Parade of Shadows

by Melanie Brega
A wooden trap lies with its wired maw. Hungrily waiting. Nearby, another trap clamps its jaws around a furry mass. Ants carve a path and steal the clutched prize. Their march is coordinated. Mandibles tear bits from the lifeless lips and ears. Each ant follows the next. Pieces are dragged away. Each blindly following chemical directives. They wobble under the weight of the organic wedges. One unit. Swarming. One black shuddering figure. The interior of the mass is transformed into an empty shell. There is no blood. The procession diminishes. Tiny bones lie splayed across the wooden trap. The carved path remains. A cold gust sweeps past the trap, picks up a stray tuft of fur and carries it before letting it drift softly to the ground. 
A shadow crosses
Its breath seeps into the earth
Winter approaches