I am dreaming. I traipse across the moors in Brontë country. It’s almost Halloween, and back home I’ll soon be carving jagged smiles on pumpkin faces. As I walk, the sun sinks lower in the sky, deepening the grass’s golden glow. Shadows walk with me, till they are obscured by the darkness. Night lays a black shroud over the naked trees and heathered knolls, covering them completely. A fine misty rain obscures my vision even more. It kisses me all over, lightly like a playful lover, until I am weakened and drenched. I stand, uncertain where to go or how to find my way home. At the sound of a ghostly screech, I jump, then laugh a bit at my fright. It’s just a barn owl. There’s nothing here to frighten you, I tell myself–until cold fingers wrap themselves around my wrist. I try to call out, but no sound emerges from my throat. I try to wake, but I cannot. I am dreaming I tell myself as the bony fingers pull me down to the cold, damp ground.
Shapes in the darkness
nightmares come in autumn’s mist
Jack’s crooked mouth laughs
I’ve been told a true Haibun is supposed to be based on a real experience, but I decided to have a bit of seasonal fun with this. I suppose it is flash fiction with a haiku, but I’m calling it a Haibun. This is for Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. The prompt words were mist and shape.
Excellent! I haven’t heard or read that a Haibun should be about a personal experience. I hope not. Mine would bore people blind! LOL! I like to think that we can follow the rules as to form as closely as possible while still being creative and writing in the present tense – just like you did! Excellent creepy Haibun! I should make that a thing! LOL! ❤
Hahaha. Thank you, Colleen. ❤
Was it just a dream?
Nothing more unsettling than knowing one”s dreaming and can’t wake up. Throw a nightmare into the mix and you have the truly horrific.
Thanks so much. It wasn’t an actual dream, but I’ve had dreams where I’ve felt paralyzed, and I’ve dreamed of the Bronte area, and I remember being scared by the ghost in Wuthering Heights. I just put it all together. 🙂
Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
#Haiku Happenings #8: Merrill’s latest #habn for Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge!
Thank you so much!
I was brought up in Bronte country 🙂 Brings it all back…
Well, I’m glad I got it right then, but I hope it wasn’t exactly like this. 🙂
Not exactly 🙂 The Yorkshire bogey is the barguest, a black ghost dog.
Ahh–maybe I’ll have to write about him, though that seems more your territory. 😉 I was imagining more Wuthering Heights type ghosts.
The Wuthering Heights ghosts I imagine would be far too concerned about themselves to bother other people, but that’s not to say that there aren’t a whole load of more disgruntled and less tragic ghosts floating about up there 🙂
Perfect for this time of year. And very spooky. And tantalizing me into imagining all kinds of “what happened next”s!
Thank you, Claudia. Then I succeeded! 🙂
I’d say your experience of previous dreams certainly counts. Nice that we don’t know what Jack was smiling about.
Thank you, Derrick.
Sometimes Jack o Lanterns look creepy to me. I don’t want to know why or what they’re thinking about. 😉
All the proper chills for October…I love “shadows walk with me”–they do! (K)
Thank you, Kerfe! 🙂
It seemed real to me!! So real I got spooked. 👀
Thank you, Pam. Then I did my job! 🙂
The image works very well, but you’ve already painted an idyllic (though wet) picture, before showing how quickly dreams can turn. Nice turn.
Thank you very much, Ken!
Very ‘of the season’ Merril. I was out there on the moors with you: ) Nicely done.
Thank you very much! That is lovely! 🙂
Have you awakened yet? 🙂
Hahaha. Yes, thank you. But I did have some weird dreams last night. . .
Cue the Twilight Zone theme!
The imagery of the damp night’s air being misty and the low visibility being “like a black shroud” were realistic. Then, the fingers wrapping around your wrist sends me into terror mode. If I felt clutching on my own hands I’d be the screeching Robin, not a barn owl!
I took a picture of the full moon with clouds creating a jack o’lantern. At first, it looked like a “horn” in the top over a face. It was like a devil’s growth, then someone helped me to see a “stem.” Yay, much better! No ghouls!
“the screeching Robin, not a barn owl”–that made me laugh. Very clever, Robin. 🙂 I’m glad this made you feel a bit scared.
It really was well written and suspenseful, Merril. Happy to share laughter!
Thank you, Robin. 🙂
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