The court hearing ~ Chapter fourteen

The court hearing ~ Chapter fourteen

A Chapter by AliceBarnes

Helios appears before the court


Chapter fourteen~ In the time of Achilles 

Helios's house, Greece, September 1190BC 

The sun had only just risen when Helios set off to attend his court hearing. The air was fresh and crisp, with a hint of lavender from the plants beside the doorway. With her arms wrapped around her for warmth, Aedia's watering eyes followed her father's swift movements as he finished attaching the Oxen to the wooden cart. He turned to face her, his eyebrows drawn together and his face haggard. Upon him seeing the tears that had welled up in her eyes he made for Aedia and gently pulled her into a hug. 

"Oh my dear girl, don't you worry yourself too much. I did what I know was right and I can only hope the court sees that too-" Helios pulled away, sending her a small smile before his attention fell onto Ayo - his only witness and the only slave aside from Adonia that Dymas had not taken. "-Come, Ayo, we need to leave." 

Climbing up into the cart, Ayo and Helios set off for the town. The low morning sun dazzled Aedia's eyes as she squinted, following their departing forms until she was no longer able to and they had begun their descent down the hill leaving a trail of dust in their wake. After Aedia had stepped back into her room an idea came over her; what if she were to head into town herself and watch the court hearing from outside? Then, if things started to go Dymas's way like she had a feeling they would, she would be able to step in and appeal to the Jury. It was true, women were not generally allowed to attend court hearings, they were, however, allowed to stand before the court and try to sway the outcome if the situation called for it. 

Taking a shawl and draping it over her shoulders, Aedia started back outside. At the sound of her sandals clicking on the stone flooring, Adonia looked up from where she was scrubbing the floors. In an instant, she had picked herself up and was stood before Aedia, a defiant expression on her face. 

"No, Aedia. You can't go, you know your father would wish you to stay here" 

"He won't even know I am there if everything goes well. I will take the shortcut, that way I will reach town before him-" Adonia stubbornly remained where she was, looking prepared to physically prevent Aedia from leaving if need be. "-I need to do this. If my father is exiled what hope do we have of staying here? What hope do you have of being able to stay with me? If this court hearing goes badly today, only the gods know what will become of us. Now stand aside." 

"No, I won't, I can't. It's for your own good. Just for once do what your father has asked of you, just for once don't try and fight his word. No matter what you may think he knows what is best for you" Aedia took a step closer to the doorway in the hopes that Adonia might move away from her and let her leave. But alas, Adonia's dark-eyed stare only hardened as she tensed, waiting for Aedia to take another step. 

"Don't make me have to force you to stay" Foolishly, Aedia did exactly that. Letting out a whimper, Aedia tried to rush past Adonia before she was able to stop her. This, however, was exactly what Adonia had been expecting her to do, and she outstretched her arms, grabbing Aedia around her waist and holding her back. 

"Let me go!" Aedia cried as she fought against Adonia's tight grip. The lifting and carrying heavy buckets of water had made Adonia far stronger than Aedia had ever anticipated. Though she looked to be struggling, she still managed to drag Aedia back to her room. Pushing herself away from Adonia, Aedia glared hard over at her. Feeling betrayed and annoyed, even Aedia did not know what she might do next. She might claw at Adonia's face, scream at her that she was wrong to not let her leave, slap her in the hopes of knocking some sense into her. As it was, she simply said:

"If he is exiled you will be sold to the highest bidder. I will never see you again and you will live a life of slavery without luxuries or friendship." Much to Aedia's frustration, Adonia simply continued to catch her breath, blowing a curly strand of her hair out of her eyes. She left, shutting Aedia's bedroom door behind her and pulling the sliding bolt across the door. Locking Aedia in. The shutters of her square windows had been bolted shut and locked from the outside - a precaution Helios took to avoid break-ins when everyone was asleep. It now served as prison bars. 

Out of curiosity, Aedia made for the window that looked out onto the gardens. Each day when dawn came, Adonia would unlock the shutters and leave them for Helios or Aedia to open when they awoke. There was a chance that Adonia had done her rounds and left the shutter unlocked. Hesitantly, Aedia lifted a hand to the light blue shutter, giving it a slight push. It opened, banging softly against the whitewashed wall outside. Adonia's scrubbing of the floor in the hallway came to a halt. It seemed that she had picked up on the sound. 

"Aedia?" Frozen in place, Aedia could only watch the door with dread as the sound of Adonia putting the bucket of water to one side echoed through the hallway. Her footsteps starting towards the door. Aedia's attention returned to the window and the garden beyond it. She was free to leave, but that option would only be open to her for a few more short moments. The bronze bolt was pulled across the door and Aedia was quick to pull herself up onto the window sill and out into the garden. 

The door opened and Aedia fled lifting her gown to avoid it tangling around her legs. She ignored the horrified sound that Adonia made when she found the bedroom empty. Ducking her head under a low hanging tree branch, Aedia ran into the treeline and down the steep wooded hill that led into town. The thought that Adonia could catch up to her was what kept her legs moving as she dodged between the pine trees. It was almost easier to run down the hill - if she stopped now she may lose her balance and trip over one of the many tree roots and rocks that stuck out from the dry earth. 

With the wind blowing through her hair, Aedia felt the hairpins she had hastily placed into her hair fall out one by one until her brown waves fell freely around her shoulders. She stumbled, having to take hold of a tree in order to stop herself from falling. In front of Aedia, just meters from where she stood lay a long drop down to the main road leading into the town. It was a rocky vertical bank all the way down. Her only hope of getting down onto the road would be to find a lowered spot, where she could climb down slowly and safely. 

Biting her lip, she jogged along the bank until she found a spot where she could carefully lower herself down. Gripping onto a tree and then onto several juts of sharp rock, Aedia began to climb down the bank. The rock dug into her skin painfully, but she knew if she let go she would surely break an arm or a leg. When she was close enough to the road, she jumped, staggering upon reaching the ground, but pleased that she had managed to climb down the bank safely. 

The archway and high stone walls that surrounded the town of Phthia were now in sight. Heading into the town Aedia passed the Theater with its large columns, towering archways and windows, heading for the smaller, lesser-known streets, all of which were abandoned, save for the lone early risers that Aedia would come across. Then, she passed the Hippodrome; large, impressive oblong shaped building that it was. At last, Aedia came to a stop outside of the court; a building that surpassed all others in grandeur save for the temple of Athena.

Several rows of white steps led up to the entrance, which lay between large columns that encircled the entire building. Inside the columns lay the marble flooring and the court itself. Despite the streets having been so quiet on Aedia's way there, the court was buzzing. Men, both rich and poor filed in through the large white columns into the court. Inside, there was a flurry of noise; men talking amongst themselves debating whether Dymas or Helios would win the case. From over Aedia's shoulder came the familiar sound of her father's cart rolling across the cobblestones of the street. She darted behind the pillar of a townhouse before he could see her. 

With a heavy heart, Aedia watched as her father climbed down from the cart, leaving it with a groom and calmly walking up the steps and into the courtroom. Perhaps his plan was to remain calm and show the court that Dymas was mad. Once she was sure no one would see her, Aedia hurried to the far end of the outside of the building, moving through the columns and coming to a wall that enclosed the court. Moving closer to the wall, she put an eye up to a small hole which allowed her to see inside. 

She had found the hole as a child with her friends; Achima and Eos.

 As children they had watched through the same hole in the wall the many court cases with interest, as a young woman, Aedia now watched her father opposing a man who had once been his childhood friend, his comrade and someone he considered a brother in all things but blood. From high up above her lay three large windows which allowed the chattering of the men inside to filter out to her. All at once, the chattering stopped and the court fell silent. 

Aedia searched the room for her father, instead, she found Dymas with the slaves he had stolen from her father stood timid and quiet behind him. His face held a smug expression as he glanced over at her father Helios, who was stood on the other side of the court with only Ayo behind him. Anyone could see that the odds were in Dymas's favour and by the looks on the men's faces in the crowd, they thought the same. An elderly man walked down the steps in-between the seats. 

"We have before us today a vile case of assault committed by this man-" A crooked finger lifted accusingly over at Helios. "-Helios, son of Thestor. And the victim of this assault-" He turned to look at Dymas "-Dymas, son of Lysias. Both of these men have sworn before the Gods that they will tell the truth. We will now hear from the victim about the events that took place earlier this month"

Dymas confidently with a tinge of arrogance, moved into the middle of the court, looking to the men who would be deciding who won the case. With his head held high and his chin stuck out proudly he began to speak. 

"I know many of you sat before me, I am lucky enough to be friends with even more of you. Now, you know that I am a forgiving man, a man of honour that strives for justice. I stand before you today wronged in the vilest of manners. This man-" He turned to look at Helios "-assaulted and threatened me. Not four months after he had promised his only daughter in marriage to me. As the man that I am, I made sure that she was happy with this intended marriage and as most girls her age, she was reluctant at the prospect."

"On the day that the assault took place, I happened across her in the forest. She was alone-" A few gasps echoed throughout the court. These were men that kept their own wives and children locked up in their homes, unfortunately, Helios was a rarity among them. "-Naturally, I was concerned for her safety as any future husband should be. When I asked her who she was waiting for she lied to me to try and get me off her scent - but if my suspicions are true then she was alone and waiting for her lover." The chatter started up once again, frowns on the men's faces as they muttered among themselves, looking scornfully down at Helios, who despite gritting his teeth, remained perfectly still as Dymas went on. 

"Upon my realizing this, I decided to make it known to her that my only wish was to make Helios happy with our union...only for her to tell me that he had given her his blessing to be with another man. I tried to talk to her, to know more, a right that I am entitled to, but she ran from me-" His words were strong and precise, carefully spoken in a tone which would appeal to the crowd the most "-Helios then appeared wielding a sword, he struck me down to the ground. I am sure that you all can imagine my shock, this is a man who I once called friend. And there he was, standing before me with his own sword turned on me."

"I did not know what to do and that is when he did it. He roughly raised me from the ground and pushed me into a nearby tree, he gripped my throat so tightly I thought I was going to die. He threatened that if I did not leave Aedia alone he would deal with me and with his sword at my throat I saw that this was no man, no soldier, but a monster unleashed from the dark depths of Tartarus." The crowd began to whisper to one another as Dymas stepped back to his position in front of Helios's slaves, looking more than pleased with himself as Helios was asked to step forward. 

"Having heard Dymas's side of the story, I don't need to reiterate what he has just told you. But what I will confess are my reasons for doing what I did. If I could go back and know the outcome of my actions I would do them again. Many of you sat before me have children; son's and daughter's who you cherish with every fiber of your being-" His hands held behind his back, he slowly moved from one side of the court to the other as he spoke "-what Dymas failed to tell you is that he threatened and assaulted my daughter. He threatened that on the day of my death he would force her to marry him - a crime in itself without the consent of her family members." A few nods of approval encouraged Helios to go on.

"So when my daughter, my little girl came running to me in tears I did what any of you would do to protect your children. I went after Dymas and confronted him-" For the first time since that day, Helios dared to meet Dymas's eyes "-I was angry, yes. I did attack him-" The chattering began and Helios faced the crowd once more "-but not without reason" There were not just nods of approval now but men among the crowd were agreeing with him with cheers and mutters of 'here here' 

It happened quickly after that, the witnesses stepped forward one by one and it was evident that despite the crowd agreeing with Helios, many more of them agreed with Dymas - the wronged assaulted man who was in his rights to question the loyalty of his future wife. The crowd was silenced as the court prepared to announce their decision.

"In the case of Helios, son of Thestor and Dymas, son of Lysias it is clear that there are many more witnesses to testify for Dymas's innocence. By the laws of Greece, Dymas was within his rights. Is there any man in this room who questions this ruling?" From among the crowd Achilles came into view. He outshone every man in the room, all eyes were on him and he knew it - Aedia suspected he was pleased with it, this was a man who seemed to thrive on the attention of others. Though she could not prevent the frown that appeared on her forehead, nor her body moving closer to the hole in the wall to get a better view of what was going on. 

"Achilles, son of Peleus, what do you have to say on the matter?" 

"I come here not to undermine your ruling, but to ask you to re-think it. I know Helios, I have done since I was a child, he fought for my father very bravely and he was among the men that brought his body back from battle the day he died. I know that he would not threaten a man without reason, yes, Dymas has many more witnesses, but these witnesses have been illegally paid to tell lies fed to them by this man-" Dymas stepped forward, scowling at Achilles as he looked to the crowd for help. But Achilles continued on, unfazed by Dymas's response and for the first time in her life, Aedia was grateful for his brashness. 

"Is this true?" The elderly man once more appeared before the court, his gaze locked onto Dymas. Stepping down from the seating area to the lowered marble floor where Helios, Dymas and Achilles were stood. When Dymas did not speak, the court came to life. Many of the men who had originally agreed with Dymas now hurled insults at him.

"Then the court has decided that having heard both sides of the story, that it is Dymas, son of Lysias who is to face punishment-" The elderly man twisted to face Helios. "-As the victor of this case, it is Helios, son of Thestor who shall decide the punishment for Dymas. Your slaves shall be returned to you and you have the option of exile or imprisonment. What is your choice?" Almost as if he had thought out the answer in his head a hundredfold, he said:

"I choose exile." The court roared in approval. Helios sent a thankful nod of his head to Achilles, who sent an appreciative nod in return before leaving. Aedia was quick to follow after him. She had questions that needed answers. She was unsure as to whether he recognized the sound of her sandals against the cobblestones, or if he sensed her presence behind him, for she had not taken ten steps towards him before he turned his head over his shoulder to look at her. He stopped walking, now moving to fully face her as she caught up with him. 

"Why did you do that?" 

"I didn't do it for you. I did it in honour of my father and of Patroclus." At the very mention of his name, Aedia's heart quickened in her chest. 

"Did Patroclus ask you to speak up for my father?" As if embarrassed, Achilles looked away from her to the rocky hillside that ran alongside the quiet street. 

"I think you know the answer to that already." And with that, he left, blonde shoulder length hair flowing behind him in the breeze as he took long strides back through the town. Had he not wished to, he would not have spoken for her father, Aedia knew that there was more to it than Achilles was letting on. 

© 2018 AliceBarnes

Author's Note

I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I am sorry that it took so long to upload, I had to spend a few days writing this chapter since I wanted it to be as good as it could be. As always, thank you so much for reading, I really appreciate you all taking the time to read my book. Any read requests that you have sent me, I promise I am working my way through them, I just have a lot of college work to do at the minute. Let me know in a review what you thought of this chapter, any spelling mistakes/ parts of the chapter that you feel did not read as smoothly as they could have done etc your reviews are always appreciated. Thanks again!

My Review

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A amazing chapter. I liked the new situations and the meetings/court. A lot of decisions to be made. Thank you Alice for sharing the amazing chapter.

Posted 10 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ok so let me apologize for not getting to this sooner but I am so glad I finally did. Amazing chapter and this is unfolding into such a great story. I am excited to see what is next. Thank you for this!!

Posted 11 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


11 Months Ago

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! I am so sorry if it was annoying that I kept sending re.. read more
Another wonderful chapter Alice. I love to read your works. Thank you for sharing this with me

Posted 12 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


12 Months Ago

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! I am so glad you liked this chapter! Thank you so much.
Tremendous, Alice. Your words have this amazing pictorial quality that not only we read your story we also see it. The way you tell it, little details you put into it...highly commendable. Brilliant!
Thanks for sharing :)

Posted 12 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


12 Months Ago

Thank you so much for leaving such a lovely comment! I will be sure to return the favor as soon as I.. read more

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4 Reviews
Added on January 21, 2018
Last Updated on January 21, 2018
Tags: court hearing, Aedia, Adonia, Helios, Achilles, Patroclus, Dymas



Bristol, South west, United Kingdom

I love reading, daydreaming, horse riding and going for long walks. Frosty spring mornings and cool autumn evenings are my favorite. I love to write as I find it allows me to escape modern life and ti.. more..

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