Quiet Horror – 12 Days Until Halloween

I grew up reading Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft, and I still adore them. Some day their language is overblown, but I love how their lavish descriptions overwhelm me. Their stories are more horrifying for how they make me feel crushed beneath moldering walls and surrounded by alien angles.  Something monstrous is usually threatening to overtake their narrators, and I hold my breath waiting for it to come.

When I see old buildings, their windows covered, my mind runs with the possibilities of what could be lurking behind them.  The buildings may be abandoned, but somehow they don’t seem empty.  I want to see the curtain twitch.  I want to see a shadow move behind them.

One of the presentations by Sidney Williams at the Florida Writers Conference was on quiet horror, those stories with a feeling of creeping terror.  It’s the form of horror fiction that I love to write (and read).  I want a reader to sense something is off, something wrong is happening. They’ll sense something is waiting for them to come closer, but they won’t be able to identify it in time. The unknown, the inability to escape, will make it even scarier.

Abandoned House – A Love Poem

by Victoria Nations

Abandoned house with
Sun bleached board face
Drooping and gapped from
Years and years of rain and heat
Crinkled so it
Cracks, so its
Filmed windows tilt
Up at the corners
Gabled window
Turned up and
Still cute after all these years
Mostly centered over the
Black double doors
Falling into a
Sideways grin

Friday Writing – Where Would You Sleep?

Where would you sleep?

The museum has a vaulted ceiling and columns reaching so high they look hazy from the bottom floor.  Everything seems to be made of stone, despite accents of polished wood and glass.  Arched windows are stacked in rows along the uppermost walls.  Their lines are delicate, but you know they would be massive if you ventured upstairs and stood next to them.

It’s night, and you are alone here again.

There’s a moon tonight, and white light falls in arched patches all around you.  Your footsteps echo through the atrium, the sound bouncing back and forth, so you think you hear others in nearby rooms, walking just as slowly.  If they are there, they are keeping to themselves, and you choose to do the same.

You could climb up in the dioramas, squat like the prehistoric people and pull a cat skin over yourself to see how it feels.

You could pull the velvet rope aside and lean close to see the brush strokes on the pottery.  There are walls of hanging tapestries and you could run your hands over their uneven fibers.

You could touch the Tyranosaurus rex skull and imagine its teeth punching into flesh.  It’s skeleton stretches above you, a tempting scaffold, but you know its bird bones are too precarious to climb.

There is room to run, to roller skate if you wanted, but you walk slowly despite that. Your pace is blissful.  Unhurried. Your neck aches from bending back to look at the great balcony of the galleries above.

In the morning, you stay.  Your exploration of the sacred place has barely begun. There are huge concave light fixtures, and each morning you crawl into them to sleep, a hazy silhouette against the glass, like some large bug with too few legs.