A late night in October

Chilly hands

close to purple,

arms wrapped tight around my chest

like ribbon on a birthday gift,

pillow case gripped tight in my fist

the fist that I can barely move

as the wind flits past my shoulders,

my face.

I may be in a random neighborhood

in the dark

with nothing more

than a plastic sword to protect me 

but I feel most comfortable on this night.

The air is cool

not cold.

There are dewdrops on the ground

not snow. 

'We still have another street'

oh, I know.

My ice cubes of hands may be close to 

giving in to gravity

and dropping to the ground

as the rest of me stands still,

but I will not stop

until I get candy,

at least one piece,

from every 




'You're home!'






so so happy,

but home.

My mother fills a ceramic mug

that I painted in second grade

with hot apple cider,

exhaling steam.

A touch of cinnamon. 

My heart glows.

We empty our pillowcases

on the red and brown

living room rug. 

The trees outside bristle

with anticipation. 

And the count begins.

123, 124, 125. 

'I'm gonna beat you'

178, 179, 180.

'No, you won't'

203, 204, 205. 

'I got 205'. 

'I got 307!' My sister sneers.

I groan

but I don't really mean it.

My tongue sizzles as I 

swallow a sliver of cider. 

The trees outside calm,

preparing to sleep.

I look at my pile,

weak next to the monster beside it.

I smile as I throw a sweater over my unkempt hair. 

That wasn't the point anyway. 

Posted in response to the challenge Fall: Writing.

Scarry Night


16 years old

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