The Horror Zine
Red Riding Hood
Christopher Hivner

Christopher Hivner is our December Featured Poet

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Christopher Hivner


On the way to grandma’s house
with her basket full of goodies;
eyeballs that saw too much and
tongues from those who can’t keep their mouth shut.


In the tunnel
leading from the abyss,
I climb,
dragging myself
over jagged rock
leaving trails of blood behind.
Like teeth, the stone
rips apart my body.
I keep reaching,
stretching for the next foothold,
searching for the light.
The darkness has existed so long
it owns my veins
and pumps through my fractured heart.
I pull harder,
inching forward over fangs of stone
incising through my cold skin.
The pain shuts my eyes
and inside my own world, I see light.
I believe in light.
Every tunnel has a beginning,
a source,
and the light bursts from it.
It must exist.
So I re-open my eyes
to find shards of black
piercing my temples,
driving through my brain
and telling me,
whispering to me sweet blessings
about the easy embrace of the chasm.
In the lull of sing-song voices
I see a pin prick of light,
maybe only in my world
but maybe in the real one.
So I reach and pull and struggle
and the darkness recedes,


If the sisters could talk
would they talk about me?
Can they see me
in their dreams
as the mother can?
Could they feel her screams
while in the womb?

If the sisters could talk
would they talk about me
and the pain the world is in,
the pain I have caused,
the pain of knowing,
the pain,

The doubt.
That's what pleases me,
the doubt the mother feels
about her involvement.
"I didn't, I couldn't"
she weeps into the carpet
on the floor
Sweet Lorraine and a bottle of wine.

If the girls could love
would they love me?
But they can't love
or regret
or go to the prom
or watch the fires burn
or tell mommy

because mommy already knows
and it's all so pale.
She won't fight back
to save their tiny
Sweet Lorraine and a bottle.

If the girls could choose
would they pick me
as daddy?
Throw a penny down the wishing well
and open the gates of hell.
Throw a penny down the wishing well,
I'll never tell.

Christopher Hivner has work published in Black October, DecomP, and Niteblade among others, and was nominated for a Rhysling Award in 2008. A collection of short horror stories, The Spaces Between Your Screams, was published in 2008 and can be found HERE.

The Places Inbetween Your Screams