“There is a bitter sting to reality, an unfairness to it all.” These words echo in the young boys ears. Holding what is left of his sanity, he traces the damage; rubbing the now forming bump on his forehead. Fingers circle the discolored flesh then press hard against it till he winces in a jagged remembrance.
He still feels the full force of her bible belt beating down upon him. Open hands smacking him with the made up words of her own book of revelations.
“And the dead shall rise. To feast upon the unclean. “She ranted.
Now, the yellow superhero tee comes off slowly enough. She has stretched the neck of his favorite shirt. Of course he is partly to blame. He never should have had a favorite shirt. He tries to swallow, but his nerves force him to take two swallows for one. The first one descends halfway down his throat. Catching his anxious breath the second swallow finally goes all the way, followed by a trickle of blood.
“It is what it is.” He thinks.
With soft poet hands he pulls a different shirt from the closet. His brown hair slides messily from the neck hole as the red wool rolls gently over is sore skin providing a small degree of comfort. Then he put his long goofy looking brown and darker brown jacket on.
“I’m done” he mumbles to himself, as he stuffs his journal, sketchpad, the book he is currently reading, and an extra set of cloths in his black back pack.
The white window pane vibrates with October winds. He slides it open, shimmying over and out into the frigid autumn night. A shiver crosses his skin. Then he closes the window as quietly as possible to avoid any more drama. His sad eyes scan the night trying to decide which direction is the right way for him to run away in. With no indication of which way will work best for him he turns left and starts walking.
A mile down the road he stumbles upon the remains of a partly chewed up possum. Empty eyes point deeply into the pine forest. The moist matted fur almost matches the road’s color perfectly. Dark dry stains mark the grey road. Chunks of slimy viscera lay displayed from the flayed features of the decomposing creature.
In the distance he hears the howls of teenage boys.
“A bunch of screaming fools ******* around,’ he thinks. “I don’t need this ****.”
So, he turns off the road and heads into the trees. Brown pine needles break under his feet. The soft forest bed gives slightly beneath his treads leaving little footprints. As he scans the ground he notices that the earth is swimming with strange footprints.
With a little daylight left he finds the perfect spot to stop. A tree plays backboard to his tense and tired frame as he sits down to rest.
His mind turns to dreams of love. A female figure fills his thoughts. She is dark and lights. Pale skin, leather jacket, with raven black hair that shimmers in the night sparkling with the energy of infinity. She moves with all the destructive grace of Kali. She is a frozen skin scythe less death; Hopes and wonders mixed in with nightmare prophecies. Doom pervades his soul. He feels perfectly alone with no hope.
Which means it is the perfect time to write a poem. One line flits past then the next till almost the whole page is filled. Then he rewrites copying and improving. Till two pages later he is finally fixing the finished draft.
With the last bits of daylight he completes the poem’s final lines. Shivering and exhausted he decides it is time to find a place to sleep. He packs his backpack with all the finesse of a ninety year ******* boy and heads out into the night.
Suddenly he senses something moving behind him. A shadow crosses his path. Panic seizes him. Shady black tendrils run across the ground followed by the sounds of strangers moaning. He runs. The moonlight flickers fast behind the fading pines as he quickens his pace.
He stumbles into a clearing where the ground is punctuated by broken stones and white marble dust. Small monuments stand marking the past. Somewhere slightly off to the side a Sepulcher sits as a testament to a hundred years of death.
“How perfectly macabre, I’m in a cemetery at night in the bitter cold.” He thinks
The earth shifts and swirls beneath his feet like quicksand. Losing his footing he falls backwards. The contents of his backpack scatter haphazardly across the disturbed dirt.
A thin hand pierces the brown ground. Then an arm makes its way writhing from the soil searching for something. Boney fingers feel around until they fall upon a pen and paper. The pen scratches furiously on the pad.
The young man stutters trying to make out the horrible handwriting.
“g-g-get of-f-f m-m-y head.”
The earth tremors beneath his feet, causing him to jump back in fear. Then a skull ascends. Empty sockets stare menacingly at him. More of its body rises, until the full corpse form is free. The wind whistles through the rotten frame. The monstrosity turns his head and heads away. Shambling off into the night to frighten someone else.
A sigh of relief escapes the young man’s lips. His heart slows to a normal rhythm. The blank October sky fills his eyes. He laughs in gratitude, deciding to find a better spot to settle for the night.
Then a jaw chomps down on his skull. Rotten teeth shatter but the bony mouth still pierces his noggin. Red droplets drip soaking the journal pages. The poet screams. His voice fades slowly away, as he struggles. Dying in agony he becomes a feast for the undead horde. The red splattered page reads---
The Graveyard Poet
He walks without sleep
Restless and awake burning inside
With all of the secrets he keeps
His pen and his paper
Lay softly on broken ground
The dead are his keepers
Their stones stand scattered all around
So he put his pen to paper
Ink is turned to flesh
The words bleed into
Each other and start to mesh
Thus the graveyard poet is born
He writes with passion
His mind becomes a storm
His body begins to feel numb
But his heart is so warm
On and on from dusk till dawn
Words erupt from the poets pen
Still the cold bites bitterly
He stops only to turn the page and write again
Hours come and go in a blur
Until he can’t move his arm
Even he is unsure
Of what is wrong
His eyelids grow heavy
And soon he is asleep
Rest peacefully young poet
Now your secrets are mine to keep