Hyacinth at the Beach, a Historical Fiction
Copyright 8-28-2004 F. John Kluth, Kent Ohio.
This story is illustrated. Click on the links to see the pictures.
Edited by Erin Boguski
Hyacinths parents thought Crete would be a nice place for Hyacinth to
spend a few days because of her recent interest in Greek mythology. It
made her parents very proud that she was following in their footsteps. She
flew to New York and then to London. From London she flew to Athens and
then took a small plane to Herakleion. She felt unencumbered on the flight.
She fit everything into one bag, but her carry-on was so large it had to be
checked. As soon as she watched it drift away on the airport conveyor belt,
she knew it was gone.
She arrived late in the evening, clad in a long flowing dress. Sadly her
luggage did not greet her at the baggage gate as expected. It would be
forwarded to her as soon as it arrived. Her
reservation was at the beachfront Pelamare Apartments. She waited patiently
at the desk in the lobby as other people, cranky and familiar-looking from
the flight, huffed and puffed impatiently. The conversation of an old
British couple caught her attention. They were archaeologists, Dr. and Dr.
Evans, here to discover artifacts on the shore. Competition. She watched
them whisper to each other, pointing out each shortcoming of the facility.
Hyacinth finally received her room key and stepped into the elevator,
looking at her tired reflection in the brass rails. In her room she pulled
her dress over her head and washed it in the sink. She squeezed out the
excess water and hung it over the tub to dry. Not a minute after she laid
her head down on the soft feather comforter, the sound of the rolling sea
lulled her to sleep.
Hyacinth awoke suddenly during the night, alert and with a start. She saw
a bright moonlit sky overhead with stars shining. Her covers were gone and
she felt totally exposed. She sat up and hugged her knees to her chest. A
gentle breeze went right through her and she breathed it in. She closed her
eyes and inhaled the fresh sea-salted air, fully aware of the fact that she
was dreaming. In front of her were two rows of ten oarsmen facing her,
rowing intently. The oars lapped the water rhythmically between the gentle
waves. The oarsmen acted as one man, one body, except for the smaller-framed
man who was slightly off course. The oarsmen were too intent on their work
to notice Hyacinth, so she just relaxed and enjoyed the freedom of nudity
in her dream. For most teenagers, this was a nightmare, but Hyacinth had
recently become very comfortable with herself. To one side she saw the
mountains of Crete illumined in the moonlight. On the other side she saw the
stars meeting the sea in reflecting indigo. At the helm of the ship was a
beautiful woman dressed in a ruffled skirt, a girdle, and a vest-like garment
that left the breasts exposed. On her head she wore a crown. She oversaw the
men and frowned at the offbeat man.
Hyacinth awoke for a second, thinking. She was having a moment of clarity
during her lucid dream. Not too long ago everyone woke up naked and looked
out into the night sky. Now everyone is clothed. How far have we come since
then? Is progress progressive? The waves entranced her and she returned
to the night sky. She was simultaneously conscious and unconscious. The
lady at the helm might be a goddess, she thought, and smiled at the woman,
who did not return the kindness. She took to the lotus position and aligned
her back with the mast. The smaller oarsman caught a peek of the beautifully
composed nude. She eyed him carefully then closed her eyes, matching her
breathing to the waves. Soon the helmsperson offered Hyacinth a drink, which
she graciously accepted. The aftertaste in her mouth caused a moment of
d‚ja vu and she laid her heavy head back down and drifted off.
Hyacinth awoke early to a beautiful Mediterranean day. She filled the
Jacuzzi up with bubbles and lily petals from the table arrangement in the
room. As the tub filled, she ordered sparkling grape juice, strawberries,
and pancakes. She called the front desk and, because her luggage had yet to
arrive, she requested a salesperson from the high-end gift shop to bring
some outfits, to be charged to the room along with the breakfast. Her dream
came to her at this time. What did it mean? As she soaked in the tub, she
decided on a bikini. She was eager to hit the beach because
sometimes the waves washed up artifacts. Unlike the dream that Hyacinth
had last night, an artifact was a hard piece of evidence. She was determined
to hash out the events of the dream. She knew it was significant somehow.
She trotted down to the water and, in the wet sand, quickly found an
interesting shard. It had intricate markings on one side and was about
one square inch. It wasnt very telling. As she moved along the beac
other shards became apparent. Each shard is a fact, she thought, much
more telling than the subjectivity of dreams. She was drawn further down
the beach because, the further she went, the more pieces she found.
She approached the cliffs in the distance. She heard there was a cave
of the nymphs in the vicinity. The shards she found might be a clue for
its location or its interpretation. In ancient Crete caves were popular
as temples and places of worship. The Island has a number of spectacular
caverns with stalactites and stalagmites. The ancients saw goddess images
in these forms. They were also associated with birth and birthing, the
vulva represented by the cave opening. She noticed a disk-shaped rock
blocking an entrance. The debris around the base of the rock suggested it
had not been moved. First she removed the debris, then she struggled to
roll the rock, kicking up dust and sweating profusely. Inside, she saw
stalactites and stalagmites and a large table rock. Some of the stalagmites
looked like statues. In front of the rock were the remains of an ancient
jar, matching the pieces she held.
When she pieced them together, there were three nymphs in a seaside
scene, but the shards were different than the ones she found on the beach.
These nymphs seemed to preside over a ritual with a sacrifice victim spread
eagle before them on a flat rock. The easiest interpretation would be that
the victim would be killed with her blood going to some ceremony that
needed it. But a female victim has the advantage of providing blood
without being killed. Menstrual blood was often used in this way. And
a female could also be used as bait to attract a god or monster. The
bait might be eaten, but it also might become pregnant. She hoped this
wasnt any sort of premonition. Nervously, she took her evidence outside.
She sat on the sand by the beach and breathed slowly, looking into the
sun that warmed her face as she sank gently into the hot sand. Her
breathing grew deeper. She opened her eyes to darkness. Again she woke up
nude on the ship, but this time it was about to dock. A gangplank was
laid and a sedan chair waited at the bottom. It was fitted with a seat
in the middle under a canopy frame. Four men came over and picked her up
by her arms and legs. She was surprised they grabed her bare flesh but once
they did it was useless to resist. They carried her to the seat in the
sedan chair. The seat looked so regal she did not dare resist. Her instincts
told her to remain calm. After all, this was all a dream. They now lifted
the chair took her to the cave. Hyacinth grew nervous when she noticed she
no longer had free arms or legs. The men put her down on the table and had
bound her arms and legs. The smaller man looked her in the eye sternly
before exiting the premises. The oarsmen struck up a fire. Orange light
and heat blinded her.
The afternoon sun returned and Hyacinth sat up on the beach, stretching
and yawning, surrounded by shards. Her arms and legs were red and her
face felt tight. Far in the distance, she saw some figures on the beach.
Some children raced the waves as they splashed on the shoreline. A man
with a limp was closest to her, and must have just passed her. He looked
awkward, hunching over and dragging his bad leg. On the other side of
the shore were Dr. and Dr. Evans. She recognized their movements easily
from afar. Hyacinth gathered all the pieces she found that day and
vanished before the couple saw her.
As she rushed to higher ground, she noticed a burning in her stomach.
She must have dazed off for a while, she concluded because she was so hungry.
When she got back to the hotel, she requested a private table for dinner.
She bought a notebook from the gift shop and charged it to her room. She
wondered what was taking so long for her luggage to arrive. She took off
her beach clothes and washed them in the sink. Thankfully her dress was
dry because the dining room had a dress code.
She sat down behind a curtain at her table, ordering hot tea. She removed
the tables accoutrements, the salt and peppershakers and such, and laid
out the artifacts one by one. Not able to make any immediate sense of
things, she recorded her dreams as accurately as her memory would allow.
She ordered the calamari entr‚e and concentrated on the shards, ordering
them by likeness. She noted the size, shape and any distinguishing markings
in her notebook, but that was all she could do without over-theorizing.
Shortly into the meal she heard the familiar British accent of the Evans.
They spoke softly and gently to one another, so as not to be heard.
Hyacinth ate silently, an ear perked, and was careful not to clang her
fork against her plate. They were discussing the weather and the odds
of another rainstorm. Apparently, a rare rainstorm passed through, which
explained why so many items were washed to shore. Another storm might
be on its way. They had their fingers crossed that a similar event would
recur, so they could bring home some relevant artifacts to their colleagues.
Dr. Evans whispered to his wife, and she giggled. Hyacinth heard some
rustling around and she pushed away her plate in disgust. Just as she
was ready to get up, he heard her exclaim, Its just so . . . big! Hyacinth
froze. No, this was not happening. He continued proudly, Yes, a whopping,
8×6. Hyacinth raised an eyebrow. He continued, This is very beautiful,
and very telling. I cant believe it was just lying on the beach! They
must have a shard, Hyacinth deduced. Hyacinth relaxed at first, relieved,
until she realized the size. The largest piece she had found was the 2×3,
recorded in her notebook. She fumed. She accidentally bumped her teaspoon
and it rattled in her cup. The voices were silent. She imagined the
couple pantomiming, speaking in gestures foreign to all but themselves.
Hyacinth panicked. She heard a chair shuffling. In one fell swoop Hyacinth
dumped the shards into her lap and covered them with her flowing skirt.
A man with an old balding head peeked around the curtain. Hyacinth glanced
up at the man, hunched over her notebook, pretending to be absorbed in
her writing. Out of her peripheral vpsion she noticed a large shard she
had missed still on the table. The last thing she wanted was to draw
attention to her bizarre situation, with the shards and the dreams and
an interconnectedness she was beginning to see. She looked up and batted
her eyes, distracting the man as she threw her napkin over the piece.
She decided to play dumb.
Like, calamari sucks, she declared loudly, acting as American as she
could. He stared at her blankly. Had she been listening? What does
a young American girl want with their information anyway? Gum? Hyacinth
offered, eating a piece herself and snapping it loudly. She blew a bubble
and popped it, chewing like a cow. He shook his head and returned to his
wife without even saying no, thanks. Hyacinth was obviously one of those
rude teenagers from the States. Both parties sat, dumbfounded, for a
minute before the waiter returned and took the couples order. They chatted
on different subjects now, and Hyacinth turned in for the night.
She went to bed in hopes that her dream would return. It did. Again
the oarsmen carried her nude into the cave. They tied her spread eagle
on the table rock, just like the victim on the broken pot. The oarsmen
lit the cave with torches as they tied her down, then they left. She
was now in a pitch-dark cave with only the familiar sound of lapping water
around her. It echoed in the darkness and surrounded her. She had a
heightened sense of her nudity because there were cool breezes raising
goose bumbs on her skin. It came to her attention that the cave was
filling with water. Her breath stopped short and she grew scared.
Suddenly something rubbed her leg. She tried to kick and shake it off,
but to no avail. At first it felt like a snake, but then the number of
slimy objects grewi and they seemed to stick to her. It’s only a dream,
she repeated in her head, her body
welling up in repulsion and fear. While a slimy mass weighed her body down and
there was poking all over her body like the slimy things wanted to get in.
One slipped in her mouth and she gagged. The poking in her nether regions
was more troublesome. She felt so helpless so violated
and so scared that she let out the loudest, shrillest scream ever. It
shook her eardrums as the sound bounced off the back of the cave wall and
passed through her. She woke up in a sweat, her heart pounding against
There was an urgent knock on the door. Hyacinth looked through the
peephole and saw Dr. Evans in his nightclothes. He knocked again, louder.
His muffled voice sounded from the hallway. His voice resonated, and
Hyacinth’s first instinct was to shut him up. Hyacinth made sure the chain
lock was on and, as she had no pajamas of her own, opened the door a crack.
Are you okay? he asked, concerned. Since it was dark, Hyacinth was aware
that he couldnt recognize her, accept for her accent.
She tried to say, as non-American as possible, It was just a bad dream,
and with that she closed the door. When she laid down again, the dream
immediately returned. She still felt the heart-pounding fear as before,
but it subsided slightly and she waited patiently for whatever was to
come next. The torches returned to the cave. She felt relieved. The
oldest oarsman with the longest beard put his hand on Hyacinths forehead.
This calmned her greatly and she noticed the smaller man beside him, his
eyes young and wide. They untied her bonds and they sat her up. From their
demeanor, plus the look of satisfaction on the helmswomans face she
presumed she had undergone a ritual initiation. Most of the initiates
reported an epiphany, a vision of the goddess when in great fear, the
woman explained, but Hyacinth saw nothing. She was grateful that they
offered her a drink of the sweet tasting liquid with the familiar taste
that made her head and extremities heavy. She gulped the drink and very
quickly fell back asleep right there on the table rock.
The next morning she immediately recorded her dream. Slimy snakes,
tentacles, tentacles! Of course! Hyacinth dumped out her shards on her
bed. The events seemed to have some definite connection with the shards.
When she looked at the pottery again she saw little circles, resembling
tentacles. She furiously jotted notes. Hyacinth knew the octopus was
a common illustration in ancient Cretan art. She suddenly remembered a
website she went on for school. For biology Hyacinth did a report on
animal symbolism. Of course! To the Greeks and Minoans, Octopus symbolized
the sacred spiral of the Goddess. . . it represented the moon phases,
feminine powers, and the cycle of life and death. She stopped and slowed
on the words life and death, and hoped the octopus was not her vision of
death. She noted the significance of the octopus as her first feasible theory. Her mind worked quickly.
She returned to the cave for more clues after a quick breakfast. She
had to make it before Dr. and Dr. Evans found anything else. She made
sure of that. On the way to the cave she found nothing of any consequence.
She was looking around the floor of the cave when crude arms grabbed her
from behind. Her hands were bound and she was strung upside down from one of
the stalactites and dangled there. She wanted to scream, but if she did then
the whereabouts of the cave would be known. She shut her eyes and clamped
her mouth shut, grunting in frustration, but no way was anyone else going
to find out about this cave! She noticed her attacker was the limping
man she saw on the beach yesterday, who began to strip his clothes off.
He stripped off her clothes until she was totally nude and dangling
precariously. Suddenly there was a gigantic booming that shook the entire
cave. The stranger rushed to dress his crude body as hurriedly as possible
and left her dangling.
Her body wafted in the gentle breeze. Hyacinth was annoyed, but not
worried. She knew she’d be okay very soon. She was reminded of the
painting of Andromeda by Ingres. He painted Andromeda in a similar
situation. Someone saved her, too. She was chained nude to the rocks
by the sea while she waited for a sea monster to devour her. Was she
now going to be the delicacy of some monster? Not the octopus, she hoped.
But then these monster scenarios are typically just symbols of some gross
sex act. Hyacinths stomach dropped to her throat (as she was upsidedown)
because of her dream! Of course! Octopus oversteps boundaries, is big
huge monster, limping man oversteps boundaries, proves hideous monster.
Her head felt funny as it rushed with all the blood from her body. Her
feet tingled. Suddenly she heard a voice and saw a woman whose crown
glowed with a light that filled the cave. She spoke. “That man certainly
does not know how to make a proper sacrifice, especially since the victim
is still alive and wiggling. Now what am I going to do with a not very
Hyacinth piped in softly, Please cut me down.
Well, was the curt reply, as the woman neared, at least I do not have
to watch while you die. A supplicant who does not provide a proper
sacrifice gets nothing.
Nothing! Hyacinths back was turned by the breeze and she could not tell
what the woman was doing. She wasn’t afraid though. To this Hyacinth
replied, You mean if he had carried out his plans to rape and murder me
you would have rewarded him? Hurt arose in her vocal inflictions and on
her facial expressions.
But the woman replied, Not really. Nothing would have worked. I made
him leave in such a hurry. The only people that we reward are those who
deserve it. The only victims that we accept are appropriate ones. And
you are inappropriate, she said with a haughty air. Besides, she added, we
have other plans for you. With that Hyacinth fell to the ground in a
heap and the woman vanished.
Hyacinth left the cave, peering carefully to either side before allowing
herself to be seen. She just had a close call, but she was unsure if she
should tell anyone. They might believe her story about the man who harmed
her, but the role of the woman was a bit hard to explain. Where did she
come from? A terror-induced vision? A hallucination from the blood
rushing to her brain? She recalled her dream and realized it must be the
epiphany! The thought blew her away. Now that she thought about it, the
lady at the helm and the epiphany woman both wore a crown. Both were
unfriendly. She was pretty sure they were the same person. But that man
really had come to harm her, and that woman really had come to save her.
Perplexed, she rolled the rock back over the entrance and headed down the
beach. After awhile she saw someone in the distance. She decided to
move into the water to let the sea cover her nudity. Unfortunately, the
figure coming toward her seemed to be that same awful man with the same
lame leg. Worse yet, there was a speedboat coming towards her. Her worst
fears were realized when the speedboat stopped to pick up the horrid man.
Then it rushed toward her.
Suddenly she felt a large object slide smoothly between her thighs. She
looked down and saw something beneath her. It floated up to take her on
its back. It was a dolphin and its dorsal fin provided a handle she held
on to. As soon a Hyacinth was on the animal moved off a a fast clip. But
the speedboat gained on them. This creature could not outrun the boat.
Just as the boat was about to overtake them, the dolphin flipped his powerful
tail and leapt from the water just as the boat passed under him. Another
flip of the tail and both men were in the water and their boat continued
on without a pilot. After a few erratic turns it ended up on the beach
in a shower of sparks. It set on fire and black smoke billowed out.
Herakleion’s old fire engine, within just a few minutes, sped along the beach
towards the smoke.
Somehow the dolphin sensed Hyacinth’s anxiety, let out a chirp, warning
Hyacinth to hold on, and he took her underwater for a couple of minutes.
Hyacinth braced herself and thought about how those men would explain
the accident. At this point the dolphin was headed away from her room at
a fast clip. She was glad to be away from there because she did not want
to explain the events. She wanted to sort out why she, of all people,
was saved by a dolphin. In ancient Greece there were many images of a boy
on a dolphin, but never a girl. In Greek mythology, Taras, the son of the
Greek sea god Poseidon, was rescued from a shipwreck by a dolphin sent by
his father. Aphrodite was associated with the sea. Why wouldn’t she ride
on a dolphin? Perhaps Hera sent the dolphin to help her escape. The dolphin
moves away from danger when needed. She just had that dream about the
octopus, somehow connected with the dolphin! Dolphins are guardians of the
dreamtime. Her mind was nearly blown away, but Hyacinth focused. What was
the dolphin? Of course! She thought, the dolphin is the water element of
magic. She saw a reflection of herself in this wet objectx beneith her.
This must be about understanding the power of rhythm of yourself, and using
breath to release intense emotions. While Hycanith has been in Crete, she
noticed how the natural rhythm of the ocean lulled her to sleep. Also, in
her dream, she practiced breathing exercises. She stroked the rubbery skin
of her savior. When they were a safe distance, the dolphin slid away and
returned to his pod, who were chirping loudly for his safe return. Hyacinth
climbed out of the water and returned to her room to rest for the remainder
of the day. The recent events swarmed her mind and she kept her notebook
handy. She tried to sketch the woman she saw, but she was no artist. Last
night her dream was so disturbing she had trouble falling asleep, but she
finally did. That night her subconscious left her in peace and she slept
When she woke up in the morning she wanted to explore more. She kept
the shards carefully covered in her closet, loosely pieced together. It
was so frustrating that a huge chunk out of the middle was missing. All
she could make out were stripes! The nymph scene was complete, the sacrifice
scene was complete, but there were more. She had to get her hands on the
shard found by the Evans. She dressed and returned to the place of the
cave, not at all afraid of the limping man or the speedboat. She saw the
pod in the distance, who sounded as she neared. They would protect her,
like magic. She only walked a little further on the beach before she came
to an obstacle. A fence had been erected and a sign stated that the
property was a private nudist colony. She felt frustrated because she saw
down the beach two piles of what could be shards. She thought for a minute
and then decided to take the chance. She removed her clothes and deposited
them under a rock cairn, then proceeded down the beach. Just as she arrived
at the first pile, a woman jumped out of the brush and said, So there you are.
I have been looking all over for you. Don’t you know the opening ceremony
is in 15 minutes? It is required for all unmarried girls to participate,
keeping with ritual. You are unmarried, arent you? she asked without a doubt.
Hyacinth did not want to argue with the woman. If she just played along she
could sneak off. She followed the woman from the fence to an open area next
to a cove. There was a stage and on it were several girls. Above the stage
was a banner reading Grand Opening. To Hyacinth this was somewhat perplexing.
For a minute she thought she was dreaming again. When the music started she
and the other girls danced. Hyacinths movements were nontraditional and she
began to attract attention. A young man in particular, tanned with lean
muscles, whose bright blue eyes rested on Hyacinths movements caught her
attention. Suddenly she recognized him as the young oarsman from her dream
and she lost her step completely. There were boos in the crowd. At that
point, she went into the restroom and climbed out of the window. Before
long she was back at the shards. Now everyone was fully occupied at the
stage and she didnt have to worry. She found more shards and headed for
her clothes. She was relieved she did not encounter the Evans in the nude.
They must have been discouraged by the newly erected fence, she thought
with a laugh as she returned to the hotel.
The shards depicted images of female deities and nymphs dancing and
praising, performing miracles. What was she to make of this? Because
she was raised in a community with Christian churches she knew that some
people were very interested in the miracles of Jesus and believed that
they helped to confirm their belief. But these shards indicated that
miracles were not confined to Jesus. Christians would not believe in
the reality of the nymphs, yet the people who believed in them lived
perhaps 1,500 years before Jesus. The concept of pagan would not apply
to these people. The term ‘pagan’ applies to simple people to whom the
truth of Christ has not been revealed. But these people would have no
knowledge of Jesus because he would not come alive for another 1500 years.
Besides, they were well-educated, so the derogatory term could not apply
to the ignorance of these people. Weren’t the stories in the Bible
mythologies in their own right? Actually, Hyacinth thought, the religion
of the ancient Greeks was adapted into the Christian theology. The concept
of angel was adapted from the concept of goddess. In the early days of
the church, sculptures of Greek goddesses abounded. The Christians merely
expropriated the sculptures and placed them in their churches. The Greeks
symbolized the goddesses could fly by giving them wings. So the wings on a
goddess became the wings of an angel. The Greeks were adept at writing
good stories, which is why their myths transcend antiquity, also because
of the universal characterizations. The ancient Greeks experienced the
world and recorded what they saw. In some cases their experiences are
scientifically explainable while in other cases a mystical explanation
must be accepted, just like in the Bible.
Some experiences could be carefully documented and others could not. The
shards that Hyacinth found are public. They could be exhibited in a museum.
But though the pictures of the nymphs on the shards are public, the ideas
hey represent are not. They are like the ideas of Hyacinth. She remembers
being freed by, quite possibly, the woman of her dreams? But would
anybody believe this story if she told it? And yet people of every culture
have recorded such epiphanies. An ancient Greek seemed to experience
something similar, revealed in the art of the pot. But even though
Hyacinth and some anceent Greeks seemed to share an experience, it is not
public. But it does remain a powerful image in their memories.
Hyacinth finally went to bed thinking such thoughts. The strange dream
returned but in a different phase. The crew was not rowing because the
ship was under full sail. They were asleep on the rowing benches. The
only person awake was the lady at the helm. Hyacinth studied the stars
and determined that the ship was headed dead south because Polaris was over
the stern. Could it be that the ship was headed for Egypt? Were they going
to sell her into slavery? The helmswoman came closer and Hyacinth recalled
her epiphany. This was the same woman. Hyacinth accepted the kantheros
she had offered and she could not speak, although she tried. The woman put
her hand on Hyacinths forehead and spoke, I am Hera.
Hyacinth awoke suddenly. She was on the silky sheets in her own bedroom.
Next to her head on her pillow was a peacock plume. Her mouth gaped, but
nothing could fully surprise her, as these past few days had been so
fantastic already. Of course! Hera wore a crown and was often accompanied
by a peacock. The pieces started to fit together even more as Hyacinth
recalled some of the shards depicted eyes of the feathers on them. She
marked it down. Octopuses and peacocks? Dolphins? It was early morning
and Hyacinth recorded her dream exactly. She got dressed and rushed outside,
too excited to eat. The weather was cloudy as Hyacinth returned to the cave.
As she scrambled on the rocks she wondered how she would check the sea
floor there. This question was answered as she slipped and fell in. She
removed her clothes and threw them on the beach so she could swim.
The seawater burned her eyes but she could see under the water. There
were a number of shards for her to pick up. She threw them up on the shore.
It was not difficult to catch her breath and then dive down to explore.
She wished she had a snorkel, though.
But now a storm was brewing. The conversation between Dr. and Dr.
Evans flashed through her mind. More pieces would be washed to shore,
she hoped excitedly. Lightning in the distance suggested she seek shelter.
She scrambled out, dressed, and ran up to the high ground and found the
marketplace. She ducked behind a barrel in a tent as the shopkeepers
prepared for the storm. The spoke to each other in a broken Greek tongue,
which Hyacinth took to mean they used stylized dialect or slang, but she
got the main idea. One shopkeeper bragged to another that he sold fake
jars to tourists for $200, while his wife and children made them all day
long at home. He said he could trick the smartest into thinking it
authentic. Thats all profit, he exclaimed, greedily.
The other man asked him, Do you have no conscience? He shook his head.
While this was going on, Hyacinth devised a plan. Hail kicked up all
around them and pelted the tent. Lightning and thunder sounded in unison,
but in just a few minutes the birds emerged and the sun shone through the
clouds. Hyacinth got her hands on a few of the fake ” authentic pots and left
her hiding spot without a trace. She raced back down to the rocks. There,
by the shoreline, she saw broken shards all over the shore. She went over
to a sharp boulder and broke her new jars into pieces. Then she ran to
where the pieces began, and traded the authentic shards for the shards
of the stolen jars.
All of a sudden, the storm picked up again and Hyacinth realized it must have been the eye of the storm. Then she remembered the large hail. Thunder sounded and rain began. Her clothes were already soaked and as the wind picked up it chilled her to the bone. Down the beach she spotted the fence, indicating the property of the nudist colony. She remembered the tent and rushed to get there before the hail began. She threw off her clothes on the way, so as to detract attention from herself. She panted heavily, grateful the tent was still there, and caught her breath.
Just a minute later the hail began and a figure on the beach fell down
in the sand. The body laid still. The figure was nude, so he must be a
part of the colony, so Hyacinth decided to try to save him. She took down
the Grand Opening sign and held it above her head. This was the only
thing close to protection she had. She ran over to the fallen body and
gasped when she saw it was the man of her dreams who watched her dance.
Of course it was him, she thought as she dragged him to safety. Under
the tent she laid the body out and looked him over. Sure enough, there
was a giant welt on his forehead. She lifted up his eyelids and looked for
signs of consciousness. She put her head on his heart. He replied by putting
his arms around her. She did not scream, but she lifted her head and
looked into his blue eyes. He smiled and their lips met, their naked wet
bodies pressing next to each other. He stroked her hair softly and whispered,
Thank you into her ear and they both fell asleep.
They woke up together in the familiar night sky. Neither were at all
surprised. They looked at each other knowingly, because they knew this
dream. The oarsmen were all asleep and the ship was under full sail.
Hera beamed when she noticed the two were awake. She went over to them
and spoke softly, Were almost there now. The boat docked and they were
greeted by dozens of people dressed in festive garb. When Hyacinth stepped
off the boat, she was presented with a long red robe. A procession began
to a banquet hall and Hyacinth and the young man were the guests of honor.
It wasnt more than a few minutes when Hyacinth realized what was happening.
Women who wore red were about to get married. Because she was dreaming,
she didnt mind entertaining the idea, even though she was much too young.
Even though she knew this was fantasy, her heart rate sped up dramatically.
If she had lived in ancient Greece, she supposed it would be her time.
Before long the procession stopped at a doorway. Her beloved had grabbed
her hand nervously. Hyacinths stomach dropped. She had only just kissed
this boy a few minutes ago! She was not ready to consummate the marriage!
She began to hyperventilate as the women pushed her in and closed the door
behind them. No sooner did she hear the bolt lock then the young man turned
into the evil limping man grasping for her robe. She screamed and yelled.
The people outside cheered. Hyacinth saw a window to her left and made a
mad dash. The man tried to follow, but his lame leg hindered him. She
ran all the way out to the boat. She did not know where else to run.
All of a sudden, she heard a familiar chirp. It was the dolphin, here to
rescue her! She gratefully climbed onto its back and it headed out into
the water. She knew the dolphin would come! Relieved, she relaxed and
waited for the dolphin to take her home.
She felt the ocean moving around her, the dolphin gliding and the waves
churning over Hyacinths body. She opened her eyes and realized it was
not the dolphin, but the young man who was gently awakening her. They
kissed again. He took her hand and they walked to the water. The storm
had passed, and luckily Hyacinth collected all the real pieces to her
clothes. Now there were tourists and children and lonely old men, all
surveying the beach for ancient goods. They picked up the pieces Hyacinth
laid down and were exclaiming with joy, “Look, Ive got a ladys head!” one
boy exclaimed. “I’ve got her boob!” said the other. They snickered.
Hyacinth saw the Evans on the beach, grappling with a young family over
a pile of the fake pot pieces. Hyacinth felt the need to disappear,
fearing attention again. She whispered in the young man’s ear, Meet me at
the Pelamare dining room at 7. And wear a tie! With that, she trotted
off to her room.
She requested a private table again, this time for two. As she took
a cool shower she daydreamed about the boy of her dreams. She had never
even kissed anyone like that before. Butterflies flew in her stomach.
At 7 P.M. she made her way in her long flowing dress to her table in the
dining room. He was already waiting, his face shining and tanned. He
was beaming. As she entered, he stood and kissed her hand. She blushed.
He had ordered a bottle of wine, but Hyacinth was apprehensive about
drinking, being in high school and all, but she knew from her parents
lecture that is was perfectly acceptable to have table wine in Greece.
Just after they ordered and began gushing at each other and their
presence in each others dreams, Hyacinth heard the familiar sound of
the British. She shushed her date immediately and began to listen
intently. What do you mean, unrelated? Dr. Evans asked her husband,
guffawed. Well, Dr. Evans explained matter-of-factly, the pieces we
found today are completely unlike the one we found on arrival. Further,
it being such a large artifact, it makes me curious: why didnt someone
else find it first? The conversation stopped and the waiter took their
order. Hyacinth still motioned for absolute silence. Her date quietly
sipped his golden wine. He seemed delighted to snoop with Hyacinth.
The waiter went away. Dr. Evans was getting very upset at her husband.
Thats it, she proclaimed, in tears. Were through. There was a heavy
thud on the ground and a chair scraped against the carpet floor.
Footsteps sounded and heavier footsteps followed. Hyacinth leapt from
her chair to the other side of the partition where a gigantic shard
revealing a hideous octopus with a huge threatening eye laid. She swiped
it, grabbed the wine and the date and headed off to her room.
In her hotel room, she showed the young man the giant shard she had
stolen, and, feeling she could trust him, she showed him everything in
her closet. She spilled about the fake pots and the Evans and the
eavesdropping. They drank all their wine and ordered more. In just
a few hours, Hyacinth was totally drunk and lying on her bed. The
young man kissed her and she fell asleep. Perhaps her dreams may have
further warned her, but the alcohol prevented dreams this night.
She awoke in the morning with an urgent knock on the door. Hyacinth
rose, her friend still fast asleep, and looked through the peephole. It
was her parents! She shook the young man and pulled him off the bed into
the bathroom closet. She silenced him with the fateful words, Shh! My Dad!
He slinked into the pile of dirty towels with fear. She opened the door
and immediately her mother started, Why havent you returned my calls?
What is going on with this room service bill? Why did I get your suitcase
in the mail? I have been so worried about you! Then she spotted the wine
bottles and glasses. What is this, she accused, some sort of party?
Hyacinth Rose, you are a young teenage girl. What are you doing with
wine glasses? Hyacinth started to cry, this bombardment a complete
surprise. Her mother softened, Why didnt you call home?
“I’ve been so preoccupied with things,” Mom, she started. “Well, we’ve
got today together. How about some breakfast? Hyacinths heart dropped.
After all, there was a boy in her linen closet. She replied, “You go to
breakfast. Ill meet you.” She pushed her parents out of the room and
locked the door. The closet door creaked and the young man padded barefoot
across the carpet. He grabbed his tie and his shoes from under the bed,
kissed Hyacinth on the cheek and left without a word. Hyacinth went
down to breakfast, and to her absolute worst surprise, her parents were
sitting with Dr. and Dr. Evans. Hyacinth’s head ached from all that wine.
She was about to pivot and exit the room when her parents ushered her over.
“These are the Evans and we were just talking about you. Honey,” her mother
asked in a low voice, “did you have some sort of nightmare? Oh great,”
Hyacinth thought, now theyre telling each other everything. It wasn’t
long before the Evans revealed their secret findings to Hyacinths folks,
not to mention the mysterious missing piece. Hyacinths face turned beet
red with guilt, and embarrassment for the Evans when it would be revealed
to them that they had fallen for a fake. Everyone oohed and awed, except
Hyacinth, who knew better. Back in Hyacinth’s room with her parents,
she sat them down and solemnly told them she had something to show them.
She hoped her father would take this better than last time. She went
into her closet and carefully removed the shards, placing them on the bed.
Her parents were speechless as they handled the pieces in turn. Her father
reached for paper and a pen, but Hyacinth stopped him. Instead, she
showed him her careful objective notes. Lastly she brought out, with shame,
the gigantic piece she had stolen the previous night. Her parents gasped.
They went into the bathroom and discussed, and thankfully they decided
to keep it their family secret. The credit could not go to the Evans,
they concurred, not after our little girl investigated so hard on this.
It surprised them she was so devious, however, when she told how the Evans
evidence was fake and totally her doing. Hyacinth requested she have the
afternoon alone to say goodbye to some important places in Crete before
they head back to the States. Her parents set up lunch with the Evans,
to try to let on that their artifacts were fakes without going into great
Hyacinth headed for the cave for the last time. She passed piles of
fake shards by the water, passed the now-familiar families on the beach,
and sent a telepathic greeting to the pod of dolphins from afar. They
replied cheerfully. She went to the cave, and to her surprise the rock
was rolled over and Hera was inside. She greeted Hyacinth, So, these have
been a couple trying days for you, yes? Hyacinth nodded. This was a
test of strength. Ive been watching you, Hyacinth, and you are a very
bright and strong girl. Hyacinth could not say a word. You’ve made a few
bad choices, however, like being misleading and worrying your mother,
and other things, she winked. But the truth always comes out, she warned,
Let this be a lessen to you. She disappeared. Hyacinth went over to the
fence of the nudist colony where she shed her clothng and went under the
fence. The young man ran over right away and they embraced. They sat
near the fence for the remainder of the day, watching the dolphins play
and the waves roll in. Hyacinth listened to the waves, closed her eyes,
and felt at peace.
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