Aphelion Issue 279, Volume 26
December 2022/January 2023
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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The Crab of Gamma Doradus

by J. Davidson Hero

I swim in a sea of methane,
in the phosphorous state of the heady depths,
searching the scabrous floor
for bits of chum and fleshy gore.

I feel the noiseless clatter
of six stout stilts pocking the bottom
as I maneuver in dreamy movements
deeper and deeper, flatter and flatter.

Only two are here in the eyeless deep:
gravity and pressure; one pulling, one pushing
I and mine live between:
clutch, clutch, swallow... waste, wallow.... sleep.

Here God is in the deepest of the deep places,
beyond the lowest borders of our roily seep
where pressure and gravity are just too great
down beyond the squeezing crushing weight.

The zealots among us will scuttle
on towards God, deeper and flatter
until the pressure is so great they splatter
and pulp between his antipodal claws.

Others have faith their prayers are not bound by gravityʼs
pull and the push of pressure compacting flat;
instead they walk only to the brink
and toss them down into those bottomless cavities.

Surely you can see the truth in that.

© 2008 J. Davidson Hero

J. Davidson Hero is a bibliophile, a hacker, an award-winning indie film maker, a husband, and a father.

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