From the Republic of Nightmarish Reality

Emily Shellabarger


The young girl sat on top of the hill

Picking green roses from the red grass

As the violet sun smothered the horizon.


She looked like my sister,

But her eyes were as black as the spiders

Crawling on her arms.


Little drops of acid rain

Fell hard on her fragile body.

She cried out; her black eyes

Spilled rivers of bloody tears.


I ran to her up the slope,

But the ground pulled me in

With forceful power.


I was spinning into the earth

Like water being sucked

Down a bathtub’s drain.


I could not help her.


A cold hand touched the bottom of my foot,

And rescued me.


I must have overslept.

It must be time for school,

But it’s still so dark.


“We’re going to pick up grandma.”

My mother’s voice rattled me

From my hazy awakening.

“Grandpa passed away.”


I rolled over in my bed

With one warm tear

On my cheek

Longing for the sound

Of an alarm clock

To wake me up

From life’s nightmare.


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