Edmund Stone

The August Editor's Pick Poet is Edmund Stone

Please feel free to email Edmund at: edmundstone69@gmail.com



Scratch, scratch, scratch. What was that?
My imagination that haunts me? Or the noise from under the floor?
My sister come to talk to me; come to do me harm?
She was my friend at one time, but now I’m not so sure.
She scares me with her intentions, maybe means to hurt me?
Surely, she means me no mischief? But that is what she knows best.

Scratch, scratch, scratch. I hear it again
Its seems to be coming closer, under the bed now?
The covers I pull over my head and hide from the thing I can’t see
I listen for the sound, but nothing is produced
Maybe she is gone? Back to Hell, I hope.
That is where Mommy says she is, and I have no reason to doubt.
For demons reside there and languish in grief
They gnash their teeth and weep with the fiends

Scratch, scratch, scratch. There it is again, closer I think.
Not under, but above, I can’t tell, but I will continue to hide
My fear is great and I know what she can do
I watched her descend into evil, denounce what was sacred

Once she was my sister, but changed when talking to the board.
She signed a pact, with another that was evil.
Why she did, I don’t know, but now she wants me;
I feel she will stop at nothing to own my soul.

Scratch, scratch, scratch. Now it’s in the closet.
I’m trembling, but must peek, with covers away from my face.
I see the toys fall from their shelves, once neatly in place.
They fall to the floor, but one slides out for me to see.
The Ouija board my sister once owned is before me now,
I hear the laughter of children from within the closet; they are playing I think.
A gray, shriveled arm comes from the dark of the closet.

Scratch, scratch, scratch. It glows, illuminated by moonlight from the window,
Lines of shadow from the partially open shade stripe the arm and I count them
One, two, three, four? Then the darkness hides the rest of the thing from within the closet
I hear my name from the nether region that is the place I hang my clothes
But it seems that it is now where she resides, she whispers, but what is it I hear?
The laughter of children or the whispers of demons?
The guide on the board begins to move and spells out a name
I watch as it moves, a detriment to my character, for I am good
Momma tells me so and explains that my sister played with dark forces
That she had no business to understand or comprehend.

Scratch, scratch, scratch. The board makes the sound, as the arm guides it to spell letters,
My name again and then something else. J…o…i…n…m…e
I jump back against the wall and scream, as the arm pulls the board back into the closet.
Momma is at the door within seconds, pounding as hard as she can,
“Come in! Please come in!” I say as loud as I can and she enters the room.
“What is wrong, my child?” she says with the sweetest tone.
“I saw her, I think, she was in the closet and asked me to come.”
“Your sister has returned?” she says with an air of disbelief.

Scratch, scratch, scratch. “Did you hear it, Momma?”
“Hear what?” the last word she says as the closet bursts open and the thing within takes her.
It is gray and green with a shriveled face and dark sockets where eyes once were;
I recognize it is some semblance of what my sister used to be.
“Momma!” I scream in anguish. “Don’t take her, please. It’s me you want!”
The Ouija board slides out again and I see the guide move all by itself.
T…h…i…s…w…i…l…l…d…o, is spelled out for me.

I hear no scratch, scratch, scratch now, but cower here in the dark.
Will I ever have peace? Will this torture leave? I fear not.
I take the board and begin to spell. What will I find?
Abhorrence to the light, for my sister is a proprietor of the dark domain.
She wishes me to join her still, for she has taken my mother.
This I will, but not without help. When she last tried, I was but a girl.
Now I’m older and have wisdom, this priest will help me,
Then maybe I can rid her of her captive and bring my mother back to me.


Why do I feel as though I have sold my soul; gave my love to the abyss?
She is what I need; plastic and metal are mine to buy,
But her flesh is still fresh on my mind, she looks into space;
All I see is a blank stare, where once, blue eyes captivated my mind.

She came to the realization that she needed something;
A replacement for her skin and bone, her body whole.
But what facsimile could come close? Maybe this artificial thing before me?
I fantasize about her in my mind, the old her.

Why is it that I need this love? Why the totality of it?
She holds something I can’t; of the man that was me.
That which consumes the carnality of my thoughts,
The eternal touch of her skin on mine.

She understood the longing, my blood and sex; the things that make me a man.
She, the one that completed my cycle of life.
Where is that woman? Does she stand before me now?
Or am I wishing for something that doesn’t exist?

My love is eternal, and she is the wholeness of me. 
Mine the need of all men, to have and to hold.
Will we not seek an alternative if the spirit is weak?
Only if the flesh is ready to let go.

The doctors give me hope, they say she can be the same again,
That she can be created anew.
I feel that God is being played a fool,
And I am a willing pawn to Satan’s muse.

Now I see this plastic and metal thing before me,
And I love her, as she looks like my wife.
But is she really? Once she can move, I’ll know.
I’ll know if it’s really her, my excitement I cannot contain.

She is plastic and metal; she is what she is, and I love her.
My woman is just as I pictured, I love what is before me,
Though her body is artificial, her mind is still capable of love.
Or so they tell me, I pray they’re right.

The history that we both experienced, the years of laughter,
Is always the same, it can’t be taken away?
She must understand that. Is the shell the same as the woman I knew?
She is circuitry and wires, but didn’t die that way.

I feel that her intentions were good, to save the mind while the body decays
Is that possible? Can the old flesh be made new?
She is as I remember, though more perfect, the plastic skin warm and viable
I’m old, but she had to stay young, it’s what she wanted

She knew that death was imminent, waiting on the doorstep,
Come to take what was rightfully his, but he was cheated.
Because she had other plans and my love is such, that I would grant her every wish.
If she were to but ask, my life was hers. I always understood that.

By her wish, I gave her the injection;
The elixir that stopped her heart, but kept her brain alive.
As the doctor suggested to her, and gave to me the means to fulfill.
She is now in this new body, and for that I’m grateful.

Dying is all that is left, or maybe not, maybe we can live forever.
What does death have to do with it; that selfish harbinger of dark days?
She can live forever now, I’ve seen to it.
I will die an old man and she will have everlasting youth.

I will now have my love, no longer in sickness,
But in health and happiness, in wholeness.
Her eyes are focusing, looking at me.
The recognition is pleasing; what I wanted.

She moves toward me, and seems every bit the woman I remember in my dreams.
We shared a lifetime of wants and needs,
Desires and longings, commitments to each other.
This is what she wanted, my cherished one, the sole proprietor of my love.

I want to hold her and comfort her, but that’s not to be,
Because she clutches me first, and I can do nothing but comply.
She is stronger than I remember; a much firmer hold.
Her arms fold around me and I feel my bones cracking.

She says to me, “I love you.” And I believe her. I feel the sweet pain of her embrace,
as the blood leaves my body she says, “Join me.”
The last words I’ll hear with human ears. I shut my eyes and the world goes black.
Lugubrious songs play in my mind, as I drift into a different place, void of consciousness.

Circuits are whirling in my head as I focus on the room; she is looking at me.
My body and spirit are no longer mine, but hers to control.
I suppose, now, I will live forever. Not my plan, but hers. I’m alive, but dead just the same.
My indifference to this is mine alone, that cannot change. I smile and say,

“Until death do us part, my love, for you I give it freely.”

Edmund Stone is a writer of horror and fantasy living in a quaint river town in the Ohio Valley. It is a rural and backward area from which he derives a wealth of characters and strange ideas. By day he works as an Occupational Therapy Assistant and at night spins tales of strange worlds and horrifying encounters with the unknown. He is an active member of The Write Practice, a members-only writer’s forum, where he converses with other writers while perfecting his craft.