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The Lady of the Lake by Otilia Tena
SUMMARY: a young teacher goes on a school trip to a lake and has an unexpected affair with... and things get complicated in a would-be modern society
The Lady of the Lake
Let's say it was October, my shoulders were wrapped in a delicate woolen shawl and my mind – well, it was quite dizzy as I walked slowly to the bus. There were they, still waiting: Mrs. V , whom I'd have gladly killed if there weren't so many psychological and social barriers in this world , five mummies I guess and students. Mrs. V. was pregnant and I envied her belly now, just as much as I hated her, I suppose; she smiled to me from behind the glasses; that's what she was – a blonde mouse with thick lips and athletic constitution, though a bit shorter than I was; she never matched my softness and my angelic features; what could they possibly find attractive about her?
I greeted them; the mummies looked at me protectively, as if I were one more student, a special one, of course. I simply asked myself if I was ever going to rejoice in anything, let's say in this trip. I was sorry I had descended from my tower to live among rats and to get scratched along the rough stones of the way; I thought – there could be only two beautiful memorable endings to this: either me drowned into the lake and covered in white veils or pulling her guts out !
And there was the house near the lake, waiting with a hot meal inside. At least this is what we all imagined. I must say I was quite eager to find out about the toilets – and for God's sake, why are journeys always so closely related to the unpleasant need of taking a leak?
Anyway, we decided to stay in a room, me and Mrs. V., since this was the only option available. So we went downstairs into the large dining room where everybody was and sat together at table. The mummies were very close to us.
" Such a long trip ! God, I'm starved ! What about you? Still breathing?"
" Still breathing, yes. Here they come."
The sound of forks and knives quickly replaced the tired words. The dessert brought me a stain on the dress, the pancakes were delicious.
" I'd like some wine, you know..."
" Wine with pancakes? Are you nuts?"
" Just to end up the whole dinner, you know."
" Nope ! No wine ! We've got to take care of our students here."
" Right ! Unfortunately."
We spent the next day visiting the whereabouts of the place. As much as I wished to see Mrs. V. stumbling and rolling down in front of me, her small face smashed and bleeding, well, it didn't happen. If only I could have dragged her behind some bushes and pull her guts out ! " No, no, come on, don't get obsessed ! She's just a tiny mouse. You know that two different persons at two different times compared you to Boticelli's Venus; she doesn't match you. Then how come they like her so much? Well, you mean, how come he likes her so much? Because she isn't interested in him, while you are. Come on, just a tiny pregnant mouse !"
I put the shawl on my shoulders and sat down on the bank, looking over the huge lake. " Well, my dear princess, it would've been so much better here in a room of your own. Right ! Instead, I have to share it with two monsters.