Aphelion Issue 279, Volume 26
December 2022/January 2023
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Columns, Arches, Blocks and Walls

by Robert William Shmigelsky

Before God made man as good as he could,
creating outstanding beings – being complicated,
he stretched and massaged their bodies and bones
and made man into giants named Titans.
Becoming almost as high as the sky
and as broad as two peaks placed side by side,
this and that came easily for the Titans.
This was as expected, but with unexpected results.

Take the first Titan dreamer, a Titan named Tidus.
For him it took only a single burst to stand Babel,
which stretched out solely by accident.
For to keep that first column from falling,
not knowing what else to do, he held it still
while his mates built a city around the base.

All it took was two broad hands and three
stone slabs to build the world’s first arch.
After that it was a matter of building upwards
and learning how to avoid the falling arches.

Once they had smoothed out the edges
and learned how to stand columns,
it took Tidus and the rest of his crew
only four hours to complete the first coliseum.

When it came to standing walls, it took only mere weeks
to litter island and rock with castle and hall,
mortar and lime: a kingdom which took
seven months to build a great wall around it all.

Mean and while on his days on the side,
from what he had learned, eight terraced gardens he built
wrought of baked brick and laced with paths of asphalt
and hanged with the widest range of plants and trees.

Then One Day arrived and found everything that could be
built. He overheard Tidus ask the other dreamers:
“what else is there for us to build, here on?”
The answer? He heard none and then on he saw them build
nothing more, Tidus often explained: “Built this – built that.”

Overhearing this from high above, from a whim
God turned those who were awake into clay
and shrunk the rest while they slept, knowing
that would make them think twice before saying
something like that again.

© 2010 Robert William Shmigelsky

Robert is an aspiring fantasy writer taking English courses at Okanagan College to try to improve his writing. Besides reading and writing, some of his hobbies include computers, football and history. He has a dry sense of humour, for which he blames his stepfather. Also, he has a habit of making history jokes no one but him understands. He is currently working as a certified care aide in beautiful British Columbia to support his writing.

Find more by Robert Shmigelsky in the Author Index.

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