Thomas Fischer is a graduate research assistant at Auburn University. His current research focuses on nutrition requirements for oceanic finfish and shellfish. While science is his trade, Tom has always had a passion for poetry and short fiction and is glad to be published.



Many upon many years ago
Before I was old and my age did show
A certain beauty met my eyes
And I knew its name to be Lorelei.

Lorelei was and forever will be
Someone of a great importance to me
Where we met one night in the lateness of spring
Where the land and sea met, and I was its king.

Walking one night against the edge of the surf
I saw a strange maiden in the midst of my turf
The form of this creature left me in awe
To this day she is the fairest I had ever saw.

Her hair blew wildly against the boldness of the night
Her skin glowed in evanescence with the pale moonlight
And her eyes bared resemblance to every color of the sea
Yet they showed a look of sorrow that took worry over me.

I sat with her and she with me in the soft, silken sand
And as we chatted about the day, I began to understand
Why she was the way she was and why she was there
And my heart slowly began to sink as a stiffness filled the air.

As I begged and pleaded for her to reconsider
The ocean breeze quickly turned cold and embittered
She turned to me, smiled, and presented to me a kiss
Thanked me for my time, then walked out into the abyss.

I know her name still by heart, will, and soul
And with my time running out I have but one final goal
That when my heart stops beating and when I soon will die
My heart will beat again upon seeing Lorelei.


It is here that I tread with anticipation
Through much thought and consideration
As to the specter that haunts this spire
With its blackened mane and eyes of fire
So says those who’d walked this flight
And those who could not and who died of fright.
This twisting corridor left black and dour
And it being so deemed…“The Witches’ Tower.”

And so I came to this place in the dead of night
To find out for myself if this legend was right.
Friends and family did solemnly tell
Of the one who had died here, the one who had fell.
Hattie Mae was her name, and still is to this day
The eponymous witch of the story they say.
Lept she did from this cursed tower
On a night like tonight, on the toll of the Witching hour.

And now here am I, ascending in the dark
Through gossamer and shadow I wearily embark.
Beads of sweat begin to leave my face
As does increase the speed of my pace.
The air grows stale and cool, inhumanly so
The tension and fear more than one should ever know.
The floor creaks and sighs and moans
Anguished cries of the spectres groans.
Her fingers brush the nape of my neck
My own reach back to go and check.
Nothing there as I turn and stare
And continue on to the witches lair.

I step and step as weary as I become
My heart still racing and my legs grow numb.
And as I move forth with this accursed climb
I begin to feel paranoia grip at my mind.
For I feel a presence drawing near
As I myself am at the peak of fear.
When deep in the tower a cackle is heard
And just as sudden my thoughts are blurred.
Its thunder, I think, and nothing more
Yet still I am shaken to my very core.

Shadows move in every which way
The shadow of the ghost, the witch Hattie Mae.
The storm can be heard as I soon reach the top
And here I am halted to a sudden stop.
An ebony door blocking my path
A ward concealing the witch's wrath.
Beyond this door is the Tower’s room
Where she fell to her death and met her doom.

Wicked whispers in the dead of night
Behind this door they murmur with delight.
“Come in…Come in!” They cryptically say
A haggard, malicious voice…the voice of Hattie Mae.
I muster my strength through all the fear
As the Witching Hour soon draws near.
I burst forth through the door and can only stare
As the room be empty, and no one to be there.

I sigh with relief and let out a laugh
At the sheer potency of “The witch’s wrath.”
I walk to the window, blown open by the storm
As I sense something peculiar outside the norm.
Reaching the window, staring out into the black
I feel a cold set of hands…push against my back.