Light in the darkness

For the Daily Inkling prompt.

art ©Mauricio García Vega


The day is dark or is it night (?), cloudy, moonless, sunless and no birds sing. Grass clings like ropes or sucking mud and running is walking, though it is coming closer, and the darkness is thickening.

Silence roars, and a black light blinds like the darkness of space, swallowing.

Ahead is a gate, a door, a way out or in, and there is a light behind or above or inside. The pounding is the blood in my head and the feet behind, closing.

Feet pull sluggishly from the tangle, and the door is there, close, and not locked. I reach out, fall through, trembling, push the door closed. But there is no lock. The latch rattles like a mountain of darkness. There is nothing to do but wake.

I feel the (day)light on my back, turn with relief, released from the quagmire of nightmare and look upon its burning, merciless face.


Don’t go

NaPoWriMo asks for a surreal poem using dream imagery. Sounds like most nights to me.


Wading through treacle

or quicksand

is the only way to get through this darkness.


a half-seen tree or someone waving

and the dog turns to me and says, run.

Can’t run, doesn’t he know?

This is dreamland and…


among the red dancing peonies of fire are…

I forget

and we’re in a house that is home

that might be home

that I’d like to be home (no dog)

and you say (you?)

I can’t hear, or I forget.

Veils of pale fabric shift and blow in the breeze

a door opens (don’t go out, don’t leave)

a garden spreads where quilts pile in drifts of coloured feathers.

I smell lilac flowers, smell happiness grow. Happiness…

but they’re coming (where are you?)

the unfaced

from the peony flames

they always do in the end

just as you are never here

and the smell is of carrion (lilacs, please, don’t go)

and blood clings to my hands (did I do that?) sticky and indelible

and breath comes short

because it’s hard to run (alone. There was a dog once) in treacle.

The light recedes and I (alone)

feel heat lapping

at my


Screams fade into a distance

that no waking will ever shrink.


Seems like chiaroscuro is the word for today. I might give the prompt another go when I get nightmares out of my head and that word.

This is for the Secret Keeper’s five word prompt.




In charcoal shade I wake,

the chiaroscuro of twilight,

dog-wolf snapping at my heels.

Ceiling beams lower,

ribbed clouds

or the rollicking innards of a ship,

too dark yet to see the water dripping.

I dreamt of dark men with no faces,

marching down an unlit hall,

narrow as their squared shoulders

and only a boltless door between.

Pale, wintry frost-light

creeps over the cold sill,

and returning lucidity tells me,

the men are merely waiting

for the dusk.

Desert glass

The Daily Post prompt is: carefree.

Carefree doesn’t suit my mood, so I’m using the whole set of 21 words so far proposed this month as an oracle of sorts.

Carefree, feast, frail, unpredictable, storm, guest, nightmare, drive, journey, false, autonomy, desert glass, darkness, cowardice, glass, forbidden, layers, island, burn, pleasure.

This is what they gave me

Photo © Ji-Elle



darkness layers

above the island.

The glass desert burns:

nightmare guest

at the feast.


Another nightmare poem, a cascade, for the Daily Post prompt.


Every night the shadows creep

A little closer to my bed,

Bound hand and foot I cannot move,

Bring back the light then peace will fall.


The stars are dark, the moon asleep,

Warm blooded things and nightmares weep,

Nothing stirs except my fear as

Every night the shadows creep.


The ghosts of those who cannot rest,

Whose lives were stolen on a whim,

They plead and stalk on moonless nights

A little closer to my bed.


They care not who was most to blame,

Their anger drives their spirits here,

Eyes full of pain they mouth their grief,

Bound hand and foot I cannot move.


If only we could crush the worm

That rots the fruit and gnaws our thoughts,

If we could find a different goal,

Bring back the light then peace will fall.

Nightmare trip

Just thought I’d post this to show how weird imaginations run in families. At supper this evening, son told us the very vivid dream he had last night in which Trixie (fat black antisocial cat) was killed when the Zeppelin she was piloting crashed. Pilot error was not at fault. She had been targeted by Sir Ian McKellan who, for some obscure reason, was after her blood and had her shot down. She was last sighted scuttling into the galley as the Zeppelin went down in flames.

I don’t somehow think I shall be working this into a story. If you want to use it, feel free. And good luck.Trix8


Not poetry, but you have to go with the flow. This is for Ronovan’s Friday Fiction prompt: a dream.

The illustration is one I used the other day.


Perchance to dream. To sleep would be enough, to shut out the shadows that dart and creep from corner to corner while the moon hides among the clouds. Pain, dull and persistent is all there is, chasing sleep, banishing the bliss of oblivion. All is ache and tossing unavailingly, except the fear that the shadows might be real. There is noise in the fuzzy darkness, unaccounted noise like paws padding or nails scratching, but is it in the room, or in my befuddled head? The window is uncurtained and I see the sky, a shifting mass of rolling blackness, but clouds do not speak nor pad about a room.

The pain of loneliness joins the pain that the drugs are fighting and I sob in bitter anguish, wishing I could howl like a wolf. As if in sympathy, a vixen shrieks in the wood, and I reach out of my sluggish torpor to her, run the fields with her, slip silent and russet through the bracken. Click, scratch, scrape. I am not free, nor do I sleep. The fox is in a dream of her own and I fight the fear in the shadows.

Beyond the window, the cloud breaks, moonlight floods the room full of silver paws padding, and the shadows are not shadows at all. If I were a vixen, I would scream.

Microfiction: Buzz

I’m not making any excuses for this. I’ve been plagued with migraines since Tuesday, and I am only gradually feeling this last one subsiding. Blame Charli Mills’ Carrot Ranch writing prompt. She wanted insects, she got insects.

Photo ©Opoterser


I have always loathed spiders, squished every one that got too close, mercilessly. Not surprising this drifting, restless dream, probably inspired by indigestion, has a big, fat spider in it. Its eyes, red and globular stare into mine, its hairy mandibles fidget. Its awful bulk scuttles closer. Even though it’s a dream I feel sick. I moan and try to wake, struggling against some tough, sticky stuff, binding my arms and legs. I hear the click click of those awful jaws. The eyes hypnotise. I try to scream, and my voice is the faint buzz of a dying fly.

#writephoto: Spiral

This is a microfiction piece in response to Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt.



The stair went on forever, winding round and round, higher and higher, but the small window, the winking square of daylight came no closer. He stopped, to ease the fire in the muscles of his legs, and to scratch a mark on the stone with the edge of a coin. He climbed again, searching the walls, anxiety heavy and dull in the pit of his stomach. Round and round again. And the mark appeared. The bright, new scratched cross. He wanted to weep. The light laughed and he threw the coin, aiming for the window. The coin twisted and glinted once, twice, then disappeared. He couldn’t even tell if he had aimed true.

There was only one choice—up or down. He turned and peered back down the winding stairwell. Darkness rose to meet him, thick, impenetrable and suffocating. One by one, the stairs were swallowed by the rising shadows, and from the shifting depths came the sound of the pit, the moaning and the mad chuckling, following him. With a cry he turned back again, cursing the winking, laughing window and the light of a day he would never see, to climb the never-ending stair.