She wore a black hood; black as night, dark as death, so she could hide among the shadows in the alley, the blind spots behind lampposts, and in the corners of your room. When your heart missed a beat, and your breath wouldn’t come, know that fear had stolen them for herself.
I shivered from my place at the back of the boat, though it was not cold. The fog hung thick and low above the water. A tall robed figure stood at the front pushing us along with a narrow oar.
Silently we glided through the mist. Something looming in the distance came into view. I saw flames dancing and heard barely audible chanting, but could not see from whom the voices raised.
Soon, an island appeared clearly in front of me, a large fire reaching toward the sky in its center. Amidst the flames, contorted bodies writhed and voices became louder. I understood a few words.
“Death eternal, soul’s inferno, deep into darkness, days abolished,” was interspersed with indiscernible words.
I shifted uncomfortably. We neared the shore, and the figure turned to me. I could not see his face, only darkness where it should have been.
The boat bumped against the sand, he reached a long arm toward the land in a gesture I understood to be a command, and I was compelled to move forward.
The chorus ceased. My insides burned.
With arms spread wide, I leaped into the blaze.
The chanting resumed, now with my voice among them.
– Written for Jane Dougherty Writes, Microfiction Challenge #20: Isle of the Dead. Painting prompt by Arnold Böcklin. WC 200.
Twilight casts its shadow
Upon the open door
Colors swirl on gentle breezes
Winter comes once more
Day shutters to its end
Last light crawls upon the shore
Where ships wait to take us home
When no spark remains,
We close the darkened door
He wrapped the strand round and round his finger, focusing on her face. The piece of fabric from the missing girl’s sweater was his grounding object. He studied the photograph until he had memorized her features. Suddenly a chill ran up his spine. She was here. This field is where she died.
When Blood Ceases to Flow
Fly away my angel.
Be forever young.
My longing will linger into eternity,
But you are at peace.
Your laugh lives always on the warm breeze,
But I am embraced by the night,
A ghost with no heartbeat,
A prisoner without life,
Yet I cannot die.
– Written for Magnetic Poetry Saturday Challenge – September 25, 2016. Learn more about magnetic poetry here.
Muffled screams were mistaken for rehearsal.
– Written for Sometimes Stellar Storyteller Six Word Story Challenge #50. Prompt was “muffled.” WC 6. Photo from Pixabay.