Aphelion Issue 281, Volume 27
March 2023
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Something in the Yew

by Richard H. Fay

Some thing resides in the yew,
Lurking amongst its dark boughs.
Eldritch terror awaits me
Within its entwined twilight.
Deep green needles hide evil
And shelter it from the sun.

I walk my dog in the wood
And brush past that baleful tree.
My faithful hound stands alert,
Growling softly at nothing.
Sudden fright then grips his heart;
He yelps and bolts straight for home.

Songbirds sing in other trees,
Gladdening their stately limbs
With sweet sounding melodies.
Living creatures shun the yew.
Cloaked in terrible silence,
It seems to favour the dead.

A murder of crows wings past.
Gorged from their rural forays,
They search for a place to rest.
Perching in maple and pine,
Even these raucous rascals
Refuse to draw near the yew.

I feel compelled to remain.
Bole, branch, and twig call to me.
My eyes gaze into the gloom
Of that tree's murky umbra.
A chill courses down my spine
As a wicked face peers back.

A spectral shadow creeps forth
From those darkly bewitched boughs.
Caught in a sinister spell
I stand rooted to the ground.
The fell spirit clutches me;
Humanity ebbs away.

I become one
With the yew.

(Originally published in parABnormal Digest, issue 1, March 2011.)

© 2011 Richard H. Fay

Richard H. Fay currently resides in upstate New York with his wife and two cats. Formerly a laboratory-technician-turned-home-educator, Richard now spends his days juggling numerous art and writing projects. History, myth, folklore, and legend serve as inspiration for his creative endeavours. Many of the fruits of his labour have appeared in various e-zines, print magazines, and anthologies.

Find more by Richard in the Author Index

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