RG (January 12,1990 / Pittsburgh, Penna., U.S.A.)

Dear Reader, I Am Not Insane

I recognize these marks,
marks of that dark magic I knew so well,
and have learned to fear.
Suddenly the life around me is still.
The birds have stopped singing.
It is midday, and yet,
a ghostly mouth opens inside me.
Fear is walking.
I hear something moving near me,
with me, as I move.
By sound it is larger than I
and moves unlike any man or beast I know.
Fear is open inside me.
You, gaping mouth inside me,
you will not be permitted
to swallow my soul alive!
The graves around me
are grisly and gaping.
I hear the souls of the loving
sighing for me in profoundest grief.
And I, just a pale child
who speaks no Russian!
It moves beside me,
always nearer,
and able to move easily up the ravine.
I find myself dipped in terror, and thinking:
'I wish I knew more folklore.'
Fear is skipping in me.
Dear reader I am not insane,
and so, I ran!

The reader should be aware that this did happen to me, quite completely and exactly as I've stated. You see, I had been drawn to a particular area near a graveyard for quite some time, and so I stopped one sunny afternoon. I had just left the way of pagans to become a Christian, and knew that there were some in the nearby area with dark magic that every sane person should fear. I also knew that they didn't like me. I was quite literally surrounded by the dead and a ways away from my car when I noticed the signs of their rites all around me. The graves were all Russian, and I couldn't read what was written on them. It was very frustrating, mind you. Suddenly, the forest nearby went silent. Everything went silent. And I heard a sighing sound, like it was someone near to weeping, and then I heard movement. I've gotten quite good at hearing something move and figuring out how large the thing is and how it moves (like a cat, or coon, or human, or deer...) , but besides the fact that it was somewhat bigger than I, and probably walked on two legs, I had no idea what it was. It was not a human sound. I also noticed that it advanced with me, in the same direction I went, and was getting nearer to me, advancing up the ravine in the woods and getting closer to me. In truth, I did not run, but walked rather briskly back to the car. My last thoughts were that I was glad I was alone and didn't have to shoo anyone back to the car and that I wished I knew more Russian folklore.
The End.

by Rebekah Gamble

Comments (2)

A delightful piece of prose. A lovely description of an experience, and that is what writing is all about. Irene
great write. you had me from the very beginning. grea job!