Black Petals Issue #92, Summer, 2020

The Thing in the Woods

BP Artist's Page
Mars-Chris Friend
Misty Page-A Game of Chess
Sean M. Carey-Chilled Bones Under Lovely Skin
Roy Dorman-Death in the Round Room, Part IV
Lael Braday-Magical Perspective
Matt Spangler-Master Smasher
Lena Abou-Khalil-The Nowhere Man
Grace Sielinski-'Port
Gavin McGarvey-The Black Petals
Marc Dickerson-Theater is Dead
C. S. Harbold-The Whispering
Dean Patrick-Vincent's Warning
Doug Park-We Get Him Together
Joseph Hurtgen-Worlds to Conquer
Mickie Bolling-Burke-The Bringer of Darkness
Aaron Hicks-The Last Days
Cindy Rosmus-Out of Juice
Matthew Wilson-Endless Men's Hate
Michael Steven-Hell Rift
Sean Goulding-Hypnagogic
David C. Kopaska-Merkel-In the Land of Giants
Loris John Fazio-The Thing in the Woods
Loris John Fazio-The Beggar Knows
Richard Stevenson-Peg Leg
Richard Stevenson-The Alkali Lake Monster
Richard Stevenson-The Green Man

The Thing in the Woods

by Loris John Fazio



A thing that eats children

roams free in those woods;

you and I better not go.

It sneaks out like an eel

and it grabs at your heel —

trust me, my gran told me so.


Caroline Dumphrey went in there last year,

along with her five-year-old sister.

They told her to stay safe and never go near...

if only she'd listened, oh the poor dear!

They searched for the girls

for two nights and three days;

on the third day Carol was found;

as white as a sheet,

with shaky hands and bare feet,

since then she has not uttered a sound.

And Carol was the lucky one,

although she did go mute:

her sister, poor lamb, left no trace;

the thing, my friend, is astute.


And what of little Michael, then?

Nearby he used to play:

and hide and seek was the game he played

on that cold and foggy day.

But when the fog's so thick, my friend,

nobody on Earth can see

how deep they've gone into the woods,

not you or him or me.

And once you've ventured out too far

your way back you might not find;

or else, you might come face to face

with things that hate mankind;

things that live in nightmares

and to shadows are confined;

things that stalk you in the dark

and small bones like to grind;

things that cause the madman's shrieks,

that shock and twist the mind;

things that wait to prey on the weak,

the ones that drop behind.


God only knows what Michael saw

among those scheming trees,

but his friend told me what he found

when the fog ran away with the breeze;

and when he realized what it was,

his bladder unloaded with fear:

a pinkish thing on a blood-soaked scarf,

poor Michael's severed ear.

And then, of course, bits and pieces of gut

on grass and moss splayed out;

the stench still lingers to this day

in that fiendish place, no doubt.


So please don't flip that coin, my friend,

for my mind I've well made up:

I wish to see my gran again

and with my parents sup.

But there's a fire in your eyes

like a thousand burning skies;

to you it's all a game,

you tremble not at Satan's name.

You will answer twilight's call,

siren of many a downfall.

Please, my friend, oh please don't go!

Why must you torment me so?

But off you go and here I stay;

and for your soul tonight I pray.

Loris John Fazio is a young man with a passion for poetry living in Catania, on the sunny Italian island of Sicily. He has felt a fascination for the horror genre ever since reading Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Terror at age twelve. He holds a BA in Philosophy and has published haiku in various journals such as Frogpond, The Heron’s Nest and Better Than Starbucks.

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