They Go Bump
by David Barr Kirtley
Ball placed his feet carefully. Walking on rough terrain was treacherous when you couldn’t see your feet — or your legs, for that matter, or any part of yourself. All he could see was the uneven ground, the shady stones outlined with sharp sunlight, drifting eerily beneath him. His boot caught and twisted, and he pitched forward, falling and smacking his elbows rough against the ground.
From somewhere up on the hilltop, Cataldo’s voice laughed. That voice — smooth and measured, with just a hint of sharpness. Ball had never paid much attention to voices before, but now voices were all he had.
Cataldo’s shouted, “Was that you, Ball? Again?”
Ball groped on the ground for his rifle. He felt it, grasped it, and slung it over his shoulder. He clambered to his feet, and wavered there a few moments, unsteady.
Cataldo’s voice again: “How many times is that now? Twelve?”
“Eleven.” Ball groaned, stretched, and looked around. “Where are you?”