“Displacement” by Matthew King

Eureka! Eureka! Archimedes shouts, then launches himself from his bathtub like a rocket-ship into space. As naked as the day that he was born, the scientist sprints into the streets of Syracuse shouting, “Eureka!! Eureka!! IT ALL MAKES SENSE!!”

His neighbors look on, some with wonder, some with mockery, many with disdain,
each puzzled as to why Archimedes, the decrepit-old-quack-mathematician from down the block, would be running through the city, butt-naked, shouting something about a bath tub and displacement.

Meanwhile, in the house of Archimedes, tiny droplets of water pool onto the floor — each displaced by a man contemplating displacement at a moment that would forever displace the world.
When the scientist returns home, the epiphany is complete. For when he stares into the water and sees his reflection echoing back, he knows that his image is forever. And hearing the sounds of the townspeople laughing outside of his window, Archimedes chuckles to himself. Never again, he vows, watching his own smile spread, will sticks and stones displace him.


Matthew King’s short fiction and poetry have appeared in the Midwest Literary Review, Indigo Rising, The Beatnik, Ink, Sweat, and Tears, and Liquid Imagination.
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