The Problem with the Bottling of Troublesome Spirits
Blue bottles hanging from a tree won’t hold a ghost forever. Trees will die, branches will break, blue bottles will fall. I’ve been told that after a bottle shatters, what was inside it is unrecognizable as a ghost anymore, having been turned into a cold mass of hate over all that time stuck in that blue prison, concerned with one thing and only one: revenge on whoever hung those bottles. Ghosts can take as long as they need to find a person, and they always do, living or dead, makes no difference. A ghost, once freed from its glass will ruthlessly avenge its bottled past.
Juleigh’s poem has been nominated for the Rhysling Award, which is given out annually by the Science Fiction Poetry Association, which publishes and promotes genre-oriented verse. A big, well-deserved congratulations go out to Juleigh and all of the other nominees.
As far as I can tell, the only ones not happy about it are the ghosts, who are tired of looking at the world through cerulean-colored glass, perhaps.
“The Problem with the Bottling of Troublesome Spirits” first appeared in The Lost Librarian’s Grave anthology this year (2021) along with verse by two other poets and almost 400 pages of lovely, dark short stories on subjects ranging from grave robbing to gargoyles, from the leech-people apocalypse to leprechauns … and so much more.
“The Problem with the Bottling of Troublesome Spirits” © 2021 Juleigh Howard-Hobson. Used with permission of the author.