Manuscript On A Nightstand

Manuscript On A Nightstand

A Poem by Ellis Hastings

A poet is awoken by the unsettling realization that he is not alone in his house. After hearing disturbing sounds coming from somewhere down the hall, he follows the trail of noise to a grim discovery

I was awoken in a cold sweat
Sleep fleeting with a new fret
As I heard the creaking floor
In the distance a slamming door

Arthritic bones popping like an overstretched band
As I leaned over to the nightstand 
I gathered my glasses and fixed them in place
From the other room; sounds of a breaking vase 

I picked up my robe and climbed out of bed
Suddenly blinded by a flash of red
Tiredness turned to energy; anger to fright
As I saw beneath the door a mysterious red light

Striding across the room I threw open the door
Immediately greeted by a path of gore
Dark red --- almost black --- grime caking the wood
I lost my voice; I would scream if I could

With my stomach turning, I followed the trail
Almost tripping over a handle the size of a nail
The trail ended here; this I could not ignore
When I suddenly made out the shape of a trapdoor

Taking a knee I fastened my grip
Along the metal so my hand wouldn't slip
The blood smelled of iron but was noticeably dry
As I opened the trapdoor to see beneath what would lie

I climbed down the ladder to a crawl space
Claustrophobia swelling as a draft hit my face
Squinting my eyes, I reached out my hand
Suddenly feeling the remains of a man

I was nearly blinded as the red light returned
The sight of his corpse! My stomach once more churned
When suddenly, my eyes met the source of the light
An expressionless creature whispered to me 'goodnight' 

It blew out the light; darkness encompassed me
As I desperately turned and attempted to flee
Tight claws wrapped around my kicking feet
The trapdoor slammed shut; making me it's next feast.

© 2016 Ellis Hastings

Author's Note

Ellis Hastings
Was the AABB rhyme scheme a good choice for this poem? Do I accurately paint the grim setting within the first two stanzas?

My Review

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Not to put too fine a point on it but how did the he write this after he got himself eaten?

Posted 6 Months Ago

I am not a poet, but I did enjoy the telling.
It was cinematic and horrifying.
Easy to picture in the mind and that's what I look for.
Great read!

Posted 8 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I think you portrayed the horrifying event in good detail from the start.You might want to compress your sentences a bit making every word count. I noticed the syllable count changed after the first stanza.

Posted 1 Year Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on December 9, 2016
Last Updated on December 9, 2016
Tags: suspense, horror, poet, horror fiction, horror poetry, edgar allan poe, home alone, trapdoor, claustrophobia, gore


Ellis Hastings
Ellis Hastings

Atlanta, GA

I write horror fiction in both novel and short story form. My goal is to write stories eerie enough to stay with you after you finish reading. more..