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The Dead House Looms

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  • The Dead House Looms

    Say a prayer and take a step.
    The dead house looms.
    When evening falls the children dare,
    To pass the gate and touch the door,
    But none will dare to wait,
    For lore tells of a fate for those,
    Who do not fear those dreadful rooms.
    In times before, a miller lived,
    But now he is no longer there.
    And o’er the lair of cackling rooks,
    In crooked woods where nothing ever blooms,
    The dead house looms.

    What once was life, what once was home,
    All gone and strictly left alone.
    But something stayed within the walls,
    To coalesce in darkened halls,
    And fester as an abscess without cure.
    No flowers on the barren plot,
    No rose nor sweet forget-me-not,
    Can make the dwelling whole and pure.
    So do not take a chance and stare,
    Lest something should return your glance
    Whilst obscure shades in dismal rays,
    Are seen to dance in vulgar ways.

    Eyes removed and shutters hang,
    Windows to a dead dominion.
    Entropy in constant sway,
    Decaying all till all is gone,
    Atrophied to skin and bone.
    And like the dereliction of a vault,
    This is no place to be alone.

    Thus stands the missing miller’s home,
    All boarded shut and left alone.
    Alone except for one.
    His daughter, seldom seen, except down by the stream,
    As if from long ago when she was young.
    She kept the home beside the mill,
    And most folks know she keeps it still,
    Especially the room where she was hung.
    And when the vacant moon hangs south,
    She reads beside the brook,
    Dark rhymes from out her blackened mouth,
    From a tome of ancient prose.
    The book is ash, her body slime,
    Or so the story goes.
    But whether there or not,
    In the miller’s plot,
    The dead house looms.

    And yet a little sun might fall,
    Between the boards and folded slats,
    To slowly cross the unseen walls,
    And touch the daughter’s room of rotting dross.
    A legacy of nothing,
    Entombed in mould and moth and dust.
    Abhorrent to the realms of men,
    Possessed by thoughts of bleak despair,
    This is her sombre legacy,
    For those that enter there.

    Behind the glass and laid to rest,
    In wooden cases long forlorn,
    Her bleached and bony books are cracked,
    Bare spines poke through the covers that are torn.
    Dead lettered verse, decaying rhyme,
    Lost volumes speak in stalest breath.
    The dust of time that’s long since past,
    The lasting grime of all that’s bound in death.

    And no-one hears her whispering,
    The shifting dead-hour crack of timber creaking,
    She's speaking dreadful words in shadows undisturbed.
    Shed spider skins and on their run-down webs,
    The lifeless untold hours hang, motionless and cold.
    The alchemy of time at work, transmuting all to dust.
    The musty smell of lurking mould.

    Below a stair of broken treads that leads to silent places,
    Inverted in the backward glance of space between the spaces,
    Just out of sight, her ever present presence hides from light,
    The horror of the night with all its frightening faces.

    Between the walls, the flaking paint and creeping black,
    Beneath the floor, beyond what eye can see.
    The cracking of the glaze,
    The clouding of the shine,
    The putrid stillness of antiquity.
    In these ancient things her long forgotten form does lie,
    Watching through the silent stirring,
    Of the night time’s unmarked passing.
    Watching without eye.

    And all you have to do is knock,
    And play the foolish game,
    And tempt the terrors of the dark,
    By waiting for the same.
    Who doesn’t want to know,
    That we are not alone?
    And to receive an answer back,
    The tripping of some steps,
    The long and distant moan.

    So do not spin the dial,
    Nor press your finger lightly on the glass,
    For she will spell out wretched verse,
    The old black mass performed at last.
    And as this occult rite of hate,
    Deforms into a perfect fear,
    The nearness of that fateful night,
    Shall make you captive to the sight,
    Of murder in that cursed, hell born house,
    For here comes all the wickedness exhumed,
    Out from the brooding dead-eyed room.

    Oh, wretched soul that found no rest,
    The father saw his child possessed,
    With every evil inclination.
    Such was the vile stagnation of her heart,
    And as he fought against the one,
    He called his cherished daughter,
    Such slaughter tore his love apart.
    The burden of the miller mild,
    As the father hangs his child.

    That mortal noose is now undone,
    Her tongue is loosed to stress, beyond her soul’s salvation,
    The vilest incantation of her craft.
    And as her body rots within the creek,
    Miasmal vapours rise to speak,
    And chill you with their draft.
    The coalescing presence,
    Of her evil essence,
    Shall issue out her bleakest laugh.

    And you will clutch at nothingness,
    Helpless in her spell.
    And breathe the foetid atmosphere,
    Of her rancid hell.
    Grasping, gasping, startled heart,
    Racing till you breathe once more.
    Imprisoned in some morbid dream,
    As you glide,
    Through the door,
    Of the house by the old miller’s stream.

  • #2
    This is quite a tale, eloquently, artfully told!


    • Neil Thomas Fellows
      Neil Thomas Fellows commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for taking the time to read it. Much appreciated.

  • #3
    S-H-I-V-E-R-S!!! Oh my, Neil Thomas Fellows , DWAYNE nailed it in using the descriptor 'eloquent' - but I'd add gruesome to this sad, sorry tale.

    Masterfully done! Kudos!


    • Neil Thomas Fellows
      Neil Thomas Fellows commented
      Editing a comment
      Glad it had a chilling effect. It kind of grew out of the sixth stanza - my desire to mix the imagery of a book-case and a coffin. After that, I had to construct a story to explain where the books were. Was lucky it worked out.