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A Hundred Gourds 3:4 September 2014

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page 8  

E.J. Holleman - USA


Illusion


I cheered for him when I read the "The Three Little Pigs" and laughed when he snarled in the Disney cartoons. He was a bad guy with a devious spirit which made me a die-hard fan. I identified with villains and The Big Bad Wolf was my favorite. Each huff and puff and the way he turned purple when out of breath excited me. His cunning grin and the way I imagined him licking his lips were energizing.

But darkness transformed the shadows under my dresser into a den for the wolf or the heartbeat on my pillow into his steps up the stairs. He would crawl into my nightmares and drag me out to face the frightening prospect that somehow he was there waiting for me. The darkness coated the idea of him in a terrible paint that would only wash off in the light of the morning.

One particular night I didn't move a muscle for a good thirty minutes in fear that he would devour me. I sat rod straight, eyes wide. Sleep never came easily on the nights when the wolf entered my head.

Yet, I cradled the illusion that the wolf and I were friends and labored to maintain this flimsy lie. Over time the fear of my boogeyman waltzed away, only to be replaced by the fear of guns and ruthless people that unfortunately exist.

pillow fort
children's laughter
sheltered inside



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