Cynthia Pelayo ~ DREAMTIGERS

I must have been very young but I remember standing there
Beside the chain link fence of my red brick school and my father in the car waiting
That day, the bus would come to take me to see the tigers

Memories have faded, or melded, or been replaced by illusions since then
but I believe I saw them that day, the very first day, and they were sad as I was sad
Golden hair and limp muscle paced back and forth, eyes blinded by despair

I’ve thought of them since, and many nights and many days since I have visited them
Their dragging steps mimic my sadness and I only hope they understand my stillness
senses their Plexiglas covered pain

I’ve tried to dream with them, pulling them into my mind at night but something’s not working
Maybe the zoo has erected a barrier that holds them there at night preventing them
from escaping even for a few hours into my safe dream world


Cynthia (cina) Pelayo is the author of short story collection Loteria and the young adult mystery and suspense novel Santa Muerte published by Post Mortem Press. Her short stories and poems have appeared in Danse Macabre, Flashes in the Dark, SNM Horror Magazine, Seedpod, Static Movement, and more. She is the Publisher/Gravedigger of Burial Day Books and is a member of the Horror Writers Association. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, a Master of Science in Marketing and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is an active member Horror Writer’s Association and Mystery Writers of America. You can find her on Twitter at @cinapelayo or at



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