Taverna Odysseus – a flash fiction inspired by a trip to Greece

I’ve been technology free for over a week, and let me tell you, it’s been great. I haven’t once missed being able to check my e-mails, update the blog or tweet. I only turned my mobile on to use the camera. It has been a release from the electronic ties that we all have. Returning from holiday on Sunday I couldn’t quite bring myself to come back to the other side and delayed switching on until yesterday. Once I had, I felt I had instantly lost something. I did not enjoy yesterday. This might also have been a serious case of post holiday blues, which is now waning; I feel more myself today, and have even summoned the strength to come back to my blog.

The holiday in question was a terrific week sailing in the south Ionian Sea of Greece. Flyingscribbler is not a sailor, but my co-pilot is and between the two of us we sailed our way around some beautiful islands. The last day was notable for a storm, eight foot high waves and one terrifying hour on the high seas. I had thought that this would form the basis of a story, but after a while thinking about it, I realised that it did not sum up my mood after the holiday. I enjoyed it all so much, had such a good time with all the people I met on the flotilla, something much lighter and altogether more cheery was called for.

This story then, comes to you from the very real island of Ithaca and the stunning village of Kioni. It’s a little in the same vein as my story about redundant dialog tags. This is also my next foray into #fridayflash. Yes, it is early, but I’m away again this week for six days (work, alas, not holiday), so apologies again for another absence.

Taverna Odysseus

The almighty crash from the kitchen was followed by an even louder roar from its chef. Seconds later the taverna owner came running out to his wife.

‘That’s the last of the moussaka off the menu Penelope,’ he panted.

‘What in heaven’s name has he done now?’ she cried.

‘He missed the counter as he took it out of the oven.’

‘Well,’ said Penelope crossing her arms, ‘that’s what you get for employing a blind, one-eyed chef. I told you he’d be no good.’

‘I felt sorry for him, he had nowhere to go.’

Penelope gave her husband a withering look.

‘You’ve become too soft Odysseus. We can’t keep taking on every out of work mythological creature you come across. It’s hard enough with that great lumbering idiot.’

As if on cue, another almighty roar launched itself from the kitchen as more dishes crashed to the tiled floor.

‘It’s not my fault no-one reads Homer any more,’ said Odysseus impatiently, ‘nearly all the other characters are out of work. We’re the lucky ones.’

‘Lucky!’ shrieked Penelope, ‘I’ll give you lucky.’ She gestured to a long table of rowdy young men. ‘You try serving that bunch of slobbering drunks every night.’

‘Are they still bothering you?’

Penelope turned away and sighed.

‘I can handle it,’ she said.

Looking out over the harbour and the watery reflection of the Taverna Odysseus’s bright sign, Penelope lifted her gaze to the moonlight. Dear Zeus, she thought, how could you have let this happen?

copyright: fyingscribbler 2010.


12 comments on “Taverna Odysseus – a flash fiction inspired by a trip to Greece

  1. GP Ching says:

    I love greek mythology. An enjoyable take on the classic characters.

  2. grandma pat says:

    I’ll have to re-read the story of Odysseus, though I think I get the one-eyed fella & maybe Penelope/young men…
    Anyway another inspired idea ,v. funny, & succinctly written.
    To be frank, there are lots of wannabees online: but you have talent, young man & I’m not just saying that.

    • Thank you Pat, very kind words. I really enjoyed writing this. It was kind of inspired by Jasper Fforde’s books-he has characters from novels existing in their own world waiting to be read.

  3. Steve Green says:

    Ha Ha, Love it, the blind cyclops doing the cooking. I actually laughed out loud reading this.

    I have visited the neighbouring island of Kefalonia about 13 times (I think it’s 13)
    And I have visited Ithaca, and sat at the waterside taverna in Kioni harbour and fed the fishes. This story evokes happy memories for me. Thank you.

    • Steve, it is the same taverna I had in mind for Taverna Odysseus. I think the best stuffed onions I have eaten. Really glad you found something to laugh at. I laughed when I was writing it. Sometimes the mood just needs to be lightened up a bit. Pleased to bring back a happy memory for you.

  4. Kari Fay says:

    Very entertaining story. I often wondered what happens to mythological characters when they’re forgotten.

  5. Crystal says:

    A cyclops cooking, how hilarious. This was great, what a treat.

  6. this gave me a great chuckle! 🙂 I loved Greek Mythology!

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