The Parthenon

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Chapter 3: Daydreams

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Blythe stood staring after the man, his presence long gone, door closed and bell silent. She looked back down at the newspaper, at the black-and-white photo of the view from Tudda Rock: an endless expanse of mountains and sky, their meeting point a blurred line in the distance. It had been years since she’d sat atop the lookout point, feet dangling over the edge, thoughts quiet in awe.

The whys and why nots seemed to rapidly grow and bud from her mind’s uncharacteristically thick terrain. The question he’d posed to her–the question her mind had begged her to answer–grew into a dense wood of confusion weeded with apprehension.

“Blythe, are you going to put that on its shelf?” Gerdie’s staccato consonants and forceful tone ensured that the sentence was not a question, but a command.

Blythe tore her sightless gaze from the stacked newspapers and regarded her employer. She stood opposite the counter, her presence somehow intensifying the scent of rye and honey so prevalent within the shop. Her forehead was crinkled in a disappointed yet seemingly unsurprised glower. White handprints and smudges from quick flour dustings covered her apron. A tight bun held her graying hair from her face and her arms were folded, expectant.

“Well? Why do you just standing there?”

For a moment, the question hung in the sweet air before joining the forest of queries that engrossed Blythe’s mind. And suddenly, Blythe’s confusion blurred into reason. The growth of greens stopped and she saw sky through a clearing. She had no answer. She had no explanation to the question why nor why not. As Blythe realized that truth to be her answer, she found herself past the clearing, at the edge of a cliff. She was vaguely aware of German curses and pronounced irritation, but Blythe was not listening. To anyone observing, Blythe seemed distracted, like her mind had wandered away, and to a certain extent this was true. But it was taking her with it. Never before had she been able to understand her mind, her thoughts and wonders, as in that moment. She took off her apron, grabbed her messenger bag, and walked out the door, following her mind over the cliff.

This is the third chapter of a fictional story written under the name June Richardson. Previous chapters can be found online at marshallparthenon.com.

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