The Great Beast in Autumn

On a recent Autumn's eve, I emerged from my boarding home to look out over the adjoining fields beneath the vast sky always filled with stars except those stars now were all gone replaced by a single piercing beam of light.

Billowing smoke stung my eyes the stench of upturned soil made me recoil shrieking birds and fleeing deer racing through the beam were sliced in two bright ribbons arced throughout the air and revealed the shape of the great beast's underbelly.

It was vast and smooth and curved formed from a thousand glowing eyes infested with insects flying in and out from its hundred mouths that gaped and shut the beast moved slowly above the field until one of those eyes did land on me.

Trees fell beneath the beam eruptions of molten earth and stone I cowered at its high-pitched whine I covered my ears and clenched my eyes but the beam, it did pass me by and head directly for my boarding home.

I watched the beam cut through it clean both halves fell, consumed in flame when I looked again the sky was dark in the star's light I saw those the beam had slain. It was lightning, the townsfolk later said and that I'd gone wrong in my head I did not protest and went glad instead into this asylum.

At night I hide beneath this bed for, if the beast returns, we'll all be dead.

-Schaffer 11/13/19

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