The Scary Reviews

Dedicated to Horror, Post Apocalyptic Fiction and Thrillers

Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi

Poetry, in regard to my poetry, is many times either an outlet for emotions, usually sadness or love, or based on childhood fears wiggling their way out. Often, with the dark ones, they are gothic in setting or in the deep forest. It’s not surprising with my love of gothic and historical fiction or my fear of the woods at night. Sometimes they come from inspiration such as a piece of artwork, or a view of nature, or as a pouring out of sadness for a lost loved one, but more often than not they come right as I’m trying to sleep, in the shower, or if I’m waiting in the car somewhere that my mind is given solace for a brief moment.

At those moments, I have no control over the content, or the film-like image that displays in my mind. The character of the poem has me move them across the page, telling their story with vivid details, streaming quickly through my mind, and an absorption of feeling I can’t even explain.

That happened with a few of these poems you’ll read here, and no, I didn’t eat a funky mushroom before sleeping. Only later, when reading and revising, am I able to see when some of them are reincarnations of childhood nightmares and fears.

I grew up an only child, surrounded by a dark forest. My mind often played tricks on me as did the shadows. Death haunted me and empathic notions plagued me. Living in a household of strong Christian faith, I wasn’t really allowed to watch or read anything horror related. I think it made me even more hyper-sensitive to it rather than protecting me from it. I was too curious, and too emotional, to not understand the opposite side of existence.

With a great love of fairy tales, I many times read those, and the villains or perceived threats in those were the ones to become larger than life and beckon me in my dreams to dark places I didn’t want to go, creating a lifetime insomniac.

I’m not scared of the night anymore, or my dreams, I embrace horror and dark as the yang of the light. I choose to bask in the light and fight on to beat the darkness. I even embrace the quiet of insomnia, when my mind opens and the channeling begins.

So my first selection comes from a stream of consciousness moment, in the early morning, when I was caught in the space between sleep and awake. I worked with it a little later, but it really told its own tale, and released a common fear of my childhood—to be captured and buried alive.

Eyes Wide Nightmare by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi

Drip,

Drip,

Drip…..

Blood splatters,
pristine droplets,
red on white,
white as snow,
Snow White wanderings,
dark delights in tow.

Legs go limp,
dragging over frozen field,
ditch dug heels,
morose and pliant,
an ambivalent wish.

Searing pain,
torn and trodden,
grief screaming out,
insistent yearning.

Gruff growling,
unwanted needs,
too late for fear,
it sows seeds.

A heart of passion,
beating cold,
warm fingers,
drained,
an exit,
it just flows.

Blanketed by trees,
moon half-light shimmering,
soil unkept and moistened,
calling for the night rage.

Red ribbon ripped,
cloak left behind,
neck exposed,
supple and purplish
and divine.

Crimson soaked,
seething breath,
punctured for elixir.

Smell of dirt,
damp moss,
forest floor combined.
It’s caked yet moist,
brumal and forlorn.

Covering crevices,
heaviness stifling,
metallic but tasteless.
Soundless cries,
terrifying insistence,
so much suffocating.

Darkness envelopes,
gaps cemented,
nightmares and dreamscapes,
what devil retracts.

Mirror of life,
pure sacrifice,
flesh colored scarlet,
gorge on dread and detriment.

Forever solitude,
slipping to dust,
mind locked in place,
terror walks on whistling.

Copyright Dec 2015 / Erin Al-Mehairi

With this next poem, I had challenged myself. There is a full backstory to this poem, I’m quite positive. There are things unanswered that may need to be answered at some point. I’m curious myself, let’s see if you are….if so, it might be the focus of my next short story.

Night Stalked by Erin Al-Mehairi

I skulk along,
the trail is a blanket,
the glistening drifts,
I side-step, no sinking.

I make no sound,
I’m listening,
to the howling wind.
I shudder,
snow falling around me,
pondering.

Sometime back,
they lost their scent,
I’m waiting to hear,
no screeching yet.

Silence,
darkness,
a portent glow.
Ahead I move,
methodically,
transient.

A rustling—
I stop,
but there’s no stench.
Must be a mouse,
digging around for his
midnight snack.

I languidly inch,
I’m pressing forward,
no abrupt movements,
no warnings.

Breathing lowered,
I labor to conceal.
From my mouth,
frozen vapor cannot even release.

I halt.
My back I firmly press upon a tree.

I wait,
then flee.

I run rapidly,
toward the light.
A high-pitched shriek,
it breaks through the night.

I know I’m found,
it’s seconds away,
I land upon a secluded doorway.

Knock!

I fall, I pound,
my head resting below.
My arm reaches up,
hoping to sound again at the door.

Here is the only window,
obscurity drowns me,
it’s aglow, it must save me.

A scream,
piercing worse than banshee,
not me….

Them.

Their scent,
rotted fruit,
permeates the air.

Their hunger needs satiated,
my skin prickles in horror,
I clasp the vintage knob in relief,
and alert, I push—
entering freely.

I quickly shut the door,
leaving the forest ,
now to find a clock to strike four.
Exhaling fears like teardrops falling,
relaxing as if a meadow that calms me.

I’m relieved and content,
gone is my malaise.
My lips widen,
through cracked lips,
creasing into smile.

A long corridor,
too long for this small cottage,
extends further than one can ever imagine.

But I think nothing of it,
I’ve released from my fears.
My stomach growls,
my lids grow dreary,
I’ve been running through trees for
as long as I can remember.

A gentle bath might even be nice,
to wash away centuries of urgent flight.
It’s taken a toll, but now I’ll be rested,
there’s a clock near,
I hear chimes at the half hour.

I’ll look for a host,
maybe some wine,
some bread,
a pillow upon which to
rest my weary head.

A shadow emerges,
a lanky fellow.
His hands have fingers
that could go on forever.

His face is still blurry,
his long black coat apparent.
The top of his head elongated,
I must certainly need rest.

Interesting as it appears,
my mind stays focused,
I’m grateful for his graceful,
determined walk.

And then,
my heart drops.

In the air,
the smell of rotted fruit,
as if he was drenched in it.

Copyright Dec 2015 / Erin Al-Mehairi

Sometimes when I’m writing I have a picture in my head, but they aren’t from this time and place. It’s what gives me a gothic or old school voice. Often times myself, I see them set in dark Victorian times. For instance, with this one (and in several of my others not featured here), I picture a woman in a midnight blue gown of the 19th century, with a cloak, long flowing dark hair, and in this setting, she is running quickly through an underground castle tunnel that resides high on a hill. There’s a ravine overlook and a fairly wide running stream. It’s all my mind has given me and all I can do is embrace her feelings. Maybe there ultimately is a story there. I’m patiently waiting for it to unravel. Of course, there is always allegory and layers to unravel.

Escape by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi

While embracing clutching chest,
my heart breathes rapidly,
I’m a mess.

Confused with shallow air,
I absorb the night,
my nocturnal senses all is not right.

My head, it whips, hears an ancient verse.
Tendrils embrace my moist lips, still thirst.
My eyes are aglow,
I seek answers,
my fingers aflame,
I’m drawn to the rapids.

My body tremors, it feels like flight,
the fluttering reminds me of bats at night.
The tunnel dank,
the surroundings black,
the walls closing in very fast.

My hands keep shaking,
fingers alight my skin,
I ponder what’s next.
I feel trapped,
betwixt and forbidden,

I smolder and I try to beckon,
bracing the stone amid my pale feet,
I raise my arms, though delicately.

I feel a whisper, light as air.
My spine alerts,
fear is insentient.

It’s useless now.
I’m claimed, I’m distant.

Copyright Oct 2015 / Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi

There is a small sampling of the types of dark poetry I write. I don’t think they are overly scary, but more the type to seep into your bones and soul the more you sit and think about them.. I hope anyway. Please don’t reprint these poems unless you contact me first at hookofabook@hotmail.com, but feel free to do so! I plan to publish several poetry books, starting, hopefully, with a dark poetry collection this year, as well as submit others for publication.

Thanks for having me on David! I look forward to our interview on January 15!

Thank you Erin for sharing! I really enjoyed your writing, it was chilling and dark, especially Night Stalked.  I felt like I was right there and it made the hair on my arms stand up.  I’d love to see where that story goes if you ever expand on it and I’ll be looking for your collection.

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Erin Al-Mehairi, Biography-

Bio:  Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi has Bachelor of Arts degrees in English, Journalism, and History. She has been writing essays, stories, and poetry since she was a teen and has always been an avid reader of many genres. She has edited poetry anthologies, novels, fiction pieces, and other various non-fiction and journalistic pieces and has won awards for her essays and poetry. As a journalist, she’s written for various newspapers, magazines, media outlets, and online news sources. In advertising, she’s written so much copy she can write it in her sleep.

Erin owns Addison’s Compass Public Relations and Hook of a Book Media. She has over 19 years of writing, communications, public relations, marketing, editing, fund-raising, event planning, blogging, social media, and copywriting experience and offers services in all of the above mentioned areas.

Erin is in the process of writing several books in the fantasy, horror, and historical genres and many short stories, including a short story collection based on the works of Van Gogh and one with a gothic horror theme. She’s also busy putting together a compilation of her poetry to publish in book form.  Yep, one day she’ll accomplish all the stories in her head!  Erin is also the owner, operator and writer for the site Oh for the Hook of a Book where she features book reviews, interviews, articles, and more, as well as the publicity tours she hosts for authors.  She is the mother of three school-aged children and lives in Ohio, where she reads, writes, works, cooks, bakes, and probably has a million other things going on at once.

You can e-mail her at hookofabook (at) hotmail (dot) com and find her easily at www.hookofabook.wordpress.com. She’s also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Connect with Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi at the following links

Erin’s Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/almehairierin

Hook of a Book FB link: https://www.facebook.com/HookofaBook/?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ErinAlMehairi

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erinalmehairi/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/erinalmehairi/

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