I'm taking a short break from writing my current novel, to complete another fairy tale for my second anthology: More Fairy Tales for Freya, which will be released later this year.
I thought I'd blog the intro to Circe of the Suburbs. I've had the idea for this story for some years, but I finally got the momentum going to sit down and write the bloody thing.
Disclaimer: No disrespect to Gods or Goddess intended. (And please don't strike me down for my impertinence!)
Circe of the Suburbs.
She’s done it all throughout the ages.
Every fad and fancy. Every hobby, sport and game.
Mah-jong and macramé. Photography. Astronomy and chess. Delicately designed decoupage boxes, all in a row, that she’d sold at the Sunday markets.
Oh, she’d bought herself a Singer. Multi coloured spools of threads, and yards of shimmering cloth. The potting wheel that had released her inner Goddess, now sits in a corner of her studio, next to her kiln. Her loom and spindle gather dust. So too the paint brushes gathered in jars, and the palettes, caked with dried smears of colour—perhaps once vivid—mellowed by age.
Her early sculptures hewn from stone, dot her forested isle, girt by foam-tossed sea. Within the house gardens, amid the explosion of flowers and foliage—the seeds gathered from every region of the world, and beyond—are examples of her brief infatuation with bronze.
Her Tahitian hut, designed on fancy after a holiday to the isles, is filled with layers of passing autumn leaves. Her swimming pool has been reclaimed by nature, a chorus of contented frogs, attesting to the slow but steady change.
Her bright blue sailing boat sits high and dry, docked within its shed. Her sports car, with gleaming lines that emulate the sleekness of a cat, sits idle. A Harley, parked by its side, serves as tribute to her ‘experimental’ years. Quad bikes. Racing bikes. Forgotten and abandoned.
The tennis court is long since lost. Tall green growth concealing the remains of an assortment of balls and shuffle cocks: witness to flippant pastimes, and earnestly pursued sports. Stables, yards and the equestrian track are empty. Her pure-blooded horses gallop wildly through her rampant pastures.
Need we mention her libraries?
Her dalliances with ever-new religions, mystical covens, and belief in alien invaders, descending from the stars?
Shall we speak of her collections? Her collections of collections? Is it a clique to name them—one by one—from A to Z?
The internet, the World Wide Web, had briefly sparked her world. A digital awakening had blossomed. She’d frolicked on facebook and forums, friending as she went.
She’d tipped into a tempestuous affair with EBay. Prey to her desires anew, she’d pounded the plastic. The backlog of her manic sprees spilling out of the local post office, so many were the packages, so heavy was his burden, the postman no longer willing to ride his motorcycle, over the old, stone bridge, that linked Circe’s isle to land.
She’d sought therapy.
Attending the services of a distinguished psychiatrist, her weekly confessions could never suffice. Lifetimes of memories suddenly spilling forth, threatening to crash down upon her. Drowning her. Disarming her. The insufficiency of her therapist’s reply causing her such unbearable rage, she’d reeled, momentarily stunned.
“Obsessive compulsive, my dear…”
A barrage of self-help manuals followed fast in the wake of the foolish mortal’s failure. Yet nothing, yet nothing, provided relief.
She’s done it all throughout the ages…
Secluded in her living room, the midday sun dimmed by long, burgundy drapes—the soft velvet cloth, a steal on EBay—Circe watches the soapies on her plasma screen TV. Her elegant fingers deliver fine chocolates to her perfect lips. Her divine green eyes are dull, her expression glazed.
The living room is cluttered. An overfed parrot, sits in a golden cage, in a corner of the room. It sleeps: its head tucked under its wing.
Circe watches the daytime soap, the storyline, or its absence, as immaterial and distant, as the sound of the mainland traffic. She has given up on this world. She thinks perhaps, that she might sleep away a century or two. Awakening in some future time, ripe with promise. Yet in her bleakest hours she fears that the world is poisoned. Tomorrow robbed. What would she awaken to?
The frontiers beyond Circe’s isle have been devoured by suburbia’s mores. She is a tigress encircled by sheep. Boredom has tamed her.
Idly picking up the remote control, she flips the channels, here, there, thither, un-merrily does she wander. The screen flickers with faces: fleeting, forgettable. What shallow offerings these? What descent this fall from true Greek tragedy?
In that time of randomly changing, television programs: monotone soap operas and midday movies, bright and blaring adds intersecting the calm, she stumbles across an image that makes her pause, finger hovering above the button.
What is it about it that draws her jaded eye?
A gate, jasmine twined, swings wide. The presenter beams his pearly white smile. “Welcome,” he says. “To Eden revisited. Welcome to paradise...”