Aphelion Issue 291, Volume 28
February 2024
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Flash Fiction
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Amplitude, Altitude, Attitude

by Mike Wilson

The gathering of old men was like a cult:
Priests and deacons swarmed around holy relics.
Crystal radios, ancient books, leaflets,
Bakelite knobs and indicators.
Ammeters in massive wooden encasements.

They joked and laughed and offered to sell –
“Take it home for a couple of bucks- please!”
“Need any tubes with that? I’ve got plenty here.”
“Joe next door even has a tester.”

The sacrament table was alive with radio noise.
Morse code, squawking chittering testing radio chants.
Various acolytes stopped by briefly to partake,
Then moved on to the next sunlit altar…
The holy of holies were powered by solar cells.

A High Altitude balloon was lofted to the skies,
Bearing a transmitter gift to the radio gods.
A great cheer erupted when it was released.
Many pairs of reverent eyes followed its progress.

The images were streamed live to the Interent,
Available to any Iphone tuned to that website.
It was a stellar day for wireless worship
At the Hamfest in West Liberty, Iowa.

© 2012 Mike Wilson

Find more by Mike Wilson in the Author Index.

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