At the end of Fall when all theaters of open air are past the point of being strained floorboards covered with colorful dancers and have ended their show on a low, cold note, a fidgeting figure fades fast into the untouched black tar of a city road. It winds down empty alleys and across the suspecting lawns of suburban shitbags back to its claimed home in the back tracks of a city park. The menace. We should have scraped the trees. We should have salted the earth. We should have killed everyone and everything so that some day this horror would not be upon us.

All we wanted, after all, was green grass and sturdy walls around the place where we reside between our trips to and from work. I cannot stress enough how far down the end of my rope I hang. My neck is a rotted, exposed hive of spinal discs stretched outwards like the ravaged reeds of a church organ. I don't usually see it this way, but today my vision is quite clear. I try to help out as best I can to make this world a better place, I know it's more than I need to do. What reward do I get, but to be trespassed upon by unwelcome strangers who don't even care if I live or die... yet I feed and clothe them, I know it!

Even now the figure lays unwholesome, corrupted claim to the fruits of my labor. Cloaked in the proverbial darkness of a junkie or the literal darkness of a black man, though let it be known that my God sees no race but only the darkness within individuals, he casts a grim shadow where pass innocent cars. Where children play, he masturbates - or if he does not, then he surely casts sinister glances at the passing schoolkids. We discuss him with increasing frequency - what should we do? What can we do?

A great tragedy approaches and only I can stand up for what is right. I know all the others are on my side, though they will not say it. Today I have purchased a gun, and I am taking it to go and deal with this problem. If he does not move, I will act in self defense. It's very simple. I am tired of being preyed upon. I am tired of being mocked. I am not a hero, but I feel a sense of purpose as I walk to the park, and to the hidden space behind the trees where trash is littered in such an ugly mess. I shout something. It doesn't matter what I've shouted. No one important will hear it.

Indeed, no one hears it at all. When I brush away the tacky shower curtain facade of this houseless "home," there I see it. It is not a person, at least not one I recognize. It is not alive. Still on the ground it lies, half covered in a sheet. Its head is like that of an emaciated greyhound. Its skin is inky black with splotches of ashlike gray. The skin around its eyes is tight and pulled back in a desperate stare, and its mouth is locked open in a toothless grimace. Its body is otherwise humanoid in appearance, though the proportions are unusually lanky and long - though each hand possesses five digits, these fingers stretch almost the length of its forearms and appear knotted like vines. I pity it. I hate it. I shoot it just to be sure it's dead. I shoot it again. I didn't get enough bullets. I beat it with the stakes it used to prop up its shabby shelter. I resent that it had shelter to begin with.

When I am done with the creature, it is an unrecognizable pile of black crumbs.

I return home. My wife is there. This will be a lovely winter with no vagrants to ruin it. I barely think about them at all. The mayor is coming by later to visit Jason - it's our son's 6th birthday. He's been friends with the mayor for 3 years. Jason won't grow up to be some loser who dies behind an urban park.