marshmallows for the s’mores! We need the marshmallows. You must give them to me! You don’t understand the serious degree!”
“But, I’m really excited about eating the cake! I love cake so much. How about we rock, paper, scissors for it, only so it’s fair. Best two out of three?” Emma said kindly.
Together, the two girls began to say, “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot!” Emma had chosen paper, and Liv had chosen scissors. Count: Liv 1, Emma 0. They repeated the process, but Liv had done rock and Emma paper. Count: Liv 1, Emma 1. The last time, Emma had chosen scissors, and Liv rock. Liv had won!
“Thanks so much for letting us have the marshmallows, Emma! We owe you big time! I hope you can find more marshmallows!” Liv called over her shoulder before leaving.
“No problem! You won them fair and square! Have fun camping!” Emma called, waving good-bye to them. The friends barely heard her, as they were headed to the check outs.
The Checkouts & Whiny Jake- Trial #5
After winning the pack of marshmallows, Liv and Jake were ecstatic. Nothing could bring them down. They would be back with their friends very soon!
Only they ran into trouble!
Just when nothing would pop their bubble!
There were no open checkout lanes.
It was as if no one there had any brains!
“Oh no,” Jake began to whine. “We’re never going to get back in time! Just when nothing could go wrong, it does. Nothing good ever happens to us! Why couldn’t we just have remembered the marshmallows in the first place?”
“Jake, calm down. See that line over there, it’s not too long. C’mon, let’s go get in line.” Liv replied. As they walked over and waited, Jake continued to whine, earning glares from other customers.
After thirty minutes of waiting, it was finally their turn to pay. Jake was as whiny as ever, and all Liv wanted to do was get back to having fun with her friends. Jake continued to whine, and whine, and whine as she tried to pay.
Handing her credit card to the cashier, Liv turned to Jake. “Jacob Gallagher. I am going to do something and you won’t be pleased. Your whining is over, I’m done with pleas.” And with that, Liv slapped him right on the face, ceasing his whining immediately.
“Ow! What was that for?” Jake asked in consternation. However, Liv wasn’t listening; she had purchased the marshmallows and was on her way out the door.
S’mores and No More Hardship
As she promised, Scarlett came and picked her two friends up. They flew quickly and quietly back down to Hanscom. They flew past Emma, Greek Islands, Richie’s and even saw the little Finn that helped them.
Liv was excited to return and take a rest.
She had worked hard and tried her best.
All that work paid off when she saw the smiling faces of her friends eating s’mores happily by the fire.
Scarlett, who had already eaten six s’mores, was currently talking to a marshmallow. “His name is squishy, and he shall be my squishy.” She said, quoting Finding Nemo, while squishing the marshmallow.
“Liv you’re my hero!” Veronica stated. “I am so very proud of you! Someone should, like, write a book about your heroicness. Yeah, I know what my next English paper is going to be about! I have a title, Liv: Girl Wonder!”
Laughing, Liv replied, “It was nothing, Vern, I would do anything for my friends! I love you all so much!”
“So, uh, I hate to ruin the moment and all, but I think we forgot the bacon for tomorrow’s breakfast!” Jake shrieked.
“Jake, it’s right over there,” Veronica said. “Don’t freak Liv out like that. The poor girl just got back! Give her a break!”
“Hey, I helped a lot too!” Jake said. “I could have overcome anything too. Ugh, and Liv, don’t EVER slap me again…or else.”
The night went on, the group’s playful banter rising up into the night sky.
Everything was well and good.
Liv had done all she possibly could.
She came out a hero, brave and true,
never again doubting what she could do.