The Hallway Beast

by Ed Ahern

There is a beast that waits for me
In the darkness of my hallway
Hoping to rend soul from body.


I’ve sensed its late-night lurking
and know I must have ready
defenses of my actions.


It will loom ahead of me
as I turn a corridor corner
And lurch so close we touch.


I’d be walking in my underwear,
badly needing to urinate, and
shock would make me wet myself.


I’d try not to stare at its sexual parts,
try not to gag at its acrid stench,
try not to wince at its malformed face.


And if it doesn’t just rip me open
I’d have to decide if it serves
vengeful justice or baleful malice.


Trying to negotiate will be pointless,
trying to achieve redemption inane,
trying for infernal beyond my wicked.


My only possible rescue
is to proclaim my insignificance
in the realms of good and evil.

Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He’s had over two hundred fifty stories and poems published so far, and six books. Ed works the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where he sits on the review board and manages a posse of six review editors.