Category: Stories

KIZKALESI CASTLE

Many years ago, while travelling along the southern coast of Turkey, I stopped in the ancient village of Silifke, the Seleucia of Antiquity. Across it, in the middle of the sea, stood the towers of an imposing medieval castle that seemed to emerge from the water. Legend has it that in memorial times, be it…


RUMI

Later, much later, I discovered Rumi. He became my hero because he represented an Islam vastly different from the Islam we are presented with these days. He was born in Afghanistan, in the city of Balkh, in the 13th century. His father was already a great mystic. One day, he took to the pulpit of…

THE TRAGIC WRITER

It has been a long time since I read “The Manuscript Found in Saragossa”, and yet I haven’t forgotten it. This novel, published at the turn of the 19th century, is a mixture of eccentricity, poeticism, and suspense. Written with a master’s hand, it is gripping; it cannot be put down, it is a truly…


EVRIKLES II

When we last left Evrikles, Emperor Augustus, whom he served well, had rewarded him the island of Kythira as recompense for his efforts, making him the prince of the island. At that time, the territory of Kythira seemed constricting to Evrikles in every sense of the word. There wasn’t much of a future in Kythira…

EVRIKLES

I was searching with Fivos for an illustrious character that lived in Palaipolis during the Roman Era. “No one known,” he tells me. In fact, barely anything is known of the city’s history. The only character tied to the Roman Kythira was called Evrikles. It was at a time in Egypt when Cleopatra and Mark Anthony…

FROM PRINCE VLAD TO DRACULA

In the 15th century, Prince Vlad reigned over the Romanian province of Wallachia. He had had difficult beginnings. He was a prisoner of the Ottoman court. His father was assassinated, and his brother was turned against him. He was an intelligent, cultured man, he adored music and was an exemplary builder. Palaces and convents are…

PATMOS – THE CORPSE IN A BASKET

I did not stay long at that Patmonian cocktail party. I was bored, but mostly I didn’t like the house. It was beautiful; old and tastefully decorated, adorned with charming objects, and surrounded by an enchanting garden. And yet, I felt uneasy there. I returned home to find Maria still in the kitchen. I told…

THE DISFIGURED THIEF

It was 19th century Greece during King Otto of Bavaria’s reign. An elusive thief named Christos Davelis was ravaging the area of Mount Pentecliicus around north Athens. Word also had it that he was very handsome: so much so that he may well have seduced the Duchess of Plaisance. Sophie de Marbois was Lebrun’s widow,…

THE TALISMAN OF POPE BORGIA

  I have always had a weak spot for Pope Alexandre VI Borgia. History has smeared his name with horrid deeds; but I suspect that such a campaign was led in part by protestant propaganda. I had shared this theory with my youngest daughter Olga who was given zero for writing it in her homework….

ANNE AND SARAH

In the winter of 1711, France and Louis XIV felt absolutely crestfallen. Frost had annihilated the harvest; it was so cold that people were dying in the streets; the Spanish War of Succession had been dragging on for more than ten years; there was no more money, troops, resources, and no more hope. France’s enemies…