Halloween sunset and moonbeams filter
through six feet of earth and rotted pine.
My face warms,
my eyes open,
my arms uncross.
My first breath bites, my shriveled heart screams awake
congealed blood thins and flows.
Flesh grows supple.
Skin knits itself together.
Upward, the moon and the season call me upward.
Clawing and scrabbling, I know the way.
Standing on the crumbling coffin
I thrust one hand toward the sky.
Halloween’s flavors fill the breeze.
The wind and the night feed me.
Stronger, I grow stronger.
I pull myself from my grave
A tatterdemalion clothed in rags
not fit to be seen or scented,
I step over my fallen stone,
My name long taken by time
And I hunt.
One short night to hunt.
A descendant’s blood will make me whole
But any blood grants me another year.
No time to waste, I take the first I see,
a harlequin, a knight, or costumed clown, .
Not one of mine, but I take its blood and stagger home.
The night’s as still as death.
I rebury myself at moonset.
I close my eyes and cross my arms.
Next year. Maybe next year.
One last breath and I wait for the Halloween moon.
I’ll sleep ‘til then.
Robert Allen Lupton is retired and lives in New Mexico where he was a commercial hot air balloon pilot. Robert runs and writes every day, but not necessarily in that order. Over 200 of his short stories have been published in various anthologies, magazines, and online magazines. He has three novels in print, Foxborn, and the sequel, Dragonborn. His third novel, Dejanna of the Double Star was published in the fall of 2019 as was his edited anthology, Feral, It Takes a Forest. He co-edited the Three Cousins Anthology, Are You A Robot? in 2022. He has six short story collections, Running Into Trouble, Through A Wine Glass Darkly, Strong Spirits, Hello Darkness, Visons Softly Creeping, and The Marvin Chronicles. All eleven books are available from Amazon. Three Cousin Publishing released the new anthology, Witch Wizard Warlock, in August 2023. Over 2000 of his Edgar Rice Burroughs themed drabbles and articles are located on www.erbzine.com
Visit amazon.com/author/luptonra, his Amazon author’s page for current information about his stories and books and like or follow him on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100022680383572