Song of the Oceanides
by J.G. Zymbalist
GENRE: YA Fantasy
Rory Slocum had only just returned home from Putnam’s General Store and Newsagent when he noticed the girl standing in the heart of the garden. She seemed to be lost in the music of the wind chimes dangling from Mother’s lilac tree. Still, despite the girl’s seeming innocence, somehow he just knew that she must be one of the Oceanides who had been taunting him all summer long.
She must have heard his footsteps in the salty afternoon breeze because she turned to look upon him. What a comely girl too.
A bit of jam and then some! He stopped in his tracks and studied her classical features.
She had plum-black hair, eyes of sea green, bold chiseled planes to her face, fine hallowed cheeks, and a sharp jaw line. How could she be anything but an Oceanide?
Slowly he advanced as far as the fog cannon where he paused a second time. Perhaps he would do something so as to entertain her, and once she realized how amusing he could be, she would tell the others to leave him be. He walked over to the lilac tree. “Look what I’ve got here!” With that he held up his copy of Sir Pilgarlic Guthrie’s Phantasy Retrospectacle.
She must have resented the whole notion that a boy like Rory would even think to approach someone like her. Grimacing, she called to another girl who had just walked up through the gale-torn bluffs. The two of them spoke in a tongue resembling the Byzantine Greek in which the drunken churchwarden sometimes delivered his public addresses.
As giddy as ever, Rory advanced a few more steps. “You know what they call this sort of picture book, do you? Down at Putnam’s, they tell me it’d be un comique pittoresque. Just like the newsagents sell down there in Paris.” Now he pointed to the picture on the dust jacket—the Oceanides’ long flowing hair and the mint-cream linen gowns reaching down to their ankles. Afterward he pointed at the girls themselves standing there in their own creamy-white gowns. “Sir Pilgarlic Guthrie, he’s the bettermost! Everything bang up to the elephant and—”
“Have you any idea how odd you are?” the first Oceanide asked. “And you’ll be beginning your fifth year in school next fall, isn’t that right? They’ll tear you apart, a beanpea like you.”
The author returned to the piece while working for the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society, May-September, 2005. He completed the full draft in Ellsworth, Maine later that year.
For more information, please see http://jgzymbalist.com
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