dVerse — Haibun Monday — Samhain’s Repast

May be a black-and-white image of tree

How the cold creeps as the fire dies at length,
–from, “Storm Fear” by Robert Frost

The fire roared as we raised our glasses and toasted to delicious food and good company at this, our first Samhain gathering in two years. As all had been vaccinated and the room was of fair size, no masks were needed against plague. We were each free to enjoy each others’ smiles, a priceless gift. By the end of the evening, it was not just heavy coats, hats, scarves, and gloves that warmed the travelers as they set out upon their journeys home through the frosted moonless night.

I stoked the fire, then curled up with the cats and a blanket on the couch and nodded off into a dreamless sleep. Awakened by a loud scratching at the window that somehow didn’t wake the cats, I noticed the embers of the fire were almost out. Cold iced my nose as I pushed the blanket aside and went to the window. Opening the blinds I was gripped when white instead of night, with veins as black as death, greeted my sight – veins scratching across the window.

Spirits still hungry
gather and wait until fire
dies to eat dessert.

Image:  Tomioka Soichiro – Trees (oil on canvas) 1961,

I actually love this image and think it’s beautiful, but I enlisted it for a dark purpose today.

Frank J. Tassone is today’s host of dVerse’ Haibun Monday. Frank says:
…Small wonder, then, that the Celts believed this time of year to be the one where the veil between living and dead was at its thinnest. Samhain, their celebration of the new year, was one where they placated their departed with feasts in halls that remained locked until dawn…

Write a haibun that alludes to fear.

40 Comments Add yours

  1. To wake up to such a sound is chilling… I would be terrified

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Bjorn, before I got the tree trimmed in the back yard, I was hearing it all too often. Now if I were to hear it, I’d be quaking in my boots!

      Like

  2. Ain Starlingsson says:

    Enjoyed the narrative with very visual description…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Ain, glad you enjoyed it.

      Like

      1. Le Druide says:

        Yes very much!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Heart stopping! I’m still trembling!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you so much, Frank!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    When alone, real and imagined terrors trump intellect. Too often there are no witnesses to what happens. Like my close encounter with a UFO, driving alone on the CA desert. The get-together sounded grand, if it happened or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glenn, you are so right about the being alone and what may be conjured at those times. Also the no witnesses. There are a couple of things that still defy even my own belief they were real. I would love to hear about your UFO experience (please!) The get-together is a fond wish that I hope one day will come true. Thank you for reading and your comment.

      Like

  5. Masa says:

    Deliciously done. Excellent work with the juxtaposition of warmth and safety with the sudden terror of the unknown world. The haiku was simply the icing on the cake, here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much, Masa, much appreciated 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ghostmmnc says:

    Oooh loved the ending, and the photo is just right for this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Barbara, thank you! I saw that image on facebook and when the prompt came up I thought, let me put this to use 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. calmkate says:

    masterfully written Lisa, freaky end to a friendly cozy evening …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Kate, thanks much. She thought she was warm and safe, but alas, ’twas not to be…

      Like

      1. calmkate says:

        story of our lives, eh 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. K.Hartless says:

    Somehow loneliness is all the more terrifying following a. Gathering that is warm , as you described. Super chilling. I’d love to read more haunted tales by you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      You’ve assessed it just right with the loneliness. Thank you for reading and you can probably find more scary ones by me under the horror tag in my index. Tapping into darkness is easy at this time of year…

      Like

  9. Dora says:

    Lisa,
    The image of opening the blinds and seeing what you least expect is too haunting for words, except your words, which haunt. *shiver*
    pax,
    dora

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dora, thank you. I just finished reading yours and am also haunted by what you wrote. It feels too close for comfort.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. “white instead of night”
    That’s a great line.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. memadtwo says:

    I agree, that image is wonderful. I’ve had a few terrifying awakenings myself, alone in the cold dark night. Everything is magnified. You capture that feeling well. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, K.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. robtkistner says:

    This was super Lisa. Festive and frightening! The art you chose was exceptional. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Rob, so glad you enjoyed the image and poem, thank you 🙂

      Like

  13. rothpoetry says:

    A chilling haibun Lisa. Reminiscent of Poe’s knock knock knocking at my chamber door! Well done. I too love the picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Dwight, and I can see what you mean now that you mention it. Something that wants to get in…

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Sadje says:

    Awesome story telling Li. Captured real fear here.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome my friend

        Liked by 1 person

  15. A chilling little story, if lovely image. Love the haiku!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Yvonne 🙂

      Like

  16. Helen Dehner says:

    Beginning with the image … thru the haibun …. I was transfixed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you were held by the story, Helen. Thank you.

      Like

  17. That was chilling, Li!

    Liked by 1 person

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