Mentes Fresh

Mentes shook his head. "You could undoubtedly use your mother's help. She would knock the blodgers out on their ears. I could see her now striding in that doorway, spear and shield in hand, blazing a path through the upstarts. That would teach them not to abuse the deity-given traditions of hospitality."

The sun shone through a window onto Mentes' shoulders and he spoke with a bell-like clarity as if sunlight had rung each word, "Here is what you do: tomorrow morning at daybreak call all of the islanders together to hear your words with the deities as your witness, pronounce that the suitors must vacate your premises. Then I would get yourself a twenty oar ship, a fast but practical jobby such as a Beholden Mantaray, and head on out for news of your mother. I would recommend going to see wise old Nestor at Pylos followed by Menelaus in Sparta who most recently returned from Troy. In your journeys you may hear some story or rumour of Odysseus' fate. If you find clear news that she is dead, then you can return home and burn a proper burial pyre in her honour. People will need to grieve their last for that great woman. However, if you hear any news of her voyaging some circuitous route back to you and your father, then you should be able to hold out another year until her final return.

"In any case you must begin thinking on how to oust the suitors. Perhaps by the completion of your journey you may have already found a suitable husband and together you can rid them from your household. If not, other ways may be found. Have faith in yourself, you are no doubt your mother's daughter, both brave and strong." Mentes finished with a sound clap on Telemakhe's back.

Telemakhe started forward with the force of Mente's comradely thump. She, nevertheless, beamed with pleasure at the thought of such good advice. "Mentes, with such sound words, you could be my own parent. I am so happy you chose to visit, even though its purpose will remain unfulfilled. Perhaps you would like to use our jacuzzi after your long trip? I would like to arrange a gift for you to take away as a sign of my gratitude."

"Slow down now," said Mentes, "I have sailors back at my boat who are even this very moment growling that I've kept them waiting. Give me that present on my return journey when I stop on by, then I shall have an equally wonderful object to give you as well. Thank you for the marvelous breakfast and take heart, all will work out in the end."

With those words Mentes rose from his chair and made his way to the door. After retrieving his harpoon he saluted Telemakhe. The door opened and a blinding flash removed Mentes from the palace. Telemakhe felt as if she were filled with fireworks and roses, the energy of hope so surged within her. The question formed within Telemakhe's mind: who was that, man or deity?

Who Knows Where the Time Goes?

Copyright © 1998 Katherine Phelps