They Come for Me in the Night

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They come for me in the night. Put a black, cloth bag over my head. Cinch it tight.

Dark. So dark. The cloth soaks up my breath. Holds it there. Blows it back in my face each time I exhale. Like it's mocking me. Hot. Insulting.

Hands cover my body. I feel Their fingers quiver with restrained rage. Like firecrackers ready to make holes in me. They itch to scoop the flesh from my bones. But They won't do it here. Not in my house. They'll wait for wherever They're taking me.

I don't resist. No point in that. It's just me and this empty house. The person I married left long ago. Took the kids. The dogs, too.

"You're crazy with all your conspiracy talk," my ex had said. "You're making everyone uncomfortable, including me. What will people say?"

Crazy? Crazy is what I know They'll do to me. Uncomfortable is this bag over my head. As for what people will say?

"You've been warned," one of Them says and gives me a shove.

We head down the stairs. The same ones I used to haul my kids up. Read them a story. Kiss them goodnight.

"It's all for them," I would tell myself before heading to the sidewalk by the hardware store. I'd tell the people walking by what they needed to know. The truth. About Them.

A few people thought I was panhandling. Threw coins at my feet. But no one wanted to know about Them. I'd "bahhhhh" as they passed me. Maybe that's a language they'd understand. Because they're nothing but sheep. All controlled by Them.

No one paid much attention. Except for one. Strange old man. He had some words for me.

"Get a job, freak," he'd said.

"Help me paint the world a better color," I'd said. "Learn the truth about Them."

"You better knock it off," the old man had said. "Never know what could happen to a person like you."

Oh, I knew what could happen to a person like me. There were a few, like me, who had come forward with the truth. Told the masses all about Them. Then they disappeared. Just like I'm about to with this bag over my head.

It's a gradual thing, though. I learned that. They don't just come for you at once. They give you plenty of room to solidify your reputation as a crazy. Wear you down. Separate you from the rest of the flock. Then They finish you off.

A few weeks back, I bought a bottle of booze on the way back to my house at night. Stuffed it in my coat pocket before going to sleep. The bottle was gone the next morning. I told people about it being stolen. That They did it.

"You probably never bought the booze in the first place. It's all in your head," people said.

I'd show them the receipt. Still no one believed me.

"Oh, I bet you'll start seeing black helicopters next," came the reply. And shrugs. Lots of shrugs.

And laughter. And jokes. And teasing.

But I saw something in the sky not long after the bottle disappeared. A drone airplane. Looked like some over sized hobby project in the clouds. They don't use black helicopters anymore.

I told my friends about it. They didn't believe me. Fools.

"Even if there was a drone, how do you know it was watching you? What makes you so important?" my friends said. "What's next? Alien bases on the moon?"

I didn't bother to tell them about the Moon People. About how they're the opposite of Them. Moon People are good, They are bad. I have my theories.

Then They found me at work, at the thrift store. The one that's supposed to be about charity and goodwill. My new boss was one of Them. I tried to warn other people. Got some more of that "you're making people uncomfortable" BS. The new boss turned out to be my last one, too. He asked me to leave the building and never come back.

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