New prose by PT Diep

Night nemesis

The sound of birds herald the silk of night as it comes to rest on my skin, sticking like memories of lies laid down with good intentions. Sounds of day crawl back into nests and recede into caves. The sun's second-hand light provides no heat – just the cold of a silver sickle, shining, futile in the shadowed sky, trying to hold back the flood.

We are ready to do our part, clasping to branches, close enough to feel the warmth of a thousand bodies. The moon is so thin now; the arc of a drooping leaf hides it.

Then the moon disappears and my body hums, a reflex action in unison with my entire race. I burst into light, a silent explosion of lilac pushing back blackness.

The night screams out in rustles and wails.

We sing songs of hope, songs of how we will make it through – to see the sun.

Then the sound of wings come, shadows stealing lights, smothering bodies all around me. I blaze brighter; I do not flinch, even as a shadow engulfs me.

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