Forest Frightful (Part 4)

Not far outside the pit where once there was a graveyard stands an old church, white siding chipped and weather-cracked. A steeple rises up from the center of a roof that has a scattering of missing shingles, patches of brown amidst the black panels. A pile of wood is stacked outside to the right of the tall, double doors, a well-ordered pyramid of damp brown cylinders with a short-handled hatchet protruding from the top middle log. The fog has started to recede a bit as night begins its daily, gradual overtaking of the daylight, but the residual wet of the weather lingers on. There does appear to be a light from within the church, so Eugene makes his way toward it, his mouth still slightly open from the spectacle through which he just passed, his expression otherwise neutral aside from this dazed look. A knock upon the door makes a dull noise against the thick wood, but it is barely thirty seconds before it creaks open, revealing a wrinkled face with round, clean spectacles perched upon a thin nose that resembles an upside-down ’T.’
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CΩT (Part 20)

At some point in the night Carly picks me up from my sleep spot and I see that we’ve stopped outside a much shorter building than the ones in the city. I hang limp for the time being (in all honesty, I’m still more than half asleep at this point). We move toward the front of the building, where there is a small light that shines through one of the windows. The door in the center of the front of the house opens and an older woman stands framed by the light from within.
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Forest Frightful (Part 3)

The sun is starting to fall before Eugene sees anything other than trees and grass. Or rather, it is at this point that he starts to see nothing, as a thick fog creeps up from all around, and before he knows it envelops him in its damp embrace. Moisture beads upon the exposed skin of his face and hands, making the already difficult trek unpleasantly soggy as well. Several times he almost collides with trees, such is the opacity of the billowing vapor. The third or fourth time this happens, his now halted and much more hesitant steps are overlapped by the gentle crunch of foot upon grass from behind. He hesitates and then turns around as the noises continue, a regular rhythm that comes to a stop as he sees his companion in the mist.
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CΩT (Part 19)

I arrive back at Chuck and I’s building but do not see her car, so I wait outside her door. A few other humans pass me by and go into their own spaces in the building, lights appearing through their windows once they close their entrance walls. I hide inside when they pass by, coming back out only when they’re gone. It is tempting to follow them, but going by Sophia’s reaction to my intrusion before, they might not take too friendly to an unknown cat. Maybe when they leave I can check some of their places out, see how they compare to Chuck’s.
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CΩT (Part 18)

The human that enters is an older female, white haired and with somewhat wrinkled skin but standing as upright as any I’ve seen. She drops a lumpy-looking bag off to the side and then calls out. Sophia’s ears twitch but she does not move from her perch, instead talking back to her human.

“Over here, Gladys!” she says, and the human turns and sees her, bending slightly and beckoning with her hands, speaking words that will hopefully soon mean more to me than the babbling that they sound like. Sophia remains seated. “You have to come over to me today! Sorry.” Read on →

An Elegy to Uninventive Titles

Author’s note: I have not read the books whose titles are included within this poem (aside from ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,’ which I enjoyed), and cannot speak for their quality or lack thereof. They may be great reads for all I know. Nevertheless, their titles leave something to be desired and, as far as I’m concerned, do no favors to their tales. For fun: how many titles do you count? A prize to the correct guess!

Beware that girl
The girl on the train
The girl with the dragon tattoo

That girl’s bad news
Just look at those shoes
Who knows what next she’ll do

The girl who disappeared?
She’s the girl who took her
She’s behind all the missing girls,
Took ‘em sink, line, and hooker

Where are all those girls?
(Some say she keeps the girls in the garden)
And my pessimism please pardon,
but if one of these girls were to survive,
She’d for sure be the luckiest girl alive

But who was the girl before?
You ask what to call her?
Why, she’s the girl at war
She’s a girl underwater
She’s the girl with no name
Or is it the girl with seven names?
Or maybe the girl who was Saturday
Who living now can for sure say?

It’s enough to drive a search engine crazy
The pace with which these girlish titles come on
And more arise with each day, each no less the lazy
than the last. So instead be gone girl, gone!

( ©2017 Sean Dorsey )

Forest Frightful (Part 1)

It was a forest where the trees were bare no matter the season.
Summer, winter, fall – there was always an unclothed and bony brown tangle that arched out above and, in many places, would nearly blot out the sun. That’s not to say that the trees were dead, though, as they would invariably reveal a light green flesh if scraped with knife or nail. And the region was warm, a humid area that persisted even through the colder seasons, striking many that passed into it with illness at the sudden change.


Nevertheless, the trees never put forth any noticeable foliage.
As if to emphasize the oddity of it all, there was a very clear border where normal-leafed trees grew. There was grass below the naked trees, but even this was of a fainter green than its healthier-looking counterparts. A bird flying overhead could look for miles and miles and see no signs of habitation.
Something flying higher than a bird would see that the region was an irregular shape, a dollop of brownish paint in the middle of otherwise healthy green land, broken partially by a line of red-grey mountains.


When the occasional traveler comes across this strange region of false autumn, they invariably pause for a moment at the threshold before either plunging on ahead as if they could speed through the entirety of it or, if they have heard the tales of this particular neck of the woods, retreat several paces from the interstice between life and seeming death, taking the long way around rather than intruding on the silent and interminably long stretch of wilderness.


And then there was Eugene. Go on →

CΩT (Part 17)

Okay, maybe it was more like a thunderclap. Either way, almost as soon as the tool roars, I feel something hit me right in the forehead. There is a sensation that I don’t really recognize, and then a tiny metal disk falls to the floor in front of me. The eyes of the human whose tool roared are very wide now. I get the sneaking suspicion that that was supposed to kill me. It certainly caught me off guard– I’ll have to be more careful next time something is pointed at me. But more importantly, I am pissed. These guys were already pushing it with all the yelling and now this? There is another roar, but this time I’m ready, and I watch the little metal spike that is launched as it flies toward me, rotating as it comes. Read on →

Crawlspace

“Iggy, get out from there! You’re gonna get stuck. I’m surprised you can even crawl on those knees of yours.” The old woman is standing out in the front yard, grass trimmed and flower bushes mulched. She is looking at the rectangular hole that leads to the crawlspace, the white cover panel laid off to the side. Two black soles can be seen edging further into the hole that leads below the house, a tan-sided construct three or four rooms short of being a mansion. The grounds around it seems crowded by its presence, two oak trees on either side and more visible overtop the roof. The neighboring houses might equal its size if you shoved them together. The woman leans over a little, hands on her hips, watching the man as he makes his way deeper. “They aren’t going to last much longer if you keep this up, and you just had that procedure done! The doctors told you to go easy on them. You might save a few hundred dollars in pest control but your medical bills are going to cost us thousands!”

“I’ll be fine!” His voice echoes back to her, the reverberation lending it a hollow quality. “I’ve got my thick jeans on,” he chuckles.

“Let me know when you need me to call nine one one. Just knock on the floor when you’re ready, you stubborn old goat.”

“I’ll be done in an hour!” he yells back, smiling as he inches along, flashlight lighting up the corners between the supporting posts and cobwebs. “Never thought running cross country in high school would come back and bite me in the knees.” He sniffs a bit from the dust, the smell of wood and must pervasive. “No sign of ’em yet. Better not be any termites this year, I swear.” He continues to shuffle forward between the support posts, white-haired head only an inch or so below the main beam that stretches overhead. He is at about the halfway point when the dizziness starts. The bottom of the house becomes the belly of a boat, tilting back and forth.
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