Monday, August 14, 2017

KOLOKOTRONICUS, a short story

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To conclude this month's cycle, the story 'Kolokotronicus' which recounts a voyage across the Ionian Sea. Misunderstanding and language play their parts. The sun shines. The sea ... well, the sea, as always, is implacable, indifferent.

The story is ten pages long, or so; and reads better as a pdf file. I have begun the tale here, then a link is provided to the pdf file.

Bon voyage.


Her body bobs and dips briefly, hair fanned flat in the eddies about the stern swirl. A thin green cotton dress clings to her torso and furls about her hips revealing thin white thighs as her head follows her feet and sinks suddenly from sight.
A seagull squawks.
The young man looks over the rail once again. Sits. A frown. He reads the lines he has written. He rises up on one knee and once again peers over the stern rail. Sits. He reads his lines.

There is never an end to the journey
Within the court of the Sun
No twilight comes.
The beautiful boy, the moon car
The wolf following forever.

They had hunched in the privacy of the bow, sheltered by the dual hulks of the winch housings, a blanket draped over their shoulders, shivering. He had watched them: she apparently sick, vomiting once, her hands cradling her abdomen in that peculiar manner that, to Harry, suggested pregnancy. He thought her too old. She looked old. The man with her comforted her, a hand caressing her cheek, his body rounded to support her as she leaned against him, dependent; yet Harry heard the rise in pitch of her voice, the sharpness that suggested anger and despair. They had squatted in the relative privacy of the bow winches and thick, flaked lines until a crewman came and ousted them.
"Go from here, go, get," shouted the crewman. He spoke Greek, but the waving arms and insistence were clear. "Aussteigen," he said; and, in English, "Shoo there. Out, out."
Harry frowned. He wrote the words he had heard.

Shoo there. Out, out.

The crewman stood over Harry as he wrote.

How innocent the words appear on the page. The repetition picks up some of the crewman's anger, but his brutality is lost completely. He despises these people. Where will they go now, on this crowded ship? The bastard.


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