I did not kill the boy. But I did eat him. As I stripped the pungent flesh from his arm I saw the rifle and I growled but I did not stop devouring. That night I slept on his bones and I had my first dream of you.
I dreamt that I was the boy. I was close to your face. I could smell your hot skin and your salty blood. I could not stand it any longer and I lunged at your lips. But I awoke whimpering. I clashed my teeth and I growled.
In the morning I was drawn by the scent of the boy’s tears down the mountain. I came to a stream and I smelled where the boy had sat. I smelled where the rifle had been laid and I growled. I too sat and I saw my reflection in the trembling water my face black and my eyes yellow. Beneath the reflection of my eyes was a gold ring lying on the pebbles.
The tops of the trees swayed and moaned in the wind. I laid myself down and I had my second dream of you. I was again the boy and I saw you through a cottage window being devoured by another boy. I saw my reflection and it was the face of a deer whose throat I had torn out. I awoke howling.
By nightfall I arrived at the stench of the village. I felt like I could not breathe so I dug furiously at the earth to release the fertile decay and I laid myself in the pit to rest. I had my third dream of you. I was the boy howling and shaking the rifle at the moon and I could smell you in the wind but you were not there.
I was awakened by twigs snapping and soil crunching. My hair turned electric and my lips fled my teeth. Then I smelled you. You called out.
“I know you are out there. I am sorry. I am sorry. Come back to me!”
I rose up in front of you glaring and you screamed in horror. But when you gazed into my eyes you suddenly stopped screaming. You knew. I was he.
As you are now me and we are all together.