Fiction

Hidden fears


I’m safe here, for the time being at least. They can’t find me. They can’t even see me, but I can watch them, those monsters of death, as they go about their nightmare business on those horrifyingly preposterous legs. They would be comical in their ungainliness if they weren’t so repulsive, so terrifying, so very destructive. They have murdered hundreds of us; made even more homeless, leaving them to die of starvation, but as to why, who can tell? It’s what they do.

It’s amazing that life continues routinely in the face of their vindictive assault, but somehow it does. Most of us manage to live almost normal lives until the monsters show up again. Then more of us die.

They are so very alien. I can’t remember when they first appeared. I don’t remember them being around when I was young, but then I can’t imagine them ever not being around. Some suggest they are as much a part of Mother Earth as we are; that they have, indeed, always been here. Given the way they look, I favour the alien theory myself.

For now, though, I am safe. I can study them, bear witness as they crush, kill and maim. Perhaps if we learn to understand them, we can learn, eventually, to defeat them.

I make every effort to be quiet and careful. It’s uncanny, though. At times it’s as if they sense me hiding here. They turn round suddenly on their two monstrous legs and stare straight at this hiding place, but my eight agile legs move faster than their single pair of grossly bulbous eyes can follow.  For now, I am alive and running.

 

J.S.Watts has published the following books: The Submerged Sea (poetry), Dempsey & Windle – ISBN 9781907435591; Witchlight (novel), Vagabondage Press – ISBN 9780692406908; A Darker Moon (novel), Vagabondage Press – ISBN 9780615706528; Cats and Other Myths (poetry), Lapwing Publications – ISBN 9781907276644; Songs of Steelyard Sue (poetry), Lapwing Publications – ISBN 9781909252028: NOMINATED for BOTH SFPA and Saboteur Awards Best Poetry Pamphlet 2013; Years Ago You Coloured Me (poetry), Lapwing Publications – ISBN 9781910855157.

Picture source: USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab