Κυριακή, 1 Απριλίου 2018

THE FOUR LANTERNS - ΤΑ ΑΙΩΝΙΑ ΝΤΟΛΜΑΔΑΚΙΑ


The bet for this year is whether or not Monsieur Jerοme is coming to the midnight picnic. Alfred and Jenevier are deeply concerned. What should they do? Cancel a six-year tradition? No way. They trust Jerome but this year with the hotel’s renovation and its relocation at another spot, will he manage to find them? Let’s not forget, he will come from afar. 
The two of them finally decide to cook the stuffed vine leaves.
“If they are a success, he will find his way” Alfred says wittily.
He is right.
The rendez -vous was set as always on April first’s midnight at the hotel’s gardens, Monsieur Jerome’s favorite spot. He used to sunbathe there after a swim in the pool and order the first spring stuffed vine leaves. Monsieur Jerome was found dead one afternoon by the pool. His heart betrayed him. . First aid was not enough to keep him alive. There was a big fuss all over the hotel. He was particularly loved and open hearted. Everyone had a kind word to say a long time after the incident. Everyone had a funny story to say about him and his good manners. 
But Monsieur Jerome wanted to return and taste the fine spring stuffed vine leaves. Very difficult from where he was, though. He went back and forth to familiar places, of course, but no one could see him and it was not something that he could often perform, anyway. He managed to sneak into Jenevier’s and Alfred’s dream and succeeded into communicating his craving. 
“Why don’t we have a nice picnic with the stuffed vine leaves which I craved for so long and, of course, tell me all about your news?”
The first year the venture was set with a little bit of fear. It is not a small thing to have a dead man as a banqueter sitting with you on the lawn. They had laid down the tablecloths and the dishes, they had served the good-smelling vine leaves with lots of mint, just as he liked it, and some fresh, still warm, bread on the side. They had sat down by the post moon dew and moisture waiting for Monsieur Jerome. 
And he came of course. An impressive entrance one would say, since he chose to come out of the pool, but he had a reason.
“No need to question it my friends, this was my way in and of course it will my way out.”
He ate them with the great appetite he had transmitted them in their dreams and thanked them from the heart. There was no small talk about the other world, just everyday news from the stuff and the city. A discretion from both sides. The picnic lasted about an hour and it was renewed for the following year. And the following. And the following. And six years had passed since then. 
Alfred is certain that he will find the spot and especially this year that they have so many news, so many interesting stories to tell him. The picnic is set at the hotel’s gardens and as always they wait for him in the midnights’ spring dew.
“I think he’s late this year” Jenevier said looking at his watch. 
“Give him more time. Things are a bit different this year.”
They stare at the pool. The exotic birds are silent and only the breeze rustling the tree leaves is heard. Monsieur Jerome is coming out of the bushes this year and scares them. 
“Welcome, we were expecting you from elsewhere, my dear Jerome” Jenevier talked quietly and a bit scared. 

“Oh my, it was so difficult to find you but there was nothing that could keep me apart from my eternal stuffed vine leaves.”


*We would like to warmly thank Aggelo Papadimitriou for his trust.
It was an excellent collaboration.

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