“Oh, yes!!!” I took off running, splashing along the surprisingly calm water’s edge. I dashed through the tiniest of waves, watching all the micro shells and pebbles rolling about as I smacked my toes down just to hear the sound. I reached down, scooping up some of the wet sand and enjoyed watching it dribble back to where it came from.
“Aw, how cute is this? A baby clam!” I giggled as I rinsed my hands and released the little guy back into the water. My goodness, this place was magical! Why hadn’t I heard of it before?
Cantabrian Sea, Spain. It was the Bing wallpaper of the day last week, and I just could not stop thinking about it. The idea of never visiting something this majestic was unacceptable. So, here we were. Well, here I was, having left everyone else at home on the farm. Wasn’t that what mortals called a large lot of land with orchards, gardens, and animals?
Sounds lovely, yeah? Try living in my world. It was time for me to get away. Otherwise, people were at risk of having their DNA reorganized. What do I mean? You know. That mediocre sorceress trick of turning humans into animals. Yeah, that one.
I knew many others had tried, but this goddess was truly the best at changing her game! Why? Because nothing was random in my world. The animal fit the mortal.
I felt amazingly free of all significant energy, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. I noticed everything on my body fluttered as the sea breeze whispered beneath my clothing and tousled my hair. It was such a juicy moment of solitude and exquisite delight. However, I briefly found myself hung up on whether I could experience this amount of laziness at home.
Fuck it, the worry had to go. I couldn’t be bothered by that thought. So, without hesitation, I removed the costume from my body and danced naked along the shore.
I know. I’ve been arrested before for indecent exposure, but there’s not a soul in sight! Trust me, I’d learned my lesson the hard way. So, if I had to choose a location for me to let it all hang out, as they say, this Spanish beach was the place for me! It was both beautiful and empty!
“Ahem. Lady?” a voice called out in my direction.
I wiped the sand from my face and opened my eyes to find a particularly round-faced man with glasses that matched his bulbous cheeks hovering over me. By his actions, I didn’t think he saw me staring back up at him.
His partially untucked, casual blue button-down shirt tickled my nose as he bent over my head. As he uneasily rattled my shoulders, I heard him ask, “Excuse me, lady, are you dead?”
“Wha..! Whoa! Who? What are you doing? I’m looking at you!” I shrieked, shaking my head. I conjured a mini teleportation to break free from this scene and, instead, managed a jump out of my skin!
Insubstantially suspended overhead, I could not help but giggle at the sight of this portly little man nervously chattering away as he stumbled and rolled onto his back. He flittered about, the movement of his arms and legs rhythmically matching the nonsensical chatter coming out of his mouth. Although, this fall was rather smooth and graceful to observe, nothing about this scene appeared to be pleasant for him. He was clearly distressed about something as he continued to babble on, trembling and twittering on the beach.
Now it was my turn. “Yoo-hoo. Um, SIR! Are you alright? If you are talking to me, I can’t understand what it is you’re trying to say! I’m fine. You really frightened me, shaking me like that! Why, you didn’t even see me looking at you! Sir! Hello!”
He heard nothing. Nor did he see me. If he would just get himself together and make an effort to jump into now rather than trip out over his own head game, this would be a bit more fun. This is my vacation, dammit. While being a sorceress is as much a gift as it is entertaining at times, I’ve evolved past the need to forcibly traumatize the less fortunate mortals, like the gentleman writhing on the ground below me. Clearly, he was having his own time, and I had no interest in aggravating or prolonging this situation any further. So I put an end to it and re-entered my body. I was prepared to resolve the issue one way or another and get back to my impromptu day on the beach.
By the time he wobbled around to sit upright, I was fully clothed and smiling.
“Hi! I’m Circe. What’s your name?”
“Huh,” he said, pausing with a look of sheer bewilderment. “Did you say Circe?”
“Yeah. How do you do? My name is Circe. Who might you be?”
He snorted as he rose to his feet and stumbled off to cough up some kind of something that was clearly lodged in his throat. He grabbed a hanky from his front hip pocket to wipe his mouth and extended the same hand in my direction.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Circe. I am Paulino.”
“Okay, great! We’re getting somewhere, Paulino. So who are you? I mean, a name is a good start, but it doesn’t explain why you shook me in such a way. Or, for that matter, why you thought you had the right to touch me like that! Was there a problem that I didn’t know about? From what I could tell, I was the only person out here.”
“Circe. There’s something different about you. I was just talking with you about the upcoming scene and—”
“Paulino! This is the first conversation I’ve ever had with you. Before this, I watched you prattle on about things I could not understand. Your words were gibberish. I haven’t a clue what you are talking about when you say we were just talking? I suspect you’ve confused this moment with a dream.”
He walked off, rubbing his forehead and eyes. Even with a bit of distance between us, I could still hear his garbled thoughts. Once he reached the water’s edge, he began walking in circles, creating an image of importance as he emphasized imperceptible points with his hands.
“Paulino! Did you want me to walk with you? I can’t hear you if I don’t.”
He spun around and headed back to where I was now standing and said, “Circe, if that’s really your name, I must get back to the set.”
“Are you mocking me? I mean, seriously. If Circe is my name? Who lies about their identity?”
He clapped his hands to his face, but I could still hear his muffled words. “Lady, you are trying my nerves.” After that, he looked up and asked with exhausted eyes, “Tell me. How many people do you know named Circe?.”
“Ooh! I know that answer. One! And that’s me!”
“Okay. Gotta go. Adios!”
He headed towards the tall rock formations on the south side of the beach. Where was he going? Who cares? I had one more question to ask, so I ran after him. “Paulino! Wait a minute. I know you have places to be, but I need to know one thing. What do you mean by set?”
“I’m a production supervisor for the upcoming remake of the movie Ulysses. Have you seen the original?”
“No, I can’t say that I have.”
“I wouldn’t think so. You’re a bit too young for that. Anyway, it’s an epic poem written by Homer called Ulysses…”
“Ulysses? Don’t you mean Odysseus?” I asked.
He tilted his head to the side as he looked at me with an inquisitively raised eyebrow. “So, you do know the story.”
“Of course I do. It involves me.”
Appalled at my claim, Paulino brushed past me and continued walking toward the rocks.
“No, wait! It really does. And because of that, I have another question for you.”
He acted as if he didn’t hear me and just kept trudging through the sand. So I shouted after him. “Paulino! If I’m a part of this story, then who is pretending to be me?”
He spun around. “Ah! Look, lady. I don’t have time for games, nor do I know who’s playing the part of Circe. Quite frankly, I don’t care. My job is to manage the set and cast. Geez, it’s hot out here,” he said as he dabbed his upper lip and forehead with another handkerchief. “All I know is you are not the Circe on set.”
“Just look at me. I am Circe! Can’t you tell by the outfit I’m wearing? I bet it looks better than her costume.”
“Oh my god, I need a new job. I knew Patrick, that waste of a human, was fucking with me when he asked me to scout the area.”
Once again, I was confused by the things this round Latino man was saying. “Scout the area for what?” I asked.
“People,” he said. “Making a movie has its requirements, and one of them for this particular film is silence. Ancient Greece didn’t have powered vehicles or things that could play loud music. Not to mention, the beach is a public area, and we can’t afford to have nosey humans wandering around in the background.”
“Well, you are in luck. I’m not a mortal. I’m the one and only Circe! And, if anyone is going to be me in a movie, it’s going to be me. Paulino, take me to the set!”
It took us a while to get there because when I turned around to take him by the hand I found him lying on his back, one more time, buzzing about like the scarab beetle he reminded me of.
We’ll hold that thought for now.