by R.T. Allenson

He fumbled like an ant on a spigot – tempting fate, courting disaster. It would still not be an excusable reason if he were born with poor judgment, stupid as he was reckless, and all so at the expense of others…

I took note of his body as it slowly writhed and relaxed; Father Collins, the only person who was brave or stupid enough to unite our nation under a time of chaos lay dead, assailed in broad daylight in full view of our congregation by an invisible enemy – it was enough to rile up a sense of horrid mysticism at work, for we were terribly superstitious when in the face of the unknown and things rightfully to be feared.

Like death. Clamor – the noise of fear and everything that surrounds it are mere extensions of how we cope with the black, the formless substance that is chaos, that which is fear.

“I saw it.” cried a boy, he slowly pushed himself past the gathered mess of gawkers and into my view; he was no more than five or so and I pitied him that his innocence had been destroyed at such an early age.

“The big hand in the sky.” he said softly. “It was God. It killed Father Collins.”

I swallowed hard and turned away from his gaze. In my mind I wanted to tell him that I saw it too, the hand that reached towards Father Collins and gave him that which he rightfully deserved. A parting gift of Halite that, knowing nothing of the consequences, sealed his fate and ushered him into non-existence. I was there after all, this I did not tell them for I would be surely blamed. But I saw it as clearly as it was, that he was chosen to die, and I was chosen to take his place. I was spared – I am destined for a greater purpose.

I pushed away from them for despite my misgivings towards him, it killed me to be happy that he was finally gone and that nothing would stop me in leading our kind as I saw fit. But I knew that I would not be reckless as he was, nor would I be blind to the whims and fancies of powers beyond my scope of understanding. As simple a person I am, I knew I would do no wrong. And how could I go wrong with God on my side?

In a few days I would lead my kind, and all of slugkind, to the promised land.