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The Overseer

The Overseer


Α. Living room, Β. Entrance, Γ. Storage area, Δ. Room.

A man driving alone in the countryside misreads his map and finds himself stranded in the middle of nowhere, with a flat tyre and no spare. He sees a distant light and walks towards the house, finding it open, in perfect order, but with no one in sight. He lets himself in and settles in over the following days. Exploring the big house, he finds one room locked. He starts venturing outside looking for signs of life and a way back to civilisation, but returns to the house every night empty handed. To his horror, one night he sees the shadow of a man in the living room and realises that somebody is watching over him. The following day he manages to peer into the locked room and sees him. He breaks into the room through an outside window and reads the notes that this mysterious man has been keeping on our hero’s progress in his attempts to find a way out. He decides to take a hint given in these notes and tries to open a passage through the “foxhole”, a small opening up in the nearby mountain. He fails abysmally; in the process of the attempted escape he injures himself, destroys his car completely and sets fire to the wooded slope of the mountain. On his return to the house, he is finally confronted by the mysterious man, who scolds him for his efforts and instructs him that in the future he will have to continue exploring the way out following the overseer’s orders. Our hero kills the overseer and then finds a map in the house that promises to lead him back to the main road. Following the map, he discovers that it is inaccurate. He returns to the house and finds more maps, all slight variations of the first one. He finally gives up trying to leave, and the end of the story finds him comfortably settled in the loneliness of his loss.

 

Published in Greek: Ο Επίσκοπος, Stigmi, Athens, 2001.

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