God of Hunger HTML version

(hesian sacks) in what could have otherwise passed as a dining room. This scent
was like the coffee beans he smelt stored at his father’s farm. Yet the voice was
like his mothers. He held onto consciousness, and saw her cross the room
towards him. She was carrying a jug and a glass.
Petheemu, Petheemu,’ my child, my child.
He felt her hand touch his arm and saw her face for the first time. It was large
plain and round, framed by a mass of tightly curled hair which blotted out half
the light in the room. He shivered at her touch and voice.
Mee fovase. Mee fovase. Karthia mou. Mee fovase. Do not be afraid, my heart
Me lene Fedra. Eese sto speetaki mou. Tha se prosexo. Tha gheenees kala. Mee
fovase. I am Phaedra. You are in my little house. I will look after you. You will
get better.’
The shivers ran like waves approaching the shore and subsided to the central
stillness of a deep dark lake. Cold, cold, cold. He shook again and she gently
cradled his upper body in her broad hands and arms. One behind his back. The
other lightly across his ribs. Her face in the nape of his neck; her breath
penetrating the gap between his shoulders and the mattress. He responded to her
presence by relaxing into her gentle embrace which enveloped him until he
slipped into sleep.
Whenever it was he awoke she was beside him again, this time urging him to
„Ghalla, tha sou kanee kalo. Milk, it will do you good.’
He moved his head further up the pillow and then raised himself on his elbows
in an attempt to shuffle up the wall behind the bed. She could see the paucity of
the effort and quickly intervened to allow him success in sitting up. Broken as
he was, a sense of normality in the act of sitting up and drinking briefly
returned to him. And for a moment the stupor in his mind gave way to a clear
vision of compassion. „My name is Phaedra’, she told him again, encouraging
him to tell her his. But he made no reply, closing his eyes to drift into the void
once more.
Each awakening brought more shared words and by the end of a week he
managed a brief exchange about his whereabouts. She told him that he had been
brought to her by Father Gabriel to whom he had been delivered in the dead of
night by devout villagers from Kabale, in neighbouring Uganda, where there
was a thriving Afro-Greek Orthodox community and where she managed a
coffee farm; her husband had left her to visit his family in Thesaloniki never to
return. She had decided to stay in Uganda and gave freely of her time to
supporting the priest, Gabriel, in his ministry. He sent to her the „in extremis