A Horror Story ~ a Dramatic Poem
Poems From the Porch 27: Special Edition
Now and then I write a special edition of my Poems From the Porch if I feel the topic deserves to stand alone or if one poem has turned out to be longer than the norm. This one isn't short and I think the message is important but probably the main reason for this poem to stand alone is that I just don't have time at the moment to do justice to more than one.
My friends' requests and suggestions are important to me, and I don't want to just churn out sub-standard poems for the sake of it. At he moment, during this virus pandemic when people have been ordered to stay at home, businesses closed, and jobs lost, demand for freelance writing is busier than ever. So, to get a Poems From the Porch published this week I had to restrict it to just one poem, "A Horror Story."
Apart from that everything's the same. This poem is for Chris Mills and was written as I sat relaxing on my porch at home, enjoying the fine and pleasant days as the weather starts to cool just slightly. I'd like to thank everyone for sending me suggestions for new poems too. I now have enough to keep the series going strong for at least another four weeks.
Chris Mills' (cam8510) Request/Challenge
"Okay, John, you asked for it. These poems are so good, you need more of a challenge. By the way, I loved The Special Assignment and the Four Seasons.
Now for your challenge. A ghost story in a poem. It must include an old house or a mansion, or a dilapidated building. There is an upstairs window with backlight. Someone enters the building. They are not alone. That's it. You take it from there.
Oh, my. What did I just do?
It looks like your schedule of poem writing may give you a couple of weeks for mine. Relax, no pressure, but I'll be waiting, and watching."
Thank you for the challenge Chris. It took me awhile to figure out how I would approach this, and it may not be exactly what you had in mind but I think I met most of your guidelines. I hope you approve.
A Horror Story
The house was old and crumbling,
The rafters cracked and bowed.
The furniture would be antique
If it ever got to show.
Some said the house was haunted,
And you know how rumours spread.
The eerie house upon the hill
Filled with the ghosts of dead.
The old man hunkered on the floor,
Trapped in an upstairs room.
Not anybody’s prisoner,
But it pained him just to move.
The house was big but mostly dark.
The only light shone from this room
And through an upper window
To light the outside gloom.
A figure passing on the road
On this dark and stormy night
Stared up at the rundown house
And saw the window’s light.
He crept up to the carved wood door,
Rapped upon it with the knocker.
No answer was there from within..
.. what follows is a shocker!
The brass knob turned, it wasn’t locked,
The door, creaking, opened wide.
He whispered, “Anybody home?”
Then slowly stepped inside.
He shrugged his sodden jacket off
Then walked around the room,
As his eyes adjusted to the dark
And the atmosphere of doom.
The old man heard the creaking door,
He cried out, “Who goes there?”
But the only answer that he got -
Heavy footsteps on the stairs.
The bedroom door swung open,
The old man’s eyes grew wide.
In a wheezing voice, he croaked,
“What are you doing here?”
Then there was a wracking cough
And a fever-induced moan.
“It’s me, Papa,” soothed the younger man,
“You don’t have to die alone!”
The Horror of Our Times
Sometimes, real-life events can overshadow any attempt at fictional horror. That takes a lot because the mind is capable of conjuring up some pretty scary and freaky stuff. However, there has seldom been a time that so many countries and people have been as concerned and fearful of a situation as that we currently find ourselves in.
There have been some serious viruses and diseases that have attacked the world before e.g. The Spanish Flu, The Black Plague, Ebola, SARS etc. but, in my lifetime at least, there has been nothing to rival this current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Countries closing their border, grounding flights and cruise ships, closing businesses, restricting gatherings to two people, and confining people to their homes just boggles the mind.
I just hope this real-life horror story has an ending where the "monster, demon, evil" is defeated.
© 2020 John Hansen