Apollo’s New Arrows

The world was covered in a plague, the bi-pedal apes had spread out, there was not enough food for them and they ate like locusts destroying entire swaths of the bueatiful forests Demeter had planted, Hephaestus was given a task to make new arrows for Apollo to deal with this glut of men.

Apollo had tried to teach them how to be a farmer, a shepard, how to be guardian and not plunder of their world but nothing worked when their bellies grumbled and begged to be filled. I condensed out of his sorrow, he took up his loot and played a sad still song, an anti-creation. I shimmered and looked at the creatures I resembled so. I was as nothing yet and hovered in almost existance. A dirt encrusted animal with matted hair stopped it’s gorging on flesh ripped from the young lamb buttered moments before – it looked at me, dark eyes and I saw something there.

It did not step back from me and yet it could percieve me. It’s blunt nailed claws, sticky with blood reached out to me and I reached back a mirror of form. We fell into each other, a mind that sort but did not know how to learn, shuddered at my touch but saw the fit and kept it snug. I felt the pressure of a body, pressing at me, hemming me in but then the mind was all I had been and it was not chained, I was simply something I had not been before.

Standing up straight I saw how these creatures could be like the gods, I spotted Apollo still sitting unobserved by the creatures benieth his tree, he was packing his instruments away and stringing his bow.

I walked up to him he chose not to notice me, he was not normally apparent to the apes, I twisted my throat and lyranx, they created the sounds they always had the potential for but it hurt and the mouth tripped over language.

Fear solidified his limbs as he stared, ‘you can see me?’ he asked slowely, shaking his head trying to decide if I was some deamon of his uncles making.

‘They are missing the song, the poem, you did not finish them off, they have curiosity and cunning but can not think and this makes them angry.’

‘What are you then?’ he spat in disguest.

‘I am your song, I am the ape child, I am… something new… something like you.’

Pain burned my dust ingrained cheek as he struck me down, ‘you are nothing like me,’ he hissed but his blue eyes searched me, took in my form not cowering and low nor agressive with fear.

‘You will come with me,’ he said and held out his hand, I looked at it, a burnt gold, stength resonated from him, mine were slim and richly brown – the pink pads of my fingers stained with blood.

‘Why?’ I asked.

Anger filled him then and he seemed to grow taller, the part of me that remebered the trees and the fights and the ways of men who are the biggest wanted to turn my dark eyes downwards, but the bit of me that had swam in the cosmos stood and stared down the anger and saw the puzzelment fill his face. What ever he did he could not touch the me that was, that bit within.

‘You should not be’

‘I am a solution,’

‘You are a muse! An accidental muse who had no corporal form awaiting you. These creatures can not sustain you!’

‘But they can, they are just dormant, not switched on, you gave the language but it was just noise for hunting commands, they need to think, to feel, to see beyond the creature they are… you forgot empathy.’

He laughed, ‘you want me to bestow art on them?’

‘Creativity,’ I breathed.

He shook his head, ‘that would give them fire.’

I nodded ‘both will feed the other and great things will be arise.’

‘It is forbidden, but I will give them my secrets, Hephaestus is more guarded of his metallurgy and science.’

I smiled and he took my hand gently, the grim and muck slide from me, my skin shone and my hair Fell in a wave to my knees. ‘Poetry! I shall give them that for you,’ he breathed. I watched as he took his bow and extracted an arrow, whispering to it he placed it upon the bow and pulled back, his muscles buldging and gleaming, he shot a cowering ape I recognised. Glassy eyes shone bright and he stood up tall, I turned to run to him, but Apollo’s grip flung me back into his own arms. ‘He can not see me like you can, they will still not be like you are – it is just a beginning.’

I felt the gulf between me and the man-ape, he looked around a worried frown playing on his face as he watched the filth and turmoil of those around him. He tried to speak but it roared as a scream. Gentle fingers gripped my attention and a quiver was thrust into my arms. ‘Lets make him some friends before he dies of loneliness’

I nodded and passed arrow after arrow until their were no more.

‘Sixty-four is not enough’ I cried a pain shooting through me for he was right not a single one of them had been like me.

‘We will go to my uncle and get more arrows,’

The betrayal of the unique swollowed me, he drew me near, ‘there will be others like you, your numbers will be few but grow, you.. the ape you didn’t need my song, it had one of it’s own, that is why you were drawn to it.’

I nodded knowing the truth.

‘Lets go and get more arrows and this time they will be golden sun studded with the gems of stars but first..’

I savoured the taste of sunshine and wondered about planting an apple tree.

Posted: Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 @ 11:32 am
Categories: Flash Fiction.
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