by Hugh A Tague
My breath quickens
my palms wet with sweat
my heart is pounding
nearly bursting through my shirt.
Once vibrant Victorian dental work
hanging from the porch roof’s eve
beckons to a brighter time
when all my family and friends
were warmly welcome inside.
The spirits of horse and riders passed
stand vigil near the mounting blocks
forewarn me of impending despair.
The weather-worn lapboard
moaned when I tread upon it
as a gentle breeze
brings a tree’s limb to life
tapping against the railing.
With a demonic snicker
from an old wooden chair
immediately next to the door
sat a spirit whose likeness
resembled my great grandfather.
Now only inches from the door
the cedar shake shingles begin to quiver
chattering like every nerve in my body
the tree now angrily beating
the porch railing.
The floor under my shaking foot
feels as if it giving way beneath me.
My breathing labored
my whole body trembling
I reach for the door.
The specter with eyes wide
stands up next to me
his mouth opens and a shrill scream
fills my pounding head.
Unable to stand another second
everything fades to black
I collapse in the threshold.
Unable to control the domatophobia
the demon domicile once again defeats me.