A Modern Odyssey

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Athens was a rotting corpse.

This was what Nikolas thought as his train jerked forward, screeching out of the dingy metropolitan station. Outside his window, gargantuan, brutalist structures cast shadows upon frail monuments. High-rise apartments of cold steel and glass towered over crumbling temples. These tumorous growths would eat away at the body of the ancient city until nothing remained. In the museums, the faces of statues were worn away, and the deeds of the men they depicted forgotten. 

Nikolas liked things better once the train left the city behind to chug through the countryside. He was returning home after his first year away at Oxford. It was a curious sensation to be going home. Had he changed? Would his family be different? His father would still say to him, "Get your nose out of those old books, get a real job, and be a man." Nikolas hoped that his sister wouldn’t be too old now to ask him to play pretend.

Gray-eyed Athena, the patron deity of Athens, had abandoned her city. Nikolas prayed that at his homecoming she would yet stay close to him, just as she had remained loyal to resourceful Odysseus all those years ago...


Submitted: August 21, 2019

© Copyright 2021 A. M. Hawthorne. All rights reserved.

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