This is an image post. Inspiration for this sketch came from this image.
They are a child army from where you sit in the jam, cockroaches scuttling dolorously from one side of the road to the other, heads gone heavy and long with their dust masks, backs bent against the wind, the light, notice.
You see the smoke before the dull crack of the shot works its way back to you, see the eddy in the parade before you spot the shooter. It all happens so languidly, so naturally: another round chambers into the rifle, another essene floats heavily down to the ground. They gather around the body for an instant and move on. They keep their faces down.
Hours pass. The shooter kills maybe ten more, but the river never stops, never slackens; never resists. Whoever it is grows tired of the game, or perhaps runs out of bullets, and still they stretch from horizon to horizon. Toward evening the last few trickle across the road, and the jam begins to move. By the time you make it to the front, there is nothing left of the bodies but a few slivers of glass, a few red smears from which you avert your eyes, and a trail leading off into the dunes, already being erased by the wind.