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The Vulture
                        by Paul Kesler

The eye of the vulture blinks when the bones fly low. They sail on twisted
vertebrae, veering as they fly, as if to avoid its gaze. But the eye blinks
slowly, like an ancient lizard, and cannot be easily tricked. The vulture is
motionless, except for its slow, grinning eye.

The motion of the bones is rickety, uncertain --- they move tentatively as
they approach the earth --- though they try to land on boulders or hills (as
if to shelter their landing while they still have strength), it is futile.
They drain as they fall; they feel their marrow siphoned by the eye, which
grows more bloodshot as they lose control. By the time they land, it is
flaming red, and grinning.

Their bones are lean, but the vulture fattens. If you were to knife it open,
and examine its stomach, you would find the meat which once surrounded these flying strutworks, which move like gliders in the hands of children. They
tack and veer, as if turning into buzzards themselves. They see their image
in the mirror of the eye --- a crystal ball predicting their destiny. There
is no use questioning it, for it will not succumb.

The bones are lean, but still they fly, and the vulture, though capable of
flying, has no reason to leave. It remains to take nourishment. Meanwhile,
new bones are approaching that still have meat and feathers. The vulture
glares at them, its eye glowing brighter as they fall. The horizon glares
back --- the sky shudders like a blown instrument. 

The vulture drains the sky as the bones collapse, a kind of confetti piling
up as in the aftermath of some grim parade of the dead. It flaps its wings,
and the trees converse determinedly. 

The trees prepare for dinner. They are fat, like chefs. It is now a question
of which tree will carve up the bones, and which will cater to the predatory

The wind blows eerily. The organ of the sky convulses.

to Paul  ~  to Moongate

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