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inching his way up the knife with precision, making sure to hit every nook and cranny of the twisted steel. Finally, when he looked satisfied with his job well done, he disappeared around the corner and opened the back door to enter the fall night where everything was perfect. He looked up to the sky and held his head towards the heavens as he let out a bloodcurdling cry, like the sound of some ancient banshee or the screech of a cat when you step on its tail. The cry startled me, but not enough to keep me awake. He was holding the knife in his hand like he was holding an unborn robin’s egg and with a turgid look in his eyes, as if he might pounce at any moment, but wasn’t going to just to toy with me. He lowered his head back down to eye level, my level, where I was sitting. A long, cool breath escaped his body. I tried to look back to the window, to see my wife one last time, to see those bouncy beautiful curls or not see the canyon freshly carved into her face. But I couldn’t. All I could do was sit there and look dead straight ahead, right at my wife’s murderer, and more than likely my own. With a great lunge he leapt forward, nimble and as silent as a cat in stealth. Were my eyes playing tricks on me? Up and down they opened and closed like a broken garage door, only heavier. I had no control at this point. I thought about the pills, of the night sky, of my wife’s head stuck like a vacation brochure to a tack board in the kitchen. I thought about the killer, I thought about the promise, I thought about it all. And as the killer gained speed, knife poised seductively at his right hip; a twinkle in his sinister eye, all I could do was patiently wait for the final stretch of day before disappearing behind the broad cloak of night.

Alone in the house. Killer on the news. Somewhere a door slams shut.

THE SCARECROW They return to the same place each night, twenty or thirty at a time. I can hear the congregation of caws emerge, invisible in the dark nothing, closing in like a cult of madness. They are the dancing murders and this is my calling." to feel the wings, the eyes pecking at my insides, my arms spread out, pinned up like a disfigured ankh. Dust of what was, I am forced to play dead until the wind blows. Just a deflection, a hallucination of a body, I am the shadow of words read in reverse order. A keeper of the fields whose single file prayers are lit only by the wasteland of the moon. It is drought season. And I cannot sleep. All I have is a silence that cannot be switched off but is rather a burning out like the wick of a candle curling inward. I have known its sacrifice by listening carefully, have watched the clichés of light play in the dark. I have heard the tales of the omitted asterisk, the innuendos of the earth, felt its tremors in my hands. I have lived the havoc of keeping still.

KELLY MICHELS

Kirby Light 41

From the Depths, Fall 2012: A Literary Journal  
From the Depths, Fall 2012: A Literary Journal  

From the Depths is a quarterly literary journal from Haunted Waters Press featuring works of prose, creative nonfiction and poetry. Issues a...

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