You little box, held to me escaping So that your valves should not break Carried from house to house to ship from sail to train, So that my enemies might go on talking to me, Near my bed, to my pain The last thing at night, the first thing in the morning, Of their victories and of my cares, Promise me not to go silent all of a sudden.
Note: This poem is in the public domain and can be found here. BertoltBrecht (1898-1956) was a German playwright and poet. He was the leading theoretician of “epic theater,” a movement that responded to the harsh political climate of the early to mid-20th century with new political dramas.
Writing a compelling horror story can be a challenge, but it’s certainly possible. When crafting a spine-chilling narrative, you should include some essential elements to create a successful horror story.
Horror fiction is a genre that seeks to evoke feelings of dread, horror, and terror in the reader. It is often centered around dark and mysterious themes such as the supernatural, violence, death, and the unknown. Horror fiction has existed since antiquity, appearing in ancient folklore and legends.
Frenetic wasteland blues Sing me a cosmic song Light the midnight with passion This is where we belong Breathe the smoky fire in the cold air Laid my teeth on a yellow blade Fell into the warps of time
A cold ground and thunder rumbling outside. All darkness at first and no memory of how I’d gotten here. Chilly air and damp.
I called out into the darkness but got no response. I saw what looked to be an old Zippo lighter by my side. I used it to faintly illuminate the room.
I am in prison, but the cell door is wide open.
They say sometimes we have dreams like this, though they could be better called nightmares. Perhaps they are nightmares embedded within nightmares in the subconscious, sleeping world. I have no memory of my life; everything is a blank slate, pale and grayish. The only images playing in my mind are of shadowy figures like ghosts. Though I see no one in this prison, I hear echoes of voices. They’re whispers, so I follow them. They say, “You deserve this,” and “The time is now for your punishment.”
The prison is expansive, set up like a labyrinth. I walk through the corridors and rows of cells, lost. It feels as though I’m wandering in circles. I follow the echoes of the voices. “Come closer,” they whisper. The thunder continues to rumble outside, and brief flashes of lightning that illuminate the prison’s interior. The whispers turn to deeper voices like growling. Then, the barking of dogs, loud, deep barks from vicious chained-up dogs. I can tell they’re chained up because I hear the chains rattle in the nighttime air.
No moon in the sky outside through the windows. My eyes adjust to the darkness so I can see better, but there’s not much to see. Despite the sounds, there still appears to be no one here.
My stomach twists with anxiety. Goosebumps on my arms. The clanging of steel now sounds in the distance. Memories are coming back, not like a flood of them, but little pieces here and there. Memories of a physical struggle, of looking down into the ashen face of a pale man on the concrete. His eyes are the purest light blue, and his smile is devious. He says, “Kill me, you bastard.” Memories of me holding a handgun and the steel’s coldness in my hands.
But it’s all mixed up. The man is on the ground, and his face has changed. The skin is green now, and the tongue is reptilian. The eyes are a deep yellow, and the teeth are sharp like fangs. There’s a crowd encircled around us, watching, cheering. There’s my mother crying, my dead father sleeping and levitating.
I am still walking the prison corridors, listening to noises. When I hit a dead end, the walls start closing in. Just when it appears as if there’s nowhere to go, a heavy door opens and hits me with a blinding red light.
He is a black, nebulous creature with wings. He has no face to speak of, and his body is not humanoid. It is more like a reptilian bird. I know this is GOD, though, for some reason. Something tells me it is.
I wait for the thing to speak while it flaps its wings. Then, the creature, GOD, opens its terrible, cavernous mouth and lets out the most horrible sound I could ever imagine. It blows me backward and pierces my bleeding eardrums until it makes me deaf and mute. The sound continues unabated, and the pressure in my brain keeps getting worse until it suddenly stops.
Everything is in complete darkness again. A garden has formed in this small room, filled with radiant blue flowers. A garden of the night within the prison walls. I fall asleep, I think, but I awake in the garden again.
There is no escaping this place. This is my home now, for eternity. Whatever punishment must come, it doesn’t matter. Whether I am cursed or blessed, I do not know. I know nothing anymore. Nothing but pain.
Flash fiction is a fun genre to write. It’s also great for WordPress blogs because it’s short and it packs a punch. A genre of very short stories, flash fiction, is growing more popular by the day. Writing a good story in just a few hundred words can seem daunting, but the rewards of crafting an engaging story with a few well-chosen words can be immense.
Flash Fiction is a type of short story, typically no more than 1000 words, focusing on a specific moment in time. It’s a way to tell a complete story within such a small word count. Character development is often limited, with most stories having only one or two characters, and the story’s plot is usually succinct. This type of writing creates a vivid snapshot of the moment, often including emotional impact or dramatic action. As such, flash fiction authors need to find ways to effectively capture the reader’s attention quickly while also conveying their intended message concisely.
Once a dream did weave a shade O’er my angel-guarded bed, That an emmet lost its way Where on grass methought I lay.
Troubled, wildered, and forlorn, Dark, benighted, travel-worn, Over many a tangle spray, All heart-broke, I heard her say:
“Oh my children! do they cry, Do they hear their father sigh? Now they look abroad to see, Now return and weep for me.”
Pitying, I dropped a tear: But I saw a glow-worm near, Who replied, “What wailing wight Calls the watchman of the night?
“I am set to light the ground, While the beetle goes his round: Follow now the beetle’s hum; Little wanderer, hie thee home!”
Note: This poem is in the public domain and can be found here. William Blake (1757-1827) was an English poet, painter, mystic, and printmaker. He was largely unrecognized during his life, but Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of poetry and art in the Romantic era.
Ah me! I shall not waken soon From dreams of such divinity! A spirit singing ‘neath the moon To me.
Wild sea-spray driven of the storm Is not so wildly white as she, Who beckoned with a foam-white arm To me.
With eyes dark green, and golden-green Long locks that rippled drippingly, Out of the green wave she did lean To me.
And sang; till Earth and Heaven seemed A far, forgotten memory, And more than Heaven in her who gleamed On me.
Sleep, sweeter than love’s face or home; And death’s immutability; And music of the plangent foam, For me!
Sweep over her! with all thy ships, With all thy stormy tides, O sea! – The memory of immortal lips For me!
Note: This poem is in the public domain and can be found here. Madison Julius Cawein (1865-1914) was a poet from Louisville, Kentucky. A year before his death, Cawein published a poem called “Waste Land” that scholars say may have been the inspiration for T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land.