the mouse that yawned

\”When the mouse laughs at the cat, there\’s a hole nearby.\” Nigerian Proverb

The mutes patrol the back pages like web spiders in the rough. They read. They register vibration. They eavesdrop from the tangle of a tormented rag.      Anonymity is the preferred condition.      Lockjaw. Trismus. The terminal backfiring of a yawn.      One attempts to be nice. From a distance.      Self-contained as boy scouts scavenging for kindling, they pepper the screen with cigarette burns. Peer in at the civilians setting the table for guests.      Quiet as mice, they fall back to their position in the woods. Dig in to observe. They have nothing to say.      Quiet as a mouse, they shoulder it like a sniper\’s rifle. Picking off sentences at will. Nailing the good shit with precision. A bayonet up close.      They are the assassins one wonders about when one is laid out on the sofa. The ninjas lurking in the outhouse. The old lady knitting a sweater for the accused in the dock.

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