?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
07 October 2019 @ 04:57 pm
LJ Idol Season 11: "The Forgotten Promise"  
The Forgotten Promise
idol season 11 | week two | 430 words
Living rent-free in your head

x-x-x-x-x

In the woods behind the house
(the secret woods, the ones you always forget),
there are mysteries beneath the branches,
under stones, around the corners,
unseen treasures just waiting to be found.

You move mouse-quiet, feet too soft to make a sound.

The path snakes its way to the edge of a shadowed lake,
where whispers below the water call your name
(you must pretend you cannot hear them).
The air is wrong here, dank and heavy,
the pall of a graveyard in the night.

(You creep back in silence, too cautious for full flight).

The trail ahead grows clearer, green leaves stirring
in the barest hint of wind. You listen.
The trees sigh. Snapping twigs and distant rustling
prick your ears (your skin), then quickly fade.
They only betrayed what you already knew:

In its hidden heart, the forest listens too.

You steal toward the glade, stepping carefully
over the uncertain ground ahead. Searching
left then right, you see only the forest itself.
But an alluring scent seeps out from the gloom,
its odor woodsy and green and somehow true.

You track it to the murky depths, a choice you may yet rue.

Peering through the foggy mists, you glimpse—
yes, there—a glint of light. It draws you near.
Breath held in tight, you stretch your arm out
toward the branch that blocks the view. So close now,
you can almost touch it, almost reach, but then—

Those teeth, oh god, those teeth! What have you found?

It growls and turns, but you are already running
fast and hard, down the path and through the bushes
with no clear thoughts but Away, away, away!
You didn't quite see—but it was big, you are certain—
and if you are caught, you will not survive.

This is all that matters now, this fight to stay alive.

You leap and crash through the underbrush,
leaves and cobwebs snagging on your face,
and witch-like moss fingers pulling at your hair.
The woods are darker now, so dark you cannot see.
How can you escape, can you even find your way?

The monster will not forget you. You are its only prey.

Breath raging and lungs aching, still you run.
Your heart pounds, a frantic bird inside your chest.
You hear it coming, the beast there behind you,
gaining fast and much too close, oh god, so close.
Your legs are tired and slow, the beast is at your neck—

You are not the first to have this dream,
nor the only, nor the last.
You never remember just exactly how it ends…

--//--

If you enjoyed this story, you can vote for it along with many other fine entries here.

 
 
 
Elizabeth: catch itwatching_ships on October 8th, 2019 12:14 am (UTC)
Oooh, I love this.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 8th, 2019 12:59 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I have had this dream, and its near cousins, SO many times. I thought about just writing the unending 'running from mystery-monster' nightmare, but I wanted to include the more intriguing 'forgotten secret places' repeating dream, too. I am really familiar with both of them. :O

So glad you enjoyed this!


heather chick: bella_solkittenboo on October 8th, 2019 01:43 am (UTC)
I really like this!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 9th, 2019 11:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
bleodsweanbleodswean on October 8th, 2019 03:50 pm (UTC)
I love your last stanza because YES! Why are some dreams so formulaicly similar??? A poem from you is FUN, K!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 9th, 2019 11:47 pm (UTC)
I think many of what we think of as recurring dreams, apart from the ones about flying, are anxiety dreams. And they ARE really similar. I have several about unpreparedness or loneliness that tend to show up around certain themes like the radio station, or college. That's a context my brain understands.

The ones where I'm biking around miles and miles of weird terrain (such as, building are in the middle of my biking route, and now I have to navigate around a pool or up a ladder or through the art room (!))... I have no explanation for what that's all about.

I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. I like to stretch a little early in the season. :)
favoritebeanfavoritebean on October 8th, 2019 04:26 pm (UTC)
Delightfully creepy! I often wonder if my cats appear as monsters to the flies and lizards they chase.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 10th, 2019 12:04 am (UTC)
I'm sure they do-- and possibly an unknown monster. For the lizards, they may only get one chance to wonder what the heck that monster is. :O

Our new kitty actually caught a fly he was chasing about a month ago. We were amazed-- especially because he may be blind in one eye. :O
Kristenpixiebelle on October 9th, 2019 03:01 am (UTC)
I liked that you wrote it in second person. It worked well for this, and really made me feel it. Well done!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 10th, 2019 12:05 am (UTC)
I'm glad you liked the second person choice. It seemed fitting, given that this is the kind of dream most of us have had, possibly many times over. :O
Vice Captain of the Universesweeny_todd on October 9th, 2019 11:51 am (UTC)
there is something so unsettling about this experience. I haven't had this sort of dream in a while, but damn this makes me remember
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 10th, 2019 12:07 am (UTC)
Doesn't it, though? It seems odd that we all have dreams that are similar enough to this that we recognize it, but I suspect that's the same with most anxiety dreams. This one often includes the "Legs...won't...move...So...slow..." component that I really hate. ;)
marlawentmadmarlawentmad on October 9th, 2019 06:22 pm (UTC)

Rendered expertly! Dreamscape is such a scary place, and you captured that desperation.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 10th, 2019 12:07 am (UTC)
Thank you very much!
rayasorayaso on October 9th, 2019 09:08 pm (UTC)
This was so wonderful! I loved the imagery as well as the rhythm and rhyme scheme. Writing with those criteria can be hard, but it can also take a poem into unexpected directions. You portrayed a frightening dreamscape and I loved the last stanza. You did a great job leaving the end of the nightmare unremembered. Escape or a brutal death by some unnamed beast?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 15th, 2019 11:19 pm (UTC)
For most of my nightmares, I either wake up at the worst point, or the "me" in the dream dies and I become another character in the dream. So, it's hard to objectively remember what happened!
A Karmic Sandbox: Candid Teasekarmasoup on October 9th, 2019 10:49 pm (UTC)
GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!

(Also, FABULOUS!!! - Just in time for Halloween! ;-)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 15th, 2019 11:20 pm (UTC)
Hee hee! So, this is a familiar dream pattern to you too, then? :D
(no subject) - karmasoup on October 15th, 2019 11:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
m_malcontentm_malcontent on October 10th, 2019 03:07 pm (UTC)
Love the pure style of this. Another excellent entry.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 15th, 2019 11:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!
adoptedwriter: pic#129069435adoptedwriter on October 10th, 2019 03:20 pm (UTC)
So vivid! Well done!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 15th, 2019 11:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I was hoping the descriptions would make it feel real, and also possibly recall dreams readers have had that are similar. Because this one seems to have pretty broad commonality. :O
🐶d0gs on October 10th, 2019 04:36 pm (UTC)
This is so beautiful and feels so dream like! LOVE!!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 15th, 2019 11:22 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thank you!
cindy: misc fictsuki_no_bara on October 10th, 2019 05:40 pm (UTC)
well this was creepy! the atmosphere is fabulous and i really like the unobtrusive rhyming, and just when i was wondering how it was going to end... it was a nightmare. but very believable as an actual physical experience.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 15th, 2019 11:23 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I'm glad you liked the atmosphere and even the rhyming (which I so rarely do).

Like most nightmares, it all feels real while it's happening to you in the dream, which makes it all the scarier!
alycewilsonalycewilson on October 10th, 2019 10:18 pm (UTC)
Creepy! I am lucky to not have had too many running from a monster dreams.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 15th, 2019 11:23 pm (UTC)
You ARE lucky! I have them often enough that I think I've hit my lifetime target on them already. ;)
(no subject) - alycewilson on October 15th, 2019 11:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on October 16th, 2019 01:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
dmousey: floormousedmousey on October 11th, 2019 06:35 pm (UTC)
This read was deliciously satisfying, in oh so many ways! 🐁✌🎃🔥🌻
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 15th, 2019 11:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you thought so. ♥