Saturday, May 22, 2010

Trojan Flower

A response to Michael Maslin's cartoon of a soldier standing outside a town's gate with a large wooden horse and a clipboard saying, "I can't just leave it--somebody has to sign for it," that appeared in the April 26th issue of the New Yorker. And Ganymeder's #FridayFlash Red Riding Hood Revised.

One should never believe they understand war. It is a multifaceted changeling lying in wait. Polyxena wore her filter over her mouth to sift through the debris, combing through the sun scoured bones, poisoned loam, and burnt ash strewn outside the dome's gates. A woman's voice, filled with air, shocked Polyxena into falling to the ground staining her jeans with the filth embedded in the lifeless bio-engineered detritus. The woman said her name was Simone while offering a white throated flower whose petals licked upwards like tongues, their flesh blushing blue. Polyxena weaved the stem through a hole in her shirt as Simone's presence blew away like a cloud of fog torn by wind.

The elders, Cassandra and Laoco├Ân, raised their hands and shouted "No!" with the same empty quality of Simone's voice, something she had never heard before, as the tears came and their bodies washed away in a flood of oily color leaving a stain of poseidon blue and pink on the dead earth. With her path no longer blocked, Polyxena skipped into Troy's Dome.


  1. i love the details in the scene. and the characters stand out. this one really flows, aidan. great excerpt. makes me want to continue reading. once again, what i love about your stuff is that it makes the type of fiction i would normally not pick up to read despite being interested in the subject.

    great imagery throughout. but the 1st sentence, like I said, I would break in two. great first sentence by the way.

  2. "their flesh blushing blue" is very interesting, and I loved the name Polyxena.

    I think you quite met the challenge. Well done! :)

  3. I'm quite flattered that you found inspiration in my #fridayflash story. Yours is, honestly, so beautifully told. I love that you chose a Greek myth theme too,one of my weaknesses.

    I loved all the details, but especially the part about the 'flower whose petals licked upwards like tongues, their flesh blushing blue.' Just beautiful details and imagery, even though its sad. Loved it.

  4. Great imagery in this! The 'white throated flower whose petals licked upwards like tongues, their flesh blushing blue' is superb.

  5. Thank you for the kind comments.

    Annie, thank-you for the idea on the first line. I stole it already ;)

    Mari, I stole the name Polyxena from Virgil; can't take much credit for it :(

    Ganymeder, I'm glad you enjoyed it. It is sad and I find that I'm drawn to a mix of sadness/gladness like a moth flitting between blue and yellow bugzappers, alive because I can't make up my mind which bugzapper to visit.

    Laura, thank-you I'm glad that the imagery on that one works.