The Book In Shadow by Ron Koppleberger

The characters in the book were an echo of eyes in stray fluttering fear. The forlorn grandeur of the seedlings and destiny in spring rebirth, covered by an array of moldering leaves conveyed the superstition that Black Ray worried about. The tempter of tides, an evasive game play fashioned by conflict lay within the pages of the sacred book. A secret asylum, harvested for the able reader, the purveyor of eternities.

He hummed, “HHHHHHUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMM.” in nervous fear. The ground had soaked Blacks jeans from bottom to the tops of his knees. He sat in the small clearing disposed to the silken bond of forbidden knowledge and unbidden journeys. He recited the verse and waited. Flowers bloomed in symphony with the passing seconds as days revolved, twilight to day, day to twilight. Bone dust dry winds and cactus bloom assumed the season of spring as drifting sands stung his checks.

He read another verse and shallow chasms of thumping ocean tide filled the horizon and in ration of an unforgiving gibbering fear a colossus appeared in the sea swell. Giant, primordial, it was screaming in a haze of smoke and mist. It moved in slow motion, ancient, determined…….the book he thought, the damn book!

He read another verse and the distance filled with the silhouette of an unabiding fear, mammoth enormity, Black gasped with an excited intention. He was in command, “Be gone!” he yelled. The shrieking beast moved closer the surf swelled and roiled with it’s direction. The sun costumed the vision in cascades of brilliantly tinctured fear. His ideals, his customs, the life that he had built faded in a whitewash of transparent vision before his eyes. Comprehending nothing but the yowling mass of flesh and providence he waited for the clutch of death, for the beasts of ancient legend, for the monsters that ruled the desert sands of unlawful consciousness. He shivered and prayed in furious electric accomplice to the shadow that stretched across the landscape.

The book fluttered and a four sided square appeared before the demon, then it disappeared. In a degree of exchange the horizon became fragmented the solid again. The spring season of azure skies and striving seed wavered then became real again as the sun warmed Blacks shoulders. Where had the beast gone he asked himself, to what world to what country of shadow and magic.

Black stood and day by day and years later he concluded that he had chanced legend, fabled arrays of blood, in reflection he found fear and an attired cloak of fright. He mounted the stallion of denial in those later years and, for a while, the book would lay safe, encased in steal and secreted by tumblers and levers. This was little consolation to Black in his old age for he understood the day would arrive, and the world would war with the ancients for some time.

 Ron Koppleberger has been published 450 poems, 270 short stories, and 82 pieces of art in over 128 periodicals, books and anthologies. His website is

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