Horror in the Hazel Woods

I met her most nights – somewhere between  succumbing to sleep and waking fever-drenched at dawn. Unable to meet the woman of my dreams in reality, I’d created her in my mind. But she was not the image that came to me night after night. This was a half-woman, half-monster, chasing me through horror. There was always a knife. Next morning my bedding was always bloodstained from the self-inflicted scratching of old wounds.  

This night, whiskey drunk, I avoided my bed. Stumbled  instead into the moonless night. I went out to the hazel wood. Because a fire was in my head, I tripped over  roots, crazed to find this she-devil. I wanted to kill her. End these nightmares. Instead, I died that night, victim of her crazed claws  They found me in light snow, hazel tree branches clicking in winter’s wind.

Note: Hazel trees are noted for often having protruding roots. They can be either trees or shrubs.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today is Prosery Monday where we’re given a specific line from a poem, and we must insert it, word for word (although the punctuation may be changed) into a piece of flash fiction. We must have a beginning, middle and end to our story. It can be no more than 144 words sans title.

Kim is hosting today and asks us to include this line from Yeats’ The Song of Wandering Aengus: “I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head.”

26 thoughts on “Horror in the Hazel Woods

  1. Lucy February 15, 2021 / 2:06 pm

    Such a crazy, wild, and terrifying story. Utterly haunting and creepy with those trees!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 15, 2021 / 2:10 pm

      I was tempted to dedicate this one to you, Lucy. How appropriate that you’re the first one to comment! 🙂 I don’t usually go to the dark side like this!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lucy February 15, 2021 / 2:12 pm

        Hahaha! That’s sweet. 🖤

        And hey, sometimes a little trip to the dark side can be fun. It produced a wicked story here!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ingrid February 15, 2021 / 3:07 pm

    Well done, Lillian, you succeeded in both weaving in the lines from Yeats seamlessly and scaring my out of my wits! The stuff of nightmares indeed.


  3. kim881 February 15, 2021 / 3:09 pm

    I love it when you reveal your dark side, Lill! I enjoyed your horror in the hazel woods and bravo for writing from the perspective of a man (or is it?) from beyond the grace. I imagined the character, drunk on whiskey, the way he stumbled into the moonless night – not a good time for running through a hazel wood.


  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) February 15, 2021 / 3:19 pm

    This was truly horrific… the fever dreams with that woman, and going out into the wood… I wonder if her name was Hazel.


  5. msjadeli February 15, 2021 / 3:24 pm

    Horror-drenched, what a haunting story. It reminds me of Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart. Waking up with the sheets in blood from digging at old wounds is such a great visual; the sounds of the hazel branches clicking over the dead body, whew, shivers!


  6. merrildsmith February 15, 2021 / 3:31 pm

    A wonderful gothic-tinged horror story, Lillian! Very creepy–that last line is so nightmarish.


  7. Nancy Jahnke February 15, 2021 / 3:54 pm


    Sent from my iPhone



  8. sanaarizvi February 15, 2021 / 3:57 pm

    This is deliciously dark and enticing, Lillian! I held my breath at; “There was always a knife. Next morning my bedding was always bloodstained from the self-inflicted scratching of old wounds.” The things us humans endure….


  9. Dora February 15, 2021 / 4:11 pm

    A nightmare becomes all too real!


  10. rothpoetry February 15, 2021 / 4:14 pm

    Wow! a nightmare of the worst kind… the dead kind! Well done Lillian!


  11. Glenn A. Buttkus February 15, 2021 / 4:18 pm

    Deliciously dark tale. I flashed on a monster part werewolf, part succubus. Dreams can be twisted. He dreamed of a knife, but was torn to shreds from teeth and claw.I used to dream of being chased by a pair of black panthers. Thank God they never caught me.


  12. Ron. February 15, 2021 / 5:26 pm

    Definitely darker than your usuals, Lillian, but horribly GOOOOOOOD!


  13. Beverly Crawford February 15, 2021 / 6:05 pm

    YIKES! Is that you, Lillian?!?! Deliciously horrifying.


  14. robtkistner February 15, 2021 / 7:56 pm

    Well that’s a bummer Lillian. Think I will avoid hazel wood.


  15. ben Alexander February 16, 2021 / 2:43 am


    The clicking tree branches are like the cherry atop this amazing cake. Fantastic!



  16. Erica February 16, 2021 / 9:42 am

    Whiskey drunk and scratching at old wounds. Sounds like me in a past year. Now I do it coffee high with a peanut butter jelly sandwich in my right hand.


  17. The Abject Muse February 16, 2021 / 11:17 am

    I love it when you type dark! 🙂 Good writing Lillian. I like the idea of clicking branches.


  18. Helen Dehner February 16, 2021 / 1:07 pm

    Great Prosery, Ms. Lillian! Foreboding and dark, you captured that genre well


  19. rogblog666 February 16, 2021 / 5:34 pm

    i have always enjoyed the darker side of storytelling i love this


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