To The Victor

Don’t look at me like that. I may look like a destitute old woman reduced to begging for alms to sustain herself, but I’m sure you would gasp if I told you my name.

I’m famous.

Of course, I know the corrupted version of the story you must have heard. I know I’m blamed as the indirect cause of one of the greatest wars to ravage our land. Mothers everywhere hold me up as an example of unacceptable female behaviour.

I wonder if your opinions would change if you knew the truth.

So what is the truth?

The truth is that I was nothing more than a spoiled princess, protected from real life by a doting family who wouldn’t let me lift a finger for myself.

I was never trained to fight, though my three brothers were brought up to be warriors. Our neighbours to the north were proving troublesome, and my brothers and father had constant skirmishes with them over border disputes. My brothers, in particular, hated their crown prince, who was proficient in war; his strategies often snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

I was brought up to hate our enemy, but really, I was never told much of the realities of war or fighting, and so when they cursed our enemy, it was only something I parroted to please my father and brothers.

You can guess what happened next, can’t you?

Of course, I fell in love with the crown prince of our hated enemy.

Want to read more?
Order the Dark Things anthology and read the full story!

Featuring cross-dressing assassins, were-snakes, gods and goddesses, demonesses and asura kings, Dark Things Between the Shadow and the Soul retells age-old tales from Indian mythology—with a twist. Rearranging myth and legend to create new plots, these short stories will delight lovers of the unusual.

Image from, with thanks.

[mood|indian mythology rushed]
[music| Walk: Foo Fighters]


    • I like the idea that the stories we’ve heard all our lives could have gone a different way. I do feel a lot of characters in Indian mythology are short changed their stories because the epics are from the point of view of ‘heroes’.

      Glad you liked this look at Surpanakha’s story! You can find similar stories as part of my series, The Vyathaka Puranas. Thanks for taking the time to comment. =)

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