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  • Writer's picturenotdeermag

You were not prepared, Melody Wang

for the quiet return,

an alabaster hand on the red curtain

reaching gnarled fingers for buried answers

in rat-infested tunnels that still bloomed

with mildew. In the distance, you sense

the forested fog creeping in. Your footsteps’

crunch on gravel distracts you from the faint

scent of gardenias as ghosts ignite and part ways

once more — turn around and you’ll see

them standing in windless trees, solemn

eyes following those last bits of stagnant

energy heavy in their intended snare

turning, always turning, your stomach lurches

at the growing stench of fear, an unholy

penetration of the woods that reveals itself

to be the very thing you thought you had escaped


Melody Wang currently resides in sunny Southern California with her dear husband. In her free time, she dabbles in piano composition and also enjoys hiking, baking, and playing with her dogs. She is a reader for Sledgehammer Lit and can be found on Twitter @MelodyOfMusings.

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