The Mighty Viking

Conquering those things we must, one story at a time

4am Stories


The stories that come to me at 4 in the morning, to be told
Do not come to me to be told to someone else
They wish, like all stories in my head, to be heard, but I cannot tell them to others.
They are full of cold, of grey things that should have color.
Things that did have color. My 4am stories are stories of color lost
of Hope, forgotten.

But they will not let me forget.
These stories come back, look over my back. Wanting to get out and play with the others
But they do not play well with others, these cold, grey stories.
No, they make others go all cold and color drains from the lips of the storytellers

8am stories are full of anticipation. They yawn, and stretch, and smile through sleepy eyelids, remembering that the new day brings new things, fun things, joy and brilliance, dazzling in the morning sun.

Noon stories are full of Today – of the way of things happening now.  One moment I’m telling a story , the next it is being made.  Stories of weather, or the pranks of the day, of the smile, or kiss, or the touch of a hand still warm and fresh on my lips. 

Dinner stories are full of exertion, of telling the tale of success, of industry, things that has been done, that must be rested from, but from which great satisfaction has come.

In the evening, with friends I remember, memories of acquaintances I’ve had, or that I have now, things that are connected through this busy day, or of yesterday.  Evening stories are melancholy, rich fields ready for harvest.

In the midnight hour my stories are hushed, sleeping tales of bravery, epic heroes, requited love, flowing poems of deeds and dreams. The midnight hour is the time of my muse.

But when the waking growl of the log trucks break through the distant muffling fog, the 4am stories have already stricken me speechless

Sleepless horrors still unspeakable
Stories without words,
drowned in the watery depths of the sea
These stories can never share – should never be shared.

The cold creeps up from the Deep.
The grey falls down, the fading flicker of dying hope.

I am caught where they meet, in their steel jaw.

In a watery tomb my body grows cold

My mind becomes grey

An unwilling patron of an awful, eternal theater.


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5 Responses to “4am Stories”

  1. dallena says:

    Well I was hoping for more, but this one left me unsettled…I guess you too. Lock the box, put it in another box…close the door of the room, to the back of the brain.

  2. Lee Ledgerwood says:

    I guess I am blessed because my 4am stories finally quit making me wake in a cold sweat shouting or shaking and terrifying my wife into tears. It has been a little over 30 years since I lived my last nightmare, then dreamed of water rushing everywhere in the blackness so deep I can almost feel it, the sounds of metal screaming and twisting, my lungs burning as I inhale the ice cold water following by the return to shivering wakefulness. Time has provided solace from those nightmares and they only return during the worst of thunderstorms when the pounding rain and the booming thunder seep into my subconscious and let the dreams out again. Sorry about the tone of the reply but your term “4am stories” took me back to the dark years following my discharge when life was endured painfully and not lived joyously.

  3. Fred Roesener says:

    Too sophisticated for me.

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