At About This Time of the Year...

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At about this time of the year my family and I would be scuba diving in the reefs off the tropical islands of Trinidad and Tobago and last time something brilliant happened to me. I was swimming around the reef, which was teeming with schools of brightly colorful fish while my family was taking an afternoon nap on the elegant yacht and after I swam through a school of stunningly gorgeous fish, I noticed a giant hole in the reef. As I got closer to the hole I could feel the temperature of the clear, tropical water just decreasing and then I decided to take a quick look inside the hole. When I stuck my head inside, a huge bubble came out of nowhere and I passed out.

In the blackness of my mind I felt something jabbing me and when I opened my eyes I saw a man poking me with what appeared as the back of a spear. He saw this and immediately stopped and as I got up I noticed that my bathing suit was gone and in its place was a white tunic. I looked at him closely and I realized he had ancient Greek armor on and we were inside a cave. He gestured for me to walk with him and so I did. As we walked, he proudly announced that he was Leonidas, King of Sparta and I proudly announced that I was John, King of my house. He then told me that I was in Hades, the house of the dead and I just freaked out and told him I’m not dead and that this is a dream. Leonidas came up to me and pinched me really hard and said “Nope, it’s not dream.”Trying to forget the fact that I was dead, I remembered that he and his 300 Spartans died fighting against an army of Persians that outnumbered them greatly, so I asked him why didn’t he retreat when he had the chance at the battle of Thermopylae. Leonidas said to me that it was about never giving up in what you believe in at any cost. Leonidas told me that Greek independence was what he wanted and if he gave up at Thermopylae then the rest of the Greeks would not be inspired to keep on fighting. Leonidas opened a door and told me to go inside and see one of his friends and as I did he reminded me never to give up in what I believe in.

I continued to walk by myself until another man in armor greeted me and told that he would walk with me. He introduced himself as Alexander the Great, the one that conquered both Greece and Persia and also knew that I was John, King of my house. Alexander asked me if I met Leonidas and I responded yes. Alexander said, “Don’t worry, Leonidas is always boring and he’s just jealous that I conquered his people after his death”. Remembering my history, I remembered that he was one of the greatest ancient conquerors and he always fought with his troops, so I asked him how he could fight in so many battles without getting scared. Alexander looked at me square in the eye and said he was but he had to show courage in order to lead his men who in most battles were always outnumbered. Alexander told me before the start of the battle he would look across the battlefield and see the massive armies going against him and that this could be his last day on Earth but he would just breathe and try to relax and say to himself he would be ok. We got to another door and Alexander told me that his courage led him through many ordeals and that he did not die from a bloody battle but from a fever. As I again stepped into another place he said it’s ok to be scared but if you just relax and think, it will be ok and you will have the courage to deal with any problem.

When I got passed the door I noticed that this place resembled a forum like the ones from the old Roman Empire and ironically a man dressed in a Roman toga came to me and said liked I guessed, walk with me. He introduced himself as the former Julius Caesar, Dictator of Rome and before I could introduce myself, he told me that he knew I was John, King of my house. I asked him how did he know who I was without even introducing myself and his exact words were “It’s a dead people’s thing” and I was so frustrated in wondering how the ghosts knew who I was without me knowing who they were that I decided that Julius’s answer was good enough for me. Julius told me that he became the Dictator of the Roman Republic by beating his adversaries in a bloody civil war. He then told me that when he was in charge he took power away from the senate and also wore purple clothing which was a symbol of the monarchy and both of these events outraged the senate so much, that they assassinated him and now he has been in Hades for a long time. Julius then said “John, King of your house, don’t be greedy like me or something bad may happen to you.” We walked to the door and this time a bright white light engulfed us and I passed out again.

When I awoke I found myself with my bathing suit on and in front of me was Leonidas, Alexander, and Julius. They said to me that I was not dead and that I could leave and return to the boat and they told to remember what they told me for it will benefit my future and I agreed wholeheartedly to what they said. When I got back to the boat my grandfather asked me what did I learn from the swimming for an hour and I replied, “History’s virtues.” With a frown on his face he asked what did I mean and I said “Never mind Pa Pa, it’s a dead people’s thing.” I went down to my cabin with my grandfather thinking I’m a total nutcase and I found on the bed a white tunic.





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