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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Fantasy · #2266682
Hannah learns something new

Chapter 1, part 1

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

                                                                     Prospero, from The Tempest

Hannah was very disappointed. It was supposed to be the vacation of a lifetime. Her college bestie, Jill, had married up, way up. The guy's family owned a house on the island of Corfu, in Greece. Located on top of a hill, the house had a great view of Lake Halikiopoulos. Its only drawback, Jill had told her, was that the airport was on the other side of the lake. It hadn't mattered to her, though. It was Greece! There were so many places to visit. Athens, Ithaca, the canal at Corinth, the Shrine of Delphi... the list was endless, but it was not to be.

She had received a call from Jill shortly after she had landed in Athens. A driver had met her in baggage claim. After introducing himself, he handed her a phone. It was Jill.

"Hey, Hannah, how was your flight?"

"Jill?" Hannah replied. "I thought you were going to meet me here. What's up?"

"Sorry, hun. Change of plans. Unfortunately, I am headed back to the states. Some big family deal. You know how the Hampton's are, right?"

"Well, actually I don..."

Jill cut her off. "Sorry, we're getting on the plane right now. I have to go. The driver will take you to the house. Have fun. I'll be back in three days, I promise."

"Jill, wait." She had already hung up the phone. "Great," Hannah said out loud. Looking at the driver, she handed him the phone.

"Where to now... uh, what do I call you anyhow?"

"Peter, Ma'am. Are these your bags?"

"Yes, um... Peter. Let's go then."

On the way, Hannah found out a bit more of what was happening. Peter was a talkative guy if a bit stuffy. Jill's husband, Charles, had been summoned to Wilmington on an important family matter. Jill's presence had been requested as well. The staff had been instructed to get Hannah settled in, and then provide anything else she asked for- anything. Somewhat taken aback by the revelation, Hannah sat silently through the rest of the ride.

The house was old, she noted as she was escorted into the foyer, but it was in immaculate shape. Beautifully appointed, it was... not Baroque. It wasn't Victorian either. Something in between maybe, she thought.

The foyer was large. The walls were covered in green, patterned wallpaper. The marble floor was an off white, streaked by strands of darker marble. It set off the walls nicely. A set of double doors immediately on the right led into what she guessed was a study. Richly appointed in somewhat heavy wooden accents, it was full of books on many bookcases. Several windows on the far side of the room let in a great deal of natural light.

"Excuse me, Ma'am," a woman said. Turning, Hannah saw a woman dressed in what she could only guess was standard wear for all of the staff. Though feminine, it was very close in style and color to what Peter had on. "This way if you please. I will show you to your room."

On the left of the foyer, a broad stair rose in three angled sections up to the second floor. The railings were wood and heavy, the carpet, red. It was... well, old in style, but gorgeous.

"You may call me Brigette, Ma'am," the woman said. "I am the Head Housekeeper. There are fifteen rooms on this floor. Miss Hampton asked that you select the room you wish to stay in. Would you like to tour them all?"

"Me, I...," Hannah started. "Sure, let's look at them all. Lead on." This was an odd request, but Jill must have her reasons. She might as well follow along. She would find out in three days if nothing else.

After touring the rooms, Hannah chose a room which faced slightly to the southeast. It had a wonderful view of the lake, and the ocean as well. There was a small island not far out from the mouth of the bay which formed the lake.

"Brigette," Hannah asked. "What is that island over there called? The small one, right there." Hannah pointed as Brigette walked up.

"That is Mouse Island. At least that is what we call it. I am not sure what the Greek name is," Brigette said.

"Is there anything of interest over there. I mean, something that would be fun to go see?"

"Oh yes," Brigette replied. "It is said to be what remains after a ship was cursed for helping Odysseus on his journey home. Would you like to go there?" She asked. "I can arrange a car, Peter would be..."

"No, thank you," Hannah replied. "Not today. Tomorrow perhaps."

"Yes Ma'am. Tomorrow then." Walking to the other side of the room, Brigette pointed out her closets and the door to the bathroom. "Is there anything else you need?"

"No, I am good. I think I will relax a bit, rest up from the long flights over."

"As you wish, Ma'am. Dinner is at five. In the meantime, if you need anything, just ring for me. The cord is there beside the door."

"Call me Hannah, please. It must be tiring to keep repeating that," quipped Hannah.

"Yes, Ma... Yes, Miss Hannah," Brigette replied smiling. Dropping a small curtsey, she left the room, closing the door behind her.

Did I go back in time, Hannah thought as she sat on the edge of the bed and took off her shoes. First, I walk into a house that looks like something straight out of the game Clue, then I get the royal treatment from the housekeeper. It was like watching an episode of Downton Abbey. Is this what Jill lives like now? Was this her normal?

Sighing, Hannah didn't want to think about it anymore. Picking up her bag and setting it on her bed, she began to unpack.


Her unpacking completed; Hannah lay down on her bed and thought about what she would do for the next three days. At least, she hoped Jill would really be back in three days. Her life had changed drastically after marrying Charles. They were always off to one place or another, globe hopping really. She missed the old days when she and Jill had mainly just each other, but she could not blame her Friend. Charles was a great guy, and not snobbish at all. That was one thing that surprised her. The Hampton family had more money than..., than, well she really had nothing to compare it to, but he treated her well, and that's what counts.

Sitting up, Hannah made up her mind, she would not sit here moping. I will find something to do and have as much fun as I can, regardless of...

Her thought trailed off as she looked over and saw the pull for the bell. Getting off the bed, she walked over and gave it a pull. Hearing a soft chime, she stood by the door and waited. Hearing a knock, she opened the door.

It was not Brigette that had arrived, however, but another woman. Younger, Hannah thought, as she gazed at her.

"Yes, Ma'am. Did you need something? The young girl replied.

"Hannah, please, Miss...?"

"Penelope..., Hannah," the girl replied shyly.

"Great. How long until dinner is served?"

"Three hours," Penelope replied. "It's at 5pm, in the main dining room."

"Hmmm, is there anything I can do in the meantime?" Hannah asked. "Anything close?"

"I could ask Peter to show you around town," Penelope replied. "His schedule is light since the Hampton's are away."

"That sounds great. I will change and be down in a few minutes."

Peter had been an awesome tour guide, at least for the short time they had been out. He had shown her the public beaches, as well as a private beach club the Hampton's were a member of, several restaurants he said were very good, and also where to catch the ferry to Mouse Island, Pontikonisi as the Greeks called it.

"That's what I will do tomorrow," she told Peter. "It sounds like fun."

"Good deal," Peter replied. "I will get the ticket for you. Just let me know when you are ready to go."

Dinner that night had been a delicious lamb dish the cook had called Kleftiko - oven roasted lamb and small potatoes, marinated in garlic and lemon juice. She had eaten with the staff, had begged them really. She did not want to eat alone. After some small talk, she had asked that some wine be brought up to her and gone to her room.

Sitting in her bed, she sipped the wine. Not a bad day, all things considered, she thought. Putting her hand to her mouth, she yawned deeply. A long day though. Time for some much-needed sleep. Setting her glass on the nightstand, she turned off the lamp and laid down.


Hannah woke slowly. Despite not waking up during the night, she was tired. Too tired really. Was that a dream? She had wisps of memory only. Oh yes, she was near the beach, and that house, high on the hill. It called to her in soft whispers. She remembered walking up the steps and passing through tall pillars, and inside... No, it was gone, but she could not shake the feeling that something big had happened. Sitting there another moment, she decided to shower and go get some coffee and... Oh wait, she thought. Walking to the door, she pulled the cord.

After just a few moments she heard a knock on the door. Answering it, she found Brigette on the other side.

"Good morning, Miss Hannah," Brigette said cheerfully. "Is there something I can get you?"

"Coffee, please, Brigette - cream, no sugar. I'm going to take a shower. Could you leave it on the desk please?"

"Will do, Miss... Umm, are you ok, do you have a headache?"

"Kind of," replied Hannah. "Some Tylenol would be wonderful right now."

"I'll bring it back with me. You go ahead and get in the shower. You will feel better for it," the housekeeper said.

After the shower, the coffee, and the Tylenol, she did indeed feel better. Ringing for Peter, she prepared for her day trip to the island.

Peter dropped her by the pier. Within twenty minutes, she stepped off the pier and onto Mouse Island for the first time.

She felt... odd, as if she was floating. Shaking her head, she moved out into the street. A loud beep and a shout startled her. Whipping her head around she saw a man speeding toward her on a moped. He was trying to stop, but it was clear he would not be able to. Just as she started to jump out of the way, he hit her... but, no... he didn't.

Standing in a crouch, all her muscles tightened as if preparing to take a blow, she gasped. "What in the..."

Turning, she looked at the man. He had finally managed to stop and had turned to stare at her.

"How did you...," he stammered in a heavy Greek accent. "You just faded out. You disappeared."

He looked scared. Crossing himself, he turned and sped away.

Hannah felt a splitting headache coming on. What now, she thought. I almost get killed by a lunatic on a scooter, and now this. Walking back over to the dock, she waited on the return ferry.

1990 words
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