Shadows in the Dark

George Lambert, Moorland Landscape with Rainstorm, Wikepedia Commons

I am dreaming. I traipse across the moors in Brontë country. It’s almost Halloween, and soon, back home, I’ll be carving jagged smiles on pumpkin faces. As I walk, the sun sinks lower and lower in the sky, deepening the grass’s golden glow. Shadows walk with me, till they’re obscured by the darkness. Night lays a black shroud over the naked trees and heathered knolls, covering them completely. A fine mist obscures my vision even more. It kisses me all over, lightly like a playful lover, until I am weakened and drenched. Lost. At the sound of a ghostly screech, I jump, then laugh a bit at my fright. It’s just a barn owl. There’s nothing here to frighten you, I tell myself–until cold fingers wrap themselves around my wrist. I try to call out, but no sound emerges from my throat. I try to wake, but I cannot. I am dreaming I tell myself as the bony fingers pull me down to the cold, damp ground.

Cold, autumn mist,
nightmare shapes in the shadows–
Jack’s crooked mouth laughs

Toby Ord, CC BY-SA 2.5 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

This is for Frank’s Halloween dVerse prompt. I liked the image he used, so I used it, too. Franks said we could write fictional prose, so I’ve revised one I wrote a few years ago.

70 thoughts on “Shadows in the Dark

  1. A wonderfully spooky dream, Merril. I especially love the ‘jagged smiles on pumpkin faces’ and the haiku. I agree with Sarah about the mention of the Brontes and Cathy;s hands at the window in Wuthering Heights.

  2. You paint a vivid, though misty, scene. Until those sinister fingers appear, it almost seems as though you might wake with a smile. But then your prose takes a perfect nightmare turn. Well done.

  3. A nightmare of the first caliber; the icy hand, and invisible foe is chilling. Victorian mansions and spooky moors; Shelly and Bronte dominion. Nice job.

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