An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A start - possibly

I'm sorry if the fiction buffs among my readership have been feeling neglected - shit ,not feeling, you have been neglected. The muse has been coming up dry for a while,or prompting crap, but this last few days I've been determined to pen a new Greek short story and this is the opening - make of it what you will:

The pair of them stepped down from the bus into the rain and heads turned. Locals milled around, talking loudly and even shouting. Several looked at them very obviously. A fat blonde woman with a cigarette in one hand and a mobile phone in the other stared un-selfconciously. The near rancid aroma of the gyros cafe next door wafted across the bus terminal. And then  the skies opened again. Umbrellas shot up like mushrooms all around them. The couple simply pulled their hats down further - his a black fedora and hers a plain black felt confection. They walked through the throng - the crowd parted silently as they approached and closed behind them noisily. Heads turned.

Xania bus depot in winter can be a dreadful place, crowded, dirty, cold, and wet. It can be, and today it was. Tourists who crowd this bus station in summer, dressed in shorts and t-shirts, sandals and beanie hats have no conception of what a winter here can do or be. They cannot see the White Mountains to the south capped with snow. This is the couple's first full winter here and the last three months have brought home to them how harsh a Cretan winter can be to bear. Three hours and more ago they had woken to the sound of incessant rain and a  wind howling like a wolf as it rushed around the house, and if they had not agreed among themselves to visit the diefthinsi georgia today then they would have just pulled the duvet up around their snug little ears and drifted back of into the arms of Hypnos. But they had agreed and there was no going back. It wasn't as if they had an appointment but they had promised themselves and the day had come round and so they would do it. That's just how they were. It's how they conducted themselves.

He had raked over the stove and emptied the ash - he would lay a new fire in when they came back. She had made a pot of coffee and begun to clean the kitchen before he joined her in the kitchen. They drank coffee and jump started the day with cigarettes before finishing the cleaning and driving down to the main road to catch the bus. They didn't open shutters or windows - why confirm what they already knew about the filthy day?  This was before they had the dogs so venturing out was unnecessary. The DS had started first time and without choke and they had waited just 5 minutes before the bus turned up. The omens were looking favourable despite the apparent pathetic fallacy.

They headed off to the public toilets arm in arm and emptied out the morning's coffee. He gagged standing over the squat Turkish style toilet that showed too clearly the detritus of a previous user. Averting his eyes had only brought them to bear on the plastic bin in the corner that was already full of skid marked toilet paper. The smell of urine and bleach hacked at the back of his throat prolonging the gag reflex. The sink, when he came to consider washing his hands, swiftly convinced him to the contrary opinion. The badly tiled floor was slippery and he tried not to wonder why - he put it down to the rain and left in haste. She joined him outside as he lit a cigarette and they ploughed off into the drear day. Heads turned. Again.

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1 comment:

  1. i know how you feel, very much how i felt 15 years ago when i first came to hania...