Being a retelling of Homer’s tale



Lou Dischler





Book 1

Of Gods and Goddesses



Bulgaria is a fairytale country on the Black Sea, notable for mastika (a liqueur flavored with tree sap), a beautiful but incomprehensible alphabet, and a national predilection for “shocking” stories surpassed only by the British. For example —



Shocking Discovery!

Greek Hero Found Working as Busboy


A People’s Daily Exclusive



Odysseus, the wandering protagonist of Homer’s Odyssey, was discovered at a local pizzeria where he worked the past month clearing tables. He spoke of that ancient era as if it were yesterday to an extended family of Bulgarians who were as mystified by his archaic Greek as they were frightened by his theatrical body language. This performance was interrupted by the owner, who burst from the kitchen and angrily told him to do his job and stop annoying the customers. Odysseus picked the man up and threw him over the counter as easily as a bus tray, then rained dishes and half-eaten pies on him.

With diners running out and sirens wailing in the distance, Odysseus continued his account as if he’d no more than swatted a mosquito. He said he would revisit the site of the ancient battle to prove the veracity of his tale.

“The truth is in the stones,” he said. “Come with me to Anatolia and see the block on which I carved ‘Odysseus was here.’ I will show you this. I will show the world!”

“Then let’s go,” this reporter replied. “The police are coming.”




The People’s Daily of Sofia



When Mona Petkovic was twelve years old, she was hit by a fist sized meteor that crashed through the clay tile roof of her family’s home. Her father applied liniment to her bruised shoulder, telling her the meteor was a sign from god. A tap on the shoulder to tell her she was the chosen one. Her father was a professor of ancient religions who had often predicted that Mona would become a goddess.

“But why not send a card?” Mona asked as she wiped tears from her eyes. “Why hit me with a rock?”

He replied that the path to immortality could be painful, sometimes even unto death. “Hercules caught fire and burned up, and only then became a god. Asklepios was struck down by a thunderbolt, then he too became a god. And Jesus, of course, had to be crucified. So a mere bruise is nothing. Think of it as a blessing.”

Had Mona believed her father — who himself didn’t have long to live — she might have taken a different career path: philosophy or theology, or even cosmology. Instead she moved to Sofia after college and sought a job in journalism, for reporting was all about the here and now, and not her father’s Cimmerian world where getting hit with a rock was a blessing.



© 2023 Lou Dischler

Lou Dischler writing excerpts—


  My Only Sunshine

  Plantation of Bones

  Mona’s Odyssey

  Rennie: The Girl Who Knew Too Much

  The Boy from La Pazza

  On The Naming of Big Dogs




  Age reversal

  Mitochondria dysfunction

  Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment




Articles at Linkedin—


  A Backdoor to Immortality

  Restoring Mitochondria