|Something Is Dying (standard:drama, 1442 words)|
|Author: Charles Rudolph||Added: Mar 15 2004||Views/Reads: 1870/1196||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|An incident on a Greek island evokes generational and cultural conflict.|
SOMETHING IS DYING Clare placed her knife and fork neatly upon the empty plate. “No one, absolutely no one, makes lamb chops and potatoes like Thoma. How did you ever find this place?” “Philis told me about it. He said Thoma’s Grill was honest and mainly for locals, not tourists.” Harry, an American, was muscular with short-cropped gray hair. He looked younger than his sixty-four years. “What kind of Greek name is ‘Philis’?” “Short for Theophilus.” Clare laughed. “That’s cute.” Thoma’s Grill, tucked into a small, pebbled courtyard behind the paralia, the waterfront, had ten tables covered with blue and white checked oilcloth and vases of wildflowers. Thoma, slightly stooped from years of working over the grill, would call to Marta, his pretty, black-haired wife, to serve the food when it was ready. At the entry to the courtyard, Thoma displayed his specialties in a refrigerated showcase: bifteka, kotopoulu, kalamaria, octopathi, and brizolas arnaki – the lamb chops. Tourists would approach, examine the showcase, then usually turn away and leave, not attracted by the simplicity of the setting, seeking a more exciting taverna on the paralia. Only the locals, the cognoscenti like Harry, and the occasional traveler came to Thoma’s. Clare, in her mid-fifties, had short reddish hair framing her plain pretty face. “Harry, if you’re not going to finish that last potato on your plate, I want it.” “Go ahead.” Reaching over, she gently forked it and held it before her in the soft taverna light. “Isn’t it gorgeous? The lovely oblong shape, the tawny crispness that emulates the Greek earth, and that little fragrance of oregano.” She bit half of it. “And oh the taste! I read that Naxos potatoes are gourmet items all across Europe.” “Yes, the green valleys here grow more than lemons and olives.” Harry smiled. “I’m glad you like it here – and that you came.” “I’m glad too.” She smiled back, then finished the remaining half of potato and wiped her fingers with the paper napkin. “By the way, have you noticed the woman at the table behind you? She’s by herself with a sleeping child and a dog.” Harry turned and was startled by the woman’s bright blue eyes and long blonde ringlets falling below her shoulders. Her bare bronzed arms were long and sinewy. Leaning forward, she fed a piece of meat to the dog leashed to a table leg, a tan and white puppy with a beagle-like head. Harry noticed also the angelic face of the blonde child sleeping in a stroller by the table. Beside it, a backpack and a canvas bag lay on the ground. “What a lovely little pup,” Clare said to the woman. “Yes. We found it on Koufonissia. It was homeless and we could not resist.” The woman’s English had a Scandanavian lilt. “Where are you taking it?” Clare asked. “Tonight we leave for Copenhagen.” The woman glanced at her watch. “In one hour we must get the ferry for Piraeus.” She reached for the bill which was tucked under an ashtray. “That’s a long journey,” Harry said. Click here to read the rest of this story (140 more lines)
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