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our camp began to form a sort of family, drawn together around the flames of the dinner fire. when the moon rose and the stars pricked through the sky’s darkness, we would all find our way there: achilles and i, and old phoinix, and then the women—originally only briseis, but now a small clump of bobbing faces, reassured by the welcome she had received. and still one more—automedon, the youngest of us, just seventeen.

this is how i think of us, when i remember our nights at troy: achilles and i beside each other, and phoinix smiling, and automedon stuttering through the punch lines of jokes, and briseis with her secret eyes and quick, spilling laughter.

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