By Jemima Humphrey
Key Themes: Greece, mania, fantasy, romance, fiction
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK
Story of the Moon is a fantasy love story with a sad/happy ending set in the black market worker’s scene in Crete, in the early 80s.
About the Author
Jemima Humphrey was born in 1961. After unfortunate experiences in her teenage years, including a spell spent homeless in Greece, various work experiences, a brief marriage and a diagnosis of schizophrenia she now lives with her cat in Epsom, Surrey. Jemima enjoys walks in the countryside, is learning the guitar, does voluntary work, writes letters for Amnesty International and campaigns for a fairer world. This book was written in the 80’s as an effort for a creative writing class while Jemima was heavily sedated with the outdated drug Depixol. Jemima recommends writing as a cheap therapy and creative process and hopes you enjoy this story
Tom was coming home from work. His first, and probably last, he thought, day at the salt processing plant. Home was a house he had rented together with Thomas and Bruno for 2000 Drachmas a month, a low white walled construction with one large room at the centre and a smaller alcove to one side, the kitchen and toilet at the other end. One door led from the main room onto the cement area in front of the house, facing the sea and separated from it by the dust road and a low wall; another, locked, next to the sink, gave out onto the narrow alleyway that separated the house from its neighbour.
Thomas and Bruno had moved out to a hotel room, driven by the increasing numbers of non-paying guests they had to put up with. Tom was left with the rent and the guests. He was wondering, trying to find a foolproof way of extracting at least a token contribution from the clandestine sleepers, as he strode towards the white patch of cement and wire washing lines, in the now setting sun, clutching his groceries.
The house was empty. The white and amber light of just-before-dusk reflected off the white walls, on which a few of Bruno’s “paintings” were tacked. A few separate heaps of rolled-up sleeping bags and blankets, and two backpacks, hugged the walls. Tom dropped his groceries on the table in the kitchen and went to wash the salt off his hands in the sink, which was made of stone and had a rag, tied to one of the faucets. From behind him came the smell of the toilet, a filthy affair, which stood in a recess opposite the sink, with its plastic wastebasket for the used paper beside it. Miraculously, it was unclogged – most of the time, due to the reluctance of those who used it (only if driven by the utmost necessity) to put the paper into the basket, it was clogged up. On the side of the sink stood a box of caffeine vials, which Thomas had dug up somewhere and left after having lost interest in increasing his heart beat rate.
Tom set about making his food. He peeled potatoes and dropped them with rice and water and some salt into his one pan, lit the spirit cooker after filling it up from a plastic squeeze bottle he kept hidden in his backpack, then added some tomatoes. As he waited for the whole thing to boil, he lit a Karelia cigarette and picked up a book from the windowsill above his sleeping place: “Black Elk speaks” it was called – someone had left it behind and Tom had started reading it.
In due time the pot began to boil. Tom adjusted the flame for it to simmer and went outside onto the concrete. There was still enough light to see down the road and towards the beach on the opposite side of the bay. The clouds looked harmless compared to when they announced a storm. Black Elk was telling of his journey through Europe with Buffalo Bill’s circus. Someone was approaching the house from the side of the town. The sea was calm; no wind was pushing waves onto the rocks below the wall.
A girl was coming down the road. It was a girl, he could tell, from the way she walked, staggering beneath a huge World War II green canvas backpack. She wore a large blue fur lined coat with a hood, blue dungarees and clumpy ankle high lace ups. Her hair was sun bleached. She was smoking. The book had taken him back to his childhood days, playing the crazy Indian who always did everything backwards. He was sure she was going to ignore him and make herself at home inside, but she stopped in front of him and said: “Hello, you Tom? Thomas told me you’d appreciate someone to help out with the rent. Er…Are you Tom? My name is Lucky.” “Yes, I’m Tom,” he said.
Silence. She was looking him over, but distractedly, like she might have looked at a painting in an art gallery she was visiting to pass the time before some vaguely important appointment. She was looking at him as if he was not there. This was something he had met often before, but what made him interested in her was the quality of the things her eyes told him she might be seeing instead. She made him think of a wild horse, somehow – which fitted with his mood.
NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK
This product was added to our catalog on Friday 03 November, 2006.