16 September 2011

A Gothic Horror (Nosferatu)

Moonlight softly wavers through the window,
shedding silver spears, gently piercing gloom;
towers tall and spires spiked 'neath the midnight
moon like a brilliant moon echo silence.
The landscape dreams: rolling hills and glitt'ring seas,
delicate drifts of cloud, stars like scattered gems,
a mansion, ancient, sprawling on a hill;
this dream-still tableau is broken, shattered
 by a piercing scream, a note of horror
stamped in aural ink upon the sleeping night.
This scream by winging bats is swift pursued,
a maddened flutter of screeching demons;
      now the eldritch night is broken,
      and evil things are woken.

Look now at the all but empty tower,
rising highest all above the rest,
into the only room that's warm with life,
at the lovely, trembling maiden huddled
by the oaken door, breast heaving, breathless.
She, staring at a pool of shadows cold,
shrinks against the door, fumbles with the lock,
clasps her ragged shift to her shivering skin.
The shadows shift and part to reveal deeper shades,
shapes that move, uncast by light, shapes with eyes
that gleam with hellish hunger, unholy glee.
Her fear at every panted breath exhales,
vapor making gnashing jaws drip more drool.
      With growls those maws closer creep,
       cries she, "wake me from this sleep!"

The lock at last gives way, the door swings out,
the frightened maid flies forth, loudly shrieking.
Scratching claws pursue, evil laughter booms
through darkened hallways, mirth of ghoulish things.
In haste she flees, with slapping, tripping feet,
down circling stairs, past open doors like mouths.
She turns her head, she seeks in vain a glimpse
of the hell-wights  in pursuit,  demons lewd
and leering, like drunken rakehell villains,
but  cold as death, stinking still of open graves.
Fleet of foot they fly, more than mortal man;
taunting shades are they, whispering vile threats,
rushing wind-swift round, cutting with their claws
      they prick and nick, lick and lave,
      lap their tongues at wounds they gave.

A game these cold ones play, as much for fear
as her sweet red blood; they wait with patience
until she's steeped in dread, in terror bathed.
Across a chessboard they play their devil's game,
moonlight silver squares, shadows form the black;
'round her they glissade horror's waltz of death.
Hall to hall, wing to wing, floor to floor
they've played their dreadful game of cat and mouse,
but this tormented maid swiftly weakens
and her flight is slowed, panting turns to sobs,
desperate pleas for life strike deaf, inhuman ears
elicit further hungry, cursing growls.
      In a fury they descend,
      limbs and skin to rip and rend.

When at last their game is done,
sated thirst for lust and fun,
they circle 'round pounce and leap,
they sink in fangs, piled in a heap;
no more she weeps, no more cries,
one last gasping breath she sighs,
with a sob she falls and dies.

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