Aphelion Issue 278, Volume 26
November 2022
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Flash Fiction
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The Cyclops

by Eric Robert Nolan

Even before Odysseus arrived,
He was fated to fail the day.
Before they all were ferried away,
Clutching the bellies of sheep --
Those wily absconding men, so
precocious, turming his herd to cover
As his addled eye ached with the black lance.
Yes, even then.
For his single eye was made unruly with
Pessimism in his giant's heart --
The kind known only to those alone:
The solitary vision, prognosticating only
Gunmetal gray days and starless nights
And eventual framine when
the lambs grew few and failed to love.
Infectious, then, time and again,
The effect of his lens swept his senses.
At his touch, the mute familiar flock
Bristled with sedition
To his ears it seemed that the random scream
Of segulls derided his faith
The scents that he detected
Were all of distant fires --
Racing conflagrations, maybe
That with the wind's caprice could cross
The miles to his cave.
The taste of the sea's salt spray
Recalls for him a boyhood:
Simpler, more impulsive,
Envisioning nothing
Except the warm, jade-green
Waves in which he played,
rendering in contrast
the hypervigillance of
his cynicism's vision, and
an adulthood cruelly informed. Even
On the eve of sly Odysseus,
The future's fortunes were the night's to keep,
And he dreamed that above black clouds,
The faint stars judged him, seceretly, in his sleep.

© 2014 Eric Robert Nolan

Eric Robert Nolan's debut novel is the postapocalyptic science fiction story, 'The Dogs Don't Bark In Brooklyn Any More.' It was published by Dagda Publishing on November 19th, 2013, and is available at Amazon.com both in paperback and for Kindle. This will be the first of a series of books entitled 'The Wolf War Saga.'

Eric's poetry and short stories have been featured by Dagda Publishing, Every Day Poets, Every Day Fiction, Illumen, Dead Beats Literary Blog, Dead Snakes, Tales of the Zombie War, The Bright Light Cafe, The International War Veterans' Poetry Archive, and elsewhere. His poems were also included in anthology format in Dagda Publishing's 'Threads' in September 2013. Eric's science fiction/horror short story, 'At the End of the World, My Daughter Wept Metal,' was published in January 2014 in Dagda's short story anthology, 'All Hail the New Flesh.' For more of Eric's work, please see https://ericrobertnolan.wordpress.com/.

Find more by Eric Robert Nolan in the Author Index.

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