Lena rummaged through her backpack behind him. “Do we have to do this?”
Eli snorted impatiently at his best friend. “Don’t you want to know why kids from this school have gone missing? Mr. Drobkoni’s gotta be a vampire. I’ll stay here. You keep a lookout. Whistle when you see him coming.”
“Right-oh,” Lena said. “Here.”
Eli held the mirror so he could see over his shoulder.
Lena had already left.
She’s fast, he thought.
“What’s that?” asked Lena behind him.
He turned around quickly. “The dead travel fast,” he said, suddenly pale.
Fallen leaves, sudden colors surround our steps this season of the encroaching frost, where breath shivers surfeit with ghosts, phantasms of shade and shape lingering on the outskirts of our gaze, entrapped to swirl in gossamer guise of follies unguessed flesh and blood whose course ran verdure green but now, as the dry veined leaves, pose beleaguered papery skinned revenants awaiting All Hallows’ Eve as if deserving no more than our own fading grins.
note: Charles Baudelaire’s famous poem “The Revenant” should haunt every evocation of revenants. Check out this translation of the poem at Sublime Terror.
I thought I’d write this quadrille (prompt word “magnet”) in anticipation of Halloween with its cornucopia of bat wings and eerie skeletal thrills. Quadrille Monday at dVerse limits each offering to 44 words, so be warned!
She walks in a drysalter’s den wearing death, her subfusc, scattering acedia’s magnetic coils, like iron filings shot hard against fate’s blind eyes, their littoral currents crashing against her noon day commerce of herbs, bone dust, pharmacopeia, against concinnity escaping fruitless desire, skulking caitiff.
It can’t be smoke that drives you here like a leaf
Caught in a funeral pyre or a sinner fleeing in shame!
What fell blast of Hell’s eternal fire brings you, cruel shade
Upon my porch, and feeds the tendrils of your fiery flame?
Begone, you ghost of the foul-mouthed past that stalks
The children of men, to warn of never-ending death
And griefs that ne’er can mend! Begone upon your walks
Of doom and leave me to life’s revelry and vice
Until its trinkets be a dream and I a shadow like you.
The four friends sat in the pale moonlight beside a flickering fire. The youngest of them was just short of thirty, the others led by four or five. They had long met in this clearing by the marshes, surrounded on all sides by woods. As the darkness grew heavier, their thoughts turned inward to the Marsh Fiend of Vetiver and Thyme. She travelled alone like a ghost far from home luring travelers to her side. And once they had seen her and gazed quietly at her while she smiled her forlorn smile.