Insects crawl across his face, attracted to the smell. They search for the bigger prize. The golden reward.
He sprawls in the ditch, half hidden by the willowy branches of the rowanberry tree. His crimson-splattered pants show traces of green. Dragged. Through the fields. Tossed like unwanted refuse.
How many times did they beat his face? Did they laugh as his mouth dropped in anguish? Were they indifferent to his tears, to the way he begged for his life?
His skin, a thriving home for the maggots and beetles. The insects crawl, but the birds soar. Overhead, circling this ditch. The carrion-hungry vultures know their next meal is nearby. Silent, as always, they eye the decomposing flesh, inhale the rich, heady aroma of a portable, ready-made meal.
Life, so fragile and finite. Who mourns him?
No one will recognize his mashed, fleshy face and that shredded, punctured chest. His plaid shirt is mangled, the front pocket ripped away. Tangled threads dangle like robust cobwebs, tickling the corners of my mind.
Will I turn out like this man? Alone and scared, without a real friend?
I grab my phone and push those three little buttons. Connections take hold. They transport me away from this desolate place, remind me of the life I still hold, the chances I have for forgiveness.
Copyright © 2015 by Emily Clayton
Originally appeared on 200 Word Tuesdays: