Researching tomes by candlelight,
the old library smells
of tea and flowers, parchments,
and Indian ink wells.
Along here with the candlelight,
a fire crackles low,
and in the shadows of the shelves
dark laughter echoes so.
The dark and dusty shelves are full
of dark and dusty lore,
and spells to summon love sublime
or terror at its core.
The hairs and hackles of my hide
now stiffen in the air.
Of malevolent presences
I’m suddenly aware.
“What is it that you want?” I called,
but only silence came
in answer to my query
and the quelling of the flame.
Now sitting in the utter darkness
terror binds me still,
and all the will within me
chooses ‘cower’ over ‘kill.’
I know not when these things will slay,
they play with me the while,
and snarl and snap the air nearby
with fanged and feral smile.
They close the distance daily,
incrementally it seems,
So reading tomes by candlelight
yields nightmares and mad dreams.
I’ll leave the book and note for them
to find here in the day.
I don’t know if my corpse will be
devoured or on display.
Explore the tomes at your own risk,
perhaps your luck will hold.
Just know capricious spirits
have no use for human gold.
And maybe friend, just maybe,
they will bind you to the fold.