The Wild One
by Charles Osborne
My name is Alexa Andreadis. I was born in Anogia, Crete.
After spending my formative years in London, I was drawn back, like the goddess Persephone, to my native Crete. I was heading up the gravelled mountain road on a souped-up Lefas-Ducati motorbike I had borrowed from my uncle in Heraklion. The mountainside was a colourful blur of chamomile, poppy, anemone, iris, and gladioli. I was a girl in black leather; a female Marlon Brando. The wind in my hair.
The engine roared between my legs. The Ducati pulsated. I revved the engine extra hard for the steep incline. Up ahead, shadowy shapes blocked the road.
Mountain grit and rocks accompanied me in a whirl of dust and debris as I sailed over the edge. Legs, tight against the hot metal, throbbed. I gripped the handlebars tightly. I needed all my strength to keep the bike steady. As I floated down, like mythologic Diktynna, I could see, in the distance, neat rows of olive trees. Nearer, were tidy fields of vegetables. And directly below, a watery marsh. As I neared the ground astride the bike, still miraculously upright, feeding egrets, herons and spoonbills scattered in a flurry of white.
An ancient flat-bottomed boat neared. I was unceremoniously dragged from the muddy morass by huge men in brightly-patterned skirts and blouses. They spoke a language I did not understand. They seemed from another world; another time. My motorbike was hauled up by a rickety wooden crane mounted on one end of the boat. My rescuers stared at it in disbelief. I was laid against a stack of newly cut reeds. One of the men stared at me intently. He had clear blue-grey eyes. Around his wrists were gold bracelets. And around his neck was a solid patterned gold chain. He looked amazing; like an important leader or even a god. I was smitten.
I opened my eyes; I told my story. I was surrounded by medical staff. In the centre was a man who introduced himself as Doctor Galanis; he had the most amazing clear blue-grey eyes.
Doctor Galanis said I had been heavily sedated and that it was not unusual for patients under sedation to have vivid dreams. I had numerous cuts, lacerations and, grit-burns, together with a collapsed lung, three cracked ribs, and a broken pelvis. I was lucky to be alive. A mountain shepherd had witnessed the incident and called for help. Apparently, I had got frustrated with the shepherd’s goats blocking the road, had ridden back, turned the motorbike around, roared back up the slope at speed and, according to the shepherd, tried to accelerate up and over the goats as if, as he put it, I was Steve McQueen in The Great Escape.
In my dreams I always wanted to marry a doctor, a doctor with clear grey-blue eyes. I never did. My dreams collapsed.
I was fined 100 euros for killing a goat.
Charles Osborne has had poetry and prose published in several small press publications.
Our Reader Said
I loved this romp of a piece, amazing how so much was fitted in, and it made me laugh.