“Mediterranean Goth” by Mileva Anastasiadou

They once called me Iphimedeia. I am now a spirit, standing at the gates of the underworld. Yet I once had flesh and blood, like all mortals do.
“Come, my dear Odysseus, come hear my story,” I told the tortured passenger. He looked unhappy, yet hopeful, like I was.
Unhappiness, once shared, creates strong connections among humans, forming bonds more powerful than joy or bliss.
My whole life, I’ve been trapped into an unhappy marriage. Escape was my only hope. Yet, I am now trapped in after-life.
“I only want to go home,” he said. I saw the light in his eyes, sparkling like the stars in the night sky, brightening the realm of the dead. That was the light of hope that scared me and reminded me of my long forgotten love.
Unhappiness is like a dark room. Once you get used to it, you fear light.
I fell in love with Poseidon, the god of seas. I spent my nights at the seashore, watching his mood swings, as he playfully threw his trident into the sea, forming tall waves, which reached the heavens and then covered my body before pulling back. The bright sunlight blinded me during the day, yet at night I felt calm, waiting for him down by the sea.
“Poseidon might still want you,” he told me in all innocence. Not all love stories end well, my dear. I was Eve and Poseidon was the snake. That’s how devious he was, stealing my heart, playing with me, impregnating me with nightmares, which followed me till my dying day. My giant offsprings came to mind, as Odysseus bid me farewell.
Envy painted my face red like fire.
“Not all stories end well, like yours will”.
Somehow, I wished to change the course of events, to switch places with him and live happily ever after, like he would, after reaching Ithaca. I bowed my head in shame instead, secretly wishing Odysseus was right.
Unhappiness bears snakes and nightmares. Yet, somehow, hope always wins. Even in the land of the dead.


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