Hydra, 1980 by Susan Tepper

At the harbor I notice a small boat that has a wooden hull and a tall wood mast. Reminds me of my boat back home. We’ve come here by ferry from Athens. No cars careen around this island. Hills dominate the landscape. Houses are stacked. We buy lace from an old woman in a shack near the water’s edge. Goats patrol the streets. That night we stay in the only hotel. One big room at the top of a square building. We strangers sleep together family style. It’s November. Warm enough to swim but I don’t.


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Filed under Susan Tepper

18 responses to “Hydra, 1980 by Susan Tepper

  1. You created a real feel for the atmosphere here. Nicely done.

  2. This piece is spare and vivid at the same time–like I imagine a Greek island might be. “Warm enough to swim but I don’t,” hints at a narrator with much more to say than has been let on, nice!

  3. Catherine Davis

    Lovely, Susan. Hypnotic.

  4. Randal Houle

    Nicely done. Goats patrol the streets. Loved that. I just called my travel agent, too.

  5. A lovely postcard from Hydra. I can see it! Thanks.

  6. Yes, exquisite detail of setting, and that opening at the end that adds mystery. Nice, Susan.

  7. Jim Valvis

    I stayed there too!

    Very nice, Susan. Thanks for taking me there.

  8. Len

    yes, very atmospheric. you always leave me wanting more. your writing reminds me of kim chinquee or jayne anne phillips. do you know her?

  9. Great title that indicates the memory isn’t fussy and rosy. Like how it plays against expectations.

  10. I want to go there immediately! Calgon, take me away! LOL Susan, you have created a lovely, albeit straight-up (NYer pov???!) about one place on the ever-lovin planet. Well done!

  11. this beautiful short piece has a stillness and something mysterious, almost haunting, the narrative details evoking the “Traveler’s” experience abroad, engaging as one does with a compelling and newly discovered landscape, but then failing in the end to completely immerse. Tight and spare writing…nothing wasted, nothing out of tune.

  12. Sweet – somehow that’s the first word that crossed my mind.

  13. I can see this on a postcard to a friend. Very telling in such an economy of words. I enjoyed the compactness of this piece.

  14. Yes, a postcard. A mini-vacation, and then that little filip at the end giving us a little mystery about our narrator. Peace…

  15. Pingback: Week #34 – Floating away | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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