Abductee: Two Sonnets

By Ann K. Schwader

Marker Memory

It started with her coffee—taken black

Until one morning when she realized

That half a pair of half-remembered eyes

Had been that shade exactly, staring back.

Soon even puddles chilled her blood, for they

Held sparks within their darkness, silt of stars

Washed down from skies light-years away from ours.

Months passed, yet her misgivings never strayed

From liquid night & what it might portend:

Was this a nightmare, or some accident

Her consciousness rejected? In the end,

She almost cheered that cyan light They sent

To lift her from her bed into a place

Where onyx orbs distinguished each gray face.

Missing Time

His watch ran backwards. Not a lot, but still

He flinched each time he saw those hands revolve

As though some fragment of his life dissolved

Before his eyes. It almost made him ill

To contemplate that hour—sometimes more—

Rewound to nothing. Nothing he recalled,

Except a nagging sense of neurons stalled

Between whatever life he'd had before,

& now. For years he struggled with that gap,

Until he drove a midnight country lane,

& felt the wrench of . . . something . . . overhead.

His instruments spun backwards, then stopped dead

As one glance through his windshield made it plain

A star chart might work better than a map.


Ann K. Schwader lives & writes in Westminster, CO. Her work has recently appeared in Mythic Delirium, Tales of the Unanticipated, Dark Wisdom, and elsewhere, and has received numerous Honorable Mentions in Year's Best Fantasy & Horror. She is a member of SFWA, HWA, and SFPA. You can find more of her work in our archives, in Strange Stars & Alien Shadows, Horrors Beyond, The Weird Sonneteers, and Architectures of Night, or on her website.