Missed many boats by Stella Pierides

Have you heard the expression “missed the boat?” It is pertinent to
where I live, because there are no cars, no buses to “miss” on my
island. Only boats. There is the boat to the nearest town, and the
ferry-boat to Athens, once a week. No one misses those, as they are
the only contact we have with the outside world. No one, that is,
except Meropi.

After her husband’s boat went down in heavy seas, she never made it on
time to a boat: she missed the boat to her daughter’s wedding, to her
giving birth; to the christening, and then the marriage of her only
grandchild. To the doctor’s office on Naxos, after several days of
suffering the big pressure on her chest.

She was afraid of the sea, you see. A woman born and bred on an
island! Terrified of the Aegean waves crushing on the huge rocks, she
avoided even looking at them. No wonder she missed many boats.

But, no one misses the boat to Hades. So, today Meropi is on time. She
is being carried in her coffin on board, as we speak. The local priest
performed the service already – while, curiously, numerous doves
collected on the belfry – and she is braving the meltemi to reach her
place of rest, on the mainland. I can hear her only goat’s bell
ringing, as if already missing her. God bless her soul; I am not one
for traveling either.

The End


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Filed under Stella Pierides

11 responses to “Missed many boats by Stella Pierides

  1. Sad yet sweet reflection on a woman’s life.

  2. Len

    i loved this. lots of twists and full of wry, wisedom. bravo.

  3. Kim Hutchinson

    Touching story. The goat’s bell is a lovely detail.

  4. Beautifully told. I have a soft spot for Greek mythology, and this story was wonderful.

  5. A lovely, wise elegance throughout this story, and the mythology was a welcome addition. I loved this!

  6. i like the mythical form here, works very well – really like how you address the reader but bring it back to yourself at the end. the story is strong, great piece that spoke to me.

  7. Al McDermid

    ‘But, no one misses the boat to Hades.’ What a great line. Just a fact, there it is. In another story, it would sound malicious, but not here. Very nice.

  8. Love the irony of being afraid to ride boats whilst surrounded by water. Until the ultimate ride. Wonderfully fabulistic. Peace…

  9. Oh I loved the ending, it made me smile broadly: ‘God bless her soul; I am not one for traveling either. The End.’ Perfect.

  10. Dear Stella, Your stories nevere disappoint. You write one great story after another. I hope she had some money for the ferryman. Tuning in to my very own character faults, I would have had her standing at the River Styx… fumbling in her purse… and coming up short of money for Charon.

    Speaking of missed buses, I missed the bus because I was a week off. Prepared my piece of the theme of silence, and by the time I was ready to send silence, it was too late to do the bus assignment. Yes, I MISSED THE BUS!

    Returning to London Jan. 5 and will remain through Feb. 9th – are you in town during that timeframe? Doris

  11. Pingback: Week #31 – Missed the bus | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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