Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Flash Writing Challenge
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Hurry Up

by Joseph St. John

Hurry up!
The show is about to begin.
Watch closely… and smile.

This ain't no big top.
This ain't no spectacle.

to the sounds.

See the pretty maidens in their virgin, white gowns.
They grovel so pretty on the dirty ground.
Mean, cussing, creepy, little generals
lead the hushed brigade.

Humpback, defiant, they all march in.
One by one, they enter the stage.
Each one as grotesque as the one before.

We laugh—
The unfortunate laugh.
We have seen it all before.
Haven't we?

Who knows.
Their pained faces lost in hushed agony
make our hearts race faster.

Hail the Beast!
Hail the Beast!
Hail the Beast!

The words bring comfort to our ears.
Oh, my eyes to see.
Oh! Hail the Beast!

The parade grows larger with the great deformed.
Once-attractive faces mashed by years of scorn.
Black-hearted cripples lost in mock desire.
We laugh at this most horrid sight.

The Serpent eases on the stage in such pure desire.
Oh, we long to touch the beast—
Hot as the sun in August.

The numbers increase in the arena.
The agony pours out in their every song.

Did I hear a lie?
Or just a laugh?

We excite as the crowd grows larger.
We see the surprise in the naked eyes.
It makes us rush in pure ecstasy
to see their anguish.

Oh, what a pity, they've been deceived.
But, what is right but might,
May I ask.

Laugh and talk pretty!
Everyone will listen!!

© 2000 Joseph St. John

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