Aphelion Issue 296, Volume 28
July 2024 --
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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The Companion

by Shamik Banerjee

To reach my farm, the trail I pass
Is mostly laid with thick-turfed grass.
The presence of a soundless breeze
Circuits around a row of trees.
No oxes, cows, or squirrels trace
This area—a lonely place.

During the daytime, silence looms
Upon this path. The sun assumes
The role of my true guide and friend
And stays until the pathway's end.
No wheelbarrows or cycles roll;
Except for me, there's not a soul.

But in the evening, when I'm bound
For home, a stomping, clomping sound
Is clearly heard along my route,
Emerging from a pair of boots.
Yet there's none when I turn and see!
Who's this eccentric company?

And all I know is that it walks
With me but neither calls nor talks.
Like this, our daily sunset meeting
Takes place without a formal greeting.
I think it has begun to find
In me a peer—genteel and kind.

What startles me is that it swerves
Right when the pathway steeply curves
Towards a region with an old
Coenobium that's much extolled.
The friars' chants come to my ears,
And then the footfall disappears.

© 2024 Shamik Banerjee. Previously published in The Horror Zine, April 2024

Shamik Banerjee is a poet from Assam, India where he lives with his parents. Some of his recent publications include York Literary Review, The Dirigible Balloon, Modern Reformation, and The Poetry Lighthouse.

Find more by Shamik Banerjee in the Author Index.