Sleep Under the Stars

by Bernardo Villela


It was a marvellous night to sleep under the stars.

Soon, I awoke. The moonlight seemed wrong somehow. Rubbing sleep from my eyes, I saw massive branches asway. Not branches but antennae, leading to a gargantuan ovoid shadow blotting out the moon. I couldn’t be seeing what I thought I was seeing, could I? Moonlit mandibles confirmed my fears: It was a cockroach towering above the centuries-old oak I’d camped under.

I ran. The light changed. Glancing skyward, I saw an intrusion of flying cockroaches swooping down. I tripped, pain rose, I’d lost my foot. Maimed, they started feasting.

Bernardo Villela

Bernardo Villela has published a novella The Isle of Helyr, and three short story collections, The Bloodmaster Trilogy and Teenage Death Songs, Vols. 1 & 2; and has short fiction included in Coffin Bell Journal, The Dark Corner Zine, 101 Proof Horror, A Monster Told Me Bedtime Stories, Page & Spine and forthcoming in 42 Stories Anthology, Constraint 280 and Rivet. You can read more about these and various other pursuits at

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