October 29, 2007


It starts with the movement of my younger brother in the bunk below. My nine-year-old imagination, wide-awake begins to think up reasons why Kevin keeps shifting around creaking the bedsprings and letting out soft moans. It can’t be just his dreams or night terrors, no, there must be an energy, a wraith unseen to my eyes that is torturing his very being. I scan quickly around the dark room, body protected from attack by thick blanket, pillow pressed close to face. A shadow moves across the wall–I watch its progress for clues as it disappears in the closet. Kevin slides to the edge of his bed and his arm flops out into the air above the ground. A pale limb, his fingers caught in a streetlight from the window–I count the fingers–one, two, three, four–where’s the thumb?! He moves again and the arm retreats back out of sight.

I hear mumbling from underneath my mattress, Kevin is saying “No” or “Go”. I lie still and listen. His breathing stops…no wait there it is again…a gasp (or was that me?) and then nothing. I’m all alone, he has surely perished, the spirit too strong and he just a little boy. Guilt creeps in beside my fear, I’m scared and ashamed for doing nothing to protect my little brother. I could have woken him up or crawled beside him–we could have been a team against the darkness. Now its just me to face the night, my senses tired from sensing, my heart broken from failure. I give up to whatever will come and take me, my fight disabled, my breathing choked underneath layers of bedding.

I’m a boy with an imagination that has taken over.

More writings can be found here and more photos here.

P.S. Anyone want to be a buddy for NaNoWriMo?  I’m here.


11 Responses to “Spooked”

  1. UL Says:

    Fear and guilt can create such haunting tales, beautiful piece. Thanks.

  2. Mark Papale Says:

    This is wonderfully written – nothing is more terrifying than the imagination. Nice work.

  3. A wonderfully evocative piece. Well done

  4. Paris Parfait Says:

    I like the perspective of brothers and the tricks they play on each other perhaps backfiring. Nothing beats the imagination of children!

  5. Tumblewords Says:

    I agree. Some of that imagination disappears with light and adulthood. Good story!

  6. Taffiny Says:

    Nice piece, brotherhood, childhood, imgination, fear, the desire to protect oneself, and also the ones we love.

    Reminds me a bit of the wee hours this morning, when my son “heard a strange noise” and I had to walk about the entire house making sure it was secure (all the while thinking of those scenes in scary movies, when someone hears a strange noise and goes off alone to see what it is, and you watch it and think to yourself, ” Run you idiot! Don’t go towards the noise”. Nothing got me, and we went back to bed, but he dreamed he was bitten by a snake, and I dreamed I was bitten by a spider (and it blistered) so our imaginations did get us.

  7. Taffiny Says:

    P.S. I followed the link and went to add you as a buddy, but I was already there, but you weren’t on mine, so I hit add, and now I am on your page, and you are on mine. I know you didn’t add me or you would have been on my page already, so I am not sure how I got there.

  8. Matthew Says:

    Thanks Taffiny and glad that you did not succumb to the fate of so many horror movie casualties. Interesting that the mood followed you right into your dreams…the mind is certainly a powerful beast.

    That is no mystery, I did add you as a buddy the other day (hope you don’t mind)–but it is strange that you did not get a message that I had added you. I’m thinking it has something to do with the taxed NaNo servers.

  9. Lovely, chilling bit of writing – if one may use lovely and chilling together – but you know what I mean! 🙂 Great imagination and generously shared.
    The photo was really evocative, all that was missing was a black crow perched in the top most branches…

  10. Matthew Says:

    Yes AV I’ll have to work on the crow bit. Thanks for the kind words–I actually had some fun revisiting this shade of a memory. Though in my mind some parts were a little different–the words found there own way when it came down to it.

  11. Macy Says:

    Thanx for photo links Rgds

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