Old Man Ferdinand

He arrives in town

With a crusty grin

A nasty stare

A curse he swears

Without a care

We poke fun at him

This old man

Who calls himself Ferdinand?

With hunch on back

A limp in the leg

He heads on

Jake and I follow

To the store Ferdinand enters

With not a word

Gathering goods

Bunched in shaky arms

A box tea drops to the floor

To be forgotten

As he heads out the door

We follow

Down the road

Gimps the old man

On his way

A cloud of dust he made

Who is this old man?

Called Ferdinand

Just ahead

The old man fled


He stops

Into woods

We fling ourselves

Behind a tree

So as not to

Be seen

Still as can be

We watch

And see

Slow he turns

To the left

And then the right

He stands

He listens

A curse he mumbles

As he stumbles

Down dirt road

Once more

Out of woods

From once we stood

Around a bend

Gone from sight

This old man

Took to flight

We follow

Once again


Old house

That stands by

Slow green river

White paint peeling

On wooden frame

Two stories high

Red brick chimney

Puffing smoke

Stretching to

A late afternoon sky

From woods we watch

He enters

We wait

Stories we tell

Of screams in the night

Not in fun but more in fright

This house by green river

We watch

Trying to hide our shivers


Branches scratch

Twigs snap

We make our way

Curious to see

What makes those screams?

Who is this old man?

That we call Ferdinand

To the back

We sneak our way

Forgotten lock

An open door

We enter


Tick tock

An old cuckoo clock

Hanging on a wall

Bird shouts out

Ten quick calls

And that is all

Silence once again

Up ahead

Yellow light

Beckons through

Closed door

Within darken room

We stop and strain

To see each other’s face

Not sure if it is safe

Hands sweat

Hearts race

We move

Each step like a mistake


Pressing ear

Against the door


Damp moldy wood

To scared to care

Eager to hear

I listen

Jake's eye peeking

Through hole

Where keys always go

Sudden shock

From Jake’s mouth

A curse came out

And the number two

I think I hear

From our backs

A voice

Eyes widen

Hearts jump

Pants wet


I turn my face

Jake the same

But darkness

Is all that is seen?


A scrape

Flickering light

In corner of the room


Smoky sweet

Light out

Darkness once again


A shove

I stumble

Silence is broken

Feet fast pounding

Upon wooden floors

Cuss words flew

As did Jake from the room


Against a wall

I stand pressed

Nape of hair standing stiff

Muscles drawn

Like string on a bow

Tight and ready

For anything that goes

Who is this old man?

They call Ferdinand


Glowing red

Floating in the dark

Candle lit

Pale light shines

To my squinting eyes


Heavy steps

Shadow moves

Gravel hard voice I hear

From within this room


Figure becoming solid

My face pales

From the dread

As the voice echo's within my head


Fear frozen

To this site

As an old man

Moves into the light

"No reply" He says

"Can it be that you fear little ole me"

Who is this old man?

That is called Ferdinand

The old man's eyes

Contact mine

Cold and grey


Wrinkled and leathered

Long hooked nose

Pokes on through

Candle light

So very cruel


Words spill out

"What you doing here?"

"What your name?"

Fear to shock

Never heard

The old man talk

One step to the left

Turn to run

From out of doorway

Two others come

In wrinkled hands

Candles do float

Faces I see

How can this be?

Not one Ferdinand

But three!!


Door to my left

Run legs run

Out the door

Heart pounding

In my ears

No light to point

To the sight

Which may lead

Me out in flight

No time to ponder

Find a window

And head out yonder

Stumble pass

This cluttered room

Hand stretched out

Feel my way


What did I touch?

That touched me back



Stop dead

In my tracks

As I hear a

Scream from my back


Find my bike

Pedal hard

Must get help

Not that far

Enter town

On street lit night

Head for those

Sworn to fight

In panic voice

I let out




Sheriff of town

Standing big and sound

Hands on hip

Belly grand and round

“Where have you been!”

He let loose

Walking to me

Strides like a goose

"You must help"

I scream my plea

"Don't you see?"

"More than one"

"Old man, but three"

Sherriff a frown

Tries to clam

My little butt down

Eyes all turn

On this scene

Causing the sheriff

To yell an obscene

Bending down

To one knee

He grabs arms

From me

In stern voice

He says

"Go home Jake"

"Go home!"


Struggle free

From hands

That hold me

Fist clinching tight

Run outside

Grab my bike

Head to Ferdinand's

Ready to fight


Boney old hands clamp

Upon arms and legs

Hideous laughter

Echoes about

Struggle and fight

With all my might

Two of three

Dragging me

To a wall

That soon fades

From sight

Eye lids heavy

Limbs go limp

Darkness once again


Heavy eyes

Open slow

Flickering light

Burning bright


Stench of old

Musty and mold

Leaving me nothing

To my whereabouts

Or to what may hold


Strapped down tight

To slab of stone

Fear in mind

Chill shaking my bones

In blurred sight

I do see

One at my head

Who giggles and grunts

One at my feet

Who stands quiet and bleak

Voice I hear from one unseen

"Sons of Ferdinand"

"Grab your blades"

"Sharpen them keen"

"Tonight we shall have"




Summer bugs

Whiz on past

Pedal hard

Pedal fast

With ache in legs

Breathe all gone

I arrive

At old house

That stands by

Slow green river

With moon on high

Casting long creepy shadow

I peer in

Web laced window

No sound

No movement

I enter

With each step

A creak was let

Wander through rooms

Looking for clues

From ceiling to ground

Nothing has changed

No one to be found

Broken silence

Crash to bang

A person's search

Sounding in vain

I listen

To my left

The noise

Comes louder

Beyond a door

I could hear

An old man's clamor

Slow I go

Hand to knob

Crack the door

Just to see

One old man

Out of three

I rush in

Caught by surprise

One of three

I yell at him

"Where’s Junior!"

This was no plea

He stood as much as

A crooked back could

Neck cracking

As he turns his head

A smile he gives

I scream again

To the whereabouts

Of my good friend

A twist of his head

A stare he gives

To what was a wall

That now turns into

A great long hall

In sour old voice

He says to me

"Come boy”

“Come and see

Your friend

Is there with me"

Mouth open

No words come out

I am amazed

Without a doubt

I follow


Walls of rock

Crumble as we walk

Old man

Just ahead

He stops

Bending neck

Twist of smile

Blink of light

Blinds my sight


Sight returns

I stand confused

End of hall

Old man looms

His voice I hear

Within my head

"Come and see"

It says to me

Sudden feeling


Walls of hall

Stretching long

As do I

Feeling tall

One step


The corridor flew


I stand

Within rounded room

Torch light

Spreads an eerie


Orange rock walls

Climb down

Dim light

Three doors stand

Within my sight

There in center

Junior lies

Arms and legs

Stretched out tight

Looking ready

For a sacrifice

No movement

In panic haste

Try an undo

Knots tied

By you know who


The words

From my back

Afraid to turn

I have to act

Scramble around

Back to wall

From out of doors

Comes two more

Sick at sight

Of old men

Try with might

To run from them


I wiggle and worm

Work to be free

Only to knock the

Hat off me

A piercing scream

Comes out of three

All step back

Not knowing

How to react

Sandy blonde hair

That I hardly took care

Resting upon

My shoulder

Long and cut square

Words spoken

By one third

"A girl you be

Your kind

We have no need"

"It is the soul of a boy

That keeps us alive"

"But you be woman

We have no use

Of your line"

Old men

With their stares

One points crooked

Finger at my head

In circles it moves

As did the room

Then darkness descends


Bound and gaged

I dangled from rope

Ferdinand men

Stand at alter

One at middle

One at head

One at the very end

With a gesture

I watch them start

A ritual which

Junior is part

Daggers raised

Clear and sharp

Descending down

With all their might


One blade shattered

Bullet through heart

One Ferdinand dead

Two depart

Eyes wide

To the shock

A man stands with

Shotgun in hand

He has the look

Of a young


Bonds cut

From Junior

And me

Torch he grabs

As we flee

In the corridor

We three run

Up ahead a

A hole of light

That seems in flight

Young man

Takes hold

Words he mumbles

One step two

Once again

The corridor flew

Room of hall

We three stop

With torch in hand

He gives a toss

A box of papers

It rest's atop

Time to leave

He yells at me

Outside we stand

With this young man

Who resembles

That old man

Who we call Ferdinand

Jake with words

Full of fire

“Who are you?

And don’t you

Be a liar!”

Quietly he stands

With shotgun in hand

A Heavy sigh

He expends

Jake holding ground

In that she delivered

I in quivers

A tale he starts

Of how the old

Settled our town

Long ago

They came from

A country

Across the sea

Fleeing for life’s safety

Finding way

To these woods

Decades went by

Your town came alive

Old gave

To new

Fear for life

They took

To flight

To the woods

They found safety

Jake her face

With a frown

I shout out

“We know

About our town!”


Broken silence

Sirens blare

Within the air

We three stand

To watch

Flames stretching

Ever higher

They are close

Who fight the fire

Jake and I

With hometown



Is what they claim

Fear or shame

Scared to take

The blame

From behind

Young man calls

"Follow me ya all"

Up the path

In which we


Young man stands

Morning sun

To his back

I turn to Jake

Her to me

Green eyes wide

Smile of a cat

Grabs her hair

And shoves it

Under her hat

Down dirt road

Young man goes

Jake and I follow

Up ahead

Around a bend

A trail of dust

The young man


Passing a tree

We did not see

Carved sign that sways

That keep townsfolks

At bay

If I had known

I would not have followed

For it said



Jake and Junior

Two young teens

Begin an adventure

Once again

Down dirt road

On they go

With strange new fellow

With a question

Like before

Who is this young man?

That looks like


--Craig S., Adult