it started when he was–six?
they would come
in the middle
of the night.

he would awaken  
to their presence
around his bed.
he could not move.
could not yell out.

they would float his body
on a beam of pale blue light
out his window and
into their
silent ship.

they would do things.
things he wanted to forget–
wanted to forget.

he was nineteen now.
still, they came.
his family had moved twice.
still, they came.
he got a dog.
still, they came.

he tried to tell his mother once.
he had reached the point of naming
she stood, turned, and left the room.

he tried to tell his friend, Jacob.
Jacob thought the story was an
elaborate setup 
for some hilarious joke. 

so he bought a shotgun.
plenty of ammo.
slept with the weapon
safety off.
finger inside the trigger guard.

he knew this was dangerous,
but he had learned to lie motionless–
still as a mummy in an unopened sarophagus.

besides, he never really slept anymore.

worst-case: he blows of his legs.
best-case: he takes one down.

he waited.



they came.

he felt them before
he had even tried 
opening his eyes.

felt their evil, hateful
desire boring into 
his biddable skull.

if he could only bend the knee on which the barrel rested–
just a few inches–
the trigger.

he breathed out–
bent his knee–

the shotgun fired; wrenched his shoulder
back and down.
he dimly heard
–or felt–
the thud
of its body,
hitting the floor.

suddenly, he was awake,
sitting up,
in control.

they were gone,
except for the thing 
in pieces on the floor.

the thing that had been
his stepfather.