top of page
  • madeleinedejean

IS THIS STORY … Sci-Fi? Speculative Fiction? Historical Fiction? AND THE STARS BEGAN TO FALL&#

…AS the search for an incredible woman evolves into a magical journey capable of challenging its twenty-first century characters, readers will find the twists and turns delightful, the characters realistic and involving, and the story both thought-provoking and enlightening.

WHO OR WHAT has determined and directed human affairs?

AND THE STARS BEGAN TO FALL’s ability to weave historical influences and questions into bigger-picture thinking makes for an exceptional read. It operates on various levels of complexity, fueled by action and intrigue that keeps it a healthy and involving read from start to finish, and is worthy of inclusion in sci-fi, alternate history, history. and thrilled fiction library collections alike.”

aAn excerpt from Book I, Chapter 14:

… Up in those westerly hills Kati-Selene helped Agamemnon’s aunt serve a most aromatic dinner.  Having unexpected visitors seemed like a treat for Aunt Philia.  Her avgolemono was soothing and truly delicious. And when Uncle George opened a bottle of his best Mavrofilero, Kati breathed in, took a sip and breathed out.

“Oh, yes, the wine whose flowers smell like violets,” she said. She took another sip.

“What did I tell you, Agamemnon?” Uncle George gave a rare smile as he poured more wine.

“She is a natural!  You’ve got to let her come to work with us here at the winery.”

“With your lamb and okra, Aunt, Uncle, this wine is perfection.” Agamemnon had a healthy appetite.

“You have had quite a fright. Both of you.” Aunt Philia served Kati-Selene more of the spring lamb. “Especially, I am happy to have you here, my — our –new niece.”

Though no doubt everyone enjoyed dinner, conversation had become stilted. Kati-Selene took another taste and savored the wine with the lamb.  Yes, last night had been very frightening. She had stood out on the terrace of their hotel in Mycenae all night, every moment expecting that wall of boulders and debris to swallow the town. But she couldn’t say those thoughts. Was she becoming part of some conspiracy?  Those terrifying rumbles had continued relentlessly. No one in the town, she was sure, had slept. NO one got into beds. Except for Agamemnon. All the Hotel Belle Helene’s guests, except for archaeologist Dr. Allison and her chief assistant, had fled as fast as they could,  For their part, Allison said, she and her assistant archaeologist had responsibilities; they had to remain to rescue.  And as kati-Selene had watched all night from the terrace, Allison had come to stand, take her hand, and keep watch.

Now Kati-Selene sighed and took another taste of that violet -scented wine. “Yes,” she thought, “rescue. Diasosi.” she murmured.

Aunt Philia looked up.

“Tell me, Aunt.” She liked her new aunt, uncle and grandfather, and felt they had welcomed her as warmly as their dear nephew Agamemnon. “Can you tell me, please, why everyone, including Aga here, pretends that those terrible rumbles that the mountains make, as they did all day yesterday, are nothing?”

Aga put down his fork. “I told you. Because they are nothing. End of that, Kati-Selene.:

“But Aga, that’s not true. They were something. Something terrible.  Why, Papa, does everyone in Mycenae pretend they signify nothing? Likely, our dear — your dear — Dr. Margaret and three of your own darling boys are lost, maybe even buried out there right now.”

“Papa,” Agamemnon’s grandfather, had finished his dinner and sat before the fireplace, working with vine cuttings, creating stakes for the new growth.  He put down his glass, took out a pipe and did not seem as though he had heard her.

Her new aunt started clearing the dishes. Kati-Selene turned her attention to helping.

Later, when aunt and uncle were also working on the staves for the vineyards and Agamemnon was reading the newspapers in the study, Kati-Selene went out into the garden.

The vineyards surrounded the back of the house. Closest must be the mavrofilero.  In the evening the aroma of violets was less powerful but more seductive as the new flowers closed. It was quiet and peaceful. In the sky, thanks to the waxing moon, she could see that one constellation so bright.  The deluge had cleared heaven. Kati-Selene’s special friends up there, the seven sisters she had always wanted, winked. The Pleaides sparkled like blue diamonds, west of Orion and his dog.  She clicked off their names. She had imagined them as sisters since she was little and had watched them, lying in the grass on warm nights in her family’s garden. “You, Sterope and Elektra, blinking like you’re about to shower the earth with more stars for dreaming. And Maia. And you up there, Merope, you look about to run over the hill and jump down to join me here. Come on, little sister, come!” She was sure she could see eleven sisters, though she had been told there were seven. When she turned her gaze down valley, she could see down to Mycenae.

“I’ve been waiting to jump down to you, big sister, Selene.”

Clearly, she heard this reply from the sky. Kati-Selene stared back up at that one pulsing star in the Pleiades.

“Agamemnon tells you it is nothing…”

She whipped around. Papa was standing on the porch. He continued as he came down to join her….”Because he is afraid to name it. We all are. We all have been afraid to mention it, I do believe since Mycenae the Great was destroyed all those hundreds of years ago. Thousands now.”  He sat on the bench in the starry night.  “Look at it.” He waved his match down toward the darkness of the ancient, ruined city, “When that day happened so long ago, it must have been terrifying.  All those people in there. From here, yesterday, we could see it. And we could hear it. Even after it grew dark. Thank the gods, Agamemnon answered his phone. We were terrified for you. We are all worried about our great-nephew, Thanassis. And now we fear, too, for his cousin, Menelaos-Stavros. My sister and her daughter over that way are inconsolable over the other possibility that Phaestos was with them as well. Three of the brightest boys ever. All the way up here, we, little Kati-Selene, could hear that terrible sound for the last two days. It still has not stopped. But thank the gods there are no longer other citizens in there. Just the horrors of the past.”

“Not quite, Papa.” Kati-Selene said as she sat next to him. He took her hand.  “There was also, for sure, a good friend of your family in there.  We do not know if she got out.  Dr. Margaret Benson, I mean. I had been at her lunch just before with Agamemnon. And the noise from up there at the citadel was horrific.  I could not believe all of those smart,  educated people stayed and enjoyed themselves and no one said anything about it. Truly, I was relieved when we left.”

‘”YOu were the one to give the warning? You were the one to see it?”

“Yes, Papa.  A more-terrifying sight I hope never to see again. A mountain coming toward me. A moving mountain.   Oh, Papa, where is Dr. MArgaret>  Where is cousin Thanassis?”

“Our other wonderful boys, too. Oh, little one,” he sighed.

“Come in, Kati-Selene. Time you get some sleep.” Agamemnon still sounded gruff.  He turned and went back inside.

“He’s just frightened, that’s all.  And he does not know how to tell you that that sound we all pretend to ignore really frightens him, too.” He smoked his pipe.  “You know, I have worked a long time, all my life, almost, to cultivate this particular, aromatic clone of that mavrofilero grape. It is a very old grape, and very special and highly mutational. So, I must be on guard to keep it the way it is.”

“The aroma of violets, Papa, is most entrancing.” They both became quite still and inhaled the soft evening air.  “Have there been vineyards here a long time?”

Enthousiasmos.  Yes. Strange you should ask.  Only yesterday I was thinking how entrancing the aroma from those grapes is.”  He got up and walked toward the vineyards.

She followed him.  “You know, we Dassis have owned these vineyards for now ten generations. That’s a long time.  Some almost 400 years, I think.”  His smoke wreathed around, joining them.” I have felt, almost since I became in charge here, that sometimes when I walk these rows, I am walking with many others,” the vines waved in the breeze of their passing, tendrils twining about them, “walking with those long-past grandfathers and ancestors.  And even before the Dassis were here, I think, yes, yes, there were other vineyardists loving these fields, loving their vines.  Just now when I spoke of that cataclysm that ended Mycenae around 1200 B.C., I had a fleeting thought of the people who saw it from here, from right here, from their homes nestled in their vineyards. Way back then.  The vine is long. The vine is Dionysos, and he is a very old god. And I do feel, as I put my feet into these vineyards, that far below us, there are vines from the past. And vineyardists walking the rows.  What do you think? Do you think we could get some of those archaeologists from down at the citadel up here to excavate?”

“I think you have another good idea, Papa.  Vineyards from ancient times from which were made the wines served at the great Mycenae. Maybe Dr. Margaret and her assistants will find them. And you could resuscitate them.”

“Yes, little Kat-Selene,” he said, using Agamemnon’s familiar name for her. He turned and led them back to the house.  “I would be very glad to have a girl work with me in these vineyards, the next generation to pass our vines to. You, I hope.”  He knocked the ask from his pipe. He turned and went inside, leaving Kati-Selene as she had been, looking at the stars.

“Merope?” She looked up and saw her star she called Merope winking blue lights. “Merope, did you really say that?  Are you coming? Come to help us, Merope.”

“I am coming again, little Kati-Selene.  We are sisters. And we will be united when you least expect. I will come singing the cloud calling songs to end the rumbling and open the doors to catch good dreams.”

pps 148-152,And The Stars Began To Fall.


bottom of page