Sunset was hours ago,
the moon made no mention
I stood in the middle of the plowed field,
taking in the black sea of space around me
spreading from tree line to creek,
how it pressed in my chest,
short calibrated breaths,
the odor of soil and
its freshly sprayed cologne
made its way to my senses -
organic, yes, manure
from dairy cows
reserved for the day
when it returned to feed the ground.
The D-cell Maglite in my left hand
and the Smith & Wesson Airweight 38-special
in my right back pocket gave
some reserve of confidence to
continue to the end of the property,
back a half-mile from the house
that already looked small, distant.
Why didn't I turn on the back porch lights?
I stood before the depth of forest,
my appointment complete,
feet settled slightly in a grip of
greeting from whatever had called
me each of these nights.
I knocked on the door,
shining my light on to the first
row of trees standing sentinel to
the gathering beyond.
A slight breeze produced more sound
than thought possible,
branches scratching their itches,
trunks twisting to get a better look,
leaves falling, hitting the damp forest floor,
sounding like footsteps approaching.
I twisted the lens to narrow the beam,
a flash of darknes as the bulb went cold and
x-ray images lingered on my retinas for
a brief moment before
real-time video returned and
I saw two yellow lights
beyond the edge of swaying trees,
focusing on me,
I turned the Maglite around so the head
now snuggled in the meaty base of my palm
and the six D-size battery tube became
a hefty club held slightly away as a
warning not to come near.
I heard a snickering laugh in my head and
ignored the impulse to process it.
My boots felt as if they would slide off my feet,
sticking slightly in the ground as I
stepped to the right,
following the furrow of tilled earth
conveniently lined parallel to the
primordial theater before me.
The yellow orbs,
eyes, I surmised,
moved with me,
cautious step by cautious step,
never relieving me of their focus but
for the briefness when they passed
behind the scaly bark of a tree trunk to
reappear on the other side.
It knew I was here.
The 38-special came up in my right hand,
my elbow tight against my hip,
carrying like a Prohibition gangster.
Ludicrous. Who keeps laughing at me?
The length of the field I walked and
the eyes came with me,
extending an invitation to enter the wood.
To the left I returned,
never unlocking the gaze between us,
peripherally other pairs of eyes appeared in
the ensuing hours to join the standoff.
This game wearied me for
I was not going in and
the eyes were not coming out.
I stood at the back door of the house,
flipped to lie on my other side,
fumbling for the keys until I realized
it was not locked,
pulled the sheets up to my chin,
before stepping through to
I wondered would I return again
tomorrow night to the forest edge as
I had every night since coming off
©Eusebeia Philos 2013
Written for dVerse Poets Poetics ~ Monster
Brian Miller has us writing about monsters over at dVerse Poets. I let my imagination go and wrote the first thoughts that came to mind and followed them through to some kind of strange conclusion, a monstrosity of creation, if you will.