I’ve decided to publish a my false start for NaNoWriMo… This is a complete first draft. I just want to get it out there on record.
The blue green waters of the Mediterranean always reminded Lucy of a stained glass window. The brilliant colors. The way she could see through to the ruins below. It was like being in church admiring the windows. Unfortunately, she didn’t feel any connection to the place. Never mind that she was 100% Greek, she looked and felt something other. The light brown hair and blue eyes semmed to contradict the earthy people. Even her name didn’t fit the place. When has anyone ever met a Greek named Lucy. She was an anomaly in this beautiful rich place.
In fact, Lucy started to wonder why she was here in the first place… Sure, it was her ancestral home. Of course, her grandmother had lived her entire life in this very village. Her mother was born here, but then left for the promise of a life beyond the water and rocks. Lucy had vacationed here many a summer, basking in the sun, watching the fish nibble her toes, imagining mermaids in the ruins, As a child she had loved the sense of the unknown just outside the villa. But now, at 25 she was confused. Shouldn’t she feel some connection to this place. The dirt ran through her veins. And yet, nothing. She was a Greek, one of the oldest cultures still around, and yet she didn’t feel Greek. She didn’t feel like anything. After spending hours sitting on the cliff, Lucy finally resigned herself that nothing was coming. She rose and slowly walked back to the villa, ready to face the relatives.
The terra cotta walls were aged and crumbing, yet they stood guarding the little courtyard beyond. Her grandmother always had red flowers all along the top of the wall. With her sick, they were gone. The wall looked naked witout the color. Once Lucy opened the courtyard gate, she was assaulted with the usual sounds and smells of the villa. Random snippets of conversation, much too loud for the occasion, but that was usual among the village residents. The smell of roasting goat and some type of honeyed dessert wafted through the open windows. The sounds and smells never seemed to change. Her summer vacations were full of sounds and smells. Lucy never seemed to be able to recall events just sensory experiences. Maybe that was why there was no connection. No real emotions were attached to the experiences.
Lucy hestitated before proceeding across the courtyard the thin door at the far end. Did she really want to go in? Did she really want to face the future? Did she have the strength to face one particular person? Lucy answered her own questions: no, no, and most definitely no. Yet she had to. Sooner or later. And someone would be sent to find her sooner rather than later. Better to confront her fears now while the sun still shone and the birds still circled overhead. Lucy crossed the courtyard and pushed open the door.
Kalliope hated this place. The colors, the sounds, the smells, the dirt that seemed to get into everything. But most of all, she hated the people. Growing up she felt trapped in this little village. Destined to marry the butcher’s son or the apothecary’s son or someone’s son, someone she had know all her life and despised. Kalliope dreamed of tall buildings, crowds of people, exotic names and foods. Instead, she was stuck in this tiny village forced to run errands for her grandparents, do the washing, attend the tiny church on Holy Days. Until one day, she met a boy. A boy from the city had come to tour the villages of the coutnry. A boy with the same dreams as Kalliope. She fell instantly in love. Not with the boy but iwth the idea of the boy. On the last night of his vacation, Kalliope packed a small bag and sneaked out of the villa through the courtyard and out to the road and the waiting truck. She ran all the way to America with the boy. Once there he abandoned her and the infant for bigger dreams. Kalliope had achieved her dream of getting out, but the reality wasn’t quite what she had had planned. At least it was away from the wretcvhed existance in the village. But now she was back. Damn her mother for getting cancer. Why couldn’t she have kept a secret until she died? Or at least forgotten about Kalliope. Such was not the case in her family. She had to come back and so she did. Grudgingly, she came.
Something even more horrorific than the village lay within the walls of the villa. Kalliope had to face her daughter, Lucy. That fact could not be forgotten. Resignedly Kalliope waited in the living room among loud relatives and heavy scents. She waited until Lucy finally decided to cross the courtyard and open the door.
Hestia wasn’t so much as a domineering matriarch as a spirit guide. At least she liked to think so. She loved having the feeling of being in control, directing people to and fro on their life paths. Unfortunately, the people she guided never quite felt like her presence and direction were good things. They resisited the push. But Hestia never admited to being wrong or pushy to anyone. And there lay her fatal flaw, the flaw that drove away a daughter and kept a a granddaughter at a distance.
Now both were coming home to the villa. In reality, they had been guilt-tripped into making the journey. Hestia refused to see it that way. Her girls were coming home to reconnect to their Greek roots. They were going to come and stay, and stay, and maybe marry one of the butcher’s sons or the apothecary’s grandsons. Whoever was fine as long as he was Greek.
Hestia laid in the bed in the little bedroom right at the end of the house. Her bedroom had been picked because the sunlight streamed in at all hours of the day and the sea breeze could be felt day and night. Nevermind that sometimes it was bit warm and sometimes a bit cold. Those were to be expected when in full exposure to the elements. The point was to be closer to God and his creation. In Hestia’s mind, Greece and especially this little village was the height of God’s perfect creation. She couldn’t see why anyone would want to leave it. To turn your back on perfection, now that was just crazy talk.