Once upon a porch, there ran a bell as far as they eye could see —
over the hill, across the plain, up the mountain, you could see
people hear it.
What a glorious sight, seeing them frantically make preparations for "CODE RED" threat alert, shifting out of their clothes and getting into battle gear. They knew what was coming.
I brought out The Beast.
They were pretty scared — with their paltry pitchforks, and shovels, and I think I saw one or two long knives — they weren't much of a match for what I was unleashing. I saw a pitchfork tremble in the air, then come back up, then drop, then come back up, wavering. Sweat was pouring down the guy's face. Not much good to have the thing, if you can't plunge it in, even.
They were all awash and trembling. They were farmers — none of them wanted to be here, about to die if they didn't prevail. The women were all dressed up in the least-plain clothes they had, holding their children in front of them, keeping them back from the field, trying to keep their eyes on their husbands at each moment, like it would keep them fixed there, like it would keep them alive, like it would do any good.
Dread shook through the land. The mountains seemed so very far away.