Tag Archives: Tanka

Haiku Friday – Home & Free

1 Jun

Haiku_Friday-Poetry-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Fall of Lilith-novel-Fantasy_Angels_Series-gadreel-fallen_angels-demons

 

Home and Free are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

The Fall of Lilith-Fantasy_angels_series-Gadreel-fallen_angel-lilith-novel-Jewish_scriptures-demon

 

Gadreel-fallen_angel-The Fall of Lilith-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Haiku_Friday-Poetry

Gadreel’s Lamentation

Nefarious deeds

Got me exiled from heaven

Now on earth I roam

Hiraeth beckons my soul

But I can’t ever go home

I’d gladly give up

the freedom earth allows me

for one day back home

Where flowers sing lullabies

and leaves dance all aquiver

The Fall of Lilith-fantasy_angels_series-Vashti Quiroz Vega-novel-lilith-heaven-fallen_angels-Poetry-Haiku_Friday

Floraison Scene Illustration by Jeff Brown for The Fall of Lilith

 

Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Haiku_Friday-Poetry-The Fall of Lilith Fantasy_angels_series-fallen-gadree-lilith-scriptures-story-RonovanWrites

 

 

Haiku Friday – Beat & Party

27 Apr

 

Spring-blogging-Haiku_Friday-Poetry-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Son of the Serpent-fantasy_angels_series

 

Let us celebrate

the diamantine splendor

of this vibrant night

It’s not the moon, I tell you

It’s your smile that shines so bright

Gal Gadot-Chris Wahl-art-smile-sketch-Haiku_Friday-Vashti Q-instagram

Beautiful sketch of Gal Gadot by Chris Wahl (Click on image to see more of Chris’ work on Instagram)

Beat and Party are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

 

Haiku_Friday-Poetry-Vashti Quiroz Vega-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-art-Spring-author-writer

Haiku Friday – Zen & Noise

23 Feb

Hi everyone! Happy Haiku Friday!

 

Zen and Noise are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

 

I struggled with this week’s prompt words, especially the word “Zen”. I tried to look for a synonym but it doesn’t have one (what?). Needless to say, I had to go way outside the box for this one. I looked up the definition for zen to find some inspiration and this is what I found.

ZenChinese Ch’an. Buddhism. A Mahayana movement, introduced into China in the 6th century a.d. and into Japan in the 12th century, that emphasizes enlightenment for the student by the most direct possible means, accepting formal studies and observances only when they form part of such means.

The above definition might as well have been written in Mandarin or Japanese. ↑

Then the chaps at Cambridge gave me a simpler definition.

Zen: a religion that is a form of Buddhism developed in Japan. What is zen: relaxed and not worrying about things that you cannot change.

That was easier to understand, but I still found it challenging to come up with a poem with these words. So, I pretended to be a Buddhist Monk, while writing this poem and came up with a Tanka. I hope you like it.

Zen-Poetry-Buddhism-enso cat-Tsun Ming-Haiku_Friday-tanka-Vashti Quiroz Vega-VashtiQ-The Writer Next Door-poem

 

I leap the world’s ties

And sit among the white clouds

To hear the earth’s noise

without my usual armor

coming ‘tween me and nature

(‘I leap the world’s ties, And sit among the white clouds’ = relaxed, not worrying = Zen)

(‘To hear the earth’s noise without my usual armor coming ‘tween me and nature’= enlightenment = Zen)

Zen-Poetry-Buddhism-enso cat-Tsun Ming-Haiku_Friday-tanka-Vashti Quiroz Vega-VashtiQ-The Writer Next Door-poem

Enso Cat by Tsun Ming

Enjoy your Friday and weekend!

Haiku Friday – Quick & Slip

16 Feb

Hello, everyone. Welcome.

I’m sure by now most people have heard the news about the “Florida School Shooting”. For those of you who have not heard, I will give you a quick summary of what happened.

On Valentine’s Day (2-14-18) a heavily armed, 19 year old man, killed at least 17 people with an AR-15 assault rifle at his former high school in Parkland, Fl.. It isn’t known yet why he did it. We may never know his reasons, because the gunman has a history of mental illness.

Needless to say, this is a horribly sad and tragic event. The fact that it took place so close to home make it all the more disturbing for me. So many lives ended–just like that. It’s so senseless. Could this have been prevented?

If you’d like more information: The New York Times 

When I wrote these poems I thought of the victims, in particular the kids and their loved ones left behind to mourn.

reflection-BeatrizMartinVidal-DeviantArt-Poetry-Haiku_Friday-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-The Writer Next Door

Illustration by Beatriz Martin Vidal (Beatriz – DeviantArt)

Grieving

Don’t cry, I’m not dead

I have only slipped away

into the next room

You’ll see me again

And we’ll laugh at our goodbyes

But time is too slow

for those who just sit and wait

So please turn to life again

reflection on the other side-BeatrizMartinVidal-DeviantArt-Poetry-Haiku_Friday-haiku-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Florida_school_shooting-art

Illustration by Beatriz Martin Vidal (Beatriz – DeviantArt)

Quick and Slip are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

Haiku Friday – Press & Touch

19 Jan

Hi everyone! A very warm welcome to my blog!

 

Press and Touch are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

My inspiration for this week’s prompt words is Rogue, a member of the X-Men, which goes to show that inspiration can come from anywhere. Here’s a little background on her, for those of you who are not Marvel fans.

Rogue is part of a subspecies of humans called mutants, who are born with superhuman abilities. Rogue has the involuntary ability to absorb and sometimes also remove the memories, physical strength, and superpowers of anyone she touches. Therefore, Rogue considers her powers to be a curse. For most of her life, she limited her physical contact with others, including her on-off love interest, Gambit.

Continue reading . . . 

Haiku_Friday-Poetry-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Rogue-X Men-haiku-Vashti Q

ROGUE by Selene Regener (Selenada – DeviantART)

The Untouchable Rogue (X-Men)

I am much affected

for I can’t lay hands on you

My touch would kill you

Why go on living?

Life’s a hollow word for me

without your caress

Fear leads me to shun your warmth

In decrepit gloves I touch

Rogue-Gambit-X Men-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Haiku_Friday-Poetry-RonovanWrites

Gambit & Rogue (X-Men)

Have a happy Friday!

Haiku Friday – Broken & Over

24 Nov

 

Hello everyone! Today, I have an interesting guest on my blog. Her name is Gadreel and she is one of the characters in my new novel, The Fall of Lilith. She has written a poem for us but before we get to that I have a few questions I’d like to ask her.

Luis Royo-Gadreel-angel falling-Haiku-Friday-Poetry-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-The Fall of Lilith-novel

Illustration by Luis Royo (Click on image for website)

Character Interview

Vashti:

Hello Gadreel! Welcome. I’m so happy you could join us today.

Gadreel:

Greetings. I am delighted to be here.

Vashti:

Let’s get right to it, okay? Tell us about your home, Floraison.

Gadreel: (She frowns. She gives me a wounded look and then lowers her eyes to the floor)

Floraison is no longer my home, for I was cast out along with Lilith, Lucifer and the rest of the rebel angels.

Vashti:

Oh––yes, I’m sorry. (I squirm on my seat) If it’s too difficult for you to talk about it, it’s––

Gadreel:

Apologies. It is for this reason I was invited, so I shall answer your question. Although, there are no words to fully describe Floraison, none that humans can understand. I shall do my best. Firstly, there are three realms of Heaven: Heaven Most High where God resides, Metá Heaven, and Floraison, the lowest realm of Heaven where God chose to place his angels. Different dimensions separate these realms and only God travels between them as He pleases.

There was no need for a sun, moon or stars to give Floraison light. God’s splendor lit the lowest realm, and the skies were beautiful beyond compare. There was no true darkness where the angels lived. In Floraison’s unit of time there was brillante, when the light was at its most intense and nightglow when at its dimmest.

There were many trees and meadows adorned with colorful flowers that emitted fragrances evoking happiness and vigor. Magnificent creatures abounded, large and small––perfect in every way and pleasing to the senses. Some of these creatures were prototypes for beings God created on different planets, and others were unique to Floraison.

The River of Life, a pure river with crystalline healing waters, flowed between realms and proceeded from God’s throne room.

(She stopped and gazed at me with doleful eyes that made my heart ache a little)

Vashti:

It’s okay, Gadreel. I think we get the picture––Floraison is a celestial paradise. You mentioned that there was no true darkness in heaven, so what was it like the first time you experienced night on Earth?

Gadreel: (She shivers and wraps her arms around herself)

When I fell from heaven I landed in a hot area of grasses and small dispersed trees. The sunlight was harsh and glaring and singed my angelic skin. There was no shade or area to escape from it. The heat enveloped me and the air was so dense I had to drag it into my lungs. I hated this new environment, but nothing prepared me for night.

It was like I disappeared. I could not see my hands in front of my face. It was like not existing, but yet living. I felt like God no longer saw me and that made my heart very heavy. I never felt farther from my home.

The grasslands came to life at night with unfamiliar noises. I heard a sharp, thrilling call overhead, the leaping and bounding of fleet-footed creatures avoiding predators on the ground, and all manner of growls, clicks, and hoots. An eerie, cold sensation crept into my bones. I curled into a tight ball and trembled in the darkness.

Vashti:

That sounds awful. I won’t be alone in the dark any time soon. (Awkward pause) Gadreel, did you ever see God?

Gadreel:

In Floraison there are golden double doors that opened to a portal that lead to Metá Heaven where God’s presence could be reached in His Throne Room. Only by His expressed permission could one cross this portal. I was never given permission to enter. Michael, who had entered the hall, said it was aglow with the most exquisite light ever seen. But in order to truly see God angels must elevate to Heaven Most High and that’s a difficult process.

Vashti:

You’re obviously remorseful for joining Lilith and rebelling against God and the holy angels, so why did you do it?

Gadreel: (She swallowed hard and looked down)

I never felt rebellious in my heart. I loved God and my heavenly home. Lilith was my best friend and she is a powerful influencer. She made me feel that I needed to be loyal to her––and I was also a bit afraid of her, of what she would do if I did not follow her. She also told me it was the only way for me to be with Samael and I believed this. I loved Samael and he joined Lilith and Lucifer in their rebellion. I wanted to go wherever he went, even if it meant that I would end up in hell.

Vashti:

So much has happened since the war in heaven and your fall from grace. How have you changed?

Gadreel:

I am much stronger and confident in my abilities now. I know I have done many wrongs for which I must make amends. I will seek God’s forgiveness, although I know I can never return to my home in heaven. I shall no longer ally myself with Lilith, Lucifer or Samael. I have new allies in the Animal Kingdom, for I have the ability to understand and communicate with them. However, I shall always miss Floraison.

 

Homesickness pulls at my heart

Tossed down from Heaven

I lie broken on the earth

I know in my mind

It is not over for you see

Although the fall split my spine

I shall survive this

Long enough to make amends

I don’t belong here

but I am homesick

for a home I shall not see

Home needs a whole heart

My heart’s a thousand pieces

so homesick am I

Earth shall never be my home

I am wishing for heaven

Gadreel-fallen_angel-The Fall of Lilith-Haiku_Friday-Poetry-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-fantasy angels series

“There was no sun in Floraison to torture us. We had brillantes, a time of divine light, which was like the warmth of God’s smile. Here on earth, we have to endure days of glaring, fiery light, which stings our bodies and perturbs our minds. In Floraison, we had nightglows when light dimmed to a soft glow, which reminded us that God was still near. Here, we have night––the absence of light when we are left on our own. I miss our home.”

~Gadreel

Broken and Over are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

Lilith, the main character from my novel, The Fall of Lilith was also interviewed by Lisa Burton (Robot Girl) of Lisa Burton Radio | Entertaining Stories. You can read that interview, here.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

Haiku Friday – Short & Sexy

17 Nov

Hi everyone! Welcome to another segment of ‘Haiku Friday’! I hope you are all having a wonderful day, so far.

Thanksgiving Day is a great reminder that we should be living a life of gratitude. No matter how bad you may think you have it, there are always others that have it far worse, so be grateful for the little things. Celebrate all your little victories, as well as the big ones. If someone shows you a kindness say, ‘thank you’. It doesn’t cost a cent to show gratitude.

Of course, there are some that mistake kindness for weakness and feel that thanking someone is beneath them. I honestly feel sorry for people like this, because this is such a negative and sad way of thinking and living.

Being grateful reminds us of the positive things in our lives. Be thankful for everything you have and say thank you often––you will be happier for it. Living a life of gratitude takes strength of character and a positive attitude. With this in mind, I’m going to list several things I’m grateful for today. You can list the things you’re thankful for in the comment section. I’d love to read what you’re grateful for this day.

  1. I’m grateful for my family and the fact that everyone seems healthy and in a good place right now.
  2. I’m grateful for my little writing buddy, Scribbles (my Pomeranian). He awoke one day, a couple of weeks ago, vomiting blood! I thought he was going to die. My husband and I rushed him to the vet and it turned out that he must have swallowed a tiny jagged rock or glass while licking one of his paws that cut and irritated his esophagus. He’s going to be okay, but it was heart-wrenching and terrifying to see him like that. I now check and clean his paws every time we come home after a walk.
  3. I’m grateful, because my niece, Natasha and nephew, Joshua will be coming home from college in a few hours and will be spending Thanksgiving week with us! I’m very excited and can’t wait to see them and spend time with them.
  4. I’m grateful that more and more readers are discovering my fantasy novel, The Fall of Lilith and are reading and reviewing it. I’m thrilled and humbled by all the great reviews, including a 5 star review I received recently from Readers’ Favorite!

5star-Readers Favorite-book_review-The Fall of Lilith-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-Fantasy Angels Series-Novel-Readers Favorite6. I’m grateful to the talented designers at Damonza who helped bring the concept of my book cover to life. The cover of The Fall of Lilith has won two awards: A Gold Star from The Book Designer and a Silver badge from AUTHORSdb Cover Contest.

Cover-award-The Fall of Lilith-AUTHORSdb-The Cover Designer-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-gold_star-winner

This list could go on and on, so lets move on to this week’s poetry.

 

Short and Sexy are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-shortbread-cookies-holiday_baking-Poetry-Haiku_Friday-Tanka

Whipped Shortbread Cookies (Recipe)

Holiday Baking

Surely you’ll relate

to my never-failing love

for shortbread cookies

The ambrosial fragrance

drifts into my nose from plate

Shortbread-Cookies-holidays-baking-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Haiku_Friday-Poetry-RonovanWrites

Vanilla Spritz Shortbread Cookies (Recipe)

The excitement grows,

as I savor one and all

before I know it

They’re all gone! What have I done?

The ‘Cookie Monster’ left none

Lavender-Biscuits-cookies-holiday_baking-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Poetry-Haiku_Friday-Tanka-shortbread

Lavender Shortbread Biscuits (cookies) Recipe

Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

Haiku Friday – Color & Warmth

9 Jun

“Sunrise paints the sky with pinks and the sunset with peaches. Cool to warm. So is the progression from childhood to old age.”

~ Vera Nazarian

 

Hello everyone! Welcome to Haiku Friday on The Writer Next Door blog.

Sunrise

by Vashti Q

 

Dawn draws back her veil

Pink and orange sunrise hues

Set our skies aflame

There is a new beginning

I shall awake into dream

sunrise-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-haiku_Friday-Poetry-Ronovanwrites

“Let the beauty of sunrise, keep your heart warm.”

~ Lailah Gifty Akita

 

UPDATE: I received the proofs for my book cover and I’m very excited! I can’t wait to show it to you! Book Cover Reveal –– Coming Soon!  

 

Color and Warm are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

Haiku Friday – Chagrin & Joy

7 Apr

Welcome to The Writer Next Door and Happy Haiku Friday!

 

Chagrin and Joy are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Poetry-haiku_Friday-Joy-anger-RonovanWrites

It boils within you

Anger takes and never gives

It’s a thief of joy

Do not let it steal pieces

Of who you desire to be

Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-Poetry-Haiku_Friday-twitter-RonovanWrites-anger-joy

Enjoy the weekend!

Haiku Friday – Sweat & Heat

24 Feb

Hello everyone! Thanks for stopping by and reading. 😀 xx

Sweat and Heat are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

♥ I have a short story for you today and hidden (in plain sight) within the story is today’s poem. I hope you enjoy. ♥

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‘Little Girl Shadow’ by Silvia Pelissero (agnes-cecile on DeviantArt)

♦♦

The Girl Who Lost Her Shadow

by Vashti Q

I walked past a schoolyard and noticed several children doing something peculiar. They used color chalk to outline each other’s shadows. It was a brilliant idea, so I entered the yard to join them.

 

“Hello! May I play too?” I waited for a response but the kids were too busy drawing and giggling to notice me. I shrugged and picked up a piece of chalk left on the ground.

 

I smoothed my hair and fluffed my skirt. I wanted my shadow to look pretty and neat. I looked down–– “Where’s my shadow?” I scanned the area but didn’t find her.

 

I watched the children trace each other’s long morning shadows, smiling and laughing all the while. The day was bright and hot and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I faced away from the fiery sun and stared at the ground. “Where is it?” I sunk to the hard pavement sulking while watching the other children play with their silhouettes.

 

After a while, I left the school grounds. “What was I doing there? I should have been looking for my shadow. Those kids ignored me, anyway.” I rolled my eyes and moved on.

 

Across the street a large smooth wall bordered the sidewalk. Perhaps, I would find my shadow there. I stood facing the beige wall, as if gawking at it would produce a dark form, which would resemble me and mimic my every move.

 

I sighed deeply and turned my sights to a beautiful teenage girl wearing pink satin ballerina shoes and a romantic tutu that reached below her calf. She twirled and pranced up the street toward me. Her ebullient shadow danced on pointes in a succession of slow, soft, lyrical movements upon the wall. As the ballerina’s pose changed from pirouette to arabesque her shadow’s dance created the illusion that their movements flowed from one into another.

 

The ballet dancer and her shadow enchanted me. I wanted to be her–– lithe and elegant and to have a lovely shade to dance with me.

 

“Hello! You’re a delightful ballerina. I love your tutu skirt and shoes and . . .” My words drifted toward silence as she past me by without a glance.

 

I dragged my feet on the sidewalk while heaviness settled in my chest. Nevertheless, I kept vigilant and continued to search for my shadow. “Where are you, my shadow? Why have you left me?”

 

I wandered not knowing where I was going and then I heard mellifluous sounds in the distance. I was compelled to follow it. The music led me to a large cemetery. At first, I didn’t want to enter but glorious angels made of marble beckoned me and I couldn’t resist. “Perhaps I will find my shadow here.”

 

I approached a group of men playing musical instruments. They played a cheerful melody whilst wearing somber faces. “Has any of you seen the lone shadow of a girl?” The musicians ignored me and continued performing.

 

Shadows drummed, blew on clarinets, tooted horns and struck tambourines. The sun was angry now. I raised my squinted eyes to it. It was high in the sky––noon time and the shadows were short.

 

No one took notice of me. No one cared that my shadow is lost. “Why is this happening to me?” I uttered a shriek and kicked a rock lying before me.

 

“Are you alright?”

 

The words made me jump.

 

A boy with a wan complexion stood a short distance from me.  “You look upset.” He stared with doleful eyes.

 

“You are the first person that has spoken to me all day.” I smiled. ” My name is Emily––Emily Johnson. What is yours?”

 

“Hi Emily. I’m Michael. So, what’s wrong?”

 

“I seem to have misplaced my shadow,” I said feeling heat rise to my cheeks.

 

“I don’t have one either.” His voice was sad and he wore a wistful expression. “But the reason . . .”

 

“We both lost our shadows!” I interrupted. “Why don’t we look for them together?” I grabbed his hand before he could utter another word and tugged him all around the cemetery.

 

Michael pulled on my dress’ sleeve. “Emily wait . . . there’s something I must tell you.”

 

The sun began to dim. I brushed his hand away and hurried, my eyes flickering in every direction.

 

There were many people in the graveyard and their shadows were now long and scraggy, some looked rather creepy in the dim light. “We must hurry,” I said. “If we don’t find our shadows before sundown we may never find them.” I snatched his hand again but he wrested it out of mine.

 

He stopped and pointed straight ahead. “Look!” His expression was haunting.

 

I scrunched my forehead in confusion. I swallowed what felt like a sock rolled into a ball and took a few apprehensive steps forward. There was a dark form sitting on a headstone. I inched closer. The silhouette looked familiar. “Is that my shadow?” My words were but a breath.

 

Now, it was the pallid boy that took me by the hand. He led me to the grave where my shadow sat. I stood before it and read the engraving on the gravestone.

Emily Johnson

2005 – 2017

Here she lies but she never died!

*

Grief beyond all tears

Sweet bud that never blossomed

Turn to ageless dust

Burn in Mother Nature’s veins

Set all the blooms on fire

 

Suddenly, I was trembling like my bones had turned to frost. “That’s my name.” I looked at the boy and he lowered his eyes and nodded.

 

“That’s me? I’m dead?” My legs faltered and I fell to my knees. I stared at him. “You––are you dead too?”

 

He nodded. “We both died in the school fire. All the other kids got out but we were trapped and consumed by the fire.”

 

I shook my head in disbelief and pressed my face to my hands.

 

I glanced up and through misty eyes I saw my shadow leap from the tombstone into my grave and disappear.

 

Michael stood by my side and placed a hand on my shoulder. I had not noticed, until now, how cold his hands were. “I tried to tell you,” he said, “it was not your shadow that was lost; it was you.”

 

shadow-short_stories-The Writer Next Door-Poetry-RonovanWrites-haiku_Friday

I hope you enjoyed the short story and the poem hidden within. Have a happy Friday!