I'm delighted that my good friend Jeanne Althouse and I have once again had stories published in the same journal—this time, in the wonderfully-named The Plentitudes, which did me the additional honor of naming this Spring issue Warrior, after my story.
"The Persian Warrior" is part of a set of pieces inspired by masks that I began last year. My concept with this string of stories was to explore masks as a physical embodiment of (or facade for) identity—how they can equally disguise identity and create it, conceal and reveal, in different contexts or with different personalities. How they alter reality physically, mentally, and emotionally. How important they are in various cultures.
This quote from a Billy Collins poem, "In the Evening," seems to introduce the series well, as it follows related characters back and forth in time, at different points of their lives.
"And the past and the future?
Nothing but an only child with two different masks."
image: The Persian Immortals, Berlin Museum