Chapter 6

Written by: Suraya Dewing

 

 

The Professor was Michelle’s father, and hearing an agitated Nick on the phone rather than his daughter filled him with concern.

 

He was in the middle of a lecture on philosophy at Reading University when the call came in. Normally he would have ignored the muted buzzing in his jacket pocket but something about this call made him pick it up.

 

The class took their cue from him and began pulling out their phones. He held up a hand and they stopped.

“I have to take this call,” he looked at his watch and saw that the time for his lecture was almost up. “In our next lecture, we’ll look more deeply into Pythagoras’ theory of metempsychosis, the transmigration of the soul of one form to another living form.” 

There was the usual scuffling as textbooks closed and laptops were shoved into backpacks. Students’ banter made hearing Nick a challenge. He moved to a quieter spot and, as he listened, his frown deepened.

“She hasn’t been seen for five days?” he repeated. “Are you sure she went up to the caves?” His voice became gruffer. “I told you to stay on the beach. To keep well away from the caves.” The rebuke was sharp.

Silence on the other end of the phone.

Nick’s voice began breaking up. “I…I…I tried.” Nick was becoming angry…at Michelle and at her father. “We did. But she said something was pulling her there. She insisted.”

The Professor rubbed his beard with his hand. Static electricity crackled.

“I’ll fly out tonight. Meet me.”

 

***

 

Michelle was in the cave, surrounded by the shadowed forms of people gathered around the incandescent man she had seen in so many guises. It was as if she had entered another world. He stood but everyone else sat on the sandy floor or on a rocky incline, mesmerised as he spoke.

 

No-one seemed to mind that she was there. Surely, she stood out in her 21st century summer dress? She felt something brush against her ankles and when she looked down, she was surprised to see that she wore an ancient Greek robe.

 

It is only necessary to make war on five things – the ignorances of the mind…,” the man in their midst was saying.

 

As he spoke a calm settled over her. All the annoying things Nick had done while they were on holiday became unimportant. 

 

***

 

The plane wobbled as it dropped down onto the tarmac with a thump. It pulled to a halt outside Samos International Airport. 

The hills were dark apart from pin pricks of light coming from a small cluster of houses surrounded by huddling shadowed scrub on the hill. 

The Professor came through the exit and stood for a moment. The wind whipped at his jacket and tugged it open. This was his spiritual home. As he breathed in the crisp sea air his entire body relaxed. He would find Michelle…

 

Comments

Lovely additions, Suraya. Michele's immersion in the period flashback seems complete now she is wearing ancient clothes. A nice touch, as was the arrival of Michele's Dad, especially the bumpy landings. Nothing smooth about landing at Samos. I liked the by-play between her father and Nick. It seems the old man may have the same irritability Michele shows when she's on the trail of something. I look forward to seeing how the next writer ties it together.
Thanks Ant. I enjoyed writing it. Your help with the research was very much appreciated.