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Something Is Dying (standard:drama, 1442 words)
Author: Charles RudolphAdded: Mar 15 2004Views/Reads: 1870/1196Story 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. 


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