The Archway

Time again for the ‘Haibun Thinking Challenge’ This weeks prompts are a photo from Sally of My Beautiful Things, and a piece of art from Anja of Oh Pithy Me. I have chosen Sally’s photo. If you would like to have a go, head over and take a look, have a read and then why not give it a go yourself.

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At the eastern edge of the graveyard a barren patch of grass runs from the chapel’s stone turret to the loose brick wall along the edge.  A peculiar spot of earth that has never flourished and where generations of children have grown up on folk lore and legend as to why. Some say a village girl was burned as a witch and the ground was so badly scorched by the heat, nothing has ever grown since. Others say a young boy was hanged from a tree for poaching a rabbit and his swinging shadow casts a permanent veil across the ground. Although the stories may alter and each generation adds a little more colour to its telling, there is always one part that remains constant. A lullaby whisper that can be heard on the wind,

Sing a song of death,

With whispered words to call me,

Run child, run child, run.

But when summer comes and the scent of honeysuckle lingers in the breeze. The villagers gather to honour the tales of old. To an outsider, the symbolism of the tall wooden archway festooned with flowers would seem rather quaint, just a bygone reminder of summer festivals and pagan celebrations. But an outsider would never see this sacred ritual. They would never see the children gather, all in white, barefoot and rosy cheeked. They would never see the elders standing back with heads bowed low. They would never see the sacrificial child, the one with the daisy chain crown, walk under the arch and never return. But perhaps they would catch a whisper or a chant on the wind,

Sing a song of death,

With rising chants we call you,

Run child, run child, run.

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16 thoughts on “The Archway

  1. Reminds me of the movie series that began with ‘Children of the Corn’.
    A reporter went to investigate and take photos, but the old creepy elder lady never showed up in the photos!

    There are places that need to be remembered. But at such a cost?
    A chilling tale.

    Thanks for visiting…’Escape’. ~Jules

  2. This prompt is really bringing out the ghosts, how funny that is. Love your ghost story, the mystery, the eerie past and present, the use of the arch as a portal for the ghost’s song to drift from. Delightful shivery tale. Thanks, Brenda

  3. Oh dear – I’m rather glad I am an outsider. What a haunting, eerie story. It’s very well written – you had me totally sucked into your tale.

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