The Sacrifice

Linn Luker

the siren sounds in the square

alerting that the beast has

risen again.

people quickly shuffle inside houses,

locking doors, closing shutters,

hearts rattling anxiously in their chests.

they hold their breath–

no babies cry. eerie silence

looms over their roofs like a shadow.

the beast comes stalking

on careful tiptoes

(as to not upset the eerie silence.)

he saunters on his haunches,

surly, eyes blind with cataract,

sniffing around for immaculate blood.

he sees darkness, but can smell the light

inside human veins, all ichor and ooze.

now he drops his head to the ground, and listens.

whispers shatter the nervous quiet

“I’m not afraid,” a small voice echoes.

then, a shy shape comes to greet the beast.

she stands in complete stillness,

and the beast lifts his snout

to her cheek, and inhales.

the curious and macabre peek through slats,

most are still trying to slow their hearts.

the beast, of course, complacently obliges.

after he makes a mess of her bones,

the siren sounds again,

and the beast pads away, satisfied.