Insomnia Part 3: Ghosts

March 4, 2013
By J.E.F. GOLD, Acton, Massachusetts
J.E.F. GOLD, Acton, Massachusetts
14 articles 0 photos 2 comments

This was a place we were familiar with
This was a time we knew.
Each day she snuck away to join me
To talk, to walk,
Just to get away,
And have a little fun.

One day she decided to leave.
Taking an entire month out of her life,
She opened a portal
We jumped through together
Not knowing what to expect
But knowing it didn’t matter.
It was new and exciting,
And that made it worth it.

We were at a place, quiet but lively,
Untouched by humans or wizards.
Beautiful, green prairies stretched far in front of us
An emerald forest cut across the land
Songs of birds and animals inviting us like a fanfare
So we joined them and entered the forest,
Our heads turned up to the light
Shining through the trees,
Our feet kicked off our shoes and
Felt the ground like never before.
Running in the dirt and moss,
We never felt so free

Coming out of the other side, we found a pond,
A pool of glistening crystal water
We found so irresistible.
No time to strip, we decided,
And jumped in together.
We flew through the air and splashed into the endless ocean,

Or at least that’s what it felt like

At that moment

We were alive, we were dead.

We couldn’t care less.
We were free. And that was all that mattered.

Soon we were out of the water.
She dried us with a little magic
I warned her not to use so much,
But she laughed it off, saying,
“It only cost an hour!”

Something startled her
Like she saw something moving
That she couldn’t exactly see.
Now she moved with purpose,
Over the hill and to a little village we found there.

It was a dead town.

Food rotted on tables
Bath water was left to go cold
Carts lay abandoned
Pencils still on the paper;
Only the beds were well-made
As if no one had the chance to make it that far

A ghost town.

Being curious, we had to ask
Why, why, why?
Until we found ourselves pursued
By a dark creature with glowing eyes.
Perhaps Curiosity does kill cats.

What a cruel thing it must be.

The monster almost got me,
I felt its teeth lingering on my flesh
Before she took a day out of her life
And with a fearsome wind,
Blew back the beast.
“Touch him again and I’ll roast you!”

She was always boastful like that.

“Help us,” it whimpered
Like a lost kitten, it crumpled and begged.
I didn’t understand,
But maybe she did;
When she touched its shadowy head
And threw back the veil that covered its face,
She revealed a head caught in transition,
Flickering between different faces.

When it spoke, it spoke with all their voices,
“We are trapped in this body by the darkness.
You can wield magic.
You can help us.”

The monster stopped changing on a man’s face,
Grim. Or was it stern?
Because it certainly wasn’t guilt.

He told their story:
“Our village faced a ruling family like none other.
Came to us at night and raped our women; how
Could we let it go on?
I stabbed the patriarch,
Yet he haunted us in death,
Cursed me into awareness I could not fight.
My body could not rest
It refused to sleep.
But the mind tired just the same
Until it finally succumbed to the inevitable sleep,
And left my body to be consumed.

“One touch and you were infected
With this terrible curse.
One day we all fell to sleep,
But the darkness never rested;
It took us into its prison
And trapped us in this monster,
Unable to eat, unable to sleep.

And we must feed…

“Help us.”

Having a heart,
She released the souls and
Gone was the darkness.
She paid two years
But she did it anyway
Because, well,
She’s only human after all,

With a heart and all that follows.

We left them and returned to our village.
The ghosts no longer
Had a body to return to, but
They dotted the skies like stars.
And we waved to them
Thinking, perhaps,
They’ll give us a little twinkle, a little thanks

Like we (finally) did something right.

The author's comments:
Part 3 of Insomnia: an Epic in Parts

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!