I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx

What Happens in Colchis: Jason and the Argonauts


by Daniel Patch
March 27, 2011

The Golden Fleece is hanging from the tree. Jason touches it, it turns a dirty gray until he backs away.

He says “What?”

The Fleece says “Give it time.” It glints.

“Honestly,” Jason says.

“Honestly,” the Fleece says. “Hera was just kidding. She can’t do anything.”

“That’s not true,” Jason says. “She’s a goddess.”

“Right,” the Fleece says. It glints again which makes Jason blink. He takes another step back from the Golden Fleece. “Do you know where you are” it asks him.

“Yeah,” says Jason. “Colchis. The end of the world.”

Night falls. Jason can’t see the Fleece. He hears it whispering secrets to him in the darkness, but he can’t make it what it’s saying. He sleeps.

--

In the morning, Jason looks at the Fleece. “What do I do,” he says.

“What did you do,” the Fleece asks.

“Nothing,” says Jason. “I came here. My family was murdered. I need you so I can take back the throne. It’s more like what happened to me, and I’m just reacting. Do you understand”

“Not really,” says the Fleece.

Medea approaches through the trees and the rocks. Jason waves at her to get her attention, but she’s already seen him. She walks over and touches Jason’s arm.

“What’s going on,” she asks.

The Fleece says “He needs me, he says. To do something.”

“Right,” Medea says.

The Fleece says, “I still don’t understand.”

“I don’t need you to understand,” Jason says. “I just need to take you with me back to Thessaly.”

Wind blows through the Fleece and it makes a quiet rustling sound.

The Fleece sighs. “I’m not going anywhere until I can get a straight story out of you.”

“I’m telling you the truth!” Jason shouts this. He pulls his sword from it sheath and stabs it into the ground.

“You’re not going to get anywhere by losing your temper,” the Fleece says to him.

“Listen---” Medea says, but Jason interrupts her, shouting “We can do this the easy way or the hard way, okay!”

He reaches out to grab the Fleece, but it turns into thorns.

A voice says, “That’s not going to work.”

Jason and Medea turn to see who it is. Acastus is lying on the ground, dead. His voice is coming out in the sound of trombones.

“You can’t just…” Acastus starts to say, but then he trails off.

Jason sighs. Medea tries to fix her hair even though it hasn’t fallen out of place. Acastus lays on the ground. The Fleece hangs in the tree, no longer thorns.

Jason starts walking in circles around the tree that the Fleece is draped on.

He whispers to Medea, “Maybe if I can find the right angle.”

“Then what?” The Fleece says. “Finish your sentences. This is the whole thing, right here. You tell me nothing, you stop talking.”

Jason says “You want me to tell you what’s going on?”

“That’s all I want.”

Before he can explain to the Golden Fleece why he needs to take it back to Thessaly, the air turns opaque and watery. Sound disappears.

The Fleece tries to ask “What?”

Jason tries to say “Thanks.”

 

Dan Patch lives in the smallest room in the ugliest house in Ann Arbor. He half-heartedly blogs at danielpatch.tumblr.com and tweets intermittently @danieljpatch.