It's been a while since I did anything for Short Story Monday, the meme hosted by John at The Book Mine Set. I decided to go with a traditional Olympic theme and go for something set in Greece.
Overdue Loans, written by Petros Markaris and translated from Greek by Karen Emmerich,
is a very contemporary story, however. The protagonist is a police detective who is hampered from doing anything due to the protests that have shut Athens down; the young people, the pensioners, the public workers striking.
The plot is scant, but the message is clear: Greece has fallen but still has further to go. This is not a happy or hopeful story. When the detective describes what happens to his wife it is as if he is describing the state of the Greek economy. "Kyria Lykomitrou came upstairs so that she and Andriani could calm one
another down, but instead they got one another even more worked up,
until in the end they both just fell to pieces."
The part I liked best is that the detective calms down by reading the dictionary. Not just an dictionary, but a 15-volume Dimitrakos' Dictionary. I would love to see a copy! In Japan I think the equivalent would be Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English dictionary, otherwise known as the Green Bible. So much fun to flip through or read in order! I was sure it was just me who loved to flip through a dictionary to calm my brain before bed. So glad there is another nutter like me out there, even if only fictional!