The Shed

It’s the 24th; do you know what that means? We’re right on the cusp of Halloweek! That’s right, you have one week left to comment, share, and love on my happiest month for your chance to win a free Starbucks giftcard + a spooky book in my #BooksBrewBoo giveaway! That’s a win for both of us!

Since Apex’s Undead anthology hasn’t come out quite in time for me to post a video reading of my poem (look for it next month!), I’ve decided today to reprint my poem “The Shed” that appeared in last year’s HWA Poetry Showcase Volume III by the Horror Writers Association. This year’s volume, by the way, is one of your prize options if you win! It’s on the right, below, in a satisfying chain of slim paperbacks full of bite:

“The Shed” is actually one of my favorites, so I’m happy to be sharing it here today. I hope you enjoy!

The Shed

The lawn lays wide
and bright with yellow
sunshine, spread flat
with no corners,

except the shed.

The shed’s paint is pale
but dull, as if the owners
who inherited it
thought the best
they could do was make it
“blend in.” And it does,
for a second

until your eyes catch
the black rectangle
of the haphazardly open doors
stuck in their tracks
gummed up with debris putrefied
to the same color of black,
jarring in all that wide bright.

And you try not to picture what lies in there
what things might collect and colonize in a structure
so low and squat,
but there you go picturing centipedes
and scorpions, spiders and weevils, snakes and rats,
and other, darker things that can’t be
—can’t possibly be in that shed—yet there
you go picturing them: tentacles from corners
and tall, pale men standing against the walls,
and chittering, creeping things that slide down off the ceiling and
open your doors at night, when they can’t be seen,
but then, then, that’s not the most disturbing
part of that old shed.

The most disturbing part is how the structure itself seems sly and sentient with its thin metal walls propped like foldable gills, with its near-flat little roof peaking subtly like an eyebrow, how its rotted wood floors lie in panels, like they could all be rolled back like a tongue shoving food to the gullet, how that open rectangle of black at the doors sits still, patiently, waiting, and how eventually, when this moment of feverish imagination has regressed under the rightful armor of adulthood and you have nearly forgotten all about it (nearly),
you will have to go inside it.

© Annie Neugebauer, 2016

Finally, a reminder to enter, enter, enter! Mix and match at will; here’s a list of all the easy ways you can be entered to win a book + brew:

Thanks to everyone who’s been helping spread my news this month! The winner is coming in a week!

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