Hide and Seek

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As I recover from the flu, I’m finding my creative juices are flowing. Here’s a little Tuesday Terror for you!

The terror that she felt inside her heart
Succumbed to numbness as she hid her fear.
Behind her, something ripped her child apart.
A sofa kept its image from the clear.
The panic sinking deeper in each crunch
Reminded her of failure and remorse.
The beast consumed its tiny infant lunch.
A sickened woman plotted her next course.
Surreal, the nature of the moment’s thread.
Convinced she had a chance, she stood to run.
The monster pounced; the mother soon was dead.
Another meal before the rising sun.
The blood upon its mouth dripped to the floor
As hiding, someone opened up the door …

James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out now from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC in both Kindle and special edition paperback. James designed and illustrated the cover and interior art for his debut novel at SSP, where he works as an in house illustrator. He also has a short story featured in their latest release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies. James has recently won three Prose Challenges at http://www.theprose.com. His poems, “More Gravy,” “The Raven Redux,” and “Nativity Nuance” all took first place. His poem, “The Dinner Fly,” will be published in “Weirdbook Magazine” #35. He continues to write prolifically, supporting anyone who wishes to place their hammering fingers to the keyboard anvil, becoming a polished wordsmith in the process.

Find James Matthew Byers at:
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MattByers40
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Mattbyers40/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JamesMatthewByers
Wordpress: http://jamesmatthewbyers.wordpress.com
Prose: https://theprose.com/JamesMByers

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Flash Fiction Saturday: Sweet Revenge

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Unfortunately, Beowulf: The Midgard Horrors will have to wait one more week. We all have the flu in the Byers household. Here’s a little revenge piece to end your Saturday with …

Soumya painted on the bed.
The thousandth time her canvas, red,
Exploded in the splotchy scene-
A dying man bereft a spleen.
Eternity, her lot it seemed,
Ascended past the life she dreamed
And when a knife drew drops of blood,
The echoes washed her as a flood-
Soumya, now a hell spawned leech
Embracing powers in her reach,
Decided prisons of the mind
Elicited her only bind.
A succubus now summed the length
Of who she was; her inner strength
For tasty vengeance had a price-
A serial in murder’s vice,
And when the Lord of Hell took note,
It’s wasn’t long before the tote
And totem of her fancied style
Became his glowing, wicked smile.
“Soumya,” Lucifer would say,
“Now run along! Those boys you slay
Are quite delightful in my fold.
Your methods, well, are bloody gold!”
And who was she to turn this down?
Revenge, avenge, it was her crown!
“The devil’s due,” she often said
And bottled blood; she loved to shred
The entrails of some hapless fool,
And sometimes she would even drool.
Enamored with a life of lust
At times could be a bumming bust,
A demon hidden underneath
The outward flesh; her garland wreath
For luring mortals in the trap
Until fatigued, they took a nap.
Unmitigated horror’s cape
Surrounded as she bore the shape
Of who she was inside the skin.
She knew the devil wore a grin
For Lucifer, above them all,
Expected death to be a ball.
The wanton wreckage she would leave
Suppressed the notion some would grieve.
Or maybe not; most been were gags-
Cremated ash; assorted bags
Atop her head, a sweet disguise.
No graves to mourn their hollow eyes.
The lipstick shades around her mouth
Bespoke of somewhere deeper south.
This time, however, feeling guilt,
She wore it like her mother’s quilt-
The one she used to use at night
Before her rape and loss of sight-
The way a mortal values life.
The only thing she loved- her knife-
Invited freedom from the pain.
Unfortunate, for Hell’s domain
Explicitly endured the plot-
A torture field; a lake so hot
The demons even felt it’s heat.
No, there was nothing safe or sweet
And as Soumya entered through
The gates, she longed for life’s renew.
Surprised, she found a rose of black.
Accepting it, she saw a stack
Of petals urging her to move.
The sadness losing in a groove
Rekindled something she forgot-
The pang of joy; the tummy knot.
And as she went into a flame,
Her parting lips released a name:
“So, Lucifer, what have you done?”
The devil smirked, “Let’s have some fun!”
Soumya, startled, took a chance-
Enveloped in his horned romance.
However, what he didn’t know-
The succubus had seeds to grow
And as she used a special blade,
She stole his life; his body flayed.
“Now who’s the Lord of Hell, you pig!
It’s just another grave to dig.
No biggie; nah, I’ll toss you in
And gorge myself on every sin.
You see, those men who took my youth
Devised their plans from you; my proof
A simple visit to the lake-
A soul in torment, no mistake,
Becomes an open book, you see.
So all of Hell belongs to me.”
And as she sucked him, munching bone,
She sat atop his gleaming throne.

James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out now from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC in both Kindle and special edition paperback. James designed and illustrated the cover and interior art for his debut novel at SSP, where he works as an in house illustrator. He also has a short story featured in their latest release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies. James has recently won three Prose Challenges at http://www.theprose.com. His poems, “More Gravy,” “The Raven Redux,” and “Nativity Nuance” all took first place. His poem, “The Dinner Fly,” will be published in “Weirdbook Magazine” #35. He continues to write prolifically, supporting anyone who wishes to place their hammering fingers to the keyboard anvil, becoming a polished wordsmith in the process.

Find James Matthew Byers at:
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MattByers40
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Mattbyers40/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JamesMatthewByers
Wordpress: http://jamesmatthewbyers.wordpress.com
Prose: https://theprose.com/JamesMByers

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Dead Fish

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I’m still working on Beowulf: The Midgard Horrors. I should have something fun and deeply engaging for next Saturday’s post. In the mean time, here’s an abstract poem dealing with the nature of vampiric sensibility. I broke from my traditional poetry style and penned this one free style. It’s time to get your flash on!

Dead fish

Dividing thunder in two
My heart
Peels the layers of the cloud,
Fish dead

Filling red cups full,
Dark ambrosia
Drunk by eager lips
Drained down his throat

Severs tonsils bled dry,
Bold sacs of
Pus and mucus dripping
Over cast

Sickness sickens every cell,
Gone
From the trapdoor flooding me
Cold.

Well, better
When the birds pluck my tongue
To feed their
Chicks caught taught in nesting

Mothers angered
By the willow tree,
I stand, I stand
A fallen soldier

Peeling layers off my soul
My heart
Dividing thunder in two
Dead fish

James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out now from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC in both Kindle and special edition paperback. James designed and illustrated the cover and interior art for his debut novel at SSP, where he works as an in house illustrator. He also has a short story featured in their latest release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies. James has recently won three Prose Challenges at http://www.theprose.com. His poems, “More Gravy,” “The Raven Redux,” and “Nativity Nuance” all took first place. His poem, “The Dinner Fly,” will be published in “Weirdbook Magazine” #35. He continues to write prolifically, supporting anyone who wishes to place their hammering fingers to the keyboard anvil, becoming a polished wordsmith in the process.

Find James Matthew Byers at:
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MattByers40
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Mattbyers40/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JamesMatthewByers
Wordpress: http://jamesmatthewbyers.wordpress.com
Prose: https://theprose.com/JamesMByers

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Jacksonville State University

Greetings! It’s been an exciting week. I had the privilege and honor of speaking at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. As an alumnus, it felt great to come back to where I received my undergraduate degree and my Master’s. A former English professor, Dr. Joanne Gates, invited me. I was able to speak to an audience of undergraduate and graduate students as well as members of the community. She had a reception for me afterwards. This was all in celebration of the release of Beowulf: The Midgard Epic. I wrote it while attending the university, and Dr. Gates played a critical role in its development. I was able to sell books, signing them in the process. The next day I was able to lecture her early British/ Irish Literature class. They had an assignment to compare my version of “Beowulf” with J. R. R. Tolkien’ recently published version. Considering he has always been one of my greatest influences, so this was quite an exciting experience. We spoke about Stitched Smile Publications and other authors there. We also got deep into myths and legends. I’m going to share some of the pictures with you. In the process of speaking, I received notification that I’m getting a table at the Alabama Poetry Society’s annual conference. It’s definitely been a great year so far!
James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out now from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC in both Kindle and special edition paperback. James designed and illustrated the cover and interior art for his debut novel at SSP, where he works as an in house illustrator. He also has a short story featured in their latest release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies. James has recently won three Prose Challenges at http://www.theprose.com. His poems, “More Gravy,” “The Raven Redux,” and “Nativity Nuance” all took first place. His poem, “The Dinner Fly,” will be published in “Weirdbook Magazine” #35. He continues to write prolifically, supporting anyone who wishes to place their hammering fingers to the keyboard anvil, becoming a polished wordsmith in the process.

Find James Matthew Byers at:
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MattByers40
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Mattbyers40/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JamesMatthewByers
Wordpress: http://jamesmatthewbyers.wordpress.com
Prose: https://theprose.com/JamesMByers

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The Mirror

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While I’m sifting through the plot and direction of Beowulf: The Midgard Horrors, I appreciate your patience. Here’s a piece for reflection … #FlashFictionSaturday

The Mirror

The mirror hung upon the wall,
A symbol in a darkened hall.
The path on which the living stall;
A madness lurking came to call …

No person knew from whence it came,
Or who had placed its wicked frame
Upon the space, no more the same,
As evil soon became its name.

A woman of an elder sort
Refused to leave her haven’s port,
Her roof beholding horror’s sport;
The mirror and its queer retort.

Her house was once a cheery home
Where merriment agreed to roam
But days as those had come and gone
And sullen silence summed the tone.

The frightened neighbors couldn’t see
The house was plain as plain could be.
Of wood and brick and cobbled plea;
They harbored vile insanity.

The ones who heard the story told,
The residents whose aim to scold,
Examined, coming to behold …
But their reflections shivered, cold.

The woman tried to usher out
The ones who came in wearing doubts
Continuing to plague and clout
Her manor with their frightened shouts.

Intent to hide and to protect
The mirror’s power, so abject,
The woman held out in respect,
Despite of what it would reflect.

She never tried to move it, nor
Allowed those passing through her door
To touch it; only to explore
The image seen, and nothing more.

The more the mirror came to show,
The more she felt the evil grow
Until at last the falling snow
Reflected through the window’s glow.

And though the knowledge caused her pain,
The woman proved she would abstain
From letting go for freedom’s gain,
And left the mirror to remain.

The residents from the poor to rich
Decided she must be a witch.
The rumors dug a sordid ditch,
Encasing truth, a pass to pitch.

A rally and a feuding horde
Became what rumors could afford.
But they relinquished flame and sword
And opted faith within their Lord …

They called the vicar down the way,
A man of pride intent to fray
The woman, putting on display
Her sins, his means to make her pay.

He reached her home and entered in,
An exorcism to begin
For what he thought must dwell within.
He chided her and named her sin.

The woman shifted, white and chalked,
As down the hall the vicar walked.
He didn’t listen as she talked.
Instead, the mirror’s face he stalked.

At last she’d taken way too much …
She cried aloud, “You mustn’t touch!”
But egotism’s ardent crutch
Ignored her and he did as such …

Religiously in his romance
With tempting fate and circumstance
He held aloft his sudden chance
To catch his image in a glance.

Because his hands began to shake,
The mirror dropped, but didn’t break,
The vicar made a grave mistake
And slammed his foot in anger’s wake.

The mirror’s glass flung all around,
Releasing evil in a bound.
The vicar screamed a horrid sound
And dropped before her to the ground.

The woman, seeing pride repressed,
Observed the man who’d been obsessed.
The vicar madly there confessed:
“Be gone from me! I am possessed!”

He jumped and ran out in the night,
A soul depraved and full of fright.
His actions had been done in spite,
And wrong surpassed his view of right.

A burden lifted like a veil.
The story that she came to tell
Is known to all; to all quite well:
The way she seemed to conquer Hell …

Her home, in warmth, became endowed
And welcomed freedom from its shroud.
The darkness parted like a cloud
Allowing what was not allowed.

There are two sides to every soul.
The mirror placed it in control
By making half of every whole
Of he or she whose life it stole …

The truth, too much for some to bear,
Diminished them with just a stare.
At last released into the air,
The daemon crept up slowly there.

The woman’s features, frail and thin,
Contorted with the monster’s grin.
And coming thus to dwell again,
The two of them embraced her sin.

No longer trapped behind the glass,
The woman’s warning came to pass.
And now the daemon would surpass
The others in the witch’s class …

“Beware this wisdom shining clearer.”
Prays the woman that you hear her.
“Darkness might be coming nearer
Next time you look in the mirror.”

James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out now from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC in both Kindle and special edition paperback. James designed and illustrated the cover and interior art for his debut novel at SSP, where he works as an in house illustrator. He also has a short story featured in their upcoming release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies. James has recently won two Prose Challenges at http://www.theprose.com. His poems, “More Gravy” and “The Raven Redux,” both took first place. He continues to write prolifically, supporting anyone who wishes to place their hammering fingers to the keyboard anvil, becoming a polished wordsmith in the process.

Find James Matthew Byers at:
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MattByers40
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Mattbyers40/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JamesMatthewByers
Wordpress: http://jamesmatthewbyers.wordpress.com
Prose: https://theprose.com/JamesMByers

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Ode to a Mortuary Stench

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Ok- things have been insane. Sick kids, sick wife, sick self … I’ve also been super swamped with wonderful responsibilities in the fields of art and poetry. Beowulf: The Midgard Horrors is being worked on. I’m sorry this is late, but I wanted to share something on Flash Fiction Saturday. It’s brief and humorous. Until next week, happy writing!

Ode to a Mortuary Stench

Amusingly, the wizard watched on.

Passing underneath the cemetery, several
Comments were made, or complaints rather,
About the mortuary.

Some skeleton remarked on an inarticulate
Stench permeating the entire premises.

A slightly decaying carcass chimed in
With her own perception on the entire
Situation.

Anger began to fester amongst the worm-ridden
Bodies, boiling to a point of contention.
Voices grew louder and louder until at last
I silenced them.

“The smell, and further more the need for the
Smell”, I began, “stems almost entirely from and
For one reason only:”

Every eye, or hollow socket, turned upon my
Freshly blushed skin, full of formaldehyde.
The dead anxiously awaited the cathartic
Revelation I eagerly bestowed upon them.

“We’re corpses. Corpses rot and stink.”

Then the wizard waved his wand,
And we all fell limp.

James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out now from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC. He also has a short story featured in their upcoming release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies. Recently, three of his poems won Prose’s weekly challenge.

Find James Matthew Byers at:
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MattByers40
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Mattbyers40/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JamesMatthewByers
Wordpress: http://jamesmatthewbyers.wordpress.com
Prose: https://theprose.com/JamesMByers

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Vampyre: A Flash Fiction Saturday Short

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Greetings! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! I’m working on Beowulf: The Midgard Horrors right now. You can rest assured the tale will continue next Saturday, Grendel’s honor. For now, here’s an adventure off of my well worn path. I decided to give free style a try. In honor of the release of the fifth installment in the Underworld franchise, here’s a poem called “Vampyre.”

Vampyre

Dark drip drains
The marrow
From the bone
Within my soul

Feasting teeth
Gnaw harder,
Sinking in
Beneath the flesh

Ambitious
Equation
Reels on heels
As I return

Bled, bleed blood,
Vein punctured
Aorta,
Vena cava

Cadaver,
Alignment
Resurrects,
I am undead

Sky sun lie
As night moon
Hangs starry,
Hour witching

Arms up, rose
Legs are crossed
Death has failed
And line gets tossed

Two slot holes
Become my
Advent forth
To never die.
James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out now from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC. He also has a short story featured in their upcoming release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies. Recently, three of his poems won Prose’s weekly challenge.

Find James Matthew Byers at:
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MattByers40
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Mattbyers40/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JamesMatthewByers
Wordpress: http://jamesmatthewbyers.wordpress.com
Prose: https://theprose.com/JamesMByers

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Happy Birthday to Stitched Smile Publications!!!

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Greetings! We’ve made it to 2017, and as Stitched Smile Publications is about to have a birthday celebration, I thought I’d compose a little birthday ditty … Happy New Year to all!!!

The doctor’s fingers pulled the thread;
The needle wove within-
Endangered species of the dead
Evoked a wicked grin-
He stitched a smile of devilry
Upon the donor’s face-
Eternal in its revelry
Beyond all time and space-
The doctor let the lever fly
Electric flow around-
The creature opened up an eye,
And offering a sound
Began to speak as best it could-
The birthday had begun.
The mumbled pattern understood,
He rose to be someone …

James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out now from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC. He also has a short story featured in their upcoming release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies. Recently, two of his poems won Prose’s weekly challenge.

Find James Matthew Byers at:
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MattByers40
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Mattbyers40/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JamesMatthewByers
Wordpress: http://jamesmatthewbyers.wordpress.com
Prose: https://theprose.com/JamesMByers

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Twas the Night Before Yuletide or Santa vs the Reindeer

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My Saturday flash fiction blog and Beowulf: The Midgard Horrors will return on January 7th, 2017. I’ll be taking a breather for the holidays. But to tide you over, here’s another way to look at “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Seasons greetings from Midgard and me!

Twas the Night Before Yuletide
or Santa vs. the Reindeer

Twas the night before Yuletide, and all through the land
Santa Claus was preparing to make Christmas grand.
He went out to his stables, his heart full of cheer,
In a last ditch planned effort to rouse his reindeer.

The snow falling brutally as each crisp step cracked
And Saint Nicholas carried the toys he had packed.
When he entered the stables, two ravens sat perched.
All around them were symbols; the wood grains red smirched.

“Now, pray, what is the matter? What mean you birds here?
Have you come to cause trouble among my reindeer?”
The two ravens said nothing, then flew to the door.
Upon flitting, then quitting, they said, “Nevermore.”

“Nevermore?” Santa quoted, “Pray, what does that mean?
In a thousand past years, this beats all I have seen!”
Then they gave a good chuckle with wicked delight.
“Nevermore will you travel on Christmas Eve night!”

A look of surprise as the caws burst in cackle,
And Santa Claus saw Dasher break from his shackle.
Then the ravens flew out as the reindeer stood tall,
Captivating Saint Nick, who in fear took a fall.

“By the power of Christmas, what meaning is this?
Tell me, Dasher, now tell me! Just what is amiss?”
“Weihnachtsmann, some people, they know me as Woden.
In Asgard, I rule. I am Allfather, Odin!

Much too long have you punished these wood folk I see …
As the Lord of the Hunt, I will now set them free.”
And as Odin spoke, magic dispersed from each beast.
“They are reindeer no longer; each soul is released.”

Santa stood in much anger, scoffed, “We will just see.
Odin, you with your antlers can’t take them from me!
Now just look at you, fool, as some reindeer like god-
I will give you a whacking with my lashing rod!”

And as Santa approached swinging hard left and right,
Out of nowhere, the ravens dropped something in sight.
Odin reached out and snatched Gungnir, his magic spear,
Hoof like hands holding on as a battle drew near.

Father Christmas smashed hard with the rod in his hand,
But the spear Odin blocked with had much more command.
Back and forth the two parried, with nary a break,
And then Odin transformed Christmas lights to a snake.

After glow in its making, the brightly lit thing
Made its way around Santa, who started to sing
All the names of the reindeer, but he was ignored.
The serpent squeezed tighter, Santa cried, “I adored

Every single last reindeer that pulled on my sleigh.
And now look at you creatures! My, how you betray!”
From the shadows, the eighth one that Odin had been
Came and offered to Santa, “The age of these men

Now is ending for we are the dwellers who seek
To repay all the wicked and prey on the week.
No more presents and falsehoods from you in your lie.
Know that Midgard is free, as are we, so now die!”

Saint Nick slumped to his side and died in the stable,
The folk of the woodlands placed him on a table.
And as Odin then gathered his things and took flight,
“Merry Yule,” they exclaimed and they all took a bite …
James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out now from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC. He also has a short story featured in their upcoming release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies. Recently, two of his poems won Prose’s weekly challenge.

Find James Matthew Byers at:
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/MattByers40
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Mattbyers40/
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JamesMatthewByers
Wordpress: http://jamesmatthewbyers.wordpress.com
Prose: https://theprose.com/JamesMByers

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How Grendel Stole a Christmas …

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How Grendel Stole Christmas

Christmas in the Hall but not the Spirit of the Feast
Came to pay a visit, no, instead a vicious beast
Barreled down the doorway shifting shape and size in bounds
Scattering the party as they fled beyond the grounds
Grendel had awakened to the noisy revelry
Sounds of someone singing, drunk on mead and sin’s debris
Fetched him from his hollow, burning hunger in his gut
Pressing him to follow, breaking into glutton’s rut
Holly hung around the doorway dropped beneath his feet
Men and women parted trying hard to make retreat
Pine and wooded anthems fell beneath the mighty wrath
Grendel came for dinner, clearing presents from his path
Gold and poultry pardoned as the first four victims fell
Eaten in an instant in his merry, mangled hell
Nothing short of mayhem on this hallowed, special day
Grendel’s nails delighted as his claws began to slay
Men in greater numbers, up to thirty torn in two
Blood and guts adorned where once were festive nature’s hue
Hrothgar sat unflinching and untouched, but saddened still
He alone survived while watching Grendel gnash and kill
Merry Christmas, Daneland, there’s no dangling ornate wreath
Santa isn’t coming, just the grind of Grendel’s teeth …

James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master’s in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out now from Stitched Smile Publications, LLC. He also has a short story featured in their upcoming release, Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies.

Find James Matthew Byers at:
Twitter: @Mattbyers40
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/Mattbyers40/
Wordpress: http://jamesmatthewbyers.wordpress.com

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