Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

In the Tub

Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Here is the first of my short stories. This is one of a tiny collection of stories featuring Archimedes and Mrs Archimedes. The other stories aren't yet fit to be seen

In the Tub

Archimedes best ideas came in his bath. This, he told Ariadne, was the sole reason he resorted to the bathhouse so often. Tonight playing with his sponge, he mused.

“Of course the sponge doesn’t displace much water in this large volume of suds. I myself dislodge considerably more.”

Wifely curses and hammering echoed through the night and ruffled the surface of the water. Archimedes sighed as the waterlogged sponge sank.
Moments later Ariadne bustled in. She proffered wine. Her other hand grasped a crucible of molten copper.

“Something new for dinner. Pizza. I’m baking it in the ore furnace. Don’t be long or I’ll give it to the dog.”

She disappeared. The hammering resumed.
Archimedes frowned. True, Ariadne’s talent for invention extended to the kitchen, but she was fonder of the dog than of him.Slurping wine he lounged, staring through the rushes at itinerant stars; the constellations invariably soothed his discord .Supine and buoyant it occurred to him that stars might also float.

” A liquid sky; such volume of stars would need a considerable sea.
Well, that would stop Helios’ chariot setting Heaven afire wouldn’t it?”

He drank deep and filed that thought. Ariadne returned carrying skeins of wet yarn.

“ What do you think of this colour? I used those weeds above the shit-tank.”

“Will we ever hear the last of your drains, Ariadne?

He glanced at the dripping mess.

“Yes it’s a nice blue, like a Summer’s sky.”

Archimedes reached for the flagon.

“Blue sky. Why not pink sky do you suppose? Why choose that colour?”

Ariadne shook her head and departed.
Archimedes sat up abruptly.

“Eureka. It’s because the sea is blue. Such universal harmony, such design ! The sky another ocean with stars instead of islands.”

He liked this phrase so much he repeated it.

“Stars instead of islands.”

Water dripped onto the dog. Archimedes, inspired now, shouted.

“If there is water, perhaps there are also fish in the sky.”

Ariadne’s voice interrupted this revelation.

“ You’ll rot like stinking fish in that tub someday. My mother’s arriving tomorrow. She thinks you’re insane, so no bathing allowed while she’s here. Use the shower I built last month, it saves water too.

“More to the point, dinner’s ready”.

“Coming my love.”

Archimedes squelched free of the bath. Starry reflections shimmered briefly on the water, then spiralled down the wastepipe and were gone.

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