You turn your head, is something there?
Nothing but your imagination,
the rational asserts robustly,
and the unsettlement caused by the lateness of the hour
the creaking of the roof
a fragrance borne upon the drafts of cold air seeping through the chinks
the places no longer blocked by the stiffening of your neck
Enter the dreaded
while your mind trips over itself to win the race
smooth your muscles locked into ironwood
calm screaming nerves as denial pours patronizing honey to slow its grappling hooks flung at your skin
The dreaded is with you
and very hungry…
as cold tears trail down your spine
maybe if you don’t look
if you appear placid and unconcerned
if you can uncurl your white knuckles
unclench your abdomen
maybe it will go
it never will
because it has never really left you.
Perhaps the dreaded has been invited…
it is home.
*artwork by Lente Scura*