A Dunkard Brethren church once sat at the top of the ridge overlooking Willow Run. Now in crumbles of brick and mortar, flowering honeysuckle invite bees to commune at their cups of sweetness. Blacksnakes slither through the rubble looking for a toad or rat residing there.

It was in this church where itinerant preachers on horseback brought fiery brimstone, forgiveness, and grace to the faithful who gathered. Souls were saved and dunked all the way under in Willow Run.

On the hillside the full moon reflects off of a few protruding graveyard stones. Most have long since been overgrown and broken. The names on the stones kiss the ground, above the deceased as “In their dreams they sleep with the moon.”

Tales are told by the ancients, who still live nearby, that at midnight’s full moon rise, horses pounding hooves echo through the night!

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Merril introduce a prosery prompt. This is a short story of no more than 144 words that can be flash fiction, true, or far out imaginary. It must include a random line from a poem that she shared with us. Her line was from a Mary Oliver poem, (Death at Wind River),“In their dreams they sleep with the moon.” My story is flash fiction, based on a little church from my home town. My two brothers and I visited there two years ago, and I took a bunch of photos. These are a couple of photos from there. The story is made up.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

54 thoughts on “Hoof-beats

  1. ….and I surmise there may be more truth than fiction. Who knows what restless spirits linger still in the little churchyard. Such places always transport me to earlier times. Somewhere in my archives I have a poem I wrote years ago which perfectly matches this photo!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That’s such a great way to find inspiration for a story, Dwight, a real place and a photograph – Willow Run is such an atmospheric name. I love the description of the ruined church in the opening paragraph, so full of wildlife, and the graves on the hillside. Those itinerant preachers sound scary!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The prose on the old church that had long fallen out of use is very graphic with the black snake hunting in the day and spirits of horsemen and horses in the night. Brings a sense of mystery I used to feel while reading Enid Blyton books as a child. Lovely picture of the church too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. An eerily fun read, Dwight! “If walls could talk…”…they seem to be talking through you. And I can hear the horse’s hooves! 🙂
    Weirdly, or maybe it’s not weird, I like to visit old cemeteries…the older the better…I like to read the tombstones and let those buried there know they are not forgotten. The oldest two I’ve been to were in New Orleans and in the mountains in TN…the TN one had tombstones from the mid 1800’s.
    PS…Mary Oliver is one of my fav poets! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s