Huff, puff, huff, puff. Wheezing and gasping, Eurylochus plunged headlong at top speed through the forest, not heeding the sharp thorns and vines and low overhanging branches that tore cruelly at his arms and legs and face. No, he did not stop to think of them and the sharp biting pains they continually inflicted on his person, for in his panicked state nothing else mattered but to escape back to the encampment by the ships where they had been entrenched for three days now. He must reach Odysseus quickly and warn him of the sly and wicked deed he had just witnessed.
Barely missing several gnarled and cracked tree trunks, he was momentarily blinded by a bright flash of light that filled his vision, then an ominous rumble that rolled and rippled across the plain of sound, like ten thousand horsemen charging blindly forwards. Like him. Suddenly he lost his footing and was sent sprawling across the rough uneven ground. Hardly noticing, he scrambled to his feet and crashed off once more, a wild light in his eyes that was fed by the dark and windy weather.
Loose bits of scraggly turf was thrown up as the terror stricken Eurylochus stumbled and pushed through the night, his path briefly lit by the full moon that sometimes broke through its dense cloud covering to illuminate his way, his veering sometimes straying way. The pitter patter of rain on the upper foliage began to be heard, followed by another violent flash of lightning and a much closer sounding boom of thunder that rolled across the night sky.
When he finally reached camp he was soaked through, and as he left the trees behind him and tore through the sandy ground towards the ships he body slammed into something large, and bowled it over, screaming helplessly as he tumbled to the ground with it.
Both he and the thing shouted piercingly in a horrible fright as they rolled frantically about in the dark. A strange sight it must have been with Eurylochus biting and kicking on one side in a mad effort to free himself while on the other side - a man, as it turned out to be - struggled not only to free himself but his blade.
Finally, they untangled one another and backed off a ways, both peering desperately and fearfully into the night, each attempting to size up and evaluate their new arrivals. It continued such for some time until a beam of moonlight cut through the stormy night sky and illuminated each muddy rain soaked individual’s features, who both gave a cry of joy. They each ran forwards to embrace each other joyously, each patting the other on the back and one shouting "Oh, my good friend Odysseus! How good it is to run into you here!" and the other bellowing cheerfully, "Eurylochus, Eurylochus! Welcome old friend! Welcome! You actually had me scared there for a second! Where have you been, why are you so frightened and where are the others? I had not been expecting your arrival so soon! You must explain why you have so abandoned your companions and what has put you in such a state!"
At this Eurylochus stopped and brushed his self off. A single tear rolled from his pale gray and grief stricken eyes, down his muddy cheek and onto the upturned soil of their previous scuffle. And then he began to tell of the past events that had been such a nightmare to him.
"I and my faithful band had been marching steadfastly through the forest in what I had hoped was the direction of the smoke Taerminus had sighted earlier. I guess I was right, for after a while, the trees began to thin and then to an abrupt halt. I ordered the men to a standstill, for we had arrived at the edge of a vast clearing, and within the center of this substantially large area a great mansion rose, ornately designed and adorned, and obscuring not only much of the sky but a large portion of the clearing in its opposing shadow.
“Oh Odysseus, this was to be a place of great mishap and sorrow upon my part. Soon I shall tell of what befell us - or those under my command, rather. Also, all around that bastion of misfortune, - behold! - all about it seemingly thousands of beasts of every kind, shape size and color, herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores of every type, category and kind roamed tamely around side by side, in peaceful companionship. This amazed us, especially me, exceedingly, and we were even more so surprised and awed by the fact that, once I had finally but cautiously dared step into the clearing, is that the beasts came and fawned affectionately upon us like house dogs.
After this we all continued on to the house, but yet tarried fearfully about the outer gate, suspicious of any sorcery that might surround this dwelling. Then one of our number, a sharp little fellow, I think he was called Ardimius, caught the slight lilting notes of a woman singing, and remarked on it to me. You can imagine my joy for surely if it was woman therein we could not possibly come to any great harm?
But as I spread the good news to the others I could not entirely dispel the small nagging doubts that whispered in my ear of danger. And Odysuess, how right those nagging little voices were. For if I had not listened and had ignored its gentle plea, and entered into her warm inviting and strangely lulling halls, half the company would not only be gone, but I as well, and thus there would be no one to warn you of the danger.
So, as we called out in greeting to the woman, and she came in a flourish and flung the gates of her wondrous halls wide with gusto, bidding us to enter into her vainly attired palace of music and delightful song, I slunk quickly into the heavy shadows and keenly observed the following events that so rapidly took place."
And so Eurylochus told of how the men had entered her halls, into splendor and comfort aplenty, and how they where only to be tricked guilefully by some strange drug she filtered slyly into the wines and beers she served the unknowing and weary soldiers. Eurylochus had, fearing the worst, continued to watch as his fears became obvious and his men began to one by one fall into a stuperous slumber that had caused them to gaze lazily about, their senses askew.
Then he told tearfully of how she had exposed a silver wand and dubbed each of them on the shoulder blades. Suddenly they had begun to transform, to change horribly into pathetic and grunting swine and Eurylochus finished with how they had been driven out to her expansive swine pins and he had run in a blind terror back to Odysseus.
Of course Odysseus was by then consumed by a sublime rage, and, snatching up his trusty broadsword, set off on the trail set by the soldiers previous him, and soon reached the guileful enchantress's palace. Ignoring the bewitched animals, who he realized now were men, he knocked heavily upon her great doors and she answered by flinging them wide, welcoming him in.
As Odysseus expected, she attempted to drug him with drugged wines, he pretended to drain the golden cup she had offered him. She knew she had won and went off for a few minutes to gloat her victory and await the drugs now in his system to overpower him and begin their stuperous effects.
But when her back was turned, he dumped the wine off in a secluded spot, and then returning to his previous location pretended to slouch and slur, and even allowed the wine glass to clatter to the ground and roll away. He then moved towards it slowly and began to make sluggish efforts to pick it up. The enchantress returned then and Odysseus was apparently bewildered by her arrival. She seized her wand and brought it up. Then Odysseus made his move, and leapt up grasping at her throat and sending the sparkling wand hurtling into the far wall.
Holding her there, with his blade positioned at her neck, he forced her to release his bewitched companions from animal bodies into human form once more and to swear terrible oaths to never again treat them, nor any other traveler, guilefully again.
And they all feasted in the enchantress's house - her name turned out to be Circe - for a year, after which Odysseus and his followers tore themselves from the boundless magical comfort of her warm halls and continued on with their homeward journey.by Zachary/age 12