Mercy Brown

by Oliviu Crâznic

A poem inspired by documented events of 1892`s Rhode Island

 

 I

I hear the baby crying: there`s someone at the window;

The moonlight fades to pale – she`s getting in, alas!

This is indeed her home, but she’s not welcome here;

My antidote to darkness: one bullett through the glass.

I search around the cabin: no bleeder lying near;

One ravencall to midnight – the hour of the dead…

The baby’s crying bitter; my statement, loud and clear:

“Forget the infant`s cradle, and please take me instead!”

True was the gruesome rumour about the coming madness;

Her face I can`t remember, her eyes – weren`t both green?…

The shroud is moving forward; my mindfulness betrays me

For she is not my daughter, and she has never been.

II

“May be some sort of witchcraft” – I say to the physician…

The good Doctor seems tired; sad is our way ahead:

“We’re going to the churchyard, her casket we must open

And then we must ensure that Mercy Brown stays dead!”

The dim light of the morning reveals her tortured body

And then the Doctor stakes her – oh, that unshared sigh!

The hypocrite I am, she was my loving child;

No kiss upon her forehead before our grim good-bye…

I knew it all the time: she did resist her hunger;

She did recall our cabin, her former life therein;

And yet we had to waste her: the hazards were too many…

She lived and died white pure, I live and die in sin.

About the author:

OLIVIU CRÂZNIC [photo by Mihaela Nazarie] is a Romanian (Transylvanian) national and international awarded novelist, poet, translator, literary critic, anthologist, conferee, former member of “Imagicopter: The Author/Artist Cooperative” (2012-2017) and legal advisor. Born in 1978; his parents, Oliviu and Dorothea, are both certified and distinguished Romanian Language and Literature teachers. He graduated from Faculty of Law with a thesis on Forensic Science (2001) and from Pro Medierea Association`s Conflict Resolution course (2008). His literary career began in 2010, when he published the celebrated Gothic novel …And Then the Nightmare Came at Last (Vremea Publishing House). His short stories and novellettes were published alongside those of famous contemporary (George R.R. Martin) or classic (Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert E. Howard, Rudyard Kipling, H.P. Lovecraft, Guy de Maupassant, Saki) writers. In 2015, he published the acclaimed short story collection The Witching Hour (Crux Publishing House). He is mentioned in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (J. Clute, P. Nicholls) and literary analysis on his works appeared in academic journals such as Equinox Journal (Faculty of Letters, “Babeș-Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania). He appeared in Ciprian Mitoceanu`s novellette The Redemption (as a literary character) and on the Travel Channel show Expedition Unknown (as a vampire expert). He was invited to speak on various literary themes and topics at Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature – University of Bucharest, at Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures – “Dimitrie Cantemir” Christian University (alongside Ana-Maria Negrilă, PhD), and at Romanian Academy (Romanian Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology). He acted as the moderator of Bucharest International Literature Festival – special Science Fiction & Fantasy evening (2014). Author`s Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/oliviucraznicofficialpage.

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“Oliviu Crâznic is a true Romantic, a character descended form his own extraordinary and spectacular prose, a melange of Baudelaire, Edgar Allan Poe and Walter Scott, crafting his art under the scrutinizing eyes of Bram Stoker and H.P. Lovecraft. Read his novel, read his stories, and you will completely understand my statement!” (Șt. Ghidoveanu, Radio România Cultural`s Science Fiction and Fantasy specialist, in Galileo Online, Nov. 2012)

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