Death takes no bribes

short stories collection - a compilation of my short stories.

Summary

The ball whizzed past the net and bounced on the very edge of the service box. I reached out with Herculean effort to hit the ball as it tried to curve away from me. Relief! My return sped towards the middle of the court, only to see him already at the net, Apollo at his back. He sliced the ball to my forehand, I rushed and managed to get to the ball, and turned, waiting for the succeeding surge of energy to do battle with against this unstoppable foe.

One of my favorite shorts to write and re-read, it is a mythical take on a tennis match that I had during high school.

The ball whizzed past the net and bounced on the very edge of the service box. I reached out with Herculean effort to hit the ball as it tried to curve away from me. Relief! My return sped towards the middle of the court, only to see him already at the net, Apollo at his back. He sliced the ball to my forehand, I rushed and managed to get to the ball, and turned, waiting for the succeeding surge of energy to do battle with against this unstoppable foe. His next ball roared past me and crashed against the fence. Vulcan walked past me, blurring my vision a bit, and my shirt clung onto me while a soft breeze cooled my melting skin. I wiped the sweat from my brow and could taste the salt as I walked toward the baseline, bracing myself for the next onslaught, I smiled, this was going to be fun.

The spear of Mars shot towards me, I licked my lips, the warm sweat caused me to withdraw my tongue in disgust, a slight throbbing in my skull was gathering my attention, but at the last possible moment I snapped back to the world around me and chopped at the incoming ball. The ground had turned to water, he was Neptune--I, Gaia--and he sailed around the court while I strained and heaved, my body soaking and my skin clammy, as I attempted to stop him. Splish, splash, the ball was becoming heavy and I continued run, my nostrils choking on the salt hanging in the air, and finally he swam towards the net, his ball zoomed past me once again--a shockwave cooled my skin and strained my ears, the fence bent, the ball bobbled.

I felt the water recede, but Ares had already done his work and a million little needles were poking at my skin. I fought through the haze once more and steadied myself at the baseline. The ball screamed through the air as it attempted to pass me, “Godspeed”, I thought, and my return glided past the net. I ran to the right, slicing back his inbound shot, then to the left, lunging toward the next ball, my shot cleared the net by a hair and he continued to move me back and forth across the court: my lungs burned, eyes blurred and hands bristled as I continued to fight this pointless struggle, yet he wasn’t going to get off easy, of that I was sure. He finally decided to end this tussle and he flew to the net, and fired his backhand volley to the other side of the court, sure that this battle was over. Digging my feet into the ground I dashed towards the ball, strained my arm and lashed at it. I watched as the ball curled around his outstretched racquet, and landed in the court beyond. He gave a slight shrug and turned toward the baseline, the Battle of Thermopylae had begun.

-biafra
bahanonu [at] alum.mit.edu

other entires to explore:

gantis: toward the edge
28 june 2013 | short story

The first in a series of short stories exploring a universe in which our negative space (i.e. space) is turned into their positive space (i[...].e. matter) and vice-versa. Thus, it is like the entire universe is a series of caves that they must excavate. This story introduces a few key characters, explore a bit of the lore, and is an attempt by me to write a story in which a clearer light is shone on a relationship between two characters. More to come, enjoy!

global history of architecture
08 june 2013 | architecture

One of my favorite classes at MIT was 4.605 (Global History of Architecture), which explored various styles and themes found throughout dif[...]ferent buildings and other types of architecture from the beginning of civilization to the present. In the spirit of sharing my enthusiasm for the course i'll discuss some takeaways from, and have included a couple papers i wrote for, the class.

brain initiative notes
27 may 2013 | neuroscience

This is a continually updated collection of news, ideas/findings, and other tidbits related to the [...]n/' target='_blank'>BRAIN initiative, promising biotechnologies, and neuroscience/biology in general. This is a really exciting time in neuroscience and I hope to capture a bit of that here.

©2006-2017 | biafra ahanonu | updated 12 december 2017
biafra ahanonu