Aphelion Issue 291, Volume 28
February 2024
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Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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The Critics

by Gary William Crawford

Why do they keep chiseling away
at my mind, as if it were a sculpture
that is infinitely malleable?
And the editors censor my writing,
making a mockery of the law
that I do but yet do not follow.

Because I broke the law in the past,
only trying to save my love,
the beautiful man I will marry
in the other life. He knows I have
done no wrong in trying to free him
from the cloister they made for him.

He knows the mysteries of our
dual existence—wrong is right—
right is wrong—and now I know
they will set my great house on fire,
so they can sacrifice me to the gods
they worship. And the parallel lines
drawn to keep me in this prison
are links to the greater beyond
to which they will never connect.

© 2007 Gary William Crawford

Gary Crawford is the author of three books of poetry, Poems of the Divided Self, In Shadow Lands, and The Shadow City, and the short story collection Gothic Fevers. He has published works of literary scholarship and criticism, such as Ramsey Campbell, J. Sheridan Le Fanu: A Bio-Bibliography, and Robert Aickman: An Introduction. He is also the founder and editor of Gothic Press (http://www.gothicpress.com/).

Find more by Gary William Crawford in the Author Index.

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