Rafi Abramowitz is a comedic storyteller that publishes a free short story every Sunday. He lives in Brooklyn with his large ego and considerable emotional baggage. 

    Rafi Abramowitz is a comedic storyteller that publishes a free short story every Sunday. He lives in Brooklyn with his large ego and considerable emotional baggage. 

Epic Poem

Introduction
Many eons and decades ago, before you or I,
Stood dragon; warlocks; and heroes willing to die,
Not only for treasure, for they also had a hand
In warding off evil away from their precious land.
Demons ruled the afterlife, for that’s where most were headed,
As the victims of Lucifer’s game were beaten down and shredded.
There are those who fought, but were brought to their knees
As their lives were lost and their blood filled up the seas.
Now with every generation, one ray of hope emerges from the fray
As dark seems most deadly the hero sees his day.
Raficles was that man, one more noble than them all
Who’s great acts of courage saw to Hades’ final fall.
Yet Raficles had a problem, a phobia if you will,
Of entering large battles and run the risk of getting killed.
‘Let the good protect themselves’, he said one day ‘I do not fancy dying young.
Years of training and preparation have left me quite high-strung!’
The word spread quickly, no sole was left naive,
That Raficles was more selfish than anyone previously had believed.
‘You have no compassion!’ they said to Raficles, ‘you’re a giant waste of space,
There is more to a hero than ripped muscles and a pretty face.
Until you choose to use your heavenly talents to help those in need,
We henceforth banish you until you commit a worthy deed.’
Raficles was unperturbed, refocusing on a new task,
Of working out, pleasing his mistresses, and draining out his flask.
Yet one day, many years later, something drastic would occur
Replacing our hero’s egotism with a heart that is pure.
For this is a ballad, a tale of a hero’s change of heart,
It is quite long I’m afraid: this is only the opening part.

Part I
Just like Hercules, our hero was born
To the gods up above, but from his parents torn
By Hades and his gang of twisted slaves
Who flew the baby to the ground and threw him in a cave
Where he was discovered by a wife and her man
Escaping the field so that they can
Elope in quiet away from the eyes
Of workers and bosses who’d have slain them alive.
Instead of a love-filled planting of seeds
They were blinded by a light that appeared to be
Coming from a baby alone and afraid
Who’s glow was even so beginning to fade.
They took him home, giving him the name
Raficles, for it sounded the same
As the sound the baby made when trying to talk
Which, along with his ability to walk
Was far more advanced for kids of his age
And was his strength and fiery rage.
He never required time to rest, no time to mature,
As he was a true prodigy, one that could potentially ensure,
The security of all that is good in the human civilization,
His mere presence caused everyone an endless measure of elation.
Yet Raficles was troubled, for he realized in time
His powers and brawn must be a sign
That his true parents were not the same as the two
Who had raised him and were the only parents he knew.
‘I need to find my real parents,’ Raficles decided
‘Time to find out where they are hided.’
Raficles bid farewell, but wasn’t quite sure,
Of where he might find the parenting cure.
He traveled to Athens, but to no avail.
Sparta and Delphi provided equal fail.
Imbros and Limnos were not any more helpful,
Ithaca and Thermopylae were similarly uneventful.
Finally after three years of this cumbersome quest,
Raficles’ patience had been put to the test.
He needed an answer, and only one location remained,
Where the knowledge he was seeking could be possibly gained.
So off Raficles set, heading to the gargantuan peak,
Of Mount Olympus, for with the Gods themselves he must speak.

Part II
Many miles and moons later, our hero arrived,
To the place where mythology organically derived.
Raficles stood at the base of massive mountainous rise,
Which a few years prior had seen Hades’ demise.
Taking a deep intake of breath, our hero began his climb,
Intent solely on reaching the peak, not on the time.
For this ascent would surely last the better part of a week,
Even with our savior’s solid abs and rock hard cheeks.
The first day pushed our hero’s might to the end,
Defending himself from dangers that lurked around each bend.
He battled tough, whilst proceeding to scale,
Necessitating an answer, he could not fail.
Meanwhile his determination and strength impressed the Gods above,
Who looked down on Raficles with revelation and love.
It had been many years since he had returned to his derivation,
Much altered after many years of free-range gestation
Not wanting to wait longer , Zeus swept up our hero from the harsh terrain,
To fill his head with knowledge that he so dearly wished to gain.

Part III
Astonished and perplexed, Raficles took in his surroundings,
Blood rushed to his head; his heart began pounding.
Raficles had never seen faces so fair
Zeus, Hermes, and Apollo- our hero was forced to stare.
Hera, Athena, even Poseidon was standing tall,
Only Hedes was missing from the Godly role call.
Cautiously and slowly, Raficles began his speech,
Intent on extracting all the information that could be reached.
“I stand here on Mount Olympus, humbled and in awe,
Understanding at last why worshiping you is our law.
Ever since I was young, I realized that I stood apart,
With large muscles, great stamina, and a frequent change of heart.
So please inform me, is it up here with the Gods where I belong?
Or a different place where everyone else is similarly as strong?’
Raficles finished his speech and awaited a structured reply,
Instead he was surprised that not a single eye was dry.
Zeus approached and spoke, his eyes gleaming with tears,
As he prepared to speak to his son that he hadn’t seen in years.
“Son, I am elated by your reappearance here today,
It therefore brings me pain to answer your question this way:
You have not exactly been the greatest citizen on Earth,
Of great deeds that you have accomplished, there is a dearth.
Therefore I have established a rule for you to heed,
If you want to live with us you need to concede.
In one years time there will be a great battle,
Where everyone will perish, from humans to cattle.
You must fight for the good and stand not with the wicked,
If you win that war, live with us you shall, and not the insipid.”
Zeus ceased his speech and adjusted his crown,
Raficles shouted “That war I shall win! Dad, I will not let you down!”
Our hero exploded from the palace, and was keen on victory,
‘The books will be rewritten’, Raficles thought ‘I will make history.

Part IV
In the blink of an eye Raficles was down the titanic hill,
Intent on death, but not quite sure who to kill.
He needed to quickly gather the good citizens to fight,
To clash with evil in the vital flaunt of might.
Thousands will undoubtedly die from both sides,
There will be nowhere to run, not a place to hide.
These thoughts raced through our hero’s mind as his feet touched soil,
Time to recruit, prepare, workout and toil.
When Raficles reached the center of town
He stood on a stood and looked around.
He raised his hands to the skies, revealing his build,
Causing by passers to ponder the amount of victims he had killed.
Not wanting to let his intimidation run out,
He opened his mouth, and began to shout:
“Listen all men, and listen well,
Remember when last your brethren fell?
It was due to Hedes’ pure evil and your lack of a head,
Ensured that instead of bravery, your army panicked instead.
Thus let us band together, as a war is on our heels,
Heed my word, this threat is real.
This is a war to end all, and to begin a new generation,
Of complete and absolute evil eradication.
I have been sent by the deities who dwell above,
Who truly care for us and act out of love.
Now who will fight with me against eternal damnation?
It’s time to save our exalted nation!”
Raficles finished his influential speech with a dramatic ending,
The Army of the God’s waitlist was officially pending.
Our pedestal hero looked around in trepidation,
Fearing the no one would join in his unplanned initiation.
His anxiety was squashed by a man from the horde,
Who stepped forward and courageously offered his sword.
“I will join you in your quest for the rights of man!
If I can fight, anyone can!”
More shouts followed this brave stranger,
To fight against the impending danger.
Thousands enlisted that day some 3000 years in the past,
After only a few hours the army was formed at last.
A year elapsed, and news reached the bold encampment,
That an army of evil was headed their way; not expecting entrapment.
Raficles gathered his army, gravely sharing the news,
That now was the time to prove their loyalty, and which side they choose.
With a roar that could be heard for miles around,
Our new hero led his men with a deafening sound
To clash with sin, and with a grin,
Raficles knew exactly what he must do in order to win.

Part V
The night of fright was upon the armed force,
Fear and tears could not alter the course,
Of what was in store for Raficles’ mercenaries.
The weather turned cold, for lo and behold,
The men were shivering and quivering for reasons other then fear.
Evil was near and hurriedly crawling,
Morale was low and constantly falling,
The people cried out to the heavens: Please help us! Your children are calling!
As Raficles prepared his men for the beginning of the end.
The battle commenced, and swords clashed with shields,
Blood drenched the once innocent fields.
Raficles slay all who were engaging and enraging him,
For his powers were finally shining through his very skin
As he obeyed every instinct and every whim,
Not using cognition, not even considering intuition,
Simply killing all who evoked his suspicion
For committing the sin of crowding his very presence.
Slashing and dipping, thrusting and ripping,
There was no enemy that was safe.
However one mans foe is another mans friend,
Evil to one was a pal to the end,
And that’s what sent this war into an irreversible stalemate.
When all progress was at a still,
The night released a formidable chill,
As evil freed their reinforcements.
A one eyed freak smashed through the field,
Its furious shriek ran from its mouth,
No one could speak; their hopes too bleak.
In what way could they possibly kill this elephantine monster?
Before they could ponder, with a sound like thunder,
A seven headed serpent appeared at its right,
Quenching for thirst and needing to fight,
It blocked the sun as it reared its fangs towards the earth,
Prepared to avenge Hades and show its worth.
The two colossal giants began to feast
Yet not satisfied in the least,
Consumed with a glare from both evil and fine,
They didn’t care about what’s fair, only what’s prime;
It was at this point that Raficles achieved his full potential.
He ran at the beasts while time stood motionless,
Emotions were no more; the state was bliss,
For this was how it was meant to occur.
Reaching the titans and not fearing their height, he
Climbed up the back of the Cyclops.
He penetrated his sword deep into the pond-sized pupil,
Blinding the monster, and in a way most unusual
Was attempting to kill two beasts with one sword.
The Cyclops was now sightless,
Yet unwilling to fight less,
Forced our hero to bite best,
Down on his carrier’s mountainous right ear.
With a roar and a below,
The Cyclops beckoned his fellow,
To come assist him in his unsighted duel.
With a angry disposition,
The Hydra’s many heads aimed their incisions,
Towards the heroic spectacle.
Evading the many heads,
Which instead lead to the Hydra biting the Cyclops,
Raficles cause the death in one breath of half his problems.
Falling towards the ground, Raficles leapt from the bounds
Of one monster to the next.
Now upon the back of the enraged mistake of the underworld,
The entire crowd on the ground watched as the events uncurled
High above them on that important day.
Raficles dug his way into the back of the beast,
Entering the insides, never pausing to cease,
As he headed towards the temple sized cold heart.
He arrived a few minutes later
Yet the beast did not welcome its invader,
And began to throw itself onto the terrain
Killing both sides of the fight in vain,
As Raficles stabbed the heart with mighty conviction.
The war had ended after two hours and a tad,
Both sides had been wiped out, both good and bad,
Besides our hero who lay helpless inside the beast’s chest.
He passed away not long after,
Due to loss of air and bereavement from the disaster,
Which caused so many good people to die.
This sincere sense of sorrow
Enabled our hero to view tomorrow,
From the eyes of the Gods above.
He was welcomed with a warm inclusion,
For with the Gods, there was an infusion,
To consider Raficles one of them once again.
So on a clear summer night,
If you look up just right,
You can see Raficles lined out by stars in his rightful place in the sky.

An Ode to the Rejected

My Voice and I