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Night Light by Arthur Shotmind
published in Volume 2, Issue 1 on January 20th, 1995

     The vicar points his nose at the text,
     But my mind slips away.
     The wind scatters my blankets, woven of straw,
     To places I cannot reach.
     I dangle by a thread like a spider
     Hanging from a tree branch.
     "Perhaps if we tighten the skull a bit,"
     I hear the mechanic say.
     He is guessing.

     "No, we'll just sing and play our drums,"
     The princess tells him.
     She thinks I am a banjo.
     The soldiers join hands
     And circle the light.
     I turn away,
     Wondering which of us is lost.
     Now they point their rifles
     At the linen closet.

     "Who's next?" asks the vicar.
     He shoves me into a cave 
     And tells me to draw pictures on the wall.
     I draw a spider and a banjo,
     I draw a bedsheet riddled with bullet holes.
     I step back to look at my drawings,
     But I can't see a thing.
     I can still hear the soldiers
     Buzzing around the light.
 
     There is a flash at the cave entrance.
     Pushing aside the cellophane curtain,
     I escape into the hallway.
     The mechanic lunges at me with a screwdriver.
     The princess sits on her stool
     With her face frozen.
     The vicar folds his glasses 
     And puts them in the case.
     "Good morning," he says.

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