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(The Diary of Infidelity)

Emilios Solomou



No sooner had she said it than they heard voices, and then shadows appeared flitting in the lamplight among the rocks, coming up the hillock to where they were. There were about twenty of them, mostly inquisitive islanders who had come up to see what was going on, what the mystery was that had revealed itself that evening in their neighbourhood. It would be too much to say that they were racing to get in touch with their roots, the human relic that had walked on this very turf thousands of years before. The constable was with them, with the village president Koukoulés in front: their natural leader, Mr President. He was a sly one, glancing first at Doukarelis and then at Antigone standing side by side next to the grave, rather than at the skeleton beneath their feet. They couldn’t hide from him, something was going on between them. He didn’t show much interest in their find. He was not moved by ancestry, such foibles were for people who fancy themselves and have their head in the clouds. The dead with the dead and the living with the living. If they would insist on disrupting a body’s sempiternal rest and confusing the living with the dead, then let them sort out the mess. The pupils of his tiny eyes were dilated and gave him a spooky look. Doukarelis felt them shining in the dark like two miniscule incandescent coals.
The constable couldn’t understand why they had been called out into the wilderness at this hour and Doukarelis explained to him that the excavation would have to be guarded tonight, their find was exceptionally significant, perhaps the only one to be found intact in the entire Cycladic civilization. The village president asked himself how remarkable a pile of bones could possibly be, they never guarded their cemetery, there were tens, hundreds of skeletons resting in those graves and as far as he knew, none of them had broken out all these years. It was apparent that he was the brains while the constable was the extension, the long arm of power…



All that evening the mist penetrated to his very bones. To escape it, he curled up under the tent. He felt dirty in his clothes, soaked in sweat and the night’s damp. Now and again he would close his tired eyes, but his worries kept him awake. He could hear the monotonous tick tock, tick tock, of his watch and he caught himself every so often counting the seconds.



– Translated by Irene Noel-Baker