Gilberto Curry wandered into Gleneagles Bar, probably one of the more famous landmarks on Gozo, and sat at the nearest vacant table. He’d become bored with nearby Malta the minute he entered the airport gift shop and saw endless replicas of the cinema’s “Maltese Falcon.”
Sipping on his second beer of the day, he was surprised when a very beautiful and very drunk young woman sat in the chair opposite him.
“I hate every single one of you men.”
“Then why are you sitting with me?” No doubt her husband cheated on her or her boyfriend just came out as gay.
“You’re always running off, even when captured, the gods make you let them go back to their wives…uh wife. He only had one.”
“Well, if he was married…”
“I had twins by him. Think he ever came to visit, pay child support? Oh no. Bleeping Zeus wouldn’t have it.”
“Zeus? Who was your intended?” Gilberto was still sober enough to be curious.
“Odysseus. Seven years together and he never came back.”
“Lady, you must be really drunk if you think…”
“Calypso. I’m Calypso. Want to see my island? Maybe you could stay a year or two.
I wrote this for the Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner – 2018: Week #12 challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for creating a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 197.
I was able to make out the name Gleneagles Bar in the photo and found out it’s located on the island of Gozo which is the second largest island in the Malta archipelago (the first largest being Malta).
Gozo is associated with the island of Ogygia, home to the mythological nymph Calypso. She is said to have kidnapped the Greek hero Odysseus as recorded in Homer’s “Odyssey” and then held him against his will for seven years (some sources say five) because of her love of him. They eventually had sex and there are other legends stating she had either one or two children by him.
Eventually, Zeus made Calypso let Odysseus go so he could return to his wife, and the whole tale sounded worthy of the most schmaltzy country and western song. So I imaged an inconsolable Calypso still pining for her lost love (who she’s never seen or heard from ever since), drowning her sorrows in a bar on the 21st century version of her island while trying to pick up any man who will listen to her tale of woe.
To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.
9 thoughts on “The Woman from Ogygia”
Loved this tale of myth woven into present day reality.
Thanks, Neel. It actually has a lot of possibilities if we consider what these mythological beings would be doing today if they actually existed.
So the poor, poor lassie’s been tellin’ her wee tale o’ woe fer nigh onto three thousand years an’ more? Surely she’s had a lad or two in all that time? After all, Odysseus got involved in that there Trojan War ’til about 1184 BCE, almost two hundred years before King David’s rule in Israel, an’ it is among the tales told about his travels homeward to Ithaca afterward that tell o’ the lass Calypso and her island where she ensnared the lad, and then was forced to let him go about an’ on his way some five or seven years later (stories vary). O’ course, Greek tales have a way about them, a bit o’ exaggeration an’ all, what with all them gods an goddesses who were probably naught more than famous folk themselves whose stories were exaggerated imaginatively fer greater effect among the listeners when the tales were told — especially when they alone are the only excuse a man can offer his long-sufferin’ wife to explain why he hasn’t come home in more than ten years.
What. You’ve adopted a Scottish accent now? 😀
I don’t know why, but somehow it seemed to express just the right flavor of skepticism about the situation.
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Well done. I’m not sure who is the more intoxicated?I suspect if he chooses a relationship with Calypso it might be a little more than he bargained for. I enjoy history (or myth) entwined into flash! Thanks for participating.
Thanks for reading and commenting, Roger. If he knows his mythology at all, he’ll avoid Calypso and run the other way.
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I’m not sure he’s that bright? Although, I suspect he would call himself adventurous?
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