Fear in the Swamp

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Prosery 2  (posted by SarahSouthwest)
The Prosery prompt starts with a line taken from a poem, and asks you to write a piece of flash fiction incorporating that line, in full, somewhere in the piece of prose. To make it a little more challenging there’s a word limit of 144 words.


Fear is a monster who lives in a swamp on the other side of Wilcox Woods.
But, does it exist or is it a myth? The story has been passed down
to each generation of children. Do not go near that swamp! Most kids
were afraid and obeyed, but some were wildly curious to see what Fear looked like.

Wilcox Woods, a favorite camping spot for the girl scouts, is having
its annual camping trip today. After a meal around the campfire,
children play games close by. All except one. She leaves the campsite,
and tip-toes to the edge of the swamp. An old crone sits smoking a pipe.
The girl ask her about Fear. Oh no dear. Forget that old tale. Have one
of these cookies.

The mystery is you can eat fear before fear eats you.
(From Rita Dove’s poetry collection)

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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9 Responses to Fear in the Swamp

  1. robtkistner says:

    This is fascinating, and ver engaging — but I couldn’t find the prompt line Sara? Still, I enjoyed the read. Not sure I would have taken the cookie… 🙂


  2. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar says:

    “I dreamt I was the moon” – I have a feeling you have the wrong line. But, with that said, I enjoyed this short story and the way you introduced us to it – I fell right into it.


  3. Misky says:

    Oh those girl scouts, they never learn to be prepared!!


  4. It’s a great little story, but you went off into the woods with your choice of line! Never mind, I enjoyed it very much.


  5. “The mystery is you can eat fear before fear eats you.” May it be so!


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