Edward Hopper, New York Movie, 1939


During the war we talked about “after,” but we didn’t realize that for some of us, there will never be an after. I remember one survivor who said the past was like a festering wound, but “she’d had it sliced away–leaving a scar, it’s true, but barely noticeable.” She said, “You cover it up and go about your life.”

But at night, I’d hear her tossing and turning, and sometimes crying. I recognized it for what it was—the past haunting her. It doesn’t go away. It’s a movie playing on an endless, repeating loop. It’s a ghost that visits each night, or an illness. Paul is that ghostly contagion. He haunts me at night, visits me in my dreams, and he’s infected me with dangerous thoughts. Sometimes I’m no longer sure if what I did was right.

It’s Prosery time at dVerse, flash fiction of no more than 144 words using the given poetic prompt line. This is another episode of my ongoing (and going, where is it going?) spy series. Sarah has asked us to use the line:

“she’d had it sliced away leaving a scar”.

From a poem by Michael Donaghy. You can read the original poem here: https://rihlajourney.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/liverpool-michael-donaghy/

64 thoughts on “Haunted

  1. Beautifully fone, layer after layer uncovered, and then, and then, that killer end (yes, dark, dark pun). That dnding sums it all up…sets the tone for the reader to think, ponder over after reading..

  2. Excellent connection to your spy saga. It was a little bumpy transferring from “one survivor” to you. Maybe you had Paul in common, even more of a mystery.

  3. Oh, yes. I so love that you keep using the Hopper paintings to pair with the continuation of your fabulous spy series. Enchanting. And a beautifully written chapter, might I add.

  4. A fabulous snippet of your ongoing, unknown destination spy series, Merril.
    Just wondering, are you saving them all in a special folder? To do what with, I don’t know, but maybe they could be a book?

  5. This drew me in fiercely, relevant cos I’d had a weeping sort of day, and I’m amazed you packed in so much to a gross of words. The way the second half took us to Paul in a right angled twist has quite taken my breath away…

    • I’m so sorry you had a weeping sort of day, but I’m glad my words could in some small way help you–well, draw you into another world, perhaps. Thank you for your kind praise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.