Swarms of locusts spread over us like the wings of a huge bird. First, they invaded the wheat’s reign, then, moved to the cornfields.

As soon as we saw the black insects, we recognized them as our demons. Their passage left our heads light and open for pure air. New clarity chased our shadows away. We relaxed, more than we imagined possible.

On their journey, the demons devoured every plant. They lived the moment fully, the way we always desired. It felt good. It verged perfection. We watched them with paternal pride.

They were ugly, as demons mostly are, but they did not know it. Nor did we. We couldn’t define their existence as ugliness at the time. We danced around the fields holding spoons and pans in our hands, hitting the metal in a rhythmic play. It did not shake them.

Drained of demons, our hollow bodies sucked in so much air, we started floating. Reaching a safe altitude, we formed an outcaste circle.

(Storytellers would say we saw the town from a different point of view.)

We raised our faces toward the mellow sun. Could it burn our wings? We looked down.

Our parents set the fields on fire. Hell broke free. The locusts didn’t leave, but moved to other areas. Some of them burned like living torches, others, like sacrificed witches in the old times. Their crackling bodies sounded like Spanish castanietas.

Most of them wandered to new shelters.

Deserting us, they left us shaken.

The fire swallowed the oxygen that kept us up, and we landed on the ground one by one. Demonless, we felt lonely. When we ran to our parents, thirsty for hugs, they did not recognize us.

About the author:

Avital Gad-Cykman: Frequently lost but sometimes found.