Unseen Predator

Unseen predator looms from the shadows,

as I fumble with the door latch, frantic with fear–

hidden apparition approaching ever near.

Now in a panic, the door still will not lock,

as I anxiously open and close it, praying it will.

Over and over, through many long years,

this nightmare assaults me–

awakening me in tears.

Based on a long ago incident

it comes to me unbidden,

reminding me repeatedly

when a late-night stalker prowled

and crept around outside.

Finally he was stopped

and brought down to his knees

but the fear still seems to pursue me

through my mind it’s still enshrined.

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  1. A self defense course might help you feel more secure. I’ve been told arming yourself is more dangerous.


    • I’ve now gone to my mother’s house and consciously locked that same door to let my subconscious know that I am safe and nothing can come in and “get me”. So far it seems to be working–no more nightmares since!

      While growing up, we left our doors unlocked all the time–those days are long gone!

      Thanks, Michael.


  2. jgavinallan

     /  June 8, 2011

    Really felt this one…Gayle…please tell me this was imagination. It is such a scary thought.

    lots of hugs


  3. Hi, Gayle!

    You have comments on our site from Jaye and Amy. You might want to respond. If you do, I will approve them when I log in next time.

    On the run now but I’ll be back her for a catch-up visit soon.


    P.S.: Got your fab email. Thanks!


  4. Your fear lives in your mind and not in reality. The incident took place long ago, dramatic, and the perception of that one event plays repeatedly if the environment is like when it happened or comes close to matching it.

    You have a way of building up expectation. That’s a must for a writer. 🙂


    • I think I may have foiled the fear. See my response to Booguloo above. Seems to have helped. I had written a story about what caused these nightmares some time ago–see the link I provided to Jaye above if you are interested in the story.

      Thank you for your lovely comment for me, Apollorose–that’s very nice to hear! : )


  5. I recall reading your story sometime ago. I like it in this form much better. Good job of converting. The intensity was felt more this way.

    YES … I remember never locking my doors years ago. Now, I check them several times especially before going to bed. These are different times. ~~~~ : – O



    • I think I wrote that story during our memoir days, Izzy. A poem format does seem to “condense” all the feelings and intensify them don’t they. I’m glad you felt that intensity.

      Like you, my doors are locked and double locked nowadays!



  6. Wow! I can understand how such an incident would hang on. Smart way to put closure on it (your response to Michael.)

    Sleep well from now on, dear poet.



  7. Strong stuff. Makes me shiver a little, takes me back to some drug-induced nightmares i had a while back. Ick. Good ink


    • Ooo, drug-induced nightmares–those are heavy.

      Thanks for your visit and comment, Luke–I appreciate it.


  8. It seems you’ve handled the situation well. Nightmares are often issues we can do something about.
    The writing was very well done. The intensity and the fear well conveyed. The poem does have more immediacy than the story, but this may just be in part because it’s shorter and more intense.


    • Yes, it seems to have helped me. I thought if I could just consciously lock that door and send the message (to myself) that I was safe that it could help–and it did–happily!

      Thank you for your most generous comment, Jess–I really appreciate it and am glad you liked my writing.


  9. That fear is so real and can be interpreted on many levels, can’t it. I had a similar experience when I was home alone as a teenager. My parents got home just in time. Yikes.


    • Yes, the fear kind of trickles down into all the layers of our psyches. It seems that teenage girls are ripe targets. I’m so glad it ended well for you, Victoria.


  10. You are so good with the scarey stuff! I can’t tell you the times I have awakened and felt as though someone may be in my home. This poem is very convincing. I haven’t had a previous experience, but watch enough news and that can cause nightmares too!


    • That must be a very disconcerting feeling, Leslie. I try not to watch so much negative news–it seems that’s all anyone wants to report about. Surely we have positive and good things happening in the world–let’s hear more of that! Right?

      Thanks for coming by tonight.


  11. ALIVE aLwaYs

     /  June 11, 2011

    Do you see a lot of horror movies?
    I always develop greater sensitivity and acknowledge smallest of movements around me after seeing one, it’s cool though!


    • No! I don’t watch horror movies. The horror happened to me in real life–this poem was about the nightmare that hung on for years afterward. See my response to Jaye and the link if you’re interested in the story of the events that triggered this nightmare.

      Thanks for coming by and commenting.


  12. We have nothing to fear but fear itself…but fear can be pretty darn terrifying…


  13. Someone once told me in order to get rid off the fears we first have to face them! But I don;t wish to anyone to face such fears like yours! We all have events that have kept us afraid and awake, but all we could do is pray for better days! Well expressed emotions, catching the reader’s attention fully!


    • It had us on edge for a while. The nightmare seems to be abating now–thank goodness. No fun!

      Thanks for your supportive comment, Blaga. I really appreciate you! xoxo


  14. I hope you received my e-mail with questions!

    And Also I would like to invite you to the challenge I’ll host in July if you have the time of course!




    • Yes, I sure did receive your email and am working on the questions, Blaga.

      I’ll check out your challenge–thank you for the invitation.


  15. Sometimes in life the only way to deal with a stressful time is through our dreams where re-visiting it there can eventually help to put it to rest. Our minds are a
    powerful avenue to sort, learn and protect us in life. This packs a punch! Nicely done.


    • I agree with you, Renee–I do believe that our dreams can help us work through issues. They have very clearly done that for me.

      Thanks for the nice comment.


  16. Wow! That was really good! It capture my own feelings after being mugged in NYC many years ago. The fear stayed without me for a long time with odd manifestations like you describe. Nice job.


    • Oooh, sorry to hear about your mugging, Madeleine–very frightening. It’s amazing how traumas like that can set up “housekeeping” in your psyche.

      Thanks for coming by and for sharing your own experience–I really appreciate it.


  17. childhood terrors return in nightmares. thats for sure.


    • I’m pretty sure you read my story about this incident, Trisha. The nightmares seem to have abated since I went to my mother’s house and consciously locked that same door that the intruder had used.



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