Steal the night
Paint themselves with charcoal;
The coals were once hot enough to
Cleanse imps for pickling and
Stain fey wings.
Walk on dew drops
Silent shadows in passing at
The pointed toes of wrinkled crones or
The trailing skirts of ladies.
Prowl the streets
Pounce on glowing pumpkins
Scratch the fiercest jack-o-lanterns
Guarding homes rotting with contentment.
Extinguish candles and
Draw the smoke into their fur
Until they are grey enough to blend in
With the fog
So their mistresses
May cross thresholds now unguarded
Spin autumn mist and wood smoke into
Naughty nightmares and
Take youth to be their own.
Roll in the coals of dead fires
Cover themselves in midnight
So no one knows that
They are really ghosts.
Jaya Avendel is a writer living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she dips her pen into the inkwell of fantasy and prose, dabbling with the stories in the forest around her. She writes at Nin Chronicles.