Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Aren’t They All Like This?

by Peter Adamakakis

The dreams of the weary stifled
in these archaic hinterlands –
the last of the wine drunk and
the cups smashed against the fortress walls.

I sharpen my sword upon the burnished stones
my forefathers brought with them to these fields –
I honour them with each scrape of the blade and count off
each century we have been cleansing this soil;
My comrades feed their reveries with stories
of ever-increasing gore and death-tolls tripling
with each successive telling as the campfire flames
lick at their greasy lies.

We cling to the time of superstition
with the fear that if we let it go completely
we will suffer unimaginable woes.

We do not fight the dragon as our ancestors
did; we fight the demons of their legacies.
We trained for years to bring us here
to the edges of this hate that none of us
still feels;
We drag our hunger for glory
through each and every river of torment and
inferior blood.

Disdain as another endless year tattoos
Itself into my finite dredging for some reason –
I sit and wait for the call to arms again,
this time to be the last,
but knowing
it probably won’t be.

© 2012 Peter Adamakakis

Find more by Peter Adamakakis in the Author Index.

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