Bump in the Night

Bumps in the Night

Wind rattled loose the siding,

sliding down the walls

like a woman’s hand into a

cream-colored glove.

The clap-clap of siding against

frame beat the rhythm of a stranger’s

footfalls or some chained ghost

carrying out his penance along the stairs.

They loved that image, no doubt,

rolling up from the floorboards, out

of the walls like steam off the marsh,

beaded dresses tinkling as they rose to life.

The Victrola needle fell, trumpets

wailing, the roar of a brass tornado

sweeping the earth. Gin fizzes poured

out into crystalline glasses.

Lying awake, I smelled their perfumes

of jasmine and plumeria as they drifted,

danced, and pulled partners into

shadowed, sultry corners.


The blood-orange sun spilled its

juices in green and pink contrails.

A train whistle blasted,

barreling along the Wando.

Dawn crept through the old window,

and the music silenced. They settled back

like dew upon spring grass, pale eyes

toward the window, eager, awaiting nightfall.

Barrett Mohrmann

Barrett Mohrmann studied English at the College of William & Mary where he was a finalist for the Glenwood A. Clark Fiction Prize. He worked for several years as a reporter with The News & Advance in Lynchburg, Va. Barrett’s poetry has appeared in Umbrella Factory Magazine and is forthcoming in Wilderness House Literary Review.


  1. Spooky and scary stuff. Harder to do in short form. I commend you.

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