Flash Fiction. A Body Made Stone.
Oh Apollo! I offer these libations to you! I who wield the chisel in your name put down wine and place meat in the fire. I who show truth of character in marble. Who chips away the lies until they strew the floor of the workshop. Apollo hear the entreaty of your servant Blind Akakios.
You must have heard them speak of me, great Apollo! And I have never asked ought of you. Only the brave, foolish or virtuous put themselves before the chisel of Blind Akakios, they say. And still they come, 'cast me in stone,' they say. 'Cast my wife in stone and lay your hands upon her body to know her.'
And if not all were happy with the statue they find waiting them then that is beyond my control and I have faced mortal peril to show truth in art, all in your name.
I deal in deeper truths than mere likeness and I see far deeper than eyes can. I have yet to to meet the man who, when asked to stare upon my work, can say, truthfully, they do not find something they recognise of themselves or those they love within it. Though my statues oft remain hidden, all talk of me is as the best. All know I the name of Blind Akakios.
Though you, mighty Apollo, son of Zeus, know the truth.
I am not the best.
She is the best, she who hides in the wood. She who whispers her secrets to me in the night. She who is always naked, and yet, when she moves I hear the whispering hiss of silk on skin. Each night I visit her glade in wonderment as I did that first night. Each night I find new sculptures. Such remarkable likenesses of the body! Such realism, such form, such truth. And all achieved within a day!
Oh great Apollo hear me beg.
The hands she places on my body are soft. As soft as her skin must be, should she let me only touch it. When we sit and talk late into the night I am entranced, held by her spirit. When we lie together as man and woman I am bound and forbodden to touch her. When I wake in the morning she is gone to her hidden workshop and I am left to wander among her works, lost and amazed and trapped by my envy of her talent.
Oh great Apollo!
Grant me sight for just one day, I beg once more.
I would give all to look upon her work.
To look upon her.
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