“A Sense of Dread” by Thomas F. Spencer


It started as a normal day, I guess,

I awoke as I do most always.

I made my sloth-like way out of my bed

And trudged me down the hallway.


I threw some water on my ungrateful face

And went thru my each morning bathroom thing.

After that I wandered to the kitchen

And felt the first pangs of that old familiar sting.


I call it sting for lack of a better term,

More of a mild annoyance at the start–

Just the smallest bit of premonition,

Like something hanging heavy on my heart.


But as the morning passed the feeling grew.

I began to sense it very strong.

I could not place exactly what it was.

I knew somehow that something near was wrong.


The afternoon arrived both cold and gray.

I began to have a sense of dread

That someone whom I could not see

Was close and had a plan to make me dead.


I’ve had premonitions all my life.

I realized that they did not all come true,

But this one had me by the throat, or so it seemed.

I could sense me folded up in two.


Evening found me apprehensive, but confused,

For someone had sure been dispatched to Hell,

And the author of the cruel and foul deed

Was coming nearer to send me there as well.


It was like I almost knew him.

I could plainly see him do his crime.

Although I couldn’t seem to see his face

I could clearly see his mind.


Suddenly I felt he was right outside

Leaning up against a tree.

I felt the hair stand on my neck.

I could now feel him feeling me.


“That’s why he’s here,” I gasped aloud.

“That’s the reason that he’s come.

He knows that I’ll sing out his crime.

He knows that I know he’s the one.


“There is someone waiting for me in the woods, my dear.

He is here to try and do me ill.”

I whispered, “Call 911 for me quickly now,

Then hide yourself and please keep still.”


I thought to grab my pistol also,

But I thought, “It must end here.”

I wrestled with a wicked dread,

But I wrestled not with fear.


I slipped myself out in the yard

And walked over to the wood

Exactly where I knew I’d find him–

In the shadows there he stood.


Was then I heard the siren wail.

I half expected he would turn and flee.

Still I guess I understood inside he wouldn’t.

He was here to have an end of it all with me.


From my right there came two flashlights,

Both of us bathed in their glow.

I could see his pistol point at me,

But his face in shadow wouldn’t show.


They yelled for him to drop his weapon.

He just straightened up his arm

And took aim at my chest. I think

He really meant to do me harm.


Then the police discharged their weapons,

I suppose with reflex he did too.

He went over backwards with a hollow thud.

I was doubled up in two.


The police rushed and surrounded the figure.

I could hear his torso sucking wind.

One of them kicked the man’s gun away

Before he could fire again.


The police yelled out my name.

I answered, “Somehow I guess I’m fine.

I thought I was hit in the chest

But there’s no blood on me to find.”


The cop picked up a wadding from the ground

And said, “This fool was shooting blanks.

We both just shot a fella here in the dark

Over some stupid foolish childish prank.”


Suddenly I was seized with fear

And my throat voiced out an angry cry.

I bent down to see the figure in their flashlight’s glare

And looked into my young brother’s dying eyes.