James Matthew Byers

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The Stranger


The stranger knocked upon the door,

A creaking, wooden throb,

And someone on the other side

Unlatched and turned the knob.

Uncertainty, a soft, “Hello,”

And, “May I use your phone?”

The person on the other side

Appeared to be alone.

An observation taken in,

No pictures on the wall.

He pointed somewhere down the way-

“Go on and make a call.”

The thunder boomed; the stranger stalled

As wires were cut instead.

The gentleman began to sense

A subtle hint of dread.

A conversation thus ensued-

“So what has brought you out?

The rain has flooded everything,

And wiped away the drought.

Say, did you walk, or did you drive?

Why don’t I take your coat?”

The stranger slowly moved his arms,

A sentimental gloat.

The water from the pouring skies

Enveloped cloth and shoe.

“Say, would you like a place to sleep?

I’ll leave it up to you.”

The person on the other side

Discarded his mistrust.

The stranger said his tire was flat,

And shed the muddy crust.

“The phone won’t work,” he also said.

“It could just be the storm.

Perhaps I will stay here tonight,

To keep me safe and warm.”

The patron of the house agreed.

He hadn’t seen the wire.

The chilly dampness prompted him

To quickly build a fire.

“You have a name? They call me Ed.

My wife was Verna Dean.

She passed away five years ago

And left me here as seen.

I guess it’s really not so bad.

We never had a child.

I loved that Verna awful much,”

He said and sadly smiled.

“No property to divvy up.

The bank will get it all.

Say, do you want to try again

To go and make that call?”

The stranger grinned and left the flame

As to the phone he strode.

Within his pocket, knives and twine

In hiding seemed to goad.

A plan was formed- he’d kill the man;

Eviscerate him whole.

The twine would keep him firmly held;

The knife would steal his soul.

A lusty surge erupted hence;

A wicked bit of sin.

The stranger hadn’t noticed yet

That someone else came in.

About the time a shadow fell,

He spun to meet a pan.

The room around him faded out

As eyes looked on a man.

A day or two it seemed had passed,

And when he woke all tied,

The stranger gazed upon old Ed

Who simply said, “You lied.”

Reversing thoughts, the moment fled

And Ed said in a lean,

“No worries, stranger. None at all.

Hey, look, here’s Verna Dean!”

He looked upon a wraith in rage;

It seemed his little lie

Combusted in a burning fit-

He didn’t want to die.

So many victims in his life,

Some fifty bodies strewn.

And now he was the victim; now

The pain to him was known.

The stranger fought against the twine,

And noticed by his bed

The knife once in his pocket left

A trail of something red.

A bowl filled full of organs sat

As Verna poured some salt.

She exited with all of them.

“You know, this is your fault.

We demons wait for just the day

The guilty take the bait

And play with matches one last time-

I simply cannot wait

To taste the death within your flesh;

The venom in your gut.

So now you know the way they felt-

Hey, you’ve got quite a cut!”

The person on the other side

Removed his human skin-

Before his wife came back for more,

He offered with a grin:

“Say, stranger, is there anything

You’d like to say at all?”

I looked at all the blood and said,

“I’d like to make that call … “

coffe and kindleMonstersExist
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  1. What an excellent combination of poetry and storytelling! Most authors are generally good at one and not the other, but this piece flows so well I found myself engrossed in the story. The twist made it all worth while. Superb work, James! My hats off to you!

  2. I did see this posted in my group on Facebook and i was speechless there and now here this is awesome and amazing well done James

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