A child stops on the sidewalk. An ant crosses his path. What does he do?
You know the answer. But do you know why?
Because he can.
I have been a silent sentinel over these fields for untold ages. I have felt the insects burrowing in my chest, I have felt the birds tugging and tearing at my flesh, I have felt the sun’s blistering heat and the rain’s icy needles and from all this know I am alive. But they do not. They prod with their sticks and throw their beer bottles and burn my feet with their cigarettes. My eyes have been plucked out and cast into the wind. My entrails have been spilt again and again upon the earth. A rusty sickle is buried in my side.
I have never raised my voice. I have never shed a tear. I have only waited, and tonight, as they wander the maze, I slip silently down from my station and vanish, with a whisper, into the corn.
What would a poor ant do, if he could?
You know the answer.
I am the scarecrow among the stalks. I am the minotaur in the labyrinth. Find me, if you will.
If not, I will find you.
David Dunwoody is the author of EMPIRE, a zombie novel due out next year from Permuted Press. Recent anthology appearances include the UNDEAD trilogy and HISTORY IS DEAD, all from Permuted. The online version of EMPIRE can be read at empirenovel.com.