Aphelion Issue 229, Volume 22
June 2018
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Never Ending Struggle

by Richard H. Fay

While my wearied body rests,
Legions of despised wretches
Continue their grim assault
Upon my beleaguered mind.
They ride the backs of nightmares
Into slumber's feral thoughts
And besiege my troubled soul.

Dankly dismal halls echo
To the sound of angry words.
Stern limestone towers crumble
Beneath the terrible weight
Of abuse and bitter lies.
Sneering hordes clamber over
My demolished defences.

Burnished armour blazes red
From the glimmering embers
Of smouldering hopes and dreams.
Brazen shield reflects the glow
Of a thousand rabid eyes.
Standing firm I draw my sword
Against fell visions of hate.

Swarming across shattered walls
Blaspheming and babbling throngs
Of twisted grotesqueries
Launch their chaotic attacks.
Steel sings in the reeking air
As I construct new ramparts
From the bodies of my foes.

Out of the bloody carnage
Severed heads and limbs rejoin
Torsos battered in the fray.
Deathless remains rise again
As wave after fiendish wave,
Each more gruesome than the last,
Throw themselves upon my blade.

Leering faces dripping gore
Mouth endless soundless curses
While raw fingers stripped of flesh
Rip at my harness and helm.
Bony hands grasp tiring arms
But I continue to fight,
Holding my ground against all.

Slowly the heinous tide ebbs,
Withdrawing from withered lands,
Departing through acrid smoke
To dissolve into the murk.
Battle subsides as day breaks
Pale yet so poorly greeted,
For real strife begins anew.

(Originally published in Death Head Grin #39, October 2012.)

© 2012 Richard H. Fay

Richard H. Fay currently resides in upstate New York with his wife and two cats. Formerly a laboratory-technician-turned-home-educator, Richard now spends his days juggling numerous art and writing projects. History, myth, folklore, and legend serve as inspiration for his creative endeavours. Many of the fruits of his labour have appeared in various e-zines, print magazines, and anthologies.

Find more by Richard in the Author Index

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