• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 08

Just Another Superstition

“She’s stood there for centuries. A trophy of sorts, but to say that to her face would reap great consequences,” the tour guide said with such sincerity that Anna had to stifle a laugh. Some trophy, she thought as she stared at the rusted old statue. The guide continued: “In fact, to even think such thoughts could be disastrous!” Anna chuckled out loud at that, but the tour guide simply gave her a smug smile and continued with his script. Superstitious, this lot, Anna mused. At eighty-one, she didn’t have time for such nonsense.

She tuned the guide out, allowing her gaze to lazily fall on the statue, trying to find interest there. It wasn’t marble. It wasn’t beautiful. It was a kind of rusty gold metal. Terrible choice of material for a statue, Anna thought. Not that she was an expert. But this is a particularly ugly statue, she insisted to herself.

In fact, it had rusted in places and was so weather worn that any features that might’ve made it so spectacular all those years ago had long faded. It almost looked as if it were melting. “She was given to the island...” the tour guide driveled on.

The group moved on, but Anna, sick of the tour guide’s babble, stayed where she was. Her head tilted, her eyes squinted, as she tried to see what was so beautiful about the statue. Her posture? The statue’s chin was to the sky, with only a slight elegant curve to her back. Anna lifted her chin in imitation and tried to stand taller. Is it the outstretched arm? Anna raised her arm, hand palm up towards the woman as if in salutation. Her pointed toe? Anna mimicked the woman precisely, a part of her rather proud of her efforts.


Just Another Superstition

Anna posed like that for a few seconds longer, wondering what it would be like to be a metal statue under the sweltering Greek sun; unable to move; thousands of tourists’ eyes burning into you every day. She thought she could empathize, in a way. That lack of control. That judgement.

After a couple more seconds, Anna could feel the sweat dripping down her face. The Greek midday sun was well on its way. Anna moved to wipe her forehead and felt her shoulder stiffen and hold. Crap. My arthritis! she cursed. She tried to raise the arm higher in a bid to loosen the joint, but it was stuck. She tried to move her other arm, nothing. She tried to move her head. Nothing. She was stuck. Her whole body had seized up. Just then, as she went to call out for help, she spotted a tour group walking towards her. Thank God for that, she laughed to herself. Her earlier tour guide walked up to her, she smiled and felt her cheeks go red in embarrassment.

“She’s stood there for centuries. A trophy of sorts, but…” he repeated the same words from earlier, staring directly into Anna’s eyes.