Aphelion Issue 279, Volume 26
December 2022/January 2023
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Flash Writing Challenge
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by J. Davidson Hero

my tomatoes wait for the killing frost.
adolescent, green, strained plants,
racked with blight, lowest leaves wilted
with black leopard spots,
…hardly a caged fruit among them.

I should cut them down
and throw them on the pile to rot.

the red line starts to crawl,
winter’s dim whispers quiet
with the return of a summer’s thick roiling heat.

is it the quickening of climate change?
…symptoms of sun spots?
…a geomagnetic whirl?
…alignment with a colossal hole somewhere near the core?
the TV doesn’t know.

pews fill and holy men sweat out apocalyptic sermons
zealots sell everything and wait for the burgeoning consciousness
of a new age, the skeptics buy bullets
even sane people watch the sky for low hanging planets
a raving current chases every polite exchange.

but in this climate of doom
my tomatoes grow new vines.
blossoms cluster, red seductive fruits
hang heavy in the hellfire.

…I wonder
…if they are safe
…to eat

© 2009 J. Davidson Hero

J. Davidson Hero is a bibliophile, computer programmer, an award-winning indie film maker, and most importantly, a husband and father.

Find more by J. Davidson Hero in the Author Index.

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