Serendipity by Stella Pierides

I had been out rowing the Stella, a small, creaking boat, in the
waters off the holy island of Tinos, the Lourdes of the Aegean. I was
escaping the constant arguments with my wife about money, or rather
the lack of it. Nine months after closing down our bookshop in Athens,
visiting the island seemed our best strategy: she would be praying for
a job, while I, a sworn atheist, would be avoiding the strikers – who
did have jobs, after all!

Following our breakfast argument, I took Nikos’ boat out to let off
steam. He was asleep when I started off, as he is up all night
fishing. I knew he wouldn’t mind.

Then my eye fell on a golden, filigreed cross the thickness of my
little finger stuck between the boards. My mouth opened. I pictured it
around my wife’s neck, a peace offering. I could see her looking at me

Mesmerized, I couldn’t stop staring at it. The answer to our prayers –
so to speak – given to me on a borrowed boat. This brought me back to
reality. It must have been meant for Nikos to find, not me. The
thought pierced me like a knife. By this time, I had turned the boat
around. Numerous belfries were pointing upwards. I fought with the
currents and with myself.

I knew she’d kill me if I kept it; she’d kill me if I didn’t. And this
was the first time I set foot in a Church.


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Filed under Stella Pierides

17 responses to “Serendipity by Stella Pierides

  1. Alexandra Pereira

    Wow! Nice. Loved the ending! So… does he keep it?… :-)

  2. Ah, the possible sinner! Nicely done, Stella.

  3. maria pierides


  4. yes, a really nice piece with a zinger ending.

  5. both complete, as a telling, and open, as a story, makes hungry for more. love the names in this, too.

  6. Kim Hutchinson

    Beautiful. Love the damned if you do/don’t ending.

  7. thanks for this boat ride to foreign shores. it’s amazing, the way you create this different land with just a few lines.

  8. So many of this week’s flash seem to have religious themes… Nice take on the prompt.

  9. Many thanks to Susan, Ganymeder, Dorothee, Kim, Len, Maria, Alexandra, Marcus for reading and commenting. It means a lot to me, thank you.

  10. guy

    I get a Treasure of the Sierra Madre vibe from this. The gold ruins everything just by being there.

  11. Michael Parker

    This has a “Zorba The Greek” feel to it. Very enjoyable. Dynamic character development, even for a flash piece. Great work! Love sea stories. Love anything Greek.

  12. The Greek elements also spoke to me, too! And the ending is spectacular!

  13. I liked the spires pointing the way and finding the cross and the damned if I do / damned if I don’t leading him to church. The spires got me to thinking of the onion-domed churches in Russia. Really onion shaped in that the base of the “onion” is smaller than the bulb. I’ve done some research on the architecture of the onion, but the most interesting comment came from Father Stephan at the Iversky Monastery midway between Moscow and St. Petersburg. When I asked him for his interpretation of the onion shape, he said that the soul is like an onion. You peel and peel away the artifice until you get to the truth. Miss group. Doris

  14. you transported me, to the greek islands, to the church, to an inner self doubting the rightness and wrongness of an act. beautiful story. peace…

  15. Pingback: Week #41 – Coincidence | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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