Kill Them in the Night

by Thomas D. Reynolds

In the small village
on the edge
of a dark plain,
two figures gather
behind the stable.
No one can hear them.
One flicks nervously
at a bent cigarette;
the other scratches
lichen-covered bark
from a towering oak,
then sniffs his fingers.

Neither utters a sound
for several minutes,
listening to the steady
drops of blood
from the taller one’s head
exploding into dirt.
Finally, one speaks
a murmuring whisper
seething with fear
disguised as vitriol,
“There is no one
alive but us.”
  Clutching his gun
from which a trace
of smoke lingers,
the shorter figure
remembers faces
of his neighbors,
all the villagers
who became robotic,
unmistakably alien,
who in their gestures
revealed dark intent,
their otherworldliness.

Beyond the village,
desert sands gleam
in fading moonlight.
Holding his hand
to his bleeding brow,
the taller one weeps.

Copyright © 2005 by Thomas D. Reynolds

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