A Tribute to the Darkness

In the dead of night, It Follows

The Fog closing in, exacerbating your wallows

Halloween lingers in the air

Trick ‘r Treat and a bit of gory flare

Candy Corn and Ginger Snaps stuffed under your bed

You’re sure there’s a Scream or two stuck in your head

It’s all festive and sweet, but it’s no Child’s Play

“You’re Next,” it whispers as you lay

The Others might be hiding in your shed

After all, it’s the Night of the Living Dead

© Shyla Fairfax-Owen


Happy Viewing to anyone out there taking the 31 in 31 Horror Movie challenge! Hope you get in some of the classics. Stay Strange.

Last Year’s Halloween Poem, All Hallow’s Eve

 

 

The Sickness

I wheeze, sniffle, muffle, and cough – the common cold. Only it’s not so common for me. When it comes, it knocks me down like a vengeful wind. Ten feet ahead of me the world is consumed in a dizzy fog; a miasma of infectious symptoms envelope me so that even my dog stays away.

“Uhh,” I groan as the morning light splashes across my face.

Some of my senses dull, while others seem to heighten, which leaves me even more disoriented. In the distance, I think I hear the hiss of a missile, and for just a moment I panic. Then I realize it’s the kettle and a wave of relief and lulled excitement washes over me. Warm liquid is my euphoria.

I stumble towards the kitchen, fighting my way through the spider webs. In my haze of hindered health, I have forgotten how quickly Halloween is approaching, and how energetically I had decorated only days before the germ storm.

“Morning sunshine,” he whispers as he kisses my cheek.

I nod and force a smile as I reach for the steaming mug. Wordless, still, I gesture to him to shut the blinds and he does. The sudden sensitivity makes me feel like a vampire, which is amusing since it will be my costume in a few days. I almost chuckle, but manage to shiver instead, and he drapes my housecoat over my shoulders.

“You should stay home,” he insists, again; this time I choose to oblige.

After he leaves I send a text message to my assistant saying that I will be working from home today. Neither of us believes it.

A hunger I cannot satisfy courses through me so I crawl back into bed, fully giving into my new found monstrosity. I hide from myself all day and by the time I rise the moon has too. Pleasantly numbed, I stretch out and head to the washroom. The flip of the switch disturbs the darkness and sends my ailments into a frenzy. Squinting and yelping I hit the switch again and let the darkness ease me, but not before catching a glimpse of my reflection.

I’m paled, with sunken cheeks and dark circles around my eyes. Absorbing the welcomed darkness I smack my tongue against the roof of my mouth and realize I am parched. I twist the tap and cool water streams from it. Feverishly, I duck my head and take it in straight from the source. As I drink, my tongue works itself around my mouth, and I can’t help but wonder: have my teeth always been so sharp?

As if testing them, I pierce my lower lip and blood swirls with the water to create a warmer, thicker substance. I have to admit, I like it. In the background I can hear my dog whimper – it’s the only sound I can hear clearly, now. The only smell that is precise.

Shyla Fairfax-Owen ©

The Visitors

As the minute hand crept its way closer to the top of the clock, Jaime sighed. It was time to begin the ritual. Like every year, she began with her ablutions; she washed her hands, feet, and face with warm water and soap made of goat’s milk. As the water eased its way into her pores she relaxed, her muscles easing. After filling the bucket up she retreated to the living room where she emptied it onto the fire. Embers swirled around her, ashes floated to the floor, and smoke filled her lungs. The room fell dark, a heavy smoke fog obscuring any view she might have had of the clock.

Guessing she probably had a few minutes left to spare, Jaime made her way over to the big window and drew open the curtains. An orange tinted light spilled in from the blood moon, glazing the room with a speciously warm coloring. Everything was still, save for the smoke and moonlight which danced an eerie duet. The ominous BONG began in the distance; the town clock had struck twelve. With a deep breath, Jaime flung the shutters open, letting a gush of cold night air in.

From across the field she could see the corn stalks rustling. They were coming. As they did every year, on this night, at this hour. Crossing worlds could only be done on Halloween, after all.

From the fields, shadows emerged stretching over twenty feet of her lawn. They approached slowly, and steadily. Jaime knew she should hide, but there was still some time for that. She liked to watch the shadows come upon her for a while. This had been the case since she was little. Fear mingled with curiosity in a way that only made sense to her. Over the years, she had tried to explain it to people once or twice, but it was always a feckless endeavor. Nowadays, she mostly kept to herself year-round. She tended to her crops, sold her herbs, and waited in eager hunger for this night – the night when they would come.

She would hide, and they would seek. She knew as well as they did that only someone with a gift as powerful as her own would be a worthy opponent; a worthy prize. Knowing her own strength that way was nothing short of exhilarating. Admittedly, Jaime liked the chase, liked being hunted, liked outwitting the hunters. Then the clock would strike six, and a new day would dawn, casting them away for another year.

Maybe one night she’d surrender. Let them take her. See what all the fuss was about her there on the other side. But not tonight.

Shyla Fairfax-Owen ©

Final Girl Syndrome

I hadn’t pictured it this way. I thought it would be exhilarating, like Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 when she spins the chainsaw round and round; victorious. Or, maybe even like Halloween, when she just cries and cries.

I guess what I’m saying is, I thought I’d finally feel something. But I don’t. It’s more like Black Christmas; the original or the shitty remake, take your pick.

Just numb. Catatonia, I think it’s called.

His body finally limp; the blood that once filled it splattered across my face and clothes. The nightmare finally over. The chase complete. And he just lies there, and I just stare at him.

He’s taken everyone from me. Everything.

There’s no avenging that.

I’m guessing by tomorrow, I’ll look more like Girl, Interrupted.

How dissatisfying.

Shyla Fairfax-Owen ©