Don’t forget the contest while I’m gone. Today, I’m on the road with T. Lee Harris and Carol Preflatish, on our way to Magna cum Murder mystery convention! Wheeee! I’ll try to keep up with posting over the weekend, but I plan to be spending a lot of time enjoying myself, so don’t hold yer bref.

I’ll be back some time Sunday. Meanwhile, here is a spooky poem that appeared in, among other places, the Southern Indiana Writers’ 1995 anthology, GHOST WRITERS.

copyright 1978 by Marian (Lois Turner) Allen

“Was such a night as this,” he said,
“When cold winds gust and blow
Through the icy rain
That we found Nell Blaine
With her throat cut in the snow.

“Her long fair hair was ravaged down;
Her green eyes, open wide.
And the long slim knife
That took her life
Was lying by her side.”

The old man stopped and took a drink.
“They still don’t know today
The name of the cur
Who murdered her
And then went on his way.”

The sky was smudged with dawn’s damp gray
When I went to my room.
Each dream I’d dream
Ended in a scream
And the smell of sweet perfume.

I had my lunch alone next day;
My strange old friend had gone.
I asked where to
And was told, “Right through
Those woods and three miles on.”

“He left his pipe last night,” I said,
“I think I’ll take it back.”
“Well, if you do,
Just don’t go through
Along the forest track.

“It takes a while to go around,
But do it — I’ll explain:
You go through there,
Be it foul or fair,
And you’re gonna see Nell Blaine.

“Nell Blaine’s been dead for thirty years
And in the churchyard lies.
But she’s bleeding yet
On that patch of wet
With the death-look in her eyes.”

I didn’t laugh as I walked along
With the sun upon my back.
But I smiled a bit
When the roadway split
And I took the forest track.

When I could almost see the fields,
And hadn’t far to go,
Just ahead of me
By a leafless tree
Spread a patch of shining snow.

It was ten feet long and five feet wide
And the sunlight on it gleamed
And I stared in fright
For, towards the right,
A splash of crimson steamed.

I hurried past, but I looked behind —
At a woman, not a stain!
She’d a marble face
And her throat wore lace
And I knew it was Nell Blaine.

I walked as quickly as I could
Till the by-pass joined the track.
I looked again.
There stood Nell Blaine
About ten paces back.

I saw the village just ahead —
I stepped inside its bound —
I felt relieved,
Like a man reprieved.
And then I looked around.

Her long fair hair was ravaged down;
Her long skirt, wet with snow.
And around the lace
Of her throat, a trace
Of red began to show.

A dozen people turned and stared
At my attempt to flee
And my paling face
And my quick’ning pace,
But her they could not see.

So on, in nightmarish parade,
We passed back out of town,
And that crimson trace
Had soaked the lace
And dripped onto her gown.

I reached the cottage of my friend.
I found him in the back.
“Your pipe,” I said.
He raised his head.
“You took the forest track.”

Nell’s eyes were green as new spring leaves
But glowed with other life.
And a hand she pressed
To the old man’s breast
As she said to him, “Your knife.”

WRITING PROMPT: What is your main character doing for All Hallows E’en?



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “ROAD TRIP

  1. Leslie R. Lee

    October 29, 2010 at 10:04am

    Really great poem and story! Like it a lot.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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