Everyone is openly carrying a gun in each hand,
and they’re using guns to do everything
they would normally do with their hands.
People wave guns to say hi.
To greet, they touch guns. To show affection,
they rub guns on each other’s bodies.
They wash their guns before eating
and after using the restroom.
It’s not long before everyone is walking around
with red sniper dots trained on their foreheads.
Watch out, someone says.
Oh my god! someone replies.
When they try to cover their forehead with something,
a red dot appears.
People fill the streets, pointing their guns
at each other, unsure of who
wants to kill who. Everyone is sweating bullets.
At the moment the crisis is darkest,
that is, before everyone kills each other,
a man comes down from a mountain.
He tells the people to lay their guns down,
that if they do, the red dots will go away.
The man doesn’t have stone tablets, though,
just an electronic tablet that says I-V on
the screen. Let me show you VI-X,
he says, and digs in his robe for the other
electronic tablet. As he does, red dots appear
for a split second all over his body,
like specks of blood,
right before everyone opens fire.
ROSS WILCOX is a PhD student at the University of North Texas. His work has appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, Nashville Review, Pembroke Magazine, and is forthcoming in Green Mountains Review and Harpur Palate. He lives in Fort Worth with his wife and two cats.