The Echoes of Ruins

Inside the old ruins

with vermin filled walls,

their boisterous voices still

ring through the halls.

 

How dazzling the jewelry,

the elegant gowns,

the best of the people from

best of the towns.

 

The thrill of the invite,

the calling by name

of every arrival

with fortune or fame.

 

The dark spirit no one saw

enter the space

was spreading his presence

all over the place.

 

The party grew louder,

and lewder, and crude.

The nobles were commoners,

servants were rude.

 

The atmosphere shifted

from festive to hate.

The dark spirit, watching,

decided to wait.

 

The sounds of the bacchanal

split the night air.

The dark spirit giggled

and fired a flare.

 

His cohorts arrived

and the violence began,

the fights and the sex

and the red sins of man.

 

The fires raged free

and the screaming was shrill,

the stones rained like hail

over castle and hill.

 

The dark, evil spirit’s

residing there still.

Don’t stop there. Don’t go there.

Your soul he will kill.

 

Fortune Untold

A glowing candle in the dark,

an old man sits alone.

Across the dusty table,

there sits an older crone.

 

“I’ll tell ye of yer fate,” says she,

her eyes aglow and wide.

“I’d like to know if good or bad.”

He sat his chair astride.

 

She closed her eyes and muttered

at a fast and fevered pitch.

He didn’t see

the demon woman form

behind the witch.

 

She smiled with a dripping grin,

and stared with hungry eyes

so longingly, she’d come to cause

his dimming soul’s demise.

 

She pinned his body to the chair

and feasted on his heart.

“Your fate is bad,” the old witch said.

“And that completes your chart.”

 

She laughed as she got up to leave.

“Enjoy your meal, my dear.”

“Well, why stop now?” the demon said.

“The two of you are here.”

Unearthed

Perhaps the artifact you unearthed

was waiting for you.

Perhaps not.

The ancient wraiths of your fathers bear witness

to your own thievery.

Doubtless, the dormant curses will

begin to manifest.

The sleeping souls of the past

stumble as they walk toward the light

they’ll never reach.

The old soil encrusting your stolen treasure

is crumbly with dreams, fertile with memories,

and yet, nothing grew.

The redolent scent of the earth’s loam

gives way

to an afterbirth of blood.

Perhaps the artifact will break your clutching fingers

and release itself.

Perhaps not.

Worlds Within

The blood on my fingertips

is mine.

It holds worlds within its oxidated spheres

that some, walking down this city street,

can taste on their tongues

like vipers.

 

Their eyes change color and form

when you look deep enough,

the eyes of reptiles

and

things that fly in the night

to hunt.

 

They smile at me,

knowing I see them

as they think to

savor the worlds within

my blood,

rich with learning.

 

Their leader smiles at me too,

ferocious, flirtatious, and feral

as she mouths the words, ‘No escape.’

 

I drip the blood on the tip of my tongue,

and offer it to her.

 

Laughing, she approaches,

eager to begin

the dance of worlds within.

 

Children of The Well

I hear the children crying

at the bottom of the well.

In hot and chafing chains they march,

and journey into hell.

And on the misty hilltop starts

the ringing of the bell.

The children slowly change to creatures

of a wicked spell.

They snarl and growl and claw and bite

with every tolling knell.

A cloud of death surrounds them

with a rotten carrion smell.

To a pagan god they’re praying

to be free but they’re all staying.

Yes, I hear the children baying

at the bottom of the well.

The Souls of Her Lovers

I follow this girl in the hopes of

something uncertain,

even as

the sea wind tugs at me like

a small child with entreating, urgent

hands.

 

There are threats within the deep

to snatch me from the air,

and so I must be wary.

 

These orbs,

bright and small and pink,

have voyaged here from

watery graves

to surround her with

the fervid attention

she drew from them

in life.

 

When she tires

of their

flickering affection,

she will feed them to me.

 

Then I will feast,

and dream

of being a man

worthy of

her love.

 

For now,

we dance

together

on the storm-churned

surf,

as the

souls of her lovers

circle us

to the music

of the wind.

 

The Lovely Eyes of Death

The lovely eyes of Death were dark,

no white in them to see.

She passed me in the marketplace

and smiled and winked at me.

She fought me on the battlefield

but saw me safely home.

And holds my hand when traveling

as o’er the world we roam.

Revealing mortal wounds that we inflict on girls and boys,

Her laughter rings displeasing at whatever she destroys.

Sometimes when she is holding me,

she’s gazing at the sea,

but is the sunlight dying there for her,

or is it me?

I know one day she’ll look at me and say to me, “It’s time.

“So kindly end your story now,

and rhyme your final rhyme.”

Until that day I hope to fill the world

with works of worth,

Death’s lovely eyes the last I see,

ere I return to earth.

Undead Reborn

 

Seeking succor from her dreams,

hear the restless vampire screams.

Dreams of stakes and silver knives.

Hunters harvest undead lives.

Tears of red in eyes of gold,

warm red blood and pale flesh cold,

turn to embers, ashes, dust.

Desperate hands through packed earth thrust.

Too late now, the gurgling sighs

sing the dirge as evil dies.

Now the victory light of sun

shines upon the chosen one.

But somewhere across the sea,

fledgling fanged ones now roam free…

Summoned

The stars above me were legion, diamonds strewn across celestial black sand.

My breath was visible in the cold air, and a crescent moon crooked like a beckoning finger, leading me along the stony path.

The dark spirit that walked beside me was lost in her own thoughts.

“I don’t understand,” I said, breaking her reverie. “Surely you have others to choose from.”

She considered my words before she answered. “But you were the one who wept at how bereft of purpose you were; the Master has given you one.”

“It still seems pointless, telling the tales of things past, things dead.”

“It is, now. It may be that later, it makes all difference in the world.”

“I doubt that.”

“He can do it. Indeed, he already has, at this moment.”

“You would have me believe my own Master died for nothing?”

She laughed. “I would have you know that.”

“Is the soul then nothing, that one would risk his very life?”

“Believe as you will. Your fate is all the more intertwined with ours.”

We walked on in silence; it seemed she would say no more.

We went up the mountain path, me behind her, the gusty wind threatening at times to pluck us off and cast us down; but handholds were plentiful enough, some provided by those who’d gone before, others naturally formed.

“The dwelling is around the bend.”

Dwelling?

It was the mouth of a cave, one that I had to bend to get into, with the wind getting relentlessly restless, the sky black crystalline velvet behind a silver-white moon.

The dark spirit was docile, her dark robes barely stirring.

“I’m to go in there? Alone?”

“Yes. You’re to tell our stories..”

“For how long?”

Her smile was enigmatic. “I have to go, and you must soon get started. You’ll see that all has been prepared for you.”

“But how am I to tell these tales?”

“In verse. In story. It matters not. Each one will bear their tale, and tell you what you need to know.”

“And if I say no?”

Her arm extended. “Feel free to roam, but you’ll never descend from here.”

She waited, watching me. There was nothing more to say.

I entered the cave, found stairs descending, and walked what seemed endless flights until the bottom finally appeared.  The ensconced torches that lit the way extinguished themselves as I walked past them, the only light from the eldritch one’s eyes and hands.

When I finally reached the bottom, there was a lantern placed on a meager desk with an ink jar, a pen with a black quill, shining with blue highlights, and stacks of journal books with blank pages.

The spirit emerged from the opposite side. “Come, sit down.”

“Spirit, I…”

She pulled out the chair, arching her brows.

I sat, and she turned the chair to face her.

“What do I do now?” I asked.

“You wait. You listen. You write.”

“But when will they be here?”

“When they are ready.” She took the pen from my hand, laid it on the desk.

“Be patient,” she said. ” I must go.”

“I’m to sit in silence?”

“Yes, if need be. They will come to you of their own choosing. Farewell, my friend.”

Bewildered and lost, I found myself giving way to a quiet despair.

“Farewell, spirit.”

She faded, and the cave got colder. After some time, my body began to shut down, reacting to the cold.

There was nothing I could do to stop it, and then I heard a whisper in my ear, though no one was there.

“In the beginning…”