PROMPT #357 – FEATURED PRESENTATION

Halloween approaches and it conjures up associations with the horror films of Hollywood. There was “Attack of the Killer Tomatos,” “Frankenstein,” “The Exorcist.” Think of anything Hitchcock … “Psycho,” “The Birds,” “Vertigo.” Think of a title to use as the title of your poem and write it. Or make up your own Horror film title and be inspired by it … If you dare!

MARIE’S ATTEMPT:

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN

Don’t like the night things that go bump,
or when bloodcurdling things make me jump.
But I do like to roar,
and since ’74,
I still do when I think of, “what hump?” 

© Marie Elena Good, 2021

WALT’S POEM:

FRANKENBEAN’S MONSTER

Make shift monsters come together nicely,
like grandma’s random recipes // bits of this,
handfuls of that. A brain from the guy down the lane.
Who needs a top hat and cane to dance?
Give a ghoul a whirl and he’ll surely prance.
Sometimes, even agile monsters tend to rip their pants.
They’ll even rip in their pants, if you must know.
And it goes to show, from generation
to regeneration, born-again monsters aren’t too mean
until you give them a belly full of beans.

© Walter J Wojtanik - 2021

148 thoughts on “PROMPT #357 – FEATURED PRESENTATION

  1. TRICK, TREAT, OR RETREAT

    Misshapen ghouls.
    The hobgoblins of old.
    The subtle breeze of leaves.
    Jack O’ Lanterns to be sold.

    Soft preying eyes.
    Predators in disguise.
    Monsters romping anew.
    Cackling crows of dark skies.

    The night feared by most.
    A hooded creepy host.
    The deception of many sweets.
    That time of Trick or Treat.

    A time we welcome ghosts.
    Where the grim reaper boasts.
    Praising death coast to coast.
    That day—we should all retreat.

    Benjamin Thomas

  2. THE HORROR OF MIRRORS

    It is the same.
    Everywhere.
    At every turn.
    To the left.
    To the right.

    Crooked distortions.
    The singe of light,
    from one’s own
    reflection.

    The nightmare,
    of truth.
    Of our eye’s
    own detection.

    True wickedness.
    Absolute horror.
    That offers
    no protection.

    No masks.
    No smiles.
    No mistakes.
    No hidden guises.
    No fakes.

    Fear itself.
    Scare of the ages.
    Everywhere you look—
    You see your own cages.

    The absolute
    horror of horrors.
    When you get a good taste,
    of true perception—
    and see your own face.

    Benjamin Thomas

  3. I am heading off to church, but I wanted to tell Y’all that finished the 1st draft of the third novel in my series yesterday afternoon. I am over the moon…

  4. THE BEINGS OF HALLOWE’EN

    When all hallows desport on their eve,
    it seems each has a trick up its sleeve
    till all saints and all souls
    come, reprising their roles,
    and start sending the ghouls back to grieve.

  5. Love M.E.’s choice. Such a wonderful movie! The presentation of the monster has got to be one of the greatest scenes in film, comedy or not. What hump, indeed.

    Here’s my horror, inspired by that.

    Horrible Soft-Shoe

    It was gym class
    even though we were wearing clothes

    and not the one-piece, snap-on
    horrible gym suits we’d practiced dancing in.

    The two second period classes,
    boys and girls were joined.

    Our teacher, mannish, her hair in a bun,
    and the boy’s Coach played records.

    I had never been touched, and it frightened me.
    I needn’t have worried..

  6. *Inspired by Stephen King’s book – Carrie.

    THE PROM QUEEN

    A little innocent thing.
    Kept to her own world—
    For a time. Until it was time,
    for it to be shattered…
    By the hammers of
    a world of affliction.
    Of cruel misgivings.

    A little innocent thing.
    Made guilty by twisted
    convictions. Her mother
    the judge, jury, executioner.
    Her friends by a trial of fire
    and brimstone. The facade
    of loyalty.

    A little innocent thing.
    Pushed to the breaking point—
    of no return. An explosion
    of hidden secrets, manifested
    bitter power. Unleashed, at the
    last hour.

    In the end.
    The little innocent thing,
    became the prom Queen—
    of dark revenge. Against
    a wicked world who suffered
    a trial—by her fire. Who then became
    the judge, jury, and executioner.

    © Benjamin Thomas

  7. All They Want to Do is Reach Out
    (Inspired by an episode of Dr. Who)

    Apparitions surround me
    crying out
    I want my mommy,
    after a war lost.
    And I’m lost in visions
    as time bends and bends,
    and each time
    the world around me
    is changed.
    (It’s never the same.)
    The chorus of their voices
    haunts me,
    and I retreat.
    Their embodied grief
    cloaked in darkness
    bears their age,
    but they’re still
    children without a home.
    With outstretched arms
    they plead
    they plead,
    but inside I fear
    if they touch me
    I’ll become one of them.
    I shout at them
    Go to your room,
    and save myself-
    I still have
    1,000 lives to live.

  8. MacDONALD AND EDDY HAD IT RIGHT

    I have a great horror of horror
    and thus I am not an explorer
    of films meant to scare,
    but prefer movies where
    a good guy woos a gal to adore her.

  9. House of Wax (1953)

    I was only nine but it was a time before much tv, so we went to movies to relax, but that was before I saw that scary one, that House of Wax. Vincent Price was a professor, but if I’m now to be a true confessor, I admit it was more Charles Bronson frightening me as Igor. My shakes didn’t stop, not even when Frank Lovejoy entered as a cop, and the shivers stayed the same with Dabs Greer as Sgt. Shane, while my heart felt that jerk when Roy Roberts came on as Matthew Burke. You’d think Carolyn Jones as Cathy Gray would alleviate that day, but no way, I say. I can’t lie, nor pretend, I didn’t make it to the end, as out of the theater I ran, still remember it as an old man, and try as a might, there was no sleep for me that night.

  10. One I wrote last year:

    THE BLOB

    The Blob was unearthed
    in the year of my birth.
    It debuted the iconic McQueen.

    Still, I’ve not seen a scene
    on the cinema’s screen.
    (I’ve an awkwardly fragile fright gene.)

    But the theme song is neat –
    it is hip and upbeat.
    For a ‘horror’ble soundtrack, a feat!

    © Marie Elena Good, 2020

  11. Pingback: My Halloween Horror Movie | Experience Writing

  12. Scary Moments I’ll Never Forget

    Her bed raised as she convulsed
    She spewed vulgarities at her mother
    Then her head spun three-sixty and
    Out came the green projectile puke

    The holey hockey mask set the tone
    Bloodstained coveralls added effect
    He killed with whatever he held
    The first was better than the sequels

    A hand of razor sharp knives cut
    Deep into whoever was near him
    The scariest scene was when the woman
    Was pulled through the blue door window

    “Candy Man!! Candy Man!!” Nope!
    Ain’t gonna repeat that three times
    Not even in mocking or being funny
    Ain’t worth the risk of meeting the man

    The house was typically Japanese
    But the spirit inside was hideous
    That low, slow growl was haunting
    And that face! That child! Not again!

    A long, long time ago I gave them all up
    Not worth the shock to the heart
    Or the blood and gore overload and
    Looking back, I don’t miss them at all

    But I will watch an occasional spoof
    Scary laughs are much more enjoyable
    And they never, ever haunt my dreams
    And I like my dreams unhaunted

  13. A tale of ghosts, sort of…

    Jackie and I were partners in crime.
    We rode our bikes, and raced
    The two circles as if we owned them.

    There was an old house
    Which had been habited by an artist.
    I had been up in the tree house,
    And he drew me daydreaming there.
    He moved away, and Jackie and I claimed
    This house as our own…
    Jackie was a dark eyed boy
    With black curls, and a slow smile.
    If he hadn’t moved away
    I am sure I would have loved him.

    I don’t remember the day,
    But we decided to scare the little kids…
    One of which was his brother.
    We plotted our plans
    Sitting at my dining table…
    We each swiped a few sheets
    And fixed them
    To ropes and pullies,
    That we could have them float like ghosts.

    The day arrived, and
    Jackie took his bike,
    And popped a wheelie for my benefit,
    And flew away to bring out the ghosts.
    I told the children
    To stay close to me,
    And as we walked
    I told a tale
    Completely made up…
    Of how the artist had disappeared…
    But no one said anything
    For he had been murdered one night.

    We had to go down this hill, and
    There was Jackie normally browned skin,
    Shouting, “Go back, there is a ghost.”
    I knew what ghosts were…
    I had seen one or two, and what he was describing…
    Didn’t seem like a ghost to me.

    I grabbed his hand, and told the little ones to stay,
    And told Jackie, “You are coming with me.”
    He said, “NO WAY!”
    I gave him the you-have-no-choice look,
    And grumbled all the way to the small house.
    There was the ghost wearing Ma’s sheet,
    And I knew those shoes anywhere.
    “Ma,” I cried, “What are you doing here?”
    She laughed as she threw off the sheet…
    “I thought I would teach you a lesson.”

    She did teach me a lesson,
    But not the one she had hoped.
    I learned never to discuss
    Any devious plans in her presence.
    It is how I was able a decade later
    Break her only rule
    With her knowing what I was planning.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    October 24, 2021

  14. My first Halloween sort of….

    I was five years old.
    Joe was thirteen years old.
    Ma wanted him to take me
    Out to trick or treat…
    He didn’t want me to do it.

    A girl down the street
    Was sweet on him, and
    Offered to take me…
    Hoping Joe would go with us.
    Joe wasn’t interested.

    Ma cut up an old sheet,
    For me to be a ghost…
    Joe told me that he would go,
    If he could take me
    Down by the railway tracks.

    I asked him why…
    He made sure Ma wasn’t listening.
    He leaned over and whispered,
    “So, the gypsies would take you.”
    He told the girl he would go with us.

    As Halloween drew closer,
    My brother Joe would whisper,
    They will pierce your ears,
    And make you dance around the fire,
    And then they will eat you.

    I asked Ma if the gypsies ate children.
    “Where do you get such nonsense?”
    I didn’t tell it was Joe,
    And I told him that wasn’t true,
    But he said they still will take you.

    I asked Ma if the gypsies took children.
    She shook her head, and said,
    “Who fills your head with such nonsense?”
    I never told on Joe,
    Because he was my big brother…

    But I told him they didn’t take children,
    And then he told me…
    They don’t take any boy children…
    Just little girls,
    What do you think happened to our sisters?

    I was five and there was eight years
    Between me and my brother…
    He just might have been right
    Because I heard Ma say there were two girls
    That she once loved, and they didn’t live with us.

    I didn’t know Ma and Da had wanted to adopted
    Two little girls but because they had brown eyes,
    And all of us had blue, the people said they couldn’t.
    I went to Gary and asked about the gypsies,
    But he said seriously that he had heard it was true.

    Halloween came, and the girl was dressed as a princess,
    And Ma put on my ghost costume,
    And Joe said he was going with us,
    The girl was smiling and
    I started screaming…

    “I am not going.
    I am not going to let the gypsies take me.”
    Ma looked hard at Joe,
    “What did you tell her?”
    He was grinning like the cat that misdirected Alice.

    I tore off the sheet,
    And ran down the hall,
    And hid under the bed
    Refusing to come out,
    But I got the last laugh.

    Ma made Joe go trick or treating,
    And when he came home…
    She took some of the candy…
    And put it up for me,
    And the next year Halloween wasn’t mentioned.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    October 24, 2021

  15. Shower Madness

    Something odd about this motel,
    it smells like mothballs and pine scent.
    A shower may help to dispel
    something odd about this motel.
    The caretaker does not seem well.
    Oh no! A shadow slips ‘cross vent.
    Something odd about this motel,
    it smells like mothballs and pine scent.

  16. Pingback: The Screaming Skull – eastelmhurst.a.go.go

  17. SCREAM

    Hello?
    Who is this?
    What’s your favorite scary
    movie?

    A hooded fiend.
    Addicted to the sight,
    and spill, of blood.

    A masked fiend.
    Addicted to the screams
    of youth, and fear it seems.

    Hello?
    A wicked call—
    A fatal game of cat
    and mouse chase.

    Who is this?
    A hunting fiend.
    And not a friend. Determined
    to bring the end of things.

    What’s your favorite
    scary movie? He says,
    the uninvited, ruthless
    villain.

    He hungers, then feeds,
    on the array of screams;
    the sweet fear as food
    indeed.

    Benjamin Thomas

  18. A DINNER TO DIE FOR

    Was it the attack of the killer tomatoes?
    Or was it the horrors of chicken Alfredo?
    The haunted house of cold refried beans?
    Liver and onions, with looseleaf collard greens?
    Homemade spiced cider, a dash of ground spider?
    Pumpkin head soup, and candy corn soufflé?
    The server is Michael Myers in his new toupee?
    It’s a date! Come on Friday the thirteenth?
    Freddie Cougar is hosting, so don’t be late!
    Hannibal has the head count—for every costly
    plate. Little Chucky will be there. He wants to play
    too. Carrie, Candyman, Jason, IT, and some friends
    that are new.

    Benjamin Thomas

  19. JAWS

    Life is just a slippery fish.
    It stinks—but we always fall for it.
    Hook, line, and sinker.

    Sometimes we think have it,
    try to reel it in—but it’s stronger
    than we think.

    Its got a lot of wiggle room,
    Its got a big fin.

    Sometimes life is cruel,
    like a shark. With plentiful,
    merciless, dark jagged teeth.

    Biting, shaking,
    gripping by the jaws,
    dragging you deep
    underneath.

    Benjamin Thomas

  20. HAUNTED MEMORIES

    Haunted memories of the past
    swirl into the present day.

    They vault forward from the days
    of old into the forefront of the mind.

    A tiptoeing shell of the former reality
    around the curb of consciousness.

    As real and ethereal as fleeting mist,
    they disappear on arrival.

    Like elusive, acrobatic bugs with a mind
    of their own—

    they come and go as they please,
    agile and fragile as insects.

    Sometimes they come in peace, so they say,
    or to sink their teeth—

    into your peace of mind.

    Benjamin Thomas

  21. The Ghosts…

    The ghosts they roam my house…
    They like to hide and move things.
    They dance and ignore the mouse
    The ghosts they roam my house…
    They think this is their guesthouse,
    And hide in drawers my earring.
    The ghosts they roam my house…
    They like to hide and move things.

    The ghosts steal things they like
    There are some things they can keep.
    I never know when they might strike.
    The ghosts steal things they like
    This I do dislike
    Sometimes I even weep.
    The ghosts steal things they like
    There are some things they can keep.

    The ghosts come at odd times
    And I hear a whisper of my name,
    But usually, they do their crimes.
    The ghosts come at odd times,
    But just before bedtimes
    They linger remembering my birthname.
    The ghosts come at odd times
    And I hear a whisper of my name.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    October 26, 2021

  22. After Ma died,

    I thought I was alone in my home
    Until one day, the salt and then the pepper
    Went flying off the stove
    To land softly on the floor.
    I had given some of her things away,
    And she was not happy.

    I went to put on my tiny black earrings.
    They were gone, and could not find them.
    Months went by and there they were
    In a drawer in her bedroom.
    I was getting rid of her things,
    And salt and pepper flew by me
    As I cooked my supper that night.

    I laid my glasses in front in front of the monitor
    As I worked on my computer, and
    I got up and they were gone.
    I said, “I need to go buy cat food
    For the Inheritance you left me.”
    I sat down to write,
    And I heard a ping, and
    On my printer my glasses lay.
    I said, “Thank you,”
    And went to buy cat food.

    Cleaning the book case one shelf at a time,
    I left the delicate moose until last.
    A statue of a moose in Christmas lights
    I gave to Ma from the animals…
    I got to that shelf, and the moose was gone.
    A week later my keys disappeared
    From the bowl in the kitchen,
    And in frustration I cried,
    “You can keep the moose,
    My toothbrush and my cutting board-
    Just give me back the keys.”
    I saw a flash of light and there were my keys
    Glowing on the end table.”
    I thanked the ghost, and the moose is still gone.

    I did get the blue and white cat vase back
    After two years of looking…
    And I dropped an earring in the rain one night
    But it was found in the yard of my house…
    Unharmed, and glowing a fourth mile
    From where I dropped it.
    Clothes the ghost doesn’t like
    Disappears as does certain music.

    I have stopped getting up
    When I hear them talking
    In muffled voices…
    I never see them, but
    One night when my heart was broken,
    And I was crying as my heart cracked…
    I felt my cover being tucked around me…
    Much like when I was a child.

    I live with ghosts…
    They never harm me.
    And as time goes by
    They come less and less,
    But sometimes before
    I go to sleep I say,
    “Good night…”
    To those no longer there.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    October 26, 2021

  23. Let me tell you my story…

    I am a banshee listener…
    You don’t become one…
    You are born one.
    My mother was one…

    The banshee screams
    Out the deaths
    But not everyone hears them…
    I am one who does.

    I was barely three
    When I saw the first soul leaving…
    I can still see the person
    Laying in a bed…
    Around her was shimmering light…
    Light from another place…
    My Grannie pushed me towards her…
    And as her hand touched my face
    I screamed…
    My Grannie shook me hard.
    One day she would shake me harder…
    She told me not to tell my mother
    Where she had taken me.
    I never did, and do not know till this day.

    I told my mother before he died
    The death of her father.
    Four hours later she learned his fate,
    And said, “Child, don’t say a word.
    They will think you are strange.”
    She was right they do.

    I have been called possessed,
    And weird and all sorts of things.
    I have been laughed at sometimes nervously.
    Friends tell me not to tell them
    If I see they are going
    For they don’t want to know.
    Those who trust science
    Make light of what I know
    Saying science can’t prove it,
    But science can’t prove all things…
    It can’t prove God exists,
    But I know he does,
    And I know He gave to me
    This gift because I am strong.

    It takes a strong person
    To love when you know
    The time of their dying…
    You see in a dream
    Before a nephew was born
    I dreamed him three weeks
    Before he was twelve
    Standing watching my father
    Leave in a black limousine.
    Twelve years I carried that dream
    Tucked away in my heart…
    And my father died three weeks
    Before that boy was twelve.
    As I watched that calendar date
    Draw nearer, my heart broke
    Into fragments, and scattered to the wind,
    It would take time to find
    All the pieces so I could be strong again.

    The black limousine I saw one day
    As I walking though it was not really there…
    Told me it would leave one day
    With my mother, and it did…

    And sometimes when I see a person’s eyes
    I can see into their souls…
    Most are good, but evil does exist…
    For I have seen into its eyes.

    I am a banshee listener…
    I hear their cries
    As they call out that someone’s dying.
    I used to warn those,
    But I no longer do it…
    For it does no use…
    But if it comes time for you to pass,
    And you need someone to help you…
    Ask me and I will help you leave this life…
    It is what I do.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    October 26, 2021

  24. The little girl’s worries…

    She was nearly five…
    And bright as they come…
    She had told me I had white hair,
    And laughed with me
    When I told her I was white.

    This day as I was leaving,
    She tugged on my dress.
    “Miss Todd be careful.”
    I squatted down to her level.
    “Why are you worried?”
    She hugged my neck, and
    Whispered,
    “I have seen those scary movies,
    And bad things happen
    To white people.
    I don’t want you to get hurt.”
    I told her I would be careful.
    She said, “Promise.”
    “I promise.”
    She kissed my cheek,
    And I left being blessed
    More than I ever blessed her life.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    October 26, 2021

  25. Pulse
    There is a single hand
    moving in one direction
    around and around pointing
    toward numbers that never change

    cutting through the silence
    of the room where she sits
    working her needle in out
    bound by tangled threads

    she is trapped
    in the space between
    air split in two by the hand
    the immutable sound

    almost too soft to hear
    but there there always there
    and she can’t get away
    from the little man

    with his flowers and pushcart
    his yellow umbrella barely
    sheltering his curling mustache
    his blue eyes always watching

    fifty years of it and still
    she listens to be sure he is
    alive and takes her own pulse
    to the beat the tick the tock.

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